Labor & Economic News Blog
Monday, July 30, 2007
Wasting away the workdayWasting away the workday
Workers spend an average of 20 percent of shift on non-work activities, survey shows. Admit it, you spend way too much time surfing the Web or socializing at work.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Women and their right to workWomen and their right to work
These days, there is a lot of talk about woman's work outside her home, plus different viewpoints about the significance and futility of women's joining the labor market, as well as the nature and type of works that fit women
Nigeria: Akala Clamps Down on WorkersNigeria: Akala Clamps Down on Workers
Armed security operatives yesterday stormed the Oyo State secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Ibadan and sealed off the complex. They dispersed striking workers who had gathered there and consistently refused to comply with the go-back-to-work directive from the government.
Hyper-competitive job market trainingHyper-competitive job market training
Funding for a little-known program helping workers who lose their jobs to overseas competition is being held hostage by GOP backers of presidential fast-track trade authority. Chris Farrell explains the controversy.
South African miners vote to strikeSouth African miners vote to strike
In BBC Business
South African workers for the world's biggest diamond producer, De Beers, vote to go on strike over pay.
Deal ends Israel general strikeDeal ends Israel general strike
In BBC Middle East
Israel's biggest trade union calls off a general strike after a deal with the government on pay increases.
British Coca-Cola workers strikeCoca-Cola workers strike
In BBC England
Hundreds of workers at two UK Coca-Cola distribution centres walk out after turning down a 2.5% pay rise.
United Kingdom: Royal Mail strike gets under wayRoyal Mail strike gets under way
In BBC Business
A two-week campaign of staggered strike action throughout Royal Mail has begun.
Salary reality: Many lawyers don't earn big bucksSalary reality: Many lawyers don't earn big bucks
People have a false impression all lawyers make six-figure salaries. With at least three law firms in Houston announcing they're raising starting pay to $160,000, there's reason for confusion.
California's Office of Administrative Law Approves Final Harassment Training Regulations.California's Office of Administrative Law Approves Final Harassment Training Regulations.
On July 18, 2007, California's Office of Administrative Law approved, with minor modification, the Fair Employment and Housing Commission's sexual harassment training and education regulations. The newly approved regulations will become effective August 17, 2007. The regulations clarify employers' obligations...
Wage growth up 8 percent in Miami-DadeWage growth up 8 percent in Miami-Dade
Strong growth in the high-wage financial activity sector and fewer low-paying professional and business jobs helped push average weekly wages in Miami-Dade to the fastest-growing among the country's largest counties, government data released Wednesday showed.
General strike paralyzes IsraelGeneral strike paralyzes Israel
(AP) -- Israel's largest trade union Wednesday began a general strike that shut down the country's seaports, land crossings, railways, mail service, garbage collection and many other public services.
Recovery Coordinator Urged for Injured SoldiersRecovery Coordinator Urged for Injured Soldiers
A presidential commission urged broad changes to veterans' care that would boost benefits for family members helping the wounded, an easy-to-use Web site for medical records, and overhaul disability pay. Panel co-chair Donna Shalala spoke with Renee Montagne.
Alameda County Trash: 7 days of talks -- some progress / Dellums pushes for settlement soon so drivers can be back on the job by Monday7 days of talks -- some progress / Dellums pushes for settlement soon so drivers can be back on the job by Monday
The two sides in the garbage lockout that has littered the East Bay with rotting trash for nearly four weeks have settled some issues, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said, but other differences remained as talks were expected to resume again this afternoon....
Stagehands bracing for Broadway showdownStagehands bracing for Broadway showdown
Starting next week members of Local One, the union that represents the hundreds of carpenters, electricians, props workers and sound technicians on Broadway, will be reporting to work without a contract with the League of American Theaters and Producers.
Jobless claims fall 2,000 in latest week (Reuters)Jobless claims fall 2,000 in latest week (Reuters)
Reuters - The number of new claims filed for U.S. jobless benefits fell unexpectedly in the latest week, dropping 2,000 to the lowest in more than two months, the government said on Thursday.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
White ex-A&P worker wins reverse bias suitWhite ex-A&P worker wins reverse bias suit
A federal jury has ruled that Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. discriminated against a white former maintenance manager at its old Landover coffee-roasting plant because of his race and awarded him $24,200 in expenses, with the recommendation that he be paid another $61,000 in back pay.
Time off? Working poor can't afford itTime off? Working poor can't afford it
Like millions of lower-wage workers in America, Moira Manion has to keep working to make ends meet. The stress is affecting her health, but without medical insurance or vacation time, there's no option but to keep working.
Americans Tell Job Horror Stories in ContestAmericans Tell Job Horror Stories in Contest
Working America, the union outreach group, launches its annual contest in which it collects on-the-job horror stories and then posts them on its Web site. There you can review the bad-boss stories. There will be two grand-prize winners this year. The prize? A vacation from that bad boss.
Bosses Do Not Always Make Best Online PalsBosses Do Not Always Make Best Online Pals
The era of social networking Web sites makes it a lot easier to cross the line into friendship with superiors. Lucy Kellaway, a Financial Times columnist, describes the problems with befriending the boss in the real world and online. Kellaway spoke with Renee Montagne.
9/11 Workers Not Getting Enough Care, Report Says9/11 Workers Not Getting Enough Care, Report Says
The report said that federal workers and responders who came to ground zero from other parts of the country do not have access to suitable health programs.
Manhattan: Group Calls for Taxi StrikeNew York: Manhattan: Group Calls for Taxi Strike
A group that represents more than 8,000 taxi drivers is calling for a strike to protest a high-tech video-and-fare system that must be installed in all of the city’s 13,000 yellow cabs by the end of the year.
Improvement in Life Seen in Sub-Saharan AfricaImprovement in Life Seen in Sub-Saharan Africa
New York Times
Despite a thicket of troubles, from deadly illnesses like AIDS and malaria to corrupt politicians and deep-seated poverty, a plurality of Africans say they are better off today than they were five years ago and are optimistic about their future and that of the next generation, according to a poll conducted in 10 sub-Saharan countries by The New York Times and the Pew Global Attitudes Project.
