News from the Daily Kos Labor
- Possible IATSE strike could shut down much of Hollywood, this week in the war on workers
September, 25 2021
The International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) is expected to hold a strike vote in the coming week, after negotiations broke down between the union and the major film studios. The union, represents behind-the-scenes entertainment industry workers including cinematographers; camera operators; editors; wardrobe, makeup, and hair workers; stagecraft workers; and much more. Without them, movies and television shows and live shows from Broadway to stadiums cannot happen, and billions of dollars in profit are made possible by their work.
The workers are calling on the studios to treat “new media” as what it now is: media, no longer a new and unstable format that requires workers to make concessions. They’re calling for reasonable rest—basically a night’s rest and weekend breaks. And they need the pensions and health coverage they’ve worked for to remain secure and available to them for years to come.
Contracts with premium cable networks like HBO and Showtime are not expiring, though, so a potential strike would not affect those productions.
“On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members working across film and television, we stand in solidarity with our I.A.T.S.E. brothers, sisters and kin,” the leaders of other entertainment industry unions, including the Directors Guild of America, the Teamsters, SAG-AFTRA, and the Writers Guild of America, East, said in a statement. “The basic quality of life and living wage rights they’re fighting for in their negotiations are the issues that impact all of us who work on sets and productions.“
- U.S. child care system is heading for catastrophe, and the economic damage could be widespread
September, 22 2021
The child care crisis looks ready to turn into a child care catastrophe as workers head for higher-paying jobs—like Walmart—and daycare centers struggle to find enough staff to create spaces for parents to enroll their kids, day care centers close because if they can’t enroll enough kids they can’t pay the bills, and parents (overwhelmingly mothers) are forced to drop out of the workforce.
Restaurant owners have gotten a lot of attention for their complaints about the difficulty of finding workers, but the situation is much worse in child care: Restaurants are at 92.1% of prepandemic staffing levels, while child care is at just 87.9%, down 126,700 workers from the before times. And child care was already a major problem in the before times, with many families struggling to find affordable, reliable care for their kids and day care centers plagued with high staff turnover.
- ‘Build Back Better’ would bring 4 million jobs. It’s up to Congress, this week in the war on workers
September, 18 2021
Sen. Joe Manchin and just about every Republican—probably every single one, once the counting is done—are opposed to investing $3.5 trillion over a decade in revitalizing U.S. infrastructure. But let’s be clear: with that, they’re opposed to creating jobs.
Here’s the Economic Policy Institute’s analysis of the jobs impact: “Combined, the [Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act] and budget reconciliation package would provide fiscal support for more than 4 million jobs per year, on average, over the course of the 10-year budgeting window, through direct spending and increased indirect demand in related industries.”
But the combined number covers over the much larger impact of the reconciliation package: “On its own, the IIJA will provide fiscal support for 772,400 jobs per year, or 19% of the total jobs supported by the combined package. In comparison, the budget reconciliation is expected to support more than 3.2 million jobs per year, or 81% of the total jobs. The budget reconciliation’s outsize economic impact flows from its more significant financial commitment to public investments.”
Manufacturing would get 556,000 jobs.
Construction would get 312,000 jobs.
The reconciliation package’s investments in caregiving would mean 1.1 million jobs.
Investments in fighting climate change and protecting the environment would mean 763,000 jobs.
So tell us again, Joe, how slashing the plan to ribbons is being fiscally responsible.
- Want to fight economic and racial inequality at the same time? Think union
September, 6 2021
Happy Labor Day, if a Labor Day that represents the cut-off date for unemployment benefits for millions of people and on which the federal minimum wage hasn’t risen for well over a decade offers much to be happy about. But it is a day to celebrate workers—and the labor movement that has built what power U.S. workers have.
So let’s take a few minutes to make clear the difference that unions have made, both to their members and to all workers. That second point is an important one: Unions lower economic inequality. As union membership has dropped, the share of income going to the top 10% of people has risen. And higher union density means higher wages for nonunion workers, as employers are forced to try to keep up.
- U.S. marks Labor Day by letting unemployment aid expire for 7 million people
September, 6 2021
Labor Day is meant to celebrate U.S. workers. But this Labor Day will bring a major blow to more than 7 million workers left unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic: Their unemployment benefits will be expiring.
Three programs enacted in the March 2020 CARES Act and extended in the American Rescue Plan are ending: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which covers freelancers, gig workers, and others not traditionally eligible; Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which extends aid to long-term unemployed people who exhausted their state’s benefits period; and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), the $300 weekly boost to make unemployment insurance come closer to covering lost wages.
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