As 13,000 auto workers from the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike to demand fair wages amid strong company profits and astronomical pay for executives, Colorado WINS, the state employee union representing more than 24,000 Colorado employees, released the following statement in support:
“At Colorado WINS, we know that workers form the backbone of our communities, but for many workers across the country, wages have remained stagnant even as inflation rises and CEOs rake in record profits,” said Hilary Glasgow, Executive Director of Colorado WINS.
Wage stagnation is a phenomenon that is present in both private and public sectors, and the causes and solutions to wage stagnation link the two sectors together.
Higher wages for private sector workers, as members of UAW and other unions across the country are demanding, translate to greater disposable income to circulate through our economies. When the rich get richer, that money stays in their pockets.
“Workers are struggling to afford the basics like housing, groceries, and healthcare, and our economies and communities are suffering as a result. Meanwhile, CEOs and major corporations are getting even wealthier and avoid paying their fair share when we should be investing in our communities and the workers that drive our economies,” said Dir. Glasgow.
The success of our local economies is also vital to the success of the public services taxpayers rely on for transportation, health care, and more. Loss of economic growth also equals a loss in tax revenue, further suffocating the services workers rely on.
When tax revenue is tight, public workers like the state employees of Colorado WINS are often first to feel the impacts of the cut. Our wages stall out too, vacancies go unfilled, and the workload only gets bigger.
COWINS members are already hard at work to improve our working conditions and the services we provide as state workers. But the other side of the coin is making sure the State of Colorado has the resources to implement these improvements in the first place. And part of that is standing with all workers who are fighting for their fair share.
“We stand in solidarity with UAW in their fight for fair pay and benefits and the job security workers need to provide for themselves and their families. As working people in this country, we should all uplift each other’s voices and support efforts to fight for fair contracts and to level the playing field for families,” said Dir. Glasgow.
At the end of the day, we are all facing the same fight: the economic and social value we generate is siphoned off and taken for granted by the wealthy. It’s only together that we can fight for what we’ve earned.