The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became So Bad for So Many and What Can Be Done to Improve It

The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became So Bad for So Many and What Can Be Done to Improve It

by David Weil

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Overview

For much of the twentieth century, large companies employing many workers formed the bedrock of the U.S. economy. Today, as David Weil’s groundbreaking analysis shows, large corporations have shed their role as direct employers of the people responsible for their products, in favor of outsourcing work to small companies that compete fiercely with one another. The result has been declining wages, eroding benefits, inadequate health and safety conditions, and ever-widening income inequality.

“Authoritative…[The Fissured Workplace] shed[s] important new light on the resurgence of the power of finance and its connection to the debasement of work and income distribution.”
—Robert Kuttner, New York Review of Books

“The kinds of workplace fissuring discussed here—subcontracting, franchising and global supply chains-—have been the subjects of a number of studies detailing the employment effects that Weil describes. The Fissured Workplace is unusual in bringing this research together into an integrated, detailed and decidedly policy-oriented analysis…It makes a convincing case that the better regulation of fissured workplaces is a first step towards reversing the erosion of pay and conditions at the bottom of the labor market.”
—Virginia Doellgast, Times Higher Education

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674975446
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 05/08/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 424
Sales rank: 601,505
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

David Weil served as President Barack Obama's Wage and Hour Administrator in the U.S. Department of Labor from May 2014 to January 2017. He currently is Peter and Deborah Wexler Professor of Management in the Department of Markets, Public Policy, and Law at Boston University Questrom School of Business and serves as a co-Director of the Transparency Policy Project at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Table of Contents

Part I Vignettes from the Modern Workplace 1

1 The Fissured Workplace and Its Consequences 7

2 Employment in a Pre-fissured World 28

3 Why Fissure? 43

4 Wage Determination in a Fissured Workplace 76

Part II The Forms and Consequences of the Fissured Workplace 93

5 The Subcontracted Workplace 99

6 Fissuring and Franchising 122

7 Supply Chains and the Fissured Workplace 159

Part III Mending the Fissured Workplace 179

8 Rethinking Responsibility 183

9 Rethinking Enforcement 214

10 Fixing Broken Windows 243

11 The Fissured Economy 268

12 A Path Forward 286

Notes 291

References 375

Acknowledgments 397

Index 401

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