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Manufacturing is Doing Great — but Not for Workers. Here’s What that Means.
There's been a lot of triumphalism around manufacturing over the past few years. Publication after publication has written about the rise of "insourcing" and "re-shoring," or bringing back production that long ago had gone overseas. The Obama administration has made making things a centerpiece of its economic recovery message, and companies from Apple to Wal-Mart have trumpeted their commitment to buying local. So is this thing really happening, in a way that would really matter to America?

04/16/2014

Obama, Biden to Announce $600M for Job Grants
Striving to show action on jobs, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are hitting the road to trumpet $600 million in new competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs that could help people land well-paying jobs.

04/16/2014

Detroit Reaches Pension Deal with Retired Police, Firefighters
Detroit, fighting its way through the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history, has reached an agreement that preserves current pensions but cuts cost-of-living payments for retired police and firefighters.

04/16/2014

Jaffee: How 250 UPS Workers Fired for a Wildcat Strike Won Back Their Jobs
“Two hundred and fifty UPS drivers, clad in their brown uniforms, rallying in a Queens parking lot, must have been quite a sight. Not very many people got to see it, however,” writes Sarah Jaffee in In These Times. “The 90-minute work stoppage outside the Maspeth, Queens, UPS facility on February 26 was a spontaneous protest against the firing, allegedly without due process, of one of their colleagues, Jairo Reyes."

04/16/2014

Tennessee Governor not Attending NLRB Hearing on VW Union Vote in Chattanooga
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam doesn't plan to be in Chattanooga on Monday for a scheduled National Labor Relations Board hearing to which he and 23 others were subpoenaed by the United Auto Workers. The UAW is seeking a revote in February's union election at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant, alleging interference by third-party groups and Tennessee politicians.

04/16/2014

Center for Public Integrity Wins First Pulitzer Prize
Stories detailed systematic denial of benefits to black lung sufferers.

04/15/2014

Motley Fool: What the March Jobs Report Tells Us About the U.S. Economy
Bad news first: Unemployment is still steady at 6.7% despite recent positive job reports. This means there are still nearly 10.5 million Americans out of work. But this is not because the economy is stalling. Rather, the U.S. economy is continuing to show progress and moderate expansion in the face of the recent harsh weather. Considering the economy has added an average of 170,000 jobs per month since the beginning of the year, all signs look pretty good.

04/13/2014

Clawson: Will Republicans Find Motivation on Minimum Wage After November?
“As congressional Republicans stand in the way of a higher minimum wage, The New York Times highlights a pattern from the last three minimum wage increases,” writes Laura Clawson in The Daily Kos.

04/13/2014

Clawson: Tennessee Governor and Senator Get Subpoenas Over Anti-Union Threats in Volkswagen Vote
As the UAW appeals the narrow vote against union representation at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant, it has sent subpoenas to several of the politicians -- including Senator Bob Corker and Governor Bill Haslam -- and anti-union groups that it argues helped intimidate workers away from union support.

04/13/2014

U.S. Mines Remain Deadly Workplaces
Fatalities at U.S. mines rose in 2013 as 42 workers lost their lives on the job, the Labor Department said.

04/13/2014

Wise: Kain Colter’s Unionization Effort is Fueled by Compassion, Common Sense
“I sat two feet away from the most dangerous man in college sports earlier this month,” writes Mike Wise in The Washington Post. “His name is Kain Colter. He is the former starting quarterback at Northwestern, whose players were recently declared employees of the university by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board."

04/13/2014

EPI: Long-Term Unemployment is Elevated Across All Education Groups
Job opportunities have been so weak for so long that jobless workers continue to get stuck in unemployment for unprecedented lengths of time.

04/13/2014

AFL-CIO: 6 Reasons Why Unions are Essential to Creating Broadly Based Prosperity
At the end of March, the Roosevelt Institute launched a new project, the Future of Work, which takes a look at the changing landscape in the area of workers’ rights and representation in the political and economic system that affects their lives.

04/13/2014

College Athletes and NCAA Headed for June Trial
A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a lawsuit by past and present men's college basketball and football players seeking royalties from the NCAA for the use of their names and images in telecasts and video games.

04/13/2014

Chen: Why Do Bosses Want Their Employees’ Salaries to Be Secret?
“Asking someone at a party how much they make in a year might get you a weird look,” writes Michelle Chen in The Nation. “Asking someone about their salary at work might get you fired. Seem unfair? Don’t bother complaining: Washington just once again reaffirmed the boss’s inalienable right to punish workers for talking about whether they’re being treated fairly."

04/13/2014

Gallagher: Why Bernie Sanders [pictured at left] Should Enter the Presidential Primaries
“So Bernie Sanders has posed us -- the American left -- the question: Should he run for president?” writes Tom Gallagher in Common Dreams.

04/13/2014

Sanders: What Do the Koch Brothers Really Want?
“As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process,” writes Bernie Sanders in Common Dreams.

04/13/2014

Krugman: Health Care Nightmares
"When it comes to health reform, Republicans suffer from delusions of disaster," writes Paul Krugman in The New York Times. "They know, just know, that the Affordable Care Act is doomed to utter failure, so failure is what they see, never mind the facts on the ground."

04/11/2014

$300 Million of Meddling? UAW Expands Tennessee Vote Complaint
A drive by the United Auto Workers union to organize a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee has taken yet another unusual turn, this time in a legal filing.

04/11/2014

Macaray: If Obama Were Serious
"Even President Obama’s most vociferous enemies would grudgingly admit that the man is a brilliant orator," writes David Macaray in CounterPunch. "His speech yesterday (April 8) on the subject of women being paid the same rate as men was nothing short of inspirational. His remarks included everything: steel-trap logic, a sense of fair play, the historical imperative."

04/11/2014

Why the Minimum Wage Should Really Be Raised to $15 an Hour
Momentum is building to raise the minimum wage. Several states already have taken action -- Connecticut has boosted it to $10.10 by 2017, the Maryland legislature just approved a similar measure, Minnesota lawmakers just reached a deal to hike it to $9.50. A few cities have been more ambitious -- Washington, D.C., and its surrounding counties raised it to $11.50, Seattle is considering $15.00.

04/11/2014

What Happened to Fast-Food Workers When San Jose Raised the Minimum Wage?
A 25% minimum-wage increase in San Jose, California, didn’t cause the region’s fast-food franchises to stop hiring. But it might have caused some heartburn.

04/11/2014

UPS Reverses Firing of 250 Workers That Held a Strike
UPS has reversed its firing of 250 workers for taking part in a 90-minute strike in February, the company told Business Insider on Wednesday.

04/11/2014

2,000 Johns Hopkins Hospital Employees on Strike
Two thousand Baltimore Johns Hopkins hospital employees from maintenance workers to housekeepers and kitchen staff are on strike after union leaders and officials failed to agree on a wage increase.

04/10/2014

Lowest Number of Americans Seeking Jobless Benefits in Almost 7 Years; Declines 32K to 300,000
The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost seven years, falling 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 300,000. The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 316,250.

04/10/2014

Senate Republicans Block Bill on Equal Pay
Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation meant to close the pay gap between men and women, framing an election-year fight between the parties over whose policies are friendlier to women.

04/10/2014

Report Finds a Los Angeles in Decline
From the 73-story skyscraper that just broke ground downtown (the tallest in the West), to the blizzard of office, shopping and apartment complexes rising from there to the Pacific, construction is bustling in Los Angeles. Home prices are up, and the foreclosure rate is declining. Crime is down. There is a new mayor in City Hall. In many ways, Los Angeles, like many once-beleaguered cities across the nation, seems on the upswing.

04/10/2014

Clawson: House Republicans Look for Poison Pills to Add to Jobless Aid
“House Republicans are talking about bringing an unemployment insurance extension for a vote, but it definitely won't be the bipartisan Senate bill,” writes Laura Clawson in The Daily Kos.

04/10/2014

AFL-CIO Membership Stats Mostly Flat or Declining
The AFL-CIO’s membership numbers were stagnant in 2013, despite the fact the union added more than one million members. According to a “Membership Report” prepared by AFL-CIO, almost all of that increase was attributable to the 2013 re-affiliation of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union with the AFL-CIO.

04/10/2014

Nichols: Presidential Prospect or Not, Elizabeth Warren has a Lesson for Democrats
"Many thoughtful media reports on the remarkable address that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren gave at the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s Humphrey-Mondale Dinner have focused on the fact that she took apart Paul Ryan," writes John Nichols in The Nation.

04/09/2014

Volkswagen Expansion Talks at Standstill in Tennessee
Expansion talks at Volkswagen’s lone U.S. plant have ground to a halt amid disagreements about the role of organized labor at the Tennessee factory.

04/09/2014

Gender Pay Gap Bill Faces Tough Road in Senate
Leaders of both parties dueled Wednesday over which side was truly interested in helping women as the Senate approached a vote on campaign-season legislation curbing paycheck discrimination based on a worker’s gender.

04/09/2014

Unemployment Benefits Bill Headed to House
Election-year legislation to resume long-term jobless benefits is headed to the House, where a small band of dissident Republicans is leaning on Speaker John Boehner to permit a vote on resuming aid to more than 2 million victims of the Great Recession.

