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This will be a quick diary. Everyone is talking about increasing the minimum wage, $8.15, $9.00, $10.10, even $15.00 an hour.  That's great and I'm all for it.  However, I think if we're concerned with basic minimum workers rights it's time to state the obvious: we need more than just a minimum wage increase.  There are several things the US needs just to keep up with the international consensus on workers rights.  We are behind--pathetically so.  We need a new "Worker's Bill of Rights" in this country.  Here are some basic ideas of what I think should be on there:

  • Paid Sick Days - at least a week earned over a year.  This will help workers, especially mothers, and help ensure that no one should be fired for being sick or taking care of a sick loved one.  This is supported by an overwhelming % of voters but hasn't even been mentioned in Washington for years.
  • Paid FMLA - Several states including California, Rhode Island, & New Jersey have this now.  Several more states are pushing for it. This can either be paid via unemployment/disability insurance or by requiring the employer to pay.
  • Paid Vacation - We're the only first world nation that doesn't require employers to provide their employees with at least two weeks of paid vacation a year.  That is just WRONG.  People deserve a break every now and then.
  • Paid Holidays - Workers should be able to take the day off (paid), take a substitute day off, or get paid time & 1/2 on holidays.
  • Set Schedules - part time workers with erratic schedules find it nearly impossible to 1) hold a second job, 2) budget, and 3) arrange for child care.  We need policies in place that end "just-in-time" scheduling and require schedules to be set at least a month in advance.  This is an important topic that rarely gets mentioned.
  • Increased Minimum Wage pegged to inflation - This one speaks for itself.  You deserve to not live in poverty if you work full time (or the equivalent of full time at multiple part time jobs).  We also need to peg the minimum wage to inflation so we don't have to do this run-around every few years.

What are your ideas?

Originally posted to scott jones on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:30 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As a society, first we allow the decimiation of (15+ / 0-)

    our Unions, and then we finally purport to become concerned about all kinds of workplace conditions. At this point in time we have almost no foundation left upon which to build what you're advocating.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:41:16 PM PST

    •  Your comment (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott jones, BusyinCA, NXNW, Kevskos

      identifies why it will be difficult. It does not provide any reason why we shouldn't try, or why the policies proposed are wrong. Some of us were always concerned about workplace conditions but just didn't win the battles.

      “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:58:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ...and yet somehow (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NXNW, RUNDOWN, marykk

      these policy ideas are becoming law in one (blue) state after another.  Also, most of them have support of a majority of the public (except paid vacation).  

    •  Sometimes things have to get really bad (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ichibon, marykk

      before anyone does anything about them. US labor (both the unions and the workers) needs to hit rock bottom and then get back on the stick re organizing.

      And ditching the wrong wing memes would help most of the not-as-informed-voters as those here. But that would require the dismantling of the state propaganda agencies. Or, disabling all network TV cable. And hate broadcasting, radio and otherwise, for at least enough time for the sheeple to wake up.

      Think for yourself day, read a book or the Constitution, should be a national holiday, not silly president day.

      Until enough hungry stomachs cry out, Amerika will not change.

  •  The absolute right to organize (22+ / 0-)

    There should not be any consequences for organizing or counterpressure from employers.  In fact, I would require on-premise posting of information about contacting your local relevant union and how to affiliate with that union at your place of employment right alongside those already required to make you aware of fair labor practices and workplace safety laws.

    •  We ALWAYS need checks and balances (4+ / 0-)

      I strongly support unions and the right to organize. Unions serve as a necessary check to the unavoidable power of business management.

      Unions, just like any other organization, can fall victim to corruption, cronyism, and feather-bedding. This means that we will need a 'check' to keep the unions honest as well.

      I advocate fair and transparent 'pressure and counterpressure', not the prohibition of either. If we need regulations and government participation to keep both sides honest, so be it. But give both sides the ability to at least advocate for their interests.

      If you give both sides the perception that they are participating in a reasonably just system, they will, however grudgingly, participate in the system. If one side feels that their hands are tied and they cannot be heard, they will refuse to participate, and try to destroy the system. Right now, the workers feel powerless (justifiably so, IMHO) and are trying to destroy what they see as an unjust system.

      Whatever new system we build has to give both sides the reality and perception of reasonably just.

      Read. Learn. Think!

      by IndyGlenn on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 06:18:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please provide an example (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mcstowy, Sura 109, jbsoul, RFK Lives, Kevskos

        of a "check" that you would place on unions to "keep them honest".

