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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:58 AM

Unionizing the Bottom of the Pay Scale

Other than poverty, José Carrillo and Joshua Williams have little in common. The austere life of Mr. Carrillo, a 79-year-old Peruvian immigrant from Washington Heights, is a universe apart from the hardscrabble reality of Mr. Williams, a 28-year-old single father from Atlanta staying at his aunt’s place in Brooklyn to save on rent.

But their lives are connected. They both work in the fast-food industry — Mr. Carrillo at a McDonald’s in Midtown Manhattan and Mr. Williams at a Wendy’s in Brooklyn. They both earn a little more than $7 an hour. And they both need food stamps to survive. Last Thursday, both did something they had never done before: they went on strike.

Their activism, part of a flash strike of some 200 workers from fast-food restaurants around New York City, caps a string of unorthodox actions sponsored by organized labor, including worker protests outside Walmart stores, which, like most fast-food chains, are opposed to being unionized, and union drives at carwashes in New York and Los Angeles.

Labor unions are hoping that the unusual tactics, often in collaboration with social justice activists and other community groups, will offer them a new opportunity to get back on the offensive, helping to raise the floor for wages and working conditions in the harsh, ultracompetitive economy of the 21st century.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/05/business/unionizing-at-the-low-end-of-the-pay-scale.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121205

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Reply Unionizing the Bottom of the Pay Scale (Original post)
groovedaddy Dec 2012 OP
Sherman A1 Dec 2012 #1
Pterodactyl Dec 2012 #2
jwirr Dec 2012 #3

Response to groovedaddy (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:18 AM

1. I thought this paragraph sums it up rather well

Mr. Carrillo’s and Mr. Williams’s meager salaries also underscore the straightforward choice we face as a nation: either we build an economy in which most workers can earn enough to adequately support their families or we build a government with the wherewithal to subsidize the existence of a lower class that can’t survive on its own. We are doing neither.

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Response to groovedaddy (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:00 PM

2. I hope these folks can someday move out of entry level jobs and make some real money.

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Response to groovedaddy (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:43 AM

3. This should have been done long ago. I have had one job in my life that paid a real living wage and

that was as a temp. Instead I was the full time 24/7 care provider for my disabled daughter for 45 years working all these low pay part time jobs to supplement our income. Down here we have no one to speak for us.

However, I have also seen the problems of working with higher full time wage earners. Many times we have differing needs and that leads to conflict when the negotiations start.

Still I think this most be done so the Unions can regain their power base.

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