Workers are left behind as wages stagnate and prices rise

All jobs are not all equal. Some positions have more rights than others, including the ability to negotiate for better wages and benefits, while others have less support and may be forced to accept what they are offered.

This has led more workers to explore ways to solidify their workplace rights. Working Class Perspectives contributor Leo Jennings described what a working class bill of rights could look like when he appeared on the AWF Union Podcast.

Working to make people more equal

Jennings said the PRO Act is needed to create equality in the workplace. Democrats will struggle to pass the PRO Act, as no Republicans are on board with the legislation and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has expressed opposition to removing the filibuster rule.

While many workers have the ability to organize a union, some workers do not. Jennings said it is increasingly difficult to organize a union. Roadblocks such as Supreme Court rulings and National Labor Relations Board decisions can hinder an organizing drive.

Raising wages

Jennings said one component of a working class bill of rights includes an increase in wages. It is celebrated when a business is able to adjust prices related to supply and demand, but wage increases related to supply and demand are never discussed.

He said wages should be raised over time and need to be indexed for inflation. This will provide a boost to states struggling with tax revenue. Higher wages allow consumers to purchase more taxed goods and services, keeping the economy moving.

Student loan debt and higher education

The cost of higher education is ever increasing. Host Ed “Flash” Ferenc told Jennings he was able to go to college nearly 40 years ago for about $3,000. Since then, the cost of a college education has astronomically risen at a quicker rate than inflation.

Jennings said the current model is not working in the modern economy. High school is no longer enough for many people, as a college degree is an interview requirement for many jobs. Universities have realized they can capitalize on this shift and have bumped up prices. He said there needs to be a response to making public higher education more affordable or free.

Owning a home

The residential real estate market is on fire. Homes are being purchased within days and sometimes hours of being put on the market. However, too many people are unable to afford owning a house.

The U.S. is filled with smaller homes that would work for many families and individuals. Jennings said banks are not interested in smaller mortgages because it means less profit. On the other hand, many renters are unable to afford the cost of a down payment on larger homes. Jennings said the federal government should subsidize down payments to help people continue living their normal lives while being able to become homeowners.


America’s Work Force Radio Podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play and wherever you stream your podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on iHeart Radio


AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS THE ONLY DAILY LABOR-RADIO PROGRAM IN THE US AND HAS BEEN ON THE AIR SINCE 1993, SUPPLYING LISTENERS WITH USEFUL, RELEVANT INPUT INTO THEIR DAILY LIVES THROUGH FACT-FINDING FEATURES, IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS, INFORMATIVE NEWS SEGMENTS AND PRACTICAL CONSUMER REPORTS. AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING AN ACCESSIBLE VENUE IN WHICH AMERICA’S WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN HEAR DISCUSSION ON IMPORTANT, RELEVANT TOPICS SUCH AS EMPLOYMENT, HEALTHCARE, LEGISLATIVE ACTION, LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, FINANCES, LOCAL AND NATIONAL POLITICS, CONSUMER REPORTS AND LABOR ISSUES.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, BMA MEDIA GROUP, COLUMBUS-CENTRAL OHIO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, HEAT AND FROST INSULATORS AND ALLIED WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES DISTRICT COUNCIL 6, KELLEY & FERRARO, LLP,  LABOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE, LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, NORTH COAST AREA LABOR FEDERATION, MARITIME TRADES DEPARTMENT, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, UNITED STEELWORKERS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.