Labor & Economic News Blog
Friday, May 30, 2008
Big Number for G.M.: 19,000 Take a BuyoutBig Number for G.M.: 19,000 Take a Buyout
The buyouts add up to a quarter of a unionized work force at General Motors that already has been dramatically pared down.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
CalPERS would offer private retirement accounts under billCalPERS would offer private retirement accounts under bill
The California Assembly has approved legislation that would allow private-sector employees to save for retirement through programs offered by CalPERS. The bill would require the California Public Employee Retirement System to offer individual accounts to...
Strike Settled, American Axle Details Layoff PlansStrike Settled, American Axle Details Layoff Plans
Fewer than half of the hourly employees at American Axle who return to work this week after going on strike in February will still have jobs in a year, executives said.
More Americans alter commuting plans: surveyMore Americans alter commuting plans: survey
Reuters - Gasoline prices around $4 per gallon are causing more Americans to change their work arrangements or the way they commute to the office, according to a new survey on Thursday.
Jobless claims up; continued claims at 4-year highJobless claims up; continued claims at 4-year high
Reuters - The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose slightly more than expected last week, while the tally of those remaining on the benefit rolls hit its highest mark in more than four years, the government said on Thursday.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Delta flight attendants vote not to join unionDelta flight attendants vote not to join union
Delta Air Lines flight attendants chose to remain non-union in a vote that concluded Wednesday. In the vote on whether to join the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union, 5,253 of 13,380 eligible voters cast "yes" ballots, well short of the majority required, the National Mediation Board said. Employees who don't vote are counted as "no" votes. A total of 5,306 ballots were cast. It was the second time in this decade that a flight attendant union drive failed. An earlier drive was defeated in 2002.
Studios in a Tentative Deal With TV Actors in One Union, but Uncertainty RemainsStudios in a Tentative Deal With TV Actors in One Union, but Uncertainty Remains
The agreement between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the producers builds pressure on a bigger actors union, the Screen Actors Guild, to craft a similar solution.
Shifting Careers: Hot Ticket in B-School: Bringing Life Values to Corporate EthicsShifting Careers: Hot Ticket in B-School: Bringing Life Values to Corporate Ethics
These days, business schools teach that leadership exists at all levels, and corporate life should be about much more than just making money.
Ford plans involuntary layoffs of salaried workersFord plans involuntary layoffs of salaried workers
AP - Ford Motor Co. plans to conduct involuntary layoffs of salaried employees by August as part of a restructuring in the face of slumping sales and record-high gas prices, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Delta hired more maintenance workers in 2007, report saysDelta hired more maintenance workers in 2007, report says
Delta Air Lines added maintenance workers in 2007, compared with 2006, and spent a smaller share of its maintenance expenditures on outsourced work, according to a new federal report. Atlanta-based Delta had 5,240 maintenance workers in 2007, up from 4,872 in 2006, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Delta spent 31.7 percent of its maintenance expenditures on outsourced work in 2007, down from 38.8 percent in 2006. Delta is working toward a proposed merger with Northwest, which outsourced 71 percent of its maintenance spending in 2007, according to the federal data. After Northwest mechanics went on strike in 2005, Northwest hired replacement workers and outside contractors.
Justices Say Law Bars Retaliation Over Bias ClaimsJustices Say Law Bars Retaliation Over Bias Claims
The Supreme Court adopted a broad interpretation of workers’ rights, ruling that employees are protected from retaliation when they report discrimination.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Shifting Careers: Diversity at the Office: Policy vs. RealityShifting Careers: Diversity at the Office: Policy vs. Reality
A discussion about how employers can create and sustain diversity in the workplace.
Toughest Summer Job Is Finding OneToughest Summer Job Is Finding One
By By PETER S. GOODMAN on Labor Department
The job market of 2008 is shaping up as the weakest in 50 years for teenagers seeking summer work.
