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Monday, February 18, 2019

Between monthly meetings at an old church, they stay in touch on Facebook, bonded together by common struggles.

At work, they keep their heads down, grappling with retaliatory managers who cut their hours for slight infractions like needing to pick up a sick child from school. They deal with customers who proposition them sexually, with coworkers who demean and belittle them.

They call themselves the Fannie Lou Hamer Women’s Committee, after the civil rights leader. They number about 100.

They are low-wage workers in Kansas City, employed by America’s favorite fast food franchises and sit-down restaurants, as well as by daycare centers and home healthcare providers.

If you think the fight for raising the minimum wage is simply about paychecks, let these women educate you. They’re vulnerable and they know it. Beyond higher pay, they seek dignity.

The career gripes of the average middle-class woman don’t hold a candle to what these ladies face daily. Their workplace stories are a catalogue of routine disregard of basic employment law. Sexual harassment is the most egregious, but there are other indignities, such as the mother who got hassled about wanting to leave work when her child had to go to the hospital.

The committee’s meetings are a bit covert. The members, after all, need to keep their jobs and are highly vulnerable to the whims of the managers they are organizing to resist. They’re working to build support among employees at stores so that if any employee presses a grievance she will have allies. The women envision eventually having a union.

They all aspire to “really good jobs” — such as work in warehouses, where full-time slots and benefits like paid time off, maternity leave and even a regular schedule can be found. But they say they don’t usually qualify for those positions.

Why not? Because mostly they have high school educations and no trade training. Many are from families of multi-generational poverty and unstable family networks. They were born into these situations, and it’s very hard to escape. Desire to work hard does not do the trick.

They say they are routinely hired at lower wages than men with similar experience and education levels. And the men tend to be the ones given the chances to advance.

Data bears out the frustration these women feel. Women make up two-thirds of the nearly 20 million low-wage workers in America, according to the National Women’s Law Center, which defines low-wage work as that earning $10.10 or less. A 2014 study of the center found that women in such positions, working full time, have a 13 percent wage gap with men — higher for minority women.

This has dire consequences for the future of the economy and family stability — especially given that low-wage jobs are the ones have returned in higher numbers in the post-recession economy.

Sexual harassment is pervasive and well-documented. A study by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United found that significant number of women feared “financial loss, public humiliation or job termination if they tried to report sexual harassment from management and customers.”

One recent meeting of the Fannie Lou Hamer Women’s Committee focused on that reality. Groping of their bodies and outright solicitations for sex acts, things that would send white-collar women running to human resources, are brushed aside by low-wage employers.

“They definitely take advantage,” one woman said of supervisors. They hold incredible power over the women simply by controlling when they are scheduled to work and how many hours they can get.

Another woman eloquently made the argument that raising their wages and ensuring schedules with regular hours would ultimately aid society.

“I promise you, we’d be better parents,” she said, detailing how it would mean to be able to stick to a set a schedule and avoid shuffling kids between friends and relatives with ever-changing work shifts, not to mention having a larger financial cushion.

A handful of the committee’s members recently returned from a five-day training session in Chicago, the Midwest School for Women Workers.

There they learned about historic labor movements, employment law and labor standards. But what impressed them the most, was learning from female labor rights leaders from Mexico and Turkey.

“I encourage you to use whatever struggles you are a part of and let it make you stronger every day,” one of the labor activists encouraged the larger group.

The women of the Fannie Lou Hamer Women’s Committee take solace in the fact that they are not being targeted by government officials or being beaten or disappeared, threats the foreign organizers faced.

But their lives are grim enough, and middle-class America, stressed as it is, owes it to them to guarantee conditions where all can work with dignity and financial security.

(Mary Sanchez is an opinion-page columnist for The Kansas City Star. Readers may write to her at: Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108-1413, or via e-mail at msanchez@kcstar.com.)

