Misery Spreads for Texas Workers

You may have heard the news that the U.S. unemployment rate is down. So are wages and benefits. The relationship is causal. In other words, cuts to the working class have put the U.S. capitalists in a more competitive position against those in other countries. Unfortunately, the competition is never settled -- the capitalsts in each nation will continue cutting their workers' share of wealth for as long as capitalism continues to dominate the world economies.

Just glance at the most recent news headlines:

American Airlines asks bankruptcy judge to let them cancel their union contracts

25% of Texas children are living in poverty!

After cutting women's programs, Texas politicians eye other social programs to make up the difference

High court may cancel health care gains

Yahoo to lay off 2,000

Spanish unemployment approaches 25%


On the other hand, look at some of our news:

Activists plan to train 100,000 April 9-14

Dallas plans to protest new "Free Trade Agreement"

Federal Investigators step up investigations of employer practices

That last point ought to quiet all the people who say that working people accomplished nothing with our mighty 2007 effort to replace the right-wing Republican regime with President Obama. It probably won't quiet them, but it should. Reporter Bill Bowen of the Dallas Morning News pointed out that the 1935 wages and hours law is actually being enforced. Record numbers of employers are being penalized for failing to pay overtime to their employees. A lot of it is prosecution of the fraud that employers perpetuate when they falsely misclassify workers as "administrative" rather than just being workers. Administrative employees don't get overtime pay, so the employers have been just changing the names of their job categories and pocketing the money the workers should have received!

The Department of Labor has also set new records for prosecuting employers for outright wage theft. In those cases, regularly perpetrated against immigrant laborers, the employer just works people and then doesn't pay them at all! Thanks largely to the Workers Defense Project and their union supporters, Texas has even passed stronger legislation against wage theft. The Morning News, being a capitalist paper, doesn't credit the administration, but workers do. So much for those who say that the electoral arena of struggle should be ignored.


What can we conclude?

The capitalist class worldwide is using their economic and political power in gross attacks against the workers. We're fighting back. We're getting better at fighting back.