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  • Title: Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: .. Skip to main content.. Labor Notes.. Main menu.. Home.. About.. Donate.. Store.. Events.. Archives.. Blog.. Search form.. Search.. Crazy Dreamers? Port Truckers Battle ‘Sweatshops on Trucks’.. Nov 19 /.. Jane Slaughter.. Drivers who move goods from southern California docks pulled a 36-hour strike ending today, with “ambulatory picketing” to surround scab trucks.. Will Grocery Workers Hold the Line For Part-Timer Health Care?.. Nov 18 /.. Alexandra Bradbury.. As employers seize upon the Obamacare excuse, grocery unions are struggling to keep part-timers in their health care plans.. Minimum Wage Momentum—at the Airport.. Nov 15 /.. Jenny Brown.. Several airports now have $15 minimum wages, including Seattle-Tacoma where workers recently won not only $15 an hour, but paid sick days and the right to sue over tip theft.. Machinists Defeat Boeing Proposal, Boo Union Brass Who Pushed It.. Nov 14 /.. Machinists at Boeing resoundingly voted down mid-contract concessions yesterday and then booed the union leaders who had pushed the proposal on a shocked membership.. Boeing Blackmails Washington Workforce on 777X Production.. Nov 11 /.. Thirty-one thousand Machinists in Washington state were stunned to learn last week that their union is pushing mid-contract concessions under threat from Boeing to move work out of state.. Zero Tolerance Policies: Fortress or Paper Tiger?.. Nov 6 /.. Robert M.. Schwartz.. Bosses love zero tolerance policies, but if the union questions the policy, the employer is likely to cite contractual language giving it the right to issue rules and regulations.. But often  ...   Fight for 15 Confidential.. Nov 12 /.. Arun Gupta.. Fast food workers ask whether the national Fight for 15 campaign is worker organizing or a “march on the media.. ”.. Video and Review: Down the Up Escalator.. Nov 5 /.. Meet the people who caused the Great Recession and those who continue to suffer from it, all of them infinitely human in the hands of Barbara Garson.. Lean In or Stand Up?.. Nov 4 /.. Sheryl Sandberg urges women to lean in at work, but Newark teachers felt more "leaned on" when Facebook officers came to town with $100 million to push merit pay.. Follow labornotes.. Subscribe!.. Labor news from labor's point of view.. $30 for 12 issues.. Subscribe now ».. Most Popular.. Portlanders Kicked, Arrested for Protesting Post Office Privatization ».. Pittsburghers Try a Community Union ».. Auto Workers Try a New Angle at Volkswagen ».. Stealth Bill Would Allow Cuts to Current Pensions ».. Labor Notes is a media and organizing project that has been the voice of union activists who want to put the movement back in the labor movement since 1979.. ».. Shop for books ».. Shop for stickers & pint glasses ».. Shop for t-shirts & hoodies ».. Contact Us.. Subscribe.. Main Office.. : 7435 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48210;.. (313) 842-6262.. East Coast Office.. : 104 Montgomery St, Brooklyn, NY 11225;.. (718) 284-4144.. Labor Education and Research Project © 2005-2013.. Share!.. Social Log-in.. Username.. *.. Password.. Create new account.. Request new password..

