Wealthy companies that claimed to care about progressive causes are failing to walk the walk.
“Layoffs at Rich Tech Companies Show You Can’t Trust Any Employer,” was a recent addition to Medium by one of its most prolific and beloved writers, Tim Denning.
“Stop falling for the HR puppets and the nonsense social justice agendas these rich tech companies preach,” Denning advised his readers. “It’s all marketing spin.”
“Any company can change its logo to a nation’s flag,” Denning remonstrated. “Doesn’t mean they care. What matters is action. And the action of these rich tech companies shows you their true colors.”
“Don’t trust tech companies pretending to change their world,” Denning concluded, pointing out that wealthy companies who demonstrate such little regard for their own employees probably care even less about the more abstract causes they claim to care about…in advertisements.
The sentiment is understandable.
So understandable, in fact, employees working at wealthy tech companies and retail giants like Amazon have been unionizing over the past two years, organizing in an attempt to collectively bargain for better pay and benefits.
Interestingly, U.S. workers for wealthy Silicon Valley companies— from the foremost corporate manager to the newest warehouse worker — are often already being paid more than the industry standard. They often have better benefits, including tuition assistance, stock options, and excellent health insurance plans.
Midwestern small towns — and even large cities — are often overjoyed when they are chosen as a site for a major Amazon operation. There is great competition between cities and municipalities angling to attract Amazon.
Amazon setting up shop in your town means a much-needed infusion of well-paying jobs.
In addition, the U.S. has some of the strictest labor laws in the world. Your friendly neighborhood bureaucrats over at OSHA are always ready with an eagerly listening ear.
Other government agencies are similarly tasked with ensuring businesses are in full compliance with labor laws at all times. Oversight agencies never sleep. They exist solely to field complaints about unsafe working conditions, rights violations, and safety concerns.
These attempts at unionization at Amazon and other wealthy companies — in some cases, successful — aren’t really about wages, benefits, unsafe working conditions, or any other traditional labor concern. The source of worker disgruntlement is perhaps heretofore unknown.
They know how obscenely, terrifyingly rich the 1% of the 1% owners of these wealthy corporations actually are.
This wasn’t the case for previous generations of toiling wage earners. The proletariat may have suspected how wealthy Industrial Age magnates with names like Rockefeller were, but they didn’t really know.
Now, the average person can spend less than 30 seconds on the internet and learn, almost instantly, just how much wealthier the 1% of the 1%, like Jeff Bezos, are than everyone else on earth. Even their fellow one-percenters look like paupers by comparison.
With so much of the company’s wealth — to say nothing of the world’s wealth — concentrated at the very uppermost echelon, employees know full well these companies could pay them more — a lot more — and don’t.
In short, employees of wealthy companies want their cut. And, like Denning, laid-off employees — a growing body — are left wondering why they are being let go at all.
Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Meta have been making money hand over fist for over a decade. According to Oxfam, the world’s 10 wealthiest men doubled their wealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This occurred while millions of small businesses were forced to shut their doors, in some cases permanently. Meanwhile, the wealthy owners of even wealthier corporations used the popular media platforms they also own to agitate for the very lockdowns making them so much richer.
With the news this week that Apple was exposed for suppressing iPhone features in China in an attempt to help the Chinese Communist Party thwart and subvert widespread protests, it’s hard to argue with Denning’s assessment that the receding financial tide of the past few boon years is revealing.
“We’re in a bad recession,” Tim Denning warned. “It’ll probably get worse before it gets better. All these tech layoffs are a sign. So don’t run around living in the clouds and thinking the last few years are a reflection of the next few.”
Denning is hardly alone in warning of rocky economic times ahead for the U.S. and world economies.
He is also correct to point out that big tech companies, wealthy virtue-signaling corporations, and altruistic billionaires who claim to care about progressive causes aren’t coming to save their laid-off employees, to say nothing of the rest of America.
Wealthy tech companies and their would-be woke CEOs are as flawed as everything else in life. They ignore red flags, make bad investments with core company assets, and ruthlessly restructure when it suits the marketplace and their own bottom lines.
The true intentions behind all the virtue-signaling commercials are being tested in a slowing economy — and failing.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)