Erin Hatton's The Temp Economy

1424 Words6 Pages
In the post war era, temp industries began making a change in how companies would create their business model. Changes in the structure of business enterprise, location of production, the ideology and practice of management have made life difficult for workers both in the United States and abroad, and have generated a resistance through worker organization and worker consciousness. Manpower, RCA, and Wal-Mart offer examples of these structural and location changes, as well as the ideology of management that shifted throughout the late twenty first century to demonstrate how workers gained a consciousness that created better conditions. Erin Hatton in her book The Temp Economy discusses a change in business enterprise as industries transferred…show more content…
One of the problems of Wal-Mart’s outsourcing to American workers were the rock-bottom wages associated with low labor costs. “The key to Wal-Mart’s success was not just a low-wage retail operation, but keeping its logistics system nonunion.” By keeping low wages and anti-unionism apparent in the company, it led to the success of Wal-Mart. RCA accepted unions in their management, but constantly seeked compliant ones. Their management continuously lowered their labor costs by moving production around the country, leaving workers once they began to fight for more rights. Lastly, the temp industry “feminized the image of a part time worker” and constantly yielded to the liability model, instead of the asset model. By changing the outlook of a worker from an asset to a liability, temp companies were able to sell their workers for part time work, replacing many employees who already had full time jobs in their…show more content…
Retail stores like Wal-Mart, are facing negativity from their use of sweatshops, leading them to regulate them more closely, yet probably not as well as they state. Wal-Mart has refused to join the Fair labor Association, even though it has an elaborate factory certification program in place since the documented abusive child labor practices in Bangladesh. In the temp industry, workers fought against the business cycle, and their absorption of many of the costs associated with temporary work. While believed to have flexibility in the workplace, they actually needed a full day to be offered any work. Resisting these small inconsistencies resulted in a raise in minimum wage, and defining the boundaries of who issued the paycheck. As for RCA, the proletarianization of once rural workers grew in the industry. The rise of maquiladoras also strengthened unionism in Mexico, leading to a workers consciousness of rights in that area. Although weak, resistance was still generated in the worker organization and consciousness during these economic changes and provided new views on workers

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