Over the past week, port workers in Los Angeles went on strike. So did fast food workers from McDonald’s and Burger King. And last month, it was Wal-Mart workers.
What gives? It’s a message from workers that they have finally had enough, labor experts say.
Having endured a deep recession, when their jobs were imperiled and their low wages remained unchanged, workers have been under tremendous stress.
Now, they’ve finally reached a point where they’re wiling to put their livelihoods on the line. Workers, after all, can be replaced if they strike for economic reasons under the National Labor Relations Act.
“It’s very, very risky for workers to go out on strike,” said Angela Cornell, director of the Labor Law Clinic at Cornell University’s law school. “It might be that they’ve just had it.”
Among striking workers, the themes are common across all industries. They are staging walkouts and protests for higher pay, better working conditions and the right to speak out and form a union.
Labor experts say that the workers wages have fallen, and stand in sharp contrast to the performance of companies they work for. Corporate profits were up 19% in the third quarter, the greatest share of the economy in history.
“You find out that you hard work is paying off and the company is doing well, and you’re being asked to work for $8 an hour,” said Cornell.
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from