Posts tagged organized labor
Posts tagged organized labor
This photo from Warehouse Workers United on Twitter shows Santa getting arrested at a Black Friday Walmart demonstration.
Run THAT on the front page of the NYT.
From US Uncut:
Happening NOW! Walmart workers are getting arrested for striking outside the company’s NYC headquarters as part of a nationwide action.
I stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in NYC — and everywhere else — placing their livelihood and lives at risk by standing up for the rights of workers. An injustice to one is an injustice to all.
Every human being enjoys a basic right to be respected, not because of any title, position, prestige, or accomplishment but first of all because we are created in the image and likeness of God. From an ethical and moral perspective we embrace the exhortation of St. Paul “to anticipate one another in showing honor” (Rom 12:10). Today’s competitive culture challenges us to strive for victory and advantage, but for St. Paul the challenge is to build each other up and honor one another’s innate dignity.
Labor Day is an opportunity to take stock of the ways workers are honored and respected. Earlier this year, Pope Francis pointed out, “Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person… . It gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one’s family, to contribute to the growth of one’s own nation.” Unfortunately, millions of workers today are denied this honor and respect as a result of unemployment, underemployment, unjust wages, wage theft, abuse, and exploitation.
Even with new indicators of some modest progress in recovery, the economy still has not improved the standard of living for many people, especially for the poor and the working poor, many of whom are unemployed or underemployed. More than four million people have been jobless for over six months, and that does not include the millions more who have simply lost hope. For every available job, there are often five unemployed and underemployed people actively vying for it. This jobs gap pushes wages down. Half of the jobs in this country pay less than $27,000 per year. More than 46 million people live in poverty, including 16 million children. The economy is not creating an adequate number of jobs that allow workers to provide for themselves and their families. Jobs, wages, and poverty are interrelated. The only way to reduce the widening gap between the affluent and the poorest people in our nation is by creating quality jobs that provide a just compensation that enables workers to live in the dignity appropriate for themselves and their families.
Right on. It’s not often I praise the Catholic Church for anything, but it’s lovely to see the Catholic Bishops moving back towards a message of social justice, versus one of exclusion. Not that I think this speaks for the church as a whole, but praise when it’s due, y’know? Pope Frank ain’t perfect, but he’s better than
Emperor Palpatine Pope Benedict.
"There is Power in the Union" by Street Dogs
Remember, when you fire up your grill over Labor Day, it was the blood and sweat of the Labor movement that brought you the weekend — much less a three-day one.
"Money speaks for money / the devil for his own / Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone / What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child / There is power in a Union!"
Progressives can’t ignore organizing opportunities in the South. Solidarity EVERYWHERE, my friends.
I should print out thousands of these and just distribute widely.
Oh, you guys wanna play? Let’s play.
First off, in right to work states, the median income is $6,690 lower per year than in non-right to work states. That’s $555.75 a month. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time workers who are members of unions make over one-third more per week than those with no union representation. Workers who are just represented by unions, without formal membership, still make about 30% more than their non-union counterparts. Here’s an example:
Jim works in the construction industry. He pays union dues and belongs to a union. His weekly salary is approximately $1,017. His co-worker, Mary, chooses not to pay union dues or have formal union membership, but is still covered under the contract her employer has with the union. Her average salary is $1,010. Mary’s brother, Bob, has no union representation. His weekly salary, on average, is $647 — or 64% of Bob’s salary.
Or try this one:
Jim works as a groundskeeper and is a member of a union. His weekly pay is, on average, $635. Mary, who is covered under the union contract, but does not pay dues, still makes $626 per week. Bob, who is non-union, makes $431 per week.
Now, Mary is capitalizing on federal labor law if she pays no fees to be covered by the union. Why? Federal law already guarantees that no one can be forced to be a member of a union, but in a right to work state, workers can freeload. According to the Economic Policy Center:
Right-to-work laws allow some workers to receive a free ride, getting the advantages of a union contract—such as higher wages and benefits and protection against arbitrary discipline—without paying any fee associated with negotiating on these matters.
That’s because the union must represent all workers with the same due diligence regardless of whether they join the union or pay it dues or other fees and a union contract must cover all workers, again regardless of their membership in or financial support for the union. In states without right-to-work laws, workers covered by a union contract can refuse union membership and pay a fee covering only the costs of workplace bargaining rather than the full cost of dues.
There’s no evidence these laws increase job growth, and studies show that these laws actually decrease workplace safety. Right to work laws also depress wages through declining union membership, meaning small businesses get hurt. In fact, right to work states employ over two-thirds of the nation’s minimum wage workers and have higher poverty rates, higher usage of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program [SNAP], and a higher gender wage gap. They also employ a higher percentage of part-time versus full-time workers.
Now, you can howl all you like about correlation not equaling causation, and you’d be right. It doesn’t.
But then your graphic would be completely wrong. Which it actually is anyhow.
According to the latest numbers from the BLS, unemployment in right to work states is actually 7% and 7.5% in non-right to work states. And of the states that saw a statistically significant decrease in unemployment from Oct. 2011 to Oct. 2012, right to work states saw less of a decrease than non-right to work states (1.2% to 1.4% respectively).