We have the term "blue collar" for manual laborers and "white collar" for office workers. We have some lesser-known assignments, such as grey collar (skilled technicians), gold collar (highly skilled professionals), black collar (miners and oil workers), pink collar (secretaries and clerical workers), green-collar (environmental jobs), yellow collar (artists), light blue collar (temps) orange collar (prison laborers), open collar (at-home workers), but we've yet to assign a color distinction to the corporate cog, polo-and-khaki retail worker.
I'm going to take the liberty, right here and now, to name them "red-collar" workers. Why red? Because, much like the "red shirts" of Star-Trek history, red-collar workers are extras. They're the disposable cast members, given a name and a purpose just long enough for for the typical minimum-wage employee to last on a sales floor. These "associates," as their corporate leaders would prefer to call them (it sounds so much more important than "worker bees") hold no real value to their establishments. They're bodies--people put there to take up space and keep the machine running--employees with limited training, no real voice, and little job security.
Historically, "red collar" has referred to government workers and Communist Party officials in China. If you compare the growing corporatocracy to both the government and communism, the distinction fits all the better.
How many red-collar jobs have you held? How many red-collar workers do you know? Do you see their numbers growing? With corporations running everything from clothing lines to food chains, how long might it be until the red shirts outnumber white-collar and blue-collar in overwhelming proportions?
Keep an eye out for the new World-Mart cover ... coming soon from the largest corporate online retailer in the world!
What does your future look like?