Worker or Employee

We explain to you what a worker is and what this term means for Marxism. In addition, what are the rights of the worker.

  1. What is worker?

The term worker refers to any natural person who provides subordinate services to another institution, or person or company , obtaining compensation in exchange for their workforce .

The historical stage of modernity took place from the industrial revolution , which shaped the capitalist social form that includes the ” worker ” subject , a concept that reaches today as we know it.

A sense of the worker already existed in the feudal social form prior to the modern stage, but he did not give up his labor force for a salary compensation , but was considered a “servant” (of the gleba) who in exchange for protection and housing precarious delivered and worked for his master, his product belonged to no one but the master who could do what he wanted with him.

After the industrial revolution, the modern conception of the worker is inaugurated, whose rights are linked to the political conquests of rights subject to international and national norms, and whose contract stipulates a salary compensation for the fact of having delivered his labor force to the investment capitalist .

Services that are not granted voluntarily are considered slavery , such as the historical cases of nineteenth-century countries such as Cuba producing sugar or Brazil producing coffee. This form of work is already formally abolished by international standards that prohibit it, although they present their limitations and cases of exception to the rule.

The worker can provide services within the scope of an organization under the direction of a natural or legal person, called an entrepreneur , if it is for profit, or institutional or social if it is non-profit. Or in the case that the worker can perform his functions on his own, autonomous, in this way a contractual relationship is not maintained but one of commercial exchange.

  1. Worker for Marxism

The concept of worker is linked to the concepts of exploitation and alienation. 

At this point, Marxist theory is a key to understanding the capitalist movement that drives society today , as well as to understand from the point of view of historical materialism what role the work and the worker plays in society .

The concept of the worker from this perspective is linked to two concepts, one is exploitation and the other is alienation. The first refers to the time that the worker, that is, the labor force, uses and remunerates in producing and generating greater profit, production that covers the costs of his own salary and even generates a plus, surplus value , or gain .

This gain is directly linked to the second concept of alienation, this is equivalent to alienation of the product of the labor forces . In other simple words, it is about how the capitalist exploits and then appropriates the product of the work done by the worker, which in turn contains the objectified time of that working subject.

  1. Worker rights

Worker rights
It is increasingly common for workers and citizens to assert their rights.

Today there are international laws and treaties, as well as agreements with trade unions , human rights organizations , civil associations, etc. that they are protected from any excessive exploitation that is applied to the workers .

Regulations that aim to guarantee workers’ rights for their health and performance , such as paid vacations, life and / or accident insurance, medical coverage, working hours limitation of 8 hours a day, tools and tools for protection and safety .

There is in today’s sociological analysis the detection of a process that complements this, called “justiciability,” by which it is increasingly common to find that workers and citizens assert their rights by presenting charges through the judiciary. , which implies an awareness about acquired rights that are considered as basic and inherent to the current human condition.

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