Corporate Profits over Employee Compensation

A ''Now Hiring'' sign is seen in the store front window in Miami, Fla.

A ”Now Hiring” sign is seen in the store front window in Miami, Fla.

What is the future for people who perform unskilled labor at a minimum wage?  Will they be able to earn enough money to live a comfortable life?  Or has corporate profitability destined these individuals to become modern day slaves who never get ahead.  I was listening to a story on NPR’s program Marketplace where they explored such a question.

Stephanie Luce is a labor sociologist at the City University of New York’s Murphy Institute. She has studied union movements around the world and co-authored, with the Retail Action Network, a study based on surveys of retail workers in New York titled Discounted Jobs: How Retailers Sell Workers Short.

During the study they found that; “Among low-wage employers — retail, hospitality, food service — employers are requiring their employees to say they’re available for a full-time schedule, even when they know they’re never going to schedule them for full-time.”

“Managers are asked to schedule based on customer-flow, on weather, on trends in the economy, and to change the schedule day-to-day,” says Luce. “They don’t want employees that are going to say ‘I can’t come in, I have another job.’ They want employees that’ll say, ‘OK, I’ll come in if you need me. I won’t come in if you don’t need me.’”

“I was just reading a retail consulting report,” says Luce, “that said this was the main area in which businesses could achieve profit — using labor-scheduling technologies. Employers want to reduce their cost. It was excess inventory in the ‘90s. And now it’s excess employment. This is a way for them to cut down on labor costs, and in theory shift it from a fixed cost to a variable cost that could shift with consumer demand.”

For the full story go to; More people need second jobs, fewer can find them and then tell me what you think.

About craigruark

Craig A. Ruark is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing and PR professional. Craig started his professional career in broadcasting; as a radio announcer, news reporter, and advertising account executive. He wrote and produced radio and television commercials, public service announcements, and gathered news stories. Since 2014, Craig has worked as a freelance writer providing newsletter and blog content for clients in various industries. From May 2018 to March 2019, he was the editor of bizNEVADA Magazine and has been a contributing writer for the Las Vegas Business Press and Las Vegas Review-Journal, producing over 200 in-depth articles on a wide range of subjects including technology, medical advances, economics, and local businesses. He has also interviewed some of Las Vegas’s most prominent individuals and written over two dozen business profiles. Craig is an avid fitness participant, sailor, SCUBA diver, enjoys singing Karaoke, listening to jazz, and is working on his next book.
This entry was posted in Business, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),, Employee Relations, Ethics, Sustainability and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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