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Labor News


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Scott Walker and Chris Christie Show off the GOP's Job-Creation Chops
"From January 2011 through January 2015, Louisiana under Jindal ranked 32nd in job creation with 5.4 percent growth over four years. Wisconsin under Walker ranked 35th, with 4.85 percent growth. New Jersey under Christie ranked 40th, with 4.15 percent growth. This compares with a national average of 8.21 percent."

04/24/2015

The Cheesecake Factory is Now Talking about the Biggest Trend in the Labor Market: Wage Growth
On the company's earnings call, Cheesecake Factory CFO Doug Benn said, "we continue to plan for overall wage inflation of approximately $12 million, including about $4 million in minimum wage, reflecting wage rate inflation of about 3%."

04/24/2015

'Right-To-Work' Laws Could Pull Down Worker Wages by 3.1 Percent
Statewide "right-to-work" policies drive down worker wages for both union and nonunion members by 3.1 percent, finds a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington, D.C. think tank.

04/24/2015

Warren: If the TPP is Secret Why Support It?
"Have you seen what’s in the new TPP trade deal?" writes US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) in her blog. "Most likely, you haven’t -- and don’t bother trying to Google it. The government doesn’t want you to read this massive new trade agreement. It’s top secret."

04/23/2015

After Rana Plaza Tragedy, Report Finds More Garment Industry Reform Needed
Friday marks two years since a garment factory collapsed at Rana Plaza near Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing more than 1,100 workers. The tragedy occurred just five months after a factory fire at Tazreen Fashions on the outskirts of Dhaka killed 112 workers and injured several hundred others.

04/23/2015

Warren Lashes Back at Obama on Trade
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) fired back at President Obama Wednesday over remarks he made a day earlier about her position on trade, further underscoring the increasingly bitter divide among Democrats on the issue.

04/23/2015

US Jobless Aid Applications Stay Low, Sign of Few Layoffs
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits was little changed last week, evidence that employers are cutting few jobs. The Labor Department says weekly applications for jobless aid ticked up 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 295,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased to 284,500.

04/23/2015

Trumka: Abolish ‘Undemocratic’ Fast Track Process
In a hearing on U.S. trade policy Tuesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told the Senate Finance Committee, “We don’t believe we can build strong and sustainable economic growth on a foundation of stagnant wages and disempowered workers.”

04/22/2015

Edsall: Obamacare, Hands Off My Medicare
“A number of factors underpin the anti-redistributionist shift in public opinion that I wrote about last week,” writes Thomas Edsall in The New York Times.

04/22/2015

Labor Looks to Push Hillary Clinton to the Left
Richard Trumka, the president of the 12.5-million member A.F.L.-C.I.O., is preparing to put forth the group’s 2016 agenda in a major address in Washington.

04/22/2015

Campaigning Clinton has Qualms about Trade Deal
Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed qualms Tuesday about the sweeping trade deal the Obama administration is negotiating with Pacific nations. Without weighing in for or against the agreement, Clinton told students and teachers New Hampshire Technical Institute that the country needs to focus more on domestic production and any trade deal must be good for U.S. jobs and wages.

04/21/2015

Illinois Governor’s Political Extremism on Display
“Rauner's assertion that CPS [Chicago Public Schools] should declare bankruptcy reveals his dangerous ideological extremism and his casual disregard for the damage that action would produce, both to the financial stakeholders (such as pensioners and bondholders) but also to the reputation and standing of CPS and the City of Chicago,” said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey.

04/21/2015

Two Years After West, Texas, Fertilizer Plant Explosion, Are Workers Any Safer? New Report Says No.
On April 17, 2013, a massive fire and explosion tore through the West Fertilizer plant in West, Texas, killing 15 people -- including 10 volunteer firefighters -- and injuring more than 200. A federal government investigation into the disaster found enormous gaps in information made available to first responders and the community about the plant’s highly hazardous materials -- information that could have prevented or reduced the loss of life, injuries and damage.

04/20/2015

Union Seeks Injunction from Labor Board Over Wal-Mart Store Closings
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) said it planned to seek an injunction from the National Labor Relations Board on Monday compelling retailer Wal-Mart to rehire 2,200 employees at five recently closed stores.

04/20/2015

Clinton Patches Relations with Liberals at Campaign's Outset
During the opening week of her second presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton showed she had retooled her positions to line up with the views of progressive Democrats. On Monday, she called for a constitutional amendment that would limit "unaccountable money" in politics. Days later, she said through her campaign that she supports same-sex marriage being recognized as a constitutional right in a pending Supreme Court case.

04/19/2015

Clinton’s To-Do List for the Left
Hillary Clinton is in a hurry to boost her appeal among liberals. During her visit to Iowa earlier this week, immediately after announcing her presidential candidacy, she insisted that the nation’s “dysfunctional” political system needed to be reformed in a way that would “get unaccountable money out of it once and for all -- even if that takes a constitutional amendment.”

