Calif. largest public employees union set to strikeSome 95,000 California civil service workers represented by Service Employees Local 1000 voted to strike Dec. 5 after contract negotiations hit a standstill on Nov. 22. The majority-women workforce, including administrative assistants, custodians, nurses, teachers and others, accused the state of bargaining unfairly and refusing to close the gender pay gap. According to Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker: “Since June, the state has had a ‘take it or leave it’ approach and has engaged in unlawful conduct and bad faith bargaining. The state has inexplicably failed to budge from its opening proposal on salary and benefits and has even bargained regressively.” (seiu1000.org/strike) The state’s proposed pay increases — a paltry 2.96 percent each year for four years — would be offset by cuts to employee and retiree health care plans. (sacbee.com, Nov. 22)Meanwhile, Gov. Jerry Brown’s bargaining team has refused to respond to the union’s concerns about the pervasive gender pay gap among California public workers. According to a Human Resources Department report, women earn 79.5 cents for every dollar men workers are paid. Despite this injustice, state unions representing more male-dominated professions such as engineers, lawyers and scientists have negotiated substantially higher pay raises. (sacbee.com, Oct. 28) Workers and supporters are urged to join picket lines throughout the state on Dec. 5.Federal injunction halts expansion of overtime eligibilityA federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on Nov. 22 against a new expansion of overtime eligibility for millions of workers. A predictable assortment of business groups, headed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation, as well as a coalition of 21 states, led the opposition to the new Department of Labor regulation. Under the old regulation, only workers with a yearly salary of $23,660 or less were qualified for overtime pay, meaning one-and-a-half times their regular hourly pay for work above 40 hours a week. The new regulation, which was scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1, raised that yearly salary to $47,476, which would grant the right to overtime pay to 4.2 million workers. Since Congress first enacted the rule in 1938, the Labor Department had raised the salary base repeatedly, until 2004. It hasn’t been raised since then. The DOL is considering an appeal to the judge’s ruling.The injunction is a gift on a silver platter to Trump, who has vowed to reverse many regulations instituted by the Obama administration. However, as the Nov. 23 New York Times observed, rescinding the rule could require a lengthy process similar to the one that produced it, and might lead to a “deal” raising the limit more gradually below the slated amount. The Times noted that “the politics of essentially withdrawing a planned salary increase from many workers could prove complicated for an incoming president elected on a message of improving workers’ economic circumstances.” Will Trump help middle-income workers or side with his wealthy business buddies and his own narrow interests as a boss?N.C. sweet potato farmworkers win back wages, union rightsIf you’ve enjoyed a sweet potato recently, chances are it was harvested in North Carolina by migrant farmworkers, who supply nearly half of all sweet potatoes in the U.S. Although the state’s minimum wage is currently $7.25, the workers who produce the state vegetable are paid piece rates that fall well below the minimum wage. (america.aljazeera.com, Nov. 27, 2014)In 2014, four farmworkers at Birch Farms filed a lawsuit against their employer for widespread wage theft and other labor law violations. With help from the AFL-CIO’s Farm Labor Organizing Committee, the workers negotiated a settlement that included over $7,000 in payouts to the four plaintiffs, remunerations for the rest of the workers and a three-year collective bargaining contract. In total, Birch Farms paid out over $200,000. Armed with union power, the workers have won an hourly pay raise to $10.72, as well as protection from unjust firing. (floc.com)Workers win contracts at Giant Food, SafewayThe 17,000 grocery workers at Giant Food and Safeway stores in mid-Atlantic states were prepared to strike on Nov. 18 to prevent takebacks such as higher health insurance costs — which would wipe out wage increases — and elimination of higher pay on Sundays. But they didn’t have to strike to get the three-year contract they ratified Nov. 16. Starting wages are now increased to over $9 an hour for members of Local 27 and Local 400 of the Food and Commercial Workers. Wages will increase more frequently based on months of service, not number of hours worked. The workers credit their win to widespread customer support for the union’s demands.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
LOOK OUT FOR… 1:10. Just a sensible kick to the face. McKechnie probably had bruises on her forehead after that. OVERALL CAMP FACTOR A real, real, REAL good time. View Comments MOST GIF-ABLE MOMENT We’re gonna be honest: Things around the Broadway.com offices have gotten really boring the last few weeks. It’s sweltering, it’s humid, and worst of all, no new Broadway shows open until after Labor Day. But never fear, dear readers, we’ve got a great way to spice up the month of August: Broadway.com Summer Camp! Each day for 31 days, we’re highlighting the campiest, craziest, wildest—and did we mention campiest?—videos we can find. Put on your gaudy bathing suit and dive in! WHY WE LOVE IT Jeremy F., who submitted this campy goldmine, writes, “This is what happens when three could-be Roses come together with a genius costume designer.” OK, so now that we’ve all imagined exactly what these three Tony winners’ “Rose’s Turn”s would sound like, let’s get to those costumes. A fur coat with a silvery inner lining. A frilly two-piece with a cape. A purple ensemble that would be perfect for that “sexy Grimace” Halloween costume we’ve been brainstorming. You know, your standard burlesque fare. But then comes that magical moment when they turn around, turn back, and they’re suddenly in the most elegant of gowns. How’s THAT for a gimmick?
RAKEYLA LITTLE of Obama Academy lands in the sand as she wins the Triple Jump eventPaige Phillips of Allderdice won four gold medals to lead the Dragons to the Girls title at the City League Track Championships, Phillips won the 100 and 300 meter hurdles, 200 meter dash and the Long Jump eventSAUNDRIA JACKSON of Westinghouse won the 400 meter dash event. (Photos by William McBride)GOLDEN GIRL—Paige Phillips of Allderdice won four gold medals to lead the Dragons to the Girls title at the City League Track Championships, Phillips won the 100 and 300 meter hurdles, 200 meter dash and the Long Jump eventEDDIE HARRIS of Obama Academy ran away from the field to win the 100 and 200 meter dashes.DISTANCE KING—Floyd Nichols of Allderdice won the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter races to lead ” The Dice” boys to the City League Track ChampionshipDISTANCE QUEEN—Kerianne Hensel of Allderdice won the 800, 1600. and 3200 meter races to help the Dragons win the City League Girls Track Championship.