The middle class has been on a steady slide for decades. Signs of this slide are all around us: anemic wage growth, historic income inequality, chronic unemployment and underemployment and, not coincidentally, the steady erosion of workers’ freedom to join unions and bargain for fair wages and benefits. At the same time, American households are facing rising costs that far outpace their stagnant wages. The result is that tens of millions of Americans are stuck in middling jobs that cannot support a family, while a select few enjoy the benefits of rampant inequality.
To Washington, D.C. insiders, this month’s budget negotiations are just the latest partisan exercise in a series of manufactured crises that too often result in short-term solutions. But for those who live and work outside of the Beltway bubble, much more is at stake.
Marking one of his first actions in office, Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed an executive order, promoting equal pay for equal work for women. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO released the following statement following the announcement:
This past weekend in Houston, the AFL-CIO hosted its Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference, with a theme of "Reclaiming Our Dream: Strategize, Organize, Mobilize." Hundreds of working family advocates came together to shift the rules and build power so that working communities can thrive and families can enjoy the fruits of their labor.