News from the Daily Kos Labor
- Disney is using ‘tax cut bonus’ to try to force union workers to accept low pay
February, 20 2018
Disney got some positive press for saying it would give its workers a $1,000 tax cut bonus—but it’s using the bonus to try to force some of its lower-paid workers to accept a bad deal at the bargaining table. The entertainment giant carefully specified that the bonuses would go to union workers “currently working under existing union contracts”—and that doesn’t apply to everyone.
They say rank-and-file workers in December voted 93% against Disney’s most recent offer of a 50-cent-an-hour raise over the next two years, coupled with a $200 signing bonus. Most unionized Disney World employees make less than $11 an hour, according to the union.
Only 3,000 make more than $15 an hour. The union says the average hourly wage for its members is $10.71.
Eric Clinton, president of the Unite Here local at the theme park, said Disney is forcing the union to accept that same rejected offer for its members to receive the $1,000 bonus due to other Disney employees. […]
He said the union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint alleging that the demand amounts to punishing members for engaging in legally protected contract negotiations.
This maneuver by Disney shows what a load of bull these “tax cut bonuses” are to begin with—Republicans cut the corporate tax forever, but Disney isn’t offering its workers a raise that will be with them next year and the year after. It’s offering a one-time bonus while trying to low-ball on wages. Not just while trying to low-ball on wages—to use the bonus as bait to get workers to accept low pay. We see you, Disney.
- This week in the war on workers: Who will be hurt most if Supreme Court rules against public unions?
February, 17 2018
Who’s going to lose out the most if (when) the Supreme Court deals a body blow to public sector unions in the Janus case?
While the outcome of the case will affect about 17 million public-sector workers across the country, black women in particular could be hurt by Janus, as they are disproportionately represented in public sector jobs. They make up 17.7 percent of public-sector workers, or about 1.5 million workers.
Black women have traditionally faced a double pay gap—a gender pay gap and a racial wage gap. EPI research has shown that black women are paid only 65 cents of the dollar that their white male counterparts are paid. However, unions help reduce these pay gaps. Working black women in unions are paid 94.9 percent of what their black male counterparts make, while nonunion black women are paid just 91 percent of their counterparts.
Wounding that is part of the Republican payoff for stealing a Supreme Court seat.
- Fast food workers mark fiftieth anniversary of Memphis sanitation strike with day of action
February, 12 2018
February 12 is the fiftieth anniversary of the Memphis sanitation workers strike, and to mark the occasion, thousands of fast food workers across the country walked off the job. In Memphis itself:
Seeing the rally nearby, 28-year-old Burger King employee Robin Curtis said she made a split-second decision to walk out on her job of about six months, telling her manager, “Time for a change.”
“To make a change, if I have to quit, I will,” said Curtis, who is working multiple jobs as she raised two children in South Memphis.
Bridget Hughes, a local mom of three, has worked in fast-food for 10 years. She spoke at the rally.
“Low wage workers today here in Kansas City and across the nation are carrying on the tradition of Dr. King and the sanitation workers. Every day, working people are overcoming our divisions and organizing together to win better for all of us. We know that McDonald’s and these billion-dollar companies are trying to rig the political and economic system against us. Are we going to let them do that? If we are going to win, we must use our strength in numbers and come together as one people.”
Check out more scenes from the strikes and rallies below.
- This week in the war on workers: What do minimum wage increases mean for jobs?
February, 10 2018
A study last year claimed that Seattle’s minimum wage had hurt low-income workers, a claim that went against both the vast majority of previous minimum wage studies and Seattle’s booming economy. But a new study, co-authored by UMass economics professor Arindrajit Dube and incorporating 137 minimum wage increases, finds—again—that raises don’t hurt jobs:
On average, minimum-wage increases eliminated jobs paying below the new minimum, but added jobs paying at or above the new minimum. The two changes effectively cancel each other out. […]
The decline in jobs paying less than the new minimum wage is offset by an increase in those paying more. Jobs further up the pay scale are largely unaffected, as economists would expect — the minor fluctuations beyond $4 above the new minimum wage are not statistically significant, the study found.
Yet another data point—or 137 of them—for voters (looking at you, Massachusetts) and lawmakers alike to keep in mind as they consider future minimum wage increases.
- DeVos whines about ‘hurtful’ criticism on same day Education Department locks out protesters
February, 9 2018
A group of union leaders, teachers, parents and students tried to deliver a report card to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos now that she’s been on the job for a year … but they were locked out. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia were at the head of a group of about 100 protesters bearing 80,000 failing report cards from people across the country, but though they’d requested an appointment, they were literally locked out of the Department of Education for not having an appointment.
In the report cards, parents and educators leveled criticisms like “education is not and should not be treated as a business,” and “Ms. DeVos should think about the children whose lives she is making infinitely harder with her actions.” […]
“This is a remarkable moment,” Ms. Weingarten told the crowd, adding of the department: “They knew that teachers and parents and students from all over the country have actually taken their time to say what is going on in their schools. And here on Betsy DeVos’s anniversary, this is the first time that I have ever been to this building where we were not let in — where the educators, where the students, where the parents of America were locked out of the federal Department of Education.”
Eskelsen Garcia said, outside the locked doors, that “she is showing us who she is and we have always believed exactly who she is.” Perhaps DeVos’s staff were trying to protect her delicate fee-fees, as she has recently said that:
“It’s hurtful to me when I’m criticized for not upholding the rights of students, the civil rights of students,” DeVos told a small group of media outlets, as reported by Politico.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” she added. “I have to turn it back around and say why do I keep getting criticized for that? I mean, nothing that I’ve done would suggest otherwise.”
There are no upcoming events.