By NCL Health Policy intern Alexa Beeson
June 16 marked the longest period the United States has gone without an increase in the federal minimum wage. The federal wage floor was last raised a decade ago, in 2009. The current minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour, which is a poverty wage by federal standards, but tipped workers and people with disabilities often make even less. Worse yet, the value of this wage has decreased by 13 percent since its enactment due to inflation.
As another summer winds down, and we plan for one last extended weekend before turning the page onto fall, Labor Day offers a time to reflect on the increasingly challenging environment that working families face securing fair wages, benefits, and working conditions.
By NCL Public Policy intern Melissa Cuddington
After the passage of Initiative 77, seven members of D.C. City Council pledged to overturn the initiative, essentially suppressing the will of the voters. This move by the City Council has further outraged D.C. voters, who already feel disenfranchised. Considering the 80,000 DC voters who weighed in on this issue, its no wonder.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 is celebrating its 80th Anniversary this year. The work of the National Consumers League (NCL), founded in 1899, and Florence Kelley, laid the groundwork for this landmark worker protection legislation. The FLSA set the first federal regulations for child labor, minimum wages, and maximum hours laws. It was signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose labor secretary, Frances Perkins, started her career with the NCL.
January 11, 2016
With the unofficial start of summer right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about firing up the grill and looking forward to our favorite summer foods. This summer, make your grocery shopping mean more than just great food and support good paying American jobs. As a consumer, you can support the actions of thousands of hard working Americans by buying American-made products and union-made products.
Last Friday the workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee voted against joining the UAW. In the weeks and months leading up to this vote, VW had agreed to stay neutral and over half the workers had indicated they were in favor of union membership. But that all changed due to a sustained propaganda campaign lead by Bob Corker the notorious anti-union Senator from Tennessee and the Koch brothers.
With the Super Bowl nearly upon us, it’s time to start thinking about all the fun foods we might indulge in at Super Bowl parties. Everything from chips and dip to hotdogs and beer, Americans love having a good time while watching the Big Game.This year, consider buying union-made products - it's easier than you may think and you can support American workers and American business.
Have you bought candy to give out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween yet? Later this month, children across the country will cheerfully announce their presence at doorways hoping to receive sweet treats. While Halloween certainly belongs to children, adults get to make some decisions too—especially when it comes to buying treats that are American- and union-made.
End-of-summer barbecues, final trips to the beach, and the hectic start of the school year are usually what come to mind with the arrival of Labor Day. But with an increasingly erratic economy, high unemployment rates, and attacks on unions making headlines, this year’s Labor Day is the perfect time to examine the many challenges currently facing the American workforce.