The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Telecommute Trap

Mar 31, 2014

During the recent winter storms in Washington, most federal government office workers had the day off with pay. Many thousands of them had signed “telecommute agreements” to work from home. Having agreed to telecommute for a part of their work week, they were then required to work at home when it became convenient for the government to demand it.

Telecommuting used to be exclusively a management perk. But as spying and “networking” software gets better and better, bosses have all the more reason to encourage more ordinary office workers to telecommute.

On a worldwide level, ten percent of call center workers work at home every day. They are given no workplace to go to. Completely cut off from their co-workers, their homes turned into prisons, all they can do is slave away.

Remember how we lost our pensions? Bosses introduced 401k plans “for management only.” Then they started allowing workers in on it. For years, we had our pensions side by side with 401k plans. Then they started taking the pensions away, until all that was left was the 401k. It took a couple decades, but it happened. They’re doing exactly the same thing now, slowly, with these telecommute arrangements, trying to dismantle our possibility to act together.