I have been trying to find a word to describe someone who routinely abuses their workers, and perhaps even more than that, scorns them and sees them as inferior. My first guess was despot but I think that is more routinely used within the context of political leaders.
…the brutal Simon Legree, Tom’s new owner, has Tom whipped to death after he refuses to divulge the whereabouts of certain escaped slaves.
From Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Simon Legree (n.)
A tyrannical, brutal slave-owner. Later usually in weakened use: an
exacting, merciless taskmaster. Lexico, OED
2005 N.Y. Times (National ed.) 5 June iii. 10/4 I had one boss
early in my career who was very bright but would lose his temper... My
job was to be the buffer between that Simon Legree and the rest of
the troops. (OED)
Any cruel taskmaster. Webster's New World Dictionary, Third ed.
American trade-unions are rendering a useful service to freedom in their campaign of telling European trade-unions the trust about Soviet Working conditions. As an additional service, it is suggested that American unions
distribute translations, without comment, of Russia's incredibly cruel
labor laws, with her Simon Legree penalties for petty infractions.
"The dictatorship of the proletariat" is the dictatorship over the
proletariat. Peter Viereck; Shame and Glory of the
The reason the staff feels – quite rightly – I am a Simon Legree is
first, because the opposition when I came down here was such that I
had to be hard to get anywhere with an eastern staff annoyed at the
idea of a westerner coming in; second, because ... J.F.B. Livesay in
Gene Allen; Making National News (2014)
Uncle Tom's Cabin gave U.S. culture a series of characters—some would say stereotypes—that became household names over the following century: ... Simon Legree, the slavetrader whose very name became a virtual
synonym for calculating, heartless evil; ... Jim Cullen; The Art of