Thursday, July 29, 2021

[NJFAC] successes of Fight for $15 in getting raises: "when workers organize, they win."

Yannet Lathrop [co-author]:  the worker-led movement has won raises for millions of people despite facing "every imaginable obstacle­—from a system increasingly stacked against workers and labor unions, to interference from some of the most nefarious corporations, who deployed well-paid lobbyists to fight tooth and nail against higher minimum wages."
 
"But workers won in the end," Lathrop said. "That should tell us that when workers organize, they win." https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/07/28/grassroots-fight-15-movement-has-won-150-billion-raises-millions-workers-study-shows

Quantifying the Impact of the Fight for $15: $150 Billion in Raises for 26 Million Workers, With $76 Billion Going to Workers of Color, Lathrop, T. William Lester, and  Matthew Wilson, NELP

In late November 2012, a small group of fast-food workers in New York City walked out of their jobs in response to low wages[1] and the challenges of organizing a union in a high-turnover and high-exploitation industry.[2] These workers—many of them Black and brown—would launch one of the most successful worker movements of the 21st century, as their demands echoed across the country, spreading the call for a $15 minimum wage and a union.
The Fight for $15, as the movement inspired by these walkouts would be called, sparked waves of action to raise the minimum wage in the ensuing years, leading dozens of states, cities, and counties to raise their wages; putting pressure on some of the world's largest corporations to raise their pay scales; and informing the national conversation on living wages, workplace democracy, and equity.

This report quantifies the wage impact of the Fight for $15. Using U.S. Census data, we estimate that 26 million workers have been boosted by higher minimum wage policies passed by all levels of government since 2012—winning over $150 billion in additional annual income.[i] We also find that the Fight for $15 has helped raise the earnings of nearly 12 million workers of color and 18 million women—likely helping narrow the racial and gender wage gaps (though a wage gap analysis is beyond the scope of this report).
Crucially, this worker-led movement delivered these additional earnings despite the racist, sexist, and anti-worker system of laws and political climate in the United States—with laws in place around the country that permit forced arbitration,[3] wage preemption,[4] misclassification,[5] wage theft,[6] and ongoing attacks on the few parts of our system that actually aid working people.[7]....


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June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network
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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

[NJFAC] BLS counted 8 strikes in 2020; Payday Report, 1200

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Counted Only Eight Strikes in 2020, Payday Report Counted 1,200

By Clarissa A. Leon and Mike Elk Jul 13, 2021  In the era of COVID and digital movements, strikes look radically different from traditional labor strikes

Earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed that 2020 was the third-lowest year for strikes in the United States since they started collecting data on strikes in 1947. The Bureau of Labor Statistics claimed that there were just eight "major work stoppages" in the US in 2020.

Payday Report's COVID-19 Strike Wave Interactive Map, launched at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, began using news and social media accounts of workers walking off the job in protest as a measure of strike activity. By this measure, the map indicates at least 1,200 strikes in 2020 as reported in news and social media reports. These labor strike activities were counted as strikes even without regard to workplace size or union authorization.

Early on in the pandemic, Payday Report began to notice a massive strike wave brewing as workers, fearful of losing their lives, simply refused to work.
Almost immediately, strikes were on the move.
In late March of 2020, hundreds of mostly Black sanitation workers in Pittsburgh, members of Teamsters Local 249, engaged in an illegal wildcat strike to protest their working conditions during the pandemic.....

While the pandemic continued, so did the strikes.
By December 2020, the number of strikes (which included walkouts, wildcat strikes, and general strikes) on Payday Report's COVID-19 Strike Wave Interactive Map reached nearly 1,200 strikes across the United States – one of the largest strike waves in decades, according to University of Wyoming Professor Mike Duff.

Still, according to the BLS, 2020 was exceptionally low. In fact, BLS said that it had the "third lowest number of major work stoppages since the series began in 1947."
The BLS narrowly defines a work stoppage using an outdated system that only recognizes actions at employers with 1,000 or more workers, and actions "must last at least one shift during the week, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays."

The stark difference between how BLS and Payday Report's COVID-19 Strike Wave Interactive Map defines a strike illustrates the giant chasm between how the government views strikes and how they are covered in the media.....


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June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network
http://www.njfac.org

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Monday, June 21, 2021

[NJFAC] labor rights are human rights


Chris Hedges: "Dying for an iPhone"
 May 31, 2021
The suffering of the working class, within and outside the United States, is ignored by our corporatized media, and yet, it is one of the most important human rights issues of our era.


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June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network
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Thursday, June 3, 2021

[NJFAC] Is a CEO Worth 1,000 Times the Median Worker? Bloomberg

Is a CEO Worth 1,000 Times the Median Worker?

