Geektastic: I'm not suggesting that they be treated well or badly.
I'm suggesting that the line you should tread is the one where the business finds and pays the minimum amount at which employee retention and engagement is not an issue to the business.
Man, that approach to business grinds my gears. I can understand the logic, but to me, if a business is treating their employees essentially as replaceable units of labour then I don't want to work for them. At any price. Never. Hence why I work for a small company (12 people) and do some contracting for myself on the side.
That's the point - you don't HAVE to work for them. No one is forcing you (or anyone else) to do so. As long as the business has no retention problem or recruitment problem, they are paying enough.
Unskilled labour is essentially a raw material like coal but with greater availability - with the added benefit that more is produced daily at no cost to the business. That is why sane people ensure that both they and their children get educations and qualifications - so that they become part of a scarce commodity. The scarcer the commodity, the more people who need it will pay for it.