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This Week in Workers News

Delivery Workers Stage Protest Against Brooklyn Thai Restaurant for Alleged Stolen Wages

A group of delivery workers in Brooklyn have banded together to demand $500,000 in alleged stolen wages from Williamsburg Thai restaurant Sage. On Tuesday the workers teamed up with the immigration and labor organization Make the Road New York for a demonstration outside the restaurant, according to several posts on social media by the demonstration’s organizers. Read the full story at Eater.


We’re being exposed to toxic coal ash and flue gas at TVA plants, workers say

Workers at two Tennessee Valley Authority power plants in East Tennessee say they are continuing to be exposed to fly ash dust and flue gas — both toxic substances — without masks or respirators. An ongoing USA TODAY Network-Tennessee investigation has revealed coal ash is piling up inside vehicles and the plant. Workers say they are not provided boot washes or other decontamination facilities to clean coal ash from their boots, clothing and skin while working in coal ash. Jacobs didn’t provide that for disaster relief workers, either. Read the full story at Knox News.


ICE arrests more than 280 at Texas business, biggest workplace immigration raid in a decade

Relatives of workers came to the facility after word of the operation spread, some emotional and wondering about their loved ones, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported. Anel Perez, the daughter of a worker who was been detained, told the station, “It’s not fair. It’s really sad and it makes a lot of people really angry and frustrated.” Read the full story at NBC News.


Google Will Now Require Suppliers to Give Benefits to Workers

After sustained protest from contractors and employees, Google said Tuesday it will require outside companies that supply it labor to offer better working conditions, including comprehensive health care, 12 weeks of parental leave, and a $15-per-hour minimum wage. Read the full story at Wired.


China Tech Workers Protest Long Work Hours in Online Campaign

Chinese programmers came up with the ironic name 996.icu to draw attention to a work schedule reality and problem. The name is a pithy way of saying if you work the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six-day-a-week work schedule, you’ll end up in the intensive care unit of a hospital. The key goal of the anti-996 campaign is to get employers to buy into the movement by attaching an Anti-996 license to software to show their support for labor standards. A push that reportedly is already gaining some traction. Read the full story at Voice of America.


Challenging food stamps rule, Rep. Marcia Fudge points to Hill workers

Fudge said the fact that many Capitol Hill employees work each day but remain poor should be sobering for those lawmakers who believe that employment means low-income people no longer need food aid from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program. Read the full story at Roll Call.


Walmart and the Push to Put Workers on Company Boards

Many economists believe, is that those running major companies have been left unchecked to direct the vast majority of a company’s earnings to themselves, by giving dividends to shareholders and enormous pay packages to top executives (the two groups often overlap) at the expense of investment in innovation, infrastructure, hiring, and wages. The only way to reverse this trend is to rethink the way that companies are managed and regulated. Read the full story at The New Yorker.


Disney accused of valuing ‘male workers more’

The legal action, brought on behalf of two women, claims the company does not have an internal mechanism to ensure women are not paid less than male counterparts for the same work. Read the full story at BBC.


Florida Sex Workers Demand Decriminalization After Massive Raids

Sex workers are best positioned to identify victims of trafficking who are coerced into selling sexual services, the three activists told lawmakers, but fear of arrest can prevent them from making reports. They argued that criminalizing sex workers under anti-prostitution laws actually creates more space for trafficking and makes the entire sex trade more dangerous to begin with. Read the full story at TruthOut.


Thousands of workers at US factories in Mexico are striking for higher wages

Dozens of Coca-Cola workers are camping out at a major bottling plant until they get a raise. More than 8,000 Walmart employees were prepared to walk off the job, until management met some of their demands. And 30,000 striking factory workers have finally returned to work after a month-long strike. Read the full story at Vox.


Heineken Workers’ Forum prepares to march against ‘sex for shifts’

“Women experience extreme violence because of these unequal power relations,” the statement reads. “Supervisors expect women to give sex for being scheduled in good shifts, get a better job or even just keep the job.” According to the statement, supervisors and managers at the brewery also use their power to demand money from both men and women for jobs. Workers from the beer giant’s Sedibeng brewery are expected to march on April 23. Read the full story at Mail & Guardian.


GM squeezed $118 million from its workers, then shut their factory

Union workers are livid that they agreed to make $118 million a year in annual concessions to save the plant in mid-2017, only to have GM effectively threaten to close it down a year and a half later. “Everything they asked us to do, we did,” said Dan Morgan, the shop chairman of Local 1112 and chief negotiator of the agreement, the details of which haven’t previously been reported. “And still, we don’t have a product to build.” Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times.


A Week After Worker Strike, UC Davis Hospital Residents and Interns Seek To Join Labor Union

Less than a week after some unionized employees of the hospital took to the picket lines a majority of roughly 800 medical residents, interns and fellows at UC Davis Medical Center have signed up to join a labor union. Those employees will soon ask the state’s Public Employment Relations Board to certify the union to bargain on their behalf. Read the full story at Portside.


The Trump Administration Has Found a Creative New Way to Screw Franchise Workers

The Labor Department announced a proposal that would limit the ability of workers to sue big companies for violations made by franchises or contractors. This would affect workers who fall under the category of joint employment, in which more than one company directly or indirectly controls their working conditions. The new regulation would make it harder for workers to sue companies like McDonalds for failing to comply with laws like those governing minimum wage or overtime pay. Instead, they’d be forced to sue the individual franchise. Read the full story at Splinter.


Labor has opposed Taft-Hartley for decades. Here’s why it’s time to repeal it.

On June 23rd, 1947, the United States Senate—following the House of Representatives—voted 68-25 to override Harry Truman’s veto and enact the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, better known as Taft-Hartley, into law. By doing so, Congress—over the vocal objection of working Americans—set in motion a generations-long offensive by American employers against labor’s hard-won gains for American workers. Taft-Hartley has cast a long shadow over American labor relations, and one which stretches to our present moment. Read the full story at Strikewave.


Do Corporations Like Amazon and Foxconn Need Public Assistance?

What if, on the front end of corporate subsidies, before the ink is dry, the workers and residents on whose behalf these deals are ostensibly made had a chance to weigh in? More transparency from the outset would enable citizens to test the strength of economic-impact analyses, examine a company’s track record, and query elected officials about future impacts on land, water, housing costs, and social services. Read the full story at The New York Review of Books.


Striking Wabtec workers in Erie to receive unemployment pay

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of American at the former GE Transportation plant in Erie insