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Slavery in the '80s

October 02, 1988

The first time I heard the phrase "employee leasing" I mistakenly thought the term was "employee leashing." But after reading "For Lease: Human Beings" (Job Market section, Sept. 18) I am not so sure my first interpretation was incorrect.

I agree with the criticisms voiced in the article; but I also see that this type of employment is yet another way to circumvent pay equity, child care and parental leave, workplace issues that have only recently been discovered by corporate America and politicians. Presumably, the top executive will not be among the leased but instead will continue to work for the "real" company, making this plan sound much like the "do as I say, not as I do" attitude now very prevalent in our greed-ridden land.

I understand the need for temporary workers; but the smooth corporate syntax of "employee leasing," as a cover-up for the actual act of requisitioning humans to be used as things, turns the meaning of lease from "hire" to "possess." This, for some reason, causes me to think of the oft-used money-raising gimmick called "rent-a-slave."

MARTHA ABELL

Seal Beach

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