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  • Title: About | Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: Labor Notes is a media and organizing project that has been the voice of union activists who want to put the.. movement.. back in the labor movement since 1979.. Through our magazine, website, books, conferences and workshops, we promote organizing, aggressive strategies to fight concessions, alliances with workers’ centers, and unions that are run by their members.. Labor Notes is also a network of rank-and-file members, local union leaders, and labor activists who know the labor movement is worth fighting for.. We encourage connections between workers in different unions, workers centers, communities, industries, and countries to strengthen the movement—from the bottom up.. That movement is needed because workers are being hit hard by their employers.. We have lower real wages, less job security, and smaller, weaker unions than our mothers and fathers did.. For the most part, our leaders are doing a poor job of navigating us through the crisis.. Some can’t get beyond business-as-usual; others see the need to organize by the millions, but don't believe that workers themselves need to have a say in their unions.. Some unions operate only to service their members’ bread and butter needs instead of encouraging their involvement in a movement to fight the employer offensive and transform our society.. With more than 30 years of movement building behind us, Labor Notes exists as a resource for leaders and union members who want to combat these trends and chart a new course for the labor movement.. What We Do.. The magazine.. Labor Notes is best known for our.. monthly magazine.. of the same name.. We report news about workers that  ...   A Troublemaker's Handbook 2.. and.. Democracy Is Power.. , as well as our newest book.. The Steward's Toolbox.. Over the years we’ve sold tens of thousands of these strategy manuals to rank-and-file activists hungry to develop new skills and union locals that have worn them out in training classes.. Click here.. to view our book store and purchase books to energize your organizing.. Conferences.. Every two years Labor Notes holds a national conference that attracts at least a thousand activists, about a tenth of them from other countries.. Besides workshops on every conceivable skill and issue, there’s space for meetings of people from the same union and people with the same interests.. For a report on the 2012 Conference, which a record-breaking 1,500 activists attended,.. click here.. Schools and Workshops.. Labor Notes holds periodic Troublemakers Schools, day-long educational events.. We're planning more! These schools offer a range of workshops on grassroots unionism and skills that officers and rank and filers need.. Check this site for announcements of dates and locations.. Or if you’d like to help build a school in your city, email.. schools[at]labornotes[dot]org.. We also organize workshops as needed, like our economic crisis sessions that help activists navigate the crisis and shape labor's response.. Contact us if you're interested in hosting a Labor Notes workshop.. Donating to.. Like what you see? We rely on your support.. Please help us out with a tax-deductible.. donation.. !.. Writing for Labor Notes.. Thinking of sending us an article? Check out our.. writer guidelines.. Meet our staff.. The.. people.. behind.. Interns.. Find out how to be an intern at.. :.. jane[at]labornotes[dot]org..

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  • Title: Give to Labor Notes! | Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: Give to Labor Notes!.. Hard to believe, but a scrappy rank-and-file magazine and organizing institute, founded in 1979 to bring together leaders from an inspiring string of wildcat strikes and union reform caucuses, turns 34 this year.. Labor Notes has grown a lot since then, training thousands of activists at regional Troublemaker Schools in recent years and  ...   work, from labor's point of view.. Labor Notes is more than a website and magazine.. We're a network of rank-and-file members, union leaders, and labor activists who know the labor movement is worth fighting for.. We encourage connections between workers in different unions, workers centers, communities, industries, and countries to strengthen the movement from the bottom up..

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  • Title: Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: 2014 Labor Notes Conference, April 4-6 in Chicago.. April 04, 2014.. to.. April 06, 2014.. Join thousands of union members, officers, and grassroots labor activists who are on the front lines in our workplaces, our unions, and our communities.. Meet troublemakers from around the country and around the world.. Pittsburgh Troublemakers School.. October 05, 2013.. Pittsburgh troublemakers are planning a day of skill-building workshops, education and strategy discussions to put the movement back in the labor movement.. Layoffs, union-busting, and slash-and-burn budgets are squeezing working people.. Rank-and-file union members and community activists are rebuilding solidarity and fighting back together.. Join us.. Exposing the TPP: Corporate Power Tool of the 1%.. May 22, 2013.. Slide Presentation, Q A, and Discussion with Lacey Kohlmoos of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, in Detroit.. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive “free trade agreement” that isn’t really about trade.. It’s now being negotiated behind closed doors and influenced by over 600 corporate advisers.. If it passes, the TPP will shape what governments do on labor rights, global health, food safety, consumer rights, financial regulations, and the environment.. Yes, it’s that big.. New York Troublemakers School.. May 18, 2013.. New York troublemakers are planning a day of skill-building workshops, education, and  ...   and fighting back.. Portland troublemakers—union and non-union workers, union leaders, and community activists—will participate in a day of skill-building workshops and strategy discussions to create a stronger workers’ movement.. Los Angeles Troublemakers School.. June 11, 2011.. Amid layoffs, budget cuts, and legislative attempts to break unions, working people and communities are fighting back and rebuilding solidarity.. LA's Troublemakers School will bring together union activists from across Southern Cal for a day of networking, skill building, and strategy discussion.. Saturday, June 11, 2011 1 p.. m.. – 5 p.. Pasadena City College1570 E.. Colorado Blvd.. ,Pasadena.. Chicago Troublemakers School.. May 21, 2011.. Chicago's Labor Notes Troublemakers School will bring together labor and community activists for a day of networking, skill building, and strategy discussion.. Arturo Velasquez Institute2800 S.. Western Ave.. ,Chicago Read here what happened at the School.. Madison Troublemakers School.. April 01, 2011.. April 02, 2011.. The protests at the Capitol have shown what working people are made of.. How do we build on the protests, protect what we have—and lay the foundation to fight for more? Led by experienced labor activists, our workshops will explore strategies to fight back and give you the hands-on skills to make it happen.. Pages.. 1.. 2.. next ›.. last »..

