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Labor & Economic News Blog

Compiled by Janice Kimball and the staff of the IRLE Library

Friday, June 30, 2006

Liberia: Govt. Threatens Civil Servants Over Demonstrations

Liberia: Govt. Threatens Civil Servants Over Demonstrations
Civil servants, as it has always been the case, have threatened a massive street demonstration on July 3, 2006 to apparently draw government attention to their plights. Reacting to reports of a planned demonstration as announced by the President of the Civil Servants Association, Jefferson Elliot, CSA's Director General, William Allen said such individuals may lose their jobs as government employees.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:26 PM


South Africa: Informal Sector Group Puts Workers' Plight to Nedlac

South Africa: Informal Sector Group Puts Workers' Plight to Nedlac
CALLS are mounting for increased protection of workers in the informal economy, who constitute about a third of SA's labour force and account for billions of rands in expenditure. The community constituency at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) wants a number of changes in the labour market regulations. It says the fragmentation of the market is being worsened by the lack of an inclusive legislative framework, leading to the rights of workers -- such as benefits -- being skewed in favour of skilled, permanent employees.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:23 PM


180 jobs go with Mishawaka foundry in Indiana

180 jobs go with Mishawaka foundry
MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- A foundry that started in the northern Indiana city nearly 130 years ago will soon be closed, costing the jobs of about 180 people.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:18 PM


Boeing workers watch stock with eye toward bonuses

Boeing workers watch stock with eye toward bonuses
For The Boeing Co. workers, today was a day to keep close watch on the company's stock price. At stake were bonuses that could total anywhere from a few hundred dollars to nearly $5,500.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:16 PM


UPS, Pilots Union Reach New Contract Deal

UPS, Pilots Union Reach New Contract Deal
In StarTribune.com Business
ATLANTA (AP) - UPS Inc. and its pilots union have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, which, if approved, would end a stalemate that dragged on for more than three years and included the pilots' threat of a strike, the union said Friday. The union said in a statement that the agreement would run through 2011 and must be ratified by the nearly 2,500 pilots at the Atlanta-based company. Terms of the new contract were not immediately disclosed, though the union said it included wage and pension improvements and a variety of changes to work rules.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:46 PM


China: Olympic workers toil for 70p a day - and then they don't get paid

China: Olympic workers toil for 70p a day - and then they don't get paid
LabourStart headline - Source: Telegraph
A court case in Beijing which revealed that some construction workers on the city's new subway line are not being paid has thrown a spotlight on working conditions in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:44 PM


B.C. construction wage deal aims to ensure Olympic peace

B.C. construction wage deal aims to ensure Olympic peace
Source: Globe & Mail
British Columbia's buoyant construction sector has struck a tentative wage deal with about 35,000 unionized building-trades workers that would guarantee labour stability until after the 2010 Winter Olympics. The agreement between the Construction Labour Relations Association and the Building Trade Unions covers workers in trades such as pipe fitting, roofing and electrical wiring until April 30, 2010.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:41 PM


Johnson Controls expects significant job cuts

Johnson Controls expects significant job cuts
By Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Auto parts maker Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI.N) expects significant job cuts over the next year as it shifts production to lower-cost areas and drops unprofitable business, a top executive said on Friday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:15 PM


Microsoft to Trim Sales Work Force

Microsoft to Trim Sales Work Force
By By ALLISON LINN, AP Business Writer
Microsoft Corp. is cutting 148 total U.S. sales jobs, as part of efforts to be more efficient, the company said Thursday. Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos said the software company is eliminating 214 sales jobs but adding another 66 in the...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:30 AM


Gay, lesbian workers gradually gain benefits / Most Fortune 500 firms ban discrimination, more than half offer coverage for partners

Gay, lesbian workers gradually gain benefits / Most Fortune 500 firms ban discrimination, more than half offer coverage for partners
By Ilana DeBare
More than half of Fortune 500 companies now offer domestic partner benefits -- a sign that, despite the continuing political battles over gay marriage, gay rights are becoming mainstream in corporate America. The Human Rights Campaign released a report...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:29 AM


MTA, unions arrive at early agreements in Los Angeles

MTA, unions arrive at early agreements
Source: LA Daily News
After three crippling strikes in the past 12 years, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and unions representing about 7,000 mechanics, bus drivers and clerks reached agreement Tuesday ahead of their contract deadline, avoiding another employee walkout. Details of the tentative contracts were not released, but the wage increases - which some said could have placed the financially strapped MTA further in the red - were said to be "fiscally responsible" and less than the 5 percent cost-of-living increase.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:28 AM


FAA plan to cut costs could change busy offices

FAA plan to cut costs could change busy offices
Source: NY Times
The Federal Aviation Administration, in a three-pronged approach to cutting its costs, is halting many personnel transfers in its air traffic system, reducing the staffing levels for air traffic controllers and evaluating layoffs of weather forecasters.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:23 AM


Workers plan to retire, without a retirement plan

Workers plan to retire, without a retirement plan
Source: Washington Post
More than half of federal employees expect to retire before age 62, with almost four in 10 looking to retire at 59 or earlier, according to a survey conducted for the Office of Personnel Management. But less than half have calculated how much they need to save for a comfortable retirement, and only two in 10 federal employees have a professional financial adviser to help with retirement planning.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:22 AM


Farms relying on subcontracted farmworkers

Farms relying on subcontracted farmworkers
Source: Washington Post
After 33 years of tending grapes that make world-renowned wine, Jorge de Haro is about to lose the only job he's ever had. De Haro and his co-workers at Charles Krug's Napa Valley vineyards are being replaced by field hands supplied by third-party contractors _ a process occurring at farms nationwide.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:21 AM


Unions oppose Senate's pay-for-performance bill

Unions oppose Senate's pay-for-performance bill
Source: Washington Post
A Senate bill that would deny pay raises to federal employees who get poor job evaluations was endorsed by the Bush administration and drew opposition from two unions at a hearing yesterday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:14 AM


Judge: NWA can void flight attendants labor deal

Judge: NWA can void labor deal
Source: Detroit News
Despite a federal bankruptcy judge's ruling Thursday that allows Northwest Airlines to impose $195 million in cutbacks on its flight attendants, the 9,300-member union said it has no plans to follow through on strike threats.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:13 AM


NLRB rules federal airport screeners at Kansas City International can form union

NLRB rules federal airport screeners can form union
Source: KC Star
The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that privately employed screeners at Kansas City International Airport have the right to organize, meaning votes will soon be counted for a union election held last year.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:10 AM


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Boeing's $5,500 bonuses: windfall for region

Boeing's $5,500 bonuses: windfall for region
By ltimmerman@seattletimes.com on Business & Technology
At 1:15 p.m. today, thousands of Boeing workers will be making a quick check of the company's stock price online before starting their holiday...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:35 PM


Maine Struggling to Revive Ailing Economy

Maine Struggling to Revive Ailing Economy
By ARIEL SABAR
Maine was the only state besides Louisiana to see a decline in economic activity last year, according to a new Federal Reserve study.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:38 PM


Jobless claims rise, suggesting slowdown (AP)

Jobless claims rise, suggesting slowdown (AP)
AP - The number of new people signing up for unemployment benefits moved higher last week, suggesting that the job market is logging slower growth.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:08 PM


University of California unions decry workers paying into pensions

UC unions decry workers paying into pensions
Source: SF Chronicle
Employee unions are accusing University of California officials of failing to do their homework before requiring employees to contribute to their retirement plans for the first time in 15 years.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:41 AM


Critics prepare to challenge Ohio worker comp legislation in fall

Critics prepare to challenge Ohio worker comp legislation in fall
Source: Business First of Columbus
The most recent reforms to Ohio's workers' compensation system don't go into effect until June 30, but already critics are pushing for voters to overturn several portions of it. A group called Bipartisan Advocates Committee is trying to gather enough signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot that would strike parts of the law passed in March and are viewed by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation as an employer-friendly measure.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:39 AM


HPAE/AFT Nurses Strike Englewood in New Jersey

HPAE/AFT Nurses Strike Englewood
Source: WCBS-TV
Hundreds of nurses are on strike this morning at Englewood Hospital. Picket lines formed began forming earlier this morning.At 7 a.m., 660 registered nurses went on strike at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. This comes less than a month after they were locked out of the hospital for three days.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:38 AM


Miller Brewing workers approve strike option

Miller Brewing workers approve strike option
Source: Milwaukee Business Journal
Union members at Miller Brewing Co.'s breweries in North Carolina, Texas and California have overwhelmingly approved going on strike unless the union and company can agree on new labor contracts. Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters voted 1,095 to 7 to give strike authorization to their bargaining committees, a Teamsters statement released Wednesday said.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:37 AM


Alcoa labor deal ratified

Alcoa labor deal ratified
Source: Pittsburgh Business Times
Alcoa Inc. said a four-year contract covering about 9,000 workers at 15 plants has been ratified by members of the United Steelworkers. Under the agreement, union workers will receive annual wage increases but have to begin paying health care premiums, among other things.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:28 AM


Asda Wal-Mart industrial action called off

Asda Wal-Mart industrial action called off
Source: BBC
The GMB union said it was pleased with the agreement, which will see a new consultative body set up to for staff and managers to discuss issues at a national level. "This new agreement heralds a new, fresh approach to representation and bargaining between the company and the GMB," said Paul Kenny, the union's general secretary.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:26 AM


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Peru ratifies US free trade deal

Peru ratifies US free trade deal
In BBC Americas
Peru's Congress ratifies a controversial free trade accord with the US at a session interrupted by opponents.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:41 PM


Young workers climbing for management

Young workers climbing for management
Young workers are becoming managers earlier in their careers. Imagine a middle-aged advertising executive reporting to a boss who is half his age.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:24 PM


Democrats push hard for increase in minimum wage (Reuters)

http://money.cnn.com/2006/06/27/news/economy/congress_wage.reut/index.htm?section=money_latest
CNN- Democrats ratcheted up their election-year push for an increase in the federal minimum wage on Tuesday by promising to block a congressional pay hike unless some of the lowest-paid hourly workers get their first raise in nearly a decade.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:40 AM


Teachers sell their work online via entrepreneur's new Web site

Teachers sell their work online via entrepreneur's new Web site
By By BEN FELLER, AP Education Writer
For all those teachers who take work home at night, creating lessons they hope kids will like, the reward is a good day in class. Now there could be another payoff: cash. Teachers are selling their original lectures, course outlines and study guides to...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:57 AM


New push to cut welfare rolls / U.S. to order states to require more poor people to work

New push to cut welfare rolls / U.S. to order states to require more poor people to work
By Robert Pear
The Bush administration plans to issue sweeping new rules today that will require states to move much larger numbers of poor people from welfare to work. The rules, drafted in response to a budget law signed by President Bush in February, represent the...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:55 AM


Port pollution revolution coming / L.A., Long Beach set to announce new green policies

Port pollution revolution coming / L.A., Long Beach set to announce new green policies
By James Sterngold
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together handle the most shipping traffic in the country but are also among the nation's worst polluters, are set to announce today what a top official described as radical new environmental policies that could...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:54 AM


Honda to Build New Plant at Indiana Site

Honda to Build New Plant at Indiana Site
By By ASHLEY M. HEHER, AP Business Writer
Honda Motor Co. said Wednesday it will build an auto assembly plant near the city as part of a $1.18 billion global expansion. The $550 million factory will evenutally employ 2,000 workers and produce 200,000 vehicles annually, officials said at a news...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:52 AM


Hilton, NY union extend labor contract by 2 weeks

Hilton, NY union extend labor contract by 2 weeks
Source: Reuters
Hilton Hotels Corp. said on Tuesday that it has agreed to extend to July 14 labor contracts at its two main hotels in New York City, avoiding the potential for a strike or lockout at the properties this weekend.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:51 AM


NWA union makes appeal

NWA union makes appeal
Source: Detroit Free Press
As Northwest Airlines Inc. and its flight attendants union run out of time to negotiate a new contract, the union has asked the airline to award management raises, bonuses and stock options only when it awards union members similar incentives.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:49 AM


School Bus workers union in New York City meet again to negotiate contract

Bus workers union meets again to negotiate contract
Source: NY1
With summer school looming, the school bus drivers' union ready to walk out, and the bus companies threatening a lockout, both sides left the bargaining table Tuesday with no deal in place.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:45 AM


Albany ready to give union rights to 52,000 day care workers

Albany ready to give union rights to New York 52,000 day care workers
Source: NY Times
The State Legislature is poised to override Gov. George E. Pataki's veto and give 52,000 home child care providers, now independent contractors, the right to organize and collectively bargain with the state for pay and benefits.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:24 AM


Supermarket giant Asda Wal-Mart seeks injunction to block depot strike

Supermarket giant Asda Wal-Mart seeks injunction to block depot strike
Source: Guardian
The supermarket group Asda will go to the high court this afternoon seeking an injunction to stop a five-day strike at its supply depots due to start on Friday. The strike could leave shelves empty within days and Asda executives are working on contingency plans, including bussing in depot staff who are not union members. In recent days the company has been discounting bulky items such as TVs to make space in its back-of-store warehouses for extra food and drink.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:23 AM


Asda strike will cost Wal-Mart owned supermarket chain millions, says former executive

Asda strike will cost Wal-Mart owned supermarket chain millions, says former executive
Source: Independent
The supermarket chain, which is part of the US group Wal-Mart, will incur the bill regardless of whether the strike organised by the GMB general union goes ahead. The costs will cover building up an excess stock of products with long shelf lives at the back of its stores before Friday's strike.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:21 AM


Trying to Make A Decent Living

Trying to Make A Decent Living
Source: Time
While some janitors struggle to get by, others are climbing into the middle class. Behind the new battle over America's low-wage workers

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:16 AM


New Jersey Meadowlands Hospital, unions reach agreement, avoid strike

Meadowlands Hospital, unions reach agreement, avoid strike
Source: Secaucus Reporter
At Meadowlands Hospital, the negotiating table ultimately triumphed over a potential picket line. On June 5, Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) Local 5147, the union that represents the nurses and technicians at the hospital, ratified a new three-year contract agreement with the Secaucus hospital, avoiding a possible strike. The Meadowlands Employees Union (MEU), who represents the service workers at the hospital, also signed a deal with the administration. The hospital Board of Directors will vote on final passage of the deal next week.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:15 AM


Union moves to control wages and benefits

Firemen's union in Southwest Florida moves to control wages and benefits
Source: Ft. Myers News-Press
Eleven of the 17 Lee County fire districts with the power to tax your property have firefighters sitting on the boards that approve wages and benefits for other firemen.“I think that’s inherently wrong,” County Manager Don Stilwell said. “I think it’s very unprofessional, and I’m surprised it happens.”But the union encourages it, and the Florida Commission on Ethics has ruled it’s legal. The only restriction is firefighters do not sit on the board in the district where they work.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:14 AM


Unions win broad victory over Department of Homeland Security labor relations system

Unions win broad victory over DHS labor relations system
Source: GovExec
An appeals court on Tuesday rendered a severe blow to the Homeland Security Department's attempt to curb collective bargaining rights for employees, unanimously upholding and even broadening a lower court decision to strike down large parts of the department's new labor relations system.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:02 AM


No talks in day two of nurses strike

No talks in day two of Kauai nurses strike
Source: Lihue Garden Island
Striking Wilcox Memorial Hospital nurses were on the picket lines again yesterday after contract negotiations broke down Thursday.Day two of the strike saw more than 80 nurses resume picketing at the hospital’s main and emergency room entrances.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:01 AM


New Jersey Nurses, hospital talking, but contract out of reach

Nurses, hospital talking, but contract out of reach
Source: Bergen Record
Contract negotiations between Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and a union representing 660 nurses resumed Sunday afternoon and continued into the evening without a breakthrough on pension benefits, representatives for both parties said.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 9:59 AM


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More than half a million British civil servants may be asked to pay more towards their pensions

More than half a million civil servants may be asked to pay more towards their pensions
Source: BBC
The Sunday Times said the plan was revealed in a leaked paper from Cabinet Office minister Hilary Armstrong. The paper from Ms Armstrong, seen by the prime minister and the Cabinet, proposes that civil servants pay more towards their pensions. She warns that the plan would be deeply unpopular and asks the government if it is prepared to stand firm even though there is a risk of industrial action.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:12 PM


