This empowers the employer. It allows them to control employees more than they have before, which leads to an erosion of salary and benefits.
My wife's employer has been treating her poorly since the day she began. They don't publish a schedule any more than a week in advance, her schedule for next week has absolutely nothing in common with this weeks, and whenever she's on the closing shift she gets asked to stay late to complete oddball projects. They also have dropped the management function of finding a replacement for herself onto her if she needs time off, since she is a part-time employee and doesn't actually accrue vacation time.
My employer treats me poorly by giving me management tasks without giving me management powers, demanding 8 hours of productivity from me while refusing to give me a decent work plan, and disallowing me from doing anything to further my own education while telling me I need to further my own education.
To that end, we each opened fire this week. We were expecting a large shipment that required someone to be at the house to receive it. Since I am in college, it was decided she would stay here and receive it. Since she ended up being scheduled to work that day, we figured the response to the lack of prior notice would be to have her call in sick. This gets around the problem of not being able to get someone else to cover her shift while guaranteeing she has the day off to be here. The morning of delivery, her boss called and said left a message on the machine saying "Help, so-and-so called in and we need someone to cover, please make it in early!". She called back and said "Sorry, I can't make it in today!".
My boss gave me a work plan today and proceeded to tell me why I cannot work the first item on the list. I interrupted him and asked him why he was giving me a work plan with stuff on it I can't work. He said the work plan was printed off two hours ago and he just got off the phone with engineering.. and my response was to tell him that he needs to take it off if I can't work it, and he got huffy. He said that sheet of paper is the pass-on but he thought he would be nice and tell us what we can't work on and that I need to cross it off the list. I told him crossing things off the work plan is a management function and unless he promotes me, he needs to cross it off himself. I put the paper back on the table and left it there. He eventually crossed the item off.
So there you have it. The opening shots.
I don't know what my wife will ever hear of hers, it was a subtle attack that should not generate a response but will show up in someones metrics. If they're watching their metrics. If they collect the right metrics.
I already heard enough to know what effect my shot will have; other managers have told me that the particular manager I am assailing is standing on a smoldering bridge with a bucket of gasoline and that upper management is just waiting for him to get tired of holding the bucket.