Today's News & Commentary — January 22, 2016
On Thursday, an NLRB judge ruled that Wal-Mart acted illegally in firing workers that objected to poor working conditions by participating in the “Ride for Respect” protest. Sixteen employees were reinstated.
Perhaps not unrelatedly, the Wall Street Journal reports that Wal-Mart plans to give nearly all of its store employees in the U.S. at least a 2% wage increase. Nearly 1.2 million employees will benefit from the increase. Wal-Mart hopes this move will ultimately help the company reduce the rate at which the company loses store workers (currently about half a million employees per year) and avoid the attendant costs of hiring and training new employees.
According to the New York Times, older workers are attracted to the supplemental income and flexibility that comes with being an Uber driver. According to a 2014-2015 survey, almost one fourth of Uber drivers are aged 50 or above. Older drivers are increasingly signing up to work for the ridesharing company looking to augment their income after retirement in an economy that makes it difficult to find full-time employment. Uber has partnered with AARP and Life Reimagined in an effort to recruit more drivers. While the extra cash and the ability to shape their own employment terms is attractive, many drivers complain that working for Uber as a full-time gig forces them to work upwards 0f 50 hours/week just to earn a living wage.