        Also, can you elaborate on why you draw an equivalence between corruption and cronyism in union management, and employer pressure against unions?  

        I believe that's what you're doing when you say this -  

        I advocate fair and transparent 'pressure and counterpressure', not the prohibition of either. If we need regulations and government participation to keep both sides honest, so be it. But give both sides the ability to at least advocate for their interests.
        I find it confusing though.  There is pressure from employers to restrict workers' rights including the right to organize, and there is pressure from employees for better working conditions, but neither of those have much to do with pitfalls specific to organized groups.  It reads almost like a Fux News "fair and balanced" report, where if you find something bad to say about employers, you must also find something bad to say about unions.

        To my mind, union management is elected.  If union members think their management is corrupt they can elect someone else...none of which has anything to do with the pressure between employees and management.

        •  transparency in union elections and financing (0+ / 0-)

          is a good check-and-balance. Keep the politicking and money where they can be seen. Management can act as a check-and-balance for feather-bedding. When unions get powerful enough to demand truly excessive pay, business management can call them on it. Again, drag it out in the open where independent observers and experts can weigh in.

          I have seen one instance where the company said that it could not meet union demands without bankruptcy. The union leadership refused to negotiate, assuming that the management was lying. In desperation, the company opened its books to a group of union and outside observers, of which my cousin was one. They weren't lying. The union and management negotiated in good faith, reached a reasonable compromise, and everyone kept their jobs.

          One of my points is that whichever side wields excessive power will tend to become unreasonable; this can be expressed as corruption, dishonesty, callousness, or in many other ways. Unreasonable players tend to cause a lot of damage.

          Although it is far, far more common for management to be the one wielding excessive power, any system or process should be set up to allow for either side becoming the problem.

          Read. Learn. Think!

          by IndyGlenn on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 03:47:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nice ideal you have there. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clues, JerryNA

      Try living through a couple of organizing drives and see the reality.

      Consequences for organizing are plentiful. Firing some workers for organizing? Not even a threat with current law. Never was. The minuscule fine is worth paying for the the intimidation to the workers it creates; fear, uncertainty and doubt still work. And there are many other 'labor consultants' willing to help out the boss man spew lies, for a large fee of course.

      The employer will still bus employees on company time (they still want to be paid, right?) to hear endless speeches from the top officers of the company and paid 'consultants' ( likely cronies) about how bad unions would be to them, and you. And how we are all just one big family that wants to take care of each other, you just have to give papa the unlimited credit card and go binge while you live on food stamps and charity. Right. The propaganda is amazing.

      Posting information doesn't do much good when there is a management employee watching the board it is posted on and writing names down.

      The ideal is good and right. But the reality is very different.

      •  True families treat their people right. (0+ / 0-)

        Taking care of each other is an argument for unions and what you describe should have tougher consequences - that's exactly my point.  Not sure what you mean by watching the board.  Is someone going to take names of anyone who so much as looks at it?  For that matter why should the boss know about the union until it is a fait accompli?  That's why the information needs to be there, so people know how to do it and thus come into work one day and announce they are organized.  Plus who says they have to fall for management propaganda, especially with the requirement that other infomation be posted on site?  If the fine is miniscule then raise it.  You describe what is; I am proposing what should be.

  •  This is great! (8+ / 0-)

    Only point that needs some more thinking and tweaking is scheduling. It needs to be stable for those that need it, but also flexible for when things come up, people want to switch shifts, etc. Owning a small business with 3-5 employees, the schedule that gets set only sometimes is the one that actually happens.

  •   Excellent & I would add two more things: (19+ / 0-)

    1.  Temporary workers cannot exceed 10% of the work-force if the work is not genuinely seasonal.

    2.  H1 Visa workers cannot be used when U.S. workers are available for the same task & proof of genuine need must be provided to all. (Too bad if using U.S. workers are not as cheap as H1 Visa workers, because the program was not devised to provide scab labor for mega-corporations who make ample profits)

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:47:05 PM PST

  •  Holiday Pay (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, OooSillyMe, chimene

    Need to be paid for it regardless of whether worked or not.  If worked it should be time and a half PLUS the Holiday Pay.

  •  One small flaw (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dicentra, mcstowy, Kevskos

    You said we were a "first world nation", there could be some debate on that.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

    by Da Rock on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:16:24 AM PST

  •  A lot of good ideas here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott jones, FloridaSNMOM

    add in the right to form a union without interference, and honest  negotiation when it comes to contracts. Plus If you work you get health care no BS about hours.

    Dogs and Philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards (Diogenes)

    by Out There on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:41:17 AM PST

  •  more sick leave than that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gorette, Elizaveta, Lonely Texan

    I am retired now but for 20 years I worked in public service - I had three weeks sick leave each year and I rarely used it but twice I got the flu and I was out an entire week - so in that one instance if I had only a week and used up in winter I would have had no other leave the rest of the year for my daughter - family or self.

    Other incidents that might take a week to regroup from:

    surgery or car accident or broken limb

    a week doesn't begin to cover people

  •  Workers Own The Companies (8+ / 0-)

    Screw the 1%.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:56:25 AM PST

    •  This is what the Democratic party (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYmama, jbsoul, chimene, ichibon

      once stood for.  

      •  one of the things I DO love about this town... the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ichibon

        number of worker-owned local businesses! Usually sold by the founders to the staff upon retirement (+ inability to interest the heirs in actually running whatever, I assume)

        the only problem is if the business gets too big and the worker-owners decide they need "trained professionals" to help with management -- that usually means MBAs and can signal trouble, sooner or later!

        i.e., in Eugene OR, the places we trade with the most, are Paul's Bicycle Way of Life, there's another LONG-established bike shop that went to the workers a couple of years ago (Hutch's?), the Bi-Mart warehouse-store chain, the WINCO chain grocery, Jerry's Home Improvement, there may be others that we don't use...

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:22:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Didn't know Winco and Jerry's was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chimene

          employee owned, I buy all my rebuilding supplies from Jerry's, and bike stuff from Paul's , will have to check Winco out.
          Burley was a coop for most of its life, and only seemed to head into trouble after they hired outside managers.

          Severely Socialist 47283

          by ichibon on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 03:15:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Jerry's is in the middle of a phased pay-off, I (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ichibon

            think. All arranged that the selling price is being spread out over a number of years... We will comparison-shop at HomeDepot & Lowe's, but will only buy there if we literally cannot find it at Jerry's! As far as I can tell, J's is in no danger from either of them! If nothing else, you can find a knowledgable staffer on the floor about 20x easier at J's, because they employ a reasonable number of staff!

            WINCO has been "employee-owned" for a long time. We've been shopping there since the local store was "Waremart"! Of course, when it was Waremart it was much smaller, but the stock was much better! Much better, safer meat, more variety of stock, more regional-local stock... things started to go downhill (toward lowest-common-denominator and national brands) about a decade ago when they made the BIG California expansion.

            These days we shop a little bit in about 8 places! 30 years ago, we shopped about 90% at Waremart. WINCO now accounts for less than... 40%? There's about 3 items each we go to Safeway or Albertson's or Fred Meyer for, the rest goes to Markets of Choice, Long's Meat & Oasis, er, I mean Capella!

            "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

            by chimene on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:18:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wish I lived closer to (0+ / 0-)

              Capella's, don't get to the south too often, I do shop at Kiva quite often tho. Shop mostly at Freddys because of their gas discount.

              Severely Socialist 47283

              by ichibon on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 05:50:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  we trek to S Willamette about once every 2 weeks! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ichibon

                we gang shopping trips, keep lists and drive "great circles" in order to reduce driving as much as possible.

                Capella - Long's - 29th-n-Will Market of Choice is the "great Southern Circle"; Costco - Delta Mkt of Choice - (maybe Jerry's) - Barger WINCO is the "great Northern Circle"

                "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

                by chimene on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:54:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Do not forget OSHA/on-site safety (6+ / 0-)

    Given how many various and sundry chemical processing/storage plants have, y'know, blown up over the past few years, or leaked poisonous sludge into our water supply.

    I'm also thinking -- well, this stuff. (The link is to the blog of Arbill, a company specializing in workplace safety.)

    And, as a reminder of the current stats, here's OSHA's Workplace Injury, Illness and Fatality Statistics page.

    -----
    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 06:08:50 AM PST

  •  my son (5+ / 0-)

    who works two jobs just to get part time hours, gets sent home or stays based on sales. Some weeks he might get 6 hours, some he gets 12. His other job is more regular as it is at a daycare and he is there every day for the after school kids so he averages about 15 hrs. Of course the daycare requires the parents to still pay for days when they shut down (Thanksgiving, new years, Christmas, etc.,) but my son doesn't get paid.

