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Labor News


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Cavuto: Doubling the Minimum Wage ‘A Prescription for the Death of Employees Across the Country’
[Wednesday], Fox host Neil Cavuto debated Stewart Acuff, formerly Organizing Director of the AFL-CIO, about workers protesting at McDonald’s headquarters for a $15/hour minimum wage. Cavuto was so upset, you’d think the money was coming out of his own pocket.

05/22/2015

Cassidy: A Fascinating Minimum-Wage Experiment is About to Unfold
“[Last] week’s decision by the Los Angeles City Council to raise the local minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour by 2020 is part of an intriguing development in urban politics and social policy,” writes John Cassidy in The New Yorker.

05/22/2015

American Enterprise Institute Tries to Hide Runaway CEO Pay
AEI claims the AFL-CIO’s data is an “exaggerated, bogus ratio” and that average CEOs really only make $180,700 a year. The data that AEI cites for CEO pay ignores the largest and most lucrative categories of compensation that corporate CEOs receive.

05/22/2015

States Quietly Consider ObamaCare Exchange Mergers
“What is happening is states are figuring out the money is running out,” said Jim Wadleigh, the director of Connecticut’s exchange, hailed as one of the most successful in the country. “At the end of 2016, everyone has to be self-sustaining.”

05/22/2015

How the Senate Got 60 Votes on Fast-Track
The Senate edged closer to granting the White House fast-track trade authority Thursday in a cliffhanger vote that was in doubt until the very end.

05/22/2015

Applications for US Jobless Aid Up, but from Very Low Level
More Americans sought unemployment aid last week, though the number of applications remains at a historically low level that is consistent with a healthy job market.

05/21/2015

Walmart’s Absurd Anti-Union Training Video Just Got Leaked
On April 13, Walmart suddenly shut down five stores -- two in Texas, one in California, one in Florida and one in Oklahoma -- leaving 2,200 workers shocked and unemployed. According to Los Angeles Times reporter Michael Hiltzik, employees were told that the stores have “ongoing plumbing issues that require extensive repairs.” A recently leaked Walmart training video lends credence to the suspicion that plumbing was not the real issue.

05/21/2015

McDonald's Boss 'Proud' of Wages He Pays as Thousands Demand a Pay Raise
McDonald’s new chief executive said he was “proud” of the wages the fast food giant pays its employees on Thursday as thousands of McDonald’s workers and union activists descended on the company’s headquarters near Chicago to hold the biggest ever protest against “poverty wages”.

05/21/2015

Sweeping Trade Bill Passes a Key Senate Vote
The Senate on Thursday voted by a narrow margin to break a filibuster on legislation to empower President Obama to complete a major, 12-nation Pacific trade accord, most likely clearing a path for approval of a crucial piece of Obama’s ambitious trade agenda.

05/21/2015

Sanders Threatens to Crowd Out O’Malley
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is moving fast to corner the market for a firebrand liberal alternative to Hillary Clinton in 2016 -- complicating life for former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

05/21/2015

Clinton Says Childcare Needs to Be a National Priority
Improving child care needs to become a national priority, Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday, and she urged Republicans in Congress to provide more federal money to help working families care for their children.

05/21/2015

Companies That Employ West Coast Dockworkers OK Contract
A spokesman says the companies that employ West Coast dockworkers have approved a proposed contract that restored labor peace to sea ports that had all but stopped moving cargo earlier this year.

05/21/2015

Fair Trade for the Global Garment Industry
The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh two years ago may have horrified consumers in the West, but the working conditions it exposed hardly are an anomaly in the global garment industry. Low wages, long hours, unsafe buildings and inadequate regulations are the norm.

05/21/2015

Hundreds March at McDonald's Headquarters About Low Wages
Hundreds of protesters marched around McDonald's suburban Chicago headquarters Wednesday, shutting down at least one building on the corporate campus as they called for pay of $15 an hour and a union.

05/20/2015

Clinton Punts on Trade
Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she will wait until negotiations are completed to take a position on the sweeping Asia-Pacific trade deal being negotiated by the Obama administration.

05/20/2015

Warren Calls on Hillary Clinton to 'Be Clearer' on TPP
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) on Tuesday called on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to clarify her position on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, the corporate-friendly trade deal that has become one of the most contentious issues in Congress and the 2016 presidential campaign.

