Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Changed World For Workers

The "new" economy of globalization, deregulation, and high incomes for the few is one in which many workers can no longer expect long-term employment, health insurance, or secure pensions from employers, nor incomes that rise much over their lifetime. In this era of flexible labor markets, the right of firms to lay off workers at will should be matched by the right of workers to find another job at decent pay quickly, backed by unemployment insurance high enough to maintain them while they look for another job. And unemployment insurance should cover all the unemployed, rather than the roughly 42% who receive it now.

In short, we need a new social contract. The uncertainties of the new global economy require that the government accepts responsibility for ensuring that people who want work can find it, that full-time work provides an income sufficient to support a family, and that alternatives to formerly employment-based protections are available. These policies would serve the economy as a whole as well as workers and their families.

The proposal of the National Jobs for All Coalition, Shared Prosperity and the Drive for Decent Work, promises to begin the creation of a new social contract. Its focus on decent work is even more pertinent now, with the developing economic crisis: it meshes job creation with the well-known needs to repair our crumbling infrastructure and to expand social services to meet the new reality of many one-parent families and those in which both parents work.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


WPA Posters

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.