Tag Archives: Labor

The Fight for Dignity Goes Global

The Fight for Dignity Goes Global
Even though fast food workers have staged several one-day strikes in the last 18 months, the protests have not swayed McDonald’s or other major restaurant chains to significantly raise their employees’ pay. So on Thursday, the fast food workers’ movement wants to broaden its reach as it pushes for a $15-an-hour wage that restaurant companies say is unrealistic. In addition to one-day strikes in 150 cities across the country, the movement’s ... Read more

Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Agreement: Collective Bargaining Reborn?

Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Agreement: Collective Bargaining Reborn?
Seattle’s plan sets a template not just for minimum-wage levels, but for collective bargaining more generally. At a time when collective bargaining has all but vanished from the private-sector economy—just 6.7 percent of private-sector workers are union members—Seattle has charted a new path to raise wages for workers, whether union members or, mainly, non-members. The process of getting to $15 has been every bit as groundbreaking as the $15 ... Read more

FAST FOOD FAILURE: HOW CEO-TO-WORKER PAY DISPARITY UNDERMINES THE INDUSTRY AND THE OVERALL ECONOMY

FAST FOOD FAILURE: HOW CEO-TO-WORKER PAY DISPARITY UNDERMINES THE INDUSTRY AND THE OVERALL ECONOMY
The link between income inequality and economic instability has drawn renewed attention from economists, policy makers, global financial institutions, media, and investors. From Davos to Wall Street to Main Street, there is a growing consensus that inequality slows economic recovery and dampens consumer demand. Yet the gap between the highest and lowest earners in the US economy continues to grow, with consequences for the economy and firm ... Read more

40% Of US Workers Now Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

40% Of US Workers Now Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage
Are American workers paid enough? That is a topic that is endlessly debated all across this great land of ours. Unfortunately, what pretty much everyone can agree on is that American workers are not making as much as they used to after you account for inflation. Back in 1968, the minimum wage in the United States was $1.60 an hour. That sounds very small, but after you account for inflation a very different picture emerges. Using the ... Read more

Here’s Why This City’s Businesses Love Its Paid Sick Days Law

Here’s Why This City’s Businesses Love Its Paid Sick Days Law
The majority of Seattle businesses support the paid sick leave requirement that went into effect in September of 2012 and report few, if any, costs or challenges, according to a new audit from the Seattle Office of the City Auditor with help from the University of Washington. The audit found that 70 percent of employers in the city support the law, with 45 percent saying they are very supportive. This held true for businesses of all sizes. ... Read more

Toward Cyborg Socialism

Toward Cyborg Socialism
Part of the point of Earth Day was to distance the nascent environmentalist movement from New Left critiques of consumer society, suburban development, and nuclear waste. In an attempt to avoid charges of “watermelon” politics — green on the outside, red on the inside — the message of the early environmental movement, as one Greenpeace slogan explicitly stated, was “I’m not a Red, I’m a Green.” As environmentalism went mainstream, green ... Read more

Why Inequality Matters and What Can Be Done About It

Why Inequality Matters and What Can Be Done About It
In the past, when our country reached these extremes of inequality, at the end of the 19th century, in the gilded age, or in the Roaring 20s, it pulled back from the brink. It enacted policies and programs that provided hope that the American dream could return to being a reality. We are now at one of these pivotal points in history. I hope we once again will make the right decisions. Read more

How to Raise Americans’ Wages

How to Raise Americans’ Wages
Today, the drive to restore workers’ share has been narrowed down to the campaign to raise the minimum wage. That raise is long overdue. The real value of the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is less than two-thirds of its level in 1968, which, in current dollars, would be $10.71. But even raising that wage wouldn’t do much for most workers; they make well more than the minimum, but their own wages have been stagnating or shrinking for ... Read more

Underestimating Capital, Overestimating Labour

Underestimating Capital, Overestimating Labour
The US economy seems to be emerging from the latest crisis, albeit hesitatingly and with remaining fragility. A solid recovery would require a much greater and more consistent investment in infrastructure. This is unlikely to materialise so long as there is no organised working class threatening instability if governments don’t move to radically greater economic stimulus. By understating the extent of working class defeat, on the one hand, ... Read more

Care Before Profit: Organizing for Community-Led Healthcare

Care Before Profit: Organizing for Community-Led Healthcare
The question when it comes to Interfaith, according to NYSNA organizer Eliza Carboni, is, “How do we get decisions about our healthcare needs out of bankruptcy court and into the hands of the community?” The hospital, which has been in bankruptcy court since 2012, has nearly closed several times—most recently this winter—before the state agreed to release some $25 million in funds to keep it open through March as bankruptcy proceedings ... Read more