Whether you call it “Striketober,” “Strikevember” or something else, there’s no denying the fact that American workers are having a moment.
After enduring decades of wage stagnation, rising economic inequality and an unrelenting assault on their rights in statehouses and the courts, workers are finally pushing back.
Millions are quitting their jobs or are going on strike. This doesn’t mean there’s a labor shortage. It means there’s a shortage of good paying, family sustaining jobs.
It shouldn’t require a once in a century pandemic to remind us that the cost of labor is not just whatever the boss is willing to pay. It should reflect the cost of ensuring employees have the requisite skills, and that their work sites are safe. It should enable workers to afford housing, health care, food, transportation and other basic needs near their jobs.
Yet too often it does not. And when that happens, these costs are pushed onto the backs of taxpayers in the form of food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid.