Hotel Workers and Harvard Students Stand Together: Punching In

AFL-CIO’s President Trumka speaks out on Ferguson non-indictment

“While we can all agree that justice must take its course, we cannot deny or marginalize the perception that the system, itself, is not yet color blind.”

There’s no “tech shortage,” tech industry just wants cheaper workers

“They may not be able to find them at the price they want. But I’m not sure that qualifies as a shortage, any more than my not being able to find a half-priced TV.”

Hilton workers and Harvard students protest anti-union activity at Cambridge-area DoubleTree

“About 700 students, religious workers, and hotel and food service workers from around the city showed up for a rally Thursday evening outside the Science Center to support the housekeepers’ unionization efforts.”

Warren to NY fed President: Fix your problems, or we’ll find someone who will

“The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York faced a grilling from the Senate Banking Committee on Friday, following revelations that one of its former employees had been fired by Goldman Sachs for accessing regulatory information about one of the banks it oversees.”

Warren Takes on Obama’s Nominee to Head The Treasury: Punching In

Judge rules Illinois pension cuts unconstitutional

“Our unions have long argued that the state cannot simply choose to violate the Constitution and diminish or impair retirement benefits if politicians find these commitments inconvenient to keep.”

Shrinking the financial sector will make us all richer

“We must come to understand our economy not as simply a vehicle for capital owners, but rather as the creation of all of us, a common endeavor that creates space for innovation, risk taking, and a stronger workforce.”

 

Teamsters allege salad company Taylor Farms took advantage of undocumented workers

A half-dozen current and former workers interviewed by the Guardian alleged the billion-dollar company took advantage of undocumented migrants from Mexico and central America to keep workers on “temporary” status year after year.

Senator Warren pans Obama’s nominee to head Treasury Department

“In recent years, President Obama has repeatedly turned to nominees with close Wall Street ties for high-level economic positions…It’s time for the Obama administration to loosen the hold that Wall Street banks have over economic policy making. Sure, big banks are important, but running this economy for American families is a lot more important.”

After 500 Days of Congress Refusing to Vote on Immigration Bill, Obama Acts: Punching In

Obama unveils executive orders on immigration to shield 4.1 million from deportation

“I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, it’s not. Amnesty is the immigration system we have today — millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time. That’s the real amnesty — leaving this broken system the way it is,” Obama said. “What I’m describing is accountability.”

AFL-CIO President Trumka wants a comprehensive solution that works for workers

AFL-CIO’s Trumka: “Unfortunately, more than half of those who currently lack legal protections will remain vulnerable to wage theft, retaliation and other forms of exploitation. In addition, we are concerned by the president’s concession to corporate demands for even greater access to temporary visas that will allow the continued suppression of wages in the tech sector.”

NLRB rejects Marist College vote against adjunct professor unionization

NLRB ruled that Marist College “committed objectionable conduct during the course of the union election for the nearly 500 part-time adjunct faculty employed by the college.”

Yet again, Walmart holds food drive for its own underpaid employees

ThinkProgress: “In addition to asking workers to help feed each other, Walmart gets an assist from every taxpayer in the country. The company’s low wages leave huge numbers of its employees on public assistance programs such as food stamps and Medicaid. By one estimate, a single Walmart superstore incurs up to $1.7 million in public assistance spending every year.”

walmart food drive oklahoma city

Facebook Drivers Vote to Unionize, and the “Google Buses” Could Be Next: Punching In

Drivers who bus Facebook employees to and from work vote to unionize

“A lot of my passengers are young enough to be my kids and are making a lot more than I do,” said driver Cliff Doi, one of the 43 who voted to join the Teamsters. Are the drivers of the notorious privatized “Google buses” next?

New York legislators hold session to increase their salaries, but it could be tied to minimum wage hike

“I think lawmakers, after more than a decade, deserve a pay raise, but 3 million New Yorkers who are working at poverty-level pay deserve an increase, too. Doing the two of them together makes good economic sense and good government sense.”

Amazon reaches settlement with NLRB that would allow warehouse workers greater rights at work

Bloomberg: “The deal could open the door for Amazon’s workers to unionize, because the settlement requires the online retailer to post notices at its fulfillment centers notifying employees that they have the right to form unions and work with each other for collective benefits.”

Don’t worry, Texas, Rick Perry isn’t done wasting your tax dollars yet

Gov. Perry doesn’t know what the executive order on immigration will contain, but he is already considering suing the federal government over it.

Some Illinois Democrats Pushing ALEC Bill to Keep Cities from Raising the Minimum Wage: Punching In

Illinois is site of competing minimum wage efforts as some Democrats push ALEC preemption bill 

Voters were pretty clear on this issue in November, yet House Speaker Madigan is floating a bill to keep cities from raising the minimum wage on their own. Must be all those donations from the Illinois Restaurant Association.

L.A.-area port truckers strike expands to three new companies

Drivers from QTS Inc., LACA Express, and WinWin Logistics Inc. joined the strike Monday morning. Dockworkers have been without a contract since July.

