Monday, April 03, 2006

The Truth Will Set You Free: Fewer People=Greater PROFIT$$$

The Truth Will Set You Free: Fewer People=Greater PROFIT$$$

This sounds like one of those infamous sucking sounds, jobs disappearing into thin air. Again. Only another 8,800 jobs. On top of the 30,000 already slashed by Patricia Russo at Lucent. Hell's teeth, she must be fuming at the French government's CPE crisis, because those 8,800 people are only 10% of the new combined workforce and one imagines that given half the chance she'd strip Alcatel - Lucent down to a shell company if it would increase the shareprice. Her salary last year was only a measly USD 4.75 million.
When they let go of the miners, I remained silent; I was not a miner.
When they let go of the textile workers, I remained silent; I was not a textile worker.
When they let go of the auto workers, I remained silent; I was not an auto worker.
When they let go the IT workers, I did not speak out; I was not a IT worker.
When they let go of me, there was no one left to speak out.
(With apologies to Martin Niemöller)

Crass asked "Do they owe us a living?" On Friday afternoon I walked past 3 people begging on the street within 10 meters of each other and the song popped into my head. In the window of an employment agency, 70% of the offers were for Telemarketing.

Can I be a productive human being by selling frozen dinners to people over the phone so that they can have something to stick in the microwave when they get back from their Telemarketing job? Is that what we are supposed to believe working for a living is all about these days? Or perhaps begging is more honest? And when I am laid off because the call center is moved to India? What happens then?

Lucent is one of the very same companies that is profiting from what the French refer to as "précarité" or precariousness - the lack of job security. From Lucent's Managed Contact Center Services for Enterprises website:
"Managed Contact Center is a carrier-based solution for completing calls and monitoring and managing contact center activity without costly equipment on an enterprise's premises."
"The Lucent ClientCare® Contact Center enables enterprises to achieve true virtualization with global location independence, agent portability with no restrictions imposed by network topology with the ability to centrally administer all locations."
I think we are well aware that the nature of work has changed fundamentally thanks in no small part to technology, Reagan and Thatcher. The question is, are we going to accept it?

2 comments:

qrswave said...

thanks for the link and the great info! Technology is not the problem, though. Patents are the problem.

jayzerz said...

Too true. I always wanted to write up a Patent that includes the concept of "Time" - so that if you even looked at your watch you'd owe me mega bucks ;)

The stuff that is truly scary is the patenting of DNA and the Human Genome.
We may just end up paying royalty fees for being born.