How many Americans are making money from “on-demand” jobs — like being an Uber driver, selling stuff on Etsy, or renting out a room on Airbnb — that either didn’t exist until a few years ago or have exploded in popularity thanks to technological innovations? No one really knows, with various reports putting it at anywhere from 5% of the workforce to more than a third. So, for the first time in more than a decade, the U.S. Department of Labor will try to get a more accurate headcount on so-called “contingent” workers. [More]
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association have come to an agreement over a new five-year contract for port workers. This ends their nine-month dispute and a slowdown of traffic at ports that has affected everyone from auto workers in Ohio to fast food fans in Venezuela. The U.S. Secretary of Labor stepped in to help the two sides come to an agreement, and now everyone is working hard to clear the backlog. [More]
Unhappy Walmart employees, backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, are continuing to agitate for reform at the mega-retailer. In a conference call with media outlets yesterday, members of the group OUR Walmart outlined their plans for Black Friday, which include another strike, protests, public awareness campaigns, and flash mobs. Presumably these actions will be for the benefit of customers waiting in line overnight for rock-bottom prices on TVs and blenders.
Many of the things you buy and own were touched at some point by Chinese hands, and those hands are about to get a little more expensive. The Guangdong province in China, the seat of the country’s manufacturing might, is going to get a 20% minimum wage increase starting January 1st, 2012.
Above ground, Disneyland is a world of wonder and enchantment. But getting the bedsheets as tight as the smiles on the workers faces takes a lot of hard work, and it happens underground.
Over 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested when they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge this weekend, blocking traffic and shooting the movement into the national consciousness.
Going into its 14th day, the Occupy Wall Street protest is not only not fading out, it’s about to get a big injection of support, and bodies. The established New York City labor and community groups who normally organize local marches, rallies and sit-ins, have announced they plan to join up next week.
Walmart users are again trying to band together and pursue better pay, benefits and treatment on the job, but the new organization effort won’t involve a union. The Organization for United Respect at Walmart, or OUR Walmart, has reportedly signed up thousands of members in an attempt to unionize workers without actually unionizing.
The latest brainstorm from Apple Geniuses may be to organize and bargain for better pay and benefits. A unionization effort is on in San Francisco, led by a part-time Apple Store employee there.
Transportation Security Administration workers have some unlikely allies in their struggle to organize: A pair of pro football players. Noting the need for labor solidarity across industries, one current and one retired Washington Redskin are speaking out in favor of the much-maligned airport security workers.
A new investigation by two NGO’s into working conditions at two major Chinese factories run by Foxconn responsible for pumping out iPads might make you angrier than a bird trying to destroy a bunch of green pigs, reports The Guardian. Among their findings was that after a rash of suicides at the factories, workers were forced to sign pledges promising not to commit suicide and to instead “treasure their lives.”
Could it be that tech heavyweights including Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Adobe, Pixar and Lucasfilm were entangled in a nefarious plot to keep employee wages down and profits up? That’s the allegation brought forth by a lawsuit filed in a California Superior Court, alleging antitrust violations among the companies, as well as “no solicitation” agreements that kept companies from poaching employees.
The New York Department of Labor has issued rules on what until now has walked a gray line between custom and law: the tip.
If you’ve been unemployed 100 weeks or longer, you’re in luck. No, you’re not about to get a new job. But for the first time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will accurately track the length of time you’ve been unemployed when calculating long-term unemployment. Previously, the agency had to check off “99 weeks or over” for anyone unemployed longer than two years. See, the recession isn’t all bad, is it?
Chicago, despite having Targets galore, only has a single Walmart store on the west side. The big box giant has faced serious resistance from labor unions who claim that the company doesn’t pay enough and doesn’t provide adequate benefits. Now Walmart says they have a plan called the “Chicago Community Investment Partnership.”
Spirit Airline flights, grounded since the beginning of a 5-day pilot strike,
could will resume Friday, after the pilots union and the airline reached a tentative agreement following 26 straight hours of negotiation. In its typically tongue-in-cheek fashion, coinciding with the announcement was a “Strikingly Low Fares” promotion offering everyone $50 off new tickets plus 5,000 bonus miles.
You know an industry has hit the big time when labor unions decide it’s time to organize the workers. So, it looks like California’s medical marijuana workers are about to reach new highs now that the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 in San Jose has begun organizing local pot purveyors. Here’s the big question, though: How long before they start showing up to picket non-union shops with a giant inflatable bong?