Corporate problems with contingent (temp) workers

Scott Marshall scott at
Thu Feb 1 21:21:44 MST 1996

>	Certainly capitalists are always trying to maximize profit.  My point
>was that when they have so alienated labor that they must attempt to directly
>reduce alienation through "team" approaches. etc., they are on the verge of
>admitting they were wrong.


Find me a cpaitlaist that understands teams in terms of minimizing
alienation. What you say above presupposes they look at it this way - they
don't. They see teams as the best way to get the workers to contribute their
knowledge and experience willingly without compensation to the goal of
greater profit. This I know from experience in companies who sought to use
the team concept. They consciously see it also as a union busting scheme to
weaken solidarity and class identity politics on the shop floor.


>Of course seniority is
>actually a system of favoritism.  It is rationally based on the idea that
>more experienced workers create more value, and the idea that more senior
>workers are "backbones of society" and thus should be supported in keeping
>with their greater social responsibilities.


This may be what corporate suite seniority is all about, but it's not what
union seniority is about. On the shop floor seniority is to attempt to place
*limits* on the companies ability to play favorites. Senority is by no means
a perfect vehicle - ie: it often must be modified to prevent the 'hardening'
of past discrimination patterns. But it is a useful tool in preventing the
boss from 'rewarding' the company favorites and to protect union members.

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