Streams

 

Labor

The Brian Lehrer Show

Fast Food Strike; Lyme Disease; Plum Island; Candidate John Liu

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.

WNYC News

Current and Would-Be Mayors Differ on Jobs and Fiscal Responsibility

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and one of the leading candidates to replace him are laying out two very different visions on jobs and fiscal responsibility.

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The Takeaway

Palm Oil & Human Rights Abuses

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.

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Transportation Nation

BART Strike Over -- For Now

Friday, July 05, 2013

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.

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Transportation Nation

Carpooling Eases Impact of BART Strike

Monday, July 01, 2013

KALW

With BART transit workers on strike for the first time since 1997, San Francisco residents are getting creative with their commutes. 

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Transportation Nation

BART Workers on Strike

Monday, July 01, 2013

Bay Area Rapid Transit workers are now on strike after failing to reach a deal on contract negotiations.

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WNYC News

Labor's Allegiance Split in NYC Mayoral Race

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Council Speaker Christine Quinn picked up the endorsement Tuesday of 32BJ, a big regional union that represents cleaning workers, doormen and security guards.

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WNYC News

NY Legal Group Accepts New Contract, Ends Strike

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A forty-day labor strike is over for one of the nation's largest free legal groups.

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Transportation Nation

Bay Area Transit Unions Prepare for Strike Authorization Vote

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

KALW

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.

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WNYC News

Municipal Unions Rally Against Bloomberg, Without Unity on Next Mayor

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Architect Daniel Libeskind; AP Phone Probe; Artist JR

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.

The Takeaway

Major U.S. Companies Profit from Exploitative Labor Brokers

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.

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Transportation Nation

BART, Unions Begin Contract Negotiations as Agency Emerges from Deficit

Friday, April 05, 2013

BART train (photo by Keoki Seu via Flickr)

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.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Healthcare Workers in Support of NY's New Gun Laws

Monday, March 18, 2013

George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, talks about this week’s rally in support of Gov. Cuomo's NY SAFE Act gun laws, plus efforts to prevent the closure of Long Island College Hospital.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

February Jobs Report Reaction

Friday, March 08, 2013

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

The Activist Tom Mooney, on Death Row, Is Pardoned

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WNYC

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.

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On The Media

Tweet That Your Boss is an A**hole, and Get Away With It

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.

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WNYC News

Union Numbers Continue to Decline

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Union membership nationwide has hit a nearly 100-year low, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor unions lost 400-thousand members last year, falling to 11.3 million members across the country.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Starting Over

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.

WNYC News

Could Michigan's Shift to 'Right-to-Work' Happen in NY?

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.

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