Ever since the mass media have announced the existence of the wicked economic world crisis, the rights of workers have diminished and deteriorated. All around the globe we're getting news about mass firing from many companies, big and small. The firings are being justified by the reduction of available work. In addition there's an annoyingly disturbing phenomenon that's starting to occur.
Some of the companies seem to fire people, allegedly because of the aforementioned reduction of available work. But at the same time these companies are asking their employees to work overtime, sometimes even 10 or more hours per week, and not get paid for it. Well, in all due respect, not everyone in these companies loses the payment for overtime. Management comes to mind. Now, we all know how important the management is, and <em>of course</em> they should get the paid overtime. <em>Riiiiight</em>....
What I'm particularly interested would be for economic experts to explain to me, though, how can it be that the reduction of work for a company also causes the currently employed workforce (admittedly reduced, of course) to start working overtime in order to keep up with this reduced amount of work. Did someone fire more people then they should? If so, why not hire back some of the people they fired to fill the gap?
Even more disturbing in this whole situation is the behaviour of workers themselves. Instead of trying to protect their own rights, the workers are accepting these new terms, where their working week is 50-60 hours instead of 40 hours, giving-up on overtime payments they're entitled to. The whole ridicule of this situation is also increased by the overall attitude where workers start justifying such measures and actions.
What is the true force behind this kind of worker behaviour? All over the media you're hearing news about people being fired (no, they did not loose their jobs, it's not something they just misplace in the house and find it later on, nor were they <em>let go of</em> - what were the employers trying to let them go from - essentials for living?), companies going down, people who once lived decent lives now on the verge of poverty. What kind of sensation does this induce in a worker? The answer is <em>fear</em>. We are constantly being pushed towards this kind of feeling, and the capitalists are taking advantage of it. The feeling that if you stand-up to the capitalist you'll get fired, and that you'll be replaced by someone else is circling in the public transportation, parks, restaurants. The workers themselves take on them to spread what the media had published.
What we end-up in the end is constant pressure, terrorism, delivered by the mass media and capitalists, the fear for one's existence, for availability of elementary needs, like shelter and food. All of this is increased by the fact (at least in most western countries, or countries where banking cartels and criminals have made a strong foothold) that the people had taken credits in order to buy houses, flats, and cars. Now they're facing a possibility of loosing all that, lulled into thinking that they actually possess the commodities they obtained through credits and leases before the crisis started.
All this fear is causing workers to remain silent, obedient to every whim of the capitalist employing them. The workers accept to work overtime, during weekends, to give up on holidays, free days, vacations, and sometimes they work even until late in the night. Employers are, on the other hand, coming up with more and more ridiculous demands, and insane dead-ends. Workers throughout the world are being pushed into mass hysteria where they struggle to keep-up with all those demands and expectations. Older workers are being scared into remaining silent with claims that the employer will hire someone younger to do their job equally well and for less money (if so, why wouldn't the employer hire younger worked right away, and make him/her work more instead as well?). Those who are seriously ill are left without the mercy at the whim of capitalists.
A worker that is frightened is incapable of fighting back or giving any kind of resistance to such demands. A worker that is frightened and tired is unable to use his/her free time for thinking about the position he/she has found himself/herself in. And to top that off, the mass media are producing mindless, retarded reality shows, bombarding the workers with the junk in order to put out even a sparkle of thought that could come to them about changes that could be made in society that could improve their lives. Such a worker is reduced to the level of a slave.
Fear is the key.