Activists say that if Walmart doesn't reinstate the workers who've been fired or disciplined for speaking out, they'll ramp up the campaign against the company's low pay and bad treatment.

Walmart workers are one of 14 worker struggles to pay attention to this Labor Day, including the Wisconsin Solidarity Singers, concert tour dancers and choreographers, transgender workers in 33 states, and 11 million undocumented workers and their families.

Join Making Change at Walmart and Daily Kos in telling Walmart and the Waltons to respect their employees and pay a real wage. And continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.

A fair day's wage

  • He's not a cab driver, but Karl Tiedemann is someone Tom Friedman should meet.
  • Starbucks fires employee on food stamps for eating a sandwich from the garbage. And then changes its story about why eating a sandwich from the garbage was wrong.
  • Doesn't your heart just swell with pride at the thought that America has become a low-wage nation?
  • Robert Reich punctures some myths about low-wage employers:
    Contrary to the predictable pontifications of conservative pundits, such a raise won't cause many low-wage workers to lose their jobs.

    Unlike industrial jobs, these sorts of retail service jobs can't be outsourced abroad. Nor are they likely to be replaced by automated machinery and computers. The service these workers provide is personal and direct: Someone has to be on hand to help customers and dole out the burgers.

    And don't believe critics who say any wage gains these workers receive will be passed on to consumers in higher prices. Big-box retailers and fast-food chains have to compete intensely for consumers. They have no choice but to keep their prices low.

    This means wage gains for low-paid workers are most likely to come out of profits - which, in turn, would slightly reduce returns to shareholders and compensation packages of top executives.

  • Yuengling continues its anti-union ways.
  • Why Chicago teachers support the fight for a higher minimum wage:
    Nations like Finland with low rates of childhood poverty do extremely well academically compared to the United States, a nation with a tragically high rate of childhood poverty. If you control for poverty in your analysis, the American schools do extremely well .

    Teachers understand this better than any Astroturf organization. That is why Chicago Teachers Union has endorsed the Fight for Fifteen campaign—a movement to raise the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour.

    It may seem strange to many that CTU will participate in the Aug. 29 day of action to raise the minimum wage. On the surface, this campaign does not affect educators' earnings. The wages for teachers, paraprofessionals, and clinicians are modest, but still far more than minimum wage.


Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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