NWA plans to hire 250-350 pilotsNWA plans to hire 250-350 pilots
In StarTribune.com Business
Northwest Airlines said Tuesday that it expects to hire 250 to 350 pilots within the next 12 months, representing the first pilot hires since 2001. The carrier has struggled this summer with a pilot shortage that has caused flight cancellations. "Once we have recalled all the eligible pilots from furlough, we will begin hiring new pilots," Northwest CEO Doug Steenland said Tuesday in a letter to employees.
Iraq contractors on notice about forced laborIraq contractors on notice about forced labor
Sam McCahon proposed a simple solution to convince US-funded contractors working in Iraq to return passports to their migrant workers. Reaching in his pocket, the candid government contract lawyer pulled out a clip of folded US dollars and held it up. “This works,” he said, speaking at a conference on labor trafficking in Washington, DC, sponsored last week by the International Peace Operations Association, a trade group of private contractors specializing in military support services.
Kansas: Teachers, Wichita district agree on contractTeachers, Wichita district agree on contract
The agreement comes as the school board considers a budget that would increase the property tax rate by 2 mills. The owner of a $100,000 house would pay an additional $23 annually if the tax increase is approved.
Trouble in Truckin': Court Limits Hours Behind the WheelTrouble in Truckin': Court Limits Hours Behind the Wheel
By Jon Coppelman on Industry Events
A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the Bush administration's rules that increased the number of hours a trucker can spend behind the wheel. In an article by Stephen Labaton in the New York Times, we read that the Bush approach increased weekly hours to 77 from 60 over 7 consecutive days, and to 88 hours from 70 over...
South Africa: Western Cape Unions May Strike AgainSouth Africa: Western Cape Unions May Strike Again
Western Cape public sector unions are threatening a second strike in the province, unless various issues linked to the aftermath of the crippling national strike are resolved.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Outsourcing the Picket Line: Carpenters Union Hires Homeless to Stage ProtestsOutsourcing the Picket Line: Carpenters Union Hires Homeless to Stage Protests
The picketers marching in a circle in front of a downtown Washington office building chanting about low wages do not seem fully focused on their message. Many have arrived with large suitcases or bags holding their belongings, which they keep in sight.
The Fourth Circuit Requires DOL or Court Approval To Release FMLA RightsThe Fourth Circuit Requires DOL or Court Approval To Release FMLA Rights
By Sheppard Mullin on FMLA
In Taylor v. Progress Energy, Inc., the Fourth Circuit considered the meaning of 29 C.F.R. § 825.220(d) which states that "employees cannot waive, nor may employers induce employees to waive, their rights under FMLA." The Court concluded that, without prior...
40 Years Later, Detroit Slowly Sees Renewal40 Years Later, Detroit Slowly Sees Renewal
Residue from the 1967 riots can still be seen throughout Detroit. Although some economic development has taken place, abandoned buildings and other signs of urban blight remain evident combined with a population that continues to decline. But newspaper columnist Rochelle Riley says a new Detroit is slowly emerging.
Grocery Workers Get New Health ContractGrocery Workers Get New Health Contract
Grocery store workers in Southern California have ratified a new contract that includes some novel health-care provisions. The region's major supermarkets hope the plan will help to rein in workers' health care costs, without compromising care.
Air controllers argue over maintenance (AP)Air controllers argue over maintenance (AP)
AP - Air traffic controllers say poor maintenance of their aging work places has hampered and harmed them and could endanger the flying public.
Big gains for California employee pension funds.Big gains for California employee pension funds.
The California pension funds for state employees and teachers reported their best annual returns in nine and 20 years, respectively, on Monday.
Too many flights, not enough pilotsToo many flights, not enough pilots
Northwest Airlines has canceled an usually high number of flights for the second time in two months. The carrier blames bad weather, mechanical problems and a shortage of pilots. Martin Moylan reports.
Too many flights, not enough pilotsToo many flights, not enough pilots
Northwest Airlines has canceled an usually high number of flights for the second time in two months. The carrier blames bad weather, mechanical problems and a shortage of pilots. Martin Moylan reports.
How to form a corporation of oneHow to form a corporation of one
Want to cut down on the hours you clock in, but still be productive? Cash Peters explores the benefits of taking outsourcing to the extreme with Tim Ferris, author of "The 4-Hour Workweek."
Minimum-Wage Workers Get Federal RaiseMinimum-Wage Workers Get Federal Raise
The federal minimum wage goes up 70 cents to $5.85 an hour. More than a million workers will make around $1,500 a year more than they would have without the increase. It is the first increase in a decade.
Longevity bonus swells Dade payrollLongevity bonus swells Dade payroll
Longtime employees of Miami-Dade County will be rewarded with an estimated $16 million this year under a program that rewards veterans for sticking around.
The Kansas City area has a high concentration of employee-owned companiesThe Kansas City area has a high concentration of employee-owned companies
An estimated one in five workers owns a piece of the company he or she works for.
UK Royal Mail denies 'pension cuts'Royal Mail denies 'pension cuts'
In BBC Business
The Royal Mail denies a report that it plans to cut the pensions of 167,000 of its postal workers.
Unions bend to private equity realitiesUnions bend to private equity realities
Firms specializing in buyouts indirectly employ more than five million Americans. And unions are increasingly looking to shore up gains by making concessions to the new economic powers. Steve Henn reports.
Dodging the summer internship bluesDodging the summer internship blues
Businesses are increasingly leveraging summer interns to boost business. Some even do the job for free to gain experience. But employers have to be careful with federal employment guidelines. Brett Brune reports.
Absolutely, positively a global economyAbsolutely, positively a global economy
Globalization has played a large part in the strong growth of United Parcel Service. Kai Ryssdal talks with CEO Michael Eskew about how the business has changed, and how in many ways it will always stay the same.
Court Voids Higher Limits on Truckers’ HoursCourt Voids Higher Limits on Truckers’ Hours
A federal appeals court struck down a Bush administration rule that loosened limits on the work hours of truck drivers.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Few Young Doctors Step in as Upstate Population AgesFew Young Doctors Step in as Upstate Population Ages
A crisis is looming in upstate New York unless cities like Binghamton can do a better job of recruiting doctors, according to a recent report.
Injured Iraq War Veterans Sue V.A. HeadInjured Iraq War Veterans Sue V.A. Head
Frustrated by delays in health care, a coalition of injured Iraq war veterans is accusing VA Secretary Jim Nicholson of breaking the law by denying them disability pay and mental health treatment.
AFL-CIO site has info on legal protectionsAFL-CIO site has info on legal protections
Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has launched a free online service for anyone who wants more information on legal rights and protections on the job. ''Ask a Lawyer'' at www.workingamerica.org/askalawyer was created to help workers understand their rights and determine whether the boss can do that -- or not.
More working moms see part-time jobs as the idealMore working moms see part-time jobs as the ideal
It seems to happen every few months: a new book or study fuels the "Mommy Wars," the intense debate over whether moms should stay home with the kids or work outside the home. Each time there's spirited talk, angst and some guilt from mothers who fear they're doing the wrong thing.
Fighting for the right to relaxFighting for the right to relax
There are laws on the books in 127 countries mandating vacation time for workers. But not in the U.S., where a lot of folks find they just can't afford to escape the grind in a competitive market. Wren Elhai reports.
Poll: Saying 'no' to globalizationPoll: Saying 'no' to globalization
A new poll finds that consumers on both sides of the Atlantic feel their lifestyles are threatened by cheap labor in China and India. Well-heeled executives should pay more taxes, too. Stephen Beard reports.
Time off, other perks keep workers motivated in summerTime off, other perks keep workers motivated in summer
Many small-business owners looking to keep staffers motivated this summer give workers what they really want -- time away from the office.
LA port clerks submit "last, best and final" offerLA port clerks submit "last, best and final" offer
The union representing clerical workers at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports submitted on Saturday what it called its last, best and final offer to shippers in an effort to avoid a strike.
Ten Years Since the UPS Strike: Globalization and InequalityTen Years Since the UPS Strike: Globalization and Inequality
Ten years ago, on August 4, 1997, when 185,000 UPS workers went out on strike, they made headline news. They forced a discussion of inequality onto the front pages of national newspapers and they tapped into the economic anxiety of the vast majority of Americans, so that the public sided with the Teamsters against UPS by a 2-to-1 margin.
Federal Minimum Wage to rise on TuesdayFederal Minimum Wage to rise on Tuesday
Fast-food waitress Fawn Townsend of Raleigh, N.C., knows exactly what she is going to do if her salary goes up with Tuesday's increase in the federal minimum wage: start saving for a car so she can find a second job to make ends meet.
In-home caregivers fight for contractIn-home caregivers fight for contract
The contract for the caregivers, who are represented by Service Employees International Union Local 521 but are not county employees, expired June 30. The union is asking for compensation increases and assurances that free monthly SamTrans bus and Caltrain passes are not taken away.
Teens trade lazy summer days for jobs / Work experience seen improving college prospectsTeens trade lazy summer days for jobs / Work experience seen improving college prospects
By Marcella Bombardieri
High school senior Stacy Jones thought about studying Chinese or Arabic this summer, but settled on something likely to look far more exotic on her application to Tufts University and other elite colleges. She is scrubbing desks and mopping floors....
UAW kicks off contract talks with GMUAW kicks off contract talks with GM
In StarTribune.com Business
Contract talks between the United Auto Workers and General Motors Corp., the nation's largest vehicle manufacturer, got under way Monday. The traditional handshake ceremony between the union and GM took place Monday morning in Detroit. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger smiled and shook hands with GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, while GM chief negotiator Diana Tremblay shook hands with UAW Vice President Cal Rapson.
Oakland: As Garbage Mounts, Talks AdjournOakland: As Garbage Mounts, Talks Adjourn
Sides meet for 12 hours without reaching deal; talks resume Tuesday.
Claims for unemployment benefits downClaims for unemployment benefits down
The number of laid off workers filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in two months.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Houston Area job growth slows slightly but still chuggingArea job growth slows slightly but still chugging
Job growth in the oil and gas industry, like the rest of the Houston area economy, is still robust, but it's showing a few signs of slowing down. Manufacturing of equipment used to find and produce oil and natural gas isn't as strong. Neither is oil and gas extraction, which peaked last fall.
Amtrak, union reach tentative labor dealAmtrak, union reach tentative labor deal
A union representing Amtrak's 1,300 locomotive engineers announced Friday that it has reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract with the passenger railroad.
Alameda County: Garbage drivers' safety record at heart of lockout impasseGarbage drivers' safety record at heart of lockout impasse
The driving safety record of Teamsters Local 70 is front-and-center in the 19-day garbage driver lockout that has caused tempers to flare across the East Bay as stinking trash has piled up while replacement drivers miss or ignore entire neighborhoods.
UAW chief faces Reuther legacy, 'crashing' industryUAW chief faces Reuther legacy, 'crashing' industry
Ron Gettelfinger, chief of the United Auto Workers, will sit at the bargaining table with the Big Three automakers while holding one of the weakest hands in the 72-year- old union's history. He'll also have the shadow of union icon Walter Reuther looming over him.
IUE-CWA union plans to terminate Delphi contractsIUE-CWA union plans to terminate Delphi contracts
A union representing more than 2,000 workers at bankrupt Delphi Corp. said on Friday it plans to terminate its contracts with the auto parts supplier, a first step toward a possible strike in October.
South San Francisco / Police officers claim bias after Iraq serviceSouth San Francisco / Police officers claim bias after Iraq service
By John Coté
Two South San Francisco police officers have filed a federal lawsuit against the Police Department, saying they suffered workplace discrimination because of serving extended military deployments overseas as Army reservists, including two tours each in Iraq....
Berkeley/ Cal athletic official rehired -- suit settledBerkeley / Cal athletic official rehired -- suit settled
By Steve Rubenstein
A former assistant athletic director at UC Berkeley will be reinstated with back pay after settling a 3-year-old federal lawsuit in which she said she had been improperly dismissed because she accused the university of sex discrimination.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
New Jersey: Newark: City Officials Predict LayoffsNew Jersey: Newark: City Officials Predict Layoffs
Officials said they would probably dismiss 300 to 400 municipal employees this year in the hope of closing a $180 million budget shortfall for 2008. Bo Kemp, the city’s business administrator, said the layoffs were necessary because only 190 employees, far fewer than expected, had volunteered for an early retirement program.
