Friday, June 22, 2012

Janitors v. JP Morgan Chase - Jamie Dimon Keeps Them Under his Gold Thumb

Here is a union press release regarding the JP Morgan Chase and congressional hearings that got too little attention in the National Press (corrected attribution)

June 19, 2012 at 9.30 AM

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: June 19, 2012 at 9.30 AM
CONTACT: Christopher Nulty, 202.538.1059

As Congress Questions JP Morgan Chief Jamie Dimon…
Janitors Who Clean JP Morgan Chase Offices Challenge’s Dimon’s Leadership

Janitor Will Ask CEO to “Walk a Day in My Shoes”

WASHINGTON, DC – Tomorrow, as JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testifies in front of the House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Committee regarding his company’s recent massive banking loss, Adriana Vasquez, a janitor who cleans the JP Morgan Chase tower in Houston, Texas will attend the committee hearing with the hope of asking Dimon a simple question: How could a company that made more than $19 billion in profits last year not ensure that the janitors cleaning their buildings earn a decent wage?

Janitors in Houston make just $9,000 annually and have been offered only a $.50 raise over the next five years. JP Morgan Chase is a major player in the real estate industry nationwide, including in Houston where more than 3,000 janitors have voted to authorize their bargaining committee to strike.

The contrast of Jamie Dimon – one the richest men in the United States and the 12th highest paid CEO in the country – and the janitors who clean his building – many make as little as $9,000 a year— poignantly illustrates both what’s wrong with the economy and the growing gap between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of us. A Houston janitor would have to work more than 2,500 years in order to earn JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon earned last year.

Houston has been named the nation’s “#1Millionaire City” for annual growth in millionaires. Last year, the city’s 15 largest employers reaped more than $178 billion in profits in 2011 – a more than 50% increase over the previous year. Despite this, Texas is tied with Mississippi for the highest proportion of minimum wage jobs in the nation. In the wake of huge profit margins, working Houstonians’ wages have remained stagnant or fallen behind – in fact, one in five people working in Houston, cooks, cashiers, janitors, baggage porters, and security guards, make less than$10 per hour.

DATA DRIVEN VIEW POINT: A person making $9,000 per year for full-time employment would be working below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hours.  A person earning minimum wage should make about $15,000 per year.  A poverty wage for two adults with a child in Huston county is anything below $16,245 a year.  It is possible that janitor wages are so low because they are not hired full-time, in which case they may not have any benefits either (I will check with the author of the above press release).  But even so, Houston, we have a problem.  For a janitor and one child to live self-sufficiently without any taxpayer supported or subsidized programs he or she would need to earn $28,163 in Huston, Texas.  This amount is a living wage in that part of our nation.  To the extent that JP Morgan Chase fails to meet this financial commitment to it's employees, the burden falls on tax payers in the form of subsidized housing, food stamps, emergency medical care and the like.  Subsidizing a wealthy corporations work force amounts to providing corporate subsidies so that JP Morgan Chase can post a $19,000,000,000.00 profit last year.  Janitors provide an essential service, without which corporate buildings would quickly become uninhabitable.  Pay people what they need to live self-sufficiently and you reduce the tax burden, increase consumer spending, greatly improve the overall economy, create stronge communities and end up with a much happier, healthier country.   For more on a living wage, go to A Living Wage - Has It's Time Arrived? And to see how we jumped the rails on wages in this country, see A Fair Wage for a Day's Work.

Here is how things are in Huston Texas:

The living wage shown is the hourly rate that an individual must earn to support their family, if they are the sole provider and are working full-time (2080 hours per year). The state minimum wage is the same for all individuals, regardless of how many dependents they may have. The poverty rate is typically quoted as gross annual income. We have converted it to an hourly wage for the sake of comparison. Wages that are less than the living wage are shown in red.
For other family configurations that aren't shown here, we've provided a spreadsheet to help with adapting the results below.
Hourly WagesOne AdultOne Adult, One ChildTwo AdultsTwo Adults, One ChildTwo Adults, Two Children
Living Wage$7.26$13.54$11.12$17.40$22.69
Poverty Wage$5.04$6.68$6.49$7.81$9.83
Minimum Wage$7.25$7.25$7.25$7.25$7.25

Typical Expenses

These figures show the individual expenses that went into the living wage estimate. Their values vary by family size, composition, and the current location.
Monthly ExpensesOne AdultOne Adult, One ChildTwo AdultsTwo Adults, One ChildTwo Adults, Two Children
Child Care$0$467$0$467$827
Monthly After-Tax Income That's Required$1,247$2,335$1,912$3,000$3,912
Annual After-Tax Income That's Required$14,964$28,020$22,944$36,000$46,939
Annual Taxes$131$145$176$189$247
Annual Before Tax Income That's Required$15,095$28,165$23,120$36,189$47,186

Typical Hourly Wages

These are the typical hourly rates for various professions in this location. Wages that are below the living wage for one adult supporting one child are marked in red.
Occupational AreaTypical Hourly Wage
Business and Financial Operations$22.64
Computer and Mathematical$25.13
Architecture and Engineering$22.76
Life, Physical and social Science$21.92
Community and Social Services$17.30
Education, Training and Library$16.97
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports and Media$14.91
Healthcare Practitioner and Technical$24.25
Healthcare Support$17.30
Protective Service$15.11
Food Preparation and Serving Related$7.43
Building and Grounds Cleaning and maintenance$8.62
Personal care and Services$7.81
Sales and Related$11.25
Office and Administrative Support$11.44
Farming, Fishing and Forestry$9.04
Construction and Extraction$13.83
Installation, Maintenance and Repair$15.16
Transportation and Material Moving$11.48

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