Throughout history employers have never voluntarily paid their workers. If left to their own devices employers will pay as little as they can get away with out of their own pockets. This was evident in the prevalence of the slave trade, indentured servitude, and share cropping; just to name a few types of employer swindles. Its evidenced in the fact that a minimum wage ever had to be instated.
The new model has the illusion of choice through the idea of “Right to Work”, which is really just a way to protect employers from employees who would take action against their practices. It’s basically the workplace equivalent of “If you don’t like it you can get out!”
You have the illusion of choice in that you can always go somewhere else and work if you don’t like something about your current job. Only the reality is that you can’t because you don’t have a choice, only the illusion.
You can’t really just go work somewhere else because you can’t go without pay for the time it will take to start another job. And of course, since everyone pretty much pays the same, changing jobs doesn’t help anyway since it’s just going to be the same no matter where you go.
This is why people strike. Historically, mass labor stoppage has been the only thing that employers listen to. Employers are so scared of strikes, and other forms of work stoppage, that they are willing to kill to try and keep them from happening.
In Ludlow Colorado in 1914, John D. Rockefeller caused 11 children to be burned alive by his troops for the high crime of asking for fair treatment, decent wages, and reasonable hours.
In 1892 in Homestead Pennsylvania Andrew Carnegie had 9 men killed and 11 more wounded by his troops for the same.
On Blair Mountain in West Virginia employers went as far as to drop bombs on their employees. Meanwhile, sporadic gun battles cost the lives of between 50-100 employees. Blair Mountain was actually only a piece of a much larger conflict between miners and employees throughout the country that raged for nearly a decade.
In 1911 in Manhattan the Triangle Waist Company condemned 146 employees, many of them young women less than 25 years old, and some as young as 14, to be burned alive in the name of protecting their profits.
And don’t be fooled into thinking that all of this stuff is in the past and won’t happen today.
The Upper Big Branch mine explosion of 2010 was directly caused by employers putting profits before the people making them those profits; resulting in the loss of 29 lives.
And this isn’t just happening to workers in professions like mining either. This is how McDonald’s workers were met when they protested the 2014 shareholder’s meeting, by cops in riot gear.
This is what happened in Seattle in May 2014 during peaceful wage protests.
Employers would rather kill their own workers instead of paying them.
How sick is that?
Organized work stoppages are the only way to prove to your employer that you are the reason they have profits to withhold in the first place.
So really, you should probably go on strike.
Coming soon, Part 2 What Are Your Demands?