I’d like to set an agenda for the labor unions as we wind this year down, and prepare for the next. As a union employee I enjoy better pay, but my company has found another way to take more away: hour cuts. So, even though my hourly wage is higher, my paycheck is about the same as someone making a little above minimum wage. Depending on where you work, you even stand to lose your benefits. On top of that, women are still far behind in the payroll department, along with POC and many, many others who don’t make as much as the average white guy does.
We can make 2015 the year Americans earn equal pay for the same job no matter their gender or color, and get the hours they need to live a balanced life, and achieve a higher quality of life (without government assistance). There are several things that need to happen to make this a reality, however the main focus right now is minimum wage. Our income hasn’t gone up substantially for almost half a century, while the cost of food, housing, and every other necessity has–along with our employers’ paychecks. But in order for it to work companies must allow a reasonable work schedule that pays enough at the end of the week. We know they’re making record profits, so there’s no excuse for record low income.
For too long we’ve let corporations pull the strings of our lives and our nation on dated, or bad information. Too long have we let corporate greed trump humanity–even putting our democracy at stake. The current system has funneled money (which should be circulating the market) into the hands of a few powerful people tucked away from the scrutiny of society, but that’s going to change very soon because we deserve better for powering this country, and we can get it if we stand together.