The minimum wage issue has been debated endlessly, with arguments both for and against its effectiveness. An increase, tested in some states and enacted in others, immeasurably betters the quality of life for low-income families.Read More
In India, corruption in the distribution of government ID cards leaves the poorest without legal identity or protection. A non-profit group is creating and distributing unofficial ID cards and legal aid for day workers in major cities in India.Read More
Bangladesh has often struggled maintaining safety in the workplace. But a new effort ensures that Bangladeshi workers are trained about how to better follow security and safety restrictions to create a safer working environment.Read More
In prison, most inmates are alienated from social practices and can be a tax burden for the states. The Colorado Correctional Industries is a program that positions inmates in different forms of labor such as making stuffed toys, farming fish, picking fruit, tending livestock, and creating crafts to be sold at grocery stores. The program makes inmates into taxpayers instead of tax burdens and offers skills that are useful for future employment once they leave prison.Read More
America’s system of health care is based on an old industrial-era model, without taking into account a decentralized, mobile, independent workforce that remains largely unprotected without health and unemployment insurance. The Freelancers Insurance Company, based in New York State, offers competitive premiums by having their executives receive salaries at low wages. The model keeps costs under control, which in turn makes health care more accessible to independent workers.Read More
In the past five years, as federal and state minimum wage levels failed to keep pace with the cost of living, and as the recession took its toll, the living wage movement has accelerated. Across the United States, more than 125 cities and counties have enacted ordinances or passed ballot initiatives to lift the wages of the working poor.Read More
After years of banning labor unions in Bangladesh, garment workers unionized to fight for higher wages and safer working conditions. For women, this isn't traditionally a space they were welcomed in, but now they’re holding their own meetings to ensure women’s safety is ensured on the job.Read More
Throughout India, wastepickers – people who scour landfills for garbage they can sell to recyclers – live at the bottom of society. But the city of Pune did something radical: with the help of a collective, they did away with expensive garbage trucks, and now all household garbage is collected by wastepickers with pushcarts. Pune saves millions of dollars each year and recycles more – and the wastepickers have decent wages and social standing. The concept is now spreading globally.Read More
For decades, migrant workers in Florida have been employed under dreadful conditions, picking produce without breaks under extreme temperatures and women being sexually harassed. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has demanded that growers increase wages, mandate rest breaks, and prohibit sexual harassment. The Coalition has partnered with big food companies, notably McDonald’s, Yum Brands, and Walmart, which have pledged to buy only from growers who follow these standards.Read More
Many independent workers feel that the battle for affordable health insurance is one they are losing. The Freelancers Union is working to provide protections for “contingent” workers that go beyond just health care.Read More
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