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  • Title: Labor Notes Archive | Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: Labor Notes Archive.. November, 2013.. A Solution to the Problems of the Faculty Majority.. October, 2013.. Pittsburghers Try a Community Union.. The 1963 March on Washington: Reclaiming Labor History.. Auto Workers Try a New Angle at Volkswagen.. Tea Party, ALEC Prescribe CPR to Kill Pensions.. Bay Area Transit Workers Beat Back the Worst, End Strike.. Viewpoint: AFL-CIO Follows Path of Least Resistance.. Stealth Bill Would Allow Cuts to Current Pensions.. Pension  ...   Unions to Speak for All Workers.. Bringing the Community to the Bargaining Table.. Does Your Copy of Labor Notes Take Forever to Arrive?.. Fracking Booms, Workers Busted.. Transport Workers New Leaders Double Down on Political Action.. Postal Workers Elect New Leaders Who Pledge to Build a Movement.. Professors and Adjuncts Unite, Win Raises, Job Security in First Contract.. Pittsburgh Troublemakers Go to School.. 3.. 4.. 5.. 6.. 7.. 8.. 9.. …..

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  • Title: Troublemakers Blog | Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: Troublemakers Blog.. November 12, 2013 /.. November 05, 2013 /.. November 04, 2013 /.. November 01, 2013 /.. Jack Longmate.. Contingent faculty, now the majority, are almost always paid on a discounted secondary pay scale.. But a college in British Columbia shows another way is possible.. October 29, 2013 /.. Tim Schermerhorn.. The two big commemorations of the 1963 March on Washington this August just asked us to honor a well-attended march where great speeches were given.. The march represented much more, which has been written out of history.. October 22, 2013 /.. Peter Olney.. Though the AFL-CIO Convention’s focus on new alliances was healthy,  ...   frustrated as you are—and so are postal workers.. October 10, 2013 /.. Steve Downs.. Local presidents' dissatisfaction with the Transport Workers Union jelled into an opposition slate that came from within the union’s administration.. October 09, 2013 /.. Stefan Ostrach.. Teachers at the University of Oregon approved by 99 percent a first contract yesterday, the fruits of solidarity between tenure-track and contingent faculty that began six years ago.. October 08, 2013 /.. Samantha Winslow.. Eighty activists, including members of the Steelworkers, Transit Union (ATU), United Electrical Workers (UE), Service Employees, and AFSCME, gathered Saturday for a day of trainings, workshops, and discussions: the Pittsburgh Troublemakers School..

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  • Title: Crazy Dreamers? Port Truckers Battle ‘Sweatshops on Trucks’ | Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: English.. Español.. November 19, 2013.. / Jane Slaughter.. Enlarge.. or.. shrink.. text.. login.. register.. to comment.. Striking port truckers in Southern California say their conditions are like employees', not independent contractors', and they should be paid that way.. Photo: Slobodan Dimitrov.. Drivers who move Asian goods from southern California docks pulled a 36-hour strike ending today, charging three employers with unfair labor practices including retaliation for organizing.. Port truckers in the huge L.. A.. -Long Beach ports are largely immigrants.. Most lease their vehicles from the companies that employ them, with payments deducted from their paychecks.. Also deducted are charges for parking, diesel fuel, and insurance, including insurance on the cargo.. “Last Friday I only got less than $200,” striker Daniel Linares said, “for working six days a week, from early in the morning to 4 or 5 in the afternoon.. ”.. Sometimes he makes $400-$500, he said, but even so, “this job is a sweatshop on trucks.. It’s a miserable wage, not even close to a living wage.. The company is making millions of dollars and giving us crumbles.. One of the companies, Pac 9 Transportation, was also charged with falsely claiming that its employees are independent contractors.. Standing in front of the Pac 9 entrance an hour before his shift would have begun, Linares explained there’s nothing independent about his relationship with management.. “We are under dispatch,” he said.. “They give us a load, we go to the port and get the load.. We have to take that to a destination [a warehouse or railyard].. They give us another load to take from that destination to the port.. They keep us back and forth.. “When we are stuck  ...   of the about 150 drivers at his company would strike.. “The rest say we are dreamers,” he said.. “They say we are crazy fighting for our rights.. ” The Teamsters said about 100 drivers were striking altogether.. He said strikers planned to picket at the company entrance yesterday to delay fellow drivers from entering but not actually block them.. Today, strikers planned to escalate by following trucks as they left the port and to throw up picket lines when the trucks stopped—reviving the “ambulatory picketing” used by the Teamsters in their decisive 1934 general strike in Minneapolis.. Because he’s paid by the load, Linares says, Pac 9 dispatchers are indifferent when he’s stuck inside the port for five or six hours, waiting for containers to be moved from ship to truck, making no money: “I call the company and say I’m stuck, two hours passed and I haven’t been served.. They tell me to stay.. And why is service sometimes slow inside the ports? In Linares’s view, it’s because the union members there have control over their work.. “They’re hourly,” he explained.. “They have unions and good benefits and everything.. Apparently “being your own boss” is not the American dream these immigrants came seeking.. Strikers are just looking for a chance to join the proletariat.. For more detail on the strike and on port truckers’ conditions, read.. here.. For more on misclassification of employees as independent contractors, where immigrants are again the victims, read.. Post a Comment.. Related.. Fight for 15 Confidential ».. Rank-and-File Reformers Oust In Bed Rhode Island Teamsters ».. Bay Area Transit Workers Beat Back the Worst, End Strike ».. One-Day Strikes: A Word to the Wise »..

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  • Title: Will Grocery Workers Hold the Line For Part-Timer Health Care? | Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: November 18, 2013.. /.. Grocery workers are asking customers to pledge not to cross the picket line if they strike.. Photo: Karlyn Williams, UFCW 400.. “At first I was a little worried about approaching the customers,” said Vivian Sigouin, a Safeway food clerk in Virginia.. But “when you mention health care and part-timers and retirees, any of that, it really hits everybody.. She and fellow Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) members are out in front of stores asking D.. C.. -area shoppers to sign a pledge.. not to cross picket lines at Safeway and Giant.. if they strike.. They’re fighting to keep everyone on their health care plan.. The 17,000 workers have twice extended their contract to keep bargaining; it’s now set to expire December 20.. “It was a subject that everybody understood,” Sigouin said.. “They all had a story to tell if you gave them a minute, about their mother or father that lost benefits, or didn’t have them.. “A lot of people say, ‘I know so-and-so who works at Walmart, so let me sign that card.. ’”.. Obamacare: What to Watch Out For.. A new report from the Labor Campaign for Single Payer explains the top 10 bugbears unions