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Carpenters Sue State on Roosevelt Island Wages

September 2, 2014
By Steven Wishnia

Accusing it of authorizing illegally low wages for construction workers on Roosevelt Island, the New York City District Council of Carpenters has filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Labor.

The suit, filed Aug. 22 in state Supreme Court, alleges that the department wrongly classified the Riverwalk 7 building on the island as a private project where contractors don’t have to pay the prevailing wage. It also names as defendants the developers, the Hudson Companies and the Related Companies; the contractor, Monadnock Construction; and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.

LA Minimum Wage Increase Shows the Way

September 2, 2014
By Neal Tepel, LaborPress Editorial


Los Angeles, California – The fight to raise the minimum wage in fast food stores has reached California. Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti has recommended the raising of the city’s minimum wage by $4.25 and plans to index it to inflation. His goal is to reach a $15 minimum for all workers. Clearly the LA initiative demonstrates the success of the fast-food workers’ movement. For two years, fast-food workers have been calling for $15 an hour and a union—it's an amount that will allow them to support their families and lift communities across America.
 

A Strategic Political Argument for the Minimum Wage

September 1, 2014
By Oren M. Levin-Waldman


The minimum wage has long been thought of as an issue that only affects the low-wage labor market, i.e. the working poor. Broader construction of the minimum wage population, however, shows that not to be the case. When the minimum wage labor market is defined as the effective minimum wage population — those who earn around the minimum rather than those who earn the statutory minimum — the proportion earning an effective minimum wage is considerably larger.

Millions Wasted at NYS Housing Trust Fund

August 29, 2014
By Stephanie West


Albany, NY - New York State’s Low Income Housing Trust Fund program is meant to help alleviate New York’s affordable housing shortage, but it is beset by avoidable delays that keep thousands of applicants waiting months on end, according to an audit by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Bank of America Settlement for $16.65 Billion

August 27, 2014
By Neal Tepel


New York, NY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America for their misconduct that led to the crash of the housing market.

NYS Common Retirement Fund Rises

August 22, 2014
By Stephanie West


The New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) value grew to an estimated $180.7 billion in the first quarter ending June 30, 2014. The Fund had ended the state’s Fiscal Year 2014 on March 31 with a value of $176.8 billion. The net growth in the value of the fund reflects earnings over the quarter, offset by benefit payments.

NYC Economy Shows Fast Growth

August 19, 2014
By Stephanie West


New York, NY – While unemployment remains stuck at 7.9 percent in New York City, the economy has added tens of thousands of jobs in the private sector, pointing to a firmer labor market, stronger tax revenues and a more stable economy.

Disney Workers Ratify Contract

August 13, 2014
By Stephanie West


Members of the Service Trades Council Union ratified a new agreement with the Walt Disney World Resort in a vote on August 1. Workers came to a tentative agreement with the resort late on July 18. The new contract covers 21,000 workers, more than 60% of whom are represented by UNITE HERE Local 737 and UNITE HERE Local 362 in Orlando. Many UNITE HERE custodians, housekeepers, attractions attendants, and food and beverage employees participated in union negotiations for their first time.

Top 10 Tax Breaks You'll Miss in 2014

August 7, 2014
By Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE, CGMA
Managing Partner, Armao LLP


Who’s thinking about taxes during the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer? Well, at Armao LLP, we are...and so should you!

You probably didn't notice, but when the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2013, a number of popular tax benefits, commonly included in the list of provisions referred to as "tax extenders" expired.

Union Retirees Urged to "Go on the Offense"

August 5, 2014
By Stephanie West


Los Angeles, California - There has never been a time like this for the labor movement, AFT President Randi Weingarten told the opening session of the AFT Retirees Conference on July 10. "People want a union if they can get it," she said, noting that the fight for collective bargaining and retirement security is one that we can't do alone anymore.

Federal Contractors Must Be Accountable

August 4, 2014
By SEIU President Mary Kay Henry


Washington, DC - Following President Obama's announcement of an executive order relating to monitoring and reforming the performance of government contractors, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement:

Companies Join NYS Start-Up Project and Create Jobs

July 30, 2014
By Stephanie West


Albany, NY - Governor Cuomo has announced that five businesses will expand or locate in Binghamton as a result of START-UP NY. The commitment by these companies represents the latest wave of businesses participating in this initiative that creates tax-free areas associated with colleges and universities across the state.

Schneiderman Investigates Manhattan Club Timeshare Scam

July 29, 2014
By Stephanie West


New York, NY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced that he obtained a court order halting sales of timeshare interests at the Manhattan Club, a luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The order requires that the club’s principals, Ian Bruce Eichner, Leslie H. Eichner, and Stuart P. Eichner, testify in court about the club’s practices and produce documents to the Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau about allegedly fraudulent sales tactics.

NAACP Backs Fast-Food Workers’ Fight for $15

July 23, 2014
By Stephanie West


Las Vegas, Nevada - The NAACP unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday July 15th at its convention in Las Vegas supporting fast-food workers’ historic fight for $15 and a union.

Citigroup Fined for Misrepresenting Public

July 22, 2014
By Stephanie West


Washington DC - Citigroup, has acknowledged it made serious misrepresentations to the public. This included the manner in which Citigroup marketed and sold residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). The settlement requires Citi to pay $4.5 billion in hard dollars and provide $2.5 billion in consumer relief. New York State will receive $182 million: $92 million in cash and a minimum of $90 million in consumer relief for struggling New Yorkers.

Summertime is the right time to take a vacation – your health depends on it!

July 15, 2014
By Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE, CGMA
Managing Partner, Armao LLP

Vacations aren’t just for fun…they are key to providing a variety of health benefits. According toSteve Blake, vice president of Clinical Operations at Managed Health Network, Inc., a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc., “A number of studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. Workers who don't take advantage of the vacation time that they're eligible for could be shortchanging themselves in terms of benefits to their health."

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