04/19/2015

Stopping Short of Rejection, Clinton Sets Conditions for a Trade Deal
After 24 hours of silence, Hillary Rodham Clinton has weighed in on perhaps the most divisive issue before the Democratic Party, setting her conditions for accepting a new trade deal making its way to Congress but not flat out rejecting it.

04/19/2015

Clinton Faces Early Test on U.S.-Pacific Rim Trade Deal Fight
Less than a week after formally launching her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton is already being tested on a thorny issue for Democrats: free-trade deals and their impact on workers.

04/19/2015

Vox: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is Great for Elites. Is It Good for Anyone Else?
“In 2011, Australia enacted a tough new anti-smoking law that requires cigarette companies to distribute their wares in plain green packages,” writes Thomas Lee in Vox.

04/19/2015

AFL-CIO President: Stop the Fast Track to Lower Wages
“Trade deals," said AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, "have wide-ranging impacts and shouldn’t be negotiated behind closed doors and then rubber-stamped. The current Trans-Pacific Partnership deal under discussion would cover 40 percent of the world’s GDP. A deal this big should be debated in a full and open manner like every other piece of legislation. Working people are showing tremendous courage standing up to the low-wage, corporate agenda. It’s time for politicians to do the same.”

04/19/2015

Fast Track Bill Introduced -- Join the AFL-CIO’s Drive to Stop Fast Track
“At a time when workers all over the country are standing up for higher wages, Congress is considering legislation that will speed through corporate-driven trade deals," said AFL-CIO president Richard Trunka. "For decades, we’ve seen how fast-tracked trade deals devastated our communities through lost jobs and eroded public services. We can’t afford another bad deal that lowers wages and outsources jobs.”

04/19/2015

Bernie Sanders: Hillary, GOP Won't Take on Corporate Power
Vermont US Senator Bernie Sanders said Sunday he did not believe any 2016 presidential candidate from either party would battle corporate power for ordinary Americans.

04/19/2015

Clawson: Union Membership Falls. The Middle Class Falls. Not a Coincidence.
“Oh, look,” writes Laura Clawson in The Daily Kos. “Another chart [click on the link below] showing how declining union membership goes hand in hand with the declining strength of the middle class. Shall we look at some more specifics?"

04/19/2015

Ford to Spend $2.5 Billion on Plants in Mexico, Angering UAW
The United Auto Workers union, in response, said putting jobs in Mexico rather than the United States will be a major issue at its upcoming U.S. labor talks with Ford, General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

04/19/2015

L.A. School District, Teachers in Tentative Labor Deal
The three-year agreement includes a 10 percent pay rise spread over two years, investment in class size and counseling, as well as improvements to the evaluation system for teachers, United Teachers Los Angeles said on its website.

04/19/2015

Tentative Settlement Reached Between Teachers and L.A. Unified
The L.A. Unified School District and the teachers union reached a tentative contract settlement Friday night for a three-year deal that includes a 10% salary increase over two years. There also are terms affecting class sizes, the number of counselors at schools and the district’s teacher evaluation system.

04/19/2015

Harvard’s 'Les Miserables'
Imagine a land where the most highly educated citizens work for a pittance. Where the local lord treats them more or less as he pleases because the supply of workers is greater than the work available. Where the nobles enjoy lives of relative ease and comfort while the people who do most of the work struggle to make ends meet.

04/19/2015

Gawker is Making Unionizing Look Easy
Gawker readers were presented with some startling news on Thursday afternoon: The popular Web site's mostly 20-something staff is planning to join the Writers Guild of America.

04/19/2015

Workers File Lawsuit Against American Apparel as Unionization Efforts Heat Up
Three workers fired from American Apparel have filed a federal class-action lawsuit maintaining they were not given enough legal notice or severance pay before they were dismissed.

04/19/2015

Hyundai Supplier Disputes Safety Allegations, Blames Union
A Selma-based Hyundai supplier is disputing allegations that it fired a whistleblower in a federal safety investigation.

04/19/2015

Hyundai Supplier Hit with Federal Restraining Order Over Firing, Harassing Safety Whistle-Blowers
A federal judge in Alabama issued a temporary restraining order Thursday against auto parts manufacturer Lear Corp. -- a major supplier to Hyundai -- that the U.S. Department of Labor charges fired one worker and sued her and harassed others for speaking out about safety concerns at the Selma, Alabama, plant.

04/19/2015

Finamore: The Fight for $15 & a Union
“The Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign came to San Francisco in the very early hours of April 15,” writes Carl Finamore in CounterPunch.

04/19/2015

Workers Claim Wal-Mart Closed California Store in Retaliation
Some employees accused Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Friday of closing a location in the Los Angeles area for six months in retaliation for workers demanding for better wages and benefits.

