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Author Topic: Seattle Announces $15 Minimum Wage
Upside
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9 bucks an hour to show half your tits to the world? Hell, I've paid more than that in a cover charge just to see the same thing, never mind the two drink minimum. Doesn't seem like a win to me.
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IWISHIHAD
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Originally Posted By Upside:

9 bucks an hour to show half your tits to the world? Hell, I've paid more than that in a cover charge just to see the same thing, never mind the two drink minimum. Doesn't seem like a win to me.
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And in the bars they get tips and pay no taxes on the money. Yes i did say tips.
The cheerleaders don't realize how much money they could be making... 9 bucks is chump change

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IWISHIHAD
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Realistically the cheeerleaders should work a short time with the teams, then open their own studios.

They will make a lot more then $9 teaching dance and cheerleading to the younger girls and the dads will be there a lot more watching their daughters learn dance and cheerleading.

The young girls will come a flying when they learn the instructors were cheerleaders for professional teams.

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raybond
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Well I never thought that my cheer leader post would create such an interest. My only thought was in a section of the economy where big money is thrown around to the tune of millions, someone is paid so little.

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Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

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raybond
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In a ruling that raises the stakes for numerous fast food worker efforts, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) top lawyer said on Tuesday that McDonald’s Corp. is responsible for the actions of the owner-operator franchisees who run the vast majority of its stores.

The arrangements McDonald’s makes with its franchisees have long been understood to insulate the corporation from worker lawsuits. Because the buck stopped with individual owner-managers rather than with at the company’s Illinois headquarters, worker lawsuits and unionization efforts were limited in scope and unable to seek remedies from the company’s $5.6 billion in annual corporate profits.

Workers have repeatedly challenged that interpretation of the franchisee relationships, most recently in a slew of class-action wage theft lawsuits this spring. Those cases centered on a computer system installed by McDonald’s at franchisee stores that compares labor costs to money coming in in real-time, encouraging managers to fiddle with workers hours and timesheets as necessary to keep that expenses ratio as low as possible at all times.

The suits named both franchisees and McDonald’s itself, and workers and attorneys were optimistic that the legal challenges would poke holes in the company’s claims to legal indemnity. Tuesday’s ruling did just that, though it stemmed from separate, older claims involving workers who had attempted to unionize and were fired in retaliation.

“McDonald’s has tried to avoid the obligations associated with employing the vast majority of the people who prepare and serve their food,” worker attorney Micah Wissinger said on an afternoon press call, “but the reality is they require franchisees to adhere to strict rules.” Wissinger, whose clients brought the initial lawsuits over alleged retaliatory firings at New York City stores in 2012, explained that the decision does not make it any more or less likely that the labor board will find merit in any of the 113 individual allegations of which he is aware. But in cases where regional NLRB officials do find complaints have merit, “they are to name McDonald’s as an employer” in their rulings. An NLRB spokesperson confirmed the decision to ThinkProgress.

McDonald’s told the Associated Press that it had been notified of the general counsel’s ruling earlier Tuesday afternoon. Senior vice president of human resources Heather Smedstad told the wire service that Tuesday’s ruling “is such a radical departure that it should be a concern to business men and women across the country.”

Cathy Ruckelshaus of the National Employment Law Project disputed that assessment of the ruling on Tuesday’s press call. “Holding McDonald’s accountable will not portend the death of franchising as many argue,” Ruckelshaus said. “All it means is that corporations that exercise control over their workers cannot feign ignorance” of those workers’ rights and complaints.

A man named Richard who has worked in the same Kansas City McDonald’s for 18 years agreed that franchisees will be better able to care for employees’ well-being if the corporation is held accountable for wages and working conditions. “Some may think that who my boss is is just a technicality, but it matters,” Richard said on Tuesday’s call, because in order to adhere to the rules of their franchising contracts “the only thing franchisees can skimp on is wages.”

“They would pay more if they could, I’m sure of it,” he said, “but they’re hamstrung. This will help us hold McDonald’s accountable for wage theft and other violations, and make it easier to form a union.”

The fast food worker campaign for a $15 wage and the ability to unionize began with strikes in New York City in late 2012 and has spread to more than 150 U.S. cities and dozens of other countries as of this spring. No matter how hard McDonald’s and other chains with similar business models fight before judges and NLRB panels, the workers are prepared to intensify their efforts. At a convention last weekend, over a thousand worker attendees voted to add civil disobedience to the list of tools they will use to press for changes in an industry where CEOs earn 1,200 times what frontline workers do and grown-ups with families work full-time but still cannot escape poverty.

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Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

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CashCowMoo
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Ray, do you believe companies should be forced to hire employees who can not speak english to do the job? Do you believe language discrimination should be outlawed too?

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It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

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raybond
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On Monday, San Diego’s city council gave final approval to a bill that would require the city’s employers to offer their full-time workers at least five paid sick days a year. It would also increase the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017 with automatic increases for inflation after 2019.

On the same day, Eugene, Oregon’s city council passed a paid sick leave law will go into effect next July, barring a successful legal challenge. The city’s employers would have to give workers an hour of paid time off for every 30 they work, with a maximum of 40 hours a year. All businesses and nonprofits will be covered by the law. An estimated 25,000 workers in the city don’t have access to paid sick days.

San Diego’s part-time workers would be able to earn prorated sick days based on how many hours they work. An estimated 279,000 workers will now be able to earn the leave, and the bill doesn’t have any exemptions for certain industries or businesses. An earlier analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that about 433,500 private-sector workers in the city didn’t have any access to paid sick leave.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has said he will veto the bill that guarantees paid sick days and a minimum wage increase, saying that it “puts our job growth in jeopardy and will lead to higher prices and layoffs for San Diego families.” But given that the measure passed six to three and a veto override requires six votes, it’s likely that the city council will override his veto.

