No, that waitress isn't flirting with you.In fact, for many service workers, women in particular, pretending to be happy and flirting are a key to keeping a job and making a living. If you're tempted to think of that as an "of course" kind of thing, think again. That's real work, to smile through the asshole saying things to you that under any other circumstances would be unpardonable sexual harassment, to smile on the worst day of your month when you really just want to cry, to laugh at the lamest jokes. And it tends to be work that the lowest-paid workers, especially women, have to do most.
Neither is the barista at your local Starbucks, nor the counter server at the Pret A Manger near your office, and you might be surprised to learn that the stripper at your local club doesn't have a deep fondness for you, either.
- The appeals court decision overturning President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board would have similarly overturned hundreds of recess appointments since Ronald Reagan's first term, the Congressional Research Service found.
- The National Nurses Union is pushing for a safe staffing ratio law for Washington, D.C., hospitals.
- When someone says "human trafficking," does your mind go straight to sex trafficking? It shouldn't:
Some 78 percent of forced labor is based on state- or privately-imposed exploitation, not forced sexual exploitation. [...]
Immigration officials may categorize immigrant workers who are trafficked as undocumented workers and deport them. Police and labor inspectors may view involuntary servitude or debt bondage in sectors such as agriculture, construction, manual labor and manufacturing as "mere" worker rights abuses, and so not justifying a remedy. Prosecutions for forced labor are far fewer than those for trafficking for sexual exploitation (and even those are low).
- New York Times editorial:
Part of an effective agenda would surely include a higher minimum wage, which is overdue. It is one of the most effective ways to lift wages because raising the floor also raises wages higher up the income scale. Union membership can also push up wages through collective bargaining. In 2012, even as the share of American workers in a union fell to its lowest level in nearly a century, the median weekly earnings of full-time unionized workers was $943 versus $742 for comparable nonunion workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Yet the administration’s support for unions has been more rhetorical than real. Mr. Obama failed to keep a campaign promise from 2008 to advance legislation to make it easier for workers to unionize and made scant use of the bully pulpit as unions have come under prominent attack in Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.