Thousands of Contra Costa County workers walk off job

Thousands of CoCo County workers walk off job
By Rachel Gordon
Picket lines gained steam in Contra Costa County this morning as thousands of government workers walked off the job for a 24-hour strike over pay and benefits. Among those on strike are librarians, road crews, nursing assistants, engineers, public...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:33 AM


Easyjet unions reach wages deal

Easyjet unions reach wages deal
In BBC Business
Unions acting for workers at budget airline Easyjet have reached a three-year wage deal.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:29 AM


Hyundai workers stage walkouts

Hyundai workers stage walkouts
In BBC Business
Workers at Hyundai, South Korea's largest carmaker, begin a four-day series of stoppages in a row over pay.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:29 AM


Increases in pay 'averaging 3% in Britain

Increases in pay 'averaging 3%'
In BBC UK
UK pay rises are averaging 3%, with few people getting bigger wage rises than a year ago, research says.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:28 AM


British Postal workers face strike ballot

Postal workers face strike ballot
In BBC Business
Up to 136,000 postal workers are to be balloted on strike action after pay negotiations broke down.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) made the decision after it failed to reach an agreement with the Royal Mail.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:27 AM


SAN FRANCISCO / Bigger budget gives schools reprieve, still includes job cuts / Interim chief wants to better support small-site approach

SAN FRANCISCO / Bigger budget gives schools reprieve, still includes job cuts / Interim chief wants to better support small-site approach
By Heather Knight
The San Francisco Board of Education expects to approve a budget tonight for the 2006-07 school year -- and members agree it's not a good one, but it could have been far worse. The district's general operating budget for the coming year -- which is...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:19 AM


Starbucks faces suit over OT

Starbucks faces suit over OT
By Henry K. Lee
A former Starbucks manager has filed a federal lawsuit against the coffee company, alleging supervisors weren't paid overtime and were forced to work through meal breaks. Steve White, who had worked at Starbucks shops in Concord and Walnut Creek, said...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:17 AM


Bay Area keeps its tech lead / Southern California closing the gap with employment growth in sector

Bay Area keeps its tech lead / Southern California closing the gap with employment growth in sector
By Benjamin Pimentel
The Bay Area is still California's technology mecca, but the region is facing a strong challenge from down south, according to a report to be released today. The Bay Area, led by San Jose and San Francisco, still leads the state in high-tech employment...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:16 AM


Monday, June 26, 2006

IMF's Rato says global economic growth remains strong (Reuters)

IMF's Rato says global economic growth remains strong (Reuters)
Reuters - Growth in the global economy is strong and should remain near 5 percent for this year and next despite monetary tightening by leading central banks, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Rodrigo Rato said on Sunday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:05 PM


S.F. city workers get big slice of budget / Spending mainly for salaries and benefits

S.F. city workers get big slice of budget / Spending mainly for salaries and benefits
By Robert Selna
When Mayor Gavin Newsom submitted his record $5.73 billion budget to the Board of Supervisors, he touted its proposed new spending on technology upgrades to make government more responsive and efficient, beefed-up law enforcement, city beautification efforts,...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:53 PM


Thousands of German Doctors Go on Strike

Thousands of German Doctors Go on Strike
Thousands of doctors at municipal hospitals in Germany walked off the job Monday in a strike that follows a recent round of walkouts by their counterparts at university-run clinics. The Marburger Bund union said 7,500 doctors in four of Germany's 16...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:50 PM


Going far in the East / Young Californians moving to India -- not just for jobs, but for life lessons

Going far in the East / Young Californians moving to India -- not just for jobs, but for life lessons
By Reese Erlich
For many years, highly skilled graduates of India's universities took jobs in the Bay Area, helping fuel the high-tech boom. Now, young Californians are discovering India as a land of economic opportunity. Scott Stapleton, a 23-year-old former Oakland...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:43 PM


Workers' stolen laptops are filled with ID troves / Employees take sensitive personal data home

Workers' stolen laptops are filled with ID troves / Employees take sensitive personal data home
By Petula Dvorak
It has become the police blotter item of our age: A small-time burglar swipes a laptop and fences it for a quick $200 at a pawnshop. But increasingly, these petty crimes are causing anxiety in executive suites across the country as one corporation...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:35 PM


Asda to bus in workers as strike looms

Wal-Mart owned ASDA to bus in workers in Britain as strike looms
Source: Sunday Times
ASDA, the supermarket chain, is to bus staff into work in an effort to protect the identity of those who cross picket lines. The GMB union has announced plans to film staff entering and leaving depots during this week’s strike in an attempt to prove that the supermarket chain is illegally using agency staff to break the strike.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:34 PM


Krug-Mondavi workers, facing job losses, call for national boycott

Krug-Mondavi workers, facing job losses, call for national boycott
Source: SF Chronicle
Workers at the Krug-Mondavi Winery, one of the first Napa Valley vineyards to unionize, plan to call for a nationwide boycott of the company's wines, under the Charles Krug and C.K. Mondavi labels.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:29 PM


US Department of Union Busting

US Department of Union Busting
Source: Confined Space
Earlier this week, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington(CREW) received a 108 page document showing "a close and supportive relationship" between political appointees at the Department of Labor and staff of the anti-union, Center for Union Facts run by conservative lobbyist Richard Berman. The document resulted from a Freedom of Information lawsuit requesting any information about contacts between DOL and Berman.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:28 PM


Employers vary about effect of wage hike in Pennsylvania

Employers vary about effect of wage hike
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
The minimum-wage-increase bill that passed the Pennsylvania Senate late Thursday evokes ambivalence as well as opposition among Philadelphia-area business operators.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:25 PM


140 nurses on Kauai strike

140 nurses on Kauai strike
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Barring a last-minute turnabout, 140 of Kauai's nurses say they will walk off the job today at 7 a.m.
Both the Wilcox administration and Hawaii Nurses Association union members are preparing for the worst: months of picketing and pinching pennies. "We did tell the nurses to expect to be out for three months," said Claudine Tomasa, a registered nurse and a labor relations specialist with the union. "I always give them the worst-case scenario, though."

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:22 PM


One in four workers taking GM buyouts

One in four workers taking GM buyouts
Source: KC Star
Slightly more than one in four production workers at the General Motors Corp. Fairfax plant are accepting retirement and buyout offers as part of an extensive companywide downsizing.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:21 PM


With farmworkers sickening and sometimes dying on the job due to high temperatures, California is mandating water and shade -- but only in small amoun

With farmworkers sickening and sometimes dying on the job due to high temperatures, California is mandating water and shade -- but only in small amounts
Source: The New Standard
Under the new rules, which make emergency regulations set in 2005 permanent, employers must provide workers four cups of water per hour and access to shade for at least five minutes per shift. The standards also require that employers brief workers on preventing and identifying illnesses like heat stroke and heat exhaustion, as well as detailing an emergency plan if someone becomes ill.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:19 PM


Unions compete to represent Homeland Security employees

Unions compete to represent Homeland Security employees
Source: Washington Post
The union election is one of the largest ever conducted inside the government. The winner gets a larger voice on high-profile issues, such as terrorism and immigration, and could pick up thousands of new dues-paying members. wo of the biggest federal unions, which often act as allies, have been campaigning against each other for months for the right to negotiate on behalf of employees at Customs and Border Protection, a front-line bureau in the Department of Homeland Security.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:17 PM


Dispute over union rights in UK: Thousands of workers at Wal-Mart owned supermarket chain to strike for 5 days

Dispute over union rights: Thousands of workers at Wal-Mart owned supermarket chain to strike for 5 days
Source: Reuters
Thousands of workers at British supermarket chain Asda are to strike for five days later this month in a dispute over union rights, union chiefs said on Thursday June 22nd. Warehouse staff and drivers at 20 distribution depots will walk out from June 30, threatening supplies during the height of the busy soccer World Cup period, the GMB union said.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:15 PM


Group misses Varig cash deadline

Group misses Varig cash deadline
In BBC Business
A group of workers miss a deadline to deliver an initial $75m deposit to buy ailing Brazilian airline Varig.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:30 AM


