November 28, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Big issues in the workplace - wages, overtime, time off, working conditions - are also major topics in the state Legislature. And this year, lawmakers delivered some tangible changes that will be felt in the pocketbook. At the top of the list, of course, is an increase in the minimum wage that swept through Democrat-dominated Sacramento, despite opposition from powerful business interests. But workers didn't get all of their agenda passed into law. "We were able to improve upon existing protections as well as support workers in a number of new ways, including increasing the minimum wage," said Steve Smith, a spokesman for the California Labor Federation.
October 13, 2013 |
The heroic effort of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in 2011 to rein in public employee unions has started to produce results. One of Walker's reforms required a majority of members to vote each year to certify the union as its representative. Since that simple change took effect, 13% of Wisconsin's teacher and public employee unions have been decertified because they can't get enough employees to vote to keep the union and pay union dues. When given a choice, it seems public employees themselves don't necessarily support union policies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 2013
George Bignotti Chief mechanic for 7 Indy 500 winners George Bignotti, 97, who set a record as the chief mechanic for seven winners of the Indianapolis 500, died in his sleep of natural causes Fridayin Las Vegas, his daughter Mary Mendez said. As a mechanic, Bignotti won the Indy 500 with drivers A.J. Foyt in 1961 and 1964, Graham Hill in 1966, Al Unser in 1970 and 1971, Gordon Johncock in 1973 and Tom Sneva in 1983. Bignotti also holds the record for most wins overall in Indy-car history with more than 80 victories.
June 27, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Anita Herrera spent years cleaning offices in San Diego, but her boss never gave her a legally required lunch and rest break during a seven-hour shift. When she eventually asked for a breather, her employer cut her hours. So, in 2009, Herrera filed a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner's Office. Investigators corroborated the allegation and got a court order requiring her former employer to pay her $20,000 in penalties for the wage-and-hour law violations.
May 16, 2013 |
NEW YORK - The next wave of union protesters isn't blue collar. It's lawyers, paralegals, secretaries, helicopter pilots, judges, insurance agents and podiatrists. These white-collar workers are not exactly the picture of the labor movement, but they are becoming a more essential part of it as they turn to unions for help in a tough economy as bosses try to squeeze out more profits. "Employers have been downsizing, asking employees to take on larger roles, making them work more hours," said Nicole Korkolis, spokeswoman for the Office and Professional Employees International Union.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 2012 |
Signature gatherers and protesters may be ejected from privately owned walkways outside a store, but labor unions may picket there peacefully, the California Supreme Court decided Thursday. The state high court unanimously agreed that private walkways in front of stores, unlike public areas in shopping malls, are not open forums accessible to anyone who wants to assemble to express a view. But the justices split, 6 to 1, in upholding two state laws that prevent courts from issuing injunctions against peaceful labor pickets on private property.