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Wages

The Tories Are Causing A Potential ‘Exodus’ Of Public Sector Workers

Nearly two million public sector workers are thinking about quitting their jobs, with nearly half saying it’s because of pay. These are the results of new research from the Trades Union Congress (TUC), which says the Tories are causing a “mass exodus” of workers from the public sector. And it’s the NHS which will be the biggest casualty of over a decade of Tory-led pay cuts. However, public sector workers aren’t taking the Tories’ pay assault lying down. As we’ve seen in recent months, strike action in the private sector has taken off. Now, in the public sector, the Royal Colleges of Nurses and Midwives, the National Education Union (NEU) and Unison have been balloting members on strike action.

‘We’ve Incentivized Corporations To Go After This Price-Gouging Strategy’

Janine Jackson: In a section labeled “Core of the matter,” the Economist declared: “Despite rosier figures, America still has an inflation problem. Is higher unemployment the only cure?” I guess we’re meant to find solace in the idea that the magazine thinks there might conceivably be other responses, in addition to what we are to understand is the proven one: purposely throwing people out of work, with all of the life-changing harms that come with that. CNBC‘s story, “Inflation Fears Spur Shoppers to Get an Early Jump on the Year-End Holidays,” encouraged us to think that “inflation is a Scrooge.” So—an abstraction that is somehow stealing Christmas, to which the healthy response is to make more people jobless while corporate profits soar. It makes sense to corporate media, but if it doesn’t make sense to you, you are far from alone.

Workers At Big South Florida Hotel Boost Minimum Pay To $20

Hollywood, Florida - Weeks after a big strike vote, 450 hotel workers at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract that boosts minimum hourly pay to $20, halts subcontracting, and restores daily housekeeping. “This is an incredible victory for workers in South Florida,” said Wendi Walsh, secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 355, in a statement. “This was possible because workers decided to fight back, willing to risk it all. Hospitality workers are the backbone of South Florida’s economy and finally the value of their contribution is being recognized with wages they can live on.” Like their counterparts across the country, hotel workers in Florida have been on high alert as management has tried to clobber their union in a cost-cutting bonanza while raking in record profits.

Analysis Shows ‘Quiet Fleecing’ Of US Workers Is The Real Problem

"Quiet quitting"—an allegedly new trend characterized by workers performing only their required job duties and no more—has been getting a lot of attention in recent weeks, but the defining trend of the past 40 years of U.S. economic history is "quiet fleecing," and we should be talking much more about it. That's the argument put forth Friday by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a progressive think tank with a long track record of popularizing research on wage suppression and runaway inequality. "Everyone's obsessed with a post-pandemic phenomenon called 'quiet quitting,'" EPI wrote in an email. "It's basically defined as workers just doing the basic requirements of their jobs and not going 'above and beyond.'"

State AGs Are Celebrating Labor Day By Trying To Cut Workers’ Wages

In recent media appearances and press releases, Republican Attorneys General have been talking a big game about inflation and kitchen table pocketbook issues. Over the coming weekend, these same officials will likely be wishing their constituents a happy Labor Day and boasting about their commitment to working families on social media.  Meanwhile, more than a dozen GOP AGs are actively seeking to use the courts to cut workers’ federal minimum wages and wage protections. This hypocrisy should be called out for what it is: an attack on working people. These workers should not be collateral damage in political games to score points against the Biden administration.

British Postal Workers Reject Below-Inflation Contract Offer

On Tuesday, August 9, Communications Workers Union (CWU) in Britain, which represents Royal Mail postal workers, announced four days of strike action aimed at obtaining a wage increase in line with inflation. The strikes are scheduled for August 26 and 31 and September 8 and 9. The strike authorization came when 77 percent of the union’s 115,000 members turned out to vote on July 19 — following a procedure required under British law for union’s wishing to strike — and approved the measure with a 96.7-percent “yes” vote. The upcoming action is anticipated to be the most massive strike in Britain this summer. At the time of the vote, Royal Mail management had sought to impose a 2-percent wage increase, which the union characterized as a pay cut in real terms, that would lead to a “dramatic reduction in the standard of living for workers.

HarperCollins Workers Go On Strike

Yesterday, workers at the “Big Four” publisher HarperCollins went on a one-day strike, protesting the company’s refusal to agree to a fair contract. The workers, who have organized with United Auto Workers Local 2110, are demanding livable wages, better family leave benefits, and stronger commitments to racial equity. Even though management threatened to dock the pay of striking workers, and even though temperatures approached 100 degrees, the energy of the moving picket outside the company’s headquarters at 195 Broadway was vibrant, militant, and joyful.  Of the 250 or so unionized workers —across the company’s editorial, publicity, sales, design, marketing and legal departments — 95 percent took part in the vote to strike, with 99 percent in favor. 

