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BUSINESS
February 20, 2014 | By Shan Li
More than one in four Americans are so afraid of missing work that they head into the office even when sniffling and sneezing, a study says. Many are worried about falling behind on their jobs, missing pay or facing the wrath of bosses who expect them to show up no matter what, according to a survey by NSF International, which tests and certifies public health products. Nearly 20% of Americans report always showing up for work while sick. And 17% of workers say they stay home only if a doctor orders them to, the report says.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 | By James Rainey
Los Angeles City Council members opted Tuesday to seek an economic study before moving to enact one of the highest minimum wages in the country - $15.37 for workers at big hotels - a review that opponents hoped would slow or stop the proposal. Council members Mike Bonin, Nury Martinez and Curren Price asked fellow council members to request a review of the economic effects of ordering a "living wage" for workers at hotels with more than 100 rooms. There are 87 hotels of that size in Los Angeles.
NATIONAL
February 17, 2014 | By Alana Semuels
Union leaders were still reeling three days after their devastating defeat at a Tennessee Volkswagen plant, but the leader of the AFL-CIO said labor would keep trying to organize workers in the South - even if it's an uphill battle. "We are committed to helping those workers in the South raise their wages, get better working conditions and get a stronger voice on the job in making decisions that affect their livelihood," Richard Trumka told reporters Monday. Trumka was in Houston to talk about the year ahead with the executive council of his coalition, which represents 56 unions and 12.5 million workers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2014 | By James Rainey
Los Angeles lawmakers plan to introduce an ordinance Tuesday that would require the operators of big hotels to pay workers $15.37 an hour, one of the highest minimum wage rates targeting private employers anywhere in the U.S. The initiative by City Council members Nury Martinez, Curren Price and Mike Bonin is expected to set off a fierce contest between labor and business. Union activists say workers deserve a bigger share of revenue in the booming hotel industry, while owners say that nearly doubling the state minimum wage of $8 an hour will hurt profitability.
NEWS
February 17, 2014 | By Jon Healey
The United Auto Workers' failure to organize workers at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., last week led its supporters to complain bitterly about their opponents' tactics, and particularly the rhetoric and threats by some state Republican leaders. The GOP scaremongering (Chattanooga will become Detroit! VW will shun Tennessee in favor of Mexico!) was certainly over the top, and the threat to withhold tax incentives from future VW factories was unseemly. Still, it's hard to blame the hyperbolic warnings and threats for the 712-626 vote against the UAW. For starters, the Republicans' arguments about future VW investments were largely irrelevant to the question facing each worker, which was simply, "Will unionizing make things better or worse for me ?"
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Derived from found footage, Bill Morrison's films are odes to snubbed celluloid. Whether he slices the surviving moldy fragments of a lost silent film, as in "Decasia," or crafts a dirge to the 1927 flooding of the Mississippi River with old documentary material, as in the recent "The Great Flood," Morrison savors decayed film stock for its ghostly beauty. Lost worlds are not created or evoked; they are discovered and recovered. What makes Morrison a great filmmaker, though, is not merely his application of restoration hardware but his brilliant exercise of symphonic software.
NATIONAL
February 15, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
Turning more than 1,500 painters, inspectors, tradespeople and maintenance workers at a Tennessee auto plant into union members was supposed to be relatively easy for the United Auto Workers union, experts on organized labor said. The effort would have created the first union at a foreign-owned automaker in the historically anti-union South - and raised the morale of a union that has seen membership plummet from 1.5 million in 1979 to 380,000 last year. But 53% of workers at the 3-year-old Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga rejected a unionization bid, giving pro-union autoworkers from Michigan to Mississippi a reason to squirm and providing what experts said was the latest sign that conservative efforts and the threat of job losses were crippling U.S. labor unions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2014 | By James Rainey
On the road to Los Angeles International Airport in the pre-dawn dark, Inez Luna's eyes appear nearly swollen shut with exhaustion. He got only four hours of sleep, as usual, but he can't slow down or he'll be late for his 3:30 a.m. clock-in. For seven hours or more, he'll load baggage and cargo onto jets at the airport, where his co-workers Anglicized "Luna" to create his nickname, "Mr. Moon. " Then he crawls back into his Toyota Corolla for a quick midday nap before reporting to job No. 2, washing dishes and busing tables at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel.
NATIONAL
February 14, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
Volkswagen workers in Tennessee narrowly voted to reject joining a union, crushing the United Automobile Workers union's attempt to unionize a foreign-owned car factory for the first time, officials announced late Friday. The 712-626 vote (53%-47%) against unionization at the German automaker's three-year-old factory in Chattanooga is a setback for UAW because labor experts had thought Volkswagen gave the union its best shot of setting a precedent to make inroads with transplants such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Nissan.
NATIONAL
February 14, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - Three people at the National Security Agency have been implicated in Edward Snowden's efforts to copy classified material, including a civilian employee who resigned last month after acknowledging he allowed Snowden to use his computer ID, according to an NSA memo sent to Congress. The other two were an active-duty member of the military and a civilian contractor. The memo does not describe their conduct, but says they were barred from the NSA and its systems in August.
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