(c) 2016, THE KANSAS CITY STAR. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC

Photo: Tracy Duve serves nachos at Tony’s I-75 Restaurant in Birch Run, Michigan, October 15, 2006.   REUTERS/Molly Riley

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50 responses to “Low-Wage Workers Want Respect, Regular Shifts And Better Wages”

  1. Sand_Cat says:

    But they’re targeted by Republicans and other “conservatives,” as lazy, unmotivated, stupid and otherwise unworthy, ungrateful, and selfish. The GOP says it wants to create opportunity, but it clearly doesn’t, where people like these are concerned.

    • tbs says:

      No, not Republicans or conservative thinking! But these fast food industries jobs are meant, for entry level jobs for young people who are just out of high school and for those going off to college, to learn how to work and responsibility! It is also for those who, do not want to go on to higher learning, to make more money to better themselves.
      It is also for the foreign person, to learn American ways and grow into the work industry here, to work themselves up the ladder, for a better job!
      This is no different than what I had to do when I was young and made it! Anyone can do it if they want to!
      If we coddle the people who think it is owed to them they willNEVER make it here or anywhere, including in college!
      It is a proven fact!

      • Patricia McCullough says:

        so you think it is OK for young people who have NO opportunity to go to school, etc be paid SUB-minimum wages, harassed at work & treated badly because they work as waitresses or in fast food. Aren’t you the compassionate one. You do realize that these jobs are no longer the purview of kids and foreign born workers, don’t you? Try doing research. If someone goes to work everyday we, the taxpayer should NOT have to subsidize their health care, food & housing. Your thinking is what gives corporations the impetus to pay low wages, because they KNOW the rest of us will actually support low wage workers. Nice try!!

      • charleo1 says:

        What you say is true, in a heathy economy with sufficient opportunity for advancement, and higher education. Fast food jobs were in another time an excellent entry level vehicles for younger people or immigrants just arriving here, and starting what they hope will be their brighter futures in the bountiful land of the free. The problem with that description is it no longer reflects the realities of today. With the average fast food worker being not a high schooler saving for a car, or college education. But, a thirty-something year old, parent, struggling with housing, healthcare, child care, and transportation. With many of those unmet necessities being subsidized by everyone else’s tax dollars. Having he effect of padding the record profits of some of the biggest corporations in the World. It’s really a serious look at who’s actually being coddled. If we are talking about it in those terms.

      • idamag says:

        I wonder why Norway, the most socialistic country, has no poverty and the best schools in the world – and that is a proven fact.

  2. Dominick Vila says:

    They do, and they want all that without having to make sacrifices, and doing what it takes to meet the challenges that exist in the 21st century.
    I support a higher minimum wage, better benefits, and better advancement opportunities for our workforce, but I am disturbed by the unrealistic expectations, the lack of commitment, and the irresponsibility of those who refuse to prepare themselves to qualify for a better job, and a better life.

    • charleo1 says:

      I agree with what you said. Especially the part about many needing to realize their waitress job, or other such position, it is what it is, and is always going to be pretty much that way. So the solution is not so much to change the job by hoping the gov. may one day impose rules that will automatically improve their lot in life. But it is going to be up to them to take their future in their own hands. To stop fantasizing that somehow it’s all going to work out without any additional effort of their part. That that’s not how things work in America. That for most of us common folk of modest means, life at its core is hard, bosses are often arbitrary, and unfair. And it’s almost always up to us to change things for the better. This is a particularly personal subject for me, as my youngest daughter, a very hard worker, two jobs, conscientious, well spoken, no drugs, great kid. And for the better part of 20 years I’ve begged her to go back to school, or take some kind of job training. (I’ve offered to pay.) She has none of the usual prohibitive burdens of children, significant other, lack of academic ability. But absolutely no plans of taking her Father’s advice on this. And, I’m not so naive as think she’s alone in her thinking. So, of course I believe in providing every opportunity, every ladder up available to those who seek a better way. But also knowing first hand, that at the end of the day its all up to the individual to make what they will of their lives.

      • Patricia McCullough says:

        so YOUR daughter has more opportunity, but if you really read the story you would discover MANY have no opportunity for schooling or training. Get that?? NO opportunity. I am lucky in that my one child who did not go to college is a food server in a Las Vegas casino, and it is a union job, paying her very well with lots of benefits. But, again…we know not everyone has that opportunity. It IS up to the government to insure these people are paid a decent wage, NOT harassed on the job, etc.

