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women-owned worker coops & the fight against the feminization of poverty

Sarah McKinley and Violeta Duncan for Community Wealth: Worker Cooperatives Address Low-Wage Work and the Feminization of Poverty.
Women of color working low-wage jobs must often navigate unregulated work conditions, as much of their work is domestic labor—caregiving, house cleaning, child care—an industry that, historically, is not only low-paid but also exploitative. The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), a 10,000 membership-based organization for nannies, housecleaners, and caregivers, describes, in its 2012 Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work [PDF] report, the substandard conditions of domestic work, including lack of employment benefits, meager wages, exposure to toxic chemicals, and physical abuse.

Such unhealthy work environments and insufficient pay have led a number of these low-wage women to take matters in to their own hands. Many have formed women-owned worker cooperatives that ensure good pay and healthy working conditions, help women overcome the isolation and vulnerability of domestic work, and empower women to build wealth for themselves, their families, and their communities.
[more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 22, 2014 - 15 comments

What Happens When Low Wage Workers Suddenly Get a Living Wage?

The other night I was on the train coming home and there was this young girl with three young children, and she had a container of milk, and I heard the middle child of the three ask, "Mom, can I have some milk?" and the mother said, "No, you know we need it for the baby." And I remembered feeling like that.
posted by the young rope-rider on Jun 6, 2014 - 215 comments

The Pity-Charity Complex

"I say “you” deliberately here, because much of the writing about low-wage workers tends to obscure just that fact — that these stories could well be about you. Too much writing on the left and the right has tended to treat the people in some of the nation’s most common jobs as if they are some exotic Other rather than our neighbors, our family members and ourselves. " --Sarah Jaffe on the media's strange ways of talking about low-wage workers.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 20, 2014 - 40 comments

Goose, Gander, etc.

An editorial in the Nation recently argued in favour of higher wages for WalMart employees, many of whom make only the minimum wage. WalMart responded by pointing out that the Nation employs its interns at less than the minimum wage. The Nation replied that since interns are at the beginning of their careers, the situation is different.
posted by modernnomad on Aug 8, 2013 - 75 comments

Being in the Minority Can Cost You and Your Company

The racial wage gap in the United States — the gap in salary between whites and blacks with similar levels of education and experience — is shaped by geography, according to new social science research.

"The average racial gap [in wages] in metropolitan areas of around 1 million people — and you can think of a place like Tulsa, Okla. — is about 20 percent smaller than the gap in the nation's largest metro areas of Chicago, L.A. and New York," Ananat says. Ananat's research suggests that the racial gap is not directly the result of prejudice or, at least, prejudice conventionally defined. Rather, it has to do with patterns of social interactions that are shaped by race — and a phenomenon that economists call spillovers.
posted by DynamiteToast on Jul 24, 2013 - 80 comments

Did I say "Recession? What Recession?" Oh right, this recession

Recession prompted 'unprecedented' fall in wages - Wages have fallen more in real terms in the current economic downturn than ever before, according to a report. On top of the rising cost of living, a third of workers who stayed in the same job saw a wage cut or freeze between 2010 and 2011, said the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). "The falls in nominal wages... during this recession are unprecedented," said Claire Crawford from the IFS. Labour said the figures showed there was a "living-standards crisis".
posted by marienbad on Jun 12, 2013 - 62 comments

...with numbers like these — why would women want to work in games?

"The next time someone tells me that men and women get paid equally for their talents in the game industry, I wanted something to link to them." [via]
posted by griphus on Apr 4, 2013 - 53 comments

Beers, hugs, and high-fives

Rock diva and Kickstarter heroine Amanda Palmer asks local musicians/fans to come on stage to perform a few songs with her. But professional musicians are outraged at this blatant act of exploitation. [more inside]
posted by monospace on Sep 13, 2012 - 634 comments

A tale of (the wage bills of) three English sports

Information on cricket salaries in England is difficult to find, though the amounts are acknowledged to be low; many cricketers take on a second job during the off-season. One of the top flight teams, Durham, is the first county fined for narrowly exceeding the total playing staff salary cap for the year. As a cross-sport comparison, the top flight football (soccer) team wage bills for 2010-11, and the team salary caps for rugby.
posted by Wordshore on Sep 9, 2012 - 12 comments

China in Revolt?

"Today, the Chinese working class is fighting. More than thirty years into the Communist Party’s project of market reform, China is undeniably the epicenter of global labor unrest." Eli Friedman from Jacobin
posted by ageispolis on Aug 29, 2012 - 78 comments

smaller companies are using robots

Made in America: small businesses buck the offshoring trend - "For US manufacturing to make sense, factories must make extensive use of automation. That's getting easier, given that the cost of robots with comparable capabilities has decreased precipitously in the past two decades." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 20, 2011 - 52 comments

“The gap between low and middle is collapsing.”

Public Job as Only Route to Middle Class. 'While that might not seem like much, jobs' 'with benefits and higher-than-minimum wages, are considered plum in' the town of Gallipolis a 'depressed corner of southern Ohio. Decades of industrial decline have eroded private-sector jobs here, leaving a thin crust of low-paying service work that makes public-sector jobs look great in comparison.''Now, as Ohio’s legislature moves toward final approval of a bill that would chip away at public-sector unions, those workers say they see it as the opening bell in a race to the bottom. At stake, they say, is what little they have that makes them middle class.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Mar 16, 2011 - 183 comments

Money, Derek Jeter, Nail Clippings & Apple Pie: Harvard's WorklifeWizard

The Harvard University Worklife Wizard, created by an international team of journalists, economists, and statisticians, is Barbara Ehrenreich's wet dream. It's also a fantastic resource that has flown pretty much under everyone's radar. The Worklife Survey drives the constantly-revised, constantly-refined Salary Comparison Tool, which is always hungry for more data about employment from around the world. And when they say they want data from everyone, they mean it-- there's even a VIP Salary Checker that pits the wages of the Yankees against those of the Red Sox. (Plus if you take the survey, you can apparently earn a chance to win a trip to South Africa). Personally, I love the Workplace Horror Stories (and there's a competition there too). I can't look at a nail clipper the same way now.
posted by yellowcandy on Nov 20, 2006 - 26 comments

ugly or handsome ?

Are you ugly or handsome? So Much for That Merit Raise: The Link between Wages and Appearance. Hey what about the phrase beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
posted by halekon on Apr 8, 2005 - 46 comments

The Shark in the Free Care Pool

The Freeloader Registry. When an employer pays low wages and doesn't provide health care benefits, its employees often end up getting free care through state and federal programs. How much does this cost you, and which companies benefit from the practice? A new Massachusetts state law will provide detailed information about top corporate welchers. (This follows recent discussion of the topic in the context of Wal-Mart.) Via Good Jobs First.
posted by alms on Aug 6, 2004 - 21 comments

Costco slammed for wages and benefits

Costco draws criticism from Wall Street for paying decent wages. One analyst complains that "Costco runs its business like it is a private company." The Teamsters think otherwise, claiming Costco is the only company Wal-Mart fears. [via Obscure Store]
posted by F Mackenzie on Mar 26, 2004 - 55 comments

Working toward tomorrow.

Minimum wage is San Fransisco is now $8.50. Minimum wage in New York City is $5.15 per hour. Minimum wages from around the United States.
posted by the fire you left me on Feb 2, 2004 - 125 comments

Guards at Area 51 protest low wages.

Guards at Area 51 protest low wages. Maybe the greys from Zeta Reticuli are behind on their rent?
posted by gimonca on Dec 11, 2001 - 10 comments

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