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#61
caltrek

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Kentucky Teachers’ Walkout Catalyzes More Advocacy

 

https://ourfuture.or...r-more-advocacy

 

Introduction:

 

(OurFuture.org) Headlines about teachers’ strikes may have moved on from Kentucky and Oklahoma to Arizona and Colorado, but the uprisings these wildcat teachers started have not, according to numerous sources I’ve spoken with in Louisville – Kentucky’s largest school district, with over 100,000 students.

 

Kentucky is where teachers staged widespread “sick-outs” to protest state lawmakers’ handling of pension reform and school funding. After teachers won record new spending for public education in the state and then pushed legislators to override the governor’s veto of the bill, there were still plenty of vows from teachers to “keep fighting” for a permanent pension fix and more new revenue sources for schools. But will they?

 

A Wake-up Call

 

“The pension fight woke everyone up,” says Tiffany Dunn, a National Board Certified middle school English as a second language teacher, who has helped found and lead a number of grassroots teacher advocacy groups including Save Our Schools Kentucky.

 

“Before that, hardly anyone knew or cared” about a range of issues Dunn sees as new targets for teacher activism, including the state governor’s recent actions to stack the state education board with new appointees and a new leader who are charter school advocates. “Most teachers thought [these issues were] just a JCPS thing,” she says, referring to Jefferson County Public Schools, which includes Louisville and the surrounding county. But now she sees that teachers who first engaged on the pension issue are turning their attention to “all the issues.”

 

Recent actions state lawmakers have taken, including passing new legislation to bring charter schools to the state, “could have been stopped if we had the current level of activism,” Dunn believes. “But now at least people are aware.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#62
caltrek

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Tennessee Factory Workers Describe Sweatshop Conditions

 

https://www.courthou...hop-conditions/

 

Introduction:

 

(Courthouse News) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (CN) – Seven former employees of a Tennessee sewing factory claim in court that the owner called in an immigration raid instead of handing over unpaid wages, and told them they would need to wear diapers to work because they weren’t allowed to use the restroom.

 

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Knoxville federal court, the workers allege Tammy Walker, owner of American Made Apparel, violated federal human-trafficking laws while running her business like a sweatshop and exploiting their immigration status.

 

“Walker has told each of the plaintiffs in this case at various times that if they quit their jobs and found a new employer she would call [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] on the plaintiffs’ new employer,” the complaint states. “As a result of these threats, the plaintiffs stayed employed longer with the defendant than they otherwise would have despite her failure to pay them their overdue wages.”

 

All of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are undocumented immigrants, according to the complaint. As a result of an ICE raid at the factory on Feb. 14, three of them were detained but then released on bond “pending further deportation proceedings.”

 


  • Yuli Ban likes this

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#63
caltrek

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The Right Lashes Out at Uprising Teachers

 

https://ourfuture.or...acher-uprisings

 

Introduction:

 

(Our Future.org) .As mass teacher walkouts and protests ebb in Arizona and Colorado, bold new actions are ramping up in North Carolina. This spring’s teacher uprisings may well last through the end of this school year.

 

On the whole, teachers across the nation have strung together an impressive series of victories, including salary raises, pension reforms, and school funding increases. And teachers have vowed to take their unmet demands into November elections to contest their opponents at the ballot box.

 

But the instincts of retribution that tend to drive rightwing politicians and their operatives have already spurred them to craft ways to strike back against teachers.

 

Rightwing Retributions

 

Even during the walkouts, Republican lawmakers and their supporters have tried to intimidate and silence teachers. But these teacher uprisings have a widely accepted moral standing that will be very difficult for their opponents to undermine, despite the big money aimed at opposing teachers.

 

Leading into the two-day teacher walkout in Colorado, Republican legislators introduced a billthat would lead to fines and potentially up to six month’s jail time for the striking teachers. The bill was pulled, when it became clear even some Republicans weren’t too keen on the measure.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#64
Erowind

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I think the labour is still very important, the machine cannot replace a skilled employee and the company still need them to operate the machine. 

 

Maybe not yet, but the way things are going with advances in robotics and software, over the coming decades both blue-collar and white-collar workers will start to find themselves becoming obsolete through no fault of their own.

 

If you can program a safe, self-driving forklift that doesn't take breaks or make lethal mistakes, you can bet companies will phase out the human drivers pronto. If you can program some software that handles accounting 24/7, there go your accountants. If you can program some programmers, then all bets are off because human labor is officially done for!

 

And all of this only for the cost to purchase them, and the cost of whatever energy it takes to power these things - way cheaper than paying for a human workforce that needs to eat, sleep, take bathroom breaks etc.

 

But who's going to maintain these expensive and complicated machines, you ask? The answer is, probably other machines! I can definitely see little roving engineer-bots that are basically R2D2s. All they'd need is a database of blueprints for the proper function of their charges, troubleshoot, oil them, swap parts, update software drivers occasionally.

 

 

Then we'd better hope AI will be virtuous enough to be willing to change our "diapers," feed and pamper us without asking for something in return (like they do to humans in the Matrix).

 

 

Wall-E%2Bobese%2Bhumans%2B-%2Bcropped.jp

 

 

I've said before and I'll say it again, the world of Wall-E can be avoided in a post-labor society if emphasis is taken off of consumption to fill the void, but placed on self-enrichment. Wall-E is basically the nightmare that happens when a company (Buy N Large in this case) raises everyone to be passive consumers of food and entertainment. I say, quit working, learn guitar, learn to draw, climb a mountain, explore space!

 

And hey, if some people don't like it, they can find another planet and establish an automation-free workers' paradise over there.

 

 

Someone needs to write a short sci-fi story about resistance members disconnecting consumer slaves from the network in a post-scarce world to show them the light. Teams of black clad hackers pulling the plug on whole star ships and insertion teams killing robot security and blowing up server farms.



#65
caltrek

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Connecticut Legislature Votes to Boost Wages for Direct Care Workers

 

https://nonprofitqua...t-care-workers/

 

Introduction:

 

(Nonprofit Quarterly) Averting a threatened strike and following a vote by the state house, the Connecticut Senate voted earlier this week 29-4 to approve hikes for 19,000 union and nonunion workers who care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The bill was then quickly signed into law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy. These direct care workers, many of whom work for private nonprofit group homes supported by state funding, had not seen a raise in over ten years. In this case, as we reported recently, the nonprofit employers supported a strike by their own employees to ensure the state-backed a rate increase.

 

The minimum wage for these workers, which is now around $11.20 per hour, will increase to $14.75 per hour, according to SEIU 1199, whose 2,500 members staffing 250 group homes had threatened a strike last week. The strike was called off when the Senate agreed to raise the direct care worker wage floor. Workers earning more than $14.75 per hour will receive a five percent increase.

 

In a campaign ad targeting state senators, workers explained that low pay forces them to work as much as 80 or 90 hours a week. “You know what SB 400 means to me? More time with my family,” one worker said.

 

Many direct care workers love what they do, but it has been increasingly difficult for them to make ends meet as state legislatures squeeze their Medicaid budgets. NPQ has written frequently about the “wage ghettos” created by underfunding of nonprofit direct services.

 

“For far too long, the people who provide care to our most vulnerable neighbors have been underpaid for their critical work,” said Governor Dan Malloy. “The action taken by the Senate today will ensure thy are compensated fairly.”

malloy-signs-hike.jpg

 

Gov. Malloy Signs Law Providing Wage Increases for Workers Who Care for People with Disabilities.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#66
Alislaws

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​...

Someone needs to write a short sci-fi story about resistance members disconnecting consumer slaves from the network in a post-scarce world to show them the light. Teams of black clad hackers pulling the plug on whole star ships and insertion teams killing robot security and blowing up server farms.

 

 

This would be a great story, but my first thought was "that's a bit unfair on the robot security, they didn't ask to be programmed that way".

 

You could add a whole spin on it by having the villains trying to approve the use of sentient security AIs and robots, not for more effectiveness, but so they can charge the resistance with murder (instead of just destruction of property) and massively escalate the violence they can use to subjugate them. 

 

The resistance would need to struggle with the moral issues raised by their enemies attempting this. 