        • charleo1 says:

          I could not agree more with everything you say. In America no one should be exploited, and taken advantage of, period. And it has to be the job of gov. to pass adequate legislation, and see that enforcement is carried out to insure that doesn’t happen. I do however want to see included with that very important message, within this movement toward social justice, the equally important message, that the ultimate responsibility for making their dreams for the future reality, and their aspirations for their own children, rests largely with themselves. Acknowledging the many excellent points in what you say.

          • Patricia McCullough says:

            true….I am 70 and was a single Mom for many, many years. I was lucky and even when I did work minimum wage jobs I was able to pay the rent, buy food & clothing for my children and had an opportunity for advancement. I also had a family that backed me. Sadly, not everyone has that. Eventually I was able to get better jobs, and worked UNION from then on. I now have a comfortable retirement. It was not that hard 50 years ago…

          • charleo1 says:

            And Unions. If we could but reestablish just a small part of their influence on wages, and benefits like healthcare, and retirement.
            This chasm between the uber rich, and everyone else, along with
            the devastating effects of a disappearing middle class on our overall
            economy. This could become a conversation of the past.

          • John Hayes says:

            how do union wages compete with the wages in asia?

          • John Hayes says:

            Who regulates government?

          • charleo1 says:

            You ask as if you believe government has no restraints. That you buy into to the corporately invented trope once trotted out by Reagan, and now being bull horned by an anti-gov. Corporatoocracy. That any gov. action, initiative, law, regulation, tax, etc. can only be part of the problem, never a part of the solution. So who regulates gov.? The people do, if they participate. Working within a system of laws, and founding principles expressed thru the Constitution, and Bill of Rights, based on the dispersement of authority between three branches. Each designed to limit the scope and reach of gov. That serves to regulate, and thus limit the power of the State. Or were you just being obtuse, and facetious?

          • John Hayes says:

            we are uncompetitive in the world market and all we do is tax and regulate more to make us even more uncompetitive

        • idamag says:

          Yes! It would be nice if there were no rules, regulations, gurantees by the government because people were such good people they weren’t needed. Unfortunately, that is not the way people are. They have to be regulated because they are so selfish.

    • Independent1 says:

      Sorry Dominick, I have to disagree with your assessment. If everyone in America “prepared themselves to qualify for a better job”, and had the mindset that you’re suggesting, do you really think there would be enough of those “better jobs” for everyone in America?? And exactly who do you think would do the ‘menial jobs’ that these people are doing while only asking that employers not game the system against them by refusing to pay livable wages, deliberately cutting their hours so they can’t qualify for benefits and even have been shown like McDonald’s, cheating them out wages?

      It’s unfortunate that the majority of Americans fail to realize, that it’s in fact those who do many of the ‘menial jobs’ in America, who actually are keeping America working. Without the immigrants in America, especially those illegals who are willing to work for dirt cheap wages, the American economy would come to a standstill. Many sectors of our economy would not even be viable, without ‘the unskilled people’ people we have in America that are willing to do menial jobs like pick crops, do the grunt work in construction like sometimes digging ditches, carrying bricks and shingles or cleaning up rooms in the hotel industry and serving tables at restaurants.

      Without these people you, and clearly the right-wingers on this site appear to love to denigrate, many companies in America, especially in the agriculture, construction and travel industries would go belly up and the American economy would collapse.

      Not every person born has the mindset, fortitude, intelligence or is given the opportunity in life (many are held back by where they were born, what color their skin is, or what ethnic background they came from, and/or whatever else it takes to ‘prepare themselves for a better job’. Not to mention that there are thousands of people ‘doing the jobs that this article is all about, who through no fault of their own – or actually because of the fault of our government, have found themselves later in life unable to find a job FOR WHICH they have tons of experience and did in fact, spend years of their lives preparing for.