Assuming both ordinances eventually become law, the cities would become the ninth and tenth places in the country with a paid sick leave law on the books, joining the cities of Jersey City, NJ; Newark, NJ; New York City; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C. and the state of Connecticut. But there is no federal guarantee to cover all workers; the United States is the only country out of 22 developed ones that doesn’t ensure that all workers can take a paid day for illness. More than 41 million American workers don’t have access to paid sick leave.

Despite Faulconer’s concern that paid sick leave will hurt job growth, evidence from these other laws shows the opposite. Two different studies of Seattle’s law have found that it didn’t hurt job growth or business growth and that in fact job growth was stronger after it went into effect. The majority of the city’s businesses support it. San Francisco’s business growth increased after its law was implemented and jobs weren’t harmed, while a majority of employers also support it there. In Washington, D.C., the law hasn’t discouraged business owners from opening up or encouraged them to move. And Connecticut’s has come with little to no burden on employers, the majority of whom support it.

San Diego also joins a growing group of states and cities in passing a higher minimum wage. Ten states have passed higher wages since January, with five at or above the $10.10 an hour level being sought by Congressional Democrats and President Obama. None have gone as far as San Diego’s $11.50 an hour, although some cities have topped it, such as Seattle, which passed a $15 minimum wage. Real life evidence again offers comfort to anyone worried that higher wages kill jobs: those whose wages increased at the beginning of the year are experiencing faster job growth, and a study of increases over the past two decades found no evidence of harm to job growth.

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Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

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raybond
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Early on Saturday morning, the California Senate passed a bill guaranteeing at least three paid sick days a year for about 6.5 million workers, sending it to Gov. Jerry Brown (D).

Brown’s office said it supports the bill, and in a statement after it passed he said, “Tonight, the Legislature took historic action to help hardworking Californians.” Assuming he signs the bill, California will become just the second state ever to guarantee paid sick leave and the law will be the tenth in the nation.


The bill would require employers to provide sick leave to employees who work 30 or more days within a year, allowing them to accrue at least one hour for every 30 they put in. Currently, about 44 percent of the state’s workers don’t have access to a single paid day off if they or a family member gets sick.

It does, however, have a big carve out, as last minute negotiations between the bill’s author and Gov. Brown left out those who care for the elderly and disabled in their homes. That change led labor unions, which had made the bill a priority for the year, to pull their support, but it secured the governor’s backing.

California joins Connecticut, the first state to guarantee its residents have paid sick leave. If that state’s experience is a guide, the California Chamber of Commerce, which called the state’s bill a “job killer,” should have nothing to worry about. A year and a half after Connecticut’s law took effect, most employers said the costs had been negligible or non-existent, abuse hadn’t cropped up, and many actually saw benefits. More than three-quarters support the law, with nearly 40 percent saying they’re very supportive.

The same story has played out at the city level. Jersey City, NJ; Newark, NJ; New York City; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C. have all passed paid sick leave laws. San Francisco saw business growth increase and no harm to jobs, and a majority of employers support the law. Seattle’s didn’t hurt business or job growth, and job growth was actually stronger after the law took effect, while businesses support it. And Washington, D.C.’s law hasn’t pushed business owners to move or discouraged them from opening up shop in the city.

Despite these positive experiences, the cities and states with paid sick days requirements remain rare. The United States is the only country among 22 rich nations that doesn’t have such a national requirement. That leaves about 40 percent of the country’s workers, or more than 41 million people, without access to a single paid day off if they get sick or need to care for family members who are sick. And low-wage workers are even less likely to have access to leave. Bills have been introduced in Congress that would guarantee access for all, but none of them have passed.

And some places have moved in the opposite direction. Ten have passed preemption laws that ban cities and counties from passing paid sick leave laws, with most of them happening last year.

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Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

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raybond
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The campaign to get fast-food workers paid at least $15 a hour resumes later this week.

Union organizers say workers will walk off their jobs Thursday in 150 cities nationwide. Restaurants that they say will be affected include McDonald's (MCD), Burger King (BKW) , Wendy's and KFC, which is owned by Yum Brands (YUM).
The action would be the latest in a two-year effort to get employers to pay them a minimum wage of $15 an hour and allow them to form unions without retaliation.

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raybond
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CREDIT: AP

Hundreds of striking fast food workers and their supporters were arrested Thursday while protesting to demand higher wages and the right to unionize, strike organizers say. Workers walked off the job in 159 different cities on what was at least the 10th day of strikes in the 21 months since the campaign for a $15 hourly wage and full labor rights began in New York City just after Thanksgiving 2012.


The arrests were scattered around the country and included 50 in Chicago, 42 in Detroit, 11 in Little Rock, 10 in Las Vegas, and 52 in Kansas City, according to a partial list provided by organizers. Police in Detroit reportedly ran out of handcuffs at one point while arresting peaceful strikers who were blocking traffic during their demonstration. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) was among the 25 workers and supporters arrested in Milwaukee, and several other members of the House Progressive Caucus joined worker actions in various cities. Moore said she was given a $691 ticket for disorderly conduct after she and other protesters defused to clear the road they were blocking.

With 159 cities striking on Thursday, fast food workers have approximately doubled the size of the battlefield over the past year. Strikes hit 60 cities in August 2013, the first day to see strikes in a double-digit number of cities. A December strike day featured 100 cities, and about 150 cities saw walkouts in May. Over the nearly two years since the campaign began, the strikes have leaped from New York and other northern cities to every corner of the continental U.S.

But beyond the geographic spread, Thursday’s strikes are the first example of a tactical escalation that workers and organizers promised at a convention earlier this summer. A July gathering of more than 1,300 fast food workers produced a resolution to begin using civil disobedience and nonviolent protest to advance their cause.

“We had over 100 people arrested, but however they respected every police officer,” Rev. W. J. Rideout told Detroit’s ABC affiliate WXYZ on Thursday. “And we also chanted, ‘Police need a raise also.’ EMS need a raise, firefighters need a raise. So we’re not against anyone here, we’re against the corporations, we’re against McDonald’s.”

