That’s the system that’s being created in industrial (and not just industrial) labor today: not careers but gigs, with better pay and benefits than the worst jobs, but also even less room for advancement or scrutiny on how and where you’re hired. The assumption is that low-level employees will cycle out, even if serious injuries, chronic humiliations, or (unlikely, but) a global pandemic forces you out of the workforce sooner than expected.
This high rate of churn is somewhat paradoxically considered, from a top executive’s perspective, a good thing: the lost costs paid for worker acquisition and training are more than made up for by making it difficult for long-term workers to socialize, build up relationships with each other, and organize (formally or informally) to transform the job.
Or, as Vox’s Jason Del Rey writes in another story this week, “Amazon corporate managers have goals for “unregretted attrition” — basically a percentage of their staff that should leave the company each year, either voluntarily or by being forced out.” It’s just like Adam Serwer put it in a different context: the cruelty is the point.
Tim Carmody on.