Sunday, September 10, 2006
New Organization Founded For White Collar Workers
Author and social activist Barbara Ehrenreich has founded an organization called United Professionals. According to its website, its purpose is to "to protect and preserve the American middle class, now under attack from so many directions, from downsizing and outsourcing to the steady erosion of health and pension benefits. We believe that education, skills and experience should be rewarded with appropriate jobs, livable incomes, benefits and social supports."
Barbara Ehrenreich timed the start of the new organization to coincide with Labor Day. "We waited until after Labor Day because UP represents the next step in the mobilization of wage earners. While working on Bait & Switch in 2005, I met many white collar workers who are unemployed or underemployed and anxious about outsourcing, downsizing and their increasingly futile pursuit of the American Dream. I realized these professionals needed their own network."
The focus of the organization is on college-educated professionals, with an apparent special interest in young white collar workers. Tamara Draut, author of Trapped: Why America's 20-and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead, is one of UP's advisors. Among the troubling statistics cited by UP's founders are these - 31 percent of college-educated workers have no health insurance, 39 percent have no employer-funded retirement plan, 17 percent have not been able to fully utilize their skills in the job market, and gains in real wages have been stagnant - having risen only 1.3 percent from 2000 to 2005, while they had risen 11 percent in the previous five years.
United Professionals Website
"United Professionals: New National Organization for White Collar Workers" from PR Newswire