Companies were right to fear pay-ratio disclosure. It's embarrassing.
By June 1, 2021,

Chipotle recently became the latest company to voluntarily raise worker pay, announcing that many of its 76,000 hourly employees would get a bump to $15 an hour. This occurred shortly after the company disclosed that CEO Brian Niccol had made nearly 3,000 times the median employee salary in 2020, up from 1,136 times in 2019 and among the top ten highest pay ratios among companies in the Russell 3000 stock index, according to research firm Equilar.
Coincidence? Or is the pay bump for the rank and file a sign that the most highly compensated senior executives are starting to feel a tinge of shame?

For the past four years, the Securities and Exchange Commission has required publicly traded companies to disclose something called the CEO pay ratio -- the amount the CEO receives in relation to the annual salary of the median employee. At many companies, especially large companies with thousands of low paid workers (think retailers, restaurants and tourism), it's not uncommon to see a number like Niccol's, with the CEO making more than a thousand times the salary of the median employee. According to Equilar, there are 57 such companies in the Russell 3000. Auto-parts company Aptiv PLC topped the list: CEO Kevin P. Clark's total 2020 compensation of $31 million was more than 5,000 times that of its median employee, who made less than $6,000, according to Aptiv's proxy.....


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June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network
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Monday, May 31, 2021

[NJFAC] What You Should Be Paid vs. What You Are Getting Paid


Comparison is actual income compared to what it would be if income had continued to grow with gdp/capita. See https://www.rand.org/pubs/working_papers/WRA516-1.html
What You Should Be Paid vs. What You Are Getting Paid

How extreme is income inequality in the U.S.? A full-time worker currently earning the national median wage of $50,000 would be making close to $100,000 now — if the country's economic growth had continued to be shared over the last 45 years the way it was in the quarter-century after World War II. In sum, the bottom 90% of American workers would be taking home an additional $2.5 trillion in income every year if economic gains were as equitably divided as they were in the past.



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June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network
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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

[NJFAC] solved: the problem of getting more workers--increase pay

Amid labor shortage, these Pittsburgh companies are filling open roles. Here's how. By  –  Digital Producer, Pittsburgh Business Times 5/4/21

As March drew to a close, Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor in the Strip District found itself without enough workers for the upcoming spring and summer rush, and it certainly did not have enough workers to open the shop to its desired seven days a week schedule.

Then, on March 30, the parlor announced it would more than double the starting wage for the roles, going from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour, a scoop that seemed to captivate workers throughout the region and one that earned a significant amount of local media coverage.
"It was instant, overnight. We got thousands of applications that poured in," Maya Johnson, general manager of Klavon's, said. "It was very overwhelming, very. People were coming in by the next day that it broke on the news, they were coming in, filling out paper applications. I was doing on-the-spot interviews."
Before the announcement, Johnson said the ice cream parlor would see a few applicants per position, but many wouldn't show for the interview. Klavon's, which has existed at its original location at 2801 Penn Ave. since 1923, now has the staffing it needs to open every day this summer, filling all of the 16 positions it needed to do so over a period of a few days.

Johnson attributes that feat, in part, to the well-advertised "living wage" that's now offered to all who work at the parlor.

"You're going to get quality work from people when people know that they are going to make a good paycheck," Johnson said. "They're going to put their best foot forward in order to keep their position and they're going to appreciate you."

That's the case for Marlea Pavlick, a 20-year-old part-time server and bartender at the recently opened The G.O.A.T. Sports Bar in Cranberry, which is guaranteeing all front-of-house workers, such as servers and bartenders, a $20 an hour minimum wage. If a front-of-house worker doesn't average $20 an hour at the end of the week when factoring in their tips earned over the same period, The G.O.A.T. Sports Bar will pay the workers the difference. These workers will be paid the federal tipped minimum wage of $2.83 an hour by the sports bar if they make at least $20 an hour with their tips throughout the week, however.
According to Pavlick, that makes all the difference and especially during periods where restaurant activity can be slow.

"I feel way more motivated; I don't dread going into work the way I did at other places," Pavlick said. "The people are way more willing to do the work when they're getting paid for it. They're way more willing to help you out and run food for you and do all these extra things because they're getting paid very well and they know they are, they know they're going to walk away with at least $20 an hour."

"Really, we had to offer more than the rest," Josh Wyka, owner of The G.O.A.T. Sports Bar, said. "The people who are looking to work, they were all looking for full-time hours and not everyone is able to offer that right now, so I've been able to be fortunate enough to snag some of those and be able to offer full-time hours upfront to begin with."
 ....
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June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network
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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

[NJFAC] need to transform unemployment insurance system--report


 Reform financing of UI to eliminate perverse incentives for states and employers.
 Pay benefits sufficient for survival.
 Ensure that the program adequately responds during economic downturns.
 Guarantee benefits to everyone looking for work.
 Invest in a responsive, accessible benefit delivery system designed to reach every eligible worker


The fallout from the virus showed serious weaknesses of the unemployment compensation system, if more evidence was needed. J
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June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network
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