Alternatives to the Low Waged Economy: Living Wage Movements in Canada and the United States
The forty-years of neoliberal capitalism has been accompanied by an ever expanding trend toward deepening inequality and the expansion of a low wage labour market. The expansion of the non-union, post-industrial, ‘new’ economy characterized by low wage service sector jobs became identified with a deterioration in employment conditions and quality. Employment arrangements, reflecting the new normal, offer not security and adequacy but rather low pay and precarity. Living wage movements, as well as campaigns demanding a higher general minimum wage, have emerged as part of the response demanding economic justice. These movements and campaigns, found both in the United States and Canada, are significantly different in breadth and tactics. Here, those differences are described and interrogated as a function of the uneven terrain of neoliberal restructuring within each country.
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