Peter Dreier: Ever since the Occupy movement hit the streets, an explosion of worker unrest—especially among Walmart employees, workers at fast-food chains, janitors, and hospital workers—has shaped the political life of America’s cities.
Robert Reich: The gains from a higher minimum wage extend beyond those who receive it. More money in the pockets of low-wage workers means more sales, especially in the locales they live in – which in turn creates faster growth and more jobs.
Julie Gutman Dickinson: California-based Taylor Farms is giving the retail giant a run for its money when it comes to low-road labor practices, while offering another example of why it’s time for the U.S. to clamp down on the use of temp agencies by huge companies trying to evade responsibility for unconscionable working conditions.
Gary Cohn: Today’s temp workers are just as likely to be hired to fill blue collar jobs as office positions, with one major caveat: the new “temporary” hires who pick crops, pack vegetables or clean hotel rooms can work at those jobs for years at the same company — and with little or no advancement.
Lawrence Wittner: As the incomes of the 25 best-paid public university presidents soared, the livelihoods of their faculty deteriorated. This deterioration resulted largely from the fact that tenured and tenure-track faculty were replaced with adjuncts and contingents.
Ashley Thomas: A strong safety net means that families have support during times of crisis, and many California families have experienced a financial crisis lasting eight years. The Governor needs to reinvest in social services and provide a strong safety net to vulnerable families.
Jim Hightower: If it’s a big payoff you want from a job, go for what my Uncle Emmett called “soft hands work.” I recommend hedge-fund huckstering! Those guys (and they’re nearly all guys) never get a callus and do nothing of social value, yet they make the biggest haul of anyone.
Venanzi Luna: Despite the growing number of Latinos in the US and Walmart being the nation’s largest employer of Latinos, we continue to face issues in the workplace that have not been addressed.
RJ Eskow: The “plantation” isn’t the only analogy for Sterling’s mindset. His attitude toward the players also resembles that of baronial landlords toward tenant farmers, or mine owners toward miners who were paid in “credits” for the company store.
Steven Mikulan: Few things say “class war” more eloquently than wage theft, the practice by unscrupulous businesses of short-changing their employees by undercounting work hours or shaving off time for breaks that were never taken.
Julie Gutman Dickinson: It’s been a long, dark road for America’s port truck drivers, but finally there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Vivian Rothstein: What if we had no government services and everything we used to get from government was run by private corporations? McDonald’s could be running the welfare system, Target the public schools and Walmart our mass transportation networks. What would be wrong with that?
Kokayi Kwa Jitahidi: In the coming weeks the United States Supreme Court will render a decision in the case of Harris v. Quinn that could paralyze labor’s ability to organize workers throughout the country.