The white collar underclass by Steve Sammartino. A lot of the points made there are valid with regards to white collar workers.
Working for 12 hours or more and on weekends without overtime is quite common with us. No representation to protect employment conditions is quite true. Thou I wonder if this is a global tendency or not as some countries do have representation even for white collar workers.
If you are workers, you tend to panic in an economic downturn because the most impact is felt by workers rather than innovators.
Do something that adds value, not takes up space is the best advice to start this new year 2010 with. As Steve mentions, if you want to do something that adds value, just do it whether on nights or on weekends and even if there is no income.