Workers Quitting for a Better Environment in America: Want to Work on Their Own Terms
Workers Quitting for a Better Environment in America: Want to Work on Their Own Terms; Job market strong even after retrenchment
Workers in America now want to work on their own terms. There has been a wave of unrest among workers in America for almost one and a half years. Thousands of employees have left the job for better service conditions. The activities of labour unions have increased.
Some companies are laying off unnecessary employees. Still, the job market situation is strong. This has boosted the morale of the employees. According to government figures, one crore 30 lakh jobs were vacant in October. Between 2000 and 2020, an average of 46 lakh jobs were available this month. According to a New York Fed survey released on December 12, 58% of Americans said they think they will find a new job if they lose their current one.
Thomas Kochan, professor of employment research at the MIT Sloan Management School, says that although conditions encouraging workers have softened, these conflicts will continue in 2023. There will be more strikes. More job contracts will be cancelled. They say the focus of the workers is on the profits made by the companies in the midst of the epidemic.
On the other hand, companies are cutting expenses to make up for the slowdown. People have left jobs in many large companies amid reports of difficult economic prospects. PepsiCo, Amazon, and Goldman Sachs have cut jobs, but the New York Times and Starbucks lost their jobs in December.
The demands of labour unions are not limited to better wages. There are also issues like long working hours and sick leave. In November, four railway unions cancelled their contracts with employers over the leave issue. These issues will arise when many major union contracts expire in 2023.
The United Auto Workers will demand new contracts from the Big Three - General Motors, Ford and Stellantis (Chrysler). The Writers Guild's contract, which represents many TV and film writers, expires in May. The contract between the Teamsters and UPS expires on July 31. This is the biggest agreement between employees and employers in the private sector.
A few years back, in the midst of economic uncertainty, forming a union in an art organization was a difficult task. But Jori Moss, 34, and a group of professional singers did just that in early December. They asked the Philadelphia Orchestra Association to recognize their union so they could negotiate their contracts. The pandemic has changed the situation, says Moss.
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