Corporate Surveillance Of People's Private Lives

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Itsthetruth, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Itsthetruth
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    CounterPunch
    March 14, 2005

    Surveillance on the Job
    Fascists in the Machine
    By DAVE LINDORFF

    We grow up hearing about the glories of America's Bill of Rights and especially of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech and association, but the ugly truth is that those freedoms only apply to that narrow sliver of waking time when we are at home or commuting to or from work. During the most important part of the average person's day--those eight or nine hours when she or he is at work--there is no such freedom at all. What you say, wear, or maybe even think, and whom you choose to hang with, can mean the end of job or career. On most jobs, you have to wear certain things and at some even say certain things (like a company cheer!) on pain of losing your job.

    And it gets worse. A new trend in which companies are telling employees that if they smoke, even at home, they can be terminated, heralds a brave new world where corporations will begin setting all kinds of behavioral rules for employees to follow off the job if they want to keep it. How far off are we from a time when going to a demonstration on one's free time can be grounds for firing?

    My question is, why aren't we freedom-loving Americans raising holy hell about this trampling of our rights? Where's the outrage at our being treated like the citizens of China, Saudi Arabia or Burma on the job?

    Forget Jesus. What would Thomas Jefferson say about the new corporate rules of behavior and the new monitoring of workers' private communications and private lives?

    http://www.counterpunch.org/lindorff03142005.html
     
  2. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    Nobody has the right to work wherever they please. If you don't like the rules of a company you work for, quit.

    :)
     
  3. SmarterThanYou
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    does that company have the right to tell you that you must eat fish on friday if the director is catholic? or that you must give up something for lent?
     
  4. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    If the 'business' is catholic - yes.

    Again...nobody has a RIGHT to work where they want.
     
  5. Gem
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    Gem BANNED

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    This goes hand-in-hand with movie stars and musicians feeling that they should be able and encouraged to say whatever asinine, childish, and idiotic thought that pops into their heads, but if a normal citizen has the audacity to respond to that thought negatively, say, by refusing to buy any more of their albums, or refusing to see any more of their movies - suddenly that star is being "blacklisted" or their freedom of speech is being denied to them.

    You have freedom of speech. You have the freedom of expression. You do NOT have the freedom to dictate how other people will react to your thoughts, ideas, and expressions.

    The only thing a private business must do is make sure that the rules of their company are well known and documents before they start to enforce them. If I am hired at a company with absolutely no knowledge that if I have a drink at a restaurant on Friday night and am seen by my boss I could be fired because the owner is an ex-alchoholic....that is wrong. However, if I am informed that taking this postition means that I am no longer allowed to drink in public because of the crazy boss's rules...then I have no excuse. I have two options 1) thanks the interviewer for her time but say, "I won't be accepting any job that is this restrictive and crazy. or 2) Give up drinking in public in order to acquire and keep the crazy job.

    I find rules such as the "No smoking at all, even at home" one, insane and somewhat obscene....it is the private business owner's right to make such an asinine rule. I have the right to call it asinine, and I have the right to not take a job at his establishment.

    "But what if you NEED the job in order to live? Most people can't afford to be so picky!" Is, I'm sure a normal response to what I've written, but guess what. The Constitution says nothing about your right to an easy time of it...it says nothing about your rights and privledges (and your boss's rights and privledges) making life simple and convinient for you. In fact, just the opposite...most people understand that living in a society that is supposed to have all these freedoms is difficult, challenging, frustrating, and often...damn hard on the individuals who are living there.

    Sometimes you have to make a hard choice...do I value my right to say that Bush is an asshole more than I value how many record sales I might lose? Do I value my right to say that we shouldn't trust anyone named after a sland term for female genitalia to take us to war more than I value my Slim Fast contract? Do I value my right to hold the opinion that Bush is the right man for the job and Kerry is an asshole more than I value the opinion of some of my college friends who still think I'm the insanely liberal person I was in college? Do I value my freedom to be addicted to cigarettes and smoke them at home more than I value the benefits of this job?

    Tough choices all....but thats part of what these freedoms we all claim to care about so much entail...making hard decisions in order to maintain EVERYONE'S (even the insane boss's) freedoms.
     
  6. Itsthetruth
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    Do you think a corporation/owner should have the "right" to fire a good employee because they don't like his race, religion, sex, personal habits or political views?
     
  7. SmarterThanYou
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    you evaded answering my question though. If a company like abc gokart manufacturers has an owner who is catholic, does that company then have the right to fire you if you eat beef instead of steak for dinner on friday nite?
     
  8. Itsthetruth
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    Gem: And what if the employer adopts a "no-smoking, no drinking or other rule regulating your personal life AFTER you have been hired?

    If you think employers should have the unrestricted right to fire people for reasons not related to their job performance I just have to disagree with you.

    Where, if anywhere, do you draw the line?
     
  9. no1tovote4
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    At the point when Unionizing becomes attractive.

    Once again, the employee has specific rights. They can quit, they can band together and work to change the rules, or they can shut up and put up with it. What do you propose? Making a law against which direction you think your company should go? If any business made such rules and found they could not hire employees to do the job anymore they would quickly change them back.
     
  10. SmarterThanYou
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    at no point whatsoever should ANY employer have the authority to dictate what you can/cannot do or be who you are UNLESS it directly affects the companies performance/profitability.
     

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