Prison labor company features promo video touting “BEST-KEPT SECRET IN OUTSOURCING”

A growing workforce.
A growing workforce.

Get this, the company is called UNICOR. Didn’t the scientist in Terminator 2 work for that company? Or maybe it’s the company in Robocop. Whatever. If you want your call center needs met at “offshore prices” time to team up with the prison workforce experts.

These people work for below minimum wage, and likely below the natural wage rate too, because they are locked up in prison. The taxpayers pay to house these folks, who then are employed for pennies an hour. (Prisoners earn between .23 and $1.15/hour.) Basically it’s a subsidy to the clients of UNICOR.

That this arrangement provides incentive to incarcerate people is pretty weird too.

I think employing prisoners isn’t such a bad idea. Better to be productive and learning skills than not. But that UNICOR is actively making the case that corporations can save big money, moving to the Philippines kind of money, by avoiding the American wage market inside of the walls of a prison is disconcerting.

Additionally UNICOR, also known as Federal Prison Industries (umm…) and “is a wholly owned United States government corporation.” And much of the federal government is REQUIRED to buy from UNICOR.

This, needless to say impacts private industry in a big way.

Good to know though that the federal government has its own army of near slave workers.

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