April 10, 2013

Former UNHP Intern and MSNBC Host, Chris Hayes, Highlights Struggles of Low-Wage Workers


On April 4th, the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, Chris Hayes hosted a panel discussion about the fast food workers strike on his MSNBC primetime show All In.  Of course, the issue of low-wage workers in America is larger than the 400 fast food workers who walked out on their jobs last Thursday.  Data from the National Employment Law Project shows that while only 21% of jobs lost in the 2008 recession were low-wage, 58% of the jobs created in the recovery are low-wage.  In 1968, when Dr. King was protesting alongside striking sanitation workers in Memphis, the minimum wage was $1.60.  In today’s dollars, that would be $10.64.  The minimum wage in New York State will go up to $8 in December of this year.

32% of Bronx workers are employed in the service sector, which often has low wages, long hours, and few benefits.  The Bronx is thus disproportionately affected by adverse pay and working conditions for low-wage employees.  Real incomes here have declined 17% since 1989.  Watch the clip from Chris’ show by clicking here for further context on the shifts in our economic and political structures, and join us on May 1st at our 30th Anniversary Forum for a lively discussion on what we can do to move our borough in the right direction!

For more information on our upcoming 30th Anniversary Forum Nowhere to Go: A Crisis of Affordability in the Bronx, click here.