Sunday, November 29, 2015

This week in the war on workers: Rising federal taxes aren't the problem for the middle class

This week in the war on workers: Rising federal taxes aren't the problem for the middle class

Turns out, federal taxes on the middle class aren’t so high these days:

Note that the figure includes all federal taxes—the income tax rate faced by these households, meanwhile, is much, much lower. In 2011, for example, the total federal tax rate for the lower-middle fifth of households was 7.9 percent, but the income tax rate was actually negative; the total federal tax rate for the middle-fifth of households in 2011 was 12.3 percent, while their income tax rate averaged just 2.4 percent.

Hmm … if rising federal taxes aren’t the reason middle-class families are feeling such a squeeze—and they are feeling a squeeze—what could it be? Maybe wages, as companies squeeze workers to increase CEO pay and profits?

A fair day’s wage

● A nice little piece of history: When America was overcome with anti-Japanese xenophobia during WWII, one union fought back.

● How higher wages for U.S. autoworkers could help you get a raise, too.

● Here’s what retail workers face in the lead-up to Black Friday and the day of.

● Tech takes the lead on parental leave, but low-wage workers get left behind … with one interesting exception:

While contract workers at Amazon still won’t receive paid leave under the company’s new policy, it has made strides toward ensuring that at least some of its lower-wage workers see some benefits. Nestled in the new Amazon announcement on paid leave for fathers in October was a new category of covered workers: more than 100,000 warehouse and customer service workers who will receive the benefit for the first time.

This move to cover both salaried and hourly workers (though not part-time or temporary employees) makes Amazon a tech outlier when it comes to paid leave. New birth or adoptive parents who have worked for the company for more than a year will now receive six weeks of paid leave, and new birth mothers may now take up to 20 weeks off, including four weeks prior to giving birth.

● Leaving out contract workers is a big deal, but this is still a significant advance in the unequal world of paid leave.

● Nestle confirms labor abuse among its Thai seafood suppliers … and by “labor abuse” we mean “virtual slavery.”

● Silicon Valley bus drivers are offering an example of how to fix American inequality

● A Florida nursing home is paying $287,000 in back wages to 20 workers after the Department of Labor found minimum wage and overtime violations.

● How would you like to be one of the Latino workers making Donald Trump's campaign hats?

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