People working at hotels, restaurants, retail stores and day care centers get paid very little. They often do not get sick leave or vacation pay. They are often out of luck when a business goes under or the boss decides to change their work schedules.
Yet more and more workers are finding that, even in this hard economy, low wage jobs are growing faster than better paying ones. An expert said service sector jobs could not be outsourced.
Wages are low and working conditions are hard. Low wage workers are beginning to organize for better pay and benefits.
In Dade and Broward Counties in Florida they are taking action. Workers demonstrated against a company that cheated them out of wages. They protested against a Walmart that tried to silence workers who complained. They rallied to support a county law that made employers give them sick leave. They are trying to pass a wage theft law making it easier to get paid if stores go out of business.
Businesses say they are running on very thin margins of profit. They do not have the flexibility to improve working conditions.
Workers say the presidential candidates are talking about jobs, pay and benefits for women. Low wage-workers are talking about survival.