Editorial Pitch-Herald Scotland-13 November 2013
By Sam Khan – McIntyre
Media outlets and other organisations believe they can con people by using their work without paying for it, often using lack of funds as an excuse.
However, upon further investigation it turns out that organisations often have a substantial amount of money saved by exploiting staff, and if often locked away in assets.
These organisations are named and shamed, with their I’ll gotten gains listed for all the world to see. This injustice should not continue while the talented, educated and hard working staff, often young and getting onto the career ladder, get exploited, sometimes in jobs for many years with little renumeration, whole those who think they can getaway with organising such scams and racketeering, think they can get away with getting fat off their corrupt practices.
Propaganda on the joys of working for free is not to be trusted, as those that work for free are not much better off in the employment marketplace than those that have not for (the same positions). Demographics of those being exploited thorough this sort of thinly veiled type of slave – master relationship, for instance through work experience, voluntary work, for example internships may be different in terms of ethnicity, class, age, or various other factors. (see New Economist article/ New Yorker? Where did I se the?).
It is not just organisations, such as media outlets, grassroots organisations and even charities that purport to have no money, doing good for society while actually watching the bottom line for their own purposes.
It is also commercial companies that blatantly make huge rod it’s, as if we’re supposed to bow to this new god of the economy, or economic giant and help it succeed while we we get nothing in return. For example I was asked by a Silicon Valley company last year to write for them, when I asked what they paid they said they were looking for volunteers! (One does not need to check whether they are making any money!)
The government seems to be encouraging this sort of exploitation, no doubt ministers and their cronies getting their own cut of the bounty.for example the case of Cat Reilly last year highlighted the issue, (no doubt the government would want to cover up loopholes to prevent exploited workers from winning cases against giant corporations, in this case it was Poundland stores, but the Tesco supermarkets were controversial in “hiring” free labour to pack bags or stack shelves or some such.
In such cases, it is better not to work than get sucked in, humiliated and bossed about and even bullied for no renumeration. The case for opening new supermarkets for instance in our home town in Scotland, and other much applauded job creation schemes only means that more and more people are subjected to manual labour, increasingly which they are too educated for and got themselves (expensively) educated so they wouldn’t get stuck with such kind of dead end job or working for free.
If the government has a problem with freeloaders then they should be renumerated for the work they do, and create jobs where they are most important, vital, and most of all wanted by the public. Consumer jobs in supermarkets only add to the consumer culture, and more and more convenient supermarkets and other shops only mean dead end jobs and more dissatisfied people who are being taught to spend on things they don’t want or are not necessary or not good for them giving rise to obesity and other health problems, and financial problems such as debt which can contribute to health problems. For these, treatment may not be easily available, or increasingly expensive for an individual or a begrudging government who may withhold (for certain people/ catchment areas, illnesses, as saying they are the fault of the patient for example, e.g. obesity, smoking etc). to cut costs. This can lead to economic problems such as the recession, which can then be an excuse for further injustices in the form of loss of jobs or austerity measures.
In terms of working for free or forced to do jobs that people are not interested in, then it might be better for those people to be doing nothing whatsoever. There are those who claim there are plenty of jobs despite high unemployment. Well would thee ogle who quote vocally claim such things in the media be willing to take on some of those roles which they would either hate doing, (such as manual labour) or are not trained for. In any case, Mark Carney and as the govt. and Bank of England are not aiming for zero unemployment, believing 6 per cent or so will be suitable as employment would be concentrated in certain areas.
This useless argument assumes London does not exist, and is in fact making a case for creating a class of unemployed to punish and use as a tool for the rest of the public in order to keep in line and toil away for free in the supermarkets so the rich, (and those who deserve it least for they are not necessarily the most talented, intelligent or able) who need it the least, can make a killing in financial terms. That is quite barbaric.