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Posts Tagged ‘Living Wage’

With the Labor Market Suffering, is it Time for Americans to Unionize?

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog

By Kelvin Lassister, Income Policy Analyst

With 4.3 million workers electing to leave the workforce in August 2021, employees have taken advantage of the shortage of workers to leverage better pay and benefits. Others have taken advantage of unsafe work conditions to go on strike. The bottom line: the need to form unions is increasing, and becoming more important. 

Billion-dollar corporations like Amazon, and McDonald’s who can afford to pay a livable wage, refuse to listen to their workers. With a failed attempt to unionize their warehouse in Bessemer, AL, Amazon workers at the Staten Island, NY location filed a petition to unionize. Unsafe working conditions, better pay, and paid time off are the reasons for the actions taken against the world’s largest online retailer. 

There are several other companies that low wage workers should consider forming a union as well: Dollar General, and Family Dollar. Both cite not enough staff, and low pay not equivalent to the long work hours. Companies pay potential hires low wages based on their urgency to find employment. People deserve decent wages that allow them to pay for basic living expenses for their families!

According the National Relations Labor Board, companies can select a union with several different methods: 30% of workers must sign a petition, or sign cards, and a majority that vote for a union, the National Relations Labor Board will certify the union as a representative for collective bargaining. 

The American worker now has the chance to capitalize on an opportunity that may not come around again for quite some time. In the days, and times of wage increases for the wealthy, employees must get their fair share, and that begins with Unions and employment stability. 

Living Wage Week 2021

This week (November 15th-21st) is International Living Wage Week! Events are being held worldwide, and United for a Fair Economy is excited to partner with the National Living Wage Network and Living Wage for US to bring this to the United States.

Throughout living wage week, we want to encourage our community to join us in celebrating by lifting up living wages and taking action. We invite you to get involved in a few ways:

  • Sign the pledge to support living wage businesses this week.
  • Shout out your favorite living wage certified businesses on social media with the hashtag #livingwageweek2021
  • See what a living wage is in your community with MIT’s Living Wage Calculator

NCH Statement on Senate Parliamentarian decision regarding Minimum Wage increase

Written by admin on . Posted in News

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Elizabeth MacDonough, the current Senate Parliamentarian ruled today that the Raise the Wage Act would not be included in the current American Rescue Plan. Her decision now puts a temporary halt to the Democrats plan to raise the wage. During a recent townhall, Senator Bernie Sanders I-VT, indicated that this fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour is not over. It’s disappointing for someone that does not have a vote to make that decision, but we will not give up. There are other ways to do this.

There are other economic solutions to focus on beside raising the wage that may make wages more sustainable. Guaranteed Income and Universal Livable Wage would eliminate the argument that jobs and businesses would be lost. It now becomes a matter of the will of the people instead of the skill of the politician.

Background:
In 12 years, the cost of most necessities like housing, transportation and medical care, have increased, and in some cases, astronomically increased. But this the longest period of time the Federal minimum wage has remained stagnant since it was created. While the minimum wage is not the cause of homelessness, it does contribute to it. In the United States, there is not one county where you can afford a two-bedroom apartment working 40 hours per week earning minimum wage.

There are success stories with cities that have raised their own wages to $15 per hour. Millions of Americans have been lifted out of poverty, while millions are still there. In the most expensive cities in the nation, $15 per hour keep Americans in poverty. We are exploring things like guaranteed incomes and wages indexed to the local cost of housing. There is a deep income divide that must be addressed. Stay tuned, game on.

Bring America Home Act & Economic Justice in the 2021

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog

By Kelvin Lassiter

Fighting for justice and equality in housing and economics has been going on for quite some time. The National Coalition for the Homeless was formed in the early 1980’s after advocates had already started opening emergency shelters and food programs because of disastrous cuts made to affordable housing and health care through the 1970’s. Activism in the 1980’s led to the Homeless Assistance Act being passed, now known as the McKinney-Vento or HEARTH Act, which has provided the bulk of Federal homeless assistance dollars.

But what about truly ending homelessness? On July 25, 2003, the key tenets of the Bring America Home Act were introduced to the nation. This plan, created through a national campaign, proposed a four-pronged approach to addressing the root causes of homelessness:

  • HOUSING JUSTICE Recognizing housing as a basic human right, increasing investment in federal affordable housing programs
  • HEALTH CARE Calling for single-payer or universal health coverage for all residents of the country
  • ECONOMIC JUSTICE Working towards living wages and benefits, providing labor supports for un- or under-employed workers
  • CIVIL RIGHTS PROTECTIONS Ensuring that poor and unhoused persons are free from added criminalization based on their housing or economic status, providing a path to housing and work for those who are formerly incarcerated

While there have been many pieces of the original Bringing America Home Act passed in some form, but there is much more work to do. We are happy to support the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 (H.R. 603), raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. This raise will:

  • Immediately lift over 30 million people out of poverty
  • Move people closer to being able to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent
  • Finally bring the minimum wage to the level it would be factoring in the previous increases since the Fair Labor Standards Act became law in 1938

We encourage you to join us in supporting the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, encouraging your federal elected officials to support strong wage growth for working people. Our advocacy is only strengthened when the citizens of this nation play a part and lawmakers act on their constituent responses.

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