Today, almost half of the American workforce earns less than $15 per hour and a third of working-age men are either unemployed or unable to keep a family of four out of poverty. Few have sufficient savings to retire with, while businesses continue to push healthcare and other social safety costs onto their employees. Yet American companies are far from struggling. Is the contract between employee and employer broken?
In his new book, The End of Loyalty, Rick Wartzman chronicles the erosion of the relationship between American companies and their workers through the histories of four major American employers — General Motors, General Electric, Kodak, and Coca-Cola. Wartzman argues that big businesses once took responsibility for providing their workers and retirees with an array of social benefits, but in a twenty-first century economy turbocharged by the pace of technology, access to a good, stable job no longer guarantees access to the American Dream. The cause, he says, is clear: the American workforce cannot thrive if it clings to systems that preference shareholders over employees and productivity over morale.
Join New America NYC for a conversation on the past, present, and future of work — and how technology can play a more constructive role in fostering effective systems for both workers and businesses.
Rick Wartzman @RWartzman
Senior Advisor and former Executive Director, Drucker Institute
Author, The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America
Ai-jen Poo @aijenpoo
Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Co-director, Caring Across Generations
2014 MacArthur "Genius" Award winner
Jessica Lin @jerseejess
Co-founder and General Partner, Work-Bench
Kristin Sharp @ktsharp2
Executive Director, Shift: The Commission on Work, Workers, and Technology, New America