PSLabor News

PSLabor News

Rising inequality is driven more by asset ownership than organizational wage structures, writes Dionne Pohler. Read Story
PARMA, Ohio - More than two dozen teachers, staff, parents and community supporters picketed  Summit Academy in suburban Parma Feb 19 as a strike began for recognition of their union which is affiliated with the Ohio Federation of Teachers. Read Story
Urban, rural, suburban, red, blue and purple, American teachers from across the United States have been on strike. So far this year, teachers have picketed in one of the wealthiest states -- California, which has strong protections for public unions -- and one of the poorest: West Virginia, which... Read Story
Earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board announced that it again would wade into the murky waters of whether charter schools are employers under…... Read Story
On the second day of the Oakland Education Association strike, thousands of teachers, service workers, parents and students rallied against charters and privatization. They marched to the office of Go Public charter school operation which is a laundering operation of the billionairs pushing... Read Story
Faculty, adjunct instructors and graduate student assistants on college campuses across the nation are attempting to organize labor unions at an increasing rate... Read Story
Last Call: Union Efforts Start at Anchor Brewing; Weyerbacher Seeks Investment - #beer #SapporoBeer [Brewbound.com]The employees added that if Sapporo does not recognize their union, they would file... Read Story
In my research on the platform economy, I’ve seen a trend of trade unions mainly attacking websites like Uber and Deliveroo. However, I’d like to argue that their focus on a hostile approach is a mistake and they need to consider another tactic. Read Story
Truck drivers hate the ELD mandate, which came into effect in December 2017. But protests against them haven't quite taken off. Read Story
Also in this week's roundup, an investigation into a reform school's "hidden history of abuse."... Read Story
Is it safe to fly on an airline when union-management strife is going on? The answer is likely yes, one expert argues. Read Story
Negotiators returned to the bargaining table Friday, hoping to hammer out an agreement on pay increases, class sizes and school closures to bring a swift end to a strike by Oakland's 3,000 public school teachers. Read Story
An existing three-year labor contract between Mass.-based grocery retailer Stop & Shop and its New England workers is set to expire on Saturday. Read Story
A Southern California casino fighting claims it violated workers’ rights is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that federal labor law doesn’t apply on tribal land. The Justice Department will likely soon tell the court whether it agrees. Read Story
Union members have until Monday at 7 p.m.to vote whether or not to have this strike. ... Read Story
Registered nurses at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley, Calif., plan to strike beginning March 5 and ending March 15. Read Story
The blame game over the loss of an Amazon headquarters in New York reignited on Friday — a week after the e-tail giant pulled the project because of local... Read Story
Southwest Airlines mechanics aren't being called in on overtime to complete plane maintenance in Dallas, despite the carrier declaring an... Read Story
The union representing 2000 northern B.C. mill workers says a tentative deal reached with employers will provi... Read Story
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has joined a coalition of labor unions in asking a judge to suspend a lame-duck law passed by the Republican-dominated Legislature that limits his powers, filing an affidavit calling for an injunction to block the measure. Read Story
21 February 2019 Voters in Long Beach, California passed an initiative in November 2018 that affects all hotels in Long Beach with more than 50 hotel — February 21, 2019... Read Story
Teaching strike closer as biggest union rejects pay offer. EIS trade union will hold talks on Friday to consider next steps after members snub deal. Read Story
A huge crowd of Oakland public school teachers, students, parents and others rallied outside Oakland City Hall on Thursday in support of a teacher strike during its first day. Read Story
About a year after their their last statewide strike, West Virginia teachers went on strike again Tuesday. Read Story
The United Steelworkers union (USW) welcomes a Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) ruling that Canada’s steel industry has been harmed by illegal dumping of steel pipe by Vietnam, Pakistan, Turkey and the Philippines. Read Story
“This is just the beginning of what I’m sure will be somewhat of a long fight,” New York State Senator Jessica Ramos said addressing a small press gaggle on Thursday morning. Until recently that statement might have been a reference to the ugly and highly public fight to renegotiate Amazon’s... Read Story
Teachers in Oakland, California, go on strike, part of a national wave of discontent by educators over classroom conditions, pay, other issues... Read Story
What a $15 minimum wage in Maryland would mean for the Eastern Shore Salisbury Daily Times Published 9:10 AM EST Feb 21, 2019   Robin Tomaselli is grappling with the sacrifices she may have to make if Maryland passes a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Tomaselli owns Baked Desserts Cafe in Berlin and has already had to adjust her budget due to recent statewide minimum wage increases. But now she’s worried about how she’ll manage an even higher mandated pay rate. Democratic lawmakers in Maryland are pushing for a landmark minimum wage increase to $15 an hour by 2023. But Eastern Shore legislators and business owners worry the mandate could be devastating. This potential increase in cost could be particularly tough on small seasonal businesses along the Lower Eastern Shore, such as Tomaselli’s. With the minimum wage at its current rate of $10.10 per hour, Tomaselli said she already has to save money from the busier summer months in order to pay her staff during the slower winter season. "I understand that the cost of living has gone up, so on one hand I certainly agree with fair and adequate wages, but as a small business owner in a seasonal resort town, it concerns me greatly," she said. Robin Tomaselli chats with customers at Berlin's Baked Dessert Cafe on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. As a small business owner, she said the potential minimum wage raise is worrying. Staff photo by Jenna Miller This "Fight for $15" bill, as advocates have dubbed it, would be a continuation of legislation from 2014 that led Maryland to its current statewide minimum wage. It would also raise Maryland's rate to more than double what the federal government requires. Even though Maryland has one of the highest minimum wage rates in the United States, advocates say it’s not enough to cover increasingly expensive living costs. A person making $10.10 for a 40-hour work week would receive roughly $21,000 each year before taxes. Raising the rate to $15 per hour would yield an annual salary of about $31,000. But Eastern Shore lawmakers are concerned a $15 minimum wage would be unsustainable for many businesses, particularly those with smaller operations. "We've barely passed the last stage of minimum wage increases," said Delegate Wayne Hartman, R-38C-Worcester. "You have to wonder how many jobs will be lost as a result of this." Maryland's $15 minimum wage bill is part of a larger national trend Delegates Diana Fennell, D-47A-Prince George’s, and Shelly Hettleman, D-11-Baltimore, introduced the bill in the House. Cory McCray, D-45-Baltimore City, is the lead sponsor of the bill in the State Senate. Both versions would increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2023. Maryland has a higher minimum wage than any of its neighboring states, except the District of Columbia which has a rate of $13.25. Delaware raised its rate up to $8.75 at the beginning of the year and it will see another bump up to $9.25 on Oct. 1. West Virginia also has a rate of $8.75. Virginia and Pennsylvania are both set at $7.25 — the same as the federal rate. If this "Fight for $15" bill passes, Maryland would join New Jersey, California, New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia as places that have all passed legislation to phase in this higher rate. As the Maryland bill currently stands, the statewide minimum wage would be raised incrementally over the next five fiscal years: Starting July 1, 2019 — $11 per hour Starting July 1, 2020 — $12 per hour Starting July 1, 2021 — $13 per hour Starting July 1, 2022 — $14 per hour Starting July 1, 2023 — $15 per hour From July 2024 onward, any future minimum wage increases would be tied to average percent growth in the Consumer Price Index, per the latest draft of the bill. "The reason to tie it to the Consumer Price Index is to maintain a certain standard of living — a minimum standard of living — and I think that's an important objective," said Ethan Kaplan, an economics professor at the University of Maryland. Linking future changes with the state minimum wage to the CPI would allow it to keep up with inflation, cost of living and changes to the labor market, Kaplan said. This aspect of the bill could also potentially eliminate the need for further legislation after 2023, which can be seen as a positive as it is often difficult for states to pass minimum wage bills, Kaplan said. Baked Dessert Cafe owner Robin Tomaselli said the potential minimum wage raise could impact her downtown Berlin business on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Staff photo by Jenna Miller Even in its early stages, though, this Maryland bill has seen a lot of support from state legislators. Nearly 80 delegates and about 30 senators have signed on to support the bill. All of the bill’s current sponsors are Democrats and most represent more urban areas, such as Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. A recent Goucher Poll showed that 67 percent of Marylanders surveyed support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. While a majority of this support came from more urban areas, about 50 percent of people in rural parts of the state were also in favor. Ricarra Jones, one of the organizers for the Fight for $15 movement in Maryland, said many of the legislators signed onto the bill campaigned on this minimum wage issue in the run-up to the midterm election. "Wages are important. Wages are way too low and we certainly need to do something about it," Jones said. "I am very excited to see this — to have this support from the leadership on this bill." How mandating a $15 minimum wage could affect small businesses Since the bill was introduced, the issue of minimum wage has been at the forefront of many Marylanders’ minds. One of the main concerns for employers and employees alike has been potential job loss due to wage increases. Many Eastern Shore lawmakers are worried that businesses will flee the area to states with lower minimum wages in order to afford their operations. Competition for business is particularly harder on the Shore due to the close proximity to Delaware and Virginia, where the minimum wage rate is significantly lower, said Delegate Carl Anderton, Jr., R-38B-Wicomico. "Small shops are under such a burden to succeed as it is," Anderton said. "If we go to $15 — let's be honest, every savvy business owner knows that Delaware is only a few miles away." Small businesses sit on a mostly empty street in downtown Berlin on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Staff photo by Jenna Miller Rather than bump up the state's minimum wage, Anderton said a larger focus needs to be put on technical skills training and job growth for the area. Anderton and others in the Eastern Shore delegation agree that emphasizing employment incentives and career building for their constituents is a better path. Cathy Diekmann, director of member services for the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce, has heard concerns from many small business owners in the area. Not only will employers have to deal with an added cost due to higher wages, customers will also likely have to pay more for products and services, she said. Since surrounding states have lower minimum wages, another fear is that some businesses will choose to operate outside of Maryland to avoid higher costs, Diekmann said. "We think that sends the wrong message and it doesn't welcome potential business into Maryland," Diekmann said. Michelle Thawley serves up sweet treats at Berlin's Baked Dessert Cafe on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Staff photo by Jenna Miller While there is a huge disemployment concern on the Eastern Shore, in general past research has not indicated significant job loss from previous minimum wage increases, Kaplan said. But he added that more research focused specifically on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would be needed in order to better predict potential impacts. "The obvious question is: Are you gonna end up helping or hurting more people on average?" Kaplan said. "We have evidence that when minimum wages are below about 55 percent of the median wage — then we have tended not to see any observable job loss." What are the benefits to a higher minimum wage? The reason for this latest push for a higher minimum wage, advocates say, is because $10.10 per hour doesn't go far enough to cover living expenses. Bringing the rate up to $15 an hour would not only cover the basics, but it would also allow for additional spending, which would strengthen the economy, said Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. "We want to see a minimum wage that allows people working full-time to not only meet the basics, but we want to strengthen business and strengthen the economy by putting more money in the hands of working people," Barron-Menza said. Workers are also customers, Barron-Menza said, so if workers are paid more, then they will also spend more. Paying lower-wage employees more money will also boost workplace morale and lower employee turnover rates, she said. This will benefit overall efficiency and lower costs associated with employee hiring and training. Baked Dessert Cafe owner Robin Tomaselli said the potential minimum wage raise could impact her downtown Berlin business on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Staff photo by Jenna Miller While some business owners have spoken out against the bill, Ryan Groll, who owns Sprout Cafe in Easton, said he supports a $15 minimum wage — partly because he already pays his employees that much. From the beginning Groll wanted to pay his employees higher wages than what the state mandated and so he worked out his budget to make that possible. With a staff of about 15 employees, he said only three of them make under $15 an hour right now. "I think people should be paid what they're worth, and it should be dictated by the employer for what that person or their job title is valued at," Groll said. Since Sprout already pays its employees more than $10.10 per hour, this bill passing most likely would not change much about the cafe's current operations. But Groll questioned if other wages would be increased by 50 percent to keep up with the proposed minimum wage hike. "Are you going to mandate that the salary for a teacher is going to go up 50 percent or is that teacher now going to make less than a kid that is flipping fries?" Groll said. Maryland may choose to increase wages for employees who have more job responsibilities than minimum wage workers and earn just above $11 per hour in fiscal year 2020 or just above $15 an hour in fiscal year 2024, according to the bill's fiscal and policy note. What happens next with the bill? The "Fight for $15" bill had its first hearing with the Economic Matters Committee in the House of Delegates on Feb. 8. Hundreds of people gave testimony at the hearing, which lasted nearly eight hours. The Economic Matters Committee may hold another hearing before issuing a vote on the bill, which has not yet been scheduled. In the Senate, the Finance Committee will have its first hearing on the $15 minimum wage proposal on Feb. 21. Sheree Sample Hughes at the Daily Times office in Salisbury on Thursday, Sept 27, 2018. Staff photo by Jenna Miller While some legislators seem to be more decided on this issue, for others like Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes, D-37A-Dorchester, figuring out what's best for her constituents is not that simple. "I don't look at the issue just one-sided — I look at it from all angles so that's my challenge at this point," said Sample-Hughes, who is the lone Democrat representing the Eastern Shore of Maryland. "I'm not a definitive yes, I'm not a definitive no." Sample-Hughes said she does support increasing the minimum wage because the cost of living nowadays is increasingly expensive in Maryland. But other aspects, such as Medicaid reimbursement rates and funding for people with disabilities, need to be considered as well. When she hears from constituents who tell her about struggling to make ends meet, Sample-Hughes said she wants to say "yes" to a higher minimum wage. "But as a lawmaker and as someone who is always looking at things from all sides, I'm trying to figure out what we can do so that all industries are going to benefit to the best of their ability and we're not going to hurt, for instance, small businesses," Sample-Hughes said. Have thoughts on a $15 minimum wage in Maryland? Share them with reporter Sara Swann at (302) 324-7711, sswann@delmarvanow.com or on Twitter @saramswann. More: Foam container ban: Will it finally succeed in Maryland? More: Polygraph test at center of Maryland bill to tackle prison staffing More: Why going to the beach might cost more this year in Ocean City and Delaware Published 9:10 AM EST Feb 21, 2019 Read Story
SCOTLAND largest teaching union has rejected an improved pay deal from employers, moving schools across the country closer to possible strike action. Read Story
NSW Labor has doubled down on its opposition to the controversial Wallarah 2 coal mine proposal following pressure from the powerful union that represents coal miners. Read Story
In recent years, unions have come under attack.Successive Conservative Prime Ministers have systematically targeted our movement. We’ve seen…... Read Story
The battle over Amazon’s New York plans resurfaced tensions among unions over how to deal with Uber, Airbnb and other emerging giants. Read Story
Unionized workers at HHI the world's largest shipyard by sales, voted on Wednesday to strike in opposition to the planned takeover of DSME. Read Story
Last week, Southwest took more than 40 of some 750 aircraft out of service at four locations, spurring flight delays and cancellations. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption toggle caption Ted S. Warren/AP Last week, Southwest took more than 40 of some 750 aircraft out of service at four locations,... Read Story
Move comes with carrier and mechanics union locked in tense contract talks and each side blaming the other for a large number of planes grounded for maintenance... Read Story
A nurses' strike in Portugal which brought non-essential operations to a standstill for nearly three weeks over demands for higher pay ended on Wednesday after a union called it off, the government said. Read Story
How could anyone call these firings "unfair" when employers are being forced to raise everybody’s wage? Read Story
Favorite jasonator83|1h ago|News|0| ▼ Info Add Alt Source The AFL-CIO is the largest union in the United States, and in the wake of many game developers laying off their staff, they are now pushing to represent these staff members, namely the ones from Activision-Blizzard. Read Story
After layoffs rock the game industry, the AFL-CIO says it’s time for workers to organize.Secretary-treasurer Liz Schuler on her open letter to workers: "History certainly seems to be repeating itself."... Read Story
Inspired by Los Angeles teachers, who were promised 300 more school nurses after striking last month, unions in Denver, Oakland, Calif., and beyond are demanding more school nurses or better compensation for them. Read Story
Southwest Airlines is lashing out at the union representing its mechanics, suggesting they are purposely grounding planes in order to gain leverage in new... Read Story
“Fifteen dollars an hour will be life-changing for me. I can barely afford the basic needs for my two sons on my minimum-wage salary. Simple things like whether to buy school supplies for my older boy or formula and diapers for my little one become agonizing choices,” said Fight for $15 member Ieshia Townsend, who works a McDonald’s in Chicago. Reflecting on the past six years of grassroots organizing to raise wages across the state, Townsend shared that “as a single mom and a Black woman on the south side of Chicago, I felt invisible before I joined the Fight for $15 and a union. But by coming togethe and speaking out, our voices have been heard.” While welcoming the victory on Tuesday, she vowed to continue the fight for a union. Read Story
The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal. Read Story
After pulling planes and canceling hundreds of flights, Southwest Airlines is offering an apology to travelers — and blaming the union that represents... Read Story
The National Labor Relations Board has affirmed election results that led to the disbanding of a union at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, Calif., according to the Glendale News-Press. Read Story
Teachers in Oakland, California, say they will strike Thursday, the latest in a wave of US teacher walkouts... Read Story