should guard against when bargaining health care—including the “Walmart loophole,” private exchanges, exclusion of immigrants (even those with papers), and more.. Read details on all 10 here.. It’s the hot topic in grocery bargaining this year:.. with the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges.. opening up an alternative route to coverage, will employers succeed in kicking part-timers and retirees off their plans?.. After what Local 919 President Mark Espinosa called “the most difficult, complex negotiations I have been part of in my entire labor movement career,” 40,000 Stop Shop workers in five New England UFCW locals.. agreed in March to exclude employees working less than 30 hours a week from their Taft-Hartley health fund.. In return the company is giving the part-timers cash to buy coverage on the exchanges and contributing to individual health savings accounts, and the locals are offering workshops to guide members into the new system.. But other grocery locals, such as Sigouin’s Local 400, are refusing to dump part-timers.. Their brothers and sisters at area Krogers fended off similar concessions earlier this year.. Twenty-one thousand Seattle-area workers came within two hours of striking at Safeway, QFC, Albertson’s, and Fred Meyer, before they won a no-concession contract October 21, keeping everyone’s benefits intact.. Some 5,500 Stop Shop workers in the New York metro area’s Local 1500.. authorized a strike October 28.. over the same issue.. At press time they hadn’t walked yet, but might anytime.. And health coverage for part-timers is a top issue in Local 1262’s talks with Stop Shop and ShopRite in New Jersey and New York, too.. Already many grocery workers are part-time, including nearly 13,000 of the 17,000 Safeway and Giant workers in D.. “Lots of people, Giant has cut their hours back to five hours or less a day,” said deli manager Michele Hepner.. “They’re not making people full-time anymore.. For Mary Ann Schroeder, a 20-year Safeway meatwrapper in Seattle, that’s part of why the issue was worth striking over.. “It’s a larger problem than it looks,” she said, because if employers had succeeded in making under-30-hour workers still cheaper to hire by eliminating their insurance, “everybody would have ended up with under 30 hours eventually.. Whose Fault?.. It’s.. because of Taft-Hartley benefit funds.. that so many part-timers in grocery have health coverage to begin with.. Such a fund, jointly administered by employers and unions, creates a pool of members (workers, their dependents, retirees, and in some industries even out-of-work union members) big enough to act as its own insurance company.. Is the push to shrink the health plan rolls just the usual employer opportunism, or is the Affordable Care Act to blame? A little of each.. The ACA will increase the plans’ cost.. of offering insurance.. It bans lifetime caps on benefit payouts, for instance, and requires plans to allow adult children up to age 26 as dependents.. It also creates new fees for insurers, including the Taft-Hartleys.. More important, depending on family income, a part-time worker might be eligible for a government subsidy  ...   who just missed the cut-off.. She started 28 years ago.. “I have a lot of retirees that are calling me and begging me, ‘Please don’t let us lose everything we have,’” said Hepner.. “We built the company.. We made it what it is today….. Several have called and said, ‘Do I need to go look for new health care?’”.. Would it be such a disaster to switch over to the exchanges? The bottom line will vary from person to person, since eligibility for subsidies depends on family size and spouse income.. That’s the heart of the problem, says Mark Dudzic of the.. Labor Campaign for Single Payer.. , which just released a report on.. bargaining under the ACA.. “The traditional union model is a solidarity model for benefits: everybody’s covered under equal terms and conditions,” Dudzic explained.. “The ACA accelerates the move to a consumer-driven model, where everyone’s on their own to cut the best deal they can with limited resources.. Also, “there is no exchange in Virginia, and the federal one doesn’t seem to be working real well right now,” Sigouin pointed out.. ‘HOT TO GO’.. Health care isn’t the only trendy takeaway grocery employers are pushing.. The chains in both Seattle and D.. proposed getting rid of premium pay for Sundays and holidays—an idea that made workers’ blood boil.. But Seattle workers held the line and took no concessions.. It came down to proving to management that “we were totally prepared to strike,” said Schroeder, a member of her workplace contract action team.. She and her co-workers held button-wearing days, informational pickets, a near-unanimous strike vote, and signed everyone up for picket shifts.. “People were hot to go,” she said.. The other key was rousing public support.. As in D.. , workers leafleted stores and gathered shoppers’ pledges.. Other unions and community groups joined rallies and even volunteered to help strikers with practical tasks, like driving kids to doctor appointments if picket duty interfered.. A countdown clock in a downtown Seattle park drew media attention to the impending grocery strike deadline.. Grocery workers won a contract with no concessions, stopping the clock with less than two hours to spare.. Photo: UFCW 21.. A clever visual aid spotlighted the drama over the final days of bargaining.. When it gave the 72-hour strike notice, the union set up a huge tablet with the numerals “7” and “2” at a park in downtown Seattle.. Each hour someone would flip the page, ticking down the hours till the deadline.. 