04/09/2014

Obama Signs Measures to Help Close Gender Gap in Pay
President Obama on Tuesday signed two executive measures intended to help close longstanding pay disparities between men and women as Democrats seek to capitalize on their gender-gap advantage at the ballot box in a midterm election year.

04/09/2014

RAND Survey Estimates Net Gain of 9.3 Million American Adults with Health Insurance
"Using a survey fielded by the RAND American Life Panel, we estimate a net gain of 9.3 million in the number of American adults with health insurance coverage from September 2013 to mid-March 2014," write Grace Carman and Christine Eibner in a RAND press release. "While we estimate 9.3 million individuals become newly insured, the margin of error is 3.5 million people."

04/08/2014

Obama Urges House to Take Up Senate's Jobless Bill
President Barack Obama is urging the House to embrace a Senate-passed measure to resurrect federal jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

04/07/2014

Obama Plans Executive Order for Labor Inequities
Lacking congressional support to raise wages or end gender pay disparities, President Obama is again imposing his policies on federal contractors, in keeping with presidents’ tradition of exerting their powers on a fraction of the economy they directly control.

04/07/2014

The Safety Net Catches the Middle Class More than the Poor
“Liberals are shocked (shocked!) that Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and his co-partisans would consider cutting Medicaid, food stamps, Pell grants and other programs that serve the neediest Americans," writes Catherine Rampell in The Washington Post. "They have accused Ryan of trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor."

04/07/2014

SEIU Files S.F. Ballot Plan for $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage
Preempting the mayor, a group of labor activists led by Service Employees International Union Local 1021 filed documents with city's Department of Elections on Monday to place a proposal on the November ballot to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour -- the highest in the nation.

04/07/2014

Thomas Perez: 'Live in My World and You'll See What a Difference We Can Make'
“Any discussion with an administration official will center on the administration's message; it's most interesting to look for differences of emphasis or framing,” according to an unsigned essay in The Daily Kos.

04/07/2014

Union Says Other College Teams in Play After Decision Involving Northwestern Football Team
Players from other universities have expressed interest in forming unions in the wake of the landmark decision last week involving the Northwestern football team, a union organizer said Friday.

04/07/2014

Obama to Sign Order Strengthening Equal Pay Rules
In a move to boost wage equality and help close the wage gap between men and women (about 23 cents on the dollar), President Barack Obama will issue an executive order tomorrow that will apply some provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act to federal contractors.

04/07/2014

Labor Groups Slam Colombia Action Plan
A U.S.-Colombia plan aimed at reducing violence against workers and strengthening labor rights in the Latin American country is failing on both counts, labor groups in the two countries said in reports being released Monday that call on the governments to continue efforts for an additional four years.“In the three years since the Labor Action Plan was signed, 73 more trade unionists were murdered in Colombia,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in his group’s report, which draws heavily on a new publication from the National Union School in Medellín. “That alone is reason enough to say the Labor Action Plan has failed.”

04/07/2014

Senate Passes Bill Reviving Jobless Aid
The final vote was 59-38, with several Republicans voting to support the measure. Democrats needed to muster just a bare majority to pass the bill, having narrowly cleared a series of 60-vote threshold procedural hurdles last week with the support of several deal-making Republicans.

04/07/2014

Gallup: The Uninsured Rate is Lowest Since 2008
In the U.S., the uninsured rate dipped to 15.6% in the first quarter of 2014, a 1.5-percentage-point decline from the fourth quarter of 2013. The uninsured rate is now at the lowest level recorded since late 2008.

04/07/2014

In Bid for Revote, Union Claims Tennessee Officials Frightened Workers
The United Automobile Workers has seized on leaked documents from Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee in its efforts to persuade the National Labor Relations Board to order a new unionization election at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

04/06/2014

How Tennessee Politicians Killed Volkswagen Unionization
Right-wing groups may have successfully defeated a unionization bid at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee manufacturing plant, but it wasn’t a clean victory. Now the United Auto Workers (UAW), the union behind the unsuccessful Chattanooga organizing campaign, is taking the fight to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), alleging that outside groups contaminated the vote -- a claim which may be bolstered by recently-leaked documents from the governors’ office.

04/06/2014

College Athletes Union Could Put Billions at Stake
Last month, a National Labor Relations Board director ruled that college football players at Northwestern could unionize. Many believe the ruling, if it stands up, could force schools and the NCAA to share more of the revenue from college football and basketball.

04/06/2014

Court Case Could Make or Break Title IX
If the ruling is upheld and the union movement extends across college athletics, how exactly will that fit with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination?

04/06/2014

US Job Market Improves for 25- to 54-Year-Olds
The U.S. unemployment rate was changed at 6.7 percent in March. But the jobs picture has brightened for workers in their prime earning years, according to the Labor Department report issued Friday.

04/06/2014


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