Labor News Briefs

Unpaid Federal Contractors Besiege McConnell’s Office
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Unpaid Federal Contractors Besiege McConnell’s Office

WASHINGTON—About 25 workers for federal contractors put out of work by the government shutdown besieged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office Jan. 16, brandishing stacks of their unpaid bills. “Mr. McConnell, I can’t pay my bills until you shut this furlough down,” said Yvette Hicks, a single mother and security guard at the now-closed National…

Illinois Governor Ends Pay Freeze for State Workers
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Illinois Governor Ends Pay Freeze for State Workers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Jan. 15 that the state will pay about 20,000 workers raises that had been frozen for four years by his predecessor. The decision will give them “step increases” for longevity on the job that previous Gov. Bruce Rauner cut off when American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council…

Court Can’t Hear Shutdown Suit—Federal Lawyers Furloughed
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, New York

Court Can’t Hear Shutdown Suit—Federal Lawyers Furloughed

NEW YORK, N.Y.—A federal court in Manhattan can’t hear a union lawsuit challenging the legality of the Trump administration’s partial government shutdown—because the Justice Department lawyers representing the administration have been furloughed. “Neither the court nor the attorneys at the Department of Justice has the authority to change the present circumstances,” U.S. Court of Claims…

Talks Resume in L.A. Teachers Strike
Education, Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Talks Resume in L.A. Teachers Strike

LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Los Angeles teachers union and school district have agreed to return to the bargaining table, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office announced Jan. 16. United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl told the Los Angeles Daily News that the union was trying to win both its demands from the Los Angeles Unified School District—which…

House Democrats Introduce Bill for $15 Minimum Wage
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

House Democrats Introduce Bill for $15 Minimum Wage

WASHINGTON—Congressional Democrats introduced a bill Jan. 16 that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2024. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Raise the Wage Act’s lead Senate sponsor, called the current rate of $7.25$7.25 a “starvation wage.” That rate, which is still the legal minimum in 21 states, has not been…

Oklahoma Legislator Urges $10.50 Minimum Wage
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Oklahoma Legislator Urges $10.50 Minimum Wage

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.—Newly elected state Sen. George Young (D-Oklahoma City) says this might be the year his bill to raise Oklahoma’s minimum wage goes somewhere in the state legislature. The measure would increase it from $7.25 an hour, where it has been since 2009, to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2020. Young introduced similar measures during…

GM Becomes Leading Automaker in Mexico
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, National, Transportation

GM Becomes Leading Automaker in Mexico

DETROIT, Mich.—General Motors announced plans to close four U.S. factories just after it became the leading auto manufacturer in Mexico. The company increased production at its three Mexico assembly plants to more than 800,000 vehicles through November, 67,000 more than it did in the same period in 2017, while Nissan’s production at its four Mexican factories fell from 788,000 vehicles…

Federal Contract Workers Get Shafted in Shutdown
Features, Finance, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Federal Contract Workers Get Shafted in Shutdown

WASHINGTON—Federal employees furloughed or forced to work without pay during the government’s partial shutdown will likely get back pay after it reopens—but the thousands of workers for federal contractors most likely won’t. “It is a cowardly disgrace,” SEIU 32BJ President Héctor Figueroa, said in a statement. The property-services union represents more than 2,000 federal workers…

L.A. Schools Hire 400 ‘Scabstitutes’ as Teachers’ Strike Looms
Education, Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

L.A. Schools Hire 400 ‘Scabstitutes’ as Teachers’ Strike Looms

LOS ANGELES, Calif.—With the United Teachers Los Angeles union planning to strike Jan. 10, the Los Angeles Unified School District has hired 400 “substitutes” to keep schools open. “We have hired substitutes, we have made plans as to alternate curriculums for days that there is a strike,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said Dec. 27. “It is…

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