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 06:17:33 AM PST

  •  Universal health care! nt (6+ / 0-)

    The 99% are watching.

    by unclejohn on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 06:28:12 AM PST

    •  Exactly, decoupled from employment (6+ / 0-)

      What we need is a new social contract between employees and workers.  The "job for life" era is over.  We need to decouple health insurance and retirement from employment.  Both of these should be handled by the government as basic rights of citizens (my preference would be for Medicare-for-all for healthcare and Expanded Social Security for retirement).  

      We should say to employers: here's the new deal, no longer will you be responsible for implementing the welfare state for us, but you now need to pay your workers better, make their schedules predictable, and give them paid time off.

  •  We can demand specifics, but they're useless if (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, ichibon

    employers have Constitutional loopholes as big as Michele Bachman's mouth.

    Give this link a read:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  I work with an imune challanged (9+ / 0-)

    disabled child. The company does not offer sick leave to line employees, although admin has it, along with vacation and company assisted health and dental.
    It is a travesty. Office full of paper pushers get a sniffle, and can stay home paid. We who work with disabled populations have to make the hard choice, work sick or lose pay.

    Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

    by emmasnacker on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 07:23:16 AM PST

    •  OMG you're right (6+ / 0-)

      That is a travesty.  The people who actually work with the disabled need sick leave more than the administrators do.

      It's obvious how much they really care about the population they serve. Especially the ones with challenged immune systems. That is truly disgusting.  Put workers in the position where they have to work sick to financially survive but if they work sick they are responsible for infecting vulnerable people.

      Greedy irresponsible management. Should be a criminal offense.

  •  Workers should be paid a living wage which should (4+ / 0-)

    start immediately...no CEO waits for his or her raise and there is NEVER any screaming about $20 hamburgers, $10 cups of coffee or people losing jobs because of it.....

  •  Ratio of lowest paid to highest paid (4+ / 0-)

    employee (anyone receiving a payment from company) should not exceed 5:1, and that ratio to be lowered each year or so until there is total equality. Also, no stock options, as the companies would be owned by the workers.

    •  Not sure I agree with "total equality" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lonely Texan

      but I definitely agree that there should be an upper limit to the ratio.  5:1 sounds like a good one.

    •  Total pay equality for all employees? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, chimene, GeorgeXVIII

      I can't get behind that one.  I went to school for years to become an engineer and have gotten several professional certifications.  I'd be pretty pissed if the person cleaning the break room suddenly made as much as me.  I do think she should be paid a living wage--enough to keep her above the poverty line.

      I could see setting a reasonable limit like 30:1 (the average in our most egalitarian recent past).  That would be better than 300:1 or whatever the average is nowadays.  You'd also have to have strict enforcement or executives would form separate "Executive Management Consultancy" companies so they could pay themselves as much as they wanted.

      •  I think there are Japanese auto co. CEOs who (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scott jones, ichibon

        take 20:1, so the 20-30:1 range seems reasonable to me!

        Of course, higher education should be free, as well as medical care being through the gov't instead of for-profit insurance co's.

        Anybody who wants more than THAT can get another job! Or transition to a culture that recognizes "good works" brownie points rather than the "how high can I pile my pieces-of-paper" scale!

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:29:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pensions. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott jones, chimene

    Every big employer should provide them, and they should be considered secured obligations in the event of bankruptcy.  Maybe some way for smaller employers to be part of a consortium that provides pensions as well.

    Or of course, ramp up Social Security quite a bit.

  •  ban so-called right to work' laws. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott jones, chimene

    unions should be able to organize in every state.
    wages indexed to inflation plus 20 cents.
    no laying off workers while a company is making profit, if the company is losing money the ceo and other management take haircuts first.

    •  How about making and enforcing labor laws that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott jones

      protect workers and force employers to pay a livable wage and provide vacations etc.
      Have government health care and retirement.
      We would probably still need unions to negotiate, but with the government, instead of the companies.
      I like the way Germany has worker/management boards, such as in VW.

      Severely Socialist 47283

      by ichibon on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 03:33:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In the 21st Century you're going to need a lot (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott jones, Lonely Texan, ichibon, EdinGA

    more than this.

    Automation/computerization is going to be eating through jobs like there's no tomorrow, so we are going to need a thorough revamp of the entire system.

    A guaranteed basic income would be a good start:

    To some advocates of the basic income policy, this is an idea we have to start getting used to. Jobs, they suggest, are disappearing not just because of a temporary recession, but because technology is making it increasingly easy to build an economy with fewer laborers, thus driving the earning power of less skilled workers below the poverty level. This amounts to a looming disaster, the argument goes, unless we as a society commit to making sure everyone has enough to survive regardless of their employment status.

