Many workers lost negotiating power during the great recession of 2007 to 2009, when the unemployment rate reached great heights in many regions across America. At that time, workers had less clout to resist the expansion of two-tier wage systems, where new hires received lower pay than incumbent employees, even though both groups performed the same job. The two-tier wage scale appeared in the auto industry in the 1970s, but it became more widespread during subsequent economic downturns.
When employers seek to reduce overall wage costs by instituting a two-tier wage scale, friction may materialize between employees. Lower-paid, entry-level workers may feel they are treated unfairly. This can have a demoralizing effect on the entire workforce, eroding job satisfaction and reducing productivity. It can also weaken the ability of workers to remain united in their efforts to fight for decent pay, good benefits, and safe working conditions.
Unemployment rates are much lower today. This puts employees in a stronger bargaining position, leading some workers to pressure companies to roll back policies that stipulate unequal pay for equal work. For example, the Kohler Company recently agreed to a contract that phases out two-tier wages by 2023. Despite recent progress, working-class power still appears to be on the decline overall. Workers should know they can turn to the legal system when they have a wage dispute with an employer.
If you have been denied wages because your employer may be violating wage and hour laws, contact the Philadelphia wage dispute attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today. We are highly qualified to defend your claim and seek compensation for unpaid wages. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999. With offices in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and South Jersey.