McDonald’s was recently found to be responsible for its workers’ treatment by the National Labor Relations Board. That might sound obvious, but for decades the fast food industry has used franchise agreements to shrug off legal liability for labor violations by the owner-operators who run the vast majority of fast food chain stores. That legal facade crumbled this summer after workers’ attorneys presented evidence that McDonald’s is responsible for setting the rules that lead store owners to commit wage theft by falsifying time sheets, forcing people to work off the clock, and requiring workers to pay for their own uniform upkeep, among other widespread company practices.

The unrelenting worker pressure on the ground and the gradual shift in how labor regulators treat the fast food business model could make it difficult for these companies to maintain the status quo for much longer. At present, CEOs are paid 1,200 times more than workers in the industry. Frontline fast food workers — the vast majority of whom are adults, many with families to support — earn poverty wages that require them to turn to public assistance programs to survive despite having a job. This taxpayer subsidy of low fast food wages costs the American public well over a billion dollars a year (and when accounting for similar dynamics in other low-wage industries, the cost is closer to a quarter-trillion dollars). Worse, even those meager wages often don’t get paid properly. Nine out of 10 fast food workers reports being victimized by some form of wage theft.

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NR
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That's what you get for blocking the road, preventing people who have a REAL JOB from getting to work while you sit on your butt crying about not getting enough money for flipping dead cow. Not only are these selfish pukes holding their employer hostage, they want to hold the rest of their community hostage as well. Serves them right.

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One is never completely useless. One can always serve as a bad example.

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raybond
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Fast Food Franchise Owners Ask Congress For Help To Stop Worker Campaign For Wages, Union


by Alan Pyke Posted on September 16, 2014 at 9:33 am

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"Fast Food Franchise Owners Ask Congress For Help To Stop Worker Campaign For Wages, Union"


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McDonald's Hamburglar character steals imaginary food from other characters. The company steals real wages from its workers.
McDonald’s Hamburglar character steals imaginary food from other characters. The company steals real wages from its workers.

CREDIT: Flickr user sortofbreakit


The fast food industry is hoping that a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill can blunt the momentum that fast food workers have gained through nearly two years of strikes and multiple lawsuits.


The International Franchise Association (IFA) is flying fast food store owners and other franchisees into Washington on Tuesday to drum up congressional opposition to a recent legal decision that could make corporations liable for how franchise employees are treated. The trade group expects more than 350 business owners from both the franchisee and franchisor sides of the business model to show up at its event this week, according to The Hill. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and former Republican Governors Association head and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour are scheduled to speak to the group, and the paper reports that top Senate Republicans will introduce legislation targeting federal labor regulators in general later this week.

The top attorney for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined in July that McDonald’s exerts so much control over how franchisees operate that they are responsible for labor law violations committed by franchise owners. That finding has yet to be tested in court, but if it holds up and is applied beyond the nation’s largest fast food chain, it would make it much harder for industries that rely on franchising to stymie workers’ attempts to exercise their labor rights.

IFA President Steve Caldeira said the board’s decision about McDonald’s franchisees “would essentially take away their autonomy to run their own business.” But franchisees enjoy little autonomy under the restrictive agreements they sign with the corporation now.

McDonald’s sends both formal company inspectors and secret shoppers into some of its stores to verify that the owners are keeping up with the exacting requirements of its contracts. It installs a computer system that monitors the money coming in and going out of each store at all times, automatically alerting managers if their labor costs get too high — an occurrence that can trigger labor law violations such as requiring workers to clock out but keep working or remain on-site without pay until the computer system reports that the store is back in the black.

Nine in 10 fast food workers report wage theft. The industry pays corporate CEOs 1,200 times more than it pays the typical worker. McDonald’s made $5.6 billion in profit on $28.1 billion in total revenue last year.

Most fast food companies require franchise owners to demonstrate a personal net worth in the millions of dollars before they are eligible to run a store. McDonald’s won’t entertain franchise applications from anyone who doesn’t have at least $750,000 in non-borrowed assets.

The eagerness of IFA members to take up McDonald’s cause against the NLRB indicates that many other companies fear they are vulnerable to the same arguments about corporate control over franchise workplaces, and would ultimately face the same consequences for labor violations that the board’s lawyer believes McDonald’s should face.

It also signals that franchise owners and their corporate bosses are more afraid of workers’ power than of the enforcement mechanisms that are supposed to punish wage theft. While workers have won several multi-million-dollar wage theft settlements this year, the legal systems that govern wage and hour violations around the country are generally ineffective. In California, where labor law is robust, workers have a less than one-in-five chance of recovering lost wages even when they prove they were robbed and win a judgment for restitution from the state. Wage theft steals more money each year than every bank robbery and store holdup in America combined.

Tags: Fast Food Workers
Labor

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Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

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raybond
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CREDIT: AP/M. Spencer Green


The amount of money employers had to pay because they were found guilty of wage theft is nearly three times greater than all the money stolen in robberies, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).


EPI gathered figures of money recovered for victims of wage theft — which occurs when an employer has workers perform tasks off the clock or pay for their own uniforms, violating labor laws — from the Department of Labor, state labor departments, state attorneys general, and research firms. In 2012, $933 million was paid in back wages for wage theft violations, although that figure is an under-count because there were six state departments of labor and five attorneys general the organization couldn’t contact.

Compare that to the less than $350 million stolen in all robberies, including from banks, residences, stores, and on the street in 2012. That’s not just the figure for those that were solved, but for any robbery simply reported to the police.

Even the nearly $1 billion collected is likely an under-count of the problem given that most victims don’t contract lawyers or file complaints. Relying on a study of low-wage workers in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, which found that workers were losing nearly $3 billion to wage theft, EPI generalized to the rest of the country and estimated that it’s robbing people of more than $50 billion each year. And even that may be a low figure, given that the three-city study found that two-thirds of workers experienced at least one form of wage theft each week, yet a recent poll of workers nationwide found nearly 90 percent of fast food workers had experienced it.

