The West Virginia Senate passed the notorious anti-union bill allowing workers to get the benefits of union membership paid for by their union coworkers. The bill now goes to the state House. The Economic Policy Institute points out that:
- Right to work is associated with lower wages and benefits for both union and nonunion workers. In a right-to-work state, the average worker makes 3.2 percent less than a similar worker in a non-right-to-work state.
- Through cutting wages, right to work may undermine West Virginia’s small businesses, which depend on the state’s residents having wages to spend.
- Many of the arguments made by advocates of right to work ignore that under federal law it is already illegal to force anyone to be a member of a union, and it is already illegal to force workers to pay even one cent to political causes.
- Companies that are primarily interested in cheap labor are going to China or Mexico, not to right-to-work states like South Carolina or Arizona.
Whether state Republicans are passing such laws because of, or despite, these facts is up for debate. But it sure has been a popular activity for Republican legislatures and governors the past few years.
● Workers at a Chicago car wash say the owner has been stealing their tips, and when they objected, he retaliated against them by cutting hours and firing three workers.
● The Belabored podcast talks paid family leave.
● Why fair job scheduling for low-wage workers is a racial justice issue:
If you think about the folks who are the most likely to have an unfair schedule and the least likely to be able do something about, at that intersection it tends to be people of color, particularly women of color.
If they don’t have access to a fair schedule, they are likely working a low-wage job, and if they are in a low-wage job, they likely have inadequate access to transportation… and you can see how there is a domino effect.
● SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, endorsed Hillary Clinton this week.
● Las Vegas’s Culinary union says it will not endorse a presidential candidate before the Nevada caucuses. That’s potentially big news, given the union’s on-the-ground strength and the fact that we’re talking about caucuses in an early state.
● Wisconsin Republicans aren’t just cutting Planned Parenthood funding, they’re changing the civil service rules, and—surprise!
Critics say the bill opens the doors to cronyism and further erodes worker protections statewide.
“Under this bill we return to patronage, we return to favoritism,” said Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison.
● The city council in Long Beach, California, voted to raise the city's minimum wage to $13 by 2019.
● Company puts its anti-union message on re-iced cookies.
● The New York Times’ Linda Greenhouse uses the anti-union Friedrichs case to show just how extreme and scary a shift is going on at the Supreme Court.
● The AFL-CIO is launching By Our Hands:
… an online magazine on Medium that will capture the powerful new stories of our voice on the rise. “By Our Hands” seeks to bring together the timeless values of work and solidarity with emerging technologies to create a platform for storytelling. We hope you’ll come along for the ride.
● The Fight for 15 rolls on as airport workers around the country rally for better wages.
● There’s been a lot of talk (if you’re in the area, anyway) about the Boston Globe’s delivery woes. Let’s talk about newspaper delivery workers' wretched pay and working conditions.
● The Supreme Court’s decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association could widen the free-speech gap between corporations and unions.
● A sickout protest by Detroit teachers temporarily closed most of the city's schools.
● A Success Academy teacher explains why she quit.