According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, more than 40 million Americans work in jobs where they have no access to paid sick days. In addition to the potential loss of wages and jobs for working families, the lack of paid sick days forces many people to go to work when they are contagious and get co-workers and customers sick and decreases productivity for workers who show up unable to perform to their normal level of ability. More and more cities and states are recognizing the realities of the damage having a workforce without paid sick leave does to workers and to the economy.
Chicago now has one of the nation’s strongest anti-wage theft laws after the City Council last week unanimously passed a bill that the Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) affiliate Arise Chicago, immigrant workers groups and unions supported. The new ordinance could revoke business licenses for businesses found guilty of wage theft.
The Workers' Rights Center of Madison (WRC) and the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice (ICWJ) teamed up to publish a "Just Dining" guide that informs customers and workers about the employment standards and conditions for the people who cook, prepare and serve food in the downtown restaurants of Madison, Wis. The guide focuses especially on the working conditions in central Madison restaurants.
Not only are corporations sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash and refusing to hire workers, now it appears employers who are making fewer workers do even more aren’t paying their overtime wages. The number of overtime wage theft complaints, filed by workers in the first half of this year, matches last year’s total filed under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a new report.
Holding white carnations high above their heads to symbolize the nation’s millions of jobless workers—including the 6 million facing the loss of their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits Dec. 31—more than 2,000 union, faith and community activists committed their faith and action to demand Congress act now to extend the emergency lifeline for the jobless.
The Alameda Labor Council and California Labor Federation are standing in solidarity with Occupy Oakland’s Nov. 2 Day of Action. In a message to activists, council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Josie Camacho says working families are “inspired by the spirit of the fight against Wall Street.”
A new report shows how wage theft reaches deep into the low-wage economy.
“The Movement to End Wage Theft” illustrates the problem with the stories of workers employed by a grocery chain, a temp agency, a construction company and other incorporated businesses. These workers’ wages were stolen by their employers who failed to pay the minimum wage or overtime, or refused to abide by work-break and safety rules.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread from big cities to small towns, mobilizing a diverse group of people from young workers to grandmothers. Even “The New Yorker” has taken note, with a cover this week that portrays a group of “protesters” who have occupied Wall Street since its inception—and who would like to keep it that way. Take a look here.