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Signs at a rally. Solidarity in foreground, stop the war on workers in background.
  • Excellent:
    A California logistics company must pay more than $2.2 million in back pay to seven short-haul truck drivers it had illegally misclassified as independent contractors, a state labor board ruled on Wednesday, continuing a streak of victories for drivers who are asserting their labor rights in the state.

    By labeling the drivers independent contractors rather than employees, Pacer Cartage, Inc. was able to avoid paying the workers for things like time spent waiting at the port to pick up a load and reimbursements for job expenses. Labor laws protect full-time employees from such wage theft, but independent contractors aren’t covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, minimum wage laws, and other worker protections. The California Labor Commissioner’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) ruled that the company “knew or should have known” that the drivers were employees rather than contractors and instructed Pacer to pay $2,214,496.39 in restitution, attorney’s fees, and interest.

    Still more excellent:
    Pacer’s parent company said it intends to appeal the ruling, according to Southern California Public Radio. But its chances of success seem low. The DLSE is working through around 500 separate complaints like this one, and as of two weeks ago it had ruled in favor of the drivers in all 30 of the cases on which it had reached a ruling.
  • A union aims at Pittsburgh's biggest employer. (Spoiler: It's a hospital, not a steel mill.)
  • Balloon Juice's Soonergrunt on training to be a union steward.
  • Newark students walk out.
  • New York has the nation's most segregated schools. And, uh:
    Nearly three-quarters of the charter schools in New York City are considered “apartheid schools” because less than 1% of their enrollment is white. Charters are often more racially segregated than the district in which they are located.

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