White-Collar Sweatshop: The Deterioration of Work and Its Rewards in Corporate America

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9780393323207: White-Collar Sweatshop: The Deterioration of Work and Its Rewards in Corporate America
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How corporate greed and mismanagement ate the American dream.

In the 1990s, before the bubble of the "miracle economy" burst, corporate America grew fat on the miseries of the American worker. Media attention has focused on dot-com disasters, massive layoffs, and explosions of corporate violence. But for those millions of Americans who have neither been laid off nor "gone postal," life at the office has become a nightmare: seven-day-a-week workloads; reduced salaries, pensions, and benefits; virtual enslavement to technology; and a pervasive fear about job security. With facts, figures, and telling case histories, the author chronicles this catastrophic sea change in industry after industry. Her book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of the American economy...or worried about his or her own job.

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About the Author:

Jill Andresky Fraser is an editor at Inc. and Bloomberg Personal Finance. She has covered business for the New York Times, New York Observer, and Forbes. She lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

Financial journalist Fraser fingers the "merger frenzy," ushered in by federal and state regulatory changes, for the layoffs, longer work days, shrinking benefits packages and the rise of contingency workforces that have beset white-collar workers since the early 1980s. As soon as hostile takeovers, leveraged buyouts and corporate bustups dominated the landscape, financial goals took priority over all other business considerations, making cost cutting, layoffs and benefit reductions the order of the day. The single-minded pursuit of these strategies, Fraser opines, has gradually transformed the paternalistic workplace familiar to white-collar workers circa 1979 into our present Darwinian arena, which Fraser characterizes as a sweatshop. Through interviews with white-collar workers and references to various studies, she charts adverse trends for workers in such industries as banking, communications and high technology. In her attempt to put a human face on the impact of these changes, each page is strewn with generic quotes about uncaring management and pervasive stress that portray workers as powerless before their employers ("There's something so unfair about all this"; "the company's attitude is, This is the way of the world. If you don't like it, go somewhere else"). Considering her stark portrait of bitter and forlorn white-collar workers, Fraser's proposed remedy sounds both hollow and na‹ve, as she calls for workers to restore balance in the workplace by lobbying for reduced workweeks, reasonable productivity goals and limits on the use of contingent labor. Agent, Sloan Harris, ICM.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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