I read a post on The New York Times this past week that I found deeply disturbing. The subject was the difficult time that a woman was having juggling child care, commuting, work, and personal time.
Aside from her personal situation, a major issue for her was her job at Starbucks. The company (and I don’t know if it was just her location, or region, or the whole company) was using software that kept track of rush times, and would schedule workers around those times, sometimes for only a couple hours, instead of people working a defined shift from say, 0800 to 1700, the software might have a person come in at 1000 and leave at 1300. This was in the name of maximizing profits. WalMart apparently also uses this software.
This, to me, is another step on the road of people being just work objects for companies. I think that ethical behavior requires supervisors/owners to recognize that without the workers, there would be no company. That means, among other things, treating those people with respect. Scheduling with a 100% eye to profit is not treating people with respect.
Since some ignorant people would misread the above, I will state it plainly. I’ve never been against companies making money. There is little reason to be in business otherwise. I do not believe it is ethical to subordinate people and their well being to maximum profit.
I think that in a perverse way, this is about government working. But, working for business (via lobbyists and paid-for Congresspeople) instead of people.
Why aren’t people (mainly, conservatives) worried about the tyranny of business?