Article on Living and Minimum Wages: Choosing the High Road

Topics: Minimum wage, Employment, Employment compensation Pages: 1 (336 words) Published: April 23, 2005
According to Kraut, Klinger, and Collins' article, "Choosing the High Road," in the 1980's established a significant gap between the living wage and minimum wage. Both living and minimum wages have about a two dollar difference, as oppose the pervious years, and the difference is only increasing. In 1985, minimum wage was about three dollars and the living wage was around five; this was approximately at the time of the Hormel/P-9 controversy. Not only was the alteration between both living and minimum wages increasing but this was a time of high unemployment in the Midwest.

In the time of this remuneration downfall and unemployment, Hormel employees experienced drastic pay cuts. The reactions of Hormel employees were just a slight bit unfair and unjust to the employees, the company and consumers. However, some would think different. Such as William H. Wynn, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers, he felt the actions taking by the Hormel employees were way to drastic and attacked the employees for its ""suicidal strategy," and issued a seven-page statement smearing the strike to the AFL-CIO Executive Board meeting in Bal Harbour, Florida, on February 17, 1986." Hormel's disappointed employees formed the union organization, Local P-9, in dispute of the pay cuts. Local P-9 intentions were to increase the newly pay-cuts and for better medical benefits. No one can argue their reasons for wanting to do so; however, members of Local P-9 actions were a little far fetched. So far fetched that about 420 jobs at Hormel were lost because "In October 1984, the company had unilaterally reduced wages from $10.69 an hour to $8.25" this isn't all that bad considering the living wage in 1984 was five dollars. In addition to the wage decrease the price for losing $2.44 an hour is not as bad as losing

your job for good. In some cases, the job Hormel was the only job they've ever have had.
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