Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Warehouse Wage Slaves

Conservatives love to decry unions. They love to bust them up too, and have been largely successful in doing so over the last several decades. While corporate profits and executive bonuses soared to record levels, private-sector unions all but disappeared as the oligarchs tightened their death-grip on American workers.

Conservatives love the argument that unions aren't needed anymore, that technological progress has done away with the physical danger and Dickensian workplace conditions people dealt with in eras past. But we're far from that. The controlled demolition of the economy by the plutocrats over the last decade has only put the average American worker in the worst position possible-- accept these shit wages, shit conditions, shit treatment and total job INsecurity, otherwise we'll take away your $11 an hour... which is more like $8 after you pay all those taxes your corporate overlords loophole their way out of.

I love online shopping. I love the convenience of it and the low prices. Hell, I'm an Amazon Prime member. But after reading Mac McClelland's piece in Mother Jones this month, I'll never think about it the same way.

Still think we don't need unions? Still think corporate profits are like, totally reasonable and all you have to do is work really hard and maybe you'll get some too? Read I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave and see if you still feel the same way.

Put it this way...if Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos cashed out just 1% of the $6.5 billion in stock gains he enjoyed in 2011, it could pay for 5.9 MILLION HOURS OF LABOR in these warehouses. It could provide over 43,000 of those workers with health insurance benefits for one year. It could pay for 16.25 million gallons of gas so they could commute to work and not have to choose transportation over feeding themselves and their families.

And that's just what 1% of one guy's stock options for one year could do. Welcome to the New America.

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