Where Work Is Headed


Here are two items that you may have missed but that are clearly further indicators of the devaluation of workers.

First, some owners of McDonald’s franchises have started issuing pre-paid debit cards, instead of paychecks, to their employees. Clearly this practice is in some way saving the owners of the franchises some money, though I cannot tell you exactly how much money is being saved or exactly how this practice might be generating those savings. But, whatever those savings might be, it seems very unlikely that they would outweigh the psychological impact on the workers of being paid for their work with the equivalent of a retail gift card. Although the owners of these franchises may have rationalized that what they are doing is simply another permutation in the increasing reliance on digital banking to manage personal accounts, what they have conveyed to many of their employees is that their…

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