News & Commentary

July 6, 2021

Zachary Boullt

Zachary Boullt is a student at Harvard Law School.

As pandemic restrictions have loosened across the United States, workers in the restaurant, hotel, retail, and salon industries have received half of all payroll gains in June. Raises and hiring bonuses in those industries have also begun to outpace the overall wage growth rate and inflation, though wages still fall below the overall private-sector average hourly wage.

Yahoo! Finance has reported on an increase in the hiring of teens to fill hiring gaps as businesses reopen. Teenagers accounted for 36% of recent hires in June, in comparison to a median rate of 10% during this same period from 2017 to 2019. Fewer teens are currently out-of-work than at any time over the past six decades. Wages paid to teens have also increased by 13% over the past couple of months.

The Chicago Sun-Times has profiled the recent labor activism of the Industrial Workers of the World. The piece focuses on a recent collective bargaining agreement with Dill Pickle Food Co-Op that the IWW helped secure, along with eight meritorious complaints filed with the NLRB over the co-op’s anti-union activities. The IWW’s international headquarters is still in Chicago and spends much of its time forming and supporting locals and affiliate unions. Representatives of the IWW spoke with optimism when interviewed about growing collective consciousness of issues of labor, imperialism, war, race, and class.

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