Labor: Studies in Working-Class History
New York Magazine
It’s been almost a decade since the Great Recession, and America has witnessed a record 82 months of month-on-month jobs growth. The national unemployment rate now stands at a 4.3%, a 16-year low. But month after month, it is the low-wage sectors – fast food, retail, healthcare – that have added new jobs. Wage growth has barely kept pace with inflation. The national minimum wage ($7.25) was last raised in 2009.
The New York Times
New York Gov. Andrew announced his support for a $15 minimum wage for state employees on the same day that fast-food workers across the country demonstrated for better pay and union representation. All told, 10,000 New York pubic employees will receive a pay bump. In July, Cuomo increased the minimum wage for fast-food workers in New York through a state wage board.
Under Trumka, labor has sought to extend its power by alliances, cooperating with African-American groups, immigrant groups, environmental groups and others as well as car wash workers and day laborers seeking to organizers. He points to the wave of Fight for $15 protests scheduled for April 15 as an example of a new way workers are flexing their muscles.
Los Angeles Times
Unions historically have supported minimum wage and occupational safety laws that benefited all workers, not just their members. But they also have recently begun investing major resources in organizing drives more likely to yield new laws than new members. Some of these campaigns seek to organize workers who, rightly or wrongly, aren't even designated as employees or lack a common employer, such as domestic workers and cab drivers.
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New York Times
BREAKING NEWS: The general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board ruled on Tuesday that McDonald's is jointly responsible for workers at its franchisees' restaurants, a decision that if upheld would disrupt longtime practices in the fast-food industry and ease the way for unionizing nationwide.
Low-income workers from 150 U.S. cities and 33 countries in protests on Thursday to call attention to wealth inequality.The protest comes amid a national push to raise the minimum wage - and it could mark a significant moment in the campaign, according to John Logan, a professor of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University.
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The New Yorker
Across the country, for the past several months, workers have been walking out of McDonalds, K.F.C.s and other fast-food companies, calling for a fifteen-dollar hourly wage. Fast-food companies say that this is unrealistic. Raise the hourly wage to fifteen dollars per hour, they argue, and local franchises, many of them operating with small profit margins, will either fail or have to lay off employees.