That $50 billion figure dwarfs the $14 billion taken from victims of robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and car thefts in 2012. That’s less than a third of the cost of wage theft, according to EPI’s estimations.

The workers who aren’t getting the full paychecks they deserve can’t afford to lose that money, given that many victims are in low-wage jobs like fast food and retail. A minimum wage worker who loses just a half hour of a day’s pay would end up losing 10 percent of her yearly earnings when added up, “the difference between paying the rent and utilities or risking eviction and the loss of gas, water, or electric service,” the report notes.

It’s also a problem that seems to be on the rise. The number of cases filed in federal court jumped from about 5,000 in 2008 to nearly 8,000 in 2013 and have grown more than five times the number reported 20 years ago.

Wage theft is illegal under the Federal Labor Standards Act. But clearly it still happens. So various states and cities have enacted ordinances to further crack down on it by giving investigators more resources, making it easier for workers to bring complaints, and penalizing companies found guilty of the practice. EPI suggests at the federal level beefing up investigators, withholding government business from companies found to steal wages, and increasing the penalties. The maximum civil penalty for failing to give workers at least the minimum wage or overtime pay is $1,100.

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Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

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raybond
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Low-wage workers are walking off the job in almost 200 American cities on Thursday, barely two years after a far smaller group of fast food employees in New York City launched strikes demanding a $15 hourly wage and the right to form a union.
These are the largest strikes that the fast food industry has ever seen, according to a press release, expanding from the roughly 160 cities hit by walkouts in September to a full 191 cities on Thursday. Thursday’s actions are the ninth major coordinated day of strikes and protests since the campaign began.

As the campaign spread from New York fast food stores to nearly every corner of the country, it also jumped industrial divides. Overnight convenience store attendants kicked off the Thursday strike day by walking off the job in Detroit, St. Louis, and Kansas City. Airport workers in 10 cities including Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and Oakland are also joining the fray for the first time. Low-wage retail and home care workers continue to participate in a campaign that organizers have dubbed the “Fight for $15.”

That momentum has influenced state, local, and national politics, pushing working-class economic stagnation and corporate wage theft into the category of issues that politicians can’t ignore. It was key to driving minimum wage increase campaigns around the country over the past two years.

In Seattle, which was one of the earliest cities to see major strikes by fast food workers in 2013, the activist pressure helped push business leaders to the negotiating table by making a large minimum wage hike politically inevitable. City lawmakers enacted a record-high $15 hourly minimum wage law last spring after months of negotiations and compromise between commercial interests and workers’ representatives.

Workers in other places on this map have not seen such rapid returns from their risk-taking. In Washington, D.C., where low-wage service workers employed by federal contractors have been striking at places like the Pentagon, Union Station, and the Smithsonian museums for well over a year, progress has been far slower. These federally-contracted low-wage workers successfully persuaded President Obama to use his executive authority to raise the minimum wage that a federal contractor can pay, but only to $10.10 an hour. They have since raised their target to $15. The intricacies of federal contracting rules mean that the new wage rules don’t necessarily kick in immediately for people like Reginald Lewis and Tony Brawner.

The D.C. campaign’s experience underscores one of the key lessons that wealthy progressive entrepreneur Nick Hannauer learned from participating in the Seattle negotiations. “You shouldn’t be asking for 50 cents,” he told ThinkProgress in June. “You should be asking for five bucks. That gets people’s attention.”

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raybond
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CREDIT: UFCW International Union’s Flickr

Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S., will be forced to raise its wages thanks to new minimum wage hikes in 21 states that will take effect in the new year. Reuters reports that the retail giant is preparing to raise its base salary in about a third of its stores in the U.S. Currently, about 6,000 Walmart employees make $7.25 an hour.

According to Reuters, Walmart will change its pay structure in 1,434 stores to narrow the gap between low-paid workers and higher skilled positions. The company has also pledged to make more changes in 2015 to give workers more opportunity for advancement.

Walmart workers have been striking for years against the company’s notoriously poor treatment of employees. On Black Friday this year, thousands protested at 1,000 stores across the country, calling for a livable wage and more reliable working hours. Walmart keeps many employees on erratic part-time or temporary schedules to avoid giving them full benefits.




But even with base salaries adjusted to meet the new requirements, it won’t be enough for workers to survive. The Walmart strikes have called for a $15 an hour wage, which only a couple of cities have approved. Walmart’s home state, Arkansas, voted in November to raise its minimum wage to $8.50 — but the state’s low-wage workers told ThinkProgress that rate still leaves them in deep poverty.

Researchers have found that Walmart’s low prices would rise by pennies even if the company passed the entire cost of a $10.10 minimum wage on to consumers.

Moreover, Walmart’s poverty wages have forced their workers onto public benefits like food stamps, costing taxpayers billions of dollars every year.

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CashCowMoo
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quote:
Originally posted by raybond:
CREDIT: UFCW International Union’s Flickr

Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S., will be forced to raise its wages thanks to new minimum wage hikes in 21 states that will take effect in the new year. Reuters reports that the retail giant is preparing to raise its base salary in about a third of its stores in the U.S. Currently, about 6,000 Walmart employees make $7.25 an hour.

According to Reuters, Walmart will change its pay structure in 1,434 stores to narrow the gap between low-paid workers and higher skilled positions. The company has also pledged to make more changes in 2015 to give workers more opportunity for advancement.

Walmart workers have been striking for years against the company’s notoriously poor treatment of employees. On Black Friday this year, thousands protested at 1,000 stores across the country, calling for a livable wage and more reliable working hours. Walmart keeps many employees on erratic part-time or temporary schedules to avoid giving them full benefits.




But even with base salaries adjusted to meet the new requirements, it won’t be enough for workers to survive. The Walmart strikes have called for a $15 an hour wage, which only a couple of cities have approved. Walmart’s home state, Arkansas, voted in November to raise its minimum wage to $8.50 — but the state’s low-wage workers told ThinkProgress that rate still leaves them in deep poverty.

Researchers have found that Walmart’s low prices would rise by pennies even if the company passed the entire cost of a $10.10 minimum wage on to consumers.

Moreover, Walmart’s poverty wages have forced their workers onto public benefits like food stamps, costing taxpayers billions of dollars every year.

I very rarely go to wal mart. Costco is a better place to shop and they treat their employees better.
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CREDIT: AP

Many of the largest American retail brands decided to keep their stores open on Thanksgiving, but one company that put its workers’ holiday plans ahead of business was rewarded with sales growth that beat analyst expectations.

A Costco spokesperson told ThinkProgress last month that it gives workers the day off because they “work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families.” And while it might seem like the company would take a financial hit for closing while others opened their doors, Costco’s total November sales were up 7 percent at its American locations compared to November 2013, the company announced on Thursday. Factoring in a decline at its international stores, the company reported overall monthly sales growth of 5 percent, well above the 3.7 percent growth forecast by industry professionals.

Other all-purpose retail chains including Walmart, Target, Sears, and Kmart opted to open their doors on Thanksgiving in hopes of luring shoppers with early sales tied to “Black Friday.” Kmart went so far as to threaten to fire workers who refused the holiday shifts, which began before 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving day. None of those stores had released sales figures for November at the time of this writing.




Costco’s overall approach to its workforce contrasts with the cost-trimming approach that companies like Walmart employ, and its relative benevolence doesn’t hamper the company’s profitability. Costco’s frontline employees start at $11.50 an hour for work that pays less than $9 an hour at Walmart. Seven out of every eight Costco employees gets company-sponsored health care coverage, something that the majority of Walmart workers are either ineligible for because of their part-time hours or unable to afford because the company’s insurance plan is so expensive.

Walmart’s approach typifies the classic way of thinking about labor costs for large American businesses. By squeezing as much productivity as possible out of workers who get paid as little as the company can manage, retailers hope to increase their profit margins. From fast food stores to Amazon.com warehouses, that view of labor as just one more cost in a basic profit-seeking equation is dominant in many sectors of the U.S. economy.

But the approach seems to be backfiring for Walmart, where understaffed stores routinely fail to keep shelves stocked and store sections clean, and various fast food stores, where two years of strikes and worker unrest have produced an official labor law finding that could shake the foundations of the industry’s business model. And because many of these companies’ workers earn such a meager living, they end up relying on taxpayer-funded assistance programs to make ends meet. In effect, the public subsidizes corporations that offer substandard wages and benefits as a way of maximizing their profits.

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On Thursday, Walmart announced that it will raise all of its full-time and part-time employees’ pay to at least $9 an hour starting in April. The lowest wage will rise to $10 an hour by February of next year.

In a press release, it said it is also raising pay for the compensation range for each position, and all told says that about 500,000 employees will see a raise from the changes. It also says the raises will mean its average hourly wage for full-time workers will increase from $12.85 to $13 an hour and the average for part-time workers will increase from $9.48 to $10 an hour.

It also promised that workers “will have more control over their schedules.” The wage increases will cost more than $1 billion this fiscal year.




In announcing the changes, CEO Doug McMillon acknowledged some of the criticism that the company has sacrificed customer loyalty because of its pay practices. “We have work to do to grow the business. We know what customers want from a shopping experience, and we’re investing strategically to exceed their expectations and better position Walmart for the future,” he said. “We’re strengthening investments in our people to engage and inspire them to deliver superior customer experiences.”

The company, which is the nation’s largest employer, has long come under fire for its low pay. While the company has said that it pays most workers above the minimum wage, it has also admitted in the past that the majority of its employees make under $25,000 a year. One study from 2013 of a single store in Wisconsin found that its pay was so low that workers consumed about $1 million in public benefits to get by.

Workers have repeatedly gone on strike over the past three years to demand higher pay, better scheduling, and the right to unionize. They have called for the store’s wage floor to rise to at least $15 an hour. Thursday’s announcement also comes after so many states raised their minimum wages above the federal $7.25 level that a third of Walmart stores had to raise their base wages anyway.


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In an emailed statement, Emily Wells, a leader of the worker organizing group Our Walmart, said, “We are so proud that by standing together we won raises for 500,000 Walmart workers, whose families desperately need better pay and regular hours from the company we make billions for. We know that this wouldn’t have happen without our work to stand together with hundreds of thousands of supporters to change the country’s largest employer. The company is addressing the very issues that we have been raising about the low pay and erratic scheduling, and acknowledging how many of us are being paid less than $10 an hour, and many workers like me, are not getting the hours we need.” But she added, “Especially without a guarantee of getting regular hours, this announcement still falls short of what American workers need to support our families. With $16 billion in profits and $150 billion in wealth for the owners, Walmart can afford to provide the good jobs that Americans need – and that means $15 an hour, full-time, consistent hours and respect for our hard work.”

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quote:
Originally posted by raybond:
On Thursday, Walmart announced that it will raise all of its full-time and part-time employees’ pay to at least $9 an hour starting in April. The lowest wage will rise to $10 an hour by February of next year.

In a press release, it said it is also raising pay for the compensation range for each position, and all told says that about 500,000 employees will see a raise from the changes. It also says the raises will mean its average hourly wage for full-time workers will increase from $12.85 to $13 an hour and the average for part-time workers will increase from $9.48 to $10 an hour.

It also promised that workers “will have more control over their schedules.” The wage increases will cost more than $1 billion this fiscal year.




In announcing the changes, CEO Doug McMillon acknowledged some of the criticism that the company has sacrificed customer loyalty because of its pay practices. “We have work to do to grow the business. We know what customers want from a shopping experience, and we’re investing strategically to exceed their expectations and better position Walmart for the future,” he said. “We’re strengthening investments in our people to engage and inspire them to deliver superior customer experiences.”

The company, which is the nation’s largest employer, has long come under fire for its low pay. While the company has said that it pays most workers above the minimum wage, it has also admitted in the past that the majority of its employees make under $25,000 a year. One study from 2013 of a single store in Wisconsin found that its pay was so low that workers consumed about $1 million in public benefits to get by.

