Workers ‘fed up,’ Denver union leader says, as strikes continue nationwide – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-10-15 19:29:37 –

Denver — As the economy begins to recover from the pandemic, workers are striking nationwide for better wages and benefits, experts warn that strikes will continue.

“I’ve never seen a worker so tired,” said Ron Ruggero, president of SEIU Local 105, on Friday. “You have essential workers, called heroes by politicians and business leaders, but they see nothing in real life to reflect that story.”

His union represents thousands of medical, business, security and airport workers in Colorado and beyond. His members want not only to survive, but to help them prosper.

“Raise a year or two ago [that] It would have been okay for everyone, but it’s no longer the case, “Ruggero said.

Alan Britain, chair of the UAW Local 186, is one of those nationally picketing and protesting for a better agreement with John Deere. The company has a distribution center in Denver.

“Our contract [was] By October 1, they haven’t met our demands, “he said Thursday.[We want] Improved health care, improved post-retirement health care, and a better way of life. “

Workers’ frustration has increased over the years due to stagnant wages and rising living costs.

And, in part, due to the overall labor shortage, there has never been a better time to bend the muscles of private and public employer unions.

“Workers should and are in a position to pay higher wages,” said Dr. Kishore Kurkarni, a professor of economics at MSU Denver. “I think employers should recognize that they deserve higher wages and avoid strikes.”

He says vaccine requirements, tests, and other COVID-19 restrictions should be good reason to pay more to workers. But he warns, those wage increases can be costly.

“Higher wages can reduce employment for employers and businesses, increase production costs and pass them on to consumers, so prices rise again,” said Dr. Kurkarni.

According to Ruggiero, workers could gain an edge for the New Year if the labor shortage is not alleviated, and many employers will find that they have no choice but to meet their demands. ..

“We are at this moment when wages, expectations, and hopes for workers can be reset in our society across the country in a very positive way,” he said. “They just want to have hope for a bright future.”

Workers ‘fed up,’ Denver union leader says, as strikes continue nationwide Source link Workers ‘fed up,’ Denver union leader says, as strikes continue nationwide

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