— Alexandra Rosenmann (@alexpreditor) November 27, 2015
…a groundbreaking report from the Urban Institute and Northeastern University suggested what many academics and on-the-ground advocates have long argued: labor trafficking in the US is far more pervasive. It is also far more intertwined with the way we live. There are humans who have been tricked or forced into working for meager wages, often in dreadful conditions, in almost every sector of the economy, from agriculture and domestic work to computer programming and carnivals.
We could have known it was too good to be true. It will take much more activism to force Walmart, and other exploiters of labor, to stop their practices:
Late last year, in response to a series of strikes by workers and protests by activists, Walmart agreed to raise wages so that many of the company’s workers received at least a meager $9 an hour in 2015. The wage hike reached over 1,400 Walmart stores and gave the company some much needed positive publicity.
Unfortunately, Walmart’s entire business model is based on severely exploiting workers in the US and around the world to drive down prices, so even a minor uptick in wages hurts the bottom line.
As Bloomberg reports today, the order has now come down from Walmart executives to store managers to cut workers’ hours to lower company costs. So while many workers may have seen a pay increase from the rise to a minimum wage of $9 an hour, those same workers may now face a cut in the hours they can work to make the higher wage.
The war on labor is everywhere, including India:
Nearly 150 million workers in banking, manufacturing and construction, backed by 10 major unions, stayed away from work. Taxi and rickshaw drivers stayed off the streets in Delhi, and shops and banks closed in left-wing stronghold Kerala in the south.
There is a worldwide war on labor we need to fight:
Workers and labor advocates are rallying in Sacramento today in support of a bill to combat wage theft by companies that fail to pay workers overtime or give legally-required breaks during work shifts.