A decent minimum wage is a central part of lifting workers out of poverty, but there are many other changes that need to be made to push back against low-wage and precarious work. Workers need hours that they can live on, paid sick days so they can afford to get well, better protections from reprisals and easier access to unionization, and laws that protect everyone and are enforced. A $15 minimum wage and Fairness at work is how we will build decent work from the ground up.
We need decent hours of work that we can live on. A third of workers in part-time jobs want full time work but can’t get it. Involuntary part-time means workers struggle to make ends meet, and often have to cobble together several jobs to get by. But part-time, casual, and temporary agency jobs can have erratic and unpredictable hours, and employers are increasingly moving to “just-in-time” scheduling that leaves workers scrambling to organize their work, family and other responsibilities. Overtime is also serious issue for a huge number of workers – only 3 out of 5 workers have full access to overtime premium pay. It’s no wonder that part-time work is growing faster than full time work – it pays off for employers, and the law doesn’t stop it. But it could.