Labor & Economic News Blog
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Graveyard shift work linked to cancer, scientists sayGraveyard shift work linked to cancer, scientists say
Like UV rays and diesel exhaust fumes, working the graveyard shift will soon be listed as a "probable" cause of cancer.
Jobless claims jump sharplyJobless claims jump sharply
AP - The number of new people signing up for jobless benefits last week jumped sharply, suggesting that the labor market is softening as national economic activity slows.
Talks push forward, slowly in Writers strikeTalks push forward, slowly
Los Angeles Times
Negotiators meet for a third day and agree to a fourth as the studios confront a PR problem. Hollywood writers and studio negotiators talked until early ...
Russian Labor Raises Its VoiceRussian Labor Raises Its Voice
Even in post-Communist times, Russian workers haven't really organized, and strikes have been rare. But a walkout at Ford Motor's (F) St. Petersburg plant ...
State discrimination ruling a victory for pregnant workers in WashingtonState discrimination ruling a victory for pregnant workers
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Is it sex discrimination when a company that requires its employees be able to lift a significant amount of weight turns away an applicant because she's ...
Workers' salary cuts are probedWorkers' salary cuts are probed
Los Angeles Times
The US Department of Labor is investigating whether the company that employs workers who process immigration and citizenship applications in Orange County ...
Bush Shrinks Federal Pay RaisesBush Shrinks Federal Pay Raises
Federal workers living in more expensive regions of the country will get much smaller pay raises than scheduled under an order from ...
Nike workers on strike in VietnamNike workers on strike in Vietnam
Thousands of workers have gone on strike at a Vietnamese plant that makes shoes for Nike, demanding higher pay. Workers, who produce about 10% of the 75 ...
Stagehands End Walkout on BroadwayStagehands End Walkout on Broadway
The settlement brought to an end a strike that had shuttered most of Broadway for 19 days and disrupted the plans of thousands of theatergoers.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
UK Postal workers back peace dealPostal workers back peace deal
Postal workers have overwhelmingly backed a deal on pay and conditions finally ending their long-running dispute. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said ...
Monday, November 26, 2007
Harley-Davidson idles 5400 workersHarley-Davidson idles 5400 workers
Some 5400 Harley-Davidson Inc. workers are out of work this week as the motorcycle maker cuts production because of falling sales. ...
Writers strike takes toll on production workersWriters strike takes toll on production workers
Los Angeles Times
Beaudine is among the thousands of "below-the-line" workers who are the unintended casualties of the first writers strike in 20 years. ...
Result At Foxwoods Could Inspire Other Tribal Casino WorkersResult At Foxwoods Could Inspire Other Tribal Casino Workers
At 2 am, the celebration by the United Auto Workers union and its supporters in an out-of-the-way hallway at one of the world's largest casinos seemed muted ...
Retirement-Fund Suits May Be Permitted by US Supreme CourtRetirement-Fund Suits May Be Permitted by US Supreme Court
US Supreme Court justices signaled they will let participants in 401(k) retirement plans file lawsuits claiming their ...
Russia: Ford Workers Stay on Strike Amid DeadlockFord Workers Stay on Strike Amid Deadlock
St.Petersburg Times, Russia
Negotiations between Ford and striking workers at the company’s plant in Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad Oblast, failed on Monday. ...
German rail union to resume talksGerman rail union to resume talks
Germany's GDL train drivers union is ready to resume negotiations with Deutsche Bahn, the national rail operator, over a pay dispute. ...
French trains back to normal four days after strikeFrench trains back to normal four days after strike
A normal service was fully restored on France's rail network on Monday, four days after striking transport workers agreed to go back to ...
Talks Adjourned in Broadway StrikeTalks Adjourned in Broadway Strike
New York Times
Talks in the Broadway strike were adjourned at 6:30 am Monday between the league representing the theater owners and producers and the ...
Friday, November 16, 2007
The Perils Of A Mani-PediThe Perils Of A Mani-Pedi
Toxic, ungregulated chemicals pose major health risks for salon workers, experts say.
