Another solution — though one that is often a struggle to achieve — is to unionize, which has worked before in industries like teaching, policing, and manufacturing. “If retail workers were able to organize strong unions across the country, there’s no reason retail jobs couldn’t be good jobs like manufacturing jobs,” Amy Traub, Associate Director for Policy and Research at public policy organization Demos, tells Bustle.
One of the many issues with unionizing is that companies are averse to change, especially when that change involves paying workers more money or providing them with more resources. “[Many big box] companies are still built on the outdated, sexist model that their typical employee on the sales floor is a housewife who’s earning a little bit of money but the household budget doesn’t fundamentally rely on her contribution,” explains Traub. “She has a husband who’s the real breadwinner, so she doesn’t really need to be paid a family-supporting wage. Walmart popularized that model across the country, but now almost every big retailer pays that way because that’s what the market will bear. Yet that’s not who retail workers are.”