 

Its a bit of a distraction from the central "total consumerism without need to work can be mindless and horrifying" subject though.


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#67
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Of course, nobody who argues that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats will comment on this story.  At least that is my prediction.

 

 

Supreme Court Deals a Big Blow to Workers’ Rights

 

https://www.motherjo...workers-rights/

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) In a major defeat for workers, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that companies can force employees to seek damages individually, rather than as a group. The decision allows employers to require that workers pursue claims in individual arbitration hearings—which tend to be more favorable to employers—and bar them from filing class-action lawsuits or seeking group arbitration hearings. 

 

In a 5-4 decision, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 allows employers to require one-on-one arbitration hearings. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called Gorsuch’s decision “egregiously wrong” in a highly critical dissent that she read from the bench, a relatively rare move that signals strong opposition.

 

Ginsburg argued that the majority opinion violates workers’ legal right to engage in collective action. She wrote, “The inevitable result of today’s decision will be the underenforcement of federal and state statutes designed to advance the well-being of vulnerable workers.” Her dissent was joined by the court’s three other liberal justices: Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor.

 

Gorsuch’s decision caps a long run of Supreme Court decisions that have greatly expanded companies’ ability to require customers and employees to sign contracts that mandate arbitration, instead of allowing them to pursue claims in open court. Unlike court rulings, decisions made by arbitrators are usually kept private, making it difficult for other employees or customers to learn about wrongdoing. And unlike judges, arbitrators are generally paid by the companies that use their services. There is usually no right to appeal an arbitrator’s decision.

 

As Ginsburg pointed out, it is often not practical for workers to go through arbitration to recover small damages. “But by joining together with others, similarly circumstanced,” she added, “employees can gain effective redress for wage underpayment commonly experienced.” The former federal judge Richard Posner summarized the problem with individual suits in 2004: “The realistic alternative to a class action is not 17 million individual suits, but zero individual suits, as only a lunatic or a fanatic sues for $30.”

 

180521_scotus-2.jpg?w=990

P_Wei/Getty


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#68
caltrek

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More on the story described in the article above:

 

Employee-Arbitration Demands Upheld by Supreme Court

 

https://www.courthou...-supreme-court/

 

Extract:

 

(Courthouse News) – “Congress never endorsed a policy favoring arbitration where one party sets the terms of an agreement while the other is left to ‘take it or leave it,’” she said.

 

…Ginsburg called it inevitable that today’s decision will led to “the underenforcement of federal and state statutes designed to advance the well-being of vulnerable workers.”

 

Violations of minimum-wage and overtime laws are already widespread, the dissent continues, pointing to one study that found that low-wage workers in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles alone “lose nearly $3 billion in legally owed wages each year.”

 

Ginsburg said that, in addition to the expectation that prohibitive costs will far outweigh potential recoveries, “fear of retaliation may also deter potential claimants from seeking redress alone.”

 

“If these untoward consequences stemmed from legislative choices, I would be obliged to accede to them,” the dissent concludes. “But the edict that employees with wage and hours claims may seek relief only one-by-one does not come from Congress. It is the result of take-it-or-leave-it labor contracts harking back to the type called ‘yellow dog,’ and of the readiness of this court to enforce those unbargained-for agreements. The FAA (Federal Arbitration Act) demands no such suppression of the right of workers to take concerted action for their ‘mutual aid or protection.’”

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#69
Alislaws

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Of course, nobody who argues that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats will comment on this story.  At least that is my prediction.

 

The people who refused to vote for Hillary in protest against the DNC's conduct of the primaries, (which was atrocious for an organisation that is literally named "the democratic party") did not do it because they thought trump and the republicans were going to be a better choice than the democrats.

 

They did it because as long as everyone who wants an actual left wing on US politics, keeps supporting the DNC and its centre right agenda, then they will never ever get what they want.

 

Its very easy to say "put aside what you want for the greater good" but its never the centrists who are giving up their hopes and dreams is it?

 

Even after losing the election, and all the backlash and the emails scandals etc. the DNC is still undermining more progressive candidates and trying to force their choices on voters.