Boeing bosses have wide power to spy on workersBoeing bosses have wide power to spy on workers
Reading private e-mails, following workers, collecting footage of them -- it's not the latest Bond flick, but rather how The Boeing Co. investigates its employees, the P-I has learned.
France endures third strike dayFrance endures third strike day
Most of France's rail network remains disrupted for a third day as protests against pension reforms continue.
Enterprising staff 'hard to find' in UKEnterprising staff 'hard to find'
More than three in four small UK firms struggle to recruit enterprising staff, a survey by Orange suggests.
German rail strike into third dayGerman rail strike into third day
Germany's latest rail strike enters its third day, with neither side giving ground and travellers and businesses suffering as a result.
Nurses' strike drags on in AppalachiaNurses' strike drags on in Appalachia
AP - Jerry Blevins has stood for weeks on a picket line with his fellow nurses, thinking about his mortgage, his tearful wife, his four children.
Industrial production dropped in Oct.Industrial production dropped in Oct.
AP - Industrial production plunged in October by the largest amount in nine months, reflecting a big drop in utility output and continued troubles in autos and housing-related industries.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Gap takes steps to stem child laborGap takes steps to stem child labor
Gap Inc. is pulling 50 percent of its orders placed with a vendor whose subcontracting led to children sewing some of the retailer's clothes in squalid conditions in India.
Classroom assistants on strike in Northern IrelandClassroom assistants on strike
In Northern Ireland
More that 3,000 classroom assistants across Northern Ireland are due to resume their strike.
France faces fresh travel miseryFrance faces fresh travel misery
France faces a second day of travel chaos as transport unions continue their strike against pension reforms.
German rail strike extends actionGerman rail strike extends action
Germany's rail dispute escalates into what operator Deutsche Bahn calls the biggest strike in its history.
Army Dismissals for Mental Health, Misconduct RiseArmy Dismissals for Mental Health, Misconduct Rise
The Pentagon has released detailed statistics on the number of troops being discharged for mental-health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The numbers raise troubling questions about how the military is handling mental-health issues.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Survey: Young Workers Expect More SoonerSurvey: Young Workers Expect More Sooner
Most employers said that their young employees expect to be promoted within a year, and that employees under age 30 expect to be paid more, according to CareerBuilder.com. So it's very possible those employers hope the baby boomers do stick around.
Baby Boomers Likely to Retire LaterBaby Boomers Likely to Retire Later
Almost 80 million baby boomers will be eligible to receive Social Security benefits in the next 20 years, setting off fears that the Social Security system will be overwhelmed. But baby boomers are expected to bring a different approach to old age by working longer than prior generations.
Reconsidering Retiree Health BenefitsReconsidering Retiree Health Benefits
Inside Higher Ed
At a time when many colleges are concerned about the cost of paying for their employees’ post-retirement health care, Dartmouth College is floating a plan that would scale back existing coverage for some employees and eventually cut it altogether for others.
Foreigners earn highest and lowest wages in SwitzerlandForeigners earn highest and lowest wages
Highly skilled foreign staff are paid more than top Swiss managers, but unqualified workers from abroad are among the country's lowest earners, wage ...
US Airways Pilots Try to Oust UnionUS Airways Pilots Try to Oust Union
A group of disgruntled US Airways pilots is moving forward with plans to replace its union at the ...
Broadway’s Showdown: The LowdownBroadway’s Showdown: The Lowdown
New York Times
The main attraction on Broadway this week continues to be the street theater of picketing stagehands. And from the way things look, ...
France hit by transport chaos as unions confront SarkozyFrance hit by transport chaos as unions confront Sarkozy
France was plunged into travel chaos for the second time in a month Wednesday as striking railway unions staged a show of strength against the ...
UAW union ratifies landmark Ford contractUAW union ratifies landmark Ford contract
The United Auto Workers union ratified a landmark contract with Ford Motor Co. aimed at boosting the struggling US automaker's competitiveness against foreign rivals, the company and the union announced Wednesday
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Climbing Some Steps on the Pay LadderClimbing Some Steps on the Pay Ladder
A pilot program helps workers aim toward promotions.