      • charleo1 says:

        Can I agree with both you and Dom? Because there are many issues the gov. can, and must address for the lowest paid workers. Such as a living wage, healthcare, and accommodations for parents with newborns, or sick children, that should, and could be very easily made by employers. That’s if they cared about their hires. If it wasn’t so much easier to simply replace them, than to make the smallest effort, a few pennies of profit, to do the right thing. And of course we all collectively pay for those self serving decisions. The lost jobs, and eviction notices, the fact that 2/3 of our Nation’s poorest are children. The uncollectible emergency room bills. The insurance to pay for those millions of visits, are almost never a part of the deal offered to the Nation’s servant class. A statement by Papa John’s Founder, John Schnatter is something that struck me as classic corporate mindset. In opposing ACA. he said the cost of one of his pies might, that’s might, increase a whole .12 cents, if he were to provide the minimum coverage the law would require to the thousands of already underpaid workers in his mega franchise. To which I thought, who does Mr. Schnatter suppose is paying for their healthcare costs now? And who does he believe rightly should? Or does such thoughts even occur to him? Probably not. As they evidently don’t occur to many of us much further down the income scale either. This who worry about what a higher minimum wage would mean in terms of the cost of a hamburger, or pizza. Leading myself to believe we must start caring about each other more in this Country, if we are to ever have a reasonable expectation things are going to improve for ourselves.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          You know what the joke is about Papa John’s? He is lying lying lying. If you have ever walked into one of his establishments, you see mostly immigrant workers.

          That means John Schnatter is not just a liar. He is also a tax cheat because you can bet he has a recruiter who does the hiring and paying of paychecks for him. All Schnatter the Skunk has to do is pay the recruiter’s commission.

          • charleo1 says:

            It’s sad, and all too true. Our economy is half of what it could be, the obvious challenges of globalism taken into account. Opportunities for our youth today are fewer, harder to come by, and secondary education is literally being priced out of reach for all but the most advantaged. As investment in our Country, and our kids, is constantly referred to as big government waste. Or big government’s unhealthy interference in a free market. As drivers of the National debt we can ill afford, and so on. We also have one political organization that has devolved into nothing but an advancement mechanism for further rigging an already skewed system favoring the top half of one percenters to the exclusion of all else. And of late, in the days after Citizens United, are completely unapologetic about it. Believing their big donor’s money, having bought their loyalty, will immune them from accountability, no matter what their political fortunes may hold.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            Once you take into account how much the massive obstruction of the Republican Party has impacted jobs since 2001, you see that at no other time in US history would any administration deliberately obstruct the right of ALL Americans to have access to gainful employment.

            If this Great Recession occurred in the 1950s, President Eisenhower would instantly have demanded action to increase jobs.

            The reality is that the ONLY jobs the GOP want to create are those that end up taking more out of employees wages…oil, coal and fracking.

            It was the GOP who twice now have refused to pass a bill to repair infrastructure. That funding would have created jobs for millions.

            It was the GOP was defunded the solar energy initiatives and used one failed company, Solyndra, as their ONLY proof that solar was not going to work. Gee that’s funny. Arizona a Republican state ranks No. 2 in Solar Energy production here in the US and if you check the DOL stats on how many jobs solar, without ANY federal funding has created, in 2016, nearly 160,000 solar jobs were created in design, small parts and panel fabrication manufacturing and installation.

            The Republicans and ONLY the right wing Republicans have a whole lot to answer for with their mass obstruction of jobs creation.

          • idamag says:

            Our economy is full of sleazes like him. Before ACA, drug companies were paying their CEO’s 22 billion dollar bonuses while poor people could not afford medicine. Applebees did the same thing as Papa John. They and Denny’s told their employees that if Obama got in, they would have to lay off some people. I am very good at boycotting and think everyone should be.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            I so agree. To me, Greed causes poverty. How can it not? When a greedy man want it “all,” and then takes it, taking from others is bound to not be replenishable without some massive infusion of additional income.

            I also boycott these nuts. It is my fervent hope that Papa John’s, Hobby Lobby, Denny’s and Home Depot, lose so much market share here in the US.

