News Release

Labor Day: Key Issues

LAURA JONES
A recent study by the 2030 Center, a public policy institute that advocates for the economic interests of young adults, examined the threats to job security due to increases in temporary work. Jones, communications director for the 2030 Center, said: “As Americans race to the beach this Labor Day weekend, an army of young temporary workers will keep American businesses humming — and they won’t be getting holiday pay to do it. Wages and job quality are actually declining for young Americans — since 1973, entry-level wages for young workers have fallen between 5 and 29 percent… Few benefits, lower wages, diminished labor standards — that is reality for nearly 1 million temps under age 35.”

BILL FLETCHER, JR.
Assistant to the president of the AFL-CIO, and coauthor of “The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the CIO, 1934-1941,” Fletcher said: “We live in this paradoxical situation where people are either working too much or they are not working enough to survive. And while we are supposed to have a 40-hour work week, this often gets lengthened for working-class families, either through the direct extension of the work day and forced overtime or through individuals having to work more than one job to survive. The injustice of this can be found in the fact that U.S. workers continue to be productive, but are receiving few benefits of their productivity.”
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GREG LeROY
Director of Good Jobs First, LeRoy is the primary author of the study “Economic Development in Minnesota: High Subsidies, Low Wages, Absent Standards,” which helped lead to the Minnesota state legislature passing significant new reforms to make job subsidies more accountable (signed into law by Gov. Jesse Ventura on May 25). Today, LeRoy said: “Economic development is typically implemented in the name of jobs, jobs, jobs, but we found that half the companies receiving job subsidies in Minnesota pay extremely low wages… The old-school emphasis on simply reducing the cost of capital is ineffective in today’s economy.”
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DAVID BACON
Author of “Unions and the Fight for Multiracial Democracy” in the current issue of Dollars and Sense magazine, Bacon said today: “Union politics are being shaken up by a demographic shift. For example, early in the next millennium, California will become a ‘majority-minority’ state, in which white people, for the first time in centuries, will be the minority. From the beginning, unions have been divided over racism — some perpetuating it, others fighting it. Now, unions have an opportunity — and an obligation — to ensure that they embrace ethnic diversity in the workplace as a path to growth.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167