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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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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
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.
WORLD
March 28, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- A Siberian dairy plant was temporarily closed Friday after its workers had been found bathing in milk, a Russian consumer oversight agency reported. Trade House Cheeses, a dairy producer in Omsk, about 1,600 miles east of Moscow, was closed for 90 days by regional authorities for an urgent inspection after complaints resulting from photographs and a video posted by one of its employees on a Russian social network. In the photographs and video clips posted on New Year's Eve by worker Artyom Romanov, a group of undressed employees relax in a container of milk as part of their celebration.
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 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.
OPINION
May 6, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
In recent years, California has become a favorite venue for workers' compensation claims by athletes with only tenuous ties to the Golden State. Many former pros have won six-figure awards for injuries built up over time even though they've never lived or worked in the state, except to train or play the occasional game here. In some cases, judges have even granted them awards over and above the ones they've already obtained in their home states. Clearly the system needs to be fixed, and five professional sports leagues have stepped forward to say so. But lawmakers shouldn't close the courthouse door completely to athletes who don't feel the brunt of their injuries until long after their playing days are over.
NATIONAL
March 4, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
A “rather large” gas line explosion in central New Jersey injured seven workers and wrecked parts of a suburban condo complex Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. Flames, debris and dark smoke soared into the Ewing Township sky about 12:50 p.m., and video from the scene showed fire crews still dousing the rubble with water two hours later. Public Service Electric & Gas Co., the energy utility for the area, said in a statement that a contractor reported damage to the gas line shortly before noon.
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