News from the Daily Kos Labor
- Michigan Republicans add attacking unions to the lame-duck schedule this week in the war on workers
December, 8 2018
Gutting a minimum wage increase and paid sick leave law isn’t all the anti-worker evil Michigan Republicans are getting up to in their lame duck session before Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer takes office. They’re also attacking unions, Dave Jamieson reports:
One of the bills passed out of a state Senate committee this week would require unions representing government workers to hold and pay for recertification elections every other year.
Under the proposal, if the union doesn’t win votes from a majority of workers in the bargaining unit, regardless of how many workers vote in the election, it would lose its status as the workers’ designated representative, a process known as decertification.
It so happens that the workplace elections would take place between August and November of even-numbered years — the same time frame in which unions normally work on state and federal political campaigns and get-out-the-vote efforts, typically in favor of Democrats.
What a coincidence—a way to make life harder for unions and Democrats at the same time, limiting the resources available to both and letting Republicans take further aim at working people.
- Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez pull back the curtain on corporate CEO-driven ‘bipartisan’ House orientation
December, 6 2018
Congress is going to be changed by this year’s elections, because the incoming class of representatives includes some people who will not go along to get along, will not just say yes to power. Take Thursday’s bipartisan orientation and issue briefings—it’s the kind of thing we don’t usually hear much about. But thanks to Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, we now have a sense of how power works and how new members are pressured into the same old mold.x
Right now Freshman members of Congress are at a Ã¢ÂÂBipartisanÃ¢ÂÂ orientation w/ briefings on issues.
Invited panelists offer insights to inform new CongressmembersÃ¢ÂÂ views as they prepare to legislate.
# of Corporate CEOs weÃ¢ÂÂve listened to here: 4
# of Labor leaders: 0
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 6, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez later tweeted that the event was “cohosted by a corporate lobbyist group. Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn’t told to us in advance,” and highlighted the lack not just of labor voices but of other activists and community leaders.
And there’s no question that the event was designed to teach new members where they rank and who they need to be deferential toward:x
Gary Cohen, former CEO Goldman Sachs addressing new members of Congress today: “You guys are way over your head, you don’t know how the game is played.”
No Gary, YOU don’t know what’s coming – a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits. https://t.co/ZLML2qzAW6
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) December 6, 2018
Yes. Yes yes yes. More of this, please! Show us the day-to-day of how corporations get the power and the people aren’t heard, so that activists can better see what rooms we need to be getting into and finding ways to push back against things we didn’t even know were happening behind closed doors.
- Daily Kos Labor digest
December, 5 2018
New York City Uber and Lyft drivers are getting a raise after a vote by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission:
This new rule will go into effect in 20 days, and it will require drivers to be paid at least $27.86 an hour, which translates to $17.22 after expenses. According to a study from TLC, most drivers currently earn around $11.90 an hour. This change increases the yearly earnings of drivers by $9,000.
“Not homeless. Just a high school teacher,” one Idaho street musician’s sign reads.
- Michigan Republican legislature votes to gut minimum wage and paid sick leave
December, 5 2018
Michigan Republicans just voted to gut the minimum wage and paid sick leave bills they themselves passed a few months ago. Confusing? Just another Republican effort to block democracy and hurt working people at the same time. A minimum wage increase and paid sick leave measure were headed for voters’ ballots this November, so Republicans passed those bills to prevent voters from having a say. Then, after the election, they moved quickly to weaken the policies. The state Senate had voted on that last week, and the state House got to it Tuesday evening.
The minimum wage law would have increased the state’s meager $9.25 per hour minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2022, and included a $12 per hour minimum for tipped employees. The Republican changes slow the increase to $12.05 per hour by 2030, and caps the increase for tipped workers at $4.58 per hour.
Adjusted for inflation, the new minimum wage increase could end up being a pay cut for the state’s lowest earners.
The paid sick time law would require employers to provide 72 hours of sick time annually, or nine days, while allowing one hour of sick time accrual for every 30 hours worked. The Republican amendment would reduce the number of sick days to four and exempts businesses with fewer than 50 employees, which represent about 1 million of the state’s roughly 4.2 million workers. It would also require employees to work 40 hours to earn one hour of medical leave.
Republicans couldn’t face voters with arguments against a $12 minimum wage and paid sick leave on the ballot, so they did what comes naturally to them: dirty tricks. The plan now goes to outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.
- Philadelphia may be next city to pass a fair workweek law: This week in the war on workers
December, 1 2018
On-call scheduling is one of the worst common and legal abuses inflicted on service workers that non-service workers may know nothing about. The practice, in which bosses don’t give workers set schedules but force them to be available at the drop of a hat, can make it virtually impossible to hold a second job; hugely complicates childcare arrangements for workers who are parents; and means that workers don’t know what their income will be week to week. Laws to curb the worst scheduling abuses have started to gain some momentum, but they’re still rare.
Philadelphia, though, may become the next city to pass a fair workweek bill, with a measure introduced by Councilmember Helen Gym scheduled for Dec. 6 city council vote:
The bill requires eligible employers to start giving their employees a good-faith estimate of their work schedule when they’re hired. That doesn’t have to be a precise weekly schedule, but it must include things like the average number of work hours employees will be scheduled on each week, whether they’ll be needed for on-call shifts, and times they can and cannot be expected to work. Starting in 2020, eligible employers will also have to post detailed work schedules 10 days in advance; that time frame changes to 14 days in 2021. If hours aren’t included in the designated work schedule, employees can decline to work them.
What gives Philly’s bill teeth is that, if employers change the posted work schedule after that 10 or 14 day limit, they’ll also have to pay the employee a “predictability pay” fee, in addition to the employee’s hourly wage for the hours in question.
Philadelphia would join New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, and Emeryville, California, as well as the state of Oregon in having a fair workweek law.
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