            The problem is that for these greedy billionaires, what they can’t steal from Americans, the long arm of their greed steals offshore.

            I am hoping that Hillary will be the first president to put a stop to inversions by coporations like Papa John’s who pay less taxes than their customers. If they are so dependent on our tax dollars, they are literally stealing from their own taxpayer employees.

          • idamag says:

            Let us hope Hillary can. According to polls, there is a large segment of the American People who believe she should be in jail, thanks to the fascist propaganda.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            I always call a winger’s bluff. I tell them…If she should be in jail, YOU put her there. That usually shuts those overbloated egotistical mouths pretty fast.

            Nothing like a do-nothing right winger who can’t do what they pretend they can.

        • Jim Samaras says:

          Unfortunately we are going back to what the world has known for thousands of years. A world of have’s and have not’s. The middle class is and has been an anomaly in this country for the last 80 years created largely after WWII destroyed the manufacturing capacity of the rest of the world. We were the only game in town to reconstruct the world. Enough time has passed and now that we have a global economy and technology has replaced many of the menial factory jobs we are going back to what would be considered normal by the standards of historical perspective. It’s unfortunate that human nature being what it is, a few more fortunate individuals take advantage of their situation to the detriment and exploitation of the unskilled labor that is now abundant in this country. I certainly don’t know the answer to this conundrum but to blame either side of the aisle for this situation is to ignore the fact that this is no aberration at this point and time.

          • charleo1 says:

            I sadly must agree. I also do not profess to have the answers. But I do believe it not so necessary that we, the common worker, need to take it on the chin so bluntly with every passing advancement of globalism. Otherwise, the entire system at some point becomes so predatory as to become unsustainable, and thus wholly undesirable to even the elitist of the elite. In economic terms, a point of diminishing returns for growth, and profit is created, when the majority of exploited customers become at last too broke to buy. The problem for Americans, and thus America, is with the more than 3.5 billion souls living on less than .75 cents a day. The raising up of emerging economies, by joining advanced technology with extremely inexpensive labor, and nearly insatiable demand on the back end, provides the potential for stratospheric profits for the fortunate few. Who, by the way, see no reason to change for some esoteric theories in lack of sustainability, at some time in the future.
            Their jobs as CEOs, and in a larger sense, as Capitalists, is to maximize profits. That’s the way it’s supposed to work they’ll tell you. That in Capitalism there is no profit to be gained in social justice. No advantage in upholding any particular strain of democracy over authoritarianism.
            Both, as China is demonstrating, can work equally well. That putting conscience over higher dividends for stockholder is not what their salaries, and stock options are about. And therefore, there is no fiduciary responsibility on their part to go worrying about this.

          • Jim Samaras says:

            Glad to see we finally agree on a subject! I’m not so sure that the Chinese economy is as rosy as their propaganda may project to the rest of the world given that they have built cities that have no population at this point. It may very well be a house of cards but only time will tell as their media outlets are controlled by that regime even worse than ours.

      • dtgraham says:

        Well put Independent. Very well put. One of the signs of a wealthy successful capitalist economy is that even the waitresses and garbage collectors can have decent wages, full health care, child support, access to post secondary education, etc… In other words, even they have a piece of the pie. We’re not talking $100,000 dollar houses and annual vacations in exotic locales. We’re just talking about some kind of a life. As Bernie said, if you work full time you should not be living in poverty, and you should always see a ladder up if you’re able.

        • Independent1 says:

          I totally agree. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t people who are trying to game the system and are too unmotivated to actually work to help themselves; but my guess is that the vast majority of those people are ones who grew up in privileged homes where the parents let their kids get away with doing nothing but playing games on their plethora of up-to-the-minute smart phones and gaming devices. To where these people’s kids got the notion early on that the world owes them something.

          Many are too quick to let today’s CEOs and entrepreneurs off the hook by claiming that it’s not these greedy shysters trying to take advantage to the maximum extent the situation the GOP has allowed America to get into by destroying unions, enacting right-to-pay-you-less laws in virtually every state they govern and doing everything they can to ensure that demand for products in America is dumbed down.

