Thursday, October 16, 2014

Want Good Workers? Pay for Them.

That's the way capitalism has worked since the Black Plague created a huge labor shortage in feudal Europe that overturned the serf system and forced landowners to pay for labor.

But over the past 30 years, employers have come to insist that they no longer have to pay workers. Employers - especially big corporations - now view workers as sub-human serfs that don't really need, much less deserve, decent pay.

Kevin Drum:
Here's something you don't see every day: a news article about employers who desperately want to hire more people but just can't find workers with the right skills. Oh wait. You do see that every day. What you don't see are articles which make it clear that a willingness to pay higher wages is all it takes to fix this problem:
Manufacturing wages are rising at a rapid clip in some major industrial states as shortages of certain skills and gradually falling unemployment rates force more companies to pay up to attract and retain workers.
....“What we mainly need is welders,” said Terry McIver, chief executive and owner of Loadcraft Industries Ltd., a maker of parts for oil rigs in Brady, Texas....Dewayne Roy, head of the welding program at Mountain View College in Dallas, said he recently had a waiting list of about 250 people seeking to enroll. One student, Logan Porter, 22, started working for a metal-fabrication shop in the Dallas area in February and is putting in 55
to 60 hours a week. He earns $17 an hour, but with time and a half for overtime, his weekly take-home pay typically exceeds $800. “I love the work,” he said. ....Steve Van Loan, president of Sullivan Palatek Inc. in Michigan City, said job hopping is becoming more of a problem. “They get an offer for more money across town, and they’re gone,” he said. Wages on average at his firm, which makes compressors that power drills and other tools, are rising 4% to 5% this year, compared with 2% to 3% in recent years, Mr. Van Loan said.
How about that? If you pay more, you attract workers with the right skills. If you pay more, training programs start to fill up. If you pay more, you can steal folks away from your competitors.

Pay is the great equalizer. There are always going to be shortages of specific skills in specific times and places. But a long-term nationwide shortage? That just means employers aren't willing to pay market wages. They should read their Milton Friedman. If you pay them, they will come.

1 comment:

Sean said...

I am writing to let you know that filmmaker and 'accidental activist' Patrick Lovell is organizing an event in Louisville next Tuesday, October 21st at the Village 8 theater in association with and Move to Amend.

He has been tirelessly hitting the pavement, traveling the US with his film, Forward 13: Waking Up the American Dream for weeks now in anticipation of the midterm elections. His film begins with the foreclosure of his home and his battle with the banking system and follows him into the midst of Occupy Wall Street and a confrontation with the corruption of big business and the political system. We thought this free event might be of interest to your organization as Lovell continues to try to give a voice to the 'little guy' and take a stand against the hypocrisies we witness in the news every day.

Below is a copy of the press release with more information about the film, but we were hoping you can share with your followers the news of the event, or help us promote on social media. We are always looking for partners to help us organize the event or work with other branches to bring the film to more cities. Lovell has proven to be a passionate crusader whose work has gotten him on MSNBC, Free Speech TV and working with groups like The People's Climate March and

The Facebook link is here for convenience: