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Nine days after a hearing before an administrative law judge began, the Hyatt Regency Baltimore has settled with workers fired during a union organizing effort, reinstating two workers with back pay and giving a "fairly substantial settlement payment" to one who didn't want to come back to the Hyatt; a fourth had already been rehired.
The hotel also agreed to wipe out disciplinary actions taken against employees between June and January for arriving late by less than 10 minutes, "the disputed way in which they were enforcing a more stringent enforcement policy," Lingo said. The hotel also will post a statement on site that summarizes the allegations and employee rights, she said.
According to workers, Hyatt managers weren't exactly subtle about what was going on:
Philippeaux and others passed out union leaflets to co-workers. Soon after, he said, the same supervisor called him into an office.

"He said, 'That right there is a f— — up way of trying to get fired,'" said Philippeaux, who now works in Atlanta.

Handing out union leaflets is, of course, legally protected concerted activity; Hyatt, of course, says that's not why the workers were fired.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

  • The deadliest jobs in America, in a graphic.
  • Janitors and security officers in the Twin Cities are preparing for a strike that could begin Feb. 9:
    Members of SEIU Local 26 clean and protect some of the Twin Cities’ largest office buildings that house some of the wealthiest corporations in the country, including Target, US Bank, and Wells Fargo. The contracts expired December 31, but after months of negotiations, employers are still unwilling to bargain in good faith.

    “The average full-time worker qualifies for public assistance due to low wages and a lack of affordable healthcare,” said Harrison Bullard, Vice President of Local 26. “When workers are forced to rely on public assistance because the rich, corporate elite don’t pay the cost of doing business, all of us end up paying more.”

  • Infographic: Almost 90% of restaurant workers don't have a single paid sick day to recover from illness, take care of a sick child, or care for a sick relative. Over 60% of restaurant workers report cooking, preparing, and serving food while sick.
  • Related, paid sick leave is a left wing proposal? I guess that makes the majority of Americans left wing, since it's a very popular idea. Not to mention we're in the middle of a flu epidemic showing why paid sick days are an important idea for public health.
  • And in Massachusetts, a rally was held to support a paid sick leave bill in the state legislature.
  • It's very rare you see education expert Diane Ravitch quite this excited. But she's raving about California Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address, in which he said "Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice" and slammed testing-driven education.
  • The New York City Council passed a bill prohibiting discrimination against unemployed job-seekers by a veto-proof margin. Now if Speaker Christine Quinn would just bring sick leave to a vote ...
  • What are the chances former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship will do time for his role in the Upper Big Branch mine explosion?
  • Did you notice Barack Obama didn't mention unions in his inaugural address? Josh Eidelson did:
    But Obama’s celebration of collective action was also noteworthy for the proper nouns he didn’t name: Lowell. Pullman. Flint. Memphis. Delano. Obama’s speech celebrated feminist activism, civil rights activism, and LGBT activism, but didn’t mention labor activism. That’s a noteworthy omission, not an accident of alliteration.
  • City workers in Charlotte, North Carolina (the state with the lowest union density in the country) will get to have their union dues automatically deducted from their paychecks if they want.
  • If Mark Zuckerberg likes Chris Christie...what else does he like? New Jersey's rank as the fifth worst run state in the US? Christie's veto of marriage equality legislation? New Jersey's 9.6% unemployment rate? The 10,000 school employees and 2,200 police officers Christie laid off?

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 10:55 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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