The phone company (AT&T) has found a way to dump union workers, save big money and exploit the labor of prisoners, all at once. According to reports from the Communications Workers, AT&T is contracting out telemarketing jobs to firms that provide labor practically free through the prison system. The company is planning to lay off thousands of telephone operators -- all union members who could perform the telemarketing work. Prisoners, of course, have no option about performing work they are assigned.What's wrong with a giant corporation trying to save a few bucks using an incarcerated work-force as opposed to higher-waged union work, you ask?
What do the AT&T subcontractors pay prisoners for telephone work? Try $2 per day. For that, the prisoners -- essentially slave laborers -- have to call area businesses, identify themselves as AT&T representatives and try to sell AT&T products and services. The prison systems in Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, New Jersey and Florida sell the right to exploit prisoners to a firm called Unibase, which in turn sells the service to AT&T.
Until 25 years from now, when the conglomerate of corporations running the show, with their hands in the politicians' pants, realize those behind bars are worth more than the men and women walking free on the street, and your only avenue of defense against a thirty year jail sentence for running a yellow light are these guys and these guys.
Sleep well,, folks.