    Put another way, the fact that humankind has advanced to the point where we need so much less human labor to maintain the same level of productivity can be seen as a positive, as long as we can let go of the belief that a full-time job is a prerequisite for a complete, meaningful life. If we live in a nation that can afford it, say the most utopian of the basic income thinkers, shouldn’t we give people the option of working less, or at least prevent them from having to scramble to stay alive?

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:36:19 AM PST

    •  I agree... in the long term (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, ichibon

      A guaranteed basic income will probably be necessary eventually as there will be less and less actual work for humans to do.  However, I think this idea is antithetical to the current American culture and a non-starter.  I think that before we get to a basic income,  we'll try intermediate steps such as expanded EITC, job sharing programs, fully funded healthcare, and free higher education.  

      •  Yes, taking steps in the right direction (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scott jones

        until that happens is a good, practical approach.

        You might be surprised by how fast it can happen, though.  Take same sex equality or marijuana legalization.... they were unthinkable not too long ago, yet here we go.

        I think people under 40 or so are probably more open to the idea of a guaranteed basic income and I think we need visionary Democratic politicians, activists, and thinkers to start talking about it more.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 01:00:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Employee ownership and a coporate death penalty (4+ / 0-)

    We should be encouraging employee ownership, and should be willing to withdraw corporate charters when a company egregiously violates the law.

    We should advocate for free higher education; We grant free K-12 because once upon a time, many years ago, a 12th grade education could get you a good job and a middle class life. Since it is now almost universally recognized that a middle class life requires at least some education beyond high school, then we should also provide that to all citizens.

    Single payer health care. I'm sorry but the ACA is a very poor substitution for real national health care, even if it is better than nothing.

    Stop defending Europe at our expense and playing cop to the world so we can afford the others.

  •  Ending exempt status for stem workers... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott jones

    Would create jobs and get people into the field, who wants to work 60+ hours a week until further notice?

  •  The government should be the employer of last (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott jones

    resort in times when the private sector fails to create enough jobs. There are plenty of things we could do to upgrade our infrastructure, the last thing we should be doing during economic downturns is cutting government jobs.

    Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

    by RMForbes on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:09:24 PM PST

  •  Start with EFCA. (0+ / 0-)

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:02:52 PM PST

  •  Stop abuse of status of independent contractor. (0+ / 0-)

    A lot of employers classify employees as independent contractors so they do not have to provide matching social security payments, unemployment insurance or benefits.

    Expand unemployment insurance so it covers every worker. Right now, lots of workers are not eligible.

  •  Fight for 15!! I think this new compromise of 10 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott jones

    dollars an hour is maddening, when we have people all across the country willing to lose their livelihood protesting in the streets for 15!   No compromises...we have the people backing it so fight for 15 and settle for nothing less.

    I also would add companies should be required to allow so many personal paid days.  I would say 5 per year. People have lives and might need a day off that isn't for illness or part of a vacation.   Court days, doctors appointments, family reunions, weddings ect.  Just single days here and there for personal business won't break the bank for a company.  

    I would also add that companies should be required to hire unemployed people before those that already have good jobs, when all things such as education and training are the same.

  •  International Minimum Wage (0+ / 0-)

    I like your ideas. But, to a certain extent, everything we push for here in the U.S. is undermined by our trade policy. It allows large corporations to bypass our workplace laws by off-shoring their work. It undermines our domestic minimum wage and throws people out of work.

    In fact, since manufacturing peaked in the U.S. our unemployment rate has been significantly higher. Manufacturing peaked in 1979. The average unemployment rate in the 30 years after that is 0.9% higher than in the 30 years before. This is directly related to our outsourcing these wealth-producing jobs.

    The way to address this root cause is with a root solution. The root solution is to remove the wage advantage of producing overseas. This moves production back to the U.S., which builds wealth here.

    By putting an international minimum wage on the public stage we remind people how much our trade policy affects our work situation at home. I think we need a position that says no product should be sold in the U.S. unless it is made to our workplace and environmental standards. By setting that bar we support our standards here and prevent erosion of those standards.

  •  I want wage multiplier limits. (0+ / 0-)

    I think that a good way to make sure that low paid workers fare better is by tying executive pay to the bottom rate. They can't get a raise unless those at the bottom do too.

  •  Paid vacations are a bad idea. (0+ / 0-)

    Companies should decide this policy themselves. More paid vacations means lower pay (and 75% of workers already have some kind of paid vacation).

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