Workers have repeatedly gone on strike over the past three years to demand higher pay, better scheduling, and the right to unionize. They have called for the store’s wage floor to rise to at least $15 an hour. Thursday’s announcement also comes after so many states raised their minimum wages above the federal $7.25 level that a third of Walmart stores had to raise their base wages anyway.


Update


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In an emailed statement, Emily Wells, a leader of the worker organizing group Our Walmart, said, “We are so proud that by standing together we won raises for 500,000 Walmart workers, whose families desperately need better pay and regular hours from the company we make billions for. We know that this wouldn’t have happen without our work to stand together with hundreds of thousands of supporters to change the country’s largest employer. The company is addressing the very issues that we have been raising about the low pay and erratic scheduling, and acknowledging how many of us are being paid less than $10 an hour, and many workers like me, are not getting the hours we need.” But she added, “Especially without a guarantee of getting regular hours, this announcement still falls short of what American workers need to support our families. With $16 billion in profits and $150 billion in wealth for the owners, Walmart can afford to provide the good jobs that Americans need – and that means $15 an hour, full-time, consistent hours and respect for our hard work.”

Wal Mart disgusts me anyway. I go out of my way to make sure I dont spend money there. What they have done to the mom and pop businesses in small towns across USA is sad. Not to mention they have filled households with cheap chinese crap.
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Portland Raises Minimum Wage For City Workers To $15

by Bryce Covert Posted on February 20, 2015 at 8:50 am Updated: February 20, 2015 at 10:12 am

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"Portland Raises Minimum Wage For City Workers To $15 dollars per hour

CREDIT: AP

On Wednesday, the Portland, OR city council voted unanimously to increase the minimum wage for city workers and contractors to $15 an hour, currently the highest minimum wage anywhere in the country.

They amended the Fair Wage Policy, which sets the floor for about 173 full-time city employees and contractors. Most of the affected workers are janitors, parking attendants, and security workers paid by contractors who are subject to the policy. The wage increase could also trickle out to those who work for third-party vendors that honor the Fair Wage Policy.

Workers who won’t be covered include 1,800 seasonal and part-time employees mostly working for the Parks Bureau, many of whom have a capped number of hours they can work each year, often making their part-time status involuntary.




The wage hike comes as a bill is being considered in the Oregon legislature to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour from its current level of $9.25. It’s the first state considering that wage level; so far it has only taken hold in cities, where it was adopted in Seattle and San Francisco and is under consideration in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

The call for a $15 an hour minimum wage began with fast food workers, who started staging strikes three years ago to demand they paid at least that much. The call also spread to Walmart workers, who have staged many of their own strikes, and home care workers.

Critics of such high wage levels argue that businesses will have to cut jobs to deal with the higher cost of labor, thus hurting the low-wage workers the increases are meant to help. But a recent study of the low-wage fast food industry concluded that it could absorb a $15 wage without cutting jobs or hurting profits through lower turnover, higher prices, and greater economic growth.

While $15 an hour is the highest wage enacted so far, many other places have raised their minimum wages above the federal floor of $7.25 an hour. A number of states increased their wages last year, so many that as of January 1, the majority of states have wages that are higher than $7.25.

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Largest-Ever Strike Hits Fast Food Industry In 230 Cities

by Bryce Covert & Dylan Petrohilos Posted on April 15, 2015 at 10:59 am Updated: April 15, 2015 at 11:00 am

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"Largest-Ever Strike Hits Fast Food Industry In 230 Cities"


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Fast food workers and other protesters in Boston
Fast food workers and other protesters in Boston


On Wednesday, fast food workers walked off the job in 230 cities, staging the largest-ever strike in their movement aimed at a $15 minimum wage and the right to form a union.

The movement began with a single strike in New York City at the end of 2012 but has grown increasingly larger as the Fight for 15 movement has staged nine other days of coordinated strikes since then. Wednesday’s actions took place in cities on both coasts, the south, and the midwest, and it even went global, with strikes in Italy and New Zealand

While McDonald’s recently announced that it will raise base wages at the locations it operates directly — about 10 percent of its stores — organizers have said that it doesn’t go far enough and they’re still pushing for a $15 wage. But that wage level has taken hold in some places, with Seattle and San Francisco passing $15 minimum wages and other cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, OR, and Washington, DC considering the same. Some states might even adopt that minimum wage. Research has found that the fast food industry could absorb a $15 minimum wage without having to resort to cutting jobs.




Meanwhile, states have been raising their minimum wages, if not to the $15 level, and a majority now have a higher wage than the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. And Congressional Democrats have raised their sights from pushing for a $10.10 federal wage to a $12 an hour one.

The Fight for 15 movement has also spread past the fast food industry. Home care workers, Walmart employees, adjunct professors, and others joined protests around Wednesday’s actions and have called for a $15 minimum wage of their own. Walmart workers have been staging repeated strikes against their employer demanding at least $25,000 a year and the ability to form a union.

Tags: Fast Food Workers
Minimum Wage

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raybond
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CREDIT: Dylan Petrohilos/ThinkProgress

Los Angeles is the largest city to adopt a $15 wage, but Seattle and San Francisco have also increased their minimum wages to that level. It also isn’t the highest wage level adopted in the country so far. Earlier this month, the California city of Emeryville voted to increase its minimum wage to nearly $16 an hour by 2019.

The $15 an hour minimum wage gained prominence as fast food workers staged repeated strikes over the last three years, calling to be paid at least that much as well as to have the right to form unions. Their call has since been taken up by retail employees, home care aids, and adjunct professors.

Besides the three cities that have since approved that wage level, a handful of others have also considered it, as have some states. And Democrats in Congress have increased their minimum wage target from $10.10 an hour to $12 an hour. Minimum wage increases at lower levels have also been widespread, as the majority of states have increased theirs above the federal $7.25 floor, which hasn’t been raised in about six years.