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Massachusetts Bill would force state contractors to verify workers

Bill would force state contractors to verify workers
By Jonathan Saltzman and Yvonne Abraham, Globe Staff
Employers with state contracts would be required to make sure their workers have valid Social Security numbers by checking a federal online database under a bill proposed yesterday by Senate Republicans to combat illegal immigration.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:39 PM


Goodyear to cut part of its tire business

Goodyear to cut part of its tire business
By Associated Press
AKRON, Ohio -- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the world's largest tire maker, yesterday said it was axing a third of its private label tire business and cutting manufacturing jobs to improve profits.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:37 PM


Survey: Salaries to Rise 3.5 Percent

Survey: Salaries to Rise 3.5 Percent
Pay raises for most salaried workers will increase by 3.5 percent this year as employers keep budgets in check, the Conference Board reported on Thursday. The expected 3.5 percent rise makes this the fourth consecutive year that salaries are growing by...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:53 PM


Top court rules against illegal immigrant (AP)

Top court rules against illegal immigrant (AP)
AP - The Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a blow to longtime illegal residents, ruling that a deported Mexican man who lived in the United States for 20 years is barred from seeking legal residency or other relief in the courts.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:43 PM


New jobless claims up 11,000 last week (Reuters)

New jobless claims up 11,000 last week (Reuters)
Reuters - The number of U.S. workers claiming an initial week of jobless aid rose 11,000 last week, broadly in line with expectations and signaling a still-healthy job market, a government report showed on Thursday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:46 AM


Schwarzenegger blasts House Republicans on immigration stance

Schwarzenegger blasts House Republicans on immigration stance
By By ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sharply criticized House Republican leaders Wednesday for calling summer hearings on a proposed immigration overhaul before trying to compromise with the Senate. The Republican governor said public forums across the country...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:41 AM


RICH CITY POOR CITY / Middle-class neighborhoods are disappearing from the nation's cities, leaving only high- and low-income districts, new study say

RICH CITY POOR CITY / Middle-class neighborhoods are disappearing from the nation's cities, leaving only high- and low-income districts, new study says
By Tyche Hendricks
Ron Miguel, a retired florist and native San Franciscan, can remember when a middle-class family could buy a home in the city without breaking the bank. But over the decades, he has watched that change. "When we moved into Potrero Hill 30 years ago,...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:09 AM


Top Court Affirms Sex Discrimination Award

Top Court Affirms Sex Discrimination Award
By By TONI LOCY, Associated Press Writer
The Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a sex discrimination jury award for a female forklift operator who was transferred to a more physical job after she filed a lawsuit accusing her employer of sexual harassment. By a 9-0 vote, justices said that...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 9:55 AM


CalPERS increases HMO rates

CalPERS increases HMO rates
By Ryan Kim
The California Public Employees' Retirement System on Wednesday sidestepped an unpopular proposal for co-payment fee increases and cost-cutting restructuring moves and approved an average 11.6 percent increase in premiums for members of health maintenance...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 9:53 AM


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

GOP-run Senate kills minimum wage increase (AP)

GOP-run Senate kills minimum wage increase (AP)
AP - The Republican-controlled Senate smothered a proposed election-year increase in the minimum wage Wednesday, rejecting Democratic claims that it was past time to boost the $5.15 hourly pay floor that has been in effect for nearly a decade.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:41 PM


Skilled immigrants wait on Congress (AP)

Skilled immigrants wait on Congress (AP)
AP - The latest fights over immigration have focused on who should get a place in line for a legal life in the United States. But the real agony, says Tien Bui, comes when you finally get in line.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:36 PM


VW's Brazil Unit to Cut 6,000 Jobs

VW's Brazil Unit to Cut 6,000 Jobs
German carmaker Volkswagen AG's Brazilian unit plans to cut up to 6,000 jobs through 2008 as part of a restructuring to increase profitability, the Metal Workers Union said. The union said in a statement Tuesday evening that the company sent a formal...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:03 PM


University of Texas Medical Branch to cut 1,000 jobs by Sept. 1

UTMB to cut 1,000 jobs by Sept. 1
The University of Texas Medical Branch plans to lay off up to 10 percent of its work force to cut costs, the institution's president, John Stobo, said Tuesday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:00 PM


Senate rejects bid to raise minimum wage

Senate rejects bid to raise minimum wage
The Republican-controlled Senate refused today to raise the minimum wage, rejecting an election-year proposal from Democrats for the first increase in nearly a decade.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:59 AM


Fidelity to expand Florida operations

Fidelity to expand Florida operations
By Ross Kerber, Globe Staff
Fidelity Investments said yesterday it plans to open a customer-service center in Jacksonville, Fla., creating 1,200 jobs there by 2010, in the latest expansion by the mutual fund giant outside of Massachusetts.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 9:44 AM


Judge denies class-action status in workers' case against Cargill

http://www.startribune.com/535/v-print/story/505353.html
In StarTribune.com Business
A group of black Cargill Inc. workers lost their bid Tuesday to file a class-action lawsuit against the Minnetonka agri-business giant for what they allege are discriminatory practices. A District Court judge ruled that the 24 current and former employees presented no evidence that Cargill had acted in a pattern of discrimination that would justify creating a class of as many as 1,600 people. The ruling by Judge Donovan Frank does not clear Cargill of all allegations, as the workers may still proceed with individual cases.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 9:24 AM


Communication, leadership among key skills for managers

Communication, leadership among key skills for managers
Almost everybody thinks they are good managers. How many of these practices are you following? Communicate the big picture. Open communication helps foster loyalty and gives employees a sense of pride. It helps them understand how their work...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 9:12 AM


House GOP doing it their own way on immigration

House GOP doing it their own way on immigration
By Carolyn Lochhead
House Republican leaders stiff-armed the Senate and President Bush on immigration Tuesday, vowing to hold hearings across the country to expose the flaws in the Senate's legalization plan before entertaining any compromise with their get-tough approach.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 9:01 AM


Nurses' suits allege scheme to fix wages / Hospitals in 4 cities dispute accusations

Nurses' suits allege scheme to fix wages / Hospitals in 4 cities dispute accusations
By Steven Greenhouse
Nurses filed class-action lawsuits Tuesday against hospitals in Chicago, Memphis, San Antonio and Albany, N.Y., asserting that the hospitals had violated federal antitrust laws by conspiring to hold down nurses' wages. The lawsuits maintain that...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 9:01 AM


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Care of aging Americans often in immigrants' hands

Care of aging Americans often in immigrants' hands
Seattletimes
When Juanita Webb moved into Providence Mount St. Vincent nursing home in West Seattle, she was surprised to find that half the staff were...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:29 PM


Alaska Airlines to spend $5 million on severance

Alaska Airlines to spend $5 million on severance
Alaska Airlines will record a $5 million expense this quarter to pay for a voluntary severance program for flight attendants as it tries to cut costs.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:19 PM


Without Gates, Microsoft workers may balk

Without Gates, workers may balk
If the new Microsoft leadership team has plans for a new way of doing things, they'll have to figure out an answer to those employees who complain, "that's not how we used to do it."

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:19 PM


Police to probe Miami-Dade firefighter payments

Police to probe firefighter payments
Miami-Dade police on Monday launched a criminal investigation into double payments made to firefighters and other problems with the Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue Department's off-duty work program -- detailed in a Miami Herald report published Sunday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:11 PM


Mexico: Tens of thousands threaten 24-hr strike days before presidential elections: Pressure Gvt to end long-running mining dispute

Mexico: Tens of thousands threaten 24-hr strike days before presidential elections: Pressure Gvt to end long-running mining dispute
LabourStart headline - Source: Reuters
Tens of thousands of Mexican telephone and university workers are threatening a 24-hour strike just days before July presidential elections to pressure the government to end a long-running mining dispute. On June 28 the workers will walk off the job, joining thousands of teachers and miners, some of whom have been on strike for months in a series of labor conflicts that have seen running street battles with riot police.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:11 PM


Mexico: Tens of thousands threaten 24-hr strike days before presidential elections: Pressure Gvt to end long-running mining dispute

Mexico: Tens of thousands threaten 24-hr strike days before presidential elections: Pressure Gvt to end long-running mining dispute
LabourStart headline - Source: Reuters
Tens of thousands of Mexican telephone and university workers are threatening a 24-hour strike just days before July presidential elections to pressure the government to end a long-running mining dispute. On June 28 the workers will walk off the job, joining thousands of teachers and miners, some of whom have been on strike for months in a series of labor conflicts that have seen running street battles with riot police.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:09 PM


Toyota may expand Columbus Indiana unit

Toyota may expand Columbus unit
NAGOYA, Japan -- Toyota Industries' five-year growth projections give Indiana leaders hope the company's forklift plant in Columbus will expand soon.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:04 PM


Alberta faces labour crunch in next 20 years: Conference Board

Alberta faces labour crunch in next 20 years: Conference Board
By CBC
Alberta could face a labour shortage of 332,000 workers by 2025 if current trends continue, the Conference Board of Canada warned Tuesday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:55 PM


NWA seeks delay for plan

NWA seeks delay for plan
Northwest Airlines asked for an additional three months to complete a reorganization plan as it negotiates pay cuts from flight attendants.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:54 PM


Army deputy in India apologises to women

Army deputy in India apologises to women
In BBC South Asia
The second-in-command of the Indian army apologises for saying it does not need women officers. The comments by Lt Gen S Pattabhiraman provoked an angry reaction from women's rights activists who demanded that he be sacked.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:49 PM


US memo reveals Iraqis' grim life

US memo reveals Iraqis' grim life
In Middle East
A leaked cable from the US embassy in Baghdad paints a depressing picture of the daily lives of Iraqi staff. The cable says staff live in fear other Iraqis will find out who they work for, and are affected by sectarian tensions. Although employees remain professional "strains are apparent", it notes.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:48 PM


Pension 'raid' demand for Brown in UK

Pension 'raid' demand for Brown
In BBC UK Politics
Gordon Brown is ordered to reveal the forecasts he was given about the impact of his pensions "grab" in 1997. Critics have claimed that Mr Brown wiped billions of pounds off the value of pension funds when he scrapped the tax credit measure.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:44 PM


Chinese college hit by 'riot'

Chinese college hit by 'riot'
In BBC Asia-Pacific
Police are reported to occupy a college campus in central China after large-scale rioting by angry students. Students at the college, in Zhengzhou, Henan province, were said to be angry because of the college's decision to award them diplomas bearing its name. They had believed that they would receive diplomas from the more prestigious Zhengzhou University, to which Shengda college is affiliated. Higher education in China is expensive and many families go into debt to pay tuition fees. With competition for jobs intense, the quality of a degree can make all the difference.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:42 PM


New US pastures lure immigrants

New US pastures lure immigrants
In BBC Americas
North Carolina - once a rural, agricultural state - finds itself coping with the fastest growing Mexican population in the US.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:37 PM


Brazil court backing employee Varig deal

Brazil court backing Varig deal
In BBC Business
A bankruptcy court judge gives a workers group 72 hours to pay a deposit to buy for Brazilian airline Varig. The consortium of employees and foreign investors must find $75m (£40.1m) by Friday or the debt-ridden company could go back on the market.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:35 PM


Namibia: Retrenched Grape Valley Workers in Protest

Namibia: Retrenched Grape Valley Workers in Protest
SEVERAL retrenched workers of Grape Valley Management Company at Aussenkehr have blocked office entrances since Thursday in protest of recent job cuts. This has prevented company workers not affected by the 164 job cuts from continuing with their daily duties.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:29 PM


Senate swayed by analyst's immigrant count / How conservative think tank's estimate led to changes in bill

Senate swayed by analyst's immigrant count / How conservative think tank's estimate led to changes in bill
By Carolyn Lochhead
As obvious as the question seemed, nobody had really calculated how many more people the Senate's immigration bill would add to the U.S. population when the Senate opened debate on the issue last month. So when a think tank analyst projected more than...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:30 AM


Lego to Lay Off 1,200 in Denmark, U.S.

Lego to Lay Off 1,200 in Denmark, U.S.
By By JAN M. OLSEN, Associated Press Writer
Lego Group said Tuesday it will end production at a U.S. facility and lay off 300 people there in early 2007, while some 900 of the toy maker's employees in Denmark will also be sacked over the next three years. The production from Enfield, Conn.,, is...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:21 AM


New leaders at NWA pilots' union

ST. PAUL, MINN. -- Leaders of the pilots' union at Northwest Airlines Corp. elected Dave Stevens, a Boeing 747 captain based in Anchorage, as their new chairman Friday, three days after ousting Mark McClain, who led them through tough talks that led to steep pay cuts and major concessions.

Stevens took office immediately, and his term ends Jan. 7, 2008. McClain had been chairman since 1999, and while the membership of the Northwest branch of the Air Line Pilots Association voted to accept the concessions, many remained unhappy about it.

Stevens won on the third ballot on a 7-5 vote over Seattle captain Curt Kruse.

The union's Master Executive Council, which has been holding its quarterly meeting in St. Paul this week, said it would provide more details Saturday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:19 AM


Labor contest seeks the bummer bosses

Labor contest seeks the bummer bosses
Source: Boston Globe
Working America, the AFL-CIO union federation's affiliate for nonunion workers, invited workers throughout the country yesterday to share their best stories about their worst bosses in its "My Bad Boss Contest."

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:16 AM


Monday, June 19, 2006

Delta Pension Nix Won't Be Total Loss

Delta Pension Nix Won't Be Total Loss
By By HARRY R. WEBER, AP Business Writer
Delta Air Lines Inc.'s termination of its pilots' pension plan will sting _ no more lump sum payments _ but won't be a total loss for the 6,000 pilots at the nation's third-largest carrier. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which would take over the...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:07 PM


The downside of boom: Alberta's manpower shortage

The downside of boom: Alberta's manpower shortage
Source: Canadian Business
Alberta's labour crisis, the product of an energy boom and a demonstrable deficit of government leadership, has now reached a tipping point. While many Calgary firms actively talk about importing temporary workers from China and Mexico, Todd Hirsch, chief economist at the Calgary-based Canada West Foundation, calls the situation "almost absurd." Just two years ago, he thought Alberta's labour shortage was confined to skilled professionals. Today, almost every business sector in the Edmonton-Calgary corridor, along with key oil-and-gas towns,

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:05 PM


Palestinian workers receive wages

Palestinian workers receive wages
In BBC Middle East
Palestinians civil servants in Gaza start receiving $300 payments, their first wages since a cut in Western aid.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:03 PM


Cameroon: Govt Pays $10 Million to Ghost Workers Monthly

Cameroon: Govt Pays $10 Million to Ghost Workers Monthly
The census of civil servants across the country has begun revealing huge fraud in the public service, enabling government to retrieve FCFA 5 billion hitherto paid to ghost workers every month.The state was paying huge sums of money as pension to some 9000 people who did not exist.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:01 PM


States lead the way to raise minimum pay

States lead the way to raise minimum pay
The American work force that earns around the bare minimum in wages, is a beneficiary of a remarkable amount of state-by-state activity, though not in Texas, that's aimed at boosting the incomes of the nation's lowest-paid workers.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:20 PM


Fake IDs are rife at Massachusetts state job sitessites

Fake IDs are rife at state job sites
By Jonathan Saltzman and Yvonne Abraham, Globe Staff
While Republican lawmakers in Massachusetts have called for a crackdown on companies that hire undocumented workers, the state has provided millions of dollars to contractors who employed those workers, records indicate.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:13 PM


Gillette plant closing spurs protest

Gillette plant closing spurs protest
By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff
LOWELL -- Banging drums and tooting trumpets, about 100 demonstrators marched through downtown Lowell yesterday, demanding job security for hundreds of temporary workers who pack Gillette razors, shaving cream, and other products.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:11 PM


GM Europe workers protests

GM Europe workers protests
In Business
Western European workers at General Motors pressurize the US carmaker over its threat to shut an assembly plant in Portugal.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:06 PM


Immigrants in workplace cited in Senate (AP)

Immigrants in workplace cited in Senate (AP)
AP - Enforcement of workplace immigration law, a central principle of immigration reform legislation under debate in Congress, has significantly declined since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to testimony at a Senate hearing Monday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:55 PM


Poverty, job issues heat up the presidential race in Mexico / Fox's political legacy is tied to success of his rural technology program

Poverty, job issues heat up the presidential race in Mexico / Fox's political legacy is tied to success of his rural technology program
By Robert Collier
Six computers in this town's two-room high school may be the last best hope to give local residents a future that does not involve emigrating to the United States. "You know, this is a really small place, and most of my friends just want to go far...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:33 PM


Chinese Students Riot Over Diploma Dispute

Chinese Students Riot Over Diploma Dispute
By By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer
College students in central China smashed offices and set fires in a riot sparked by administrative changes that made their diplomas less prestigious, students and school administrators said Monday. Photos of the weekend riots posted on the Internet...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:31 PM


IDs Stolen for Work a Growing Problem

IDs Stolen for Work a Growing Problem
By By PETER PRENGAMAN, Associated Press Writer
Audra Schmierer's Social Security number really gets around. It has been used by at least 81 people in 17 states, most of them probably illegal immigrants trying to get work. The federal government took years to discover the number was being used...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:21 PM


Delta to Request End to Pilot Pensions

Delta to Request End to Pilot Pensions
By By HARRY R. WEBER, AP Business Writer
Delta Air Lines Inc. will file a request Monday to terminate its pilots' pension plan, the company's chief executive said Friday. But the nation's third-largest carrier still holds out hope pension reform will save other employees' retirement plans. In...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:20 PM


State jobless rate up a bit / Moderate 14,800 jobs added in May; economists encouraged

State jobless rate up a bit / Moderate 14,800 jobs added in May; economists encouraged
By Carolyn Said
California employers added a moderate 14,800 jobs in May, while the unemployment rate inched up to 5 percent from 4.9 percent in April, the state Employment Development Department said Friday. The total number of Californians holding jobs was 16.9...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:18 PM


State's largest employee union reaches 3-year deal

California's largest state employee union reaches 3-year deal
Source: SF Chronicle
The state reached a three-year contract deal with its largest employees union on Saturday, avoiding a threatened strike by thousands of Department of Motor Vehicle workers, accountants, prison cooks and others responsible for daily government operations.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:13 PM


UAW dissenters speak out

UAW dissenters speak out
Source: Detroit Free Press
The predictable officer elections, labor-movement cheerleading and diatribes against poor company management on the floor of last week's UAW 34th Constitutional Convention have come to an end -- and dissident union activists once again failed to change the union's direction.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:11 PM


No retreat, no surrender (they hope)

No retreat, no surrender (they hope)
Source: NY Times
As "No Surrender," Bruce Springsteen's anthem of defiance, blared inside the convention center of the MGM Grand hotel last Tuesday, Ron Gettelfinger, the president of the United Automobile Workers union, locked arms with the union's other leaders and led hundreds of delegates in a rousing march peppered with blue-and-gold protest signs.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:09 PM


GMB union warns job agencies not to provide Wal-Mart owned Asda with temporary staff during strike

GMB union warns job agencies not to provide Wal-Mart owned Asda with temporary staff during strike
Source: BBC
A spokeswoman for the GMB confirmed it was writing to job agencies to remind them that it is illegal to provide workers to replace striking staff.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:07 PM


Major NY hotels reach contract with 22,000 union workers, but two Hiltons hold out

Major NY hotels reach contract with 22,000 union workers, but two Hiltons hold out
Source: NYT
Many of the city's best-known hotels, including the St. Regis, the Four Seasons and the Intercontinental, reached a tentative agreement early yesterday with 22,000 union workers, averting a strike at a time when hotels are flush with visitors and profits. But the unions continued to wrestle with the Hilton Hotels Corporation at the Waldorf-Astoria and the New York Hilton, as acrimonious negotiations continued over asbestos problems and what the union calls "employer theft" of wages.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:06 PM


Cereal success Five years of steady growth enriches Kellogg's union

Cereal success Five years of steady growth enriches Kellogg's union
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
The past decade has at times put the Kellogg Co. in crunch mode, compelling it to lay off thousands of employees worldwide to cope with heightened competition, escalating costs and other challenges. But in the past five years, the world's largest cereal maker has enjoyed steady growth in revenues and earnings per share. It has gained market share in the U.S. ready-to-eat cereal market for the sixth year in a row. And as it celebrates its 100th anniversary, it's being praised by food-industry analysts for being on track to regaining its snap, crackle and pop.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:05 PM


Delphi announces deal with IUE-CWA, GM on buyouts

Delphi announces deal with IUE-CWA, GM on buyouts
Source: Detroit Free Press
Auto parts supplier Delphi Corp. has reached an agreement with its second-largest union and General Motors Corp. to offer buyouts to hourly workers that is similar to an earlier deal with the United Auto Workers union.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:03 PM


With a little help, union apprentices gaining broader access to better-paying jobs

With a little help, union apprentices gaining broader access to better-paying jobs
Source: NY Times
The six-month course, given by a nonprofit group called Strive, is part of an overall program of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's to widen access to the highly coveted jobs among people with handicapping backgrounds, and among minorities, women and military veterans. Advocates for minorities and women have said that these groups were long excluded from unions in high-paying trades like electrical work and plumbing, in which unionized journeymen in the city earn about $40 an hour. While industry and union leaders say opportunities for minorities and women have grown in recent years, critics say progress has been far too slow.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:55 AM


Here illegally, working hard and paying taxes

Here illegally, working hard and paying taxes
Source: NY Times
More than half of the estimated seven million immigrants toiling illegally in the United States get a regular paycheck every week or two, experts say. At the end of the year they receive a W-2 form. Come April 15, many file income tax returns using special ID numbers issued by the Internal Revenue Service so foreigners can pay taxes. Some even get a refund check in the mail.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:45 AM


Employers rarely fined for illegal hiring

Employers rarely fined for illegal hiring
Source: Washington Post
Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which subsequently was merged into the Homeland Security Department. The number of employers prosecuted for unlawfully employing immigrants dropped from 182 in 1999 to four in 2003, and fines collected declined from $3.6 million to $212,000, according to federal statistics.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:44 AM


GMB union locks horns with Asda Wal-Mart over supermarket chain's threat to use legal action to block strike

GMB union locks horns with Asda Wal-Mart over supermarket chain's threat to use legal action to block strike
Source: Independent
The proposed strike at Asda's 24 depots is the latest salvo in a war about union recognition. Talks between Andy Bond, the chain's chief executive, anda GMB shop steward last week ended in a stand-off.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:41 AM


Friday, June 09, 2006

Pensions 'damaging UK growth'

Pensions 'damaging UK growth'
In BBC Business
UK economic growth is being damaged by high workplace pension costs, an industry body has warned.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:24 AM


SAN FRANCISCO / Ruling on immigrant doctors overturned

SAN FRANCISCO / Ruling on immigrant doctors overturned
By Bob Egelko
A federal appeals court has overturned government rules that made it harder for immigrant doctors to qualify for permanent legal residence by working in inner cities and other areas where medical providers are in short supply. A lawyer for immigrant...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:13 AM


BofA: Train your replacement, or no severance pay for you

BofA: Train your replacement, or no severance pay for you
By David Lazarus
Bank of America has been steadily moving thousands of tech jobs to India. The latest to go are about 100 positions that handle BofA's internal tech support. While many of the bank's Bay Area techies accept the inevitability of their jobs heading...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:00 AM


Chrysler contract changes save jobs

Chrysler contract changes save jobs
Source: Detroit News
Union workers at a Chrysler components plant have agreed to changes in their contract, such as a reduction in job classifications, to win new work for the factory and save jobs, the automaker said Thursday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:22 AM


HUDS workers get wage increase

Harvard University Dining Hall workers get wage increase
Source: Harvard Crimson
Harvard dining hall workers will earn a starting salary of $13.08 per hour next year, an increase of $0.83, according to the terms of a five-year deal tentatively reached yesterday with the University.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:19 AM


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Biggest pension fund boycotts Wal-Mart for "serious and systematic" abuses of human and employment rights

Biggest pension fund in the world boycotts Wal-Mart for "serious and systematic" abuses of human and employment rights
Source: Guardian
The Norwegian government said yesterday its $240bn (£130bn) oil fund would no longer invest in Wal-Mart or the US mining group Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold - the latter for environmental reasons. The fund said it sold its holdings in both firms, which had been worth about $430m, at the end of last month.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 12:57 PM


Grocery chain to close 37 stores Grocery workers will be laid off / Albertson's selects underperforming outlets in Bay Area

Grocery chain to close 37 stores Grocery workers will be laid off / Albertson's selects underperforming outlets in Bay Area
By George Raine
The decision by the owners of Albertsons supermarkets to close 37 underperforming Northern California stores creates another wave of anxiety for the chain's workers, who have been buffeted by fierce competition and wholesale changes in the grocery industry.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:05 AM


Buy a hybrid, get a bonus / Companies offer workers cash for high mileage

Buy a hybrid, get a bonus / Companies offer workers cash for high mileage
By Sasha Talcott
Bank of America Corp. introduced a program Wednesday that offers several thousand employees a $3,000 cash incentive to buy a hybrid car, joining a number of companies, including Google Inc. and Timberland Co., that are offering perks to workers who drive fuel-...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:03 AM


Jobless claims fall sharply; other data mixed (Reuters)

Jobless claims fall sharply; other data mixed (Reuters)
Reuters - U.S. jobless claims fell more than expected last week, which was shortened by the Memorial Day holiday, while wholesale inventories rose more than forecast, reports showed on Thursday, offering mixed evidence on the economy.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:34 AM


Pataki vetoes bill allowing state union of New York day care workers

Pataki vetoes bill allowing state union of day care workers
Source: Staten Island Advance
The bill, supported by several public employee unions, would have classified day care providers who receive government subsidies as public employees for the purpose of collective bargaining on matters of wages, benefits and work conditions. The bill was supported by public employee unions, including the United Federation of Teachers, which could have seen significant boosts in their membership.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:24 AM


USW updates Alcoa workers on new labor pact status

USW updates Alcoa workers on new labor pact status
Source: Reuters
"A detailed summary of the proposed union contract with Alcoa is being written and printed. These summaries will provide USW members with a full explanation of the proposed agreement before a membership vote is taken at all Alcoa master agreement plants," the union said in a release issued Thursday on its Web site.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:23 AM


AFL-CIO petitions Bush administration to impose trade sanctions on China

AFL-CIO petitions Bush administration to impose trade sanctions on China
Source: NYT
The AFL-CIO and two members of Congress asked the Bush administration Thursday to pursue trade sanctions against China, accusing the Chinese of violating international labor standards and costing 1.24 million American jobs.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:20 AM


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

UK unions want Peugeot boycott

UK unions want Peugeot boycott
In BBC UK
Unions call on car buyers to boycott Peugeot-Citroen after it decided to move UK production.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:25 AM


Tourism grew in first quarter, jobs a concern (Reuters)

Tourism grew in first quarter, jobs a concern (Reuters)
Reuters - The U.S. tourism industry grew at an annualized rate of 5.5 percent in the first quarter of 2006, but tourism employment saw its first quarterly drop since 2003, the government said on Wednesday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:39 AM


World's biggest pension fund boycotts Wal-Mart for "serious and systematic" abuses of human and employment rights

Biggest pension fund boycotts Wal-Mart for "serious and systematic" abuses of human and employment rights
Source: Guardian
The Norwegian government said yesterday its $240bn (£130bn) oil fund would no longer invest in Wal-Mart or the US mining group Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold - the latter for environmental reasons. The fund said it sold its holdings in both firms, which had been

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:33 AM


Cingular Wireless bucks anti-union trend

Cingular Wireless bucks anti-union trend
Source: Fortune
Back in 2000, Cingular worked out what's called a "neutrality agreement" with the CWA. Each side agreed not to disparage the other, and workers were permitted to form unions at their job sites if a majority signed cards indicating that they wanted to do so. No name calling, no bitter battles, no distractions for the job at hand - which is, after all, providing wireless phone service to customers.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:30 AM


Northwest Airlines says will end pensions without help

Northwest Airlines says will end pensions without help
Source: NYT
Northwest Airlines said on Tuesday it would attempt to terminate its employee pensions in bankruptcy if Congress did not approve legislation giving airlines more time to finance those plans.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:29 AM


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Northwest Flight Attendants Reject Cuts

Northwest Flight Attendants Reject Cuts
By By JOSHUA FREED, AP Business Writer
Northwest Airlines Corp. flight attendants rejected a pay cut package on Tuesday, setting up a possible showdown with the nation's fifth-largest carrier. The Professional Flight Attendants Association said 80 percent of its members voted against the...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:18 PM


IBM to Triple Investment in India to $6B

IBM to Triple Investment in India to $6B
By By RAJESH MAHAPATRA, AP Business Writer
IBM Corp. said Tuesday it would triple its investment in India to $6 billion over the next three years as the South Asian country becomes a cornerstone in the global network of the world's largest computer services company. Chairman and Chief Executive...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:35 AM


Fewer workers hired in April (Reuters)

Fewer workers hired in April (Reuters)
Reuters - U.S. employers hired fewer workers during April, while the number of jobs that opened rose for the fourth straight month, a government report showed on Thursday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:44 AM


World Trade Center Recovery: Dereliction of Duty

World Trade Center Recovery: Dereliction of Duty
Source: Confined Space
New York Times reporter Anthony DePalma wrote a long article today describing the federal government's failure to ensure that workers at the World Trade Center site were protected.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:40 AM


Cook County nurses union threatens 1-day strike

Cook County nurses union threatens 1-day strike
Source: Chicago Sun-Times
The union representing Cook County registered nurses vowed to stage a one-day strike June 23 if substantial progress isn't made in contract negotiations this week. The union represents roughly 1,800 RNs at three hospitals, more than 20 community clinics, four public health offices, the county jail and the juvenile detention center.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:38 AM


Auto buyouts spread

Auto buyouts spread
Source: Detroit Free Press
Delphi Corp. is working on a new plan with its unions to shed an even larger number of high-wage employees who are not covered under its first early retirement offer, sources with knowledge of the company's negotiations say.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:37 AM


Communication workers union to strike

Communication workers union to strike
Source:NYT
The union representing 2,500 employees at four television stations owned and operated by NBC Universal has voted to authorize a strike. The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians of the Communications Workers of America has been negotiating with NBC Universal since its contract expired March 31. A strike date was not set, union spokesman Jeff Miller said.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:35 AM


Monday, June 05, 2006

Looking back at two years since the contract between Farm Labor Organizing Committee and the North Carolina Growers Assn. was signed

Looking back at two years since the contract between Farm Labor Organizing Committee and the North Carolina Growers Assn. was signed
Source: CBS News
Hailed as a model of organizing in a region with a history of hostility toward unions, the agreement won farmworkers recourse against employer intimidation and abuse, unsafe working conditions, and quasi-criminal recruiting practices in Mexico.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:14 PM


Workers look to cash in on mining industry riches

Workers look to cash in on mining industry riches
Source: Washington Post
A steep run-up in metal prices and soaring demand for raw materials have brought trickier labor relations for mining companies around the world, who find that unions have more clout to halt operations if they don't get a bigger share of the corporate profits. Many producers are under pressure to share any windfall, whether by hashing out agreements on fair wages and benefits, or by smoothing relations with communities in which mines may provide jobs but also raise concerns about the local environment and worker safety.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:12 PM


Study is ammo for contractors against project labor agreements

Study is ammo for contractors against project labor agreements
Source: Albany Business Review
A statewide construction trade group is pointing to a new study to bolster its argument that project labor agreements make it more expensive to build schools in New York. But another statewide group, this one representing 40,000 unionized construction workers, says the study by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston sounds flawed.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 3:27 PM


Pharmacists, Kaiser reach tentative pact


# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:26 PM


U.S. Service Economy Grows at Slower Pace

U.S. Service Economy Grows at Slower Pace
The service sector of the U.S. economy expanded in May, but at a slower pace than in April, a private survey of supply managers said on Monday. The report is a possible indication that fuel prices are starting to crimp growth in the service sector,...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 2:23 PM


