A class action lawsuit has been filed against Chipotle for ‘wage-theft.’ Over 10,000 employees allege they were forced to clock-out and continue ‘working for free.’ While I agree that action must be taken against this, we should not reduce the problem to ‘wage-theft.’
The wage-system, by definition, is theft. There is no such thing as a fair wage-system. Wealth is produced by workers, but it is appropriated by non-productive bosses as profit. Workers receive only a small fraction of the wealth they produce as a ‘wage’ – the surplus value is siphoned away by bosses. This is theft. This is exploitation.
Therefore, wage-theft is not a deviation from capitalism – it is capitalism in a nutshell. To varying degrees, we all work for free. The only way to eliminate wage-theft is to move beyond capitalism.