The Fissured Workplace

The Fissured Workplace

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In the twentieth century, large companies employing many workers formed the bedrock of the U.S. economy. Today, on the list of big business's priorities, sustaining the employer-worker relationship ranks far below building a devoted customer base and delivering value to investors. As David Weil's groundbreaking analysis shows, large corporations have shed their role as direct employers of the people responsible for their products, in favor of outsourcing work to small companies that compete fiercely with one another. The result has been declining wages, eroding benefits, inadequate health and safety protections, and ever-widening income inequality. From the perspectives of CEOs and investors, fissuring--splitting off functions that were once managed internally--has been phenomenally successful. Despite giving up direct control to subcontractors and franchises, these large companies have figured out how to maintain the quality of brand-name products and services, without the cost of maintaining an expensive workforce. But from the perspective of workers, this strategy has meant stagnation in wages and benefits and a lower standard of living. Weil proposes ways to modernize regulatory policies so that employers can meet their obligations to workers while allowing companies to keep the beneficial aspects of this business strategy.The preliminary documents prospective franchisees receive make the centrality of standards in the operation of the business ... standards, specifications, systems and procedures contained therein [the companya#39;s franchise operations manual]; ... storage, preparation, packaging, service and sale (including menu content and presentation) of all food and beverage ... Table . gives excerpts from several fastfood franchise agreements, illustrating the detailed standards incorporated in anbsp;...

Title:The Fissured Workplace
Author:David Weil
Publisher:Harvard University Press - 2014-02-17


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