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Hand grasping at $100 bills
If you hold an event at a hotel and get a bill listing a service charge of around the percentage you would usually leave as a tip, it's not unreasonable to assume it's a tip, right? Not in San Antonio, where the service charge goes to management. And then workers don't get tipped because people assume that's what the service charge is for. Some workers even say they've been told by management to lie to customers who ask if the service charge is a tip.

Workers and UNITE HERE are fighting back, petitioning for a Tip Integrity Act; they collected more than 3,700 signatures in the city's hospitality district.

And more:

  • A California warehouse was cited over $1 million for wage theft:
    The warehouse required employees to punch in but provided only three time clocks for their workers, resulting in long lines of more than 100 employees. Workers who arrived to work on time but waited in line to punch in were given “warnings” for punching in late. This created a situation where employees were obliged to report to work earlier and earlier, time for which they were not compensated. When employees punched out for their meal period, they were also required to stand in long lines, which cut into their 30-minute lunch break and forced them to come back early to punch back in. The company would alter their time records to reflect that the employees had been allotted the full 30-minute lunch break.
  • A powerful NBA player agent is urging basketball players to dump the executive director of their union.
  • Bill Gates, "philanthropist," isn't just into terrible education policy, he's also an investor in waste management company Republic Services:
    According to the Teamsters union, which represents the employees of Republic Services, workers have been subject to lockouts for protesting against the destruction of already modest pensions, unpaid overtime, and illegally abandoning contracts agreed upon with the union. In 2012, Republic Services' practice of locking out protesting workers led to stoppages in at least 13 American cities.
  • This is not new, but it's new to me, and a great discussion of why one Fordham University professor won't let Teach for America recruit from his classes anymore:
    Teach for America had accepted only four of the nearly one hundred Fordham students who applied.  I become even angrier when I read in the New York Times that TFA had accepted forty-four of one hundred applicants from Yale that year.  Something was really wrong if an organization which wanted to serve low-income communities rejected every applicant from Fordham, students who came from those very communities, and accepted half of the applicants from an Ivy League school where very few of the students, even students of color, come from working-class or poor families.

    Since then, the percentage of Fordham students accepted into Teach for America has marginally increased, but the organization has done little to win my confidence that it is seriously committed to recruiting people willing to make a lifetime commitment to teaching and administering schools in high-poverty areas.

    Never, in its recruiting literature, has Teach for America described teaching as the most valuable professional choice that an idealistic, socially-conscious person can make.  Nor do they encourage the brightest students to make teaching their permanent career; indeed, the organization goes out of its way to make joining TFA seem a like a great pathway to success in other, higher-paying professions.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:00 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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