The Public Face of Wal-Mart’s Health Care ProgramThe Public Face of Wal-Mart’s Health Care Program
Linda Dillman, who oversees Wal-Mart’s health care system, answers questions about changes the company has made in the program.
4th Woman Joins U.S. Bias Suit Against Bloomberg L.P.4th Woman Joins U.S. Bias Suit Against Bloomberg L.P.
Another woman has joined the federal government’s lawsuit against Bloomberg L.P., accusing the company of discriminating against pregnant employees.
Income Gap Between Blacks, Whites ExpandsIncome Gap Between Blacks, Whites Expands
A new study shows that while incomes have increased among both black and white families in the past three decades, the gain is greater among whites. The study, based on some 2,300 families, shows a black family's income in 2004 was a little more than half that of a similar white family's.
More women break FTSE barrierMore women break FTSE barrier
FT.com - Women are continuing to break through the glass ceiling, with the number of female directors on the boards of Britain's biggest businesses rising to record levels.
A Health Plan for Wal-Mart: Less StinginessA Health Plan for Wal-Mart: Less Stinginess
New York Times
For much of the last decade, the retailing behemoth Wal-Mart Stores has been associated with stingy health care as much as low prices.
Friday, November 09, 2007
When e-mail becomes your workplace masterWhen e-mail becomes your workplace master
Every morning when he flips on his office computer, Thomas Boston rips with a fury into the hundreds of e-mails that have silently invaded his computer's inbox. But for every one he kills, reinforcements quickly pop up. "E-mail is the Trojan horse of office productivity," says Boston, an economics professor at Georgia Tech and owner of the EuQuant research firm. "Most people I know spend more time checking e-mails than reading for knowledge or pleasure. I can easily spend three hours each day on e-mail-related tasks." Like the giant wooden horse of Greek mythology, e-mail is widely seen as a benevolent helper, a godsend that helps us communicate quickly and easily with people all over the world. But experts say it has a costly downside.
Outlays for veterans often hiddenOutlays for veterans often hidden
Like an outsider tucked into a military unit, spending on veterans is an "embed" in the overall economy. Representing many tens of billions of dollars in transactions each year, that spending is part of a long-standing policy to compensate and care for those who have worn uniforms in the nation's service. Like an embed, it blends in. But veteran-centered outlays have a distinct effect: Not only do they ease the financial burden for millions, they quietly nurture the private sector.
Judge Deals Transit Union a Blow on Collecting DuesJudge Deals Transit Union a Blow on Collecting Dues
A state judge refused to allow the Transport Workers Union to begin automatically collecting dues again from its members, saying he did believe the union leaders’ assertions that it would not strike again.
Attracting Valuable Coaches to the Priciest College TownAttracting Valuable Coaches to the Priciest College Town
Stanford University has created a new financial assistance plan to lure coaches to the most expensive college town in America.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
House Approves Ban on Anti-Gay DiscriminationHouse Approves Ban on Anti-Gay Discrimination
The bill, which grants broad protections against workplace discrimination for gays, was praised by supporters as a landmark civil rights achievement.
Jobless claims fell by 13,000 last weekJobless claims fell by 13,000 last week
Reuters - New applications for jobless aid fell unexpectedly last week, dropping by 13,000, but a more reliable moving average of these claims rose to the highest level in six months, government data on Thursday showed.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Job Bias Case Turns on Filing Right FormJob Bias Case Turns on Filing Right Form
The age discrimination case that was argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday turned on a hyper-technical issue that only an employment lawyer could love.
Productivity surges by 4.9 percent rateProductivity surges by 4.9 percent rate
AP - Worker productivity surged in the summer at the fastest pace in four years while wage pressures eased.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Calif business moves causing few job losses: studyCalif business moves causing few job losses: study
Reuters - California is losing relatively few jobs as a result of businesses relocating to other states, with most business moves involving relocations within the state, according to a study released on Monday.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Peru mine unions say national strike starts MondayPeru mine unions say national strike starts Monday
Peru's biggest federation of mining unions said workers will go on strike nationwide starting on Monday despite efforts by the ...
