Just last week, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) ended their 148-day strike. Although negotiations revolved around more than one topic, the main reason was to fight for the fair pay of Hollywood writers who were part of their union.
The successful deal created between WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) serves as a powerful testament to the movement for workers’ rights and compensation. It also strongly aligns with President Joe Biden’s vision, which includes a firm call for fair pay throughout the United States.
As different unions and political figures aim to secure fair and equal pay for everyone, you might wonder where you fit in the bigger picture. How can a staffing firm like yours be affected by this call for fair pay? It may lead to the need for change and improvement in some of your usual processes.
The Value of Fair Wages
Some people think that fair pay means less money for the companies and more for the employees, but it goes deeper than that. Providing fair wages to everyone in an organization can lead to valuable outcomes for many stakeholders at work.
For employees, receiving fair compensation means they can afford their cost of living. They can comfortably buy their needs and maybe even afford their wants now and again. They can also have enough money to provide for their basic needs.
Having fair pay also helps workers with more than just monetary concerns. Workers who are fairly compensated feel more appreciated for their skills and are more satisfied with their position. They become motivated to continue offering their best to their respective companies.
Meanwhile, employers also benefit from offering appropriate compensation. Research suggests that raising the minimum wage can increase consumer spending and boost economic growth¹, which benefits any industry! Also, contributing fair payment helps create satisfied employees. This improves your employer brand, attracts top talent, and increases employee retention rates. It’s a win-win!
A Win for Writers, A Win for America
The WGA’s successful negotiations mark more than a historical event for writers in Hollywood. It’s also a critical moment for workers all over the country. The win for writers in California also became a win for all employees of America!
The strike’s conclusion represents the people’s commitment to fighting for their rights. Despite the changing work landscape, WGA proved that employees should still be valued and appreciated through fair wages and treatment.
The strike’s effect in the entertainment industry also proved that humans are still needed even in the presence of the latest human-like intelligence. Employees matter, and companies should act accordingly.
Although this strike began earlier this year, the call for employees’ civil rights and equitable labor practices was heard in 2019. This is through the campaign of current President Joe Biden, a committed advocate of the American workforce.
Throughout his administration, President Biden has remained a strong advocate for the working class. This commitment is evident in his actions, which have yielded significant wage increases, particularly benefiting the lowest-paid workers in America. Additionally, the economy has shown improvement, with inflation-adjusted income rising by over three percent since Biden took office.
President Biden’s promise to support workers and unions has proven to be true. This is evident in the recent actions taken by the Biden-Harris Administration, such as creating pathways to union jobs and extending crucial wage protections. These actions underscore the government’s continuous dedication to ensuring fair and equitable compensation for its citizens.
Potential Impacts on Staffing Firms
As a staffing firm, the government’s commitment to fair compensation is relevant. Your role as a firm that connects individuals with job opportunities places you at the forefront of empowering your workforce. Your employees must anticipate your advocacy for their skills and equitable treatment, regardless of the companies they are placed with.
In relation to a staffing firm’s responsibilities, it’s crucial to understand how the actions of the Biden-Harris Administration impact your company. Below, we outline the specific steps they have announced² and what you should pay attention to the most.
1. Pay Raises are on the Horizon
With the government’s commitment to enhancing employee well-being, the Department of Labor has rolled out a rule to revamp wage standards. This marks a significant victory for workers since it’s the first major change in nearly four decades. As a staffing firm, this translates directly to one thing: wages for both temporary and direct hires are set to increase in line with the updated standards.
Some firms may see this as something that can negatively affect their profitability, but with proper planning, it doesn’t have to be bad for you as an employer. Pay attention to where budgets go to comply with the new wages. Look for costs that can be removed. For example, you can try to cut back material costs by shifting from printed papers to data management software that would be cheaper in the long run.
You should also pay attention to the experts you hire. Strengthen your vetting process to ensure you’re hiring an employee who’s worth it.
2. Extend Overtime Protections
Presently, only individuals earning less than $36,000 annually are eligible for overtime pay. However, under the current administration, the Department of Labor is contemplating raising the threshold to encompass those earning under $55,000. This means a larger portion of your workforce could become eligible for overtime compensation when they exceed 40 hours of work per week.
Of course, this would mean a more necessary budget for you, especially if your company has a lot of employees who work overtime for either you or your clients. For you to comply with this without breaking the bank, it becomes vital to manage your team’s workload.
Make sure their responsibilities can be accomplished within their designated work hours. You can also make sure to advocate for your employees during client discussions. Your company’s success can be significantly affected by your reputation. So, pay attention to providing proper compensation and comply with the new rules for you and your employees.
3. Support Workers’ Right to Organize
The Biden-Harris administration has actively highlighted the advantages of labor unions in the economy, supported by an analysis conducted by the Department of the Treasury. They believe that workers should be free to form unions to enhance their working experiences. These unions, like the Writers Guild of America (WGA), can play a pivotal role in advocating for fair compensation and equitable employee rights.
As a staffing and recruiting firm, this points to the importance of learning how to handle labor relations and even potential negotiations with unions intricately. No matter how good your treat your people, there’s always a chance you’re not seeing something from your perspective. Pay attention to your employees’ needs and always be ready to negotiate in good faith when needed.
ADVOCATE FOR FAIR PAY WITH QUALITY CONTENT AND EFFECTIVE MARKETING TACTICS
Ensuring fair wages is only part of the equation, which won’t be possible if you don’t have the professionals to offer them in the first place. Allied Insight offers you personalized marketing solutions to elevate your firm’s reputation and enhance your employer brand.
Ensure your content is current with the latest trends and news relevant to your potential clients and employees. Connect with more people and attract top talent with our marketing solution and expertise. Contact us today to begin!
1 Henderson, Kaitlyn. “The Crisis of Low Wages in the US.” Oxfam America, 21 Mar. 2022, www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/research-publications/the-crisis-of-low-wages-in-the-us/.
2 Briefing Room. “FACT SHEET: Ahead of Labor Day, Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Empower Workers— Building on the President’s Historic Support for Workers and Unions.” White House Gov, 2023, www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/09/01/fact-sheet-ahead-of-labor-day-biden-harris-administration-announces-new-actions-to-empower-workers-building-on-the-presidents-historic-support-for-workers-and-unions/.