Posts tagged Pandemic

    Railroad workers aren’t the only Americans without paid sick days

    December 2, 2022 // While the vast majority of union members have paid sick days, the freight railroad workers do not. Among other demands, they have been threatening to strike in order to get paid sick days that are not in the current contracts. The railroads say that workers can use personal time if they need a sick day. But the unions argue that with current staffing levels and scheduling rules, it’s difficult for workers to have personal days approved, and they are likely to be penalized or even fired if they call in sick anyway.

    $11 billion was stolen from taxpayers in a massive fraud — will officials just ignore it?

    November 28, 2022 // The Labor Department repeatedly blamed identity theft for its fraud problems — but the audit revealed it didn’t implement a system that could meaningfully curb identify theft until February 2021. Labor Department officials still can’t say how many fraudulent claims were paid or how long it took to detect them. Audits revealing incompetence and bad decisions aren’t uncommon. But DiNapoli’s team, to its lasting credit, found something worse: Labor Department officials had gone rogue, repeatedly misleading legislators and the public. When Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon addressed lawmakers in January 2022, she said the department had “prevented over $36 billion from falling into the hands of criminals.” Auditors, however, found that claim couldn’t be substantiated.

    Starbucks’ Unionization Battle Has Inspired A Role-Playing Tabletop Game

    November 16, 2022 // Pearse Anderson did his part to prevent this. The man produced a one-page game honoring the unionization struggle with Starbucks and creating awareness of it. The one-page board game, called "Cosmic Latte," is what Pearse calls a "barista unionization simulation," and it encompasses aspects of the Starbucks barista's work experience such as the drinks they have to make, the unions that they may join for better working conditions, bread, and lattes (per Instagram). "Cosmic Latte" is set in space (like the name hints) and positions the player as a demigod to create planets by journaling their descriptions in a limited period of 87 seconds. The game's relevance to unionization is its requirement for players to throw in with other demigods to survive. This game is downloadable from Pearse's website at no cost or for a donation, the proceeds of which will go to the Starbucks Workers Solidarity Fund and "Nick for 48th Ward Alderman," an initiative to find a pro-union candidate for Pearson's locale (per Instagram).

    Union Staffers End Strike Against Union They Work For

    November 16, 2022 // The striking SEIU staff members belong to another union, Pacific Northwest Staff Union Chapter 2015, and they went on strike through this union. PNWSU's 130 members work for SEIU as call center operators, research analysts, IT workers and labor organizers. Shortly before the strike began, PNWSU leaders released an open letter to "elected officials and political allies," which explained the reason its members intended to stay off the job.

    Union workers from Amherst’s Nordson Corporation go on strike

    November 16, 2022 // Titone added that Nordson ICS expects to continue operating through the work stoppage by "utilizing available resources as necessary."

    Rail strike threat escalates as third union rejects deal

    November 15, 2022 // The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) announced Monday its members voted against ratifying a tentative agreement with the major freight railroads, making IBB the third labor group to turn down the deal brokered by the Biden administration and upping the chances of a nationwide strike.

    United To Accelerate Pilot Salary Increases Amid Contract Negotiations

    November 15, 2022 // United's move comes two weeks after a contract offering a 15% pay raise over 18 months was shot down by the pilot's union with 94% support. Despite reaching an agreement in principle in May, talks fell through a few months later and both sides were back on the negotiating table in the fall. With the latest deal falling through, United's pilots plan to picket to force more concessions.

    Union bosses rake it in, even as their ranks shrink

    November 15, 2022 // The new report, provocatively titled “Labor’s Fortress of Finance” by the pro-labor Radish Research, looks at the balance sheets of big unions since 2010, based on financial statements they must file with the Department of Labor. It finds that, over that period, unions have lost some 710,000 members, yet union membership revenues increased by one-third, to $18 billion — 85% of that from fees on members, which grew by a similar rate. By contrast, union spending increased by just 18% over that time. The money that unions expended representing workers, for instance, improved by just 13%. As a result, the surplus (the equivalent of profits at a business) that unions generated grew almost sixfold, to nearly $2.5 billion in 2021, from just $426 million in 2010. Collectively, their cash on hand more than doubled in 11 years to $11.3 billion, their investments soared nearly 150% to $17.4 billion, and their net assets rose 120%, to $31.6 billion.

    Opinion: How Service Industry Unionization Could Impact Prices

    November 1, 2022 // “It’s important for independent restaurateurs to note that these unionization efforts are almost entirely focused on large chains and franchises like McDonald’s and Starbucks,” said Mary King, a restaurant analyst for Fit Small Business and a 14-year restaurant veteran who has worked in every facet of the industry. "Keep in mind that in addition to potential wage increases, restaurants are dealing with rent increases, fuel surcharges, and higher prices for baseline ingredients like flour and bread,” said King. “It is as likely that price increases will come from those increased costs, not merely because some restaurants may be asked to pay their staff higher wages.”