U.S. Inequality is Even Worse Than You Thought – 21st Century Labor Union – IAMAW

A new study confirms what America has been feeling for decades: the rich are getting richer while the rest of the country struggles to make ends meet.

The study, released by economists at UC Berkeley, shows the wealth gap between the top 1 percent of earners and the bottom 99 percent is the widest it’s been since 1928. Between 1993 and 2012, real income for the top 1 percent rose 86.1 percent, while the bottom 99 percent saw their income rise by only 6.6 percent.

The top 1 percent, defined as households with incomes of over $394,000 in 2012, also recovered from the Great Recession faster than anyone else. Ninety-five percent of income gains reported since 2009 have gone to the top 1 percent.

Ultimately, the study says, the choice of how much inequality we tolerate is up to us.

“A number of factors may help explain this increase in inequality, not only underlying technological changes but also the retreat of institutions developed during the New Deal and World War II – such as progressive tax policies, powerful unions, corporate provision of health and retirement benefits, and changing social norms regarding pay inequality,” wrote UC Berkeley Researcher Emmanuel Saez. “We need to decide as a society whether this increase in income inequality is efficient and acceptable and, if not, what mix of institutional and tax reforms should be developed to counter it.”

Click here to read the full text of the study.

via U.S. Inequality is Even Worse Than You Thought – 21st Century Labor Union – IAMAW.

Tell Congress to Vote ‘No’ On Any Proposal to Cut U.S. Pensions – 21st Century Labor Union – IAMAW

America’s pensions are under attack. And it could be getting worse.Right now conservative members of Congress are preparing to introduce a bill that would allow trustees of “deeply troubled” pension plans to cut benefits for people who have already retired. The bill would give Corporate America and others the green light to further slash retirees’ payouts and reduce already-earned credits for current workers.This all comes at a time when more than approximately half of American workers have less than $2,000 saved for retirement. Thirty-five percent of Americans over the age of 65 rely almost entirely on Social Security payments alone. And, only 20 percent of American full-time employees have a defined benefit pension plan.This nation’s pension system is not broken, busted or in need of a radical overhaul that shifts ever more wealth from the nation’s middle class to the top one percent. Click here to tell your Senators and Representative to vote “NO” on any proposal that cuts America’s pensions.

via Tell Congress to Vote ‘No’ On Any Proposal to Cut U.S. Pensions – 21st Century Labor Union – IAMAW.

Southern Territory Organizes Rehab Center – 21st Century Labor Union – IAMAW

IAM District 166 organized 15 employees at Tropical Wellness Center, a certified drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility near the shores of Palm Bay, FL.After the employees signed Authorization Cards requesting the IAM as their choice for representation, the employer voluntarily recognized the Union without hesitation. The IAM is looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship.“These new members provide an important service to this community and our society,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “They do what unions do on a daily basis, help people and improve their lives. Congratulations to District 166 and Organizer Javier Almazan for a great job.”

via Southern Territory Organizes Rehab Center – 21st Century Labor Union – IAMAW.