Multiple sources: ALEC is super psyched about 2015! 

Local right to work, minimum wage preemption, keeping poor people off Medicaid, and more from our favorite secretive right-wing bill mill.

Guards at the Sands Bethlehem casino one step closer to unionizing

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson has stopped all of the 50,000 workers at his casinos from unionizing, but that winning streak might soon end.

New Report Details Huge Impact of Health Care Law on LGBT Americans: Punching In

Across the labor movement, leaders and members facing Ferguson

“Unions want more members in order to be more powerful — but in order to do what? We can be more powerful to get good contracts, and we should. But we need to be more powerful to address police brutality and mass incarceration too.”

Over governor’s objection, Alabama copper workers vote to unionize

Gov. Bentley used Golden Dragon as an example of his ability to bring jobs to the state, but he’s not pleased with them asserting their rights.

Senate Democrats stand with Obama on immigration

But let’s be clear: there’s been no executive order yet, we don’t know what will be in it, and the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration a year and a half ago that Speaker Boehner refuses to bring to a vote.

The Affordable Care Act has vastly improved the health care system for LGBT Americans

ACA prohibits health plans sold through the exchange from discriminating against someone based on sexual orientation. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

State Rep Wears Armani Hat While Smashing Homeless’ Possessions: Punching In

Hawaii Rep. Tom Brower takes a sledgehammer to homeless peoples’ stuff

But after coverage of his actions went national he agreed to stop, saying “the point that I was trying to make has been made.”

Big victory in Pittsburgh as unfairly fired UPMC workers in reinstated

NLRB judge: UPMC “has engaged in egregious and widespread misconduct.”

Major labor union in Israel threatens general strike

Half a world away, the Israeli labor union Histadrut taking action against low wages, outside contracting, and discrimination against disabled workers.

2,000 exotic dancers in New York City awarded $10 million in class-action lawsuit

“The court’s decision reflects that exotic dancers are entitled to the same legal protections as other employees, and is a resounding victory for a group whose voices are all too often ignored.”

Obama Should Act On Immigration, No Matter What Cable Pundits Say: Punching In

Volkswagen will allow labor groups to represent workers at Chattanooga plant

“We recognize and accept that many of our employees are interested in external representation, and we are putting this policy in place so that a constructive dialogue is possible and available for everyone.”

Your next bike share could be powered by union labor

280 bike share workers across four cities could soon become members of the Transportation Workers Union.

NYT editorializes on gerrymandering and the Voting Rights Act

“As long as politicians are entrusted with drawing legislative maps, they will use their pen to gain partisan advantage.” OH SNAP.

Obama ignores right-wing cable, will go ahead with fixing our broken immigration system

“The post-grand-bargain-collapse version of Obama is far less willing to extend his hand to Republican–having, in his estimation, had it bitten so many times before.”

Here’s the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Pro-Union Op-Ed You Didn’t Know You Needed: Punching In

Is Nevada the new North Carolina?

Republicans did a full takeover of Nevada’s state government last week. What lies in store for NV workers?

Cable news may have forgotten about Ebola, but nurses haven’t

An estimated 10,000 American nurses participated in a global day of action demanding better training and equipment to combat the epidemic.

NBA’s all-time leading scorer makes the case for college athlete unionization

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sounds like Emma Goldman in this new Jacobin op-ed: “History has proven that management will not be motivated to do the right thing just because it’s right.”

West coast dock worker strike could make huge impact on holiday economy

If contract issues aren’t resolved, port worker strike could spread from San Diego to Seattle and Tacoma.

They May Be Old School, But AOL Is Ahead of eBay and Expedia When It Comes to This

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Today, they’re known primarily for the iconic “You’ve got mail!” voice and introducing a generation of early 2000′s teens to instant messaging (and to a lesser extent owning the Huffington Post). But AOL, the still-giant Internet company, has jumped far ahead of companies like eBay and Expedia when it comes to dropping ALEC.

This week, AOL formally cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council:

The Web company decided “weeks ago” not to renew its membership with ALEC, a company official confirmed Monday. The departure makes AOL the latest in a remarkable wave of tech giants to recently separate from the conservative nonprofit.

With this decision, AOL joins Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Yahoo in ending their affiliation with the corporate-funded bill mill behind Stand Your Ground, Arizona’s SB 1070, and the “right to work” bills introduced in Missouri and passed in Michigan and Indiana.

“This further shows more companies don’t want to be in bed with ALEC anymore,  said Jay Riestenberg, research analyst with Common Cause, “whether it’s regarding ALEC’s denial of climate science, opposition to net neutrality, or the fact that ALEC is facing an IRS complaint charging the organization with tax fraud.”

While AOL is the latest in a “tech exodus” from ALEC, hundreds of companies remain–and those are just the ones we know about. Most notably in terms of tech companies are eBay and Expedia.com.

Photo by jasonpersse on Flickr