Pushing for Livable Prevailing Wage – AFLCIO Economics

A united voice in the workforce is the last remaining bulwark against the influx of corporate dollars in our politics. In this week’s program we first focus on a recent report from the Fiscal Policy Institute that deals with the economics of prevailing wage laws. Our guests, Shirley Aldebol, Vice President of 32 BJ SEIU and Mathew Bogovich, a rank and file member who is detrimentally effected by the lack of prevailing wages in his job classification, graphically describe how workers are exploited when there is no prevailing wage law. Then, on a more macro-economic level William Spriggs, Professor of Economics and  Chief Economist for the AFLCIO describes how the economy can be better structured to benefit working people, and what unions can do to further the economic interests of workers.

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Prevailing Wage Laws

32 BJ SEIU Prevailing WageAs a result of years of challenging and difficult into contract negotiations by their unions,   union members can make a decent living. Unions such as 32 BJ SEIU are campaigning around the issue of “Prevailing Wages”, to ensure that workers in the entire industry, who do the same work, are treated equally.   We will learn about the so called “cleaners” who work in our city schools. There are many different ways they are hired. Some are employed as assistants to custodians and others work for subcontracting maintenance companies. They do most of the work of custodians, but are not paid a living wage. To better understand how the lack of a prevailing wage standard impacts 32 BJ members, we talk to Shirley Aldebol, a Regional President of SEIU 32 BJ, who represents many workers who are adversely impacted by the lack of a prevailing wage. We also speak with Mathew Bogovich, a member of 32 BJ and a cleaner at a school in Manhattan, one of the jobs impacted by the lack of prevailing wage, who describes what the daily grind is like for him.

We learn about #TaleOfTwoCleaners. @32BJ_SEIU is fighting so all workers can have a #LivingWages Tweet this

AFLCIO Economics

William Spriggs AFLCIO EconomicsWilliam Spriggs, the chief economist for the AFLCIO, is responsible for translating the struggles of working people into a language economic policy makers can understand. Professor Spriggs tells us about some of the biggest economic challenges that working people face. The day to day problems of union members are magnified for non-unionized working people. Partisan politics clouds the judgment of our legislators and impacts economic decision making. Hint, everyone is getting it wrong. Unions have the power force the issue, change the dialogue, and pressure our legislators to get it right, notwithstanding the massive injections of Koch Brothers dollars into our political process. They’ve got the dollars, we got the boots on the ground.

Find out how economy can work for working people w/@WSpriggs, economist for @AFLCIO Tweet this

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