05/20/2015

Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery Workers Vote to Continue Strike
Hourly workers at Marathon Petroleum Corp's Galveston Bay, Texas, refinery voted on Monday to continue a strike, rejecting a contract proposal developed by a federal mediator aimed at ending a stoppage that has lasted three-and-a-half months.

05/20/2015

Service Employees Union Asks FTC to Investigate Franchising
The Service Employees International Union issued Monday a detailed, 33-page complaint asking federal regulators to investigate “abusive and predatory practices by franchisors.”

05/20/2015

Sanders: The TPP Trade Deal is Bad for Working Americans
"Congress is debating fast-track legislation that would pave the way for the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership unfettered free trade agreement," writes Senator Bernie Sanders in The Manchester, New Hampshire Union Leader.

05/20/2015

Supporters for $15-An-Hour Wage to Attend McDonald's Meeting
Labor leaders and workers are expected to gather outside McDonald's Corp. shareholders meeting to drive home their demand for a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food workers.

05/20/2015

L.A. City Council Approves Increase in City's Minimum Wage to $15 by 2020
The Los Angeles City Council tentatively agreed Tuesday to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, joining a trend sweeping cities across the country as elected leaders seek to address stagnating pay for workers on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder.

05/19/2015

L.A. Lawmakers Poised to Vote on Hiking Minimum Wage to $15
Los Angeles lawmakers are expected to vote Tuesday on a hotly debated plan to hike the minimum wage across the city to at least $15 an hour.

05/19/2015

Hillary Clinton Says Citizens United Would Guide Supreme Court Picks
“I will do everything I can to appoint Supreme Court justices who protect the right to vote and do not protect the right of billionaires to buy elections,” Mrs. Clinton said while on Day 1 of a two-day swing through Iowa.

05/19/2015

When It Comes to Wage Abuses, It’s Not Just the Nail Salons
The cash registers of many gas stations never sleep. “I was there seven days a week, 12 hours a day, 84 hours minimum. Minimum,” said Chitra KC, 35, who worked in a station on Sunrise Highway in Holbrook, New York.

05/19/2015

NYT Editorial: New York Can Lead the Way to Higher Pay
The Fight for $15, a global effort to raise the pay of low-wage workers, has circled back to where it began, according to a New York Times editorial.

05/18/2015

AFL-CIO President: Bad Trade Deal is Worse Than No Deal
The head of the largest U.S. trade union federation said Monday that a bad deal is worse than no deal, and he urged Congress not to support fast-track legislation that would let President Barack Obama present Congress with proposed trade agreements that lawmakers can ratify or reject, but not amend.

05/18/2015

Clawson: Four Workers Dead, 11 Safety Violations ... and a $99,000 Fine?
"Last fall, four workers were killed by a gas leak in a Texas DuPont plant," writes Laura Clawson in The Daily Kos.

05/18/2015

Clawson: Scott Walker Stands by Firing American Workers as His Top Foreign Policy Idea
"Scott Walker got a little bit of side-eye from CBS's Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation Sunday over Walker's insistence that the most important foreign policy decision of his lifetime was Ronald Reagan firing striking air traffic controllers," writes Laura Clawson in The Daily Kos.

05/18/2015

Wisconsin Democrats Seek Probe of Governor Walker Over Loan
Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin called on federal investigators Monday to launch a probe into Republican Governor Scott Walker’s job creation agency after a newspaper reported the troubled organization made a loan to one of Walker’s top donors five years ago.

05/18/2015

Labor Group Escalates Fight Against Fast Food
The Service Employees International Union filed a petition Monday with the Federal Trade Commission seeking an investigation of the alleged practices at 14 major chains, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Quiznos.

05/18/2015

GOP Lawmaker Proposes Defunding NLRB
Representative Matt Salmon (R-Arizona) has introduced legislation to do away with funding for the National Labor Relations Board.

05/18/2015

Warren Disputes Obama’s Promises on Trade Deal
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is taking another swing at President Obama on trade, this time arguing the president’s promises to protect workers are mostly talk.

05/18/2015

Nails on History’s Chalkboard: Hardfought Freedoms Falling Away
After The New York Times ran a searing two-part investigation into the exploitation and job-related health problems of the state’s nail-salon workers earlier this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered emergency measures to protect them and appointed a special review panel to recommend long-term reforms.

05/18/2015

Senators Sanders and Warren Sign Letter Urging Obama to Get Behind 'Fight for $15' Movement
In a letter sent to the White House on Friday, Senator Bernie Sanders joined Senator Elizabeth Warren and other Senate Democrats in urging President Obama to escalate his support for struggling Americans and get behind the 'Fight for $15' movement, which has galvanized low-paid workers across the nation in a collective call for better treatment by employers, the right to unionize, and a living wage.