Purchasing Power Of Workers’ Wages Take Biggest Tumble In 40 Years

San José, California - Real earnings, or workers’ wages after adjusting for inflation, had their biggest drop in 40 years last month, as prices continued to rise faster than paychecks. Real average weekly earnings, which best reflect workers’ paychecks after adjusting for changes in wages, prices and hours worked, fell 1% in June of 2022 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the last year, real average weekly earnings fell 3.9% as inflation outpaced pay raises and average weekly hours fell by almost an hour. Prices paid by production and non-supervisory workers (the CPI-W) rose 9.7% as compared to June 2021, a 40-year high. This is even higher than the 9.1% for the headline Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) which also hit a 40-year high. This CPI includes prices for goods and services bought by professionals, supervisors and managers, and businesspeople, as well as workers.

Burgerville’s Union Racking Up Victories On Shop Floor

Last December, The Industrial Workers of the World’s Burgerville Workers Union signed their first collective bargaining agreement with management, officially becoming the only fast food restaurant in the country covered by a federally recognized contract. This historic win comes as the culmination of three-and-a-half years of heated negotiations with management, seven strikes, and dozens of major picket lines. Over 75% of workers covered by the contract participated in the vote, with 92% in favor. The contract brings major gains to the five Portland-area stores with federal union recognition such as a grievance process, a three-month set schedule, and paid parental leave.

Local Governments Stepping In To Bolster Workers’ Rights

In recent years, cities, counties, and other localities have become innovators and leaders in standing up for working people. Responding to increased inequality, degraded working conditions, and insufficient or inconsistent worker protections at the state and federal level, localities have in many cases joined states as the “laboratories” of experimentation (as Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis described) in relation to workplace matters.1 A number of localities have come to view protecting workers and improving their conditions as part of their core municipal function. This is a joint project with the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program and Local Progress. This report provides an overview of some of the most noteworthy ways in which localities have taken action on behalf of working people in recent years.

Prices For Workers Rise By More Than 9%

San José, California - On Friday, June 10, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that prices for workers’ families, the so-called Consumer Price Index-Wage or CPI-W rose by 9.3% as compared to prices a year ago. This rate of inflation is near a 40-year high, only exceeded by the 9.4% increase in March. The last time that prices rose so quickly was in November of 1981. The headline number that the corporate media reported was a smaller 8.6%. This was the number for the CPI-Urban or CPI-U that includes households with managers and professionals as well as wage workers. The CPI-W inflation is higher than the CPI-U because the CPI-W puts more weight on the prices of food and transportation that have been bedeviling working families. Food prices are up more than 10% over the past year while gasoline is up almost 50%.

Belgian Working Class Protests Cost Of Living Crisis, Demands Rise In Wages

On Friday, April 22, thousands of workers demonstrated in major cities across Belgium protesting the worsening cost of living crisis and calling for a rise in wages. The call for the mobilization was given by major trade unions like the General Labor Federation of Belgium (ABVV/FGTB), Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (ACV/CSC), General Confederation of Liberal Trade Unions of Belgium (ACLVB/CGSLB), and political parties including the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA). Various student/youth groups expressed support and solidarity with the workers’ mobilization. The protesting workers have called for a revision of the 1996 Wage Margin Act. The act establishes a strict procedure for the Belgian social partners to negotiate a maximum average wage increase and thus effectively prevents any real increase in wages in the country.

Pew Survey: Workers Who Quit A Job In 2021

The COVID-19 Pandemic Set Off Nearly Unprecedented Churn In The U.S. Labor Market. Widespread Job Losses In The Early Months Of The Pandemic Gave Way To Tight Labor Markets In 2021, Driven In Part By What’s Come To Be Known As The Great Resignation. The Nation’s “Quit Rate” Reached A 20-Year High Last November. A New Pew Research Center Survey Finds That Low Pay, A Lack Of Opportunities For Advancement And Feeling Disrespected At Work Are The Top Reasons Why Americans Quit Their Jobs Last Year. The Survey Also Finds That Those Who Quit And Are Now Employed Elsewhere Are More Likely Than Not To Say Their Current Job Has Better Pay, More Opportunities For Advancement And More Work-Life Balance And Flexibility.

Venezuela: Government Raises Wages As Inflation Hits Eight-Year Low

Caracas, Venezuela – The Nicolás Maduro government decreed a near twentyfold salary hike. In a public forum with trade unions on March 3, the Venezuelan president announced that the minimum wage would be set at half a Petro, some 126 bolivars (BsD) which amount to US $29 at the present exchange rate. The new figure represents a significant increase over the previous one of 7 BsD (roughly $1.6). The government is reportedly weighing raising public employee food bonuses o 45 BsD ($10.4). They are currently set at 3 BsD. Pensions and regular government bonuses, such as support for large households, will be updated with a similar factor. In his speech, Maduro called the new wages an effort to “salarize” Venezuelan

Inside The Campaign To Abolish The Subminimum Wage

As the economy recovers from a global pandemic, many business owners are pointing to labor shortages caused by the “Great Resignation” as a source of frustration. The term refers to the more than 33 million U.S. workers who have quit their jobs since the spring of 2021, largely due to low wages and burnout. The restaurant and service industry is experiencing one of the largest shockwaves to its workforce, adding just 108,000 jobs in January 2022, and remains 900,000 jobs short of where it was prior to the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But restaurant workers and their allies are offering a different perspective: This is not a “Great Resignation,” but rather a Great Rejection of low-wage work.
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