Writers to strike as 11th-hour negotiations failWriters to strike as 11th-hour negotiations fail
Studio reps and WGA negotiators were bargaining Sunday night in a last-minute bid to avert a strike, even as film and television writers ...
Silicon Valley Should Withstand Next BustSilicon Valley Should Withstand Next Bust
The good times are back in Silicon Valley, but when this start-up boom sours, it is unlikely to repeat the same devastating pattern of the last technology bust.
Service sector grew in Oct., survey saysService sector grew in Oct., survey says
AP - The U.S. services sector grew at a faster-than-expected rate in October boosted by strength in new orders, a private research group said Monday.
Ford, union reach tentative dealFord, union reach tentative deal
AP - The United Auto Workers union reached a tentative contract agreement Saturday with Ford Motor Co., the last of the Big Three automakers participating in a historic round of negotiations that has slashed wages and changed the way health care is provided to retirees.
Writers' Strike Could Harm Support BusinessesWriters' Strike Could Harm Support Businesses
Writers for network television and the big screen are on strike after last-ditch talks, called by a federal mediator, failed. There are about 12,000 members of the Writers Guild of America, but a prolonged strike will be harmful to many more, including set designers, carpenters, drivers, dog groomers, caterers, hotels and more.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Lack of jobs in Mexico is acuteLack of jobs in Mexico is acute
Cesar Mora has been looking for steady work for three frustrating years since he graduated with a degree in applied mathematics from Mexico's National Autonomous University. Now 30, he lives with his parents, does odd jobs such as fixing computers and wonders whether his career will ever start. "It's sad, but it's the reality here," Mora said. "The diploma is just for pride. ... Companies here don't need workers."
Amtrak Workers in Cooling-Off PeriodAmtrak Workers in Cooling-Off Period
Amtrak workers may be able to strike as early as Dec. 1, after rejecting mediation and entering a 30-day cooling-off period, the National Mediation Board said.
Payrolls in October grow by 166,000Payrolls in October grow by 166,000
AP - Employers added twice as many new jobs to their ranks than expected in October, an encouraging sign that the nation's employment climate is not cracking under the stress of a deepening housing slump.
Chrysler to Lay Off Thousands of WorkersChrysler to Lay Off Thousands of Workers
In an attempt to turn around its business, Chrysler will lay off more workers. The carmaker plans to cut up to 10,000 hourly employees. That's in addition to the 13,000 layoffs it announced in February. The news comes just days after the United Auto Workers approved a new contract.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Is There Room at the Top for Black Executives?Is There Room at the Top for Black Executives?
The departures of E. Stanley O’Neal and Richard D. Parsons have started a debate over whether they broke down barriers for younger black executives who seek the corner office.
Chrysler to Cut 11,000 Jobs and Drop ModelsChrysler to Cut 11,000 Jobs and Drop Models
The new round of job cuts is deeper than anticipated and comes on the heels of a new union contract.
Incomes edge up as inflation remains mutedIncomes edge up as inflation remains muted
Reuters - Incomes edged higher in September while underlying consumer prices rose modestly, data released on Thursday showed, suggesting inflation remains in check despite lower U.S. interest rates.
Manufacturing growth slows in Oct.Manufacturing growth slows in Oct.
AP - U.S. manufacturing grew in October at the weakest pace since March, suggesting that ongoing troubles in the housing and credit markets have seeped into the industrial sector.
W.E Upjohn Institute Employment Research Report Oct 2007W.E. Upjohn Institutue Employment Research
October 2007 issue
A Future of Good Jobs? America's Challenge in the Global Economy, by Timothy Bartik and Susan Houseman
How Responsive are Community Colleges to Local Needs?, by Duane E. Leigh and Andrew M. Gill
W.E. Upjohn Unemployment Trustee Corporation - 75th Anniversary, by Randall W. Eberts