Category Archives: Work life

And again! Happy Labor Day!

I’ll say it again: Happy Labor Day!

It’s Labor Day! Time for a picnic!

But even more, it’s time to remember the history of Labor Day, which didn’t begin as a heavy-travel day, or a time when we stretch out summer by 24 hours, or a good day to shop the sales.

If you’re doing any of those things, good on you, but make sure you take the time to hug a union member. And remember: Those public servants (I’m married to one) aren’t the cause of our financial meltdown. Far from it.

(And thanks, Susan Forbes Hansen, for the inspiration on “The Sunday Night Folk Festival,” available from 7 to 10 p.m. here, every Sunday.)

The rich are getting richer in CT, and the poor? Well, guess what?

The wage gap is growing in the Land of Steady Habits, according to “The State of Working Connecticut 2012,” a new report from Connecticut Voices for Children. In fact, the report found the:

highest wage workers enjoying wage growth four times that of median wage workers, while wages stagnated for low wage workers.  Given these wage trends and related demographic changes and disparities, it concludes that Connecticut is increasingly becoming a state of “haves” and “have-nots,” and if current trends continue, the have-nots will make up an increasing share of the state’s population.

The report also found that African Americans and Latinos in the state aren’t enjoying an economic recovery, manufacturing jobs are disappearing from the state, and unemployment is heavily affecting Connecticut’s youngest and oldest workers.

You can read more here: exec summary state of working ct

Cleaning up temp jobs

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a law that says

the state’s temporary employment agencies will no longer be able to send any temp workers to jobs without informing them of the name of their employer, the wages they will be paid or any basic safety training they need.

The bill was signed without fanfare in Boston on Monday, but I bet there was cheering in plenty of mail rooms.

And thanks, DickG., for the link.

What does job insecurity do to you?

Quite a lot, as it turns out, and it’s the new disease of the century, writes Lynn Parramore at Truthout. An excerpt:

Job insecurity is nothing new for those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. Since the ’70s and ’80s, a shifting labor market and anti-worker policies have been fraying the ties between employers and employees, fueling the perception that a job is a temporary affair. Globalization, outsourcing, contracting, downsizing, and recession have conspired to make confidence in a stable, long-term job a privilege that few can enjoy.

But the global recession has blown the numbers experiencing persistent job insecurity through the roof. In the U.S., the stress of three years of unemployment over 8 percent – the longest stretch at that level since the Great Depression – has rocketed our anxieties to new heights, even among traditionally secure workers.

And thanks, DickG., for the link.

Is a living wage a pipe dream?

Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL) recently told a young man to get a job, when the young man told him he already had one, but it did not pay enough to support him.

Rep. Young had been asked if he’d support a bill proposed by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) that increases the federal minimum wage to $10. Here’s more on the minimum wage, which in Connecticut is $8.25. Even at a $1 more than the current federal minimum wage, the Connecticut Housing Coalition says the housing wage in the state — what a person must earn in order to afford a clean and safe two-bedroom apartment — is $23.58. No way can minimum wage in this state be considered a living wage.

You can read more about the state’s housing wage here: CT2

And thanks, DickG., for the link.