Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The city of Chicago is taking important steps to protect workers from wage theft. Wage theft complaints around the nation have increased more than 400% over the last decade – as businesses force workers into overtime and don’t compensate them. A study out of the city of Chicago found that over 60% of its workers were underpaid by more than one-dollar an hour. And two-thirds of Chicago workers were not paid the overtime they were entitled to. But now, Chicago is saying enough is enough. The city council approved a measure that will revoke the charter of any business found to be guilty of wage theft. Essentially giving that business the corporate death penalty. This is a positive step forward for workers in that city. But workers all across America need help. The real wage theft that’s taken place over the last thirty years is that workers are no longer being paid for their increased productivity. Over the last thirty years, CEOs have pocketed all the gains from their workers’ increased productivity – so that today corporate profits, as a percentage of GDP, are higher than they’ve ever been – yet working wages, as a percent of GDP, are lower than they’ve ever been. To turn the tide, we have to empower labor unions – and get rid of the Reagan tax cuts, which have incentivized the Billionaire Class to steal more and more of their workers wages.