 

The DNC and Hillary had plenty of options available, they could have put forward some genuinely left wing policies, or bought Bernie on as VP or something, they chose not reach out to that section of the voter base because they thought they didn't need it. They were wrong.

 

Refusing to vote for her may not have been the right decision, but it was their decision and  everyone who expects people to vote as they're told regardless of how much you ignore and marginalise them needs to deal with reality. 



#70
caltrek

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There is a subtle difference between "reasons for not voting for Hillary" and arguing that "there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats."

 

Perhaps I have not understood correctly, but it seems like a lot of folks have been trying to argue the latter point. 

 

There has also seemed to be resistance to the notion that it is tactically smarter to attempt take control of the Democratic party than to support a third party or drop out of the electoral process entirely.  Discussion on that second point might more properly be held in another thread.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#71
Alislaws

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My take is that you're right, a lot of people do reduce it to "there's no difference between voting for Hillary and voting for trump" but I think there is an implied "I don't get a government that represents me either way" addition to it that I was seeking to highlight. As opposed to it being a common and sincere belief that they are equivalent in the amount of harm they might cause. 

 

I think the USA would be doing better now if things had gone the other way (in either the democratic primaries, or the election itself) but I also think there has been something of a resurgence in more grass roots left wing movements in the USA as a result of this sudden swing to the right, that may not have occurred if Hillary won. 

 

I know people are suffering, and that its a ​huge risk but in the long term things like the latest tax changes, and the more overt racism, sexism and wealth based discrimination that have come with Trump, might be what is needed for people to finally stop pretending they will all be millionaires soon, and start voting in their own interests. Like a kind of anti New Deal. 

 

Also its tough to argue that racism and sexism are no longer issues (and that political correctness has gone "too far"), when a racist sexist has just been elected to the presidency. 



#72
caltrek

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^^^You make excellent points.

 

What I think is missing is an appreciation of the institutional aspects of what is going on.  Institutions like the courts, the press, the federal bureaucracy, etc.  Those institutions are under grave threat form Trump and his allies.  Moreover, their loss of legitimacy only plays into the hands of Trumpians, who insist that government cannot be a positive force in society.  Many people miss that it is not a positive force precisely because Trumpians sabotage (or at least attempt to sabotage)  it at every possible turn.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#73
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Did the Supreme Court Just Gut the New Deal?

 

http://prospect.org/...st-gut-new-deal

 

Introduction:

 

(American Prospect) Yesterday, the Supreme Court’s five-justice conservative bloc empowered employers to require employees, as a condition of employment, to forego any joint legal remedy for unlawful abuse. It did so despite the core guarantee of two landmark New Deal statutes, that workers have a federal right to engage in “concerted activity” for their “mutual aid or protection.”

 

During the oral argument in the case, as I noted in the Prospect on January 4, some members of the conservative bloc seemed to be considering tempering or qualifying a result so blatantly at odds with the 1932 Norris-LaGuardia Act (NLGA) and the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and with 75 years of subsequent court decisions interpreting those laws. But Monday’s decision—in the opinion written by Justice Neil Gorsuch—reflects no such caution.

 

In their briefs and in oral arguments, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its allies, including the Trump Justice Department, spun their side of the case as simply a modest extension of the conservative majority’s well-established, if notoriously business-friendly precedents interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act. Most media coverage of the decision has accepted that frame. But in fact, as two scholars warned while the case percolated through the lower federal courts, a complete business victory would not primarily affect arbitration law, but “would effectively end the labor laws.” At least for the millions of non-union workers lacking any meaningful safeguard against employer illegality other than joint court or administrative relief, this prospect cannot be dismissed as hyperbole—or, as Justice Gorsuch dismissed Justice Ruth Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion, as “apocalyptic.”

 

Indeed, the single most telling feature of what Justice Ginsburg labeled an “egregiously wrong” decision, is not what it adds to Court precedents interpreting the 1925 Federal Arbitration Act to force employment, consumer, and other disputes against corporations into individual arbitration proceedings, often secretive and otherwise stacked against individual complainants. On the contrary, what stands out is that Gorsuch went out of his way to trivialize—evidently seeking to gut—the provisions of federal labor law that Justice Stephen Breyer had called, during the oral argument, “the entire heart of the New Deal.”

ap_17284415628381.jpg?itok=9PKwvTQV

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#74
caltrek

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Apparently, Congress and Trump have decided to declare class war upon the workers of this country. One wonders if the working class will notice.  

