Last week, we talked about class and labor during class, discussing about the labor we produce and the exploitation of the corporations. I think the topic is closely related to our life, and the problems Karl Marx introduced can still be seen in the contemporary Japan. I believe that the unfair treatment toward employees should be eliminated in every corner of the globe and the workers should receive the wage that they deserve, receive the wage that they worked hard for.
Here I want to use my personal experience to explain the theory suggested by Karl Marx, the surplus theory. I am a part-time worker in a Japanese fast food restaurant in Japan, and the restaurant mainly serves beef rice to the customers, the food is just like it sounds, beef on the top of the rice. I work from 9:30p.m to 5:30a.m, three times a week and earn 5000yen each time for the work I have performed. The company gives me 1000 yen every hour and they guarantee a three-hours rest during work, while I signed the part-time contract. However, after I became a staff of the restaurant, I found that it is almost impossible to finish the work which the company required, if I were to take a 3-hours rest. In addition, I rarely get a proper rest because the restaurant are managed by only two people at night, if one took a rest, the people will be in trouble. Therefore, I am paid for only 5 hours for the 8-hours work I have performed. The extra 3-hours work is the surplus value according to the theory of Karl Marx. However, I can also sabotage the company by slowing the work or eat the food in the restaurant without paying (the restaurant has several surveillance cameras that are set in the corner of the restaurant, if you can find a blind spot of the cameras, you can eat the food free without being caught). Of course, I will be fired if I am detected by the cameras, but I won’t feel any shame about it since the company did not give me enough incentives and conditions to motivate me to work. I am, after all, work for the money. I neither have pride on the work nor care about the sale of the company. The policies of the fast food company obviously aimed to reduce the labor cost to maximize the profit. However, I think that they failed to recognize that they have created a vicious circle that hurt both the reputation of the company and the employees.
As we can see, even though we are living in a time which is completely different from Marx, the characteristic of the company stay the same, and my personal experience is merely a tip of ice berg, I believe that there are more people are being treated worse than me. In conclusion, I think that it is extremely important for us to realize those facts that are hid by the words of the corporations, so that we will stay sober and not be deceived by the false policies of those companys.
by Yuuki Nagahara