Friday, February 27, 2015

Top 10 Stories This Week, What We Read: Right-to-Work, Fairway, Walmart Raises

Republican leaders chose to fast-track the bill in what's known as an extraordinary legislative session, allowing for less debate than usual.
Debate over the bill drew thousands of protesters to the state Capitol on Tuesday and Wednesday, reminiscent of the passionate labor demonstrations surrounding Act 10 in 2011. But as with that earlier legislation, which stripped most collective bargaining rights from public-sector employees, vocal opposition from the state's unions wasn't enough to stop the right-to-work bill in its tracks. Read more
This is another step in the direction of slashing wages and destroying labor unions.
With their contract expiring in a month, Fairway members have been wearing solidarity buttons demanding the company negotiate fairly.  Their contract expires on March 29, 2015.
Stop & Shop and King Kullen negotiations resume next week.
"It's not going to help us. We need hours," said Mr. Rodriguez, a Walmart worker after hearing the news of Walmart's promise to raise wages for hundreds of thousands of workers.  Read President Both's comments regarding the wage increase.  And read what you should really know about Walmart's wage increase by Michelle Chen.
Good things come in threes and this move clearly shows how much of a trendsetter Walmart is.  Next stop: Guaranteed hours and a union contract.
Huge victory for workers in NYC.  Governor Cuomo appeared with labor leaders at a union hall in Manhattan to celebrate the decision and to repeat his own call for an increase in the statewide minimum wage for nontipped workers to $10.50 an hour. Mr. Cuomo also restated his view that the general minimum wage in the city should be even higher, $11.50 an hour, because of the higher cost of living.
A truly horrific and tragic story emerging out of California regarding the shaming and humiliation of a Target employee, which allegedly lead to his suicide.
The Wall Street Journal has some daunting numbers on pension plans, and how the more we avoid death through modern science, our growing age, is out right killing pension plans. 
Adults 21 and over man now legally use marijuana, possess up to two ounces and up to six plants in their homes for personal use.
The company just announced its offering free shipping to online orders over $25 and its dependence on food is the future of Target.
If you want your head to spin read this story- Governor Christie’s lawyers argued that the 2011 law—which the governor initiated, promoted and signed – was unconstitutional. It was an argument that bewildered virtually everyone, including the judge, and proved beyond doubt that Christie has no credibility on the issue.  At the end of the day he's ordered to pay over a billion into the Pension Fund.
As Black History month draws to a close, look back at these events and the connection to labor.
Hot topic, but often confusing.  In short the debate on whether or not your Internet provider can slow down your Netflix for any reason or ban a certain website is ongoing on in Washington.  The FCC has approved and created rules for a 'Free Internet'.
Follow up on a previously reported story, the struggle health care workers have, caring for their own ailments, injuries and health.
Report: Hospitals Fails to Protect Nurses from becoming Patients
According to surveys by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 35,000 back and other injuries among nursing employees every year, severe enough that they have to miss work.
During the recent wave of protests around the nation over the killing of unarmed blacks by police, an old ally has reemerged to march in step with African-Americans seeking justice — organized labor.

Elsewhere NYC News via NYC CLC:
22 Day NYC UAW Strike Ends  Read more at NY Law Journal (subscription required).
Brooklyn men who plotted to join ISIS, were foiled by online posts.
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