TJ Maxx and Marshalls workers wearing bodycams

Originally published at:


How much is that going to cost to roll out and maintain and monitor compared to simply paying employees more to work harder? The boardroom full of golf shirts and vacation tanned skinned millionaires prefer to “1984” their employees rather than give them monetary incentives.


Thankfully I have a shirt specifically for TJMaxx and Marshalls


Aside from taking a “millions for guard labor; not one cent for raises!” approach to the class wars as a cultural matter; it wouldn’t entirely surprise me if the reliance of these sorts of retailers on ‘flexible’ scheduling and having people interested in picking up shifts if called when someone calls out or when seasonal spikes require it actively makes paying more than you an get away with undesirable.

If people’s earnings are low enough that they really need the extra hours here and there to make the numbers work out it’s much easier to maintain them in a state of unpaid de-facto on-call, as well as using your discretion in allocating additional time among those available as a form of labor discipline.

If people’s base earnings are in the sufficient range; you are likely to have less luck with people avoiding inflexible other plans or just not being interested in picking up additional time unless you make formalized on-call rotations part of the job description from the get go or start offering particularly attractive rates during periods when your demand is high(which is one of those ‘free market economics can’t be allowed to give the labor market ideas’ sorts of things that employers try to avoid if possible).

You don’t outright recruit Jonathan Goldsmith to be the face of HR’s “Stay hungry; my friends” messaging; but if you want to enjoy the cost advantages of contingent labor(rather than the sort involving the kind of independent contractors who you don’t use scare quotes for; and often pay quite handsomely for highly specific skills that you don’t need very often) you really want the effective earnings of the staff to stay at the level where an extra shift is a boon that they’ll compete for; not something you need to significantly sweeten to get filled or something you need to pay for up front by having some reasonably competitive full-time positions whose job descriptions include on-call periods.


No results found for “t j maxx” workers unionize.

there’s a likely significant part of the problem right there


uh, shoplifters don’t do it when employees are anywhere around. the employees already have eyes to catch you. you wait or carry the items around with you as if you’re shopping normally until nobody’s around and shove it down your pants. you defeat store cameras by A) avoiding the ones you can see and B) keep your body close against the shelves so the front of your body can’t really be seen when you put it up your shirt and then down your pants.

bodycams are redundant. if you’re shoplifting, you’re already behaving in a way that completely defeats them.

the only reason they can sell it as theft deterrent is most people don’t shoplift and, with nothing else to go by, assume bodycams will somehow capture something the employees’ eyes or store cameras would miss.

the only thing they CAN do is spy on employees.


well, and there’s the fact you can own stock in a bodycam company but you can’t own stock in a union

big contracts can be a way for executives to make money at the expense of the company


Are these the ones that stay on when you’re in the bathroom? Or rather I suppose stay on and you’re not allowed to remove them in the bathroom? I’ve heard people complain about those.


I wonder how much TJ Maxx has set aside for payouts to employees once the inevitable non-consensual bathroom voyeur videos start popping up on porn sites.


Pop Tv Yes GIF by Schitt's Creek


Sounds like the Chicago stockyards at the turn of the 20th century (in Upton Sinclair’s Jungle).


Because nobody’s going to spend their time reviewing these all-day videos of all employees, what’s the problem you ask? The next businesses we’ll see (maybe they already exist) are AI screening of exactly that. Welcome to Orwell world.


Body cameras reduce bad behavior by both sides. They won’t do anything about the traditional sneak shoplifter but they’ll be a deterrent for brazen ones that rely on businesses not confronting shoplifters.

In the general case I think body cameras will be a good thing–but they have to cover the edge cases (like bathrooms) first.

those people are already on video & don’t care


People should be required to wear them in corporate board meetings.


episode 8 bullshit GIF by RuPaul's Drag Race


100 Percent Agree GIF by HBO

Oh, no. You’re not allowed to use the restroom during your shift.


I’m pretty sure a body camera would encourage me to work with a sullen lack of enthusiasm, knowing my employer neither trusts nor respects me and so does not deserve an iota more effort than my contract requires. To the point where if I did suspect shoplifting I wouldn’t go out of my way to investigate, because what do I care. But I’m sure I’m an exception and most employees’ morale doesn’t suffer at all when you treat them like prisoners. :unamused:


I really don’t understand why. What is watching the employees meant to accomplish?


Obedience, mainly.

Don’t you dare rest longer than your legally mandated break time. No peeing on company time. Shouldn’t you be restocking instead of chatting? Hey, register 4 came up short, and you worked that today…

Think more like a late-stage capitalist.