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Archive for May 6th, 2013|Daily archive page

“BRANDING” AND BARBARISM: PART ONE (OF THREE)

In Bureaucracy, Business, Law, Politics, Social commentary on May 6, 2013 at 12:07 am

Would you agree to be permanently mutilated in return for a 15% commission raise by your employer?

Rapid Reality, a New York-based residential real estate brokerage firm, made that offer to its 800 employees, and nearly 40 of them agreed to permanently ink themselves with the company logo.

“I don’t see myself going anywhere, and if I have it on my arm, it’ll force me to keep going and working hard,” Brooklyn-based broker Adam Altman said in a Rapid Realty video  while getting the tattoo. “It’s there for life. Rapid for life, yo.”

Rapid Realty tattoos

And who came up with this new idea in employer barbarism?  Why, no less than Anthony Lolli, the founder of the comopany.

“They wear it like a badge of honor,” said Lolli. “They get a lot of respect from the other agents with the amount of commitment that they have.”

Lolli claimed that the new tatoos help brokers close deals because clients “love the fact there’s someone who’s 100% dedicated to the business.”

Bragging about his brainchild, Lolli tweeted:  “Talk about marketing–they’re walking billboards!”

Click here: Rapid Realty discusses company tattoos – YouTube

For thousands of years, slaves in the ancient world were branded with the mark of their master.  So were slaves in America before the Civil War finally ended 300 years of slaveocracy throughout the South.

During the 20th century, the Nazis tattooed each arriving inmate to their ever-expanding series of extermination camps such as Treblinka and Auschwitz.

Concentration camp inmate tattoo

Behind the practice of branding has always been the equation of “Who/Whom?”  As in: “Who can do What to Whom?”  The one who does the branding is the Conqueror; the one being branded is the Vanquished.

The same holds true for the work-slaves of American corporations as it did for those of the ancient Romans and 20th-century Nazis.

Behind this is the fear American employees justifiably have that, no matter how well or faithfully they work, their employer will cast them into the street.  And, if he does, it will most likely be to pocket their salaries for himself.

The Thirteenth Amendment was supposed to end slavery within the United States.  But the corrupting financial  power of corporate America has turned American workers into so many wage-slaves.

All of which serves as another reason why the United States needs an Enployers Responsibility Act (ERA).

If passed by Congress and vigorously enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and Labor, an ERA would ensure full-time, permanent and productive employment for millions of capable, job-seeking Americans.

And it would achieve this without raising taxes or creating controversial government “make work” programs.

Such legislation would legally require employers to demonstrate as much initiative for hiring as job-seekers are now expected to show in searching for work.

An Employers Responsibility Act would simultaneously address the following evils for which employers are directly responsible:

  • The loss of jobs within the United States owing to companies’ moving their operations abroad—solely to pay substandard wages to their new employees.
  • The mass firings of employees which usually accompany corporate mergers or acquisitions.
  • The widespread victimization of part-time employees, who are not legally protected against such threats as racial discrimination, sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions.
  • The refusal of many employers to create better than menial, low-wage jobs.
  • The widespread employer practice of extorting “economic incentives” from cities or states in return for moving to or remaining in those areas.  Such “incentives” usually absolve employers from complying with laws protecting the environment and/or workers’ rights.
  • The refusal of many employers to provide medical and pension benefits—nearly always in the case of part-time employees, and, increasingly, for full-time, permanent ones as well.
  • Rising crime rates, due to rising unemployment.

Among its provisions:

(1) American companies that close plants in the United States and open others abroad would be forbidden to sell products made in those foreign plants within the United States.

This would protect both American and foreign workers from employers seeking to profit at their expense. American workers would be ensured of continued employment. And foreign laborers would be protected against substandard wages and working conditions.

Companies found violating this provision would be subject to Federal criminal prosecution. Guilty verdicts would result in heavy fines and lengthy imprisonment for their owners and top managers.

(2) Large companies (those employing more than 100 persons) would be required to create entry-level training programs for new, future employees.

These would be modeled on programs now existing for public employees, such as firefighters, police officers and members of the armed services. Such programs would remove the employer excuse, “I’m sorry, but we can’t hire you because you’ve never had any experience in this line of work.” After all, the Air Force has never rejected an applicant because, “I’m sorry, but you’ve never flown a plane before.”

This Nation has greatly benefited from the humane and professional efforts of the men and women who have graduated from public-sector training programs. There is no reason for the private sector to shun programs that have succeeded so brilliantly for the public sector.

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