Posts tagged recession

    Opinion: Minimum Wage Changes Spell Trouble for Virginians

    February 8, 2024 // The Virginia House of Delegates voted in favor of bill HB1 that would increase the states’ minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. If enacted the minimum wage increase would lead to job loss between 34,600 and 57,700 jobs An increase to a $15 an hour minimum wage would cost the state of Virginia over 83,000 jobs in the three years following enactment.

    Commentary: Expect More UAW Strikes, and Be Prepared

    November 21, 2023 // Many sectors could see the impact of labor momentum. Every union should be studying the UAW negotiations and strikes. The circumstances will be different at each company and negotiation, but a more aggressive and strategic approach is likely to be valuable in many contexts. Unions should also look at the UAW ratification process, internal communications, supplier headaches and unionization drives for lessons to emulate and avoid. On the management side, companies – particularly if they are unionized – should expect unions to follow the new playbook. Employers will need to study the lessons as well and prepare for a more confrontational labor environment. Companies other than the D3 should firmly resist the pressure to align their contract expiration and avoid what is likely to be a confrontational spring in 2028. This is only a small example of how companies would benefit from the 360° perspective that game theory and scenario wargaming give in complex and uncertain times.

    How YIMBYs won over unions in California

    August 22, 2023 // The Trades acknowledges there’s a shortage of workers for California’s needed residential construction, and they know their existing unionized workforce is getting older. A union-backed study from 2019 stipulated that to meet the state’s affordable housing goals, California would need to recruit at least 200,000 new workers. But the Trades insist things are not so dire yet that leaders need to abandon “skilled and trained” requirements, and they say more people will be incentivized to become “skilled and trained” only if lawmakers guarantee good union jobs waiting on the other end of an apprenticeship. About 70,500 people have graduated from these apprenticeships between 2010 and 2022, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations. In the end, California lawmakers didn’t really have to make a choice, and ended up passing Wicks’ bill, along with another similar bill that included the Trades’ preferred “skilled and trained” language. For now, developers basically can choose which law they want to follow if they want to convert strip malls to housing. (Yes, really.) “AB2011 was a huge victory, but they allowed the building trades to save face by passing both bills,” said David, the YIMBY activist.

    Google Axes 12,000 Jobs As Big Tech Layoffs Continue

    January 25, 2023 // The Google layoffs follow heavy jobs cuts at Facebook parent company Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce and numerous other firms as higher interest rates and fears of a recession hammer the tech sector. According to an analysis conducted earlier this week by The Standard, tech companies have laid off roughly 90,000 workers in the last year and more than 12,000 workers in San Francisco during this month alone. Those layoffs span major local employers such as Salesforce and a smattering of smaller startups.

    Tech Layoffs Threaten Unions’ Plan to Draw White-Collar Workers

    January 18, 2023 // Some 500 technology companies have axed nearly 100,000 workers since last October, according to Layoffs.fyi, a public database of tech layoffs. Amazon this month announced it would cut 18,000 jobs, and on the same day, cloud computing company Salesforce and the online video-sharing service Vimeo said they would slash 10% and 11% of their staffs, respectively. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, said in November it would eliminate 11,000 jobs—about 13% of its staff. Those reductions in force don’t bode well for unions that have increasingly funneled resources into tech organizing, which was, until recently, seen as an ever-growing pool of potential members. The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation, last year raised membership fees for the first time in two decades, hoping to raise $10 million a year for new organizing. Union leaders this month flocked to Las Vegas for the CES technology conference, set on understanding how the latest innovations in artificial intelligence could disrupt their industries.

    Gavin Newsom expects a deficit this year. What does that mean for state worker contracts?

    January 13, 2023 // High inflation would usually be a strong argument for raising pay. But budget deficits typically call for cuts in public spending, not increases. State employers face a tough decision. Some public employees are paid under the market rate for their roles and could leave for the private sector if raises are withheld. Public employee unions are also struggling with retention, which could worsen if a recession hits and older workers retire faster than departments can hire new ones.

    The Standoff Between Workers and Their Bosses Is Set To Heat Up in 2023

    December 15, 2022 // Now, the strong labor market that emboldened workers is softening. The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7% in November—it had gone as low as 3.5%—–and high-profile tech and media companies have recently cut their payrolls through steep layoffs. But that doesn’t mean workers are losing the upper hand, says Thomas Kochan, a professor of employment research at the MIT Sloan School for Management. If anything, the current economic conditions mean labor strife may accelerate next year. “I expect what we’ll see is more conflict, more strikes, and more contract rejections,” Kochan says. Workers are still focused on companies’ profits during boom years, he notes, while companies are starting to trim costs to prepare for an economic downturn. “It’s that difference in expectations,” he says, “that creates a higher probability of conflicts and strikes.”

    NY POST Opinion: Union Joe suddenly turns into Union-Buster-in-Chief — to save himself

    December 1, 2022 // With Americans already facing Bidenflation and a potentially painful recession, a rail strike would utterly slam the nation’s economy — and his legacy. “I am calling on Congress to pass legislation immediately to adopt the Tentative Agreement [reached in September by] railroad workers and operators,” Biden said Monday, insisting no “path to resolve the dispute at the bargaining table” exists. Hmm. Just this year he was backing unionization of Amazon workers, warning, “Amazon, here we come. Watch.” Last year, too, he pushed unionization drives and praised organized labor for winning workers better terms. His proposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act and American Jobs Plan aimed to unionize practically the entire US workforce (by nixing states’ right-to-work laws, for example).

    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.