Low-wage workers fight to make bad jobs better.
October 5, 2013 1:58 PM Subscribe
A growing number of Americans is realizing that “good jobs” aren’t coming back, and that for things to get better, they’re going to have to fight to turn their McJobs into something better.
posted by klue (103 comments total)
62 users marked this as a favorite
"Lousy jobs at fast-food joints and retail stores have been around for a long time. Sam Walton (of Walmart) and Ray Kroc (of McDonald’s) designed their business models around underpaying their employees. But experts have always brushed off calls to improve these jobs, arguing that they were stepping-stones—summer jobs for teenagers; flexible, part-time jobs for moms; or extra-cash jobs for retirees. It didn’t matter that the jobs paid low wages and offered little opportunity for advancement because they weren’t designed to support a family or be a career.
But, as good jobs have steadily disappeared over the past three decades, these rationalizations are starting to sound pretty tired. A recent report by Catherine Ruetschlin at the think-tank Demos shows that more than 90% of retail workers are over the age of 20 and that, for the vast majority, this is their full-time, long-term occupation. Labor researchers Stephanie Luce and Naoki Fujita paint a similar picture in a study of New York City-area retail workers. According to their survey, the median age of retail workers in New York is 24 years and the average retail worker has been working in the industry for five years."