from ASR 86
Nearly a third of U.S. workers are putting in 45 hours or more a week in their jobs, and many have been forced to take second jobs to make ends meet in the face of precarity, low wages, and the rising cost of living. About 8 million US workers put in 60 or more hours a week at work, and these are among the worst paid of all workers.
The U.S. has officially had a 40-hour workweek since 1938 (about 50 years after national strikes demanded the 8-hour day), though the Fair Labor Standards Act covers only about 15% of workers. And for a time, the 8-hour work day and 40-hour week were nearly universal. Indeed, New York City electricians and many workers at Kellogg’s won the 30-hour work week. Continue reading
Green Syndicalism and Tar Sands Worker Deaths
BY JEFF SHANTZ
A central position of green syndicalism is that the destruction of nature and the destruction of workers’ lives and communities are inextricably linked and proceed together. Both are probability outcomes of exploitation and the pursuit of profit, as capital seeks to increase extractive value while keeping costs of extraction as low as it possibly can. The connection between the violence and death inflicted on nature and on workers’ bodies is given a rough measure by the fact that those jobs most directly involved in the destruction of nature are also typically the deadliest for workers (logging and mining, for example). Continue reading
from ASR 86
CEO compensation at the 350 largest publicly traded U.S. companies rose by an inflation-adjusted 1,460% between 1978 and 2021, according to the Economic Policy Institute, with CEOs now raking in nearly 400 times as much as the typical worker.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly spoken of his desire to get wages down to control inflation; he’s not talking about the skyrocketing pay of corporate executives or Wall Street bankers. Instead, he’s bemoaning the fact that during the pandemic many workers won modest pay hikes that helped blunt the edges of rampaging inflation. In response, the government is pursuing policies designed to drive up unemployment so that workers will have less power and be forced to accept lower wages. This, they claim, will reduce inflation because workers will have less to spend and the bosses will spend less on wages. Continue reading