 

 

A Great Deal for Banks, Not So Much for American Jobs

 

http://prospect.org/...h-american-jobs

 

 

Introduction:

(American Prospect) On Thursday, a bill progressives had dubbed the “Bank Lobbyist Act” was signed into law by President Trump after passing the House 258–159 this week. The bill rolls back a number of Dodd-Frank regulations in order to aid a “suffering” banking sector—even though banks have reported record-high profits this year. And while the bill was on the floor in each house, Republican leaders refused to include amendments that would have limited banks’ offshoring of American jobs.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#75
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Bernie Sanders: 'We Need to Shame Disney' Over Poverty Wages

 

https://www.alternet...r-poverty-wages

 

Introduction:

 

(Alternet) Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) hosted a forum with labor groups and employees of the Disney corporation in California on Saturday and castigated one of the wealthiest and most powerful media companies in the world for showering its executives and investors with millions of dollars while lower-level workers continue with "poverty wages" that make it nearly impossible to make ends meet.

 

"We are talking about a company that has received huge tax breaks from the tax payers here in Anaheim, but in addition to that, received over $1 billion in tax breaks from Trump's tax giveaway to the wealthy," Sanders told the crowd Saturday morning at the event that took place near the company's iconic Disneyland theme park. "The time is now to have an economy that works for everyone, not just a handful of billionaires."

deswnqpw0aei3pv.jpg?itok=F2xyr6Vr


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#76
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In Test Case for Gig Economy, UK Court Backs Contractor

 

https://www.courthou...cks-contractor/

 

Introduction:

 

LONDON (AP) — A London plumber who claimed he was unfairly dismissed after years of working as a contractor won a court ruling Wednesday giving him employment rights, in a closely watched case testing labor rules in the so-called gig economy.

 

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that Gary Smith, who worked for Pimlico Plumbers full-time for six years, was entitled to rights such as sick pay and minimum wage. Smith sought to reduce his hours following a heart attack, while the company argued he wasn’t entitled to such protection because he was a self-employed contractor.

 

His case will now return to an employment tribunal to sort out his unfair dismissal claim as a “worker.”

 

The case lays bare the many problems that remain in the ongoing debate about independent contractors in the gig economy, where people work job-to-job with little security and few employment rights.

 

Some companies have argued that the gig system provides lifestyle benefits for people who want flexibility, but the arrangements also allow companies to avoid many expenses associated with hiring full-time employees.

AP18164339621203.jpg?resize=400%2C282

Former Pimlico Plumbers employee Gary Smith leaves the UK Supreme Court, Parliament Square, London, Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

(Yui Mok/PA via AP)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#77
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EPA Backpedals on Suspension of Farmworker Protections

 

https://www.courthou...er-protections/

 

Introduction:

 

(Courthouse News) – The Environmental Protection Agency backed off the temporary suspension of federal requirements aimed at protecting farm workers on Thursday, following a lawsuit filed by three states two weeks ago.

 

“EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has backed down to do what the law requires: implement critical safeguards for agricultural workers,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “This is an important victory for some of America’s hardest workers and for the Rule of Law.”

 

Becerra and two other attorneys general — from New York and Maryland — sued the EPA last month for failing to enforce a key provision of the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard requiring agricultural employers to give workers training sessions aimed at helping them avoid pesticide exposure.

 

The EPA implemented the requirement in 2015, after multiple studies found that acute and long-term pesticide exposure could be better avoided through more education.

 

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood called the suspension a threat to worker health.

 

GettyImages-468867687.jpg?w=990

narongcp/iStock


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#78
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Wage Theft: To Fight the Crime, Address the Motive

 

 

https://ourfuture.or...ress-the-motive

 

Introduction:

 

(Our Future.com) The American economy rests ultimately on trust, a mutual understanding between employers and employees that each side, in the end, will behave honorably. A fair day’s wage, as the classic formulation puts it, for a fair day’s work.