Natives Feel Left Out of China's New West

Natives Feel Left Out of China's New West
By Peter S. Goodman
SHANSHAN, China -- Before the highway arrived last year, threading a strip of black pavement across a moonscape of pale sand, this town in central Xinjiang province was among the lonelier places on earth.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:22 PM


An Island Engulfed by Migrants

An Island Engulfed by Migrants
By Mary Jordan
VALLETTA, Malta -- Elegant white cruise ships slide into a perfect Mediterranean harbor, dropping hundreds of sun-blushed tourists to wander this former British colony's narrow alleyways dotted with pubs and classic red English telephone booths. But just beyond these postcard-perfect scenes, an unwanted flotilla of rickety fishing boats carrying desperate Africans is arriving, too.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 1:22 PM


UK firms 'fail' on mental health

UK firms 'fail' on mental health
In BBC Business
UK companies are failing to understand the importance of their workers' mental health, a report says.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:26 AM


New York City's pension cut proposal may set negotiating pattern

City's pension cut proposal may set negotiating pattern
Source: NY Times
The Bloomberg administration proposed yesterday that newly hired workers belonging to the largest municipal union accept substantially smaller pensions, a move that the city hopes will set a money-saving pattern for every municipal union.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:34 AM


FAA imposes contract terms on air controllers

FAA imposes contract terms on air controllers
Source: NYT
The Bush administration imposed new contract terms on more than 14,500 U.S. air traffic controllers on Monday after failing to reach a negotiated agreement with the controllers' union, officials said.
The Federal Aviation Administration plans to phase in pay cuts for new hires as well as new rules to boost worker productivity that were not resolved during 10 months of bargaining, which included mediation.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:33 AM


Delphi making progress in union contract talks

Delphi making progress in union contract talks
Source: NYT
Delphi Corp. an auto parts maker operating under bankruptcy protection, said on Monday it is making progress in talks with its unions that are aimed at avoiding a possible termination of its labor contracts.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 10:31 AM


Friday, June 02, 2006

Market moves before jobs report raise suspicion (Reuters)

Market moves before jobs report raise suspicion (Reuters)
Reuters - A group of well-timed trades raised eyebrows on Friday after stock futures and Treasury bond prices jumped and the dollar fell sharply in the seconds before the U.S. Labor Department published its May nonfarm payrolls report.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:41 AM


April factory orders down less than expected (Reuters)

April factory orders down less than expected (Reuters)
Reuters - New orders at U.S. factories fell a smaller-than-expected 1.8 percent in April as orders for aircraft, machinery, and computers and electronic products slipped, a government report showed on Friday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:39 AM


Cooling US economy adds just 75,000 jobs (AFP)

Cooling US economy adds just 75,000 jobs (AFP)
AFP - US employers have added a modest 75,000 new jobs in May, the government has said in a report suggesting cooling economic conditions.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:37 AM


Bush urges compromise on immigration bill / He backs Senate on legalization but not on temporary work

Bush urges compromise on immigration bill / He backs Senate on legalization but not on temporary work
By Carolyn Lochhead
President Bush appealed Thursday to lawmakers to tackle House and Senate negotiations on a comprehensive immigration bill, saying the difficulty of finding a compromise is no excuse for avoiding it. Speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and backed...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:34 AM


Minimum wage bills approved / Governor opposes automatic increases for state's workers

Minimum wage bills approved / Governor opposes automatic increases for state's workers
By Matthew Yi
Plans to increase the minimum wage and a bill aimed at deregulating the cable television industry in California advanced this week in the state Legislature. Lawmakers approved a pair of bills to boost the minimum wage by $1, followed by incremental...

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:22 AM


Pact averts strike at Alcoa

Pact averts strike at Alcoa
Source: NY Times
Alcoa has reached a four-year labor agreement with the United Steelworkers, averting a strike that threatened to reduce production and drive up metal prices. The agreement resolves a dispute over health care benefits that had left 9,000 workers prepared to walk off the job. Alcoa and the union announced the deal less than two hours before the strike deadline.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 11:17 AM


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Planned layoffs fall 10 percent (Reuters)

Planned layoffs fall 10 percent (Reuters)
Reuters - Planned U.S. layoffs fell 10 percent in May to the lowest level in 5-1/2 years, according to a report released on Thursday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:42 PM


Jobless claims unexpectedly rise by 7,000 (Reuters)

Jobless claims unexpectedly rise by 7,000 (Reuters)
Reuters - The number of unemployed U.S. workers claiming an initial week of jobless aid unexpectedly rose last week by 7,000, taking a four-week average of claims to the highest level since October, the government said on Thursday

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:42 PM


Manufacturing growth eases in May (Reuters)

Manufacturing growth eases in May (Reuters)
Reuters - Recent expansion in the U.S. manufacturing sector lost some momentum last month as growth in new orders and employment retreated, but industrial costs jumped, according to data published on Thursday.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:41 PM


Union to protest planned job cuts at Charles Krug / St. Helena winery wants to use land manager for farming work

Union to protest planned job cuts at Charles Krug / St. Helena winery wants to use land manager for farming work
By George Raine
The United Farm Workers of America has started a campaign to try to save union jobs at Napa Valley's Charles Krug Winery. Thirty-six workers are set to lose their jobs on July 1 when the company turns its farming operations over to a land manager.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:37 PM


Raising nurses' wages could save your life

Raising nurses' wages could save your life
Source: The Nation
There's been a media frenzy lately on the shortage of nurses in this country. It's justified; this is a serious public health problem. If you've ever been hospitalized, you've probably noticed that nurses work harder and are often more involved in your care and more knowledgeable than doctors. Seven years ago my father fell into a coma after getting a bone marrow transplant in a fancy research hospital. The doctors gave up on him, and told us we should pull the plug "when we felt ready"; luckily we didn't feel ready, because an enterprising nurse fiddled with the machines a bit, and saved his life. (We still don't know exactly what she did!) Now his health is excellent. He rides his bike every day, enjoys his grandchildren, writes poetry and just retired from his day job. If that nurse hadn't been there --or had been too busy and over-worked to pay attention to him --he'd probably be dead.

Our federal law-makers, in their wisdom, have devised a cheap solution to the nursing shortage: import nurses from other countries. There are serious drawbacks to this strategy. For one, the problem is global. Some of the countries exporting nurses to the U.S. -- India, for example -- are themselves experiencing a nursing shortage. Luring nurses here is just going to worsen the problem for those countries, weakening already-fragile Third World health infrastructures. Secondly, importing new workers won't improve the work conditions in the health care industry. If nurses aren't treated with the respect they deserve, the hard-working, talented folks from India will eventually burn out, too. A study released in March by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) found that increasing nurses' pay was "the most direct way" to solve the nursing shortage. IWPR also found that unionization helped to raise the nurses wages, and to improve nurse/patient ratios. Granted, the study was funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which organizes health care workers, but I've found IWPR reports to be rigorous regardless of funding.

Another clear solution is to improve education opportunities for young working-class women. Reporting an article on vocational education in New York City in the late 1990s, I met girls who were training to be beauticians because they'd dreamed of becoming nurses, but the nursing classes had been cut. As beauticians, they'll be lucky to earn salaries above the poverty line, and will likely take home less than a third of what they'd make as nurses. I love getting my nails done as much as the next person, but we do need nurses more than we need manicurists.

On another note, thanks very much to the reader who points out that the Center for Selective Facts is run by Rick Berman, who heads the Employment Policy Institute, a right-wing group that seeks to keep the minimum wage low (not to be confused, with the Economic Policy Institute, a lefty think tank advocating quite opposite strategies). I was aware of this connection but should have included it in my post. I don't think we can say for certain that the funders for the two groups are the same, though -- Berman is a consultant and lobbyist, so he could be serving any number of masters -- but our reader is right to suspect a close fraternal relationship.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:34 PM


Campus breakthrough on sweatshop labor

Campus breakthrough on sweatshop labor
Source: The Nation
Student activists at the University of California have achieved a significant victory in restraining the forces of unregulated globalization. UC president Robert Dynes announced earlier this month that the ten-campus system had pledged its "full and enthusiastic engagement" with an antisweatshop policy advocated for the past year by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), a national coalition.

# posted by Janice's Labor, Work, Economics News Blog @ 4:33 PM


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