British Union Sets Merger With SteelworkersBritish Union Sets Merger With Steelworkers
Britain’s largest union, Unite, said it had finished the details of a planned merger with the United Steelworkers, which would create the first trans-Atlantic labor organization.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Airlines watch flight attendants' vote at DeltaAirlines watch flight attendants' vote at Delta
The vote among Delta Air Lines flight attendants on whether to unionize is being closely watched throughout the airline industry. As the conclusion of voting nears Wednesday, "all eyes are on Atlanta," said Samantha Tate, a spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants. An association spokesman said the campaign is the largest organizing effort in Georgia history. "We're bringing in people from all over the country" to lobby Delta flight attendants in the last few days of the campaign, said John Cornelius, the association's Delta campaign coordinator in Atlanta.
Burger King Grants Raise to PickersBurger King Grants Raise to Pickers
Burger King said it would pay tomato prices adequate to give workers a wage increase of 1.5 cents a pound with a penny a pound going into the workers’ pockets.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Jobless claims drop to lowest level in 4 weeksJobless claims drop to lowest level in 4 weeks
AP - The number of newly laid off workers filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level in a month.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Alaska pilots picket meetingAlaska pilots picket meeting
More than 300 uniformed pilots lined both sides of East Marginal Way on Tuesday afternoon, threatening a strike if Alaska Air Group does not offer them a better contract.
Delta flight attendants vote on joining unionDelta flight attendants vote on joining union
Delta Air Lines' roughly 13,000 flight attendants finish voting a week from Wednesday on whether to join the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, potentially tripling the number of union members at the largely nonunion company. However the electronic vote turns out, two things are likely. Many of Delta's flight attendants will remain divided after the vote. And it likely will be only the opening act in a series of events that are complicated by the Atlanta carrier's planned merger with Northwest Airlines. "What is at stake is the over 78 years of a direct relationship with our employees," said Joanne Smith, senior vice president over Delta's flight attendant operations. "There are definitely opinions on both sides. In the end, we respect our employees' right to choose."
Georgia to lose 7,000 jobs this year, economist predictsGeorgia to lose 7,000 jobs this year, economist predicts
Georgia's economy likely will shed about 7,000 jobs this year and the jobless rate will rise to about 6 percent by next year, one of the state's leading economic forecasters says. Still, Georgia's economy remains more robust than the nation's, and it should see renewed job growth in 2009, Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University, said in a quarterly report Wednesday. Dhawan said he's grown more pessimistic about overall economic conditions because of high gas prices that are likely to offset the effect of federal tax rebates.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Graduates Face Stiff Competition for Jobs in ChinaGraduates Face Stiff Competition for Jobs in China
Fan Jiachen is a 23-year-old college senior in search of a job in China. What he's learned so far: an English major from a third-tier school does not open doors. Fan talks about why it's so hard for college graduates to find work these days. Fan also shares his worries about his future.
UAW voting on contract to end American Axle strikeUAW voting on contract to end American Axle strike
Striking workers at American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. began voting yesterday on a new contract with the auto parts maker that would cut their pay by about one-third.
Retirement Looks UnaffordableRetirement Looks Unaffordable
As health care costs rise and inflation erodes the value of savings, a survey finds many Americans fear they can't stop working.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Seek workers' ideas on how to avoid layoffsSeek workers' ideas on how to avoid layoffs
NEW YORK -- Even though a small company's business may be down and its revenue stream more tentative, it may be quite possible for an owner to avoid laying off employees.
More executives lending talent with temp stintsMore executives lending talent with temp stints
Over the past five years, John Delaney has worked at four hospitals across the U.S. But the human-resources executive isn't a job hopper -- at least not in the traditional sense. Rather, Delaney is among a small but growing number of executives who are lending their expertise to employers in need of temporary, highly experienced talent.
Youth Prepare for Summer, UnemploymentYouth Prepare for Summer, Unemployment
The job market may be dry this summer, leaving many youth - especially minorities - jobless and broke. Jack Wuest and Kyonshae Richardson, two advocates who help young people find and keep jobs, discuss the potential youth unemployment crisis.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Civil rights coalition: Delta needs to boost diversityCivil rights coalition: Delta needs to boost diversity
Black employees have lost ground at Delta Air Lines in recent years, said a coalition of civil rights organizations that urged the Atlanta airline to improve its track record as it heads toward a merger with Northwest Airlines. Delta needs to make increased racial diversity a "top priority issue, along with fuel and labor contract issues," longtime civil rights leader Joseph Lowery said Thursday at a press conference.
New York Cabbie Fined for CursingNew York Cabbie Fined for Cursing
The days when New York cabbies could curse each other are over. They can still honk, but they cannot — as one taxi driver recently did — unleash a string of profanities on another driver for honking. The loud-mouthed driver was accused of assault — and suspended and fined $1,000 by the taxi commission.
Life’s Work: Diversity Isn’t Rocket Science, Is It?Life’s Work: Diversity Isn’t Rocket Science, Is It?
The office can still be a demeaning place for women in technical fields.
Jobless claims rise 6,000 in latest weekJobless claims rise 6,000 in latest week
Reuters - The number of U.S. workers filing claims for initial jobless benefits rose by 6,000 in the latest week while the number on benefit rolls after a first week of aid hit a four-year high, a government report showed on Thursday.
Job market soft, factories weakJob market soft, factories weak
Reuters - The U.S. factory sector started the month on a weak note after declining in April, according to data released on Thursday, while the number of workers stuck on jobless rolls hit a four-year high.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Most Fattening Profession: FinanceMost Fattening Profession: Finance
A new survey from the online jobs site CareerBuilder.com shows that 45 percent of workers have gained weight at their current jobs. About one-quarter of the workers surveyed reported gaining more than 10 pounds; 12 percent gained more than 20. The most fattening profession seems to be finance.
Delta Pilots Change Pact in Advance of MergerDelta Pilots Change Pact in Advance of Merger
Pilots voted overwhelmingly in favor of changes to their contract that will give them pay raises, an equity stake and other benefits, but also will give management more leeway.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Good Times in TexasGood Times in Texas
High oil and natural gas prices are keeping Texas business humming along, despite economic problems elsewhere. Companies are hiring, real estate is selling and the state budget is on track for a huge surplus.
Delphi Chief: Skills Key to U.S. Factory TurnaroundDelphi Chief: Skills Key to U.S. Factory Turnaround
The economy shed 326,000 factory jobs in the past 12 months. Steve Miller, executive chairman of giant auto parts maker Delphi Corp., says improving worker skills is key to turning around the embattled U.S. manufacturing sector.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Young Workers Flee Midwestern StatesYoung Workers Flee Midwestern States
Upper Midwestern states are in danger of losing a precious economic commodity: young people. Many are leaving for other parts of the country after finishing school. Without young, educated workers, there's little incentive for businesses to locate in economically hard-hit states.
Friday, May 09, 2008
U.S. economic anxiety hits women harder: studyU.S. economic anxiety hits women harder: study
Reuters - The U.S. economic downturn has spread personal financial worries far and wide, but women are more worried about paying bills, losing jobs, providing for children and saving for retirement, according to a study released on Thursday.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Serving Up Burger King's Dark SideServing Up Burger King's Dark Side
Amy Bennett Williams, a reporter for the Fort Myers News-Press, discusses a series of stories she's written that have raised questions about Burger King's response to a labor dispute with Florida tomato pickers.
Jobless claims fall 18,000 in latest weekJobless claims fall 18,000 in latest week
Reuters - The number of U.S. workers filing claims for initial jobless benefits fell to a lower-than-expected level in the latest week, a government report showed on Thursday.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Poll: Moms Say They'd Cut Pay for Time with KidsPoll: Moms Say They'd Cut Pay for Time with Kids
A survey from the online jobs site careerbuilder.com shows that more than one-third of working moms spend fewer than three hours a day with their kids. The survey of 880 full-time working mothers also shows that 43 percent would take a pay cut — some said 10 percent or more — if it meant spending more time with their kids.
Women Trained for Post-Hurricane Construction JobsWomen Trained for Post-Hurricane Construction Jobs
A program in southern Mississippi is training women to become construction workers. The goal is to help them take advantage of the many rebuilding jobs available after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Productivity Solid As Companies Trim Hours WorkedProductivity Solid As Companies Trim Hours Worked
Investor's Business Daily - American companies boosted productivity more than expected in the first quarter by cutting jobs and hours worked as the economy stalled, according to Labor Department data out Wednesday.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Job market tough in AtlantaJob market tough in Atlanta
There was a time when David Lindbury didn't have much trouble moving from one job to another. So when the engineer's six-month contract at Home Depot was winding down in late winter, he went to the usual spots on the Internet and did the usual things. It didn't work.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Economy Delays Older Workers' Retirement PlansEconomy Delays Older Workers' Retirement Plans
Older baby boomers are approaching retirement age, but many aren't calling it quits in the workplace just yet. For some, it's a matter of choice, but for others the faltering U.S. economy has pinched retirement funds, forcing them to delay retirement.
Two Atlanta metro firms celebrate sale by rewarding workersTwo metro firms celebrate sale by rewarding workers
At a time when multimillion-dollar golden parachutes for corporate executives are common, two family-owned companies in metro Atlanta are celebrating their recent sale by putting roughly $2 million of the profits into their workers' pockets. Today, 190 employees at Walker Concrete Co. and Walker Construction Products are figuring out what to do with the surprise windfall they received during an employee appreciation dinner over the weekend.
Nation's service economy unexpectedly expanded in AprilNation's service economy unexpectedly expanded in April
AP - Data showing an unexpected expansion in the service sector in April raised hopes that the U.S. economy will be spared a sharp downturn even though many observers feel it is already in a mild recession.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Delta front-line employees getting 3 percent raisesDelta front-line employees getting 3 percent raises
Raises are back in the works for Delta Air Lines' employees, the Atlanta carrier said Friday. Delta said its 38,000 front-line employees — flight attendants, ticket agents and other hourly workers who make up the bulk of its labor force — will get 3 percent pay raises on July 1.
Plant protesters want to cook up attention at Deen eventPlant protesters want to cook up attention at Deen event
If protests cannot prompt Paula to talk, perhaps prayer will? A group of ministers is hoping that praying may get cooking sensation Paula Deen to end her affiliation with food processor Smithfield, which some people say has abused workers at a plant in Eastern North Carolina.
Job cuts in April less severe than fearedJob cuts in April less severe than feared
Reuters - The economy lost jobs for the fourth month in a row in April but at a slower pace than earlier in the year, easing fears that the economy was at a growing risk of slipping into a deep recession.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Delta pilots begin voting on contract changesDelta pilots begin voting on contract changes
Delta pilots are voting on changes to their contract that would give them pay raises, an equity stake and other benefits, but would give management more leeway as part of a proposed combination with Northwest Airlines. Voting starts Thursday and runs through May 14th. The contract would cover 7,403 pilots at Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines. Northwest's 5,000 pilots are not part of the agreement.
Layoffs rise 68 percent in April vs March: surveyLayoffs rise 68 percent in April vs March: survey
Reuters - U.S. companies' planned layoffs jumped 68 percent in April from the prior month to the highest since September 2006, pointing to further deterioration in the labor market, a report showed on Thursday.
Manufacturing report shows continuing contraction in AprilManufacturing report shows continuing contraction in April
AP - U.S. manufacturing activity contracted in April at the same pace as in the previous month, stalled near its lowest level in five years, a private trade group said Thursday.