Thursday, August 29, 2013
The fast food worker movement is growing. Marc Doussard, professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and author of the new book Degraded Work: The Struggle at the Bottom of the Labor Market, and Michael A. Fletcher, national economics reporter, The Washington Post, discuss the demands and implications of this labor movement. Plus: U.S. Senator from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, discusses furthering research on tick-borne diseases as well as the future of Plum Island; and mayoral candidate John Liu takes your calls.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
By Ilya Marritz
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and one of the leading candidates to replace him are laying out two very different visions on jobs and fiscal responsibility.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Palm oil is an increasingly ubiquitous, yet nearly invisible, substance. Consumers can find it in everything from Crest toothpaste and Gillette shaving cream to Nestle and Kraft food products. Benjamin Skinner, reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek and senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, says that rising demand for the product has masked the severe human rights abuses behind its harvest.
Friday, July 05, 2013
By Dan Brekke : News Editor at KQED
Striking BART workers will be back on the job Friday, and service is scheduled to begin at 3pm. But the current labor contract has only been extended for 30 days -- and the two sides are still far apart.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
With no solution in sight to a wage impasse, labor unions representing the Bay Area's commuter rail system are voting Tuesday whether to authorize a strike.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
By Anna Sale
Thousands of city workers crowded the sidewalks around City Hall at a rally on Wednesday and blasted their problems with the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and they unequivocally declared that they see the next mayoral election as a chance to reject the status quo.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Daniel Libeskind is the architect behind the 1,776-foot tower for One World Trade Center. He talks about his process, the symbolism behind the design, and his thoughts on architectural trends today. Plus: the Justice Department and the AP phone records; Steven Greenhouse of The New York Times on what lessons can come from the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh; and the artist JR on his Inside Out project that’s been in Times Square; and we kick off our series on obituaries.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
A new report by Pro-Publica and Marketplace looks at a system of Latino labor brokerage in cities across the U.S., a system which provides leading U.S. companies cheap labor whenever they need it, but leaves the workers with wages that are far below legal minimum wage.
Friday, April 05, 2013
Rising ridership and sales tax revenues on San Francisco's BART system mean the agency is no longer operating at a deficit, which has triggered labor negotiations that could give union workers their first raise in four years.
BART contracts for its union workers – who make up almost 90 percent of BART’s over 3,000 employees– are set to expire on June 30th. And that has sent BART and union leaders to the negotiating table. Both sides are hoping to avoid the bitter and contentious fight that happened during the last contract negotiations in the summer of 2009.
But things were different in 2009. Ridership was declining, and the system was facing a $250 million deficit over the next four years. BART went into negotiations with the goal of cutting $100 million in labor costs through reductions in health care and pensions, and changing what they considered “wasteful” work rules, like unnecessary overtime. A last-minute deal that kept wages static, prevented a strike by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, or ATU – the union that represents the system’s approximately 900 station agents and train operators.
That deal did save BART the $100 million it wanted and laid out plans for four of the five unions and non-union employees to get a one percent raise if strict guidelines were met, including increased ridership and sales tax revenues. This week, BART announced the guidelines have been met, so most of their employees will be receiving their first raise in since 2009.
“With record ridership and an aging system, our employees are working hard to provide on-time, reliable service for our riders,” BART General Manager Grace Crunican said in a press release. “The bar was set high for our employees to receive this increase and the predefined standards were met.”
Since 2009, BART has increased its ridership – from 340,000 to over 390,000 in the latest monthly report. And it’s no longer operating on a deficit, but the system does have a $10 billion unfunded capital need for renovation and expansion projects.
“This year’s labor negotiations will be focused on bargaining a fair contract for our hard working employees as well as ensuring the long term financial health and sustainability of our system,” Crunican said.
BART says they’re looking at the same issues as last negotiation: employee health care, pensions, and work rules.
“We must pave the way for BART to continue to be the backbone of Bay Area transportation for decades to come,” Crunican said. “BART is looking to protect its future fiscal stability with measures to more effectively share the risks and costs associated with its employee benefits program.”
Antonette Bryant is the president of ATU Local 1555. She said calling last negotiation contentious was “a gross understatement.” But this time, she said, she wants to have the contract settled June 30th.
“We want them to pay a fair wage for our employees and increase safety and service for the BART patrons,” Bryant said. Meaning, they want a pay raise.
Bryant also said the one percent raise announced this week should not be considered as the transit workers’ only salary increase.
“I want to make it clear that this is not benevolent,” she said. “This is something they have to do. They owe us the money from the previous contract negotiations.”
As negotiations go on, both parties hope to have a deal by June 30th and to prevent the fighting that happened four years ago.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
By Charis Conn
This dramatic live broadcast from 1939 is a seminal moment in American jurisprudence and political history: the pardon of Tom Mooney, a tireless labor activist wrongly condemned to death in 1917 for a fatal bombing, after he served 22 years in prison.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Since 1935, the National Labor Relations Act has protected the right of private-sector employees to discuss workplace conditions. But as conversations shift from the break room to the sphere of social media, regulators are facing new challenges in distinguishing protected speech from "mere griping." Bob talks with Lafe Solomon, General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, about what can and can't be tweeted about the workplace.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
New York Times columnist David Brooks talks about the latest news from the Beltway, and his picks for best essays of 2012. Plus: what the longshoremen’s strike threat means in the context of recent labor disputes; environmental activist William Hewitt on optimism on the climate change front; and Joe Nocera of The New York Times reflects on business and economic news as we kick off 2013.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Michigan is known as the birthplace of the modern labor movement. But on Tuesday, the Republican-led state legislature approved new limits on unions that drastically cut the power of organized labor in the state.