NEWS ABOUT: labor unions

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Times Square's Elmos, Batmans May Unionize

They seek better treatment amid boost in police activity

(Newser) - Elmo, Batman, and Hello Kitty joining forces? Sounds like the plot of the next Avengers movie, but it's actually an effort by Times Square's costumed characters to improve their working conditions. The people inside the costumes tell the New York Daily News that things have gotten harder since... More »

Wisconsin Labor Law Gutting Collective Bargaining Upheld

Gov. Scott Walker's Act 10 legislation survived all challenges

(Newser) - Collective bargaining is not a constitutional right, but a matter of "legislative grace," the Wisconsin Supreme Court says. The court’s ruling today kills the last challenge to Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10 labor law with a 5-2 vote. The legislation , held up in its entirety, bans... More »

Boss: Keep Toilet Breaks Under 6 Minutes Per Day

Union: WaterSaver times bathroom visits, disciplines 'excessive use'

(Newser) - If you have to use the loo at Chicago's WaterSaver Faucet Company, you better do it in six minutes or fewer—per day. A local union says the factory has installed swipe card systems on its bathrooms to time potty breaks, slapping employees with disciplinary measures if they exceed... More »

Sports Bombshell: Northwestern Players Can Unionize

But school will appeal preliminary ruling to NLRB in Washington

(Newser) - Northwestern football players aren't just student-athletes—they're employees of the university who have the right to form a union, a federal official ruled today. How big of a deal is today's ruling by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board? "The stunning decision has... More »

VW Labor Chief to South: Get Unions or No More Deals

Union in Germany will block moves

(Newser) - The head of Volkswagen's General Works Councils in Germany is threatening to block any further investment in the southern United States, Reuters reports, after workers at VW's Chattanooga plant voted against union representation . "I can imagine fairly well that another VW factory in the United States, provided... More »

Why Labor Lost Its Crucial VW Vote

Pundits weigh in on what the UAW needs to do now

(Newser) - On Friday, the United Auto Workers union lost what had been hyped as a make-or-break vote for the future of the labor movement, as Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tenn., rejected a company-backed plan to unionize. Why did that happen, and what does it mean for unions? Here's what people... More »

Huge Loss for UAW: Tennessee Workers Say No

Volkswagen employees reject union

(Newser) - Workers at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee have voted against union representation, a devastating loss that derails the United Auto Workers union's effort to organize Southern factories. The 712-626 vote released tonight stunned many labor experts who expected a UAW win because Volkswagen tacitly endorsed the union and even... More »

NTSB Kicks Loose-Lipped Union Out of Train Inquiry

Union lawyer confirmed report that driver was in a 'daze'

(Newser) - The National Transportation Safety Board has kicked the Association of Commuter Rail Employees out of its investigation of the Bronx train derailment, after a union lawyer said a little too much about it. Engineer William Rockefeller "basically nodded" at the controls, falling into "a daze," union general... More »

Walmart Holds Food Drive ... for Its Own Workers

It's asking other workers to help them out

(Newser) - An Ohio Walmart store wants to make sure its workers can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner—so it's asking them to give each other enough food to do so. The Canton store has set up bins in an employee-only area under a sign that reads, "Please donate food items... More »

Indiana's Right-to-Work Law Unconstitutional: Judge

But Republicans think state Supreme Court will overturn ruling

(Newser) - The latest in the contentious battle over Indiana's right-to-work law: A judge has ruled the law unconstitutional, and the state attorney general's office says it will appeal directly to the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indianapolis Star reports. Last year, Indiana became the 23rd US state to ban mandatory... More »

Like It or Not, We Need Unions Again

Henry Blodget's not a fan of organized labor, but companies aren't doing what's right

(Newser) - Henry Blodget has always hated labor unions. They "create an 'us versus them' culture," drive jobs overseas, overpay their leaders, and often uncouple performance from compensation. "But we've now developed a bigger problem," he writes at Business Insider , namely the worst inequality since the... More »

Longest Hotel Strike in History Finally Over

Congress Plaza strike went on for a decade

(Newser) - On June 3, 2003, 130 of the Congress Plaza Hotel's cleaning and maintenance workers went on strike ... and Unite Here Local 1, the union representing them, finally agreed to a return to work as of midnight yesterday. Of course, many of the original 130 workers have since found other... More »

New Maker of Twinkies Ditches Unions

They're confident they can find non-union workers in hard-hit towns: WSJ

(Newser) - HoHos, Ding Dongs, and, yes, Twinkies are coming back—without the union workers that once produced them. The reborn Hostess Brands LLC intends to cut ties with the Teamsters and the bakers' union, the CEO of Metropoulos & Co., which bought the bankrupt company along with Apollo Global Management, tells... More »

Obama to Tap Justice Official for Labor Chief

Thomas Perez leads Justice's Civil Rights Division

(Newser) - Seeking to fill yet another second-term Cabinet vacancy, President Obama is set today to nominate Thomas Perez, an assistant attorney general, to be the next secretary of labor, the White House says. If confirmed by the Senate, Perez, who has been head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division... More »

US CEO Tells France to Keep Its 'So-Called Workers'

They only work 3 hours a day: Titan International's Maurice Taylor

(Newser) - A US tire company boss has no interest in reconsidering his decision not to buy a French Goodyear factory that's set to close—and he's made his reasons perfectly clear. "You can keep the so-called workers," Maurice "The Grizz" Taylor of Titan International wrote to... More »

13 Shot, Hacked in South Africa Mine

Security guards fire rubber bullets amid union-related fight

(Newser) - A labor dispute at a South African mine saw at least 13 workers and security guards shot with rubber bullets or hacked with machetes, according to local reports. Security guards opened fire at the Anglo American Platinum mine, as union factions squared off, Reuters reports. There were no fatalities, though... More »

Why You Should Care About the Decline of Labor Unions

Unions help the economy as a whole: Eric Liu

(Newser) - Union membership is at a 97-year low in America, with just 11.3% of workers belonging to one. Because you're probably not one of them, you probably don't care about this low point—but you should, writes Eric Liu in Time . Not only do unions lift wages for... More »

NHL, Union Strike Tentative Deal

10-year agreement still needs to be ratified by players, would save half season

(Newser) - The NHL and the players' association reached a tentative agreement early today to end a nearly four-month-old lockout that threatened to wipe out the season. A marathon negotiating session that lasted more than 16 hours and stretched from early yesterday afternoon until just before 6am today produced a 10-year deal... More »

East Coast Dockworkers' Strike Could Slam Economy

Union threatens action starting Sunday

(Newser) - Some 14,500 dockworkers are ready to walk out on strike Sunday, and it could shutter ports from Boston to Houston and choke the US economy big-time. The longshoremen are "in a crucial place in the flow of goods," says one professor; New York and New Jersey officials... More »

Union Nostalgia Won't Cut It in Modern World

Charles Krauthammer: Lower wages better than unemployment

(Newser) - It might be "shocking" that Michigan of all places is now a right-to-work state , but it was also "inevitable," writes Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post . Expect the rest of the Rust Belt to follow suit, because while it's nice to look back fondly on the... More »

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