Despite that it’s for anyone who’s employed, the way you approach Worked Over will depend on which side of the paycheck you’re on. It does lean more toward employees—and blue-collar workers, at that ... in fact, worker-readers hailing from all business-types will find outraging tales; stories of workplace politics; and horror-story-like, near-dystopian hints of the future of employment. If it weren’t for the somewhat Norma Rae tone and the solution-ideas, it would be enough to send a worker, screaming, to the break room to hide ... Reach for this book with an open mind and there’s much to learn, whether you’re the owner, supervisor, or an in-the-trenches worker. One job, two jobs, three jobs or more, Worked Over can’t be overlooked.
McCallum's book is rich with examples of middle- and working-class responses to job-related time pressures. A few cases seem quirky (1973 astronaut in-space strike or a strippers' union protest), but even those fit well with his theme that workers without control over their time will, too often tragically, buckle under the conditions or, through remarkable effort, resist ... A well-focused chapter on changes in the welfare system reveals the role of government in demanding workers' time ... Subtly drawing on classic Marxian theory that capitalism steals laborers' lives as well as their work, McCallum's book will find a welcome audience among those concerned about global working conditions.
Readers interested in labor politics and relations and political economy will be engaged by this thought-provoking look at the systemic problem of overworking in America caused by poor economic infrastructures and unethical expectations.