CEO Pay Gains Far Outpace Rising Wages: The Working People Weekly List

CEO Pay Gains Far Outpace Rising Wages: The Working People Weekly List

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

America’s Safety Net for Workers Hurt by Globalization Is Falling Apart: “‘Our plant, our people, most of them have been there 25-plus years,’ said Mr. Ogg, who is the president of the local United Steelworkers union. ‘You work in the same place that long, that’s all you know.’”

Museum Movements: 2,000 Protest in Philly; Baltimore Votes to Unionize: “Museum unionization actions accelerated in mid-July in two big East Coast cities, Philadelphia and Baltimore. And both campaigns are part of AFSCME’s increasing drive to organize workers at museums and similar arts institutions from coast to coast. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, who addressed the convention before the rally, made that point in speaking to the crowd on the stairs. ‘When I looked across those famous Rocky Steps, I saw the whole story of where we are as a movement,’ Shuler said. ‘We are not only organizing in new places like museums and cultural institutions, we’re leveraging the power of our entire federation—our internationals, our locals, our state federations and our local labor bodies—to do it.’”

CEO Pay Gains Far Outpace Rising Wages, Says New Union Report: “Corporate leaders’ raises far outpaced wage gains that failed to keep up with inflation, said the AFL-CIO, in an annual report that has become widely cited as a measure of inequality trends in the U.S. ‘It’s another version of more for them and less for us,’ said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond on a conference call to introduce the report.”

Lyndhurst’s Medieval Times Workers Vote to Form Chain’s First Union: “Workers at the Middle Ages reenactment venue Medieval Times voted Friday to form a union, marking one of the latest leisure and hospitality businesses to organize amid a labor push coming out of the two-year coronavirus pandemic. The royal performers at the Lyndhurst venue voted 24–11 to form a venue—a first for the dinner theater chain to secure higher wages and safer working conditions, according to a Friday announcement. Friday’s move affects actors, jesters, trumpeters, stunt performers and stable hands, but not the wait staff, according to the announcement by the Medieval Times Performers United, which will join the nationwide union the Variety Artists. ‘We will use our collective voice to bargain a strong first contract,’ reads a Friday statement from this latest chapter of the union.”

White House Fixes Union Pension Rescue Program: “Help really is coming for over 2 million union members, retirees and family members who are participants in distressed union-sponsored multiemployer pension plans. Last year, Congress included a pension rescue program when it passed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package known as the American Rescue Plan. But in July 2021, when the government announced the initial rules to implement the pension rescue program, national AFL-CIO president Liz Shuler and others complained that the way the rules were written, they’d still leave pension plans in trouble. Approximately 10.9 million union workers, retirees and spouses are owed pension benefits by about 1,400 union-sponsored multiemployer pension plans.”

Union Organizing Efforts Rise in First Half of Year: “The number of U.S. workplaces where employees have started trying to organize unions jumped this year to the highest level in half a dozen years, a rise that reflects warming public attitudes toward unions amid a strong labor market. In the first half of the year, workers at 1,411 U.S. workplaces filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board, the first step in joining a union, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data. That represents a 69% increase from the same period in 2021 and the most of any year since 2015. The union push comes as public opinion about organized labor is the most positive in decades. A Gallup poll last year found that 68% of Americans approve of unions, the highest share since 1965.”

The Perri Peltz Show: Labor and the Workforce: “‘But coming together in unions collectively, that’s where you get the power. That’s where you can make the change and actually have a contract that you negotiate, that you sit across the table from an employer and bargain your fair share of the wealth that you are helping create and to make these companies profitable.’—Liz Shuler.”

Sister Campbell, Trumka, 15 Others Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom: “Trumka was president of the AFL-CIO from 2009 until his death in August 2021. The faith of Trumka, a Catholic born to a Polish father and an Italian mother, helped shape a lifelong career in the labor movement. He led the 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO through more than a decade of difficulties, as the percentage of U.S. workers represented by unions continued a slow but steady erosion. Those who were in unions frequently faced unresponsive employers—and workers who organized for union representation faced hostility and threats of firing and job loss. ‘No one did more work for American workers than he did,’ Biden said of Trumka. ‘His work was synonymous with the word that defined his life: dignity, dignity that comes with a good-paying job that builds a good and decent middle-class life.’ Calling Trumka’s advocacy for workers ‘fierce,’ Biden said that his friend of 30 years constantly tried ‘to do what was right for working people’ by fighting for fair wages and protecting their pensions.”

Kenneth Quinnell
Thu, 07/21/2022 – 11:55

Updated: August 1, 2022 — 8:46 pm