Monday, April 8, 2013
American Workers – A Disposable Workforce
Big businesses now largely believe their workers are disposable. “Many businesses no longer want long-term relationships with their employees, who must now work harder without getting financial and psychological rewards that were once routine.”
David Macaray sums up why labor unions are the last hope for America. “It's no accident that this draconian work environment coincides with the precipitous drop in union membership. It's no accident and it's no coincidence, because the one thing a labor union brings to the workplace is resistance -- resistance in the form of worker representation and adult supervision.”
Labor Unions: America's Last Hope - Huffington Post
One major obstacle the middle class faces is the fact that some of America’s largest corporations exert a great deal of effort in blocking their workers from forming a union. Take the example of New York Fast Food workers, who went on strike Thursday for a fair wage, and the right to form a union without fear.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Sick and Tired at Work
More than 40 million hard-working Americans don’t receive any paid sick leave. “The absence of paid sick leave is a glaring injustice that puts American workers in the distinguished company of workers in Syria, Somalia and North Korea. It’s an affront to our values and the dignity of a hard day’s work. And it’s a drag on our families, our businesses, and our society.”
Lack of paid sick leave is unhealthy for America - Washington Post
Long-term health risks from occupational illnesses are costing the American economy roughly $250 billion per year. By working to improve workplace safety, we could not only boost our economy, but make life better for hard-working Americans across the country.
As OSHA Emphasizes Safety, Long-Term Health Risks Fester - New York Times
Unfortunately, instead of investing in the protection of American workers, Washington is doing the exact opposite. Legal teams assembled by the Labor Department are being dismantled due to the sequester. One prominent example is the legal team that was formed following the Upper Big Branch mining disaster to force mine operators to improve safety.
Legal efforts to pursue mine safety claims cut under sequestration - Washington Post
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
How the Middle Has Fallen
“Incomes for the bottom 90 percent of Americans only grew by $59 on average…[while] the average income for the top 10 percent of Americans rose by $116,071.” “If you say the $59 boost is equivalent to one inch, then the incomes of the top 10 percent of Americans rose by 168 feet.”
“It's a visual no parent wants to picture: a child describing what it's like to live in a house with no power for lights, heat or cooking.” Unfortunately, hundreds of families that were once solidly in the middle class are facing these situations just like this. Can middle-class Americans survive this “American Winter”?
An interesting look at how middle class families are still hurting from the recession; many have been forced to leave their homes to live in hotel rooms rented by the week, and are just one small step away from homelessness.
The Weeklies - American Prospect
Monday, March 25, 2013
Death by 1000 Cuts – How Labor Law and the NLRB are Dying a Slow Death
The GOP is doing everything it can to make the National Labor Relations Board (the 78-year-old, independent agency tasked with enforcing labor law on corporations and unions) unable to function. This is having a devastating impact on the lives of hundreds of hard-working Americans across the country, all because GOP members of Congress refuse to do their job.
There is a trend in which American employers rely “increasingly on independent contractors, temporary workers, contract employees and freelancers to cut costs.” This means no more health benefits, and no retirement package, just fewer rights and benefits on the job.
Tackling Concerns of Independent Workers - New York Times
It’s becoming increasingly cost effective for employers to violate labor laws and simply pay a fine, which often amounts to a simple slap on the wrist. Even in cases of death, corporations are often not being held accountable for putting their workers in harms way.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Always Low Wages. Always.
Walmart’s low wages are hurting its workers and the overall economy. When consumers don’t have money to spend on goods, the economy stagnates. Walmart’s executives even admitted through leaked emails that when the working class has less money in their pockets, sales drop.
Walmart Bosses and the Minimum Wage - Counter Punch
“The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint against four companies involved in staffing and managing Walmart’s largest distribution center.” Walmart needs to step up to the plate and make sure its contracted warehouses treat their workers with respect and dignity. Workers who speak up for better wages and working conditions should not be punished!
Low wages are getting so out of hand that minimum-wage workers can’t even afford rent.