Final Word from Wednesday, December 29, 2021

A Dilbert cartoon at the end of Oct. explained the plight of the worker in the information age with brutal hilarity. The company's employees had been on strike for two months, but headquarters didn't even know about it, because the staffers were reduced to picketing their own homes and blocking their own driveways. Czechs and others who are being allowed or forced to work at home because of covid are sometimes slow to realize that remote employment can merely be an intermediate step to getting laid off. After all, Industry 4.0 and the digital transformation are all about increasing efficiency and reducing costs. In a survey in MFD today of 50 company bosses and owners, one of the frequent complaints is the shortage of labor and the higher wages that this brings. The unstated message is that much more cheap labor is needed before business won't need so much cheap labor. At some point the labor shortage must become a labor surplus. It might even happen in 2022. [ Czech Republic MF Dnes strike protest employment unemployment home office ]

Glossary of difficult words

plight - a dangerous, difficult or otherwise unfortunate situation;

hilarity - extreme amusement, esp. when expressed by laughter;

staffer - the member of the staff of an organization;

to picket - to stand outside a workplace or other venue as a protest or to try to persuade others not to enter during a strike;

to lay someone off - to dismiss a person from a position of employment temporarily or permanently.

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