Living On Minimum Wage Labor Essay

Living On Minimum Wage Labor Essay

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Welfare reform caused many families surviving with the help of the government to go out and look for jobs despite their need for childcare that they could not afford. Barbara Ehrenreich, a journalist with a PhD, decided to find out how life would be like living on minimum wage labor. During her journey, we see that labor has not changed majorly because laborers are not paid fairly and they are declined their rightfully owned rights. Although women are allowed in the workplace, an eight hour work day is established, and we have a minimum wage, many are still struggling to make it because the system simply does not work unless you are running the show.
Her journey begins as she begins applying at many places in Key West, Florida, where she lives. She gets hired at Hearthside as a waitress and states that she is at an advantage seeing as she is white and doesn’t have children to care for. When she gets hired, she learns that drug testing is a normal in minimum wage jobs. She also notices that all employees are constantly being watched by their supervisors. The lack of trust shows that employees are not treated equally. Also, she learns that her co workers are struggling to make ends meet. The ratio of wages to rent makes it very difficult to survive when you’re getting paid a minimum wage. She notices that certain jobs employ specific races to work there. For example, “most working housekeepers I see are African Americans, Spanish-speaking, or refugees from the Central European Post-Communist world, while servers are almost invariably white” (Ehrenreich 29).
Ehrenreich’s next destination is Maine, where she stays at a motel while searching for employment. She gets hired as a house cleaner for The Maids and then also in a nursing ho...


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... Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick and also the Shirtwaist Factory Triangle Fire in 1911 when more than a hundred female workers, that worked in terrible conditions, lost their lives because their owners failed to warn them of a fire. These events have laid out the framework minimum wage, the eight hour work day, and child labor laws. However, there are also reasons why things are still the same and our improvement is not complete. Employers continue to fail to provide their workers with their rightfully owned rights, they refuse to pay them a fair wage for the work they are doing, and they are actually spying on workers.
To conclude, it is surprising how much the workforce actually lacks improvement over these years. One reasons for that could be the fact that minimum wage workers have given up their fight and refused to believe that they deserve something more.

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