This year, we've seen massive protests for higher wages all around our nation, but this fight is not just for those struggling to live on minimum wage. It's about our rights in the workplace and society saying “No” to corporate welfare. This year, corporate profits hit another all-time high, while wages as a percent of our economy saw an all-time low. Right now, massive corporations are taking advantage of high unemployment – using it as an opportunity to bust unions, prevent employees from organizing, and keep wages and benefits as low as possible.
This isn't only happening in Walmart stores and fast-food chains, it's happening in manufacturing and service industries that used to provide middle-class wages and pensions. Large employers are using the threats of bankruptcy or layoffs to keep workers quiet about low-pay, nonexistent benefits, and other abuses – regardless of whether they're Walmart or Boeing. And, these corporate giants are being subsidized by our tax dollars as they abuse workers.
This fight isn't only about providing minimum-wage employees enough pay to survive on, it's about putting workers' rights ahead of corporate greed. High-paid CEO's and bankster investors are cashing in on higher-than-ever profits, while calling workers greedy for wanting fair pay and a little respect in the workplace. Right now, this fight may be most visible in the retail and fast-food industry, but it's been underway in almost every workplace in America for the last 30 years.
The fight for a living wage is about all of us – it's about our tax dollars, our workplace rights, and our entire economy. If we don't stand with those fighting poverty wages now, there may be nobody left to stand with us when we finally realize that our rights have also disappeared.