71.. 70.. “The cameras were on it all the time,” Schroeder said.. “It was on all the local news.. So it wasn’t just happening to us, it was happening to everybody.. The whole city knew.. 05.. 04.. 03.. The countdown.. stopped at 02.. In an October 30 push, D.. -area workers donned Rosie the Riveter polka-dot scarves (it was almost Halloween) and talked with shoppers at 30 stores.. They asked customers to hand the pledge card to a manager or cashier on their way out.. Thousands have done so, Local 400 says—especially when the ask comes from a checker they recognize.. All the years the company has been insisting checkers greet shoppers and call them by name, “it’s coming back to bite them a bit,” Hepner said, “because now they’re.. our.. customers.. A version of this article appeared in.. Labor Notes #417, December 2013.. Don't miss an issue,.. subscribe today.. is a staff writer with Labor Notes.. al@labornotes.. org.. Attack of the Cadillac Tax ».. Thousands Strike Fast Food, Picketing and Occupying ».. Obamacare Opens For Business, Shuts Out Labor ».. Fast Food Strikes: What s Cooking? ».. Feds’ Medical Marijuana Clampdown Just Another Reason to Join the Union ».. Comments.. Piecemeal.. new.. ira.. woodward.. | 11/18/13.. I like what Mary Ann Schroeder asked.. My overarching(overreaching?) conclusion-- the system is way beyond repair.. Checks and balances don't add up any more, if they ever did.. Stop--revolution time.. MC Hammer, you were pretty close.. And when did "meatwrapper" become a profession? Subdivided houses look heavenly compared to the number of subdivisions of labor.. On Strike for Respect needs to yield to We're Taking Over Now.. Just no time left for anything less.. Log in.. to post comments.. share..

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  • Title: Minimum Wage Momentum—at the Airport | Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: November 15, 2013.. Seattle-Tacoma airport workers marched to their employer’s offices this summer with a “UNION!” banner, demanding recognition of SEIU Local 6.. Sea-Tac cabin cleaners, baggage handlers, and others organized for recognition at the same time that they pursued a citywide vote for a $15 minimum wage.. Photo: Working Washington.. Alex Hoopes was making $21 an hour in 2005 as a unionized Alaska Airlines baggage handler at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport.. In 2013, he was doing the same job for $9.. 50, just 31 cents above Washington’s minimum wage.. The pay cut came after Alaska Airlines fired 500 ramp workers—Machinists union members—and hired a non-union contractor to do ground support at Sea-Tac, the airline’s hub.. Hoopes’ plunging pay is not unusual among airport workers.. A.. recent study.. found average wages for baggage handlers have declined by a whopping 45 percent in 10 years.. “We don’t have an expectation that contracting out is going to change,” said Sage Wilson of Working Washington, a coalition funded mostly by the Service Employees (SEIU).. “So what is to be done about that?”.. The answer is that unions have been fighting for—and slowly winning—higher minimum wages at airports.. On November 5, voters narrowly approved a $15 minimum wage at Sea-Tac airport and in the surrounding small town (votes were still being counted at press time).. It’s the latest airport to set a significantly higher wage floor over the last decade, including those in Los Angeles ($15.. 67), San Jose ($15.. 07), San Francisco ($14.. 18), Oakland ($13.. 75), and St.. Louis ($15.. 92).. Philadelphia airport workers are organizing for a similar win there.. Living wage ordinances in Miami and Syracuse, New York, cover workers at their airports, though the pay is nowhere near $15.. EVEN THE KOCHS.. At Sea-Tac, Alaska Airlines was first in line to oppose the raise, suing to keep it off the ballot and spending substantially.. Half the airline’s flights go through Sea-Tac.. Alaska was joined by employer associations for restaurants, hotels, and rental car companies, and even the oil tycoon Koch brothers.. Raising the Wage Floor.. The New York legislature instituted a small raise in March, increasing the state minimum in three steps from $7.. 