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'Smaller Piece of the Pie' for Workers Worldwide, Report Says

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- 1986 days ago -
Workers are getting a smaller piece of the pie in booming China and economically stressed Europe alike, the United Nations labor agency said Friday, chalking up the trend to technological strides, globalization and the weakening muscle of labor unions.

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JL A (281)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 3:17 pm
'Smaller piece of the pie' for workers worldwide, report says

By Emily Alpert

December 7, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Workers are getting a smaller piece of the pie in booming China and economically stressed Europe alike, the United Nations labor agency said Friday, chalking up the trend to technological strides, globalization and the weakening muscle of labor unions.

Worldwide, average wages grew 1.2% last year, the International Labor Organization said in a newly released report based on available data. But the bulk of that growth was powered by China. If the Asian powerhouse is counted out, wages barely budged last year, damped by the economic crisis.

In developed countries such as Britain and the United States, wages in 2011 suffered their second dip in four years. The disappointing picture for workers in developed countries seems to be persisting, as “wages are growing marginally, if at all, in 2012,” the U.N. agency report says.

Worker pay also appeared to have dropped in the Middle East, but the organization cautioned that some estimates from the region were still tentative. Nearby Iran, which faces international sanctions over its nuclear program, suffered the biggest estimated drop, with wages plunging 12.5% last year, according to the Statistical Center of Iran.

While wages have stagnated or lagged, worker productivity has surged in wealthy countries, the U.N. agency found. Over the last two decades in Germany, for instance, productivity jumped almost a quarter while monthly wages stayed flat.

The result is “a smaller piece of the pie for workers,” the labor agency said. The same trend occurred in China despite its boom. While wages have roughly tripled in the last decade, they did not keep pace with the rising value of the goods and services that China produced.

As workers are getting a smaller share, the gap between the highest and lowest earners has grown in 23 of 31 countries studied, the ILO found. The chasm between rich and poor has fueled protests and strikes and soured voters on austere budgets intended to slash deficits, the report said.

Beyond the frustrations of workers who feel that their paychecks are unfairly low, the shrinking share for workers hurts household consumption, which “could endanger the pace and sustainability of future economic growth,” agency director Guy Ryder warned.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 3:33 pm

Let it go - maybe we will learn that society based an old worn old suggestion of "capitalism" has failed the world. We need a new paradigm one that focuses on far more equality. This is worst inequality the world has ever suffered and it has no room for self healing. Some ideas begin as causes, grow into movements, then finally become institutions and out live their usefulness, these old ideas are strangling us. It's time to begin with new ideas, allow them to become causes and grow.

JL A (281)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 4:26 pm
Your vision has merit Kit--hopefully enough people will abandon the approaches that have failed the majority of people. You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week.

. (0)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 6:02 pm
It's not true capitalism; it's CORPARATISM wherein 90% of the world is controlled by 200 families and to them it won't be enough until they control it all. It was Bill Clinton who repealed Glass-Steagall; giving the investment bankers an unfair advantage. He was very good friends with those IMF/WCB hatchet boys who carried out Uncle Milton Friedman's economic austerity plan. Both those organizations were started in America btw.
That has resulted in bankrupting the nations; devaluing world currencies to the benefit of the 10%; raping the nations through stealing their resources through insupportable loan debt; destruction of their infrastructures; the impending destruction of the Middle Class in order to create the strata of the royal 10% ruling over the 90% of indentured wage slaves.
Capitalism was deliberately murdered in 1913. It has take it a long time to die. I don't know whether true capitalism can ever be saved.

JL A (281)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 6:22 pm
Thanks for the historical framework for the issue Michael. You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week.

Past Member (0)
Friday December 14, 2012, 12:00 am

Dorothy N (63)
Friday December 14, 2012, 1:51 am
If enough of us could boycott the big corporations, buy from smaller, local businesses, their power - including their power over governments and their ability to control policy - would be reduced by that extent...

JL A (281)
Friday December 14, 2012, 7:40 am
You are welcome Jennifer.
That would indeed erode some of their power Dorothy! You cannot currently send a star to Dorothy because you have done so within the last week.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Friday December 14, 2012, 4:37 pm
It's all part of the plan to create a two tier system of royalty ruling class and indentured wage serfs.

Sheryl G (363)
Friday December 14, 2012, 5:20 pm
We are in the death throws and with everyone running around on the end of the world for 12.21.12 I'd like to think it will be the end to this selfish uncontrolled and greedy system that is failing most of the worlds people, the animals, and the environment.

An end to that system and a beginning to another way and there are other ways. However I don't have much hope in the two Parties that we have here, both have had their hands into the demise of things. I know the citizens have a good time bashing one Party or the other, but frankly, both have done their fair share in things at different times.

So if people are looking for a quick fix from the establishment, don't hold your breath, it's going to take a lot of people and a strong populist movement. Those who have the wealth and do well in this system will not go down easy, but they must change or they will need to have their power removed from them. We're a very foolish species if we allow our only home, called planet Earth to be destroyed and watch our children all over the world die off by our failures to do nothing.

JL A (281)
Friday December 14, 2012, 5:33 pm
Wise words Dandelion. Connecting/reconnecting with empathy--in the full meaning of the term--might help us craft the needed routes and solutions. You cannot currently send a star to Dandelion because you have done so within the last week.

Sandra M Z (114)
Friday December 14, 2012, 11:24 pm
All workers worldwide should stay home and bake pies instead of going to work.

Noted, Thank you J. L. A.

Angelus Silesius (119)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 5:36 am
And its all American's fault for allowing our leaders to pass NAFTA. NAFTA was the beginning of the end for American jobs. It allowed 'temp jobs' to explode and empowered the greed of shareholders and executives at the sacrifice of the middle class. A college student peer of mine work for Scudder Kemper 16 years ago did a research paper of stockholderswith them. The majority of the investors had no problem getting less yield on their investments IF the workers were being properly taken care of. This flew in the face of stereotyped expectations.

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 7:04 am
Thanks Jaime for providing the research paper information for all of us--suggests that stockholder meetings could include such policy guidance votes as a vehicle to address in addition to the B-Corp options some states have if the corporation is in one of those states.

Edith B (146)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 9:00 pm
We seem to be rapidly returning to the days when the majority lived in abject poverty while the minority ruled and lived royally. The demise of labor unions has contributed largely to this. When the workers have no power, the owner can do as he chooses.

Sandra M Z (114)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 10:56 pm
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