A humble link in the global delivery chainA humble link in the global delivery chain
Meet Mr. Wang, a Beijing courier who lives to work as he tries to adapt to his country's rapid change. Sandy Tolan reports this latest installment in our series on workers around the world.
A Ford Dealer's Perspective on Labor TalksA Ford Dealer's Perspective on Labor Talks
Negotiations start Friday between the Big Three automakers -- General Motors, Chrysler and Ford -- and the United Auto Workers. The owner of a Ford and Mitsubishi dealership in Gainesville, Fla., talks about the business.
Importing injustice - How deregulation and Wal-Mart poison the Port of Oakland's neighbors and force poverty wages on truckersImporting injustice - How deregulation and Wal-Mart poison the Port of Oakland's neighbors and force poverty wages on truckers
SF Bay Guardian
More than 100 tractor trailers were lined up at 6:30 a.m., inching toward the Port of Oakland's Terminal 7, waiting for their next load. Against the backdrop of the San Francisco skyline, a mammoth freight ship emblazoned with the name Hyundai glided toward the port, pregnant with multicolor shipping containers.
Garbage firm has history of playing toughGarbage firm has history of playing tough
The company at the center of the garbage lockout that has trash piling up around the East Bay doesn't shy away from a fight and has squared off in the past with labor unions and environmentalists.
Workers protest Nike's plan to cut orders: 14,000 jobs will be lost with reductionsWorkers protest Nike's plan to cut orders: 14,000 jobs will be lost with reductions
Factory workers demonstrated outside Nike Inc.'s Indonesian headquarters on Monday, demanding the shoemaker scrap plans to cut orders from two local suppliers. Workers said 14,000 jobs will be threatened if Nike reduces orders from producers PT Hardaya Aneka Shoes Industry and Nagasakti Paramashoes Industry.
Retirees' health costs loom over UAW talksRetirees' health costs loom over UAW talks
For the first time in its 72-year history, the United Automobile Workers union is entering national contract talks with more retirees than active workers in its ranks.
Calif grocery workers, chains reach tentative agreementCalif grocery workers, chains reach tentative agreement
Grocery workers in Southern California and three major supermarket chains reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, a union spokesman said on Tuesday.
Mid-Atlantic factory activity slowsMid-Atlantic factory activity slows
U.S. factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region grew slower than expected in July after a surprise surge in June, and initial claims last week for U.S. jobless benefits fell to a two-month low, a survey and a report showed on Thursday.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Washington state jobless rate dips in June to 4.5 percentState jobless rate dips in June to 4.5 percent
Washington's unemployment rate remains near "historic lows," improving to 4.5 percent in June.
Pa. paying workers idled by budget fight (AP)Pa. paying workers idled by budget fight (AP)
The state will pay a day's salary to the 24,000 workers who were idled when the government partially shut down over a budget impasse, Gov. Ed Rendell said Wednesday.
Minnesota adds 4,200 jobs in JuneMinnesota adds 4,200 jobs in June
In StarTribune.com Business
Minnesota employers added 4,200 jobs in June, bringing the state's unemployment rate down to the national level of 4.5 percent, seasonally adjusted, according to jobs data released today. That state jobless rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point from May, when it had climbed to 4.6 percent, putting it above the national rate for the first time on record.
Fresno Bee outsourcing some ad production work to IndiaFresno Bee outsourcing some ad production work to India
In StarTribune.com Business
The Fresno Bee will send some advertising production work to India, cutting seven of 31 jobs in its advertising design department, according to the newspaper. Express KCS, which has offices in San Jose, London and near New Delhi, India's capital, will take over the work. Most of the newspaper's advertising services will not be affected, Ken Hatfield, the newspaper's vice president of communications and public affairs said Tuesday.
Brooklyn: Firefighters’ Group Seeks to Join LawsuitBrooklyn: Firefighters’ Group Seeks to Join Lawsuit
A fraternal order of black firefighters filed court papers yesterday for its effort to join a lawsuit in which the federal Justice Department has accused the city of inadvertently discouraging blacks and Hispanics from joining the Fire Department. Lawyers for the organization, the Vulcan Society, filed papers in federal District Court in Brooklyn seeking to join the lawsuit, which argues that a written exam used by the city in 1999 and 2002 to screen new employees included questions that did not measure someone’s ability to fight fires. The city, while acknowledging that the department is primarily white, has said it has taken steps to encourage diversity.
Contract Deal Would Give NYC Sanitation Workers 17% Raise Over 54 MonthsContract Deal Would Give NYC Sanitation Workers 17% Raise Over 54 Months
In the final year of the tentative contract, the maximum salary for the city’s sanitation workers would rise to $67,141, up from the current $57,392.
UAW Sets Sights on Other IndustriesUAW Sets Sights on Other Industries
The United Auto Workers had 1.5 million members 20 years ago, but now membership stands below 600,000. The union is hoping to build its ranks by reaching beyond auto workers and representing those in industries such as health care and education.
Wal-Mart cast as dark lordWal-Mart cast as dark lord
Organized labor uses Harry Potter parody in viral marketing campaign against giant retailer The Ministry of Magic is paying Waldemart to build a store at Hogwarts. The giant corporation has bulldozed Hagrid's hut and turned the Quidditch pitch into a parking lot. The small shops in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are in danger of shutting down.
Chicago Airport security pact hitAirport security pact hit
The latest additions to the front lines of security at Chicago's airports have more often been seen stopping shoplifters at Target and Wal-Mart. Guards earning $7.50 an hour for Universal Security Corp., a Chicago firm with limited aviation experience, have been patrolling O'Hare and Midway airports since June 1.
Workers at U.K. Coke distribution center plan strikesWorkers at U.K. Coke distribution center plan strikes
Workers at Coca-Cola Co.'s largest distribution center in Britain plan two 48-hour strikes in July and August in a dispute over pay, their union said Tuesday. The strikes are planned for July 26-27 and Aug. 13-14 at the center in Wakefield, northern England, the Unite union said. The union also said 400 members at the center will refuse to work overtime, beginning next week.
Further strikes to hit Royal MailFurther strikes to hit Royal Mail
In BBC Business
A two-week campaign of staggered strike action across the UK postal service is announced by union officials.
Pan Am games are a boon to Brazilian prostitutesPan Am games are a boon to Brazilian prostitutes
Rosa Silva went into training before the Pan American Games, running 40 minutes each day and doing 200 sit-ups. She also got a full-body waxing and had her hair straightened and highlighted.
EU gender pay gap 'no narrower'EU gender pay gap 'no narrower'
In BBC Europe
Europe has made little progress towards equal pay for men and women, the European Commission says.
UK jobless numbers declineUK jobless numbers decline
In BBC Business
The number of unemployed people in the UK fell during the three months to May, official figures show.
Fresh hope jobs will lastFresh hope jobs will last
U.S. tariffs on imported paper rock a market where Luke, Md., is David and China is Goliath. China is 7,000 miles away from this speck of a town in the mountains, half a world away. But as a looming economic threat, the country has never seemed so stiflingly close.
No. 1 Baltimore airport airline sets big buyoutNo. 1 Baltimore airport airline sets big buyout
Southwest Airlines Co., which has never laid off an employee despite the industry's tough times, offered buyouts yesterday to more than a quarter of its work force, a move that officials expect will help the carrier remain profitable as it grapples with its two largest costs: labor and fuel.
Those losing jobs at Merc get 11 pages of spaghettiThose losing jobs at Merc get 11 pages of spaghetti
Shame there's so much paperwork. The 11-page contract that laid-off employees from PNC Financial Services Group must sign is the most complicated severance deal I've seen for anybody without a regular seat on a corporate jet.
FDA pays to compete with private sectorFDA pays to compete with private sector
The FDA pays some of the biggest employee bonuses in the federal bureaucracy. Yet, it's struggling to fund improved food safety. Those facts led to some grilling at a congressional hearing today. Jeremy Hobson reports.
Corporate, public pensions roll the diceCorporate, public pensions roll the dice
Hedge fund and private equity fund managers are taking big risks and raking in fortunes. But the employees of all these public and corporate pension plans now investing in the funds have a lot more at stake, warns commentator Robert Reich.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
United workers to protest pay gapUnited workers to protest pay gap
United Airline's employees plan to protest executive pay at the Chicago-based carrier by marching down Michigan Avenue to the airline's new corporate headquarters at 77 W. Wacker Drive, Thursday.
Right-to-Work Supporters Focus On MichiganRight-to-Work Supporters Focus On Michigan
A movement is under way in Michigan to make it a right-to-work state, meaning that membership in a union could not be a prerequisite for employment. No one expects Michigan's legislature to pass a right-to-work law, but supporters hope to bring the issue to voters.
Southwest offers buyouts to quarter of workersSouthwest offers buyouts to quarter of workers
Southwest Airlines is offering a buyout package to more than a quarter of its employees as it strives to cut costs. About 8,700 employees are eligible for the package, which includes a $25,000 payout, medical and dental benefits and travel privileges in
Commentary: More employers steer toward 'consumer-driven' health insurance for workersCommentary: More employers steer toward 'consumer-driven' health insurance for workers
Renewing your health insurance used to be easy. Now it seems to take all year.
Wealth gap 'widest in 40 years' in UKWealth gap 'widest in 40 years'
The gap between UK rich and poor is as wide as it has been for 40 years, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says.
Convictions in China slave trialConvictions in China slave trial
One man is sentenced to death and 28 jailed for involvement in a slave labour scandal in northern China.
Avon cuts taking a little off the topAvon cuts taking a little off the top
Beauty seller Avon announced yesterday that it's laying off an undisclosed number of employees and shipping others overseas. Seems the business model is a great fit for emerging markets like China. Jill Barshay reports.
Retirement needs a whole new lookRetirement needs a whole new look
It wasn't so long ago that the idea of a company pension didn't exist, points out business historian John Steele Gordon. He says the current pension system is tailored to a mid-century workforce and it no longer fits.
Congo-Brazzaville: Government Worried About Lack of Health WorkersCongo-Brazzaville: Government Worried About Lack of Health Workers
Congo's Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Family, Emilienne Raoul, has raised concerns that a lack of qualified staff in the public health sector will have repercussions for the population's health.
Lawsuit Says Teachers Are Overcharged on AnnuitiesLawsuit Says Teachers Are Overcharged on Annuities
The suit, filed against the National Education Association, reflects heightened concern among retirement plan participants that excessive fees are diminishing their savings and enriching financial services firms.
Filling Gaps in Iraq, Then Finding a Void at HomeFilling Gaps in Iraq, Then Finding a Void at Home
A rented army of 130,000 civilians suffers and dies alongside 160,000 United States soldiers and marines.
Why Workers Unite: CBS News' Brian Goldsmith Interviews SEIU Leader Anna BurgerWhy Workers Unite: CBS News' Brian Goldsmith Interviews SEIU Leader Anna Burger
CBS News' Brian Goldsmith talks with Anna Burger, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union -- the country's largest and fastest growing labor group -- about what it will take for presidential candidates to earn her endorsement, and why the Iraq war is a labor issue.
Lancaster Hospital workers push for pact: Subcontracting, pay, staffing are sticking pointsHospital workers push for pact: Subcontracting, pay, staffing are sticking points
Source: LA Daily News
Dozens of Antelope Valley Hospital workers picketed Thursday outside the hospital to protest the inability to agree on a contract despite more than a year of negotiations
L.A. port clerk negotiations postponedL.A. port clerk negotiations postponed
AP - After hours of negotiations, office clerks at the nation's largest port complex and their employers agreed to postpone talks because the lead negotiator for the companies needed to handle a family medical issue.
Sick 9/11 workers sue $1B insurance fund (AP)Sick 9/11 workers sue $1B insurance fund (AP)
AP - Ailing ground zero workers are going to court to demand that the company overseeing a $1 billion Sept. 11 insurance fund uses it to pay for their health care.
Messengers Clicked To The CurbMessengers Clicked To The Curb
Bicycle messengers are not quite an engendered species, but their business is certainly going downhill, yet another victim of the Internet.
Progress In East Bay Trash TalksProgress In East Bay Trash Talks
Company, union, city officials meet; mayor is cautiously optimistic that lockout will end soon
Monday, July 16, 2007
Flying Streetcars, Bloody StreetsFlying Streetcars, Bloody Streets
The city's most deadly strike was 100 years ago. LaborFest is about keeping this history alive
Deal Reached to End Orange County Bus StrikeDeal Reached to End Calif. Bus Strike
After a weeklong strike that stranded thousands of commuters, Orange County's bus drivers overwhelmingly approved a new contract Monday and expected to be back on the road within days. The transportation workers voted 696-35 for the three-year pact,...
Sutter denies closure rumors in San Francisco / Union workers at St. Luke's plan to picket on MondaySutter denies closure rumors / Union workers at St. Luke's plan to picket on Monday
By George Raine
Labor leaders and several San Francisco elected officials say that Sutter Health intends to dismantle St. Luke's Hospital, which serves the Mission District, but California Pacific Medical Center, the Sutter affiliate that took it over in January, denies the...
Los Angeles Ports Facing Strike ThreatLos Angeles Ports Facing Strike Threat
Negotiators for a clerical union and some of the world's largest shipping lines and terminal operators were still far apart on a contract deal early Monday and facing the possibility of a strike that could cripple the nation's largest port complex.
Obstacles Abound for Auto Builders in IndiaObstacles Abound for Auto Builders in India
Indian automakers are plagued by a shortage of skilled workers, inferior product quality and deficient highway infrastructure, among other challenges, according to a new study.
Oakland Mayor Criticized for Ongoing Garbage StrikeOakland Mayor Criticized for Ongoing Garbage Strike
Six months into his tenure as mayor of Oakland, Ron Dellums is facing his first big test as a garbage workers' strike stretches into its second week. The mayor is trying to mediate the strike, and says he's being unfairly blamed for the lack of progress.
Some Teens Face Sexual Harassment at WorkSome Teens Face Sexual Harassment at Work
Teenagers around the country are staying busy in their summer jobs, but their workplaces are not always trouble-free. The number of sexual harassment lawsuits brought on behalf of teenagers by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is small, but growing.
California union courts Houston-area nursesCalifornia union courts Houston-area nurses
They're not fighting about wages. They aren't complaining about benefits. And no army of organizers has descended upon the city. So why are some in Houston keeping a close eye on the California Nurses Association's low-key organizing drive here?
Labor shortage a challenge for Essex County, Mass. farmersLabor shortage a challenge for Essex County Mass. farmers
By Kathy McCabe
Help is hard to find on Essex County farms. Not enough people know how to operate heavy farm equipment either. Packers and sales help at the farm stand are tough to find, too.
Kenya: Workers Languish As Companies Rake in ProfitsKenya: Workers Languish As Companies Rake in Profits
Despite tea firms occupying huge tracts of fertile land in Nandi South District, the local communities have not benefited.
Sierra Leone: More Needs to Be Done for Child Miners - ReportSierra Leone: More Needs to Be Done for Child Miners - Report
Danny Glenwright and Mohamed Massaquo back from Kono Isatu Kamara looks on as her three young children navigate muddy pathways at Zone 3/7 Congo Bridge Mine in Kono, carrying shovels and lugging heavy loads of gravel to be sifted for diamonds.
High times in the U.S. labor poolHigh times in the U.S. labor pool
A survey finds at least one in 12 workers used illicit drugs every month. But one expert says marijuana isn't the biggest danger to health and safety. It's abuse of prescription drugs. Janet Babin reports.
Industry's future hinges on UAW dealIndustry's future hinges on UAW deal
The United Auto workers will begin hashing out its next contract with the Big Three automakers this Friday, and many are predicting the outcome will be a make-or-break moment for the future of the U.S. auto industry. Sam Eaton reports.
Friday, July 13, 2007
More working mothers prefer part-time work, survey findsMore working mothers prefer part-time work, survey finds
NEW YORK A sharply increasing portion of America’s working mothers say their ideal situation would include a part-time job, a new national survey finds.
Walgreen settles lawsuit over bias for $20 millionWalgreen settles lawsuit over bias for $20 million
Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain, has agreed to pay $20 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over claims the company denied black managers promotions based on race.
NLRB files Washington Post complaintNLRB files Washington Post complaint
A federal labor agency accused The Washington Post yesterday of failing to negotiate with the newspaper's union over extra work employees were asked to perform for its radio station.
Trade deals harm U.S. workers: HoffaTrade deals harm U.S. workers: Hoffa
Source: Detroit News
NAFTA, other agreements cost jobs, hurt the environment and health
California Deal Left Members Out of Organizing, Bargaining:California Deal Left Members Out of Organizing, Bargaining:
Source: Monthly Review
Following months of criticism and sharp internal debate, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) ended its controversial partnership agreement with a group of California nursing homes on May 31. The four-and-a-half-year-old deal was a quid pro quo arrangement that brought over 3,000 workers into SEIU after the union secured higher state government payments to nursing homes that care for Medicaid patients.
Outsourcing, it's in the mailOutsourcing, it's in the mail
The U.S. Postal Service has been handing more and more delivery routes to private contractors and letter carriers don't like it. Yesterday they agreed on wages and benefits, but the use of outside contractors still needs to be addressed. Jill Barshay reports.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Postal Service, urban letter carriers reach 5-year dealPostal Service, urban letter carriers reach 5-year deal
In StarTribune.com Business
The U.S. Postal Service and its city letter carriers reached a tentative five-year contract agreement Thursday. The National Association of Letter Carriers said the agreement, covering 222,000 mail carriers, will be submitted to its members for approval. Postal officials confirmed that an agreement had been reached extending through 2011. The contract is retroactive to last November. The union said the pact covers increases in wages, cost of living adjustments and includes new limits on contracting out work done by city letter carrier. Contracting out delivery routes in rap
British Postal workers in 24-hour strikePostal workers in 24-hour strike
Postal workers start another 24-hour strike as part of a continuing row over pay and job security.
Democrats will try to counter ruling on workers' discrimination suitsDemocrats will try to counter ruling on workers' discrimination suits
A Supreme Court decision restricting workers’ ability to sue for wage discrimination has prompted Democrats to introduce legislation to counteract the ruling.
Jobless claims fell 12,000 in latest weekJobless claims fell 12,000 in latest week
Reuters - The number of U.S. workers signing up for first-time jobless benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 308,000 last week, slightly lower than expected, a government report on Thursday showed.
Oakland to sue trash collector / City to seek order requiring pickupOakland to sue trash collector / City to seek order requiring pickup
By Christopher Heredia
After their behind-the-scenes attempts at a quick resolution to the East Bay garbage lockout failed, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and City Attorney John Russo will file a lawsuit today asking a judge to order Waste Management to immediately pick up all the piled-...
U.S. Mining Company on Trial Over Colombia Killings, Verdict May Make Companies 'Stand Up and Take Notice'U.S. Mining Company on Trial Over Colombia Killings, Verdict May Make Companies 'Stand Up and Take Notice'
An Alabama-based coal mining company is responsible for the murders of three union leaders in Colombia, lawyers for the union and victims' families told a jury Wednesday in a potentially precedent-setting trial.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
In Economics Departments, a Growing Will to Debate Fundamental AssumptionsIn Economics Departments, a Growing Will to Debate Fundamental Assumptions
In recent months, economists have engaged in an impassioned debate over the way their specialty is taught at universities and practiced in Washington.
New York State: Rate Cut for Workers’ Insurance Will Save Employers $1 BillionRate Cut for Workers’ Insurance Will Save Employers $1 Billion
Officials predicted that a 20 percent rate cut in New York state’s much-criticized workers’ compensation system would lead to the savings.
Muslim woman sues, alleging bias / Store denied her job because she wore head scarf, she saysMuslim woman sues, alleging bias / Store denied her job because she wore head scarf, she says
By Matthai Chakko Kuruvila
A Muslim woman from Fairfield filed a lawsuit in Solano County on Tuesday against a national jewelry store chain, alleging that an employer told her she would not be hired because she wore a head scarf for religious reasons. Attorneys who filed the...
Clash over trash in Alameda CountyClash over trash in Alameda County
By Christopher Heredia
Thousands of residents in Alameda County braced today for delays in trash, recycling and green-waste pick-ups in the coming days or longer, as workers and managers at the county's largest trash collector argued over who was responsible for the first lockout...
Traditional pensions rapidly disappearing / Even healthy companies are quick to curb once-standard benefitTraditional pensions rapidly disappearing / Even healthy companies are quick to curb once-standard benefit
By Peter G. Gosselin
Nearly two-thirds of employers that offer traditional pensions have closed their plans to new hires or frozen them for all employees -- or plan to do so in the next two years -- according to a new study released Tuesday. The latest numbers show a speed-...
Job-based insurance shrinkingJob-based insurance shrinking
By Victoria Colliver
Less than half of California workers get health insurance through their jobs, according to a study set for release today. The rest find coverage through a partner or spouse, a government program or are uninsured. The study by the Center on Policy...
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Airport workers face screeningsAirport workers face screenings
William Colbert Jr. found an unexpected welcoming committee as he left a secured employees' entrance at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Monday — a "roving team" of stern-faced Transportation Security Administration agents. A 23-year-old ground-service employee with Jet Stream, Colbert was on his way to work at the world's busiest airport when he became part of the latest effort to keep the nation's airways safe. His security badge was checked to make sure it was still valid and that he was indeed William Colbert Jr. of Atlanta. Then he was pulled aside and with his arms held out and his shoes removed, a uniformed TSA agent slowly passed an electronic wand over his body. "I don't mind," he said with a shrug. "Everybody needs to get screened for this to be a really secure place. We have a lot of access to airplanes on the ground."
East Bay / No new talks -- stinking garbage is getting riperNo new talks -- stinking garbage is getting riper
By Jim Herron Zamora and Christopher Heredia
Trash piled up Monday on streets in Oakland and nearby East Bay cities as the week-old lockout of nearly 500 garbage truck drivers showed no sign of being resolved soon. "It smells pretty bad," Vinh Tran, a resident of 7th Avenue in East Oakland, said...
Monday, July 09, 2007
Economic View: Haves and Have-Nots of GlobalizationEconomic View: Haves and Have-Nots of Globalization
While individual Americans debate the merits of globalization, corporate America has already moved overseas, with dramatic financial results.
At I.B.M., a Smarter Way to OutsourceAt I.B.M., a Smarter Way to Outsource
The debate continues over how much skilled work in the vast service sector of the American economy can migrate offshore to lower-cost nations like India.
Court: No pay for changing clothesCourt: No pay for changing clothes
Should workers be paid for the time it takes to change in and out of their work clothes? Not if they belong to a union or it's normal preparation for doing their job, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta says. Their recent decision stemmed from a 7-year-old dispute initially involving a dozen workers at six poultry facilities in Georgia and Alabama owned either by Atlanta-based Cagle's Inc. or an affiliate. The employees said they should be paid for the time it took to put on and take off their smocks, hair or beard nets, gloves, earplugs and other protective wear. The practice is known as "donning and doffing time."
Unhealthy truckers getting in shapeUnhealthy truckers getting in shape
Truck drivers — the people who deliver our food, cars and clothing — have one of the most dangerous jobs in America — accounting for nearly 15 percent of U.S. work-related deaths. And that's only counting the accidents. They are also more at risk than average Americans for a number of health problems. Obesity is rampant. Many don't bother to wear seatbelts because their stomachs get in the way. About one in four have sleep apnea. Half of them smoke. The latest research in an upcoming report drives home those points and may help influence government regulations for truck drivers' health, which are under review. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering tightening its rules for conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure. And many companies are stepping up their own efforts at improving health.
LA strikes historic accord.Labor council makes first relationship with its China counterpartLA strikes historic accord.Labor council makes first relationship with its China counterpart
Source: Fresno Bee
The 800,000-member Los Angeles County Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, on Thursday announced the first formal relationship between a U.S. central labor council and a counterpart in China.
Europe heads to beach, Americans head to workEurope heads to beach, Americans head to work
The United States is the only country where employees have no statutory leave, and they get about half as much time off in reality as Europeans get, according to the report, compiled by the Washington-based Centre for Economic Policy Research.
Friday, July 06, 2007
U.A.W. Pact With Dana Signals Softer StanceU.A.W. Pact With Dana Signals Softer Stance
The United Automobile Workers union has cracked open the door a little wider to the kind of deal on retiree health benefits that Detroit auto companies would like to see.
Jobless rate holds steadyJobless rate holds steady
AP - MORE JOBS: Employers added 132,000 new jobs in June, sufficient to hold the unemployment rate at 4.5 percent, where it has stood for three months.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
As workers cheer, employers worryAs workers cheer, employers worry
Minimum-wage hike can fatten paychecks, but companies may cut hours, raise prices. Illinois workers from parents struggling to support families to teens in summer jobs were earning more Monday after the state minimum wage went up by $1 per hour.
Outsourcing 'to earn India $40bn'Outsourcing 'to earn India $40bn'
In BBC Business
India could earn $40bn a year by March 2008 from information technology and outsourcing, a report says.
Oakland / Garbage collectors are locked out of workOakland / Garbage collectors are locked out of work
Oakland garbage collectors were locked out of their jobs Monday during negotiations for a new contract and the company said that trash will be picked up by hundreds of replacement workers. Five hundred members of the Teamsters Union were told not to...
Factory orders dip in MayFactory orders dip in May
America's factories saw demand for their products dip by a smaller-than-expected 0.5 percent in May, suggesting that despite some pockets of weakness the manufacturing revival remains intact.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Give your union a dues check-upGive your union a dues check-up
Source: Labor Notes
Dues are the bricks and mortar of our labor movement, but in many unions dues are a taboo subject. From per capita taxes to initiation fees and special assessments, rank-and-file members rarely get a full picture of their own union’s dues structure, much less a sense of what’s happening across the labor movement as a whole.
Viewpoint: Labor should fight for single-payer retirement, health careViewpoint: Labor should fight for single-payer retirement, health care
Source: Labor Notes
Working people in the United States are being hammered by twin crisis affecting what were once called “fringe benefits”: health care and retirement benefits. In recent years, nearly all unions face employer attacks on one or both of these vital lifelines when they go to the bargaining table.
Why is Andy Stern so cozy with corporations?Why is Andy Stern so cozy with corporations?
Source: The Nation
SEIU President Andy Stern heads one of the strongest unions in the country, yet he's stood on stage to campaign with anti-union CEOs like Wal-Mart's Lee Scott. Why is he so cozy with corporations?
What vacation? We've gotten away from getting awayWhat vacation? We've gotten away from getting away
In StarTribune.com Business
Schools are out. Skies are blue. Beaches beckon. It's vacation time. But for many Americans, even getting July 4th off will be difficult. The United States ranks dead last among 21 of the world's richest countries when it comes to guaranteed days off, according to a new study titled "No-Vacation Nation," by the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. While other countries guarantee time off from jobs -- Finland 39 days a year, Canada 18 and Japan 10 -- U.S. law gives workers a right to zero days off, even for holidays.
Continental begins early contract talks with pilots' unionContinental begins early contract talks with pilots' union
Discussions started right after the deal authorizing early negotiations was signed today, said Capt. Jay Pierce, chairman of the union's negotiating committee.
Layoff fears part of 'new normal'Layoff fears part of 'new normal'
Affluence, college education no protection from job market that cycles quickly through workers. Good skills and a good attitude no longer ensure steady employment, even when the economy is humming. This is the first in an occasional series about job loss and the changing nature of employment.
Virtual workers help build carsVirtual workers help build cars
Computer simulations of assembly-line work let firms slash time, effort and errors. Jack and Jill helped Ford Motor Co. climb the hill in the recent J.D. Power and Associates initial quality study.
Tough climb to reclaim careerTough climb to reclaim career
White-collar job outlook in Illinois improves, but no guarantees. Good skills and a good attitude no longer ensure steady employment, even when the economy is humming. This is part of an occasional series about job loss and the changing nature of employment.
Working around the clockWorking around the clock
When business expands globally, U.S.-based workers schedules do, too. It's Sunday dinner in the Khanna family's spotless three-bedroom condo, and the matriarch, Ritu, is happy. She munches a spicy stew of cauliflower, carrots and peas with her husband, Vivek, and their teenage son, Kanishka. She and Vivek swap memories of growing up in Kolkata and sip Chardonnay.
Northwest to Scale Back Flights, Pilot TimeNorthwest to Scale Back Flights, Pilot Time
Northwest Airlines says it will solve the problem of canceled flights by scaling back the number of planned flights this summer. In August, the nation's fifth-largest airline will cut its domestic capacity by 3 percent by reducing the number of hours that its pilots can fly.
Older Recruits Seek to Prove Their Fighting FormOlder Recruits Seek to Prove Their Fighting Form
The Army recently increased the maximum age for recruits from 35 to 42. At Fort Jackson, S.C., "mature" recruits try to show they've still got what it takes to be effective soldiers. One is already emerging as a leader: Fellow recruits call her "Mom."
Newark’s Mayor, in Office a Year, Says Major City Job Cuts Are LikelyNewark’s Mayor, in Office a Year, Says Major City Job Cuts Are Likely
Cory A. Booker warned that as many as one in five people on Newark’s municipal payroll could be laid off because of a looming fiscal crisis.
EU firms laud China's new labor lawEU firms laud China's new labor law
China's sweeping new labor law will improve workplace conditions without deterring foreign investment, the European Union Chamber of Commerce said on Sunday.
U.S. manufacturing sector to expandU.S. manufacturing sector to expand
The nation's factories, plants and utilities expanded at a faster pace in June, suggesting hardy consumer spending is boosting confidence among manufacturers even as prices for raw materials rise.
U.S. manufacturing sector set to expandU.S. manufacturing sector set to expand
The nation's factories, plants and utilities expanded at a faster pace in June, suggesting hardy consumer spending is boosting confidence among manufacturers even as prices for raw materials rise. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its manufacturing index rose to 56 in June. The reading marked the fifth consecutive month of growth for the manufacturing sector and the 68th consecutive month of growth for the overall economy.