25 to $9 by the beginning of 2016.. (Tipped workers were left out.. ) California established a three-step raise to $10 by 2016.. Several states are expecting to vote on increased minimums in 2014, according to the National Employment Law Project, including Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and South Dakota, where advocates just announced they’d collected enough signatures to get a $1.. 25 raise on the ballot.. And the U.. S.. Senate is contemplating a bill to raise the national minimum from $7.. 25 to $10.. 10 by 2015, lately with President Obama’s support.. Obama had previously suggested a $9 minimum, reached gradually.. The Senate bill, introduced by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, would also increase the minimum for tipped workers, frozen at $2.. 13 since 1991, to 70 percent of the regular minimum, and index everything to inflation with automatic annual adjustments.. The bill is not expected to progress in the House.. New Jersey’s 1992 minimum-wage raise made possible a famous study showing that— contrary to most economics textbooks—raising the wage did not cause layoffs.. It Doesn’t Cut Jobs.. Two economists, David Card and Alan Krueger, compared low-wage employment in New Jersey to that in workplaces across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, where the minimum stayed the same.. Not only were no jobs lost in Jersey, this study and subsequent ones found that employment may have slightly increased—probably because low-wage workers had more money to spend at local businesses.. Still, opponents like Governor Chris Christie continue to insist that any increase will cost jobs.. After Christie vetoed a $1.. 25 raise, unions and other groups spent $1.. 3 million—compared to opponents’ $1 million—on a ballot measure.. It passed with 61 percent in November, putting a $1 raise in the minimum wage, indexed to inflation, into New Jersey’s constitution.. —Jenny Brown.. The “Yes” campaign outspent them, though, led by the Service Employees and the Teamsters.. Both unions represent workers at the airport: food, retail, and rental car workers and airport maintenance.. Majorities at two major subcontractors, DGS and Menzies Aviation, have marched on their bosses asking for recognition, too.. The working class town of SeaTac, with around  ...   an ordinance to force big Washington, D.. , retailers to pay $12.. 50 an hour (including benefits).. That had strong city council support, but was vetoed by the mayor in September.. AIRPORTS RIPE.. None of the smaller raises now contemplated by states and cities (see box) will substantially change the living conditions of low-wage workers.. Anthony Goytia, who went on strike for a day in November along with other L.. -area Walmart workers, said, “I don’t so much live paycheck to paycheck as payday loan to payday loan.. That’s why the success in reaching $15 at airports—a significant bump—is encouraging.. Airports are a particularly ripe target because they are often owned by cities.. “They’re the result of really large amounts of public investment over the years,” said Wilson.. Elected city council members are more subject to public pressure than, say, the board of Walmart.. Airports also have relatively affluent customers who can’t take their business elsewhere, and businesses compete for access to them.. At the same time, Weiner said, organizing airport contractors is difficult.. “Every job has been contracted to [a company that] can easily be replaced if they increase their rates,” she said.. A higher wage floor applying to all contractors neutralizes this threat.. In fact, owners of unionized contractors at Sea-Tac were silent on the minimum wage law, organizers said—probably because if it won, their competitors would no longer be able to undercut them by depressing wages.. Direct employees of airlines, like flight attendants and pilots, are excluded from local living wage laws, because interstate carriers can’t be regulated by states or cities.. But airlines’ rampant contracting out means just about all their ground crew jobs, from cleaning planes to moving baggage, are covered by the airport laws.. Even most union employees at Sea-Tac will benefit from the $15 minimum, said Weiner.. Raises will affect roughly 6,500 workers, 1,500 of them in unions: Teamsters at Hertz Rent-a-Car, UFCW members at retailer Hudson News, UNITE HERE members at HMS Host food concessions, and SEIU members who clean and maintain the airport.. The SeaTac measure exempts workers with a collective bargaining agreement, which opponents have characterized as “forcing unionization,” but this loophole is hardly a magic bullet that will convince your boss to recognize a union, say organizers.. “There has not been a mad rush to unionization” after the California airports raised their pay, said Weiner.. “Organizing is still hard work.. Even if union workers agree to lower pay in their contract, they’re likely to demand something in return, like paid sick days, vacation, or health benefits.. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS.. Before the SeaTac ballot counting was complete, employer groups resubmitted a lawsuit to federal court, with an Alaska Airlines spokesperson calling the proposition “a union contract imposed through legislation.. Along with the raise, workers won 6.. 5 paid sick days a year (which an opposition spokesperson called “essentially, a week’s vacation”).. Employers will also have to offer more hours to their part-timers before hiring more workers.. And, hotel workers who have their tips stolen will be able to sue to get them back.. SeaTac hotel workers report rampant tip theft.. Housekeepers say managers take tips from the rooms before they clean them.. Banquet servers and room service attendants say they never see their part of the “service charge” that customers think will go to workers.. “Tip integrity” was also part of the Long Beach ordinance passed last year.. Now Seattle employers fear the $15 minimum may spread to their town.. There, both mayoral candidates in November’s election advocated a $15 city minimum.. They were swayed by the popularity of a socialist candidate for city council, Kshama Sawant, who made $15 her key plank.. She.. appears to have narrowly defeated her opponent.. as votes continue to be counted in Washington’s mail-in balloting.. Wilson said the fast food strikes, which first hit Seattle only in May, changed the scene there.. “It’s hard to believe that six months later, $15 is on the ballot and became a central question in local elections in Seattle,” said Wilson.. “Workers taking action is what made that happen.. is a staff writer for Labor Notes.. jenny@labornotes.. The 1963 March on Washington: Reclaiming Labor History ».. Viewpoint: Immigration Bill’s New Bracero Program Will Hurt Farmworkers ».. Employee or Independent Contractor? Employer Fraud Costs Workers ».. Berry Pickers Walk Out, Boycott »..

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  • Title: Alexandra Bradbury | Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: Closures of mail processing plants.. have hit small newspapers hard.. Take.. The Bullard Banner News.. in Texas.. After the nearest USPS plant closed in June, the weekly paper’s route to local mailboxes now detours through a plant 120 miles away.. One subscriber reported getting no paper for weeks—then three in a day.. October 09, 2013.. A diverse slate of local leaders has won top seats in the American Postal Workers Union, promising to beat back contract concessions and organize a grassroots coalition to save the Postal Service.. Arab Labor Leaders Ask U.. Workers to Oppose Bombing Syria.. September 17, 2013 /.. Alarmed at the AFL-CIO's official silence, an Iraqi oil union leader and others drafted their own resolution, addressed directly to U.. workers.. A Hundred Arrested Protesting Walmart Firings.. September 06, 2013 /.. September 06, 2013.. They  ...   local leaders is making a bid to unseat the national officers of the American Postal Workers Union—and the stakes couldn’t be higher.. Jobs, Voting Rights, and Trayvon on Marchers Minds.. August 26, 2013.. ,.. In 1963 the AFL-CIO chose the wrong side of history and sat out the original march.. This time, a sea of union T-shirts blanketed the National Mall.. Don’t Lean on Me, Hospital Workers Say.. August 15, 2013.. Hospitals are adopting Toyota's methods for squeezing more out of each worker.. The result? Management by stress—and worse care for patients.. It’s Caregivers vs.. Privatizers in New York and New Jersey Hospital Wars.. July 25, 2013.. Thousands marched and danced across the Brooklyn Bridge to the strains of a brass band in a jazz funeral for Brooklyn health care.. Fierce workers are keeping two threatened hospitals alive..

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  • Title: Jenny Brown | Labor Notes
    Descriptive info: November 14, 2013.. November 13, 2013.. November 11, 2013.. Supreme Court to Inspect Neutrality Agreements.. September 26, 2013.. With new organizing choked by the legal system, it's a rare campaign that doesn't first extract a “neutrality agreement” to blunt the boss’s wrath.. In November, the Supreme Court will consider whether such agreements are legal.. Thousands Strike Fast Food, Picketing and Occupying.. August 30, 2013.. Thousands of fast food workers walked off their jobs in 58 U.. cities yesterday, an indictment of an economy  ...   Is Illegal, But Walmart Doesn’t Care.. August 20, 2013.. In a coordinated purge, Walmart has lashed out against retail workers who walked out in early June.. ‘Give me your tired, but not your poor…’.. August 09, 2013 /.. The Senate’s immigration bill rewrites the Statue of Liberty’s welcoming words.. Obamacare Opens For Business, Shuts Out Labor.. August 01, 2013.. When the Obama administration announced a year-long delay in fines for employers affected by the new health care law, angry unionists noticed a pattern..

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