Sanders’s Bill to Expand Workplace Democracy Passes Senate in Omnibus

Legislation that Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled 13 years ago to help boost workplace democracy and curb worsening inequality in the United States was included in the $1.7 trillion omnibus package approved by the Senate on Thursday. Modeled on the success of employee ownership centers in Ohio and Vermont, Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Worker Ownership, Readiness, and Knowledge (WORK) Act authorizes a $50 million… Source Source / Read More: Sanders’s Bill to Expand Workplace Democracy Passes Senate in Omnibus

DC Voters Overwhelmingly Pass Measure to End Tipped Minimum Wage

A measure to end the subminimum wage for tipped workers in Washington, D.C. passed overwhelmingly on Tuesday, marking a win for labor and wage activists who have been fighting the restaurant industry to pass such a measure for years. Currently, the tipped minimum wage in D.C. is $5.35 an hour, leaving workers reliant on tips to survive. Initiative 82 would start phasing out that wage, eventually raising tipped workers’ minimum hourly wage to that of non-tipped workers, currently $16.10, by 2027. With 90 percent of votes counted on Wednesday, according to The New York Times, the measure has 74 percent…

Companies’ Price Hikes Fuel Inflation. Why Isn’t the Fed Talking About It?

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell fielded questions for around 40 minutes on Wednesday following the central bank’s decision to impose another large interest rate hike, but not a single reporter asked about the extent to which record-high corporate profits are fueling inflation even as companies openly boast about their pricing power. Progressive economists have estimated that corporate profits are to blame for at least 40% of price increases during the recovery from the pandemic-induced downturn, a disproportionate contribution to the stubbornly high inflation that is eating away at workers’ wages. Some have put the number at over 50%. The notion…

Workers Make $1.3 Million More Through Their Careers When They’re in a Union

As a union wave grips workers across the U.S. seeking more control over their working conditions and wages, new research illustrates the vast material benefits waiting in store for workers if they unionize their workplaces. A new study published in Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations Review finds that workers who are in a union throughout their careers make $1.3 million more than workers who were never in a union; union members typically make $3.37 million in lifetime earnings, versus $2.08 million for nonunion workers – an increase of over 60 percent. This wage increase comes despite the fact that…

Seattle Teachers Strike for Smaller Classes, Higher Pay and Special Ed Support

Originally published by The 19th. On Thursday, Tymmony Keegan stood on a picket line in front of Cleveland STEM High School in Seattle, where public school teachers had begun a strike the previous day on what would have been the start of the school year. Her colleagues held signs stating, “Listen to educators! Fund our kids’ dreams! A nurse in every school!” It was her twin boys’ 4th birthday, a milestone they celebrated by temporarily joining the picket line. Cars and trucks honked their support for educators as they drove past the closed school. “All of us who are out…

California Passes Historic Fast Food Worker Bill. Will Newsom Sign It?

In the face of fierce corporate opposition, the California Senate on Monday passed a landmark bill aimed at giving the state’s roughly 550,000 fast food workers a say over their working conditions, hours, and wages in an industry rife with abuse. If Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signs it into law, the Fast Food Recovery Act (AB 257) would make California the first state in the U.S. to establish a council tasked with setting industrywide workplace standards for the fast food sector. The 10-member council would include workers and worker advocates as well as business representatives and state officials. Newsom has…

Teachers Make 23.5 Percent Less Than Other College Graduates, a New High

Amid reports of teacher shortages across the U.S. numbering in the hundreds of thousands, along with violent and vicious far-right attacks on public schools, new research shows that teacher salaries are now at record lows. A report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) on Tuesday finds that, while there has long been a pay gap between teachers and comparable college graduates, that gap has recently reached its highest level since EPI began recording such data. In 2021, the report found, teachers’ weekly pay was 23.5 percent less on average than that of other college graduates, adjusted for age, education,…

Report: CEOs Are Driving “Greedflation,” Raising Prices to Pay Themselves More

The AFL-CIO’s latest annual analysis of top executive pay was published Monday with the following conclusion: “CEOs, not working people, are causing inflation.” In recent months, corporate bosses and top Federal Reserve officials have pointed to workers’ wages as a factor in surging prices, which have pushed overall inflation in the United States to a four-decade high. But the AFL-CIO’s new report attempts to reframe the national inflation discussion, emphasizing that while wage increases won by ordinary workers are drawing outsized attention from policymakers and executives, CEO pay hikes significantly outpaced the wage increases of rank-and-file employees last year. Titled…

Educators in St. Paul and Minneapolis Are Preparing for Potential Strike

This story was originally published at Prism. In a Feb. 24 announcement, teachers with the Saint Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE) and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT), which includes both teachers and Education Support Professionals, announced an intent to strike. Filed with the state of Minnesota’s Bureau of Mediation, the intent to strike was authorized by the board in a vote counted Feb. 17 and provides a legally-mandated, 10-day warning to the school districts about a possible strike. The demands from both unions to their districts have been similar. They are asking for limits on class sizes, wage increases,…

Inflation Crisis Is Being Resolved on Backs of Workers. It Doesn’t Have to Be.

On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its latest report on inflation, and the news is not good for working people. According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — which measures the cost of consumer products — inflation for all goods, including food and energy, rose again in January, this time by 0.6 percent. This latest increase brings the yearly rate of inflation up to a whopping 7.5 percent, a figure not seen since the early 1980s when out-of-control inflation and a stagnant economy amounted to an all out economic war on U.S. workers. While wages for this…