Tilly Unpacks Frustrations of Retail Workers

Urban Planning Professor Chris Tilly was featured in a Business Insider article about frustrated retail employees who are leveraging the demand for labor and fighting for increased pay, benefits, paid sick leave and childcare. Tilly explained that “consumer demand appears to be outpacing retailers’ ability to staff stores,” which gives more leverage to workers. “I don’t think we’re at a point where workers have permanently gained the upper hand, but I would be cautious about saying exactly when the power is going to shift back more to employers,” he said. According to Tilly, the central problem is that “retailers are having trouble attracting workers at the rates of pay that they’re offering.” For years, retail workers have expressed their frustrations about low wages, stress and lack of respect in the workplace. “It’s not surprising that these kinds of jobs are not appealing to workers who have some level of choice in the matter,” Tilly said.


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