After a nationwide frenzy, lottery officials revealed yesterday that three Maryland residents had pitched in to buy one of the winning Mega Millions tickets. Each of the lucky winners will pocket around $35 million, after taxes.
That figure is exciting in its own right. But what makes this story truly remarkable is that all three of these winners, who have chosen to remain anonymous, work in the state’s public education system—and they’ve all decided to keep doing the work they love.
Fed up with the relentless attacks on workers from state legislators, Michiganders have launched a new campaign to protect collective bargaining rights. The Protect Our Jobs campaign has already begun collecting signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would ensure workers’ rights to form unions and bargain together for fair pay and better working conditions.
There’s no doubt that this initiative would be good for workers, but it’s also crucial for the state’s economic recovery. With the ability to bargain collectively, workers can regain their grasp on the middle class and pump much-needed consumer spending into the economy.
The issue of whether childcare workers should be able to form unions has generated considerable debate in recent years. Those who support the rights of these workers to form unions and bargain collectively emphasize the low pay and difficult environments childcare providers often face. Unions help to stabilize conditions, improve job satisfaction, and raise wages to appropriate levels—all of which are vital to providing the best possible care for children.
Unfortunately, very little is known about the tangible differences unions make in the lives of childcare providers. But a new study from the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI) helps to shed light on the value unions provide to an often-neglected and voiceless group of workers. Read more »
Guest Post by Chair of UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, Ken Jacobs.
Walmart is well known for both its low prices and its low wages, and the drive to keep prices down is offered as a ready rationale for the company’s substandard wages and benefits. New findings show that Walmart can still keep those prices low and pay its workers a living wage.
In a recent study I completed with my colleagues Dave Graham-Squire and Stephanie Luce, we found that Walmart could raise its starting wage to $12, a significant improvement for many Walmart workers, with only the slightest impact on customers. Read more »
Guest Post by Author and Labor Scholar Brigid O’Farrell.
When my phone rang in Moss Beach, California, I was surprised to find a young girl calling from a small town in Ohio, not far from Columbus. She and her friends in eighth grade were writing a play about Eleanor Roosevelt for a school project. She saw my book on the internet, She Was One of Us: Eleanor Roosevelt and the American Worker. They wanted their drama to address the workers in Ohio and Wisconsin. “Eleanor Roosevelt went into a coal mine, didn’t she?” the girl asked. “Do you think she would be supporting the workers today?” Read more »
On Monday, the Restaurant Opportunity Council of DC (ROC) held an event to discuss their most recent report, Behind the Kitchen Door: Inequality and Opportunity in Washington, DC’s Thriving Restaurant Industry. And the findings were less than appetizing for the area’s food service workers.
The report took a detailed look at a wide range of topics, including racial discrimination, workplace safety, low wages, and public health. Restaurant employees reported facing tip theft by managers and owners, as well as wage theft—owners requiring workers to clock out before finishing work in order to avoid earning overtime. Similarly, the report found that many wait staff, busboys, and dishwashers are not given paid sick leave from work, exposing their coworkers and customers to illness.
For the past 11 years, the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center has held an award ceremony to honor and showcase “companies who care.” The Corporate Citizenship Awards are given to businesses that, in the Chamber’s view, make a positive difference in society through community service, philanthropy, skilled volunteerism, and ethical decision-making.
So of course, it’s no surprise to any of us that Wal-Mart has been nominated for the Corporate Stewardship Award. Right? Read more »
If you’ve ever lived in a college town or if you’re just a fast food fan like me, then you have probably heard of Jimmy John’s. The chain serves up delicious sandwiches that can be delivered directly to your pad well into the wee hours of the night.
But behind that tasty French bread exterior, not everything at Jimmy John’s is so appealing. Like many in the fast food industry, Jimmy John’s workers suffer from substandard wages, they don’t receive sick days, and have to bring in a doctor’s note just to get the day off. One worker claims that he had to work bicycle delivery shifts with a broken clavicle or risk losing his job, while another employee complains of working with too many ill coworkers, so sick they even vomit in the workplace. Read more »
The Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Political Economy Research Institute recently released a fascinating report “The Wage Penalty for State and Local Government Employees in New England.”
The report refutes claims from anti-union pundits and the media that government employees make more than private sector employees. In fact, the report’s results show that government workers at the “high-wage” level, like supervisors and managers, often make 13 percent less than their private sector counterparts. Read more »
Since May, 305 Mott’s factory workers in Williamson, NY have been on strike to protect their wages and pension plans. And on Monday, they were able to put down their signs for the first time in three-and-a-half months. The strike is finally over. Read more »