In a book that confronts the moral choices that U.S.
corporations make every day in the treatment of their workers,
James A. Gross issues a clarion call for the transformation of the
American workplace based on genuine respect for human rights,
rather than whatever the economic and regulatory landscape might
allow. Gross questions the nation's underlying fabric of values as
reflected in its laws and our assumptions about workers and the
Arguing that our market philosophy is incompatible with core
principles of human rights, he forces readers to realign the
country's labor policies so that they conform with the highest
international human rights standards. To make his case, Gross
assesses various aspects of U.S. labor relations-freedom of
association, racial discrimination, management rights, workplace
safety, and human resources-through the lens of internationally
accepted human rights principles as standards of judgment.
His findings are chilling. "Employers who maintain workplaces
that require men and women and sometimes even children to risk
their lives and endanger their health and eyes and limbs in order
to earn a living are treating human life as cheap and are seeking
their own gain through the desecration of human life," Gross
argues, and such behavior should be considered as crimes against
humanity rather than matters of efficiency, productivity, or
By revealing how truly unacceptable management's "best
practices" can be when considered as human rights issues, A
Shameful Business encourages a bold new vision for workers,
whether organized or not, that would signify a radical rethinking
of social values and the concept of workplace rights and justice in
the courtroom, the boardroom, and on the shop floor.
Subjects: Political Science
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