Posted July 24 2015
Work + Wages, cont'd.
Union rallies fast-food workers in Florida for minimum wage hike
PalmBeachPost.com, by John Kennedy, July 23, 2015
With New York state moving toward a $15-an-hour minimum wage for fast-food workers, a Florida union Thursday pushed this state to get behind a similar rate.
Rallies were held in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and St. Petersburg by the Service Employees International Union and its allies to underscore the need for a $15 standard. Florida’s $8.05-per-hour minimum wage isn’t much different than the $8.75-level in New York, which is all but certain to change in coming weeks.
“Florida is home to the second-largest number of employees earning minimum wage in the United States,” said state Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg.
“Increasing their pay will not only help working families escape poverty, it will also create additional jobs by stimulating our consumer economy. At the end of the day, raising the minimum wage is a win-win proposition for all Floridians.” …
If Labor Dies, What's Next?
The only way unions can regain their strength and provide a counterweight to corporate power is if liberals join the fight.
American Prospect, by Harold Meyerson
Imagine America without unions. This shouldn’t be hard. In much of America unions have already disappeared. In the rest of America they’re battling for their lives.
Unions have been declining for decades. In the early 1950s, one out of three American workers belonged to them, four out of ten in the private sector. Today, only 11.8 percent of American workers are union members; in the private sector, just 6.9 percent. The vanishing act varies by region—in the South, it’s almost total—but proceeds relentlessly everywhere. Since 1983, the number of states in which at least 10 percent of private-sector workers have union contracts has shrunk from 42 to 8.
Following the 2010 elections, a number of newly elected Republican governors and legislatures in the industrial Midwest, long a union stronghold, moved to reduce labor’s numbers to the trace-element levels that exist in the South. A cold political logic spurred their attacks: Labor was the chief source of funding and volunteers for their Democratic opponents, and working-class whites, who still constitute a sizable share of the electorate in their states, were far more likely to vote Democratic if they belonged to a union. The fiscal crisis of the states provided the pretext for Republicans to try to take out their foremost adversaries, public-employee unions. …
Compiled by Team SCPA