punch_clockThere are no honest capitalists.

While there are no exact figures on the extent of wage theft, authorities say it is rampant in such industries as construction, garment manufacturing, restaurants and home health care. The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor reported in 2012 that of more than 1,800 restaurant investigations it conducted on the West Coast over several years, it found violations in 71 percent. Of more than 1,500 investigations of garment firms, violations were discovered in 93 percent. (Pay Violations Rampant in Low-Wage Industries Despite Enforcement Efforts)

In other words, SOP.

*************

The Factory Act of 1850 now in force (1867) allows for the average working-day 10 hours, i.e., for the first 5 days 12 hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., including ½ an hour for breakfast, and an hour for dinner, and thus leaving 10½ working-hours, and 8 hours for Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., of which ½ an hour is subtracted for breakfast. 60 working-hours are left, 10½ for each of the first 5 days, 7½ for the last. [14]

Certain guardians of these laws are appointed, Factory Inspectors, directly under the Home Secretary, whose reports are published half-yearly, by order of Parliament. They give regular and official statistics of the capitalistic greed for surplus-labour.

Let us listen, for a moment, to the Factory Inspectors. [15]

“The fraudulent mill-owner begins work a quarter of an hour (sometimes more, sometimes less) before 6 a.m., and leaves off a quarter of an hour (sometimes more, sometimes less) after 6 p.m. He takes 5 minutes from the beginning and from the end of the half hour nominally allowed for breakfast, and 10 minutes at the beginning and end of the hour nominally allowed for dinner. He works for a quarter of an hour (sometimes more, sometimes less) after 2 p.m. on Saturday. Thus his gain is —

 

Before 6 a.m., 15 minutes.
After 6 p.m., 15 “
At breakfast time, 10 “
At dinner time, 20 “
           Five days — 300 minutes, 60 “
On Saturday before 6 a.m., 15 minutes.
At breakfast time, 10 “
After 2 p.m., 15 “
40 minutes.
Total weekly, 340 minutes.

 

Or 5 hours and 40 minutes weekly, which multiplied by 50 working weeks in the year (allowing two for holidays and occasional stoppages) is equal to 27 working-days.” [16]

“Five minutes a day’s increased work, multiplied by weeks, are equal to two and a half days of produce in the year.” [17]

“An additional hour a day gained by small instalments before 6 a.m., after 6 p.m., and at the beginning and end of the times nominally fixed for meals, is nearly equivalent to working 13 months in the year.” [18]

(Marx, Capital, Vol 1. Chapter X, The Working Day. Section 2: THE GREED FOR SURPLUS-LABOUR. MANUFACTURER AND BOYARD)

*********

Last week, McDonald’s workers in three cities launched highly publicized cases charging the corporation with wage theft. These workers had experienced many types of wage theft. The workers in California claim that they were not paid for overtime work. In Michigan, workers are asserting that they were required to show up for work but were not allowed to clock in. Workers in New York allege that were not compensated for the time they spent cleaning their uniforms, required to do work off the clock and not paid overtime. The New York suit was almost immediately successful. Last week, seven franchises agreed to settle for almost $500,000.

McDonald’s workers are not alone. Wage theft has become a widespread problem in low-wage industries in the United States. An influential study found that more than two-thirds (68 percent) of workers had experienced some form of wage theft in their previous week of work: they were paid below the minimum wage, not paid for overtime, required to work off the clock or had their breaks limited. An organization of fast food workers in New York City surveyed workers and found that 84% of workers had experienced wage theft in the last year. (How McDonald’s gets away with rampant wage theft)

Tags: , , , , ,

Douglas Storm is a host and producer for Interchange on Bloomington, Indiana's community radio station WFHB. "Why then do you try to 'enlarge' your mind? Subtilize it..."

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

WFHB’s Interchange – A Targeted Divide: What Bullets do to Bodies and Lives

AUDIO: What Bullets do to Bodies and Lives This is the special 90-minute finale for our series A Targeted Divide. […]

WFHB’s Interchange – A Targeted Divide: Crime, Decline, and the Rise of the Citizen-Protector

AUDIO: Crime, Decline, and the Rise of the Citizen Protector For our second show in our three-part series, A Targeted […]

WFHB’s Interchange: A Targeted Divide: Gunning Down the Bill of Rights

AUDIO: Gunning Down the Bill of Rights Today we begin a series of three programs on Guns in the USA […]

WFHB’s Interchange – Undermining Zinctown: The Feminist Socialism of Salt of the Earth

AUDIO: Undermining Zinctown We open with music composed by Sol Kaplan for the film Salt of the Earth. Kaplan was […]

WFHB’s Interchange – An Interview with Jasper Bernes on Logistics and Food Systems

AUDIO: Capital’s (Hidden) Art of War and the Belly of the Revolution In the book of Genesis in the Hebrew […]

On Allan Sekula: In the American Grain (WFHB’s Interchange)

AUDIO LINK: Shooting the Gulf: Allan Sekula In the American Grain In his most famous essay, “Self-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson […]