Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is urging the NBA to hold its 2015 All-Star Game at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn — not Madison Square Garden, which is owned by Cablevision CEO James Dolan.
In an open letter to the NBA, de Blasio wrote, "A corporation crosses the line when it subjects its employees to unfair treatment and summary termination without just cause. We have a responsibility to stand up to such injustices — not reward them with the privilege of hosting an event as popular and prestigious as the 2015 NBA All-Star game. Cablevision — a company that has a franchise agreement — has refused to bargain in good faith, and this anti-worker stance is an affront to our values as New Yorkers."
Come below the fold for more news from the war on workers.
A fair day's wage
- SEIU, Change to Win, the AFL-CIO and the NEA filed amicus briefs asking the Supreme Court to uphold appellate court rulings striking down DOMA and California's Prop 8.
- A Vancouver, Washington, grain terminal has locked out unionized longshore workers, alleging sabotage and replacing the union workers with scabs.
- Chrysler is
moving jobs to Chinainvesting in Indiana plants, to the tune of nearly $374 million and 1,250 jobs.
- This, from an interview with Saru Jarayaman, is pretty disgusting:
DL: One example you gave in the book, a dishwasher, speaks perfect English but can’t move to a front of the house position. It was one of your first actions.
SJ: Oh, Restaurant Daniel? One of the only four-star restaurants in New York. We were approached by Latino bussers and runners who told us they had been training white workers for years who would then immediately make five times what they earned. Being one of the only four-star restaurants in New York, the waiters can earn up to $150,000 a year and the bussers and runners earn between $20,000 and $30,000, and these workers really were getting sick of training someone who would pass them and earn five times what they were earning. This is pretty common to the industry where workers of color are relegated to the lowest-paying jobs and don’t have the opportunity to move up even if they wanted to.
- States are cutting wage-and-hour enforcement, leading to a wage theft epidemic as employers face even less danger for refusing to pay workers what they've earned.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's continuing refusal to bring a paid sick leave proposal to a council vote continues to draw attention, with Chris Hayes covering it, as well as a New York Times editorial concluding:
Ms. Quinn continues to stall on the issue, saying that she is willing to keep discussing the idea. But she insists that a change would be harmful to businesses in the current economy, even though there is little evidence that sick-leave requirements have hurt job markets. The bill is scheduled for a hearing next month. If it passes muster at the Civil Service and Labor Committee as expected, Ms. Quinn should allow a vote.Local members of Congress are also urging a vote.
- Let's say you have a doctor's note saying you can only work part-time for a while, but your boss says it's full-time or nothing. What are your rights?
- Hostess workers are getting TAA benefits. The Heritage Foundation is not pleased.
- Weight Watchers is paying big bucks to its celebrity spokespeople, but its rank-and-file workers, not so much. Steven Greenhouse reports:
Employees — many of them leaders like Ms. Williams who run meetings — have inundated an internal company Web site with complaints about poor wages and being pressured to work many hours unpaid.
Some leaders say that the $18 base rate for running meetings has not increased in more than a decade, and many complain that they receive no mileage reimbursement for the first 40 miles driven each day. Some also assert that a major reason Weight Watchers keeps its pay so paltry is that the overwhelming majority of its employees are women.
- The dark side of choosing school choice:
Bottom line, every school would benefit from collaboration to innovate new ways to old challenges, a smaller teacher-to-pupil ratio, and more access to new technologies. All schools (the teachers, administration, and students) need this, not those who are lucky enough to be at a “special school”.
Dare I say… all our schools should be special?
Do I sound bitter? I don’t mean to. I honestly don’t begrudge my colleagues. I just believe we’ve created a system cloaked in the party line of empowering students and parents, where the reality has school systems and educators fighting over the last scraps like dogs over the last lean bone.
- Does school reform perpetuate inequity?