- In Los Angeles, charter teachers take on the whole chain:
Instead of unionizing school by school, they’re pushing Alliance College-Ready Charter Schools to agree to ground rules for organizing, without boss interference, at all 26 schools in the chain.
The teachers want a say on such questions as class size and incorporating technology. They want to be able to speak up without fear of retaliation from management.
- San Jose, California, is considering an ordinance to fix the fact that 66 percent of confirmed wage theft money doesn't get to the workers who deserve it.
- Workers at the Washington Post are fighting for a new contract, and their unions says that the newspaper's owner, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is sending the message that they're expendable.
- Some union pension cuts likely as new federal rules take shape. Elder poverty for all!
- Workers Independent News report:
On Tuesday afternoon, to thank congressional staffers for all they do on behalf of the fast food industry, franchisees hosted their annual reception at the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill, a free food giveway in which staffers and interns gorged themselves on unlimited free Taco Bell tacos and nachos.What's Taco Bell looking for from Congress? Like the rest of the fast food industry, it's nervous about the National Labor Relations Board's decision to hold McDonald's responsible for how workers are treated in McDonald's restaurants, and glad that congressional Republicans are talking about blocking the NLRB on that. Additionally:
Workers at the event, which packed two rooms, said they gave away some 6,000 tacos in all.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed a bill to change the cutoff for defining a full-time employee under the new health care law from 30 to 40 hours, a change that would relieve many franchisees from having to provide health insurance to their workers.Sounds like a fair trade for 6,000 tacos, amiright?
The settlement is designed to provide payments of up to $5 million to players who have one of a handful of severe neurological disorders, medical monitoring of all players to determine when or if they may qualify for a payment and $10 million for education about concussions.Some 200 former players have opted out of the settlement and will pursue their cases in court. There's also debate over whether the list of conditions covered in the settlement includes all of the concussion-related health problems players may face.
The landmark deal was originally reached in August 2013, but Judge Anita B. Brody twice asked the two sides to revise their agreement, first to uncap the amount of damages that can be paid for diagnosable conditions and then to remove the limit on how much can be spent on medical monitoring.
Every day, I serve food to some of the most powerful people on earth – including many of the senators who are running for president: I’m a cook for the federal contractor that runs the US Senate cafeteria. But today, they’ll have to get their meals from someone else’s hands, because I’m on strike.Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined the protest. Workers are calling for President Obama to build on his executive orders calling for federal contractors to pay a $10.10 minimum wage and obey labor laws. They want to see a new executive order giving preference to "model employers"—contractors that pay $15 an hour with benefits and allow collective bargaining.
I am walking off my job because I want the presidential hopefuls to know that I live in poverty. Many senators canvas the country giving speeches about creating “opportunity” for workers and helping our kids achieve the “American dream” – most don’t seem to notice or care that workers in their own building are struggling to survive.
Price said the news has brought in dozens of new clients, making it the best week for new business in the company's 11-year history.If the burst of new clients continues, it could create new jobs—new good jobs—and let other businesses know that treating workers well can pay off. But it's important to remember that workers shouldn't have to get lucky with an amazingly good boss to make a decent living and be treated well. Good bosses go viral, but for more workers, this is the reality:
The firm has about 15,000 clients and handles about $10 billion in payments every year.
While Price is cutting his own pay, most chief executives are continuing to see hefty compensation hikes. CEO pay rose more quickly in 2014 than in other recent years, with median compensation rising 6.9 percent to $12.2 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.That's a reality we need to fight to change.
Meanwhile, American workers have been suffering from stagnating and, in some cases, declining wages.
- Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled legislature is trying to pass a law that would block Philadelphia's paid sick leave law retroactively and prevent other cities and towns in the state from passing sick leave laws.
- Workers are not happy with the ubiquitous Driscoll's berries.
- Educators alarmed by some questions on New York Common Core tests. And thanks to people who refused to be intimidated by Pearson's gag order, we know what some of those questions are.
- Workers Independent News report for April 22, 2015:
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which backs OUR Walmart, is listed as the filing party on the NLRB complaint, which claims that Wal-Mart targeted the Pico Rivera store because it has been “the center of concerted action by [workers] to improve wages and working conditions for all Walmart [workers] around the country.” The Pico Rivera store was the site of OUR Walmart’s first strike in 2012; workers at that location have participated in strikes and civil disobedience ever since.Walmart claims 100 or more plumbing problems at each of the stores that have been closed, but rather than getting as much prep work done for the repairs before taking the unusual step of closing stores, the company hasn't yet gotten permits for the repairs. Still, with five stores closed, it will likely be difficult for the Pico Rivera workers to prove that Walmart's action was directed at them.
These five companies spend millions on lobbying—with one key priority being to keep the tipped worker minimum wage at $2.13 an hour, where it's been stuck for decades. Meanwhile:
I'm not sure I'm 100 percent on board with Dube's argument, but in any case we don't need the taxpayer subsidy argument to see the hundreds of millions of dollars in public assistance needed by workers at these profitable chains as an indictment of their wages and labor practices. It's as simple as this: If a profitable company is paying its workers hundreds of millions of dollars a year less than they need for the most basic medical care, food, and housing, that company is a driving force in the low-wage economy. You don't need to believe that the public assistance going to their underpaid workers is a direct subsidy to the companies to see something wrong with that.
Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.
- Collective bargaining raises the wages and benefits more for low-wage workers than for middle-wage workers and least for white-collar workers, thereby lessening wage inequality.
- Collective bargaining also raises wages and benefits more for black, Asian, Hispanic, and immigrant workers, thereby lessening race/ethnic wage gaps.
- The decline of unions has affected middle-wage men more than any other group and explains about three-fourths of the expanded wage gap between white- and blue-collar men and over a fifth of the expanded wage gap between high school– and college-educated men from 1978 to 2011.
- The states where collective bargaining eroded the most since 1979 had the lowest growth in middle-class wages and the largest gap between rising productivity growth and middle-class wage growth.
- A push for a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in Connecticut.
- For-profit Corinthian Colleges fined for bogus job placement claims. This is just one example of why education issues are labor issues.
- White parents in North Carolina are using charter schools to secede from integrated schools:
By 2014, a fifth of charter schools were overwhelmingly — more than 90 percent — white. In 1998, less than 10 percent of charters were that way.
- The Seattle restaurant industry is doing fine despite all the claims about how a minimum wage increase would be a killer.
- Nebraska becomes the latest state with a Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. That makes 13.
- A union at Gawker?
This organizing comes against a backdrop of stagnating wages and skyrocketing unemployment, along with lower wages for a more educated population of low-wage workers than prevailed in the United States in 1968. As many as half of workers in some low-wage industries are receiving some form of public assistance. Workers tell stories of struggling to pay rent and arrange child care, and even face sleep inequality. And the organizing is having an effect. Walmart and McDonald's and other major chains might not admit it, but their recently announced wage increases are due to pressure from workers—and an effort to shut down further organizing. In the McDonald's case, it's also a blatant PR move, giving just a small fraction of workers a raise. But workers aren't falling for it. Anthony Fambrough, an Atlanta-area McDonald's worker, writes that:
... the raise would not apply to me or any of the 90 percent of McDonald’s workers at franchised stores.Beyond those inadequate, PR-driven raises, the fight for $15 has had an effect on policy, pushing state and local minimum wage increases beyond the $10.10 congressional Democrats had been pushing—itself a number that was seen as politically implausible just a couple years ago. So while McDonald's workers are unlikely to be unionized any time soon, and Walmart isn't sitting down at the bargaining table with its workers, this fight is making a difference. If nothing else, it's raising the floor, changing our sense of what's possible, and, by reaching across the country and across industries, creating some of that old-fashioned notion of solidarity.
I work hard every day wearing a McDonald’s uniform. There’s no question that I work for McDonald’s, and seeing this protest touched a nerve: If the company will do anything to deny me a raise — even pretending that I don’t work for the company in the first place — then how much longer could I stay quiet if I wanted any hope of support myself and providing for my family one day?
- Glass ceiling? Some of us are still trying to earn a living wage.
- A setback for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's anti-union agenda.
- The cheerleader rights bill being pushed by California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez made it through a committee vote.
- Good news for Harvard hotel workers:
Following a campaign of more than two years that included demonstrations, a strike, and a boycott, workers at the Soldiers Field Road DoubleTree Hotel, a Hilton Hotels enterprise housed in a building owned by Harvard, have organized with the UNITE HERE! Local 26 union, according to workers and union representatives.
On Friday, an arbitrator verified with both union and hotel management that a majority of the hotel’s workers had voted in favor of unionization, according to Local 26 president Brian Lang.
- New York's attorney general is taking aim at abusive last-minute scheduling practices by major retailers.
- Gee, why does corporate education organization StudentsFirst have to turn to astroturfing to get its message out? It has tons and tons of money from rich people and their foundations ... maybe the problem is it doesn't have real grassroots support.
- Workers Independent News report for April 14, 2015:
- You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` Monday ...5 comments 16 Recs
- Haymarket Tragedy Note: This is not presented as a general overview of May Day history and the Haymarket Martyrs. For a general overview, please ...16 comments 16 Recs
- On Thursday, the House voted to overturn the District's Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014, which the DC City Council passed unanimously in December. What did DC's bill do?7 comments 16 Recs
- On this day in Labor History the year was 1886. A little after three o’clock on that Monday, in Chicago, radical labor activist and newspaper man August Spies climbed onto a box car to give a ...1 comments 1 Recs
- Besides standing up against Trade Deals that end up exporting American Jobs; Besides calling for more equitable Tax rates on the Wealthy, that will reduce the dangerous and growing gaps in Income ...151 comments 191 Recs
- This week, in honor of Workers Memorial Day, the AFL-CIO released its Death on the Job report. Some facts: In ...9 comments 35 Recs
- You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` Tuesday ...4 comments 12 Recs
- http://buildingbridgesradio.blogspot.com/2015/05/building-bridges-roll-back-low-wages.html Roll Back Low Wages: Nine Stories of New Labor Organizing in the United States with Sarah Jaffe, labor ...1 comments 1 Recs
- On this day in Labor History the year was 1968. That was the day the administration shut down the Paris University at Naterre. Student protests at the school had begun weeks before around the ...1 comments 0 Recs
- If you want some context to the recent events in Baltimore, read the piece linked below. Let me note as one who has taught just outside Baltimore for the past two years (first in Glen Burnie and ...3 comments 8 Recs
- No current results.