JUST WHEN I THINK I’M GOING TO WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING WARM, FUZZY, AND CHEERFUL (WHICH I LIKE TO DO) I SEEM TO RUN ACROSS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR BY BUSINESS
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO AMERICANS THAT WE PUT UP WITH THIS RUBBISH?
THE RISE AND RISE OF NON-COMPETE AGREEMENTS—FOR SANDWICH MAKERS!
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS, RIDICULOUS, AND WRONG!
The following story is from the Washington Post
A few months ago, the Huffington Post reported on a surprising piece of the standard employment contract at Jimmy John's: A "non-competition" clause, preventing employees from working at any other shop within three miles that sells sandwiches for two years after they leave. It's convenient for the company, if it keeps sandwich-makers from taking their talents -- and inside knowledge -- to a rival. It's not so great for workers, who have much more limited options if they want to quit.
But wait: Is that really a danger at a place like Jimmy John's? Non-competes are normally reserved for executives or at tech firms, to keep people from bringing trade secrets to another company. Lately, though, they've been popping up in more and more low-wage sectors too, like maids and nail stylists, prompting a spate of lawsuits.
And now, we have actual data on how prevalent non-competes are across the labor force: One in four workers have signed such agreements in their lifetime, according to a new working paper, and 12.3 percent of them are bound by one right now. Here's a breakdown of the data on non-competes by profession:
I used to regard the expression ‘wage slaves’ as being totally over the top. More recently, I have been beginning to wonder. There is so much bad behavior by so many U.S. corporations these days that the term may not be inappropriate for long.
In all too many cases, current employment in the U.S.—when you can find it—seems to feature.
- An overpaid CEO and senior executives focused on optimizing the share prices to the detriment of just about everything else including the longer term interests of the company.
- No concern for the local community.
- No concern for the national interest.
- No concern for suppliers.
- No real concern for customers.
- A toxic management style.
- Employees being treated like a disposable commodity.
- No job security.
- No union.
- Dismissal on a whim.
- Poor pay.
- Irregular and unpredictable hours.
- Minimal vacation time.
- Minimal or no paid sick leave.
- No defined pension.
- Employees paying every increasing amounts towards healthcare.
- Numerous petty restrictions.
All I can say is that sooner or later, something has got to give. Or has the American spirit been completely crushed?
I would like to think not—and there are sporadic outbreaks of resistance to corporate malfeasance—but there is scant evidence of any national fight-back despite a myriad of provocations. Big Money continues to manipulate Big Numbers. So much for democracy!
Much has been made of Wal-Mart's recent decision to raise pay rates as evidence of growing worker dissatisfaction having an effect. I would like to think so, but the increases are so small in the face of the need that I have my doubts.
Overall corporate behavior needs vastly more scrutiny than it gets. We certainly need corporations, but do we need such entities as currently structured—especially when imbued with an ethos which is so profoundly unpleasant and which undermines the quality of our lives?
It is a sad thing that I need to even raise the question..
VOR words 576.