The Importance of the Great Resignation


Lukas Werner

Overworked labor employees are striking across the country to demand better pay and working conditions.

Anna Waldron, Staff Reporter

American workers don’t want to quit their jobs, and they don’t want to have to find new ones — they want fair pay and fair working conditions instead of a federal $7.25 minimum wage and disorganized and stressful work schedules. 

The Great Resignation has officially begun, as 4.3 million American workers have resigned from their jobs as of August 2021, and thousands are striking against big-name corporate companies such as John Deere, Kaiser Permanente, and even Hollywood production corporations due to grueling schedules and low pay

Aug. 10, 2021 marked a significant trend in strikes after more than 1,000 Nabisco employees across five states demanded a number of changes be made across the company, including getting their pension back so they can retire comfortably one day. Like many, these employees are simply asking for basic rights in the workplace.

These Nabisco employees often worked 12 or 16-hour shifts without being paid any overtime. While their access to fair pay is decreasing, Mondelez International, Nabisco’s owner, continues to gain financially

One example of this is that all of the 708 billionaires in America, as of August 2021, have a combined net worth of $4.7 trillion. This adds up to more than the combined net worth of the bottom 50% of Americans.

While the wages of the working class stagnate, the 1% thrives. 

In 2017, 48% of non-unionized labor workers said that they would join a union if given the chance due to the horrible conditions they’re facing in the workplace that they are unable to protest against. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic putting millions of blue-collar employees out of work, companies are finally starting to understand how essential their workers are. That being said, many still refuse to provide them with decent wages, pensions, and benefits. 

Pandemic life has given overworked employees more time to organize strikes and launch protests after many years of being mistreated by employers. As a result, there have been labor strikes against 178 employers in 2021 alone. 

The National Labor Relations Act states, “Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations.” This provides the power people need to call out their employers when they’re being treated unfairly. Being paid overtime, being given pensions, receiving healthcare benefits, and earning government funding are all things that the working class is well-deserving of. 

Their voices will not be silenced. 

After workers at one of Amazon’s warehouses attempted to pressure the company into unionizing earlier this year, President Biden expressed his support for the change, allowing them to hold the necessary power to fight against horrible working conditions. 

The strikes are not radical, and they’re not an overreaction — they are necessary in preserving rights for all working-class Americans.