Join The Fight for $15

$15DSAThousands of people across the country will be taking part in a huge strike for better pay and working conditions  on April 15.  From fast-food to home care, airport, construction, and Walmart workers to adjunct professors and other underpaid workers, folks from every corner of the country and the globe will be joining together across industries on Tax Day, April 15th, for the Fight for $15.

Will you stand with them this Wednesday? Find an action near you.

You and I know that it’s inevitable in the capitalist system for bosses to exploit workers. But it’s not just happening at the level of individual workplaces. Corporations must compete with each other or die, and that means avoiding expenses as much as possible. Low-wage workers struggle to make ends meet and, if they can navigate the deliberately complicated application process and the constant shaming that comes with public assistance, they get the support they need from taxpayers while their employers get off the hook for paying higher wages. That’s what I call corporate welfare.

All workers deserve a union to demand their fair share of the fruits of their labor, but in the meantime, let’s demonstrate that collective action can be society-wide, not just in one workplace. It’s good practice for building a movement for democratic socialism. Continue reading

Decline in Unions a Leading Factor in Income Inequality

By James Parks

Unions and Inequality


With union members under attack across the country, a new study shows how important unions are to the economy. The study, “Union Decline Accounts for Much of the Rise in Wage Inequality,” published in the August issue of the “American Sociological Review,” says the decline in the percentage of workers who belong to unions is worsening income inequality and closely parallels the decline of the middle-class.

In fact, the decline of union membership explains about a fifth of the increase in wage inequality among women and about a third among men, says Bruce Western, a professor of sociology at Harvard University and co-author of the study. According to Western:

Our study underscores the role of unions as an equalizing force in the labor market.

Even nonunion workers benefit from stronger unions as employers raise wages and increase employee benefits, says co-author Jake Rosenfeld, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington:

For generations, unions have been the core institution advocating for more equitable wage distribution. Today, when unions—at least in the private sector—have largely disappeared, that means that this voice for equity has faded dramatically. People now have very different ideas about what’s acceptable in terms of pay distribution. Continue reading