February 25th, 2013. Over 200 workers and community allies came out for the opening rally of a one-day unfair labor practice strike of retail janitors calling on cleaning companies to stop retaliating against workers who have been organizing for fair wages and working conditions. Through the Campaign for Justice in Retail Cleaning, not only have workers stopped the downward spiral in the Twin Cities, workers report that they have gained the first wage increase they have seen in the industry in quite some time.
Hristos Doucouliagos and T. D. Stanley (2009) conducted a meta-study of 64 minimum-wage studies published between 1972 and 2007 measuring the impact of minimum wages on teenage employment in the United States. When they graphed every employment estimate contained in these studies (over 1,000 in total), weighing each estimate by its statistical precision, they found that the most precise estimates were heavily clustered at or near zero employment effects.
So, there you have it: A clear picture of the hunt for job-loss effects clumping around zero. That doesn’t mean no one ever loses a job or faces hours’ cutbacks when the minimum wage goes up. But it does mean that the policy has its intended effect of raising the pay of its target population without the unintended consequences relentlessly touted by opponents.
read the entire article by Michelle A.M. Brown @ MSNBC:
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“Cities, too, have enacted laws raising pay for low-wage workers. In 2003, Santa Fe, New Mexico adopted a citywide $8.50 an hour living-wage law with regular cost-of-living increases. At the time, Sam Goldenberg, a business leader, predicted that the law “would be a disaster for the businesses in Santa Fe.” And restaurateur Al Lucero called the plan economically irresponsible and argued that “people will be so content with $8.50 or $10.50 an hour that they’ll have no desire to improve themselves.”
Nearly 10 years later, the rate is now $10.29 an hour, and Santa Fe has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state at 5.1 percent. Jeff Mitchell, a senior research scientist at the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, found “no evidence of adverse effects” from the wage hike. Santa Fe’s tourism industry is doing fine. Travel + Leisure magazine last year listed Santa Fe in its top 10 U.S. and Canadian travel destinations for the 11th consecutive year.
In 2003, San Francisco voters also adopted a citywide minimum-wage law. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association called it a job killer that would “bankrupt many restaurants.” The Association of Realtors said that many hospitality industry workers were “likely to receive pink slips and join the ranks of the unemployed.”
Wrong again. A 2007 study by University of California economists found that after San Francisco’s minimum wage went up, restaurant growth was higher in the city than in neighboring East Bay cities. In December 2012, the city’s unemployment rate was 6.5 percent, well below the statewide average, and job growth in bars and restaurants has led the region’s post-recession recovery.
In November, voters in Albuquerque and San Jose passed ballot measures that will raise the minimum wage for workers in those cities. Albuquerque’s citywide minimum wage rose from $7.50 to $8.50 per hour last month and will automatically adjust in future years with inflation. In San Jose, the minimum wage will increase from $8 per hour — the current minimum wage in California — to $10 per hour starting next month and will adjust automatically in future years to keep pace with the rising cost of living.”
-Peter Dreier, Raising the Minimum Wage is Good for Business
via the Nation, Josh Eidelson
“Non-union janitors who clean Target stores in Minnesota say they’ll go on strike unless their employers agree by noon on Sunday to meet and discuss alleged crimes.
The workers are employed by three janitorial contractors—Prestige Maintenance USA, Diversified Maintenance Systems and Carlson Building Maintenance—and work inside Target facilities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The strike threat follows a series of OSHA charges alleging that employees of those companies were denied proper safety training and locked inside of Target stores, and National Labor Relations Board charges alleging that they were retaliated against for organizing. The charges and the strike threat were spearheaded by the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), a Twin Cities labor group that, as The Nation reported, has been organizing retail cleaning workers for two years.”
Published on Feb 9, 2013
Retail cleaning workers in the Twin Cities speak out, organizing for justice in their workplaces. Employees of Diversified Maintenance Systems, Carlson Building Maintenance, Eurest Services and Prestige Maintenance clean Target, Kohl’s, Home Depot,Kmart, Sears, JC Penney, and other stores.
Trabajadores de limpieza de tiendas en las Twin Cities se estan organizando para justicia en sus trabajos. Empleados de Diversified Maintenance Systems, Carlson Building Maintenance, Eurest Services and Prestige Maintenance limpian Target, Kohl’s, Home Depot, Kmart, Sears, JC Penney y otras tiendas.
Published on Jul 23, 2012
After over a decade of declining wages and increased workloads, retail cleaning workers in the Twin Cities metro area are organizing for fair wages and working conditions. September 29, 2012, CTUL is organizing a mass action at the Sears near the Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota, calling on Sears Holding Company to contract responsible cleaning contractors. For more information: http://www.ctul.net
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha
The Center of Workers United in Struggle
Retail Cleaning Workers Set Deadline for Strike!
BREAKING: New coverage on the deadline for a strike:
- “Workers Cleaning Target Stores Threaten to Strike,” Josh Eidelson, The Nation, Feb. 22, 2013
- “Retail rebellion: The next big strike could begin next week,” Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC, Feb. 22, 2013
- “Target janitors threaten strike,” Natasha Lennard, Salon.com, Feb. 22. 2013
Janitors who clean big box chain stores like Target earn sub-poverty wages with almost no benefits. Workers have been organizing with CTUL for fair wages and working conditions for over two years – and now they’ve decided that enough is enough! Janitors have decided that if the cleaning contractors where they work won’t meet with them to address unfair labor practices by Sunday, February 24th, 2013, they will go on strike to protect their rights.
STAND WITH WORKERS:
- Mon, Feb. 25, 10pm, Rally with Striking Workers, 2511 E. Franklin Ave.
- Tues, Feb. 26, 6am – 10:45am, Picket with Retail Cleaning Workers, Target store in downtown (900 Nicollet Ave.) – Join us for 15 minutes or four hours!
- Tues, Feb. 26, 11am – noon, Rally with Take Action in front of Target Corporate HQ, 1000 Nicollet Ave.
Donate to the CTUL Strike Fund
-More actions you can take to support workers
-Images to help spread word on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
-Press coverage on the announcement of a deadline
We hope that retail janitorial employers will stop violating workers rights and meet with workers in sincere and meaningful dialogue, but janitors are prepared to go on strike to protect their rights if necessary.
The bottom line, as Dean Baker has pointed out, is that over the last 40 years, minimum-wage workers have not seen the benefits of a growing economy. As productivity has increased and the economy has expanded, the minimum wage has been left to stagnate. Imagine what the minimum wage would look like today if it had kept pace with productivity growth. Figure 3 shows the actual value of the minimum wage over time, compared with what it might have been under three other scenarios.
“The minimum wage has not always left a single income-earner for a family of three so far below the poverty line. In 1968, when minimum wage was at it’s highest point ever, that same breadwinner would have made $19,245 a year in today’s dollars — roughly a third more than he or she makes now.
In 1981, in an attempt to fight inflation, the minimum wage was frozen at $3.35 per hour despite the rising cost of living. It wasn’t bumped up until 1990, by which point it had fallen well below the poverty line for a family of two (about $2,500 lower than for a family of three). From 1997 to 2007, the minimum wage remained stuck at $5.15 per hour, as, once again, the cost of living continued to increase.”
Rethinking the Minimum Wage, Bill Moyers: