Labor & Economic News Blog

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Lives And Deaths Of NY Transit Workers

Lots of trees being killed and electrons being wasted talking about the hardships of those trying to get to work during the strike.Very little written about the hardships of being a NY transit employee.For a little enlightenment, I searched the Confined Space archives and came up with a number of posts about the lives and deaths of NY transit workers.First, for those who think that unions no longer serve a useful purpose, read this post from earlier this year about a Wall St. Journal article describing how unions like TWU Local 100 contributed to creating the middle class in New York, and are trying to preserve it now.


NYC Transit Union Moves to Return to Work
By By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press Writer
Striking bus and subway workers agreed Thursday to "take steps" to go back to work while their union and the transit authority resume negotiations, a mediator said. The deal with the Transit Workers Union could pave the way for a resumption in service...


Workers Choose to Come Back and Talk
Transit officials said they expected the system to be running at nearly full capacity by Friday morning's rush.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

In New Orleans, No Easy Work for Willing Latinos
By Manuel Roig-Franzia
NEW ORLEANS -- The come-on was irresistible: Hop in the truck. Go to New Orleans. Make a pile of cash.


Friday, December 16, 2005

German Business Confidence Up in December (AP)
AP - German business confidence rose in December to its highest level in more than five years, a closely watched survey showed Friday, in a sign that Europe's largest economy may strengthen after years of sluggish growth.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Businesses Brace for NYC Transit Strike (AP)
AP - From Fifth Avenue retail emporiums to the financial houses of Wall Street, New York businesses scrambled Thursday to prepare for a possible transit strike could paralyze the city a week before Christmas.


Jobless claims edge up unexpectedly last week (Reuters)
Reuters - The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless aid rose 1,000 last week, bucking expectations for a small decline in applications, the Labor Department said on Thursday.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

U.S. CEOs see strong 2006 -- Business Roundtable (Reuters)
Reuters - Chief executives expect the U.S. economy to show strength in 2006, as strong consumer and corporate spending and increased productivity offset rising health-care and energy costs, according to a quarterly survey released by the Business Roundtable on Wednesday.


Inflation in check, wages due to rise: Snow (Reuters)
Reuters - U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said on Wednesday that U.S. inflation is in check, that Federal Reserve policies are effective, and that workers' wages are likely to begin rising.


Trade gap widens to record $68.9 billion (Reuters)
Reuters - The U.S. trade deficit widened unexpectedly in October to a record $68.9 billion despite a drop in the cost of imported oil, as the deficits with China, Canada, the European Union, Mexico and OPEC all hit records, government data showed on Wednesday.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

UAW Says It's Talking to GM on Delphi
By By DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writer
The United Auto Workers union isn't negotiating with auto supplier Delphi Corp. but began talking with General Motors Corp. two weeks ago about a possible deal that could soften Delphi's plans to cut jobs and close plants, the UAW's top GM negotiator said...


DAILY DIGEST / UC nurses to vote on contract proposal
By Victoria Colliver
More than 9,000 University of California nurses will vote this week on a tentative contract that university and union officials hope will end an 11-month contract dispute. The two-year proposal, brokered on Friday, calls for a 6 percent wage increase,...


Wage gap widens in state / Bay Area pay is higher, but top end made greater gains
By Tom Abate
Wage earners in the Bay Area are paid about 25 percent more than workers elsewhere in California, but the advantages are not evenly spread, according to a report set for release today. The 24-page study, "The Rising Tide Left Some Boats Behind,'' finds...


Monday, December 12, 2005

Whirlpool to Lay Off 730 at Ark. Plant
Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. announced Monday it plans to lay off 730 workers at its refrigerator plant in Fort Smith, Ark. Whirlpool said the workers would lose their jobs next October as the company opens a new plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Many...


What immigration brings California / Study evaluates the costs, benefits of a huge influx of foreign workers
By Tom Abate
At Santiago's Body Shop in San Francisco's Mission District, the question of whether immigrants are taking jobs from native-born workers made Julio Flores bristle. "I never took anybody's job,'' said Flores, 41, who spoke no English when he arrived...


Hotels rebuff unions / 2006 expiration date is not acceptable, negotiators say
By George Raine
Contract negotiators for 14 San Francisco hotels this week rejected a proposal from the union representing more than 4,000 workers, leaving the labor dispute unresolved after nearly 16 months. The union, Unite Here Local 2, has sought a new contract...


Workers like old health plans / Many firms use the new plans for cheaper premiums
By Victoria Colliver
New-style workplace health insurance plans that impose high costs on consumers are drawing increased attention from employers. But a new nationwide survey shows that employees enrolled in them are skeptical. The study, released earlier this week by the...


German Fourth-Quarter GDP Likely to Pick Up (AP)
AP - Economic research institute DIW said Monday that growth in Germany picked up slightly during the fourth quarter because of increased demand from abroad.


Report: Palestinian Economy to Grow in '05 (AP)
AP - The Palestinian economy will expand by at least 8 percent in 2005 with unemployment expected to fall sharply, but violence and Israeli restrictions could stymie growth, a World Bank report predicted Sunday.


Rocky times ahead for US auto sector (AFP)
AFP - The turmoil in the US domestic automobile industry shows no signs of abating despite a relatively healthy sales outlook and a strong US economy.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Best Buy accused of bias / Promotions denied to minorities, women, suit says
By Jason B. Johnson
Six current and former employees of Best Buy filed a race- and sex-discrimination lawsuit Thursday against the consumer electronics chain in federal court in San Francisco, accusing it of denying better-paying sales and managerial jobs to African Americans,...


The FTSE feels the impact of pension fund selling ( - Schroders, the fund management group, is shifting the bulk of its pension fund out of equities and into assets such as derivatives, bonds, private equity, hedge funds and commodities, it emerged this week.


Germany's Trade Surplus Falls in October (AP)
AP - Germany's trade surplus fell to 12.2 billion euros ($14.43 billion) in October from 15 billion euros ($17.6 billion) the month before as imports picked up, the Federal Statistics Office reported Friday.


Japanese Economy Up 0.2 Percent in Quarter (AP)
AP - Japan's economy grew 0.2 percent in the July-September quarter, down from the preliminary estimate of 0.4 percent, the government said in revised figures released Friday.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Employers eye Medicare plans / Few companies surveyed say they expect to scale back retiree benefits immediately
By Victoria Colliver
Medicare's new prescription medication program won't undercut most employer initiatives to provide drug benefits to retirees, according to a national survey released Wednesday. Four out of 5 large employers will continue to provide retirees drug...


Poll: Nearly 1 Out of 6 Workers Claim Bias
By By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer
Nearly one out of every six U.S. employees say they were discriminated at work in the last year, with women more than twice as likely as men to claim bias over hiring and pay, according to a new poll. The poll released Thursday by the Gallup...


German Industrial Production Rises in Oct. (AP)
AP - German industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent in October over the previous month, marking a strong start to the final quarter of the year for Europe's biggest economy and beating forecasts.


Jobless claims rise unexpectedly (Reuters)
Reuters - The number of U.S. workers filing new jobless claims last week rose unexpectedly by 6,000, the government said on Thursday, but a more reliable barometer of labor trends fell for the second straight week.


Factory growth solid but slowing: group (Reuters)
Reuters - The U.S. factory sector is poised to grow through 2007, although the pace of its expansion is slowing, a manufacturing group said on Wednesday.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Korean Air Unionized Pilots Strike for Pay
Unionized pilots at Korean Air Co., South Korea's largest carrier and one of the world's largest cargo airlines, went on strike to demand higher wages despite a government threat to use special powers to halt the walkout. The pilots went on strike at...


Delta Pilots May Consider Vote to Strike
Delta Air Lines Inc. pilots may consider a vote to strike if the bankrupt airline's managers impose changes on their contract, a pilots union spokesman said Wednesday. The airline has asked a bankruptcy judge to let it scrap its current contract with...


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Electric Boat to Cut Up to 2,400 Jobs
By By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer
Submarine builder Electric Boat said Tuesday it would eliminate up to 2,400 jobs, or 20 percent of its work force, by the end of next year, citing the declining size of the nation's submarine fleet and the Navy's decision to steer repair work to its own...


Chiquita to Close Processing Plants
Chiquita Brands International Inc. said Tuesday it will close processing plants in Manteno, Ill., and Kansas City, Mo., by February to cut costs, eliminating about 100 jobs from its fresh-cut fruit processing operations in the Midwest. The closings are...


Orders to U.S. Factories Rebound in Oct. (AP)
AP - Orders to U.S. factories posted a solid increase in October while worker productivity jumped by the largest amount in two years, the government reported Tuesday.


EU fails to agree on reduced VAT rates amid German resistance (AFP)
AFP - EU finance ministers failed to agree on a list of services to benefit from exceptionally low value added tax, with the incoming German government blocking a deal particularly dear to France.


Monday, December 05, 2005

Snow foresees pickup in wages (Reuters)
Reuters - Treasury Secretary John Snow said on Monday that a steadily expanding U.S. economy has reached a point where it should start generating good news about incomes and jobs.


British finance minister slashes optimistic economic growth targets (AFP)
AFP - Britain's economy will grow at a much slower pace than previously forecast this year and in 2006 owing to inflationary pressures amid spiralling oil prices, finance minister Gordon Brown told parliament.


Fed conference sees softer '06 GDP growth (Reuters)
Reuters - U.S. economic growth could soften in 2006 but inflation should decline and the jobless rate drift lower as well, according to participants at a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago conference released on Monday.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Report: Ford May Close 5 N. American Plants
Ford Motor Co. is likely to close five North American plants as part of a restructuring plan still being developed for announcement next month, according to a newspaper report published Friday. The Wall Street Journal reported that the nation's second...


Chico's workers redressed / Clothing chain had forced staff to buy store's garments
A San Francisco judge approved an $800,000 settlement Thursday of a class-action case involving allegations that employees of the women's clothing chain Chico's FAS Inc. were forced to buy the company's products in order to work at the store. Other retailers,...


Greenspan: U.S. Deficit May Hurt Economy (AP)
AP - Outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned Friday that America's exploding budget deficit and a protectionist backlash against soaring trade deficits could disrupt the global economy.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ukraine inches closer to Europe as market economy status granted (AFP)
AFP - The European Union announced that it had given Ukraine market economy status, the first concrete success in President Viktor Yushchenko's plan to steer the ex-Soviet nation toward EU membership.


German Unemployment Dips Below 11 Percent (AP)
AP - Germany's unemployment rate edged below 11 percent in November as companies in Europe's biggest economy sought more part-time workers.


U.S. Employers Expand Payrolls in November (AP)
AP - The nation's businesses cranked up hiring in November after a two-month lull, a sign the labor market is back in the groove as the ill effects of the Gulf Coast hurricanes fade.


Factory activity slows in November (Reuters)
Reuters - Growth in U.S. manufacturing slowed in November but remained comparatively robust, while a cut in prices paid by companies signaled tamer inflationary pressures, according to a survey published on Thursday.


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