Archive for January, 2008

Credit to Fil Eden in the Cornell Daily Sun

They clean our dorms, cook our food and work hard every day to keep Cornell running. They are an integral part of our University. Yet a huge number of the workers responsible for feeding Cornell students have a hard time earning enough to feed their families.

A recent report from UAW Local 2300, the union that represents staff and maintenance workers at Cornell, finds that about 40 percent of all Cornell dining workers earn less than a living wage for a single person, while a full 75 percent earn less than a basic family living wage.

Alarmingly, the number of dining workers earning less than a living wage has increased since 2005. A living wage, as distinct from a minimum wage, is determined by the amount an individual working 40 hours a week year-round would need to earn to support themselves without public assistance. The rate varies in different areas along with the cost of living.

For Tompkins County in 2006, the living wage for a single person was $20,450 a year. With a child to support, the living wage was $26,400. A worker earning minimum wage in New York State, working 40 hours a week and never taking a day off, earns less than 60 percent of this: approximately $14,900 a year.



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