Everyone deserves a livable wage, because there is no such thing as unskilled labor.
Art by Liberal Jane
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I, and I cannot stress this enough, am going to eat the rich
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I really love this. If there's one good thing that stemmed from the pandemic, it's the way it has highlighted the true value of the worker. Particularly those who fill the lower wage positions. Oh, Tommy Burgerflipper isn't necessary and shouldn't make enough money to pay rent? Things at the restaurant are pretty shaky now that no one is filling his position, huh? Sally Officlady still has to feed her family, pandemic or no.
People returning to work are being a lot more choosy, and it's showing in the help wanted ads. Positions that once held ridiculous requirements while offering mediocre pay are not only adding incentives, but are now attainable for a lot more of us. Even the entry level jobs are offering higher wages and better benefits. Now is the time, babies. Apply for the job you think you're not quite qualified for. Go for your dream job. Maybe you'll get it.
These fuckers are desperate for bodies. Get that money.
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Don't believe corporate America's "labor shortage" bullshit. This is an unofficial general strike.
For the first time in years, American workers have enough bargaining leverage to demand better working conditions and higher wages -- and are refusing to work until they get them.
Here’s where that leverage comes from. After a year and a half of the pandemic, consumers have pent-up demand for all sorts of goods and services. But employers are finding it hard to fill positions to meet that demand.
The most recent jobs report showed the number of job openings at a record high. The share of people working or looking for work has dropped to a near-record low 61.6 percent. In August, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs, the highest quit rate since 2000.
Republicans have been claiming for months that people aren’t getting back to work because of federal unemployment benefits. Rubbish.
The number of people working or looking for work dropped in September -- after the extra benefits ran out on Labor Day.
The reluctance of people to work doesn’t have anything to do with unemployment benefits. It has everything to do with workers being fed up.
Some have retired early. Others have found ways to make ends meet other than a job they hate. Many just don’t want to return to backbreaking or mind-numbing low-wage jobs.
In the wake of so much hardship, illness and death, peoples’ priorities have shifted.
The media and most economists measure the economy’s success by the number of jobs it creates, while ignoring the quality of those jobs. Just look at the media coverage of the September jobs report: The New York Times emphasized “weak” job growth. For CNN, it was “another disappointment.”
But when I was Secretary of Labor, I met with working people all over the country who complained that their jobs paid too little and had few benefits, or were unsafe, or required unwieldy hours. Many said their employers treated them badly.
With the pandemic, it’s even worse. That’s why, in addition to all the people who aren’t returning to work, we’re also seeing dozens of organized strikes around the country -- 10,000 John Deere workers, 1,400 Kellogg workers, over 1,000 Alabama coal miners, and thousands of others.
Not to mention the unauthorized strikes and walkouts since the pandemic began, like the mostly Black sanitation workers in Pittsburgh or the Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island.
In order to lure workers back, employers are now raising wages and offering other incentives. Average earnings rose 19 cents an hour in September and are up more than $1 an hour over the last year. But clearly, that’s not enough to get workers back.
Corporate America is trying to frame this as a “labor shortage.”
But what’s really happening is more accurately described as a living-wage shortage, a hazard pay shortage, a childcare shortage, a paid sick leave shortage, and a health care shortage.
Unless these shortages are rectified, this unofficial general strike will continue.
I say it’s about time.
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Posted with the goal of inspiring and giving all a more rounded understanding to grasp the exploitation of the working class under capitalist production. Short and dirty: capitalism — like a vampire from some pronounced horror film — “sucks the blood” of workers. I defer to “United Automobile Worker”, October 1937, to explain how despite all of their hard work, no wealth accumulates to the workers, they have no products to sell but themselves, and their wages provide some but are never quite enough to fully satisfy needs and wants. However, since labor power is unique, as it is the only commodity that can increase value and must thus be purchased for capitalism to survive — i.e. capital consumes an increasing amount of labor to survive — consequently a dependency of master on slave. This paints the picture of our current hell, but the power is all ours — or at least it seems a logical assertion.
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Kellogg’s workers now on strike, over loss of healthcare, loss of retirement benefits, jobs being outsourced
workers had to work during the pandemic, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week
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More than 10% of workers in Canada are being paid minumum wage.
I think that, despite their existing wealth, if every politician earned minimum wage, we would suddenly and not-so-mysteriously see it rise to a living wage.
Maybe it's time to start paying politicians minimum wage.
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When conservatives dismiss the necessity of providing food service workers with a living wage, they are not doing so because they feel the jobs they perform are obsolete. After all, anyone who regularly purchases prepared food is aware of the need for workers to cook and serve meals. On the contrary, they fully understand the necessity of these jobs, they're just more than willing to let those who perform them suffer in poverty.
