The Poles call them "junk contracts." If you're young and lucky enough to have a job in Poland these days, it's likely to be short-term and come without benefits. Ten percent of young people (up to the age of 25) are working in the black market, and another 25 percent have part-time or short-term work. Of the rest, most have job contracts that provide little in the way of security.
The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), will be introduced into the House and the Senate on Wednesday, by Senator Lovely, Rep. Story and Rep. Rogers, to combat discrimination by ensuring that pregnant workers are not forced out of their jobs unnecessarily, or denied reasonable job modifications that would allow them to continue working and supporting their families.
Boehner and McConnell called this week for a major change in health reform's requirement that larger employers offer health coverage to employees who work 30 or more hours a week or face a penalty. However, raising the threshold for mandating coverage would make a shift toward part-time employment much more likely -- not less so.
American workers are facing significant challenges. Whether it's low pay, a system that favors corporations over citizens, a gender wage gap, the effects of unfair trade or a voting system that hampers the most disadvantaged among us, these problems are real. But will those affected the most bother to do something about it?
The microcosm of the reality of individual workers amidst an almost goliath power of the role of business as macrocosm is deeply profound, and it's something that in this age of the brutal power international business holds on world economic reality, we can place ourselves in the shoes of these workers.