Letter to the Editor

Labor Day: Work for good jobs

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

To the editor:

This Labor Day, where have all the good jobs gone? We need jobs with family-supporting wages, good benefits, respect for workers' rights and opportunities for workplace advancement. Our nation's middle class is built on jobs like these.

The jobs problem is not just that we are losing good jobs, it is also that the jobs we are creating are not as good as those we have lost. Study after study has found that the share of America's jobs with higher pay and better benefits is shrinking, while jobs in industries that are expanding pay less and provide inferior benefits. Low-pay, no-benefit Wal-Mart type jobs are not the solution to the jobs problem.

Our elected leaders need to step up to the plate: They should stop signing bad trade deals that send good jobs overseas and start helping to create family-supporting jobs. And we must address our nation's health care crisis.

Bad-neighbor employers like Wal-Mart need to be held accountable when their own employees have to depend on taxpayer-funded programs to support and insure their families.

This Labor Day, let's make sure good jobs with good benefits are our No. 1 priority. Nothing beats a good job.

MARK BAKER, President, Central Trades and Labor Council of Cape Girardeau, Jackson