Aidan Smith, Yes, The Minimum Wage Was Intended To Be A Living Wage
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Data visualization of American wages and productivity over time.
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Huh. So if you raise wages the number of people who want to work for you increases. Imagine that!
It's almost as if the "law of supply and demand" applies to labour as well as to the prices of goods and services!
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Workers Matter and Government Works: Eight Lessons from the Pandemic
Maybe it’s wishful thinking to declare the pandemic over in the US, and presumptuous to conclude what lessons we’ve learned from it. So consider this list a first draft.
1. Workers are always essential.
We couldn’t have survived without millions of warehouse, delivery, grocery, and hospital workers literally risking their lives. Yet most of these workers are paid squat. Amazon touts its $15 minimum wage but it totals only about $30,000 a year. Most essential workers still don’t have health insurance or paid leave. Many of their employers (including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, to take but two examples) didn’t give them the personal protective equipment they needed.
Lesson: Essential workers deserve far better.
2. Healthcare is a basic right.
You know how you got your vaccine without paying a dime? That’s how all health care could be. Yet too many Americans who contracted Covid-19 got walloped with humongous hospital bills. By mid-2020, about 3.3 million people had lost employer-sponsored coverage, and the number of uninsured increased by 1.9 million. Research by the Urban Institute found that people with chronic disease, Black Americans, and low-income children were most likely to have delayed or forgone care during the pandemic.
Lesson: America must insure everyone.
3. Conspiracy theories can be deadly.
Last June, about 1 in 4 Americans believed the pandemic was “definitely” or “probably” created intentionally, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Other conspiracy theories have caused some people to avoid wearing masks or getting vaccinated, causing unnecessary illness or death.
Lesson: An informed public is essential. Some of the responsibility falls on all of us. Some of it on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms that allowed such misinformation to flourish.
4. The stock market isn’t the economy.
The stock market rose throughout the pandemic, lifting the wealth of the richest 1 percent who own half of all stock owned by Americans. Meanwhile, from March 2020 to February 2021, 80 million in the US lost their jobs. Between June and November 2020, nearly 8 million Americans fell into poverty. Black and Latino adults were more than twice as likely as white adults to report not having enough to eat: 16 percent each for Black and Latino adults, compared to 6 percent of white adults.
Lesson: Stop using the stock market as a measure of economic wellbeing. Look instead at the percentage of Americans who are working, and their median pay.
5. Wages are too low to get by on.
Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. So once the pandemic hit, many didn’t have any savings to fall back on. Conservative lawmakers complain that the extra $300 a week unemployment benefit Congress enacted in March discourages people from working. What’s really discouraging them is lack of childcare and lousy wages.
Lesson: Raise the minimum wage, strengthen labor unions, provide universal childcare, and push companies to share profits with their workers.
6. Remote work is now baked into the economy.
The percentage of workers punching in from home hit a high of 70% in April 2020. A majority continue to work remotely. Some 40 percent want to continue working from home.
Two lessons: Companies will have to adjust. And much commercial real estate will remain vacant. Why not convert it into affordable housing?.
7. Billionaires aren’t the answer.
The combined wealth of America's 657 billionaires grew by $1.3 trillion -- or 44.6% -- during the pandemic. Jeff Bezos, with $183.9 billion, became the richest man in the US and the world. Larry Page, cofounder of Google, added $11.8 billion to his $94.3 billion fortune, and Sergey Brin, Google’s other cofounder, added $11.4 billion. Yet billionaire’s taxes are lower than ever. Wealthy Americans today pay one-sixth the rate of taxes their counterparts paid in 1953.
Lesson: To afford everything the nation needs, raise taxes at the top.
8. Government can be the solution.
Ronald Reagan’s famous quip -- “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem” – can now officially be retired. Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” succeeded in readying vaccines faster than most experts thought possible, and Biden got it into more arms more quickly than any vaccination program in history.
Furthermore, the $900 billion in aid Congress passed in late December prevented millions from losing unemployment benefits and helped sustain the recovery when it was faltering. The $1.9 trillion that Democrats pushed through Congress in March will help the US achieve something it failed to achieve after the 2008-09 recession: a robust recovery.
Lesson: Government must play an active role solving other fundamental problems – ending poverty, reducing inequality, battling climate change, and fighting systemic racism.
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..Boomers, gen x, if these are your arguments, try using an inflation calculator, because according to you, "burger flippers" today should be getting a lot more than $15 an hour. Do you pick up what *you* are putting down?
I'll give the boomer (in this scenario) their due though- 3 dollars was NOT a thriving wage in 1965. ....Just as its equivalent today, $26.38, isn't either. They would, however, get you by. And by in large, we haven't even been asking for nearly that much. 😐
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