Critics of increases warn that higher minimum wage requirements will force companies to lay workers off to deal with higher costs. But decades of economic research has found virtually no impact on job growth with potential benefits through increased worker productivity and sales when people have more money to spend. And even concerns about the $15 minimum wage aren’t panning out so far, as claims that businesses were forced to shut down were overblown.

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glassman
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so, for what it's worth this map shows a sort of minimum wage level. In my area of Mississippi 13.67 comes in at abouth4e averag household income (that's usually two people working but not always. We have a few extremely rich people heree and alot of people that are more like half that amount of household income. I will alos again state that there is NO JOB that is not worth paying a living wage. not one. If you don't like spit on your restaurant food? then pay the workers a living wage.

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raybond
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Well glass from reading your last post on the subject of minimum wages I would have to say I agree with you. A society functions with everybody's labor making it go around and work. Keeping peoples wages to a point to where they go in the whole every month and can't fully meet requirements of life makes a good fertile ground for revolution. And I don't have to tell anybody hear the low end of the wage scale is the fastest growing segment of the scale.

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Relentless.
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Who works a work a minimum wage job and complains about the wage?

That was a trick question...

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New York is set for $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers

Demonstrators rally for a $15 minimum wage before a meeting of the wage board in New York, Monday, June 15, 2015. The board, created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, will consider a minimum wage increase for New York's fast-food workers.
A panel formed at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s behest recommended that the minimum wage for fast-food workers be raised to $15 an hour by 2018 in New York City and three years later in the rest of the state.


Cuomo has indicated that his labor commissioner, who has final say, will follow the board’s advice, though tweaks may be possible. The increase, which will be phased in annually, applies to fast-food chains with 30 or more locations.

More from Bloomberg.com: These Are the Top 20 Cities Americans Are Ditching

The panel was created in May to sidestep the legislature, where Cuomo’s effort to raise the $8.75 minimum wage for all workers has been stymied by Republicans who control the Senate.

The move follows nationwide strikes by employees of McDonald’s Corp. and other fast-food chains who demanded a $15 hourly wage. New York spends $6,800 in public assistance per fast-food worker annually, or $700 million a year, more than any other state, Cuomo has said.

Speaking at a rally in Manhattan after the vote, Cuomo said the change would have national implications, comparing it with the state’s legalization of gay marriage in 2011.


“When New York acts, the rest of the states follow,” he told the crowd. “This statement today is going to radiate across the country.”

Cities including Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles have raised their minimum wages recently as part of a nationwide movement that’s responding to a call from President Barack Obama to take local action amid gridlock in Washington. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to raise the minimum to $15 an hour by 2020.

More from Bloomberg.com: These Superhumans Are Real and Their DNA Could Be Worth Billions

Executive Power

Cuomo is using a power he has under state law to circumvent the legislature; he couldn’t persuade the Senate to back his proposal to raise the minimum to $10.50 per hour and $11.50 in New York City. The Democratic-controlled Assembly had sought a $15 rate for the city.


.Los Angeles County weighs $15 minimum wage for som …. Play video
Los Angeles County weighs $15 minimum wage for some …
It’s the second time this year that a wage board pushed by Cuomo raised earnings in the restaurant industry. Restaurant workers who earn tips received a $2.50 boost to $7.50 an hour in February.

More from Bloomberg.com: The Scandal That Ate Malaysia

The 57-year-old Democrat has said boosting wages, rather than smothering companies that pay them with rules and taxes, is his answer to a national debate over how to narrow the divide between rich and poor. In New York, entry-level fast-food workers earn an average of $16,920 annually, he has said.

Raising wages for only one segment of the restaurant business is unprecedented, said Melissa Fleischut, who heads the New York State Restaurant Association.

“From day one Governor Cuomo’s wage board has sought to silence the business community and force through an unfair and discriminatory increase on a single sector of one industry,” Fleischut said in a statement e-mailed Wednesday. “The result is an extremist policy that will force business owners in this low profit margin industry to cut hours, lay off employees and use technology to help offset skyrocketing labor costs.”

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This Is How Much A Big Mac Would Cost If The Minimum Wage Was $15

by Bryce Covert Aug 3, 2015 10:27am


CREDIT: Shutterstock


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If the minimum wage were increased to $15 an hour, prices at fast food restaurants would rise by an estimated 4.3 percent, according to a new study. That would mean a McDonald’s Big Mac, which currently goes for $3.99, would cost about 17 cents more, or $4.16.

The study from Purdue University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management also found that in order to compensate for the higher cost of employee compensation at limited-service restaurants, or those without table service or tipping, if they decided to change food sizes rather than prices, the Big Mac would shrink somewhere between 12 and 70 percent.

The price increases would be a good deal larger if the minimum wage were raised to $22 an hour, or average private sector pay: the authors found they would increase by 25 percent, raising the price of a Big Mac by about a dollar.

The study notes that it doesn’t take into account the costs of turnover or any savings gained from higher wages. “People often hypothesize that if you raise pay and offer benefits, turnover will go down. I don’t think we answered the question of whether that reduces turnover,” Richard Ghiselli, professor and head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, said in a press release. In 2013, the turnover rate for franchises was 93 percent, and it can cost $4,700 per worker who leaves. A previous study found that for every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, turnover drops by 2.2 percent, and a $15 wage would come with $5.2 billion in savings for the fast food industry.

That study also found that between the extra money from higher prices, savings from lower turnover, and greater overall economic growth, the fast food industry could easily cover the increased costs of having to pay a $15 minimum wage without reducing any jobs and still have money left over. Other research has found that all employers could react to higher minimum wage costs in the same way — through savings from reduced turnover, higher prices, improved efficiency, and increased demand — and therefore avoid layoffs.

Real world evidence also supports the idea that fast food would deal with higher wages without cutting jobs. In the face of a planned minimum wage increase in Georgia and Alabama, for example, fast food restaurants were going to respond by raising employees’ performance standards. A major review of all the available research on how minimum wage increases impact job growth found that it’s close to zero, and state-level reviews found that those that have raised wages over recent decades haven’t hurt job growth.

