Who knew the New York Times had a sexist underbelly? Like the rest of the world we’re just speculating here, but yesterday’s abrupt firing of New York Times top editor Jill Abramson over possible complaints about pay disparity has made us realize something: the struggles shared by many Americans to be paid fairly for their work is also shared by the Executive Editor of the New York Times! (And if that’s true, what hope is there for the rest of us?) The New Yorker's Ken Auletta writes:
As with any such upheaval, there’s a history behind it. Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.
See lots more about this here.
Of course, she's not the only one. Coincidently, today, hundreds of fast food workers decided to strike in “dozens of U.S. cities” trying to get a barely decent wage - $15 an hour – and the right to form a union.
Restaurants such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and KFC are being targeted. The strike, targeting the $200 billion fast-food industry at a time of intense competition, is aimed at directing consumer attention to the low wages of most fast-food workers. The one-day campaign continues protests launched 18 months ago.
As the workday was getting underway in New York, employees at a McDonald's near Penn Station chanted "unfair wages" as others beat drums and blew trumpets.
In fact, these fast food strikes are happening all over the world today. Meanwhile, check out some of the other companies that have been caught cheating their U.S. workers this week:
“A Walmart contractor that operates many of the retailer's distribution centers has agreed to pay $21 million in backpay to warehouse workers in California who claim they were systematically shorted on pay for years.”
The Lincoln Rehabilitation Center in Decatur, Illinois “has paid $67,000 in back wages after failing to properly compensate employees for overtime.
“Two New Jersey ship repair companies — Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair Corp. and Coastwide Material Supply Corp. — paid $277,565 in unpaid wages and liquidated damages for distribution to 224 workers who worked for the firms at the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, N.J., the Department of Labor reported."
"The United States Department of Labor released a report on Thursday that found Black Bear Burritos, LLC to be in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to the Department of Labor, $232,295 in back wages is owed to 105 employees from two different restaurants in Morgantown [West Virginia]."
You know that Karl Marx saying, “workers of the world unite? Maybe he was onto something.