04/19/2015

Machinists Union IAM Cancels Organizing Vote at Boeing’s South Carolina Plant
Boeing fended off the first real organizing challenge at its nonunion manufacturing stronghold, as its largest union canceled a vote aimed at unionizing some 3,175 employees of the aerospace giant in South Carolina.

04/19/2015

Coal Companies that Lobbied to Repeal Mining Regulations Accused of Federal Safety Violations
West Virginia coal companies successfully lobbied for a rollback of state mining safety regulations in the same month that mines they own were issued more than two-dozen health and safety citations by federal inspectors.

04/19/2015

Houston Refinery Union Says Talks Have Not Reached an Impasse
A United Steelworkers local union said talks with managers of a Houston refinery to end a two-and-a-half-month work stoppage have not reached impasse, according to a letter sent to striking employees.

04/19/2015

Under-Paid, Frustrated Contract Worker Takes on Microsoft
Philippe Boucher wears an orange badge when he comes to work on Microsoft’s sprawling Redmond, Washington, campus. Others wear blue ones. A native French-speaker, he spends his day testing French apps to ensure they meet Microsoft’s high standards for quality and content.

04/19/2015

Foxwoods, Dealers Union Settle Dispute Over Leader's Firing
The union representing the Foxwoods Resort Casino's table-games dealers says it has settled a grievance over the casino's firing of its former president.

04/19/2015

Bangladesh Guardedly Welcomes Benetton Factory Victim Pledge
A Bangladeshi garment industry leader on Saturday guardedly welcomed Italian retailer Benetton’s pledge of more than $1 million to victims of a factory collapse that killed over 1,100 people two years ago, saying it had come late but was appreciated.

04/19/2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Likely Harm the Majority of American Workers
In The Trans-Pacific Partnership Is Unlikely to Be a Good Deal for American Workers, EPI Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens illustrates the major ways in which the TPP is likely to harm the majority of American workers even if it leads to higher overall national income.

04/17/2015

Americans are Spending $153 Billion a Year to Subsidize McDonald’s and Wal-Mart’s Low Wage Workers
After decades of wage cuts and health benefit rollbacks, more than half of all state and federal spending on public assistance programs goes to working families who need food stamps, Medicaid, or other support to meet basic needs.

04/17/2015

Underpaid Working People Unite in Largest Mobilization in Modern U.S. History, Look Ahead to More Wage Increases and Policy Wins
From dawn to dusk in front of restaurants and on college campuses from coast to coast, tens of thousands took part in strikes and protests Wednesday in the largest mobilization of underpaid working people in modern American history.

04/17/2015

Key Points of New U.S. Fast-Track Trade Legislation
Legislation introduced to the U.S. Congress will set nearly 150 objectives for U.S. trade negotiators and lay the ground rules for how trade deals are approved.

04/17/2015

Journalists at Gawker Media’s Websites Are Planning to Unionize
Employees at Gawker Media, the parent company of websites like Gawker and Deadspin, are planning to unionize.

04/17/2015

Labor Groups Rally Against Trade Promotion Authority
Very few Democrats in the House have expressed support for fast-track, and labor unions are trying to wipe out any shot that a bill could get through Congress and boost the chances that a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal can get done.

04/16/2015

Workers Hit the Streets in 200 Cities in Fight for $15
Low-wage workers in around 200 cities across the country are holding the biggest-yet day of action in their Fight for $15 campaign today. What started as fast food workers in one city in November 2012 has spread to home care and child care workers, retail, adjunct professors, and more, with ever-growing numbers of participants and scattered reports of stores closed by the strike, at least temporarily.

04/16/2015

Deal Reached on Fast-Track Authority for Obama on Trade Pact
“We can’t afford to pass fast track, which would lead to more lost jobs and lower wages,” said Richard Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. president. We want Congress to keep its leverage over trade negotiations -- not rubber stamp a deal that delivers profits for global corporations, but not good jobs for working people.”

04/16/2015

Test for Unions, Politicians, a Nationwide Protest on Pay
Labor has invested tens of millions of dollars in a campaign for a $15-an-hour minimum wage that goes beyond traditional workplace organizing, taking on a cause that has captured broad public support. But the movement is up against a hostile business sector sheltered by a decades-old federal labor law that makes it difficult for workers to directly confront the wealthy corporations that dominate the fast-food and hospitality industries.

04/16/2015

NY Times Editorial: A New Day for the Minimum Wage?
Nationwide protests on Wednesday by tens of thousands of low-wage workers were planned long before Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her candidacy for president on Sunday. But the demonstrations -- part of the Fight for $15 campaign that began with fast-food workers in 2012 and now includes retail employees, child-care workers, home-care aides, airport workers and adjunct professors, among others -- have proved well timed.

04/16/2015

Seattle CEO to Cut His Pay So Every Worker Earns $70,000
A Seattle CEO who announced that he's giving himself a drastic pay cut to help cover the cost of big raises for his employees didn't just make those workers happy.

04/16/2015


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