 

This covenant gets broken, of course, on a regular basis. The most damaging betrayals? They come when employees put in that fair day’s work and don’t get paid a full fair day’s pay. Labor market analysts today have come to call these betrayals “wage theft,” and this thievery is thriving.

 

The employer culprits include the predictable fly-by-night operators we would expect. But the culprits also include, as an alarming new report details, veritable pillars of Corporate America, billion-dollar companies that can clearly afford to honor their side of our core employer-employee bargain.

 

These corporate pillars are committing their thievery on many fronts. They’re not paying employees for work performed “off the clock.” They’re stiffing workers on overtime and violating minimum wage laws. They’re requiring employees to buy particular work clothes and not compensating them for their outlays.

 

How widespread has this corporate wage theft become? Grand Theft Paycheck, a landmark new report from Good Jobs First and the Jobs with Justice Education Fund, has catalogued over 1,200 lawsuits since the year 2000 won by groups of workers who took their employer to court “to recover the pay they were wrongly denied.” Employers in these cases paid out $8.8 billion in penalties.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#79
caltrek

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From the report discussed in the above article:

 

GRAND THEFT PAYCHECK: THE LARGE CORPORATIONS SHORTCHANGING THEIR WORKERS’ WAGES

 

https://www.goodjobs...heft_report.pdf

 

 

(Good Jobs First.org) Many of the largest companies operating in the United States have fattened their profits by forcing employees to work off the clock or depriving them of required overtime pay. An extensive analysis of federal and state court records shows that these corporations have been embroiled in hundreds of lawsuits over what is known as wage theft and have paid out billions of dollars to resolve the cases. The list of the most penalized employers includes the giant retailer Walmart, as well as big banks, major telecommunications and technology companies, and a leading pharmaceutical producer. More than 450 large firms have each paid out $1 million or more in wage theft settlements.

 

These findings result from a yearlong compilation of records of collective action lawsuits. In this little-studied form of labor standards enforcement, groups of workers take their employer to court to recover the pay they were wrongly denied.

 

We identified more than 1,200 successful collective actions involving large companies that have been resolved since the beginning of 2000. In these cases, employers paid total penalties of $8.8 billion.

 

 We also compiled actions against large employers pursued by the U.S. Department of Labor and by regulatory agencies in eight states which enforce wage theft and provided data (California, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Washington). Combining the lawsuits with the state and federal administrative actions, we found 4,220 cases against large employers that generated total penalties of $9.2 billion


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


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caltrek

caltrek

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D.C. to Decide on Giving Its Servers a Raise

 

http://prospect.org/...s-servers-raise

 

Introduction:

 

(American Prospect) The “2026” pop-up bar occupies the basement of a two-story building in Washington’s trendy Dupont Circle neighborhood, where young professionals observe the tradition of the weekly happy hour with near-religious fervor. Upstairs, the parent bar, Rebellion, brims with the usual sounds of glasses clinking and laughter. Head to lower level, though, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks painting, reimagined for a new age. 

 

The dimly lit and almost-empty bar stretches to the end of the room. Two servers sit idle on their smartphones while the bartender finds ways to keep busy.

  

This not-so-happy hour is dolorous by design, part of a campaign by restaurant owners to depict a ballot measure, known as Initiative 77, as a threat to their workers. The measure will come before voters in the city’s primary elections on June 19. 

 

The initiative would gradually phase out the District’s current two-tiered wage system, under which tipped employees earn $3.33 an hour rather than the standard minimum wage of $12.50. If the measure passes, D.C. would join seven other states that have eliminated the sub-minimum wage, including California, Oregon, Nevada, and Montana. Supporters of Initiative 77 believe that a standardized wage would offer more stability and protect against the sexual harassment that service workers may be forced to tolerate for the sake of getting their tips. Opponents say that the measure will prove too costly for restaurants already struggling with thin profit margins and will lead to layoffs and higher prices for consumers. 

 

Under current law, employers may pay tipped workers less than the standard minimum wage so as long as their tips bring their pay up to that minimum (this known as the tip credit).  

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Charles Russo


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls





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