If there’s one foolproof way to get through the day at a job you hate (besides secret day-drinking, of course), it’s reminding yourself that it could almost definitely be much, much worse. Now we have concrete proof, in the form of labor organization United NY’s list of New York’s very worst employers, both companies and individual executives.
Between this and the scuffle over paid sick days — they’re not a given! — things either look not so bad or really, really bad, depending, obviously, on where you work.
So, who’s the worst?
According to the report, which focuses on issues of low wages labor rather than, say, outrageous abuses of power, Toys “R” Us, Con Edison, and any car wash owned by John Lage are pretty undeniably awful about actually paying their employees a legally correct amount of money. Supermarkets and airlines are terrible, too. A few upsetting statistics:
-Reportedly, more than a quarter of workers in New York City now earn less than $25,000 a year.
-Golden Farm supermarket in Kensington is being sued by former employees who claim they were often paid as little as $4.86 an hour (don’t even ask about overtime) while working 72-hour weeks.
-Only 17% of airline workers surveyed have health insurance.
-Toys “R” Us once had to pay $200,000 in fines for violations of child labor laws.
-66% of car wash workers surveyed had been paid less than minimum wage.
“This report is designed to call attention to these employers and executives who consistently compromise the livelihood of workers, in the name of profits,” explained United NY’s Executive Director Camille Rivera. “Workers all over the city are fed up, and ready to fight back for the wages, benefits, and respect they deserve.”
So how does everyone feel now? Awful? Possibly grateful? Sleepy? Riled up? If you chose the last once, United NY is planning a march from Union Square on July 24th for the National Day of Action for Economic Justice.
And by the way, while we’re bumming you out, the city’s unemployment rate just hit ten percent.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.