Corporate America Doesn’t Care About You, Especially If You Work For Them

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The term ‘working poor’ is one that should not exist but is all too common in America today. Because for many people in this country, it’s more than a term — it’s the harsh reality they live with. They work more hours than anyone should have to, yet struggle to make ends meet. Nobody who works full time should be in a position where they can’t support themselves, yet it’s commonplace in today’s world. It’s an atrocity and corporate America is to blame.

My grandfather supported eight children with a factory job. It was a union job and one I assume he was fairly compensated for considering he found a way to support eight children off of his salary. My Grandmother worked odd jobs as her children got older but the household primarily relied on what my Grandfather brought home.

Fast forward fifty years and your average factory worker is not only unable to support eight children off of their salary but many struggle to support one child — or even worse — just themselves.

I work at a company where I make eight dollars an hour and the CEO has an annual salary of seven million. He comes into our location once a year. I get why and the reality is, we don’t need him there. It may be his company but we are the heart of it, everything runs smoothly despite his absence. I’m not implying we deserve a six figure salary but clearly he could afford to pay us more than just barely over minimum wage.

I recently read an article that claimed he once spent $116,000 in a steakhouse in a single night, yet the highest paid manager at our location or even his boss makes that in a year. Something is very wrong with that scenario.

Meanwhile, I will struggle to buy decent Christmas gifts for all of my loved ones this year. Frequently at work, I see things that would make the perfect gift for someone on my list, right before realizing I probably won’t be able to afford to get it for them, even on pay day.

While in the company break room the other day I was reading over some of the posted regulations and procedures. I found it concerning that the first thing we as employees are supposed to do after an injury occurs is ‘preserve any merchandise possible’. Not make sure everyone is okay, or call an ambulance if they’re not — but preserve merchandise to protect the owner’s bottom line.

Our staff has a few minute meeting every morning and without fail our manager reminds us “Internal theft is definitely happening”. To put it more plainly, we are forced to stand there quietly as we’re blamed for presumed theft. In the company’s defense, it probably is happening. When you are paying employees next to nothing, I imagine it tends to.

There’s a very simple solution to many of the issues I mentioned, it’s just not a likely one. It would be to treat and compensate employees fairly. To realize, regardless of how high up you are in a company, it is the people below you who allow it to operate and generate your salary. I hope to live to see a day where the term ‘working poor’ is obsolete, I’m just almost beyond certain I won’t.

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