The research showing that the fast food industry has ways to cope with a $15 minimum wage comes as workers in that industry, who have staged widespread strikes over the past three years demanding they be paid at least that much, have experienced recent victories. San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles have raised their minimum wages to that level, while fast food workers across the state of New York notched a recent victory that means they will likely be guaranteed that minimum. A $15 minimum wage proposal has even reached Congress.

Tags Fast Food Workers,
Minimum Wage

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raybond
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) unveiled a new bill this week that would make it easier for workers to form a union and negotiate a contract free from employer retaliation or foot-dragging. As he actively courts union endorsements of his presidential candidacy, Sanders’ latest move also draws a strong contrast with his Republican opponents in the presidential race, who have almost unanimously backed “right-to-work” laws that would weaken labor unions.

“Millions of Americans who today want to join unions, who understand that collective bargaining will raise their wages and income, are unable to do so because of the coercive and often illegal behavior of their employers,” Sanders said Tuesday, citing evidence that unions dramatically improve wages and benefits for their workers.

Sanders added that his bill will send a strong message both to workers struggling to organize and to their employers. “We will no longer tolerate CEOs who fire workers for exercising their constitutional right to form a union,” he said. “We will no longer tolerate CEOs who threaten to move plants to China if their workers vote in favor of a union. We will no longer tolerate CEOs and managers who intimidate or threaten pro-union workers. And we will no longer tolerate CEOs who refuse to negotiate a first contract with workers who have voted to join unions.”

Should the Workplace Democracy Act become law — which is unlikely in the current Congress, where Republicans control both chambers — employers would be forced to recognize a union when a majority of workers in a bargaining unit sign a union card. Currently, employers can choose to voluntarily recognize the union when this happens — known as a “card check” — or they could demand an election monitored by the National Labor Relations Board. When the latter occurs, management often tries to discourage the workers from voting to organize.

This happened recently to fast food workers at the Jimmy Johns sandwich chain in Baltimore, where management refused to recognize their union, and retaliated by firing a lead organizer. Jimmy Johns workers in other cities, such as Minneapolis, have had to go through an NLRB election despite gathering a majority of signed cards.

Two online newsrooms have also recently struggled with the unionization process.

Just this week, writers at Al Jazeera America won a contentious NLRB election to form a union after their management refused to recognize that an overwhelming majority of the staff had signed cards. The vote tallied this week at 32 in favor and five against. Management also unsuccessfully attempted to keep nine editors out of the union.

It is standard practice for workers to be subjected to threats, interrogation, harassment, surveillance, and retaliation for union activity.

Similarly, last year, management at the progressive watchdog site Media Matters for America refused to recognize their workers through a “card check.” The staff wrote at the time: “Not only is management subjecting Media Matters employees to arduous NLRB procedures, the actions of their attorneys indicate Media Matters executives object so tenaciously to our union that they appear willing to prevent employees from ever having the opportunity to vote on the matter. Many Media Matters employees feel betrayed.” They too ended up winning their election.

Had Sanders’ bill been in place, these and many other workplaces would have been able to unionize much more quickly and easily, and get down to the difficult process of bargaining an initial contract.

“To understand how important [Sanders’ bill] is, just look at the difference between the U.S. and Canada,” Ross Eisenbrey, the vice president of the think tank Economic Policy Institute, told ThinkProgress. “In the U.S., union density has fallen to just 6 percent in private sector, but it’s over 30 percent in Canada, where they have card check and first contract arbitration laws, which means they’re still able to organize.”

Sanders’ bill also aims to speed up and protect workers during the contract negotiation phase. He explained this week: “Under our bill, companies will not be allowed to deny or delay a first contract with workers who have voted to join a union. If companies refuse to seriously negotiate a first contract, this bill would require binding arbitration and the completion of a first contact in less than 6 months.”

Eisenbrey told ThinkProgress that his team’s research has shown that in the U.S. a depressingly large percentage of first-time union contract negotiations not only drag on for multiple years, but many never reach a contract at all.

“At that point, the employees often get discouraged and end up voting the union out,” he said. “But it some provinces of Canada that give unions the right to forced arbitration, including Manitoba, our research found that businesses who went through the arbitration were more likely to survive.”

Though it’s illegal for employers to fire or otherwise retaliate against workers for unionizing, Eisenbrey notes that it’s extremely common, as U.S. labor law includes no real punishment for employers who do so. An EPI study from 2009 found that “it is standard practice for workers to be subjected to threats, interrogation, harassment, surveillance, and retaliation for union activity.”

Another bill just introduced by Democrats in Congress — the WAGE Act — would change that, by imposing fines against employers who break the law, tripling back pay awards, guaranteeing back pay regardless of a worker’s immigration status, and allowing victims of retaliation to seek damages in court.

“If a company fires someone for unionizing now, the worker is lucky if it takes them three years to get their job back,” explained Eisenbrey. “If they do find another job during that time, the wages they earn are subtracted from the back pay they’re awarded if they win their case. Our agencies are almost completely toothless. That’s why [the Workplace Democracy Act and WAGE Act] in combination would take us a long way to real labor law reform.”

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CashCowMoo
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$15 an hour? Problem solved.  -

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It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

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raybond
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your wright cash I think we should all fight for $2.00 an hour so everybody can have a job. Business is going to automate where ever it can no matter what the wage is.

Sounds like you are living in fear so you think everybody else should be.

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CashCowMoo
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Ray, I have always wondered if you ever owned a Che Guevera poster. Maybe Salvadore Allende.

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It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

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raybond
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hey cash here is another way its called boycott. That works I have seen it.

Cash as to your idiot question the answer is simply no.

Are you a fascist

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CashCowMoo
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I thought it was a very valid question based on our conversations over the years. None of you should be going to fast food places anyway.

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It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

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raybond
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pretty bold question for a person who toadies it up to the Russians

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Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

Posts: 3767 | From: beautiful California | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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