A recent national survey by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the University of Illinois - Chicago found that 67% of live-in domestic workers make less than their state’s mandated minimum wage and 65% are lacking any sort of health insurance. This is a largely unorganized, unregulated industry that many Americans rely on for vital help. This morning we probed into this issue with our guests Myrla Baldonado and Elisa Ringholm.
FILMS: Taylor Chain II: A Story of Collective Bargaining, The Last Pullman Car, Taylor Chain I: A Story in a Union Local, HSA Hospital Strike ‘75, UE/Wells, What’s Happening at Local 70?, Where’s I. W. Abel?, As Goes Janesville
Today (literally) in labor history, November 23, 2012: Workers employed at Walmart — the nation’s largest private-sector employer — strike nationwide for better wages and working conditions. Walmart, whose net sales in 2011 were $443.9 billion, pays its 1.4 million workers in the U.S. an average of $8.81/hour. A third of Walmart’s employees work less than 28 hours a week and don’t qualify for benefits.
It will be hard to replace the job I had, but it will be easy to replace the job they were trying to give me.
Raj Patel: Food Rebellions and Political Accountability
A report came out recently within the United States observing that 86% of the people who are working at the bottom of the food system, in the lowest wage jobs—whether that’s food service or whether in farm work or in warehousing or in meatpacking—86% of people working in the food system don’t make enough to live on. And that’s a ridiculously high number. It goes to show those patterns of exploitation within the food system, whether in the global wheat market or any other market, are endemic to the way a food market operates. And so it’s not just that this is a market that distributes food and discriminates against the poor, but it produces the poor through low-wage work in the food system.
FILM: Generation Food