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» babble   » walking the talk   » labour and consumption   » Improving the lot of the working poor

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Author Topic: Improving the lot of the working poor
Babbler # 2534

posted 05 May 2003 12:38 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Several posters on the "mandatory retirement" thread have raised the issue of the inadequate incomes and the lack of protection and benefits accorded to a great many working people in our society. People working at or near the minimum wage aren't just young folks still living at home. A great many adult workers, especially women and people in ethnic minority groups find themselves in such situations for most if not all of their working lives, without enough to live from paycheque to paycheque, let alone build up a pension fund (be it a public, income based fund, a joint employer-employee fund or an RRSP). The cost of basic necessities such as rent (or mortgages, in small towns where even poor people tend to own small houses) and groceries has increased at a far higher rate than across-the-board inflation.

And more and more, the working poor also include "precarious", or "casualised" workers. These can include people doing piecework at home, on call in healthcare or the hospitality industry, or "educated" precarious people like me who work in IT, editing, teaching.

Do babblers have any thoughts on how to improve the lot of the working poor? Of course I still think organisation - union and association organisation - is key.

From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 214

posted 05 May 2003 01:49 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Organizing the service and retail sectors has been, and continues to be problematic for many reasons.

And legislating a higher minimum standards, though always part of the solution, also brings about problems for small business that we should be sensitive to.

I think there should be some way to legislatively encourage very profitable corporations to pay people a decent living, but at the same time not persent undue hardship to "mom and pop" operations.

The other thing I think is important is regulation on those "services" that prey on the working poor. A review of Canada's usurey laws is overdue, along with consumer protection laws.

One thing about being poor is that it's an expensive way to live.

From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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