Labor & Economic News Blog
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Hello, India? I Need Help With My MathHello, India? I Need Help With My Math
In a new wave of global outsourcing, personal chores are moving offshore, and this is leading to some daunting challenges, both economic and cultural.
Little Progress in Hollywood TalksLittle Progress in Hollywood Talks
Hollywood writers prepared for a strike that could begin as early as Friday, as the two sides broke off talks on Wednesday night after making little progress toward a new deal.
Veto Likely for a Bill Favoring WorkersVeto Likely for a Bill Favoring Workers
The House voted to expand a program to help workers hurt by imports or overseas competition, setting up a fight with President Bush, who has vowed to veto the measure.
One Pay Gap Shrinks, Another GrowsOne Pay Gap Shrinks, Another Grows
Women in the workforce are gaining on men in terms of earnings, but the remarkable burst of productivity of the past decade has not been widely shared with middle-class women or men. Discuss Video
Employment costs increase at slower paceEmployment costs increase at slower pace
AP - Employers' costs to hire and retain workers grew at a slightly slower pace in the summer, suggesting that a somewhat softer - but still solid - jobs climate is easing inflation pressures.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
In India, Poverty Inspires Technology Workers to AltruismIn India, Poverty Inspires Technology Workers to Altruism
Corporations have made India a laboratory for extending modern technological conveniences to the world’s poor.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Cornell University ILR Labor Programs 60th Anniversary CelebrationCornell University ILR Labor Programs 60th Anniversary Celebration
November 15, New York City
Honoring Six Decades of Cornell ILR Labor Education, 1947-2007
Nigeria: Strike - TUC, NLC, Back Aviation UnionsNigeria: Strike - TUC, NLC, Back Aviation Unions
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have expressed solidarity for the planned strike by Aviation Unions Grand Alliance (AUGA) ...
Unions threaten BBC strike ballotUnions threaten BBC strike ballot
Broadcasting unions vote to ballot for strike action if planned BBC job cuts go ahead.
French hit by transport chaos as unions pressure SarkozyFrench hit by transport chaos as unions pressure Sarkozy
France was hit by transport chaos Thurday as unions challenged President Nicolas Sarkozy with a 24-hour strike, but the government vowed to stick by plans to overhaul pensions for hundreds of thousands in the public sector.
San Francisco Public Transit Crew Calls In SickMuni Crew Calls In Sick
Bosses rush to cover commute, as street supes and dispatchers are in contract dispute.
Jobless claims rise sharplyJobless claims rise sharply
AP - The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits shot up by the largest amount since early February, a far bigger increase than had been expected.
BART Race-Harassment AwardBART Race-Harassment Award
African-American mechanic who says he was baited by white co-worker gets $1.27 mil
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Companies Getting Lucky? Workers Happy but Few Employers Have ...Companies Getting Lucky? Workers Happy but Few Employers Have ...
Three-quarters (75 percent) of managers said they are not aware of a formal employee retention strategy at their company, according to a new survey by Hudson, a leading provider of permanent recruitment, contract professionals and talent management services worldwide.
Producers Impose Rules; Broadway Closer to StrikeProducers Impose Rules; Broadway Closer to Strike
New York Times
That decision, coming while talks between the producers and Local 1, the stagehands’ union, are at a standstill, may increase the possibility of a strike, ...
French Transport Workers Go on StrikeFrench Transport Workers Go on Strike
The Associated Press
The strike started at 8 pm (2 pm EDT) Wednesday, giving people a chance to get home from work as usual. The bulk of disruptions were expected Thursday. ...
Struggling To Get By In San FranciscoStruggling To Get By In S.F.
Maria and Ricardo Frias and their two daughters live in a one-bedroom apartment on a combined income of about $53,000 ... and can't make ends meet. Tens of thousands of working families are finding a modest standard of living is out of their reach.
Labor group says health care plan doesn't address cost of insuranceLabor group says health care plan doesn't address cost of insurance
Powerful California labor interests, backed by a key Democratic operative, have declared war on Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ambitious health care proposal, a strategy that could pose problems for Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has made a similar plan...
Social Security Going Up by 2.3 PercentSocial Security Going Up by 2.3 Percent
Come January, Social Security benefits for nearly 50 million Americans are going up 2.3 percent, the smallest increase in four years. It will mean an extra $24 per month in the average check, the government announced Wednesday.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Civil servants in Kenya warn of strike over salary increaseCivil servants warn of strike over salary increase
Business Daily Africa, Kenya
Kenya was yesterday left facing the prospect of a nationwide strike as thousands of junior civil servants threatened to ground operations in all Government offices over a pay rise that is yet to be effected.
AAUP Shuts Down Professor ListservAAUP Shuts Down Professor Listserv
Cornell University The Cornell Daily
Whoever thinks that all great minds think alike must be unaware of the conflicts among members of the American Association of University Professors.
Alta Bates Nurses Back at Work After Strike, LockoutAlta Bates Nurses Back at Work After Strike, Lockout
Registered nurses at a Berkeley hospital returned to work yesterday after a 48-hour strike and three days of being locked out. ...
Strike wave hits factories in southern VietnamStrike wave hits factories in southern Vietnam
About 30000 Vietnamese workers have gone on strike in some 38 foreign and locally owned companies this month in a southern province near Ho Chi ...
A 'writer's strike nobody wants'? Think again.A 'writer's strike nobody wants'? Think again.
Los Angeles Times
The resulting TV and film writers strike could create a hole in the Southern California economy larger than Jeffrey Katzenberg's stock option. ...
French strike expected to affect travel elsewhere in EuropeFrench strike expected to affect travel elsewhere in Europe
International Herald Tribune
A strike by public sector workers, which is expected to shut down significant portions of the French transportation system Thursday, ...
Settlement reached in Canadian three-month forestry strikeSettlement reached in three-month forestry strike
Globe and Mail, Canada
Workers in BC's coastal forest industry could be back at work as early as next week, if they ratify a tentative agreement to settle a strike ...
September industrial output rose 0.1 percent (Reuters)September industrial output rose 0.1 percent
Industrial production rose 0.1 percent in September as expected, as manufacturing output increased by the same amount, a Federal Reserve report showed on Tuesday.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Firms throwing out more bait to lure employeesFirms throwing out more bait to lure employees
Czech Business Weekly, Czech Republic
According to recent research made for Netherlands-based bank ING Group, meal vouchers and pension insurance are the most common employee benefits. There are, however, some other perks on which employees place even greater value.
AT&T, Verizon May Follow GM, Let Unions Take on Retiree CostsAT&T, Verizon May Follow GM, Let Unions Take on Retiree Costs
For unions, the funds are a chance to lock in benefits before they are cut or eliminated. Even a union at a healthy company is more likely to consider a ...
Rhode Island Governor to unveil plan to shrink state workforceCarcieri to unveil plan to shrink state workforce
In a recent speech, Carcieri said he also wants to cut about $100 million in spending on employee benefits and social programs.
3 Americans win Nobel in economics
Los Angeles Times
Real-world applications of mechanism design theory include cap-and-trade systems, collective bargaining techniques, social welfare systems and the auction
The Point, Mr. AFL-CIO: Consumers Don't CareThe Point, Mr. AFL-CIO: Consumers Don't Care
To: Mr. John J. Sweeney, president, AFL-CIO, Washington, D.C.
Union leaders say NLRB ruling erects new hurdle for laborUnion leaders say NLRB ruling erects new hurdle for labor
Kansas City Star
Organized labor failed to persuade Congress to make the process of forming a union in the workplace easier this year. A recent ruling by a federal agency will create even greater obstacles, according to union leaders.
All Bay Area Nurses Back To WorkAll Bay Area Nurses Back To Work
NBC 11.com, CA
Striking nurses who were locked out of hospitals throughout the weekend due to guarantees made to replacement teams have started work again Monday morning, ...
Secondary school strike in Israel continues as gov't declines to turn to ...Secondary school strike in Israel continues as gov't declines to turn to ...
The strike at high schools and some junior high schools entered its fifth day on Monday, with rhetoric heating up as teachers planed rallies ...
Friday, October 12, 2007
Calif. Workers' Comp Reforms Working Better than ExpectedCalif. Workers' Comp Reforms Working Better than Expected
Reforms to California's worker's compensation system enacted since 2002 "have had a substantial impact on system costs," according to a new report by the state Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.
Chrysler workers wary of contractChrysler workers wary of contract
Orlando Sentinel, FL
As they assembled cars Thursday, workers at Chrysler's Sterling Heights assembly plant were talking about their new labor contract, ...
Castro Valley hospital locks out striking nursesCastro Valley hospital locks out striking nurses
Nearly 50 Eden Medical Center nurses tried to return to work today but left after the hospital made good on its plans to lock out those who had participated in a two-day regional strike.
Bay Area Nurses Locked Out After 2-Day StrikeBay Area Nurses Locked Out After 2-Day Strike
Registered nurses have been locked out of six Bay Area Sutter hospitals Friday morning after ending their two-day strike at 7 am, according to ...
South Africa mine union says readying strike noticeSouth Africa mine union says readying strike notice
Reuters - South Africa's biggest mining union said on Friday it was preparing a strike notice which it hoped to submit to authorities ...
Showbiz unions clash over strike ruleShowbiz unions clash over strike rule
Los Angeles Times
Thomas C. Short, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, blasted a strike rule recently adopted by the guild that prohibits ...
German train drivers walk off job, disrupt commuter traffic acrossGerman train drivers walk off job, disrupt commuter traffic across ...
International Herald Tribune
Thousands of German commuters jumped in their cars or packed buses on Friday, as hundreds of train drivers staged strikes in an effort to disrupt ...
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Banged-up Ford next target for UAWBanged-up Ford next target for UAW
GM, Chrysler have hammered out their pacts. Now it's Ford's turn - and it will need to try to wrest even more union concessions. ...
Kroger Workers Reject Contract OfferKroger Workers Reject Contract Offer
Supermarket workers in the Cincinnati region voted Wednesday to reject a new three-year contract proposal from Kroger Co. ...
Vancouver garbagemen, librarians reject strike settlementVancouver garbagemen, librarians reject strike settlement
The two other unions, for outside workers and libraries, will stay out on strike, continuing to stall road-paving, construction and other city services as ...
Striking nurses seek meal, break timeStriking nurses seek meal, break time
Contra Costa Times
Most days, Mary Alice Martinez, a registered nurse at Mills Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame, doesn't stop for a meal break during ...
Wildcat postal strikes in UK spreadWildcat postal strikes spread
Postal workers in London and Liverpool today took part in a second day of wildcat strike action, causing further delays to mail deliveries in a continuing ...
A 6-Hour Strike by Auto Workers Against ChryslerA 6-Hour Strike by Auto Workers Against Chrysler
New York Times
Just last month, the UAW struck General Motors and settled two days later, despite the union’s declaring at the outset of the strike that the two sides were ...
Jobless claims fall 12,000Jobless claims fall 12,000
Reuters - The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless aid decreased by a larger-than-expected 12,000 last week, the government said on Thursday, while the number of longer-term unemployed unexpectedly fell to its lowest level since June.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Honda and UAW Clash Over New JobsHonda and UAW Clash Over New Jobs
Foreign auto makers have added plants and hired workers in places that prevent the UAW from gaining any foothold
The Great Tech Worker DivideThe Great Tech Worker Divide
With a B.S. in computer science, an M.A. in information systems management, and 20 years of experience, Rennie Sawade would appear to be a strong candidate for a job as a software development engineer. But all the 44-year-old can find these days are short-term, temporary jobs -- like the 15-month contract he's currently on at a Seattle-based medical device company. At Microsoft, the most prominent employer in town, he's had contract jobs and even interviews for permanent positions.
Job turnover steady in AugustJob turnover steady in August
Reuters - U.S. workers were reluctant to shift jobs in August, according to government data released on Wednesday that showed the percentage of employees in the labor force that left their jobs hit a 16-month low.
Chrysler, UAW agree to contract after brief strikeChrysler, UAW agree to contract after brief strike
The United Auto Workers union reached a tentative four-year contract with Chrysler Wednesday, hours after going out on strike and the same day General Motors workers ratified a separate four-year pact.
Bombay workers protest against foreign giantsBombay workers protest against foreign giants
It is not just foreign retailers feeling the heat. Big Indian conglomerates with plans to open stores are facing similar opposition. ...
Letter from India: A dismal side of India, where child labor peristsLetter from India: A dismal side of India, where child labor perists
International Herald Tribune
Welcome to India's zari industry - where children labor for a pittance to stitch elaborate brocaded designs onto high-fashion evening wear for India's new ...
Israel labour laws apply to Palestinian workersIsrael labour laws apply to Palestinian workers
AFP - Israel's highest court ruled on Wednesday that the country's labour laws must apply to thousands of Palestinians who work for Israeli ...
Employees who call in "sick" probably aren'tEmployees who call in "sick" probably aren't
CCH - Thirty-eight percent of employers report that presenteeism is a problem in their organization and, of those, 87 percent report that sick employees who show ...
Southern Copper union says workers to end Peru strikeSouthern Copper union says workers to end Peru strike
Mining Journal Online, UK -
A union at Southern Copper Corp, the world`s fifth-largest producer of the metal, said workers agreed on Tuesday to end a strike that cut copper production ...
Partial resolution to long Vancouver strikePartial resolution to long Vancouver strike
National Post, Canada
Librarians and outside workers, including garbage collection staff, will remain on strike against the City of Vancouver, but inside workers could be back to ...
Secondary school teachers in Israel begin strikeSecondary school teachers in Israel begin strike
Jerusalem Post, Israel -
The nation's high schools and many junior high schools didn't open on Wednesday as the Secondary School Teachers Organization moved ahead ...
UK Prime Minister Brown calls for end to UK Royal Mail postal strikesBrown calls for end to UK Royal Mail postal strikes
The prime minister has urged postal workers to settle their bitter dispute with Royal Mail over pay, pensions and flexibility, declaring there is "no ...
5000 nurses strike against Northern California hospitals5000 nurses strike against Northern California hospitals
San Diego Union Tribune – Nearly 5000 nurses in Northern California went on strike Wednesday to protest what they said were inadequate contract offerings from the Sutter ...
New union leaders vow tough approach at UnitedNew union leaders vow tough approach at United
United Airlines appears headed for more labor turbulence after unionized pilots on Tuesday elected new leaders who vow to get tough with management.
SEC wants detailed but simple pay analysesSEC wants detailed but simple pay analyses
By Associated Press
Federal regulators are telling companies to provide clearer, more detailed analyses of their executive compensation decisions and to avoid repeating unhelpful "boilerplate" in expanded disclosure statements.
Chrysler autoworkers go on strikeChrysler autoworkers go on strike
Automaker, UAW failed to settle tentative contract agreement Thousands of Chrysler LLC autoworkers started to walk off the job today after the automaker and the United Auto Workers union failed to settle on a tentative contract agreement before a union-imposed deadline.
Departures for Other States Erode New Jersey’s EconomyDepartures for Other States Erode New Jersey’s Economy
The net number of people leaving New Jersey for other states has more than tripled since 2002, and if the trend continues, the state’s total population could dip next year for the first time in decades, researchers at Rutgers University are reporting today.
Progress reported in Chrysler, UAW talksProgress reported in Chrysler, UAW talks
In StarTribune.com Business
DETROIT Progress was reported as contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and Chrysler LLC extended into Wednesday morning, but several key issues remained unresolved with a strike deadline a few hours away, according to a person who had been briefed on the talks. Negotiators worked all night at Chrysler's Auburn Hills headquarters, and discussions continued well into the morning, said the person, who asked not to be identified by name because the talks are private.
Northern California Nurses Walk Off JobsNorthern California Nurses Walk Off Jobs
As many as 5,000 take part in a 48-hour strike at 15 Northern California hospitals.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Union programs aimed at the youngUnion programs aimed at the young
Kansas City Star -For years, labor unions have offered apprenticeship programs to help nurture the careers of ironworkers, welders and other skilled tradesmen. ...
Mold sickens air traffic controllersMold sickens air traffic controllers
The air-traffic controllers who manage one of the nation's busiest air spaces say their building just outside metro Atlanta is making them sick. A fungus called scopulariopsis, which can cause everything from sinus problems to lung infections, was recently discovered beneath the raised floor of Atlanta Center near Hampton where 290 controllers and about 130 trainees work. The fungus is in an area where air is blown to cool cables and communications equipment. Federal Aviation Administration officials, who oversee the center, said they have taken immediate steps to control the fungus and are now working on a long-term plan to clean up the building.
UAW workers at Fairfax plant have OK'd new contract with GMUAW workers at Fairfax plant have OK'd new contract with GM
The Fairfax assembly facility in Kansas City, Kan., is among General Motors Corp. plants where union locals have already approved a new four-year contract with the automaker.
Relatively small Boise is thrivingRelatively small Boise is thriving
The Boise economy is one of the nation's most vibrant. It's achieved that status because of -- and occasionally in spite of -- corporate headquarters.
Living wage gap growing in Northwest, study findsLiving wage gap growing, study finds
The U.S. economy has expanded in the past six years, but in Washington state and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, a gap remains between what middle- and low-income families earn and what they need to meet their basic needs, a study says.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Union fights to retain 250 telecom jobs in Boston areaUnion fights to retain 250 telecom jobs in Boston Area
Union leaders at the Alcatel - Lucent telecom plant on the Haverhill-North Andover line are battling to save the facility from closing, and jobs from being shipped to Italy and lower-cost contractors elsewhere.
American Airlines seeks to head off big employee raisesAmerican Airlines seeks to head off big employee raises
American Airlines, profitable again after racking up $8 billion in losses since 2001, faces a three-front battle to limit labor costs that are among the highest in the industry.
UAW sets contract deadline for WednesdayUAW sets contract deadline for Wednesday
The United Auto Workers has set a deadline of 11 a.m. Wednesday to agree on a new contract with Chrysler LLC or workers could strike.
What does your health care cost?What does your health care cost?
In StarTribune.com Business
As the "open enrollment" season begins at most companies, workers need to reevaluate their health insurance plans and other benefit offerings to determine which best satisfy their needs. But studies indicate that many people allot a half-hour or less to the task, and then simply renew last year's selections without weighing the changes in their benefits or in their lives, according to Bill Mullaney, president of MetLife's institutional business.
Friday, October 05, 2007
UAW says two locals vote down GM contractUAW says two locals vote down GM contract Reuters - 1 hour, 11 minutes ago
(Reuters) - A United Auto Workers union local in Romulus, Michigan, is the second to reject General Motors Corp's tentative labor contract with the union, the local's president said on Friday.
110,000 jobs added to economy last month110,000 jobs added to economy last month
AP - Job creation picked up in September and workers' wages grew solidly, easing fears that the country was headed for recession. The unemployment rate edged up to 4.7 percent as more people resumed their job search.
'Old guy' gets another chance in Google age-discrimination suitGoogle And Its Gray 'Matter
'Fired "fuddy-duddy" manager who was allegedly told that his ideas were obsolete wins appeal.
15,000 working in gaming industry in the Seattle area15,000 working in gaming industry in the Seattle area
Games played on specialized consoles, PCs, handheld devices and even cell phones involve more than 150 Seattle-area companies, providing more than 15,000 local jobs and likely to produce $4.9 billion in revenue this year, a study says.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Librarians under new managementLibrarians under new management
Medford, Ore. - A big, red "Closed" sign has been plastered across the front door of the library here since mid-April, when Jackson County ran out of money to keep its 15 branches open.
Scars of War Run Deep for Many Female VetsScars of War Run Deep for Many Female Vets
A record number of women are serving in the U.S. military -- but not without a cost. Some are returning from Iraq with what psychologists call the "double whammy" of combat trauma and military sexual trauma -- a recipe for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Guard Families Seek to Close Gap Left by IraqGuard Families Seek to Close Gap Left by Iraq
The Minnesota National Guard's 1st Brigade Combat Team returned from Iraq after 22 months, the longest deployment in history for the Guard. Families left behind struggle to put their lives back together.
S. Africa Mine Union Leader Vows Safety ReviewS. Africa Mine Union Leader Vows Safety Review
Peter Bailey, chairman of health and safety for the National Union of Mine Workers in South Africa, discusses rescue developments at the Elandsrand gold mine in Carletonville, a town in South Africa's mining heartland near Johannesburg.
Hollywood Screenwriters' Strike LoomsHollywood Screenwriters' Strike Looms
Unions representing television and movie writers go back to the bargaining table with studio representatives after months of contentious labor talks. But a strike seems likely. The writers want a share of the profits that studios get from new media such as DVDs.
Jobless claims rise 16,000 in latest weekJobless claims rise 16,000 in latest week
Reuters - The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless aid rose by 16,000 last week, the government said on Thursday.
Tentative GM-UAW deal clears way for lower-wage hiresTentative GM-UAW deal clears way for lower-wage hires
The tentative contract identifies "in excess of 16,766" union-represented jobs that could be filled with new hires at roughly half the cost of current workers, according to a text of the document.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
UAW locals starting to back tentative GM dealUAW locals starting to back tentative GM deal
Reuters - United Auto Workers members at several locals have backed a ground-breaking tentative contract with General Motors Corp that may serve as a pattern for talks with Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC.
Private sector adds jobs, trend slowing: reportPrivate sector adds jobs, trend slowing: report
Reuters - U.S. private employers likely added 58,000 jobs in September, a private report showed on Wednesday, suggesting growth of between 90,000 and 100,000 in nonfarm payrolls during the same period.
Service sector growth slowed in Sept.Service sector growth slowed in Sept.
AP - The shriveled housing market may be a drag on U.S. business activity, but it hasn't stopped it. The nation's service economy, like its manufacturing sector, slowed in September but still saw growth.
Wal-Mart workers awarded another $62 million for lost break timeWal-Mart workers awarded another $62 million for lost break time
Wal-Mart workers in Pennsylvania who previously won a $78.5 million class-action award for working off the clock will share an additional $62.3 million in damages, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Monday, October 01, 2007
New England ski resorts could have tough time finding workersNew England ski resorts could have tough time finding workers
A change in federal law could make it harder for northern New England's ski industry to find enough workers this season, officials said. Parker Riehle, the president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association, said he was still hopeful Congress would change the law to allow foreign workers who came to the United States over the last three years to return for another season without being counted against an annual cap on such workers.
Students burdened by debtStudents burdened by debt
Soaring tuition, growing use of costly private loans is called 'a new form of indenture' The near doubling in the cost of a college degree the past decade has produced an explosion in high-priced student loans that could haunt the U.S. economy for years.
Payday Loan Interest Rates Capped at 36 PercentPayday Loan Interest Rates Capped at 36 Percent
A new federal law bans predatory lenders from taking advantage of military personnel and their families. Check-cashing stores around military bases often charge annual interest rates of 300 percent. But the new law caps interest at 36 percent for loans to active-duty military and their families.