          All 25 of the states where people have the less free cash to go out and buy consumer goods, the states with the lowest consumer spending, are you guessed it, GOP-run states.

          21 of the 24 states where the highest percentages of the population live below the poverty level, are GOP-run states.

          And to prove just how decadent GOP governance really is, the state with the 2nd highest GDP in America, Texas, is 34th in the consumer spending. Showing clearly that even where there are supposedly good jobs, the GOP has seen to it that those jobs DON’T PAY A TRUE LIVING WAGE!!

          So the problem clearly isn’t that there are large numbers of Americans who won’t try to improve themselves, instead, the problem is that the GOP has not only allowed employers to screw over the people they employ, the state has also screwed up the education system and mindset of the people living in that state, in a way that deprives the people in that state from being able to advance their lives, even if they had a strong desire to do that (one way they’ve done that is by forcing the majority of their state’s residents to live at a borderline poverty level, with minimal association with the outside world where living is better, and by doing very little to let their residents learn about ways to improve their lives).

          It’s not by accident that Texas is the state with the fewest people who have a college degree; and most of the states that follow Texas with having the least people who have attended college, are as you guessed it, GOP-run states.

          • John Hayes says:

            You should do some real research instead of assume

          • charleo1 says:

            What does this sound like to you? “21 of the 24 states where the highest percentages of the population live below the poverty level, are GOP-run states. As are the 25+ states with the most people living on the brink of bankruptcy.” That’s research. You many not like it’s findings. So you may deny it’s veracity. But you may not call his post an assumption.

          • John Hayes says:

            the poor cannot afford to live in blue states and 84% of those poor in red states vote blue

          • charleo1 says:

            Blue States on average do better economically. Have higher High School, and college attendance and graduation rates. Have better medical access, higher numbers of insured, and lower poverty rates. And as a result, use less public assistance than Red States. Young people find more opportunities to advance their education, and businesses find a better educated workforce as a result. This is how Blue States stay Blue and prosperous. And how their taxes pay the freight for the majority of Red States who would be budgetary basket cases without them. States who’s low wage, and anemic trickle down economies often need to take 2 to 3 times from the Federal Treasury than what they are able to contribute. And if it were only true that 84% of the poor voted their best interests, it wouldn’t be close. The larger reality being, the poor have always tended not to vote at all.

    • idamag says:

      Refer to 788eddie’s song above. If we had 100% college degrees, who’s going to haul your trash?

      • Dominick Vila says:

        Having a college degree is not a requirement to be successful, but it opens doors and makes it easier to meet the requirements to qualify for a good paying job. My original post was not meant to imply that everyone should have a college degree. My point, which I did not make clearly enough, is that we are responsible for the decisions we make, and must accept the consequences of our decisions. Those who only have a high school diploma, or dropped out from high school, and those unwilling to work night shift, or drive 30 minutes to work, must that the reason for their inability to live in a gated community, vacation in exotic places, drive a Rolls, and have a beautiful yacht, is not because our socio-economic system is rigged, and favors the wealthy…although there is no question that our tax policies, trade policies, and other economic policies do exactly that.
        Every society needs people to do menial work, and there is nothing wrong with doing that type of work, but engaging in unrealistic expectations, and blaming those who spent years educating themselves, and who made sacrifices to get to where they are, is not the way to go.

  3. rednekokie says:

    I totally agree. And I would add, that until we do something about alleviating this situation, probably through the national government, there is no chance ever of becoming truly a land of the free. The U. S. continues to have a “slave state” mentality, with each social strata looking down on the one below it. This is not only sad, but disgusting, and will only be stopped when we realize that it takes all of us — not just a privileged few, to maintain a free country.

  4. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    Here are some facts I learned about what businesses are REALLY doing to employees today. For those who have long ago retired or are in the process, be glad you are not in this butcher shop.

    Back in the 80s, I interviewed job applicants for mostly tech jobs in computer science, engineering, chemistry, manufacturing management and finance. In those days, job applicants were armed with the knowledge of their rights as employees.

