“Many low-wage jobs in this country have no paid time off whatsoever, not a day of earned vacation, not a day of sick time” — Anne Kadky
Millions of women in the United States work long hours at full time jobs yet don’t earn enough money to support their families. In this video report, Elizabeth Brackett explains some of the economic principles— such as competition and profit margins— that combine to create low-income jobs, and describes several initiatives to help working women.
One of those initiatives is Working Women for Change, led by Anne Kadky, who has been advocating for working women for 35 years. Working Women for Change organizes highly-paid professional women to try to convince businesses that treating low-wage workers better is good for their bottom line. How do they do this? Do your students think their tactics will work?
There is a lot of information in the report that can inform a discussion about work and the structure of the American economy. The reporter also talks to a Container Store manager, where wages are 50 to 100% higher than the industry average. What are the
reasons this successful chain stays profitable while providing higher wages and more benefits? How do these issues affect your community? Are there local organizations to help the working poor? What do they do? Do your students want to get involved?
Here are some additional resources related to this video.
WomenEmployed.org Web Resources
Women Employed Home Page
Priority Issues Overview
Working Women for Change
Excerpts from Monthly NewsBytes (reports on women’s economic issues)
NewsHour Report:Programs Seek to Aid Low-Paid, Working Women
PBS: P.O.V. Lesson Plan: Waging a Living
Human Rights Watch: Women Workers
HRW Report on Domestic workers: Swept Under the Rug
Living Wage, For and Against
Economic Policy Institute: In Support of a Living Wage
Business Leaders and Investors for a Living Wage
Against the Living Wage: Hudson Institute
Cato Institute Study: ‘Living Wage’ Laws Take Jobs From the Poor