work is the human effort for the purpose of producing wealth. From the theoretical point of view, this topic has been approached from different angles, whether economic, social or historical, mainly because of its relevant scope in terms of the development of humanity.
At the beginning of history, and for thousands of years, the work was carried out primarily by slave labor, owned by an owner who had the right to enjoy or usufruct with the goods produced. Thus, the slave was treated as one more commodity, with the possibility of being sold or bought. This situation is verifiable from the Greek civilization, the Roman Empire and the slave trade carried out during the conquest of America. This particular state of work ended in the 19th century (at least in a permitted way).
Previously, during the Middle Ages, the feudal regime had developed, where slavery was excluded. In this case, the work was called servitude, being the servants free men, since although they had limits in their work, their persons were not the property of another. Basically, in this period and during this form of social organization, the worker (serf) made a contract with a feudal lord in which he promised to work in exchange for protection. It is the most similar precedent to the modality of what we now call work.
An important aspect regarding work is the definition between “manual” and “intellectual”. What does this mean? Manual work is that which has been developed since the beginning of the human being as a person enabled to carry out “force work”, and here are included from slaves to the men who worked with the first steam engines, in the times of the Revolution. English industrialist. However, this type of work is not something of the past, since it is still valid today. Let us think, for example, of metallurgical or mechanical workers.
But during the postwar period, a new form of work began to develop: “intellectual”, with the appearance of “white-collar” workers, as those who performed these types of jobs were called. And this was thanks to the notion of “surplus value” also incorporated at this time, which is the same thing we know as “added value”: it is the development of science and technology that improves and optimizes manufactured goods. In addition to goods, it is also at this time that the idea of ”services” begins to gain currency, which are all the “intangible” goods (that we cannot touch) that we can acquire: tourist packages, life insurance or hiring a specialist. for him to fix the PC.
Currently, the work is performed in exchange for a salary. Thus, the worker sells his labor power in the market and receives a remuneration for it. The employer, for his part, hires personnel in order to receive a profit. The interests of the workers are protected by the unions, which collectively negotiate wages according to each particular sector. In addition to this protection, workers are covered by the set of labor laws. In this sense, the changes produced during The Walfare State, or what became known as The Welfare State, are noteworthy. During the 1930s and 1970s, the State was extremely intervening, balancing the differences in interests between capitalists (the market) and workers (salaried workers). In this period, workers achieved great achievements to improve their working conditions, such as paid vacations, fixed hours, days off to enjoy family and leisure.
The neoliberal policies established between the ’80s and ’90s minimize some of these conquests of labor benefits, such as labor flexibility: through this policy, the State benefits the capitalists, being able to separate a worker from his job. company, paying less compensation than was previously granted at the time the employment contract was terminated.
The lack of work or unemployment is one of the social and economic ills that states must combat. From the economic point of view, it means a way of disregarding valuable resources, and from the social point of view, it leads to situations of poverty and indigence.
Work is enshrined by the United Nations as a Human Right, by which every person (that is, every inhabitant of this planet) is free to choose a job, to enjoy good working conditions, and of course, everything is abolished. type of slavery or servitude.