Posts tagged Pandemic

    Behind the last-ditch effort to save a trucking company that owes $700M to taxpayers

    December 1, 2023 // Estes Express earlier this fall offered $1.53 billion "stalking horse" bid for Nashville-based Yellow's shipment centers. That would easily be enough to repay around $500 million in debt held by senior lender Citadel — which purchased the notes from Apollo, post bankruptcy — plus other creditors and the CARES Act loan. Then we got a wrinkle, just ahead of the bankruptcy auction kicking off this past Tuesday. It was a bid led by the owner of auto trucking company Jack Cooper to restart Nashville-based Yellow, not just scoop up logistics properties or other assets. This new proposal, as reported by the NY Times, would repay private creditors immediately, but postpone the Treasury loan repayment to 2026 from 2024. It's this second deal that's being supported, at least in principle, by a chorus of U.S. senators, including Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Rep. French Hill

    What to know about the ‘Make Amazon Pay’ strike campaign

    November 27, 2023 // An organizer with GMB Union, a U.K.-based labor union, described the effort as “the largest day of industrial disruption in Amazon’s thirty-year history.” The effort garnered support from more than 400 lawmakers from 38 countries for a protest in 2020, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and former U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Supporters also planned protests at Amazon facilities in Massachusetts, Georgia and Illinois. Outside the U.S., organizers planned protest action in Japan, India and throughout Europe, including Germany, France, Spain and the U.K. Hundreds of workers were striking Friday at warehouses in Coventry, U.K., and in multiple German cities, Reuters reported.

    Commentary: Teachers Union Head Mystified by Increase in Homeschooling

    November 19, 2023 // Parents started seeking accountability on their own terms, at home. The surge in homeschooling during the 2020 school year has not dropped off, attracting enthusiasts from diverse racial and income backgrounds. While there are many reasons for the shift, a significant factor is leaders like Weingarten left a vacuum parents had to fill. When they did, parents learned they could do it without the leaders who left them in the lurch. Their kids' education could be flexible and tailored, without the constraint of having to sit at a desk between four walls for seven hours a day. Parents learned they had the power to fix some of the problems the pandemic posed.

    Why strikes are working and which industries could be next

    November 14, 2023 // A similar story could play out for other workers who endured hardships during the pandemic — and whose industries are still struggling to fill open positions, including teachers, childcare professionals, and food service workers. "From meatpacking plants to grocery stores and coffee shops, workers are realizing more than ever, not just how essential they are, but the strength that comes from standing together to improve their working conditions," Dave Young, International Vice President for the United Food and Commercial Workers union, told Insider.

    Las Vegas hotel and casino workers reach tentative deals to avoid strike

    November 13, 2023 // erms of the deals weren't immediately released, but the union says that the proposed five-year contracts will provide workers with historic wage increases, reduced workloads and other unprecedented wins — including mandated daily room cleanings. Before the pandemic, daily room cleanings were routine. Hotel guests could expect fresh bedsheets and new towels by dinnertime if a "Do Not Disturb" sign wasn't hanging on their hotel room doors. But as social distancing became commonplace in 2020, hotels began to cut back on the service. More than three years later, the once industry-wide standard has yet to make a full comeback. Some companies say it's because there are environmental benefits to offering fewer room cleanings, like saving water.

    Lawyers will square off on California trucking’s latest AB5 exemption request

    November 12, 2023 // AB5 is a state law that seeks to define independent contractors through the ABC test. For trucking, the B prong in the ABC test is a particular burden, as it defines an independent contractor as one who “performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.” A trucking company hiring an independent owner-operator to move freight could be challenged under the B prong. The various participants in the case have filed briefs in recent weeks laying out their arguments that will be reiterated in court Monday. The last year has seen revised complaints from CTA and OOIDA, widening the scope of their arguments. Those revisions and the state responses have provided extensive documentation on the positions each side is taking in the case, which is formally known as CTA v. Bonta, after Rob Bonta, the state’s attorney general. (The original defendant in the case was then-Attorney General Xavier Becerra, now the Biden administration’s secretary of Health and Human Services.)

    Opinion: Why stop at the four-day workweek?

    November 9, 2023 // s. Second, let workers unionize and collectively bargain rather than firing them for it. The road, though, doesn’t end there. “One thing you need,” said Benanav, “is something that was never really achieved in the US: actual sectoral bargaining. Not just collective bargaining at the firm level, but at the industry level.” Sectoral bargaining means unions would negotiate standards that apply to all workers in an industry, not just those who work in unionized firms. To complement that greater representation, workers would also benefit from social programs like unconditional cash transfers, universal healthcare, or as the pandemic showed, stronger unemployment insurance. We already saw early tremors of the power such reforms can hold as part of the surprisingly generous US policy response to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly the boosted unemployment insurance. “A lot of that was giving people resources to just make their own decisions,” said Konczal.

    Right-to-work was key to pandemic recovery

    October 31, 2023 // Of course, right-to-work isn’t the only policy that helps states rebuild. Most of the best performers also have lower tax rates and impose less red tape on entrepreneurs. These and other pro-liberty policies encourage job creation and wage growth. But you don’t have to think hard to realize the benefits that come from protecting workers’ freedom. Workers themselves have more flexibility to switch jobs, move within companies, and start businesses, all of which have economic as well as personal benefits. Job creators find it easier to expand and hire more people, and other companies are more likely to move from out-of-state, creating more jobs.

    Pharmacy staff from CVS, Walgreens stores in US start three-day walkout

    October 31, 2023 // Some employees at CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) and Walgreens Boots Alliance's (WBA.O) U.S. pharmacies launched a three-day walkout starting Monday to push the companies to improve working conditions and add more staff to their stores. The walkout, which has been dubbed "Pharmageddon" on social media platforms such as Meta's Facebook where it was largely planned, started on Monday and led to the closing of some stores in New York City, two organizers told Reuters. Shane Jerominski, a former Walgreens pharmacist and one of the organizers of the walkout, told Reuters that as many as 5,000 pharmacy workers would walk out across the three days, but said that the exact number of affected stores and participating staff was not clear due to the lack of a union.