05/17/2015

Left Presses Clinton to Choose Sides on Obama Trade Pact
Liberal groups are insisting that Hillary Clinton take a clear stand against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that is a crucial part of President Obama’s second-term agenda.

05/17/2015

Three Years After Colombia Deal, Workers Still Face Violence, Impunity and Unfair Working Conditions
Three years ago last Friday, the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement entered into force. At the time, many of the same promises that are being thrown around in the Fast Track debate also were being discussed in terms of Colombia -- that the trade agreement would promote better labor conditions and create good jobs.

05/17/2015

Reich: Press Candidates on Strengthening Unions
Iowans need to ask presidential candidates tough questions about strengthening labor unions and regulating big banks, or risk an increasingly stagnating middle class, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich told a crowd here Saturday.

05/17/2015

Newsweek: 'Right-to-Work' Assault on Unions Is Hurting All Workers
“Anti-union state and local policymakers in communities across the country are attacking an already weakened labor movement by enacting so-called right-to-work laws that inhibit workers from bargaining for better wages and benefits,” write Karla Walter and Jackie Odum in Newsweek.

05/17/2015

Cowen: Don’t Be So Sure the Economy Will Return to Normal
“It is hard to avoid the feeling that our current economic problems are more than just a cyclical downturn,” writes Tyler Cowen in The New York Times. “We know that the economy has gone through some bad times. But what exactly are we experiencing?"

05/17/2015

Economists Cut Second-Quarter U.S. Jobs Growth Forecasts
Economists cut their forecasts for U.S. economic growth in the second quarter and full year, and trimmed expectations for U.S. labor market gains.

05/17/2015

Clawson: Happy Graduation, Kids. How Screwed are You?
“The good news is that recent high school and college graduates looking for work aren't as screwed as they were a few years ago,” writes Laura Clawson in The Daily Kos. “The bad news is that they're still kinda screwed."

05/17/2015

From Senate Sideline, Elizabeth Warren is Face of Attack on Trade Bill
Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat whose vituperations against Wall Street have helped push her party to the left, has no official role opposing President Obama’s trade agenda.

05/17/2015

Illinois State Senator Joins Democrats in Opposing Right-to-Work Law
Opposition to Governor Bruce Rauner's push to allow right-to-work zones in Illinois crosses party lines in the Quad-Cities.

05/17/2015

A Much-Needed Rule on Forced Labor
Like all controversial legislation, the trade bills making their way through the Senate are filled with provisions that can be hard to keep track of. One important measure that deserves more attention than it has gotten is a proposal to close a loophole that has for decades allowed businesses to import goods made with forced, prison, indentured and other exploitative labor.

05/17/2015

Candy Makers Fire Back on Forced Labor
Candy makers say they won’t stand in the way of an effort in Congress to end a decades-old statute that allows U.S. companies to import goods made with forced labor.

05/17/2015

NLRB Reaffirms Kellogg Lockout Was Illegal; Orders Workers to be Made Whole
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, D.C., reaffirmed that the Kellogg Co. illegally locked out more than 220 members of BCTGM Local 252G at the company’s Memphis, Tennessee, cereal plant from October 22, 2013, to August 11, 2014.

05/15/2015

125 Former Slaves Return Home to Myanmar from Indonesia
More than 100 Burmese men who worked as slave fishermen in Indonesia have arrived home and were waiting Friday to return to their villages to be reunited with families many have been separated from for years.

05/15/2015

Philippine Factory Where 72 Died Suspected of Breaking Law
A factory where a fire killed 72 people violated employment laws, the Philippines' top labor official said Friday, as more witness reports emerged about the victims being trapped behind iron grill bars shouting for help.

05/15/2015

AFL-CIO Chief: White House Trade Bill Argument is ‘Unadulterated Horse Waste’
Of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who supported the TPP as Obama's secretary of state but has not taken a position since declaring herself a presidential candidate, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said a day of reckoning is nearing for Clinton and the other 2016 candidates to take a definitive stance.

05/14/2015

Warren has Irked Obama Before, but Trade Deepens Their Rift
When President Barack Obama huffed that Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and established liberal star, was a “politician like everybody else” he revealed a rift that predates the current hostilities between the two Democrats over trade.

05/14/2015


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