Posts Tagged ‘unions’

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Union membership in the United States, which has fallen to its lowest level in the postwar period, may finally have bottomed out.

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Opinions of unions even seem to have recovered from lows reached in 2010 and 2011—while young people (18-29) especially have a positive (55 percent favorable versus 29 percent unfavorable) view of unions.

Now, the employees of Gawker Media [ht: sm] have voted by a substantial margin (80 to 27) to form a union, “a first for a prominent digital media outlet.”

the appeal of a union was clear to the employees, whose careers have been buffeted by instability and layoffs during the Great Recession and the unsettled economic recovery that has followed.

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www.usnews 

Thousands of protesters calling for a $15 minimum wage and a union are demonstrating today outside the McDonald’s headquarters near Chicago during the annual shareholders’ meeting.

About 5,000 McDonald’s employees from across the US chanted: “We work, we sweat, put $15 in our cheque” as they marched towards the burger giant’s headquarters holding banners reading “McDonald’s: $15 and Union Rights, Not Food Stamps.”

“We’re here to tell McDonald’s and its shareholders to invest in the company and its workers instead of wealthy hedge fund managers and executives,” said Kwanza Brooks, a McDonald’s worker and mother of three from Charlotte, North Carolina, who is paid $7.25 an hour. “We’re tired of relying on food stamps to feed our own families. We need $15 and the right to form a union and we need it now.”

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In 2012, Indiana became the twenty-third state to adopt a so-called Right to Work law. Now, in another blow to unions, it has eliminated its Common Construction Wage system.

A Republican-backed measure that will repeal Indiana’s law setting wages for state and local government construction projects has been approved by Gov. Mike Pence. Mr. Pence, a Republican, signed the legislation Wednesday and said it would allow the free market to determine pay rather than government boards. Supporters estimate that the change will reduce project costs by as much as 20 percent by allowing more contractors to pay wages below union scale. Opponents dispute such savings will occur and say it will open the door for low-paying out-of-state contractors. The repeal takes effect in July.

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