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Workers

BUSINESS
April 7, 2013 | By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
WESTFIELD, Mass. - The envelope factory where Lisa Weber works is hot and noisy. A fan she brought from home helps her keep cool as she maneuvers around whirring equipment to make her quota: 750 envelopes an hour, up from 500 a few years ago. There's no resting: Between the video cameras and the constant threat of layoffs, Weber knows she must always be on her toes. The drudgery of work at National Envelope Co. used to be relieved by small perks - an annual picnic, free hams and turkeys over the holidays - but those have long since been eliminated.
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OPINION
June 16, 2010
An inevitable consequence of a country's economic development is that its workforce comes to expect more. More schooling, better jobs, more money. That's what happened in the United States and Japan in the last century, and now it's happening in China, which has seen a series of labor strikes at Honda Motor Co. factories and a spate of suicides at the electronic components plants belonging to Foxconn Technology Group. Younger, better-educated factory workers with aspirations to join China's urban middle class want higher wages and more humane working conditions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 1988
The letters in the April 26 issue impel me to write. Each writer hit out at Martin and Kathleen Feldstein's column against increasing the minimum wages. History shows from the birth of capitalism it did not work for people. Adam Smith's book "Wealth of Nations," published in 1776, showed that labor was "the source of all value" but he could not figure why, the more wealth the workers produced "the poorer the workers become." It was Karl Marx who discovered in 1844 the reason why the workers become poorer, the more they produce.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2005
RE "When Corporations Pull the Rug Out," by Al Martinez, Dec. 2: This piece speaks for an age in which workers in any institution are vulnerable to having the rug pulled out from under them. It's almost as if being called a Scrooge does not shame modern capitalism anymore. Doesn't that mean we have somehow lost the meaning of Christmas? FRANK M. SIFUENTES Long Beach
BUSINESS
October 20, 2011 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
Biotech giant Amgen Inc. is laying off about 380 employees in its research and development division, saying it is restructuring operations to focus on new drugs in later, more expensive stages of development. "We're focusing on therapies that are promising," said Mary Klem, a spokeswoman for the Thousand Oaks company. "It's very expensive to conduct clinical trials. The patient population gets bigger at each phase. That's the crux of what is causing us to make these strategic changes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - After the deaths of two workers on BART tracks, the commuter rail system's directors Thursday permanently ended the practice of making employees on the tracks solely responsible for their own safety. The directors of Bay Area Rapid Transit approved a policy that will require train operators or drivers to slow to 25 mph and be prepared to stop when approaching workers on or near the tracks. The change, expected to cause delays in passenger service, is being made after the deaths Saturday of two workers inspecting tracks when a train hit them at 60 to 70 mph. They were working under a procedure called "simple approval" that gave them no warning of approaching trains and required one of them to act as a lookout.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2011 | By Walter HamiltonLos Angeles Times
American workers are more downbeat than ever about their prospects for retirement, a new study has found. But that also means they are starting to realize how bad their financial condition is. Confirming the findings of other recent research, a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found workers growing increasingly doubtful about their ability to finance comfortable retirements. The results were released Tuesday. The percentage of workers describing themselves as "not at all comfortable" about their retirement outlook jumped to 27% from 22% a year ago. Only 13% are "very confident.
BUSINESS
October 15, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
The skills gap that has the U.S. manufacturing industry panicked isn't a big deal for now, according to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group. But by the end of the decade, the shortage could balloon to 875,000 highly skilled workers from a shortfall of 80,000 to 100,000 now, according to the study . Today, the deficit of workers represents less than 1% of the 11.5 million total factory workers in the country, or less than 8% of the 1.4 million highly skilled employees.
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