Sunday, November 23, 2014

The future of capitalism begins here

Workers at the LA Times just lost all vacation time.

This article explains the policy of regular accrued vacation has been replaced with "performance-based" snap judgment calls by managers. Meaning, of course, that getting a vacation now is a bonus instead of a benefit. And you know how frequently bonuses are being given out these days - well, if you work for a living, that is.

Now in any sane world, the LA Times staff would simply resign in mass. But of course there are no other jobs for them to take. It's not that they can't go to a different newspaper; there are no other jobs to be had at all.

How long before some other company notices this? Then they adopt the same policy. What are their workers going to do? Leave for the LA Times? Pretty soon you get to the position where your boss reduces your pay by a nickel every day. As long as all the other bosses are doing it, what can you do about it? And this wonderful race to the bottom doesn't require collusion, or conspiracy, or criminal intent: it is simply the natural outcome of the free market at work.

Here in Australia we have those pesky socialist labor regulations. Consequently even Subway workers get 4 weeks of vacation, health care, and a wage you can live off of. And there's nothing the bosses can do about. Well, other than seizing control of the political system and putting in a Reagan-like puppet who will dismantle government protections by convincing people government doesn't do anything. But what are the odds of that happening?

UPDATE: Faced with a massive staff revolt, they backed off. For now.


  1. I suspect this policy will have the opposite effect of what is desired.
    No one ever wants to let their best employee go on vacation; else things will depend on the lesser element.
    So in fact it will be the lower performers whom receive the most vacation and time off.
    In due time the result of such a policy will degrade even further the work environment, and the ability to attract new personnel will be lost.
    In short - they have signed their own slow agonizing death warrant.

  2. Or worse, it works they way they expect: which means their good people take time off and their bad people work overtime. Brilliant, if more bad work product was the goal.

    Management can't be that dumb; so pretty clearly, their attitude is that they don't have good workers or bad workers. Just replaceable cogs. You run a machine as hard as you can, and when it wears out you replace it.