Yes, Roger, I understand that. But you're assuming that the employer fulfills their part of the bargain, which is very often not the case (and vice versa, very often the employee doesn't fill their part of the bargain). Where I work here in Japan I am expected to do 10 credits of class teaching at the university (which equals 15 hours of actual class teaching time, plus preparation, test and homework correction, student mentoring, and 4 times a year, special seminars on weekends. However, without getting paid, the university threatens to fire us if we don't also do the extra student advising, community outreach, highschool recruitment, translating student resume's and cover letters, designing school homepages, fliers, and brochures, free lessons to high school students, attending numerous parties for dignitaries that have nothing to do with the school, and doing our regular school work at home, in the evening and on weekends, PLUS expecting us to do research while not actually giving us time to do research or funds to do research. The work is so time-consuming and exhausting that I rarely have time for anything else. I work >way< beyond what my contract was set up for. But in Japan they give the excuse, "Japanese don't live by contracts. We live by loyalty." My university will hire the Japanese mob to threaten any employees who even dare to talk of forming a union. In the contract there is a provision which states that no more than three employees are allowed to assemble anywhere lest they start voicing dissent. Sure, I could quit my job, but as a non-Japanese in Japan, my choices for a new job are extremely limited and Japan is one of the most expensive places on the world to live. I need this job just to survive. I put up with the abuse so that I can pay my rent, care for my wife, and pay my medical bills as a diabetic. Thank goodness Japanese has a good health insurance system!
My wife recently decided to quit her job, 15 years as a registered nurse, giving four months notice. For two months, the administration of her hospital, unhappy with the inconvenience her leaving would cause, daily subjected her to two hours of meeting, with her having to sit opposite a panel of 15 upper management members literally shouting at her, telling her that she wasn't fit to be a person, let alone a nurse, that it was because of her that patients had died in the past, that they would make sure to include in any recommendations she might get from the hospital for her next job warnings that she was not to be trusted and that she was quitting because she wasn't fit to do the job. She was never allowed a word in edgewise, every time she attempted to say something they subjected her again to a barrage of apoplectic shouting. She came home everyday crying.
And companies around the world, including in the States, get away with this kind of abuse. I'd say that is NOT democracy and no company has even the remotest right to treat people this way. The hierarchy that often forms in the way companies are set up is out of the dark ages, from an era when people still lived in feudal societies and believed in the nobility and peons. It goes against everything that democratic societies have tried for so long to get out of. It goes against everything the labor movements of the 20's and 30's were trying so hard to overcome. And recently it's growing right back to the time before the labor movements when employees basically had no rights. The huge corporations today are basically the nobility all over again, this time using sheer economic power to subdue anyone who might protest. And they use the law itself to manipulate the very laws that were set up to protect individuals from this kind of abuse.