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Continued: Tevlin: This weekend we celebrate the laborer. How's that working out for you?

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 30, 2014 - 9:50 PM

Third, the unionization of personal-care attendants was big because that’s where jobs are heading as technology replaces workers.

“The economy is shifting to what people are good at,” said Sojourner. “We’re good at human interaction and taking care of each other. We don’t need 60 percent of people growing food anymore. That frees up a lot of people.”

“The minimum wage increase and home health care workers unionization victory have the potential to be good for workers,” said Budd. “But they are shrouded in controversy and uncertainty. For example, will some businesses cut back on hiring because of the higher minimum wage? What will the home health care union be able to accomplish?”

Budd adds that local professionals have not been immune to corporate layoffs or restructurings, such as those at Thomson Reuters.

Budd summed up what the other labor experts noted: that worker gains looked pretty meager compared to that of executives and higher-tier workers. Studies still show the gap between the poorest and wealthiest getting bigger.

“We only have to look at [Friday’s] paper for another example — Medtronic paying $63 million to ‘help’ its executives with taxes,” said Budd. “Once again, it was a better year to be an executive than a regular worker.”

jtevlin@startribune.com 612-673-1702

Follow Jon on Twitter: @jontevlin

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