    Fast forward. When I decided to write this article, I knew it required a bit of research. So I did what I once did as a recruiter, applied for jobs I knew I was either not qualified for or wouldn’t accept in a million years in offered.

    The first thing I saw in this research was a shock to say the least. Nearly ALL of the job openings were through TEMP agencies, although it was like pulling teeth to get these recruiters to admit that. So, Bait and Switch is alive and well. You bait the job applicant by telling them the salary is “competitive” until they were forced to admit that really meant competitive to the lowest salaries paid.

    Then, the bait was thrown out about how after 90 days “probation” job applicants are reviewed and “if” their job performance “warrants it” they get an “increase.” In reality, that increase is less than a half a cent a day. But, in order to “earn” that “increase” you must agree to work overtime at your regular hourly wage. Fair? No. Honest? No. Legal? NO.

    Worse, a lot of these recruiters outright asked me if I spoke Spanish. If I dared to ask why, they ended the interview with lightening speed. Truth be told, these recruiters do the hiring. Their client companies do NOT. That gets these businesses out of having to pay ANY of their fair share of employee taxes. All they pay is for a 90 day recruiter who makes a huge commission hiring gluts of employees and then dumping them before the 90 days is over

    Now, one question remains. Remember 2 decades ago when the big bitch was that because oil prices were Soooooooooooo high these businesses ALL had to increase their prices? Well…Oil prices around the country are down to $2 a gallon or less.

    Funny thing. These greedy pigs didn’t reduce their prices when oil prices decreased did they? So, now employees still pay highest prices for garbage goods and services and how dare they expect any wage increases?

  5. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    In proper perspective, I see now why the ultra CON men are so hot to use recruiters to hire and pay the employees who are employees of skunk companies like Williams Sonoma who claims because they are a CA company, they do not have to abide by laws in any of the other states they are located in. Meanwhile, this is one of the skunk companies who uses a Hispanic recruiter to fill out the working staff at barely minimum wages.

    If ever we needed labor reformers like Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair or Lincoln Steffens, it is now. The US has always had laws that protect workers from skank employers. But with the glut of new immigrants to the US, these employers are literally and figuratively getting away with massive worker exploitation.

    They have NO right to cheat, lie or steal from their own employees who are also having payroll tax deductions taken that pay Mr. Employer all of those nice fat tax subsidies he feeds off of from the federal government.

    • John Hayes says:

      Can you post ant proof of big fat subsidy checks? Or do you mean the tax codes our federal government approves for businesses?

      • Eleanore Whitaker says:

        Yes of course I have proof of big fat tax subsidies. Go to the GAO.gov site and you can find how much in federal funding is handed in CASH to states who then hand it to corporations.

        You need to know that I was an accounting manager for nearly 25 years. So I do know the difference in tax codes and tax funding. For example, the big bitch by CON men was when President Obama gave Solyndra $350,000 in tax funding and Solyndra went belly up. Those were not tax cuts.

        Here in NJ, Governor Fat Mouth handed one corporation $62 billion in tax breaks for a period of 65 years. So, a tax cut is simply that the corporation pays $62 billion less in taxes. However, no business ever lasts 62 years does it? So, that $62 billion is transferable to other uses as the corporation deems best.

        Funding is given by the SBA and/or the House of Representatives. Why don’ t you know this?

        For example, Alaskans all get a part of the $17 billion oil funding in $1200 checks annually. It is money handed to them from the Big Energy subsidies in cash.

        • John Hayes says:

          so corporate profits are the property of government? if that company didn’t get the tax break, what are the chances the company would have relocated somewhere else in the country or world. How would have that effected the local economy with no businesses?

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            Obviously, you forget that Big Oil TOOK $17 billion this year from federal tax dollars as a subsidy. Not a $17 billion cut…$17 billion in cold hard cash.

            Do you always think you can just take, take, take what others pay for and then owe zip in giving back?

            You bet that businesses owe the government. But, as a former business owner and also having worked in 2 major corporations, that word “profit” is another word for corporate corruption.

