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"Undercover Boss" TV Show Gives Corporations Free PR and Is No Substitute for Worker Organizing

No one should mistake "Undercover Boss" as promising a new era of respect and fair treatment for workers in corporate America.

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So no one should mistake "Undercover Boss" as promising a new era of respect and fair treatment for workers in corporate America. The race-to-the-bottom mentality that drove our economy into the ground, and has left record numbers of Americans living in poverty, is the same business model perpetuated by many of the corporations highlighted on the show.

What we need instead is a concerted push for a different way of doing business. Employers who see their employees not as liabilities, but as partners committed to the success of their business. Believe it or not, that vision isn’t just a pipe dream. Across the country, a growing number of employers are working together with employees and their unions to tackle tough business challenges and respond to the rapidly changing economic climate. And they’re doing it all with a shared sense of responsibility for the company’s future.

Without a doubt, it’s entertaining to see a CEO scrubbing a toilet. But what our country really needs is a sure path for all nine-to-fivers -- with or without the assistance of an ‘undercover’ boss -- to get the fair shake they’ve earned.

Kimberly Freeman Brown is executive director of American Rights at Work, a labor policy and advocacy organization.

 
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