Workers’ wages are stagnating at a time when there is more than enough money to pay them fairly. That’s it.
Robert Reich explains this point very well in his recent essay. He observes:
Until the 1980s, corporate CEOs were paid, on average, 30 times what their typical worker was paid. Since then, CEO pay has skyrocketed to 280 times the pay of a typical worker; in big companies, to 354 times.
Meanwhile, over the same thirty-year time span the median American worker has seen no pay increase at all, adjusted for inflation. Even though the pay of male workers continues to outpace that of females, the typical male worker between the ages of 25 and 44 peaked in 1973 and has been dropping ever since. Since 2000, wages of the median male worker across all age brackets has dropped 10 percent, after inflation.
Employers, simply put, have more than enough money to pay workers fairly and are making bundles of cash. They simply don’t want to pay them their fair share for the profits that their work produces. The stock market is higher than ever. CEO salaries are higher than ever, but workers’ wages are flat or down.
Wage and hour class actions are an important tool in the war between employees and employers for fair wages. They make employers obey the wage and hour laws and make them pay millions when they violate them. I asked some defense attorneys recently what was the most feared lawsuit by employers. They all agreed it was wage / hour class actions.
So, let’s keep them coming. Let’s keep fighting for employees’ rights to at least be paid what they earned.