            When I worked on corporate budgets, I saw how much of the profits are hidden under nebulous accounts. I saw clearly how the word “profit” was translated to mean “loss” and all they had to do was trump (no pun intended) up some bogus business expense.

            First of all, businesses rely heavily on our natural resources. They owe some payback when they use them. They owe because they use our infrastructure far more frequently and in greater volume than any individual taxpayers. That should be FREE too? And when they don’t pay, individual taxes go through the roof.

            The reality is that NO corporation has a right to ONE DIME of our tax dollars. Irresponsible men like you think you can just lap up tax dollars and tax cuts and then you owe nothing? Think again.

            When did it become OUR responsibility to keep the boy geniuses who own businesses in existence? That is YOUR responsibility. Not ours.

    • David Reno says:

      Eleanore

      I agree with you. I wonder how many readers have a clue as who Lincoln Steffins, Ida M. Tarbell, or Upton Sinclair.

      As to tax breaks, recommend to the reader: Philip M. Stern’s The Great American Treasury Raid, revised as The Rape of the Taxpayer, Donald Bartlett and James Steele’s America: Who Really Pays the Taxes?, and David Cay Johnston’s Perfectly Legal.

      Keep writing.

      Reno

  6. 788eddie says:

    I’m reminded of the song “Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall” by Tom Russell

    I’ve got 800 miles of open border
    Right outside my door
    There’s minute men in little pick up trucks
    Who’ve declared their own damn war

    Now the government wants to build
    A barrier like old Berlin 8 feet tall
    But if uncle Sam sends the illegals home
    Who’s gonna build the wall?

    Who’s gonna build your wall boys?
    Who’s gonna mow your lawn?
    Who’s gonna cook your Mexican food
    When your Mexican maid is gone?

    Who’s gonna wax the floors tonight
    Down at the local mall?
    Who’s gonna wash your baby’s face?
    Who’s gonna build your wall?

    Now I ain’t got no politics
    So don’t lay that rap on me
    Left wing, right wing, up wing, down wing
    I see strip malls from sea to shining sea

    It’s the fat cat white developer
    Who’s created this whole damn squall
    It’s a pyramid scheme of dirty jobs
    And who’s gonna build your wall?

    Who’s gonna build your wall boys?
    Who’s gonna mow your lawn?
    Who’s gonna cook your Mexican food
    When your Mexican maid is gone?

    Who’s gonna wax the floors tonight
    Down at the local mall?
    Who’s gonna wash your baby’s face?
    Who’s gonna build your wall?

    We’ve got fundamentalist Moslem’s
    We’ve got fundamentalist Jews
    We’ve got fundamentalist Christians
    They’ll blow the whole thing up for you

    But as I travel around this big old world
    There’s one thing that I most fear
    It’s a white man in a golf shirt
    With a cell phone in his ear

    Who’s gonna build your wall boys?
    Who’s gonna mow your lawn?
    Who’s gonna cook your Mexican food
    When your Mexican maid is gone?

    Who’s gonna wax the floors tonight
    Down at the local mall?
    Who’s gonna wash your baby’s face?
    Who’s gonna build your wall?

  7. idamag says:

    It is those, who labor, who have built civilization. In medieval times, the worker was the elite of society. There has been a deliberate devaluing of the working class. This is to feed greed. Treat them shoddy, pay them crappy and destroy their self esteem. In the first place, to make the customer pay the rest of their wages, via tips, is unfair and greedy. Then there are those who don’t even tip or under tip. When it comes tax time, taxes to wait staff is figured on the total number of sales that person handled. If you cannot afford to tip, you cannot afford to eat out in the first place. When I go dutch to lunch with someone who throws two or three dollars down, no matter what his meal cost, I add to his tip and make sure he sees me do it. Then I try to avoid going to lunch with that person again. I’m sure some of you saw that post on facebook where a waitress put a copy of a ticket, under tip, it said, “None N*****r. Americans are not pretty people.

  8. 2ThinkN_Do2 says:

    This same kind of treatment exists no matter what wage you make or what field you work in . . . . disrespect knows nothing of wages, and education and or wealth has nothing to do with the the behavior exhibited by either side of the equation.

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