Corporate America's War on Workers

Over the last two years of writing this column, I have tried again and again to warn you of the war that your politicians and Corporate America are engaged in. I've tried to explain as to how they are fighting against the possibility of you, as the workers of America, ever gaining equality in the booming economy of the last few years and in the future. As the wealthy acquire more by taking more away from their employees, the average American laborer finds that they must work harder and spend less just to stay even.

In only the last couple of years and just in this state, the avalanche of anti-worker efforts have included:

Employer organizations conspired with Governor Wilson and the legislature to destroy the daily overtime law which will cost California's workers at least $1 billion a year in lost wages. In case you hadn't noticed the event, employers were once required to pay time and a half to any employee who worked more than eight hours in twenty-four. Now, they can work you whatever hours suits their fancy until you've worked forty hours before having to pay overtime. There is absolutely no way that you are benefited by this but, of course, business wins and you lose is the rule of the 90's.

Corporate lobbyists and the politicians that they own are trying to change the formula that calculates the prevailing wages, which would decimate the pay of construction workers. You lose, business wins.

The lie of "government efficiency" has led government to continue their efforts to get rid of their highly motivated, highly skilled and fairly paid employees in favor of contracting the services out to the lowest bidding private company resulting in lower wages, busted unions, zero benefits for the employees, no job security and drastically reduced levels of services state wide. Once again, you lose, business wins.

Business organizations and the politicians whom they own oppose even family friendly legislation such as allowing employees to use sick time to care for children or parents who are ill. It goes without saying that these special interests fought tooth and nail against such suggestions as granting severance pay to employees fired or laid off when their companies move out of state or overseas in search of cheaper labor as well as another bill which would have increased penalties for employers who knowingly violate safety regulations which results in employees being killed or injured on the job.

I haven't listed any of the insulting legislation being passed or considered by the U.S. Congress, either. There, the attacks are even more ideologically oriented to destroy any and all protections that you have come to believe in as only fair. There, bills have been introduced that will allow your pensions to be legally stolen, your safety to be ignored if it is more beneficial economically for the employer, remove your right to sue if your employer's inaction regarding safety causes you to be injured or killed, remove chemical injuries from the list of injuries that must be reported to the federal government and on and on and on.

You, as a worker, must understand that it is very seldom true that what is good for General Motors is good for you. Far too many Americans can't seem to differentiate between their unfounded hatred of whomever their "leaders" have labeled "liberals" and the fact that their "leaders" are attacking everything that is good about America in the name of campaign contributions and more and more profits for their Corporate masters. Far too many Americans simply can't tell the difference between what they think their party "leaders" are up to and the truth of the punishment being inflicted on the American worker by these self-same political prevaricators.

The interests of politicians and corporate executives are not the same as those who do the real work for minimum wage. It is far past time for the American worker and voter to wake up to that fact. If you ever expect to be treated fairly, the current crop of corporate assets who, too often, successfully pass themselves off as politicians are not going to be of any help whatsoever. If you don't wake up, your interests will become completely irrelevant in the very near future. Your children will not be amused when they enter the unfair and nasty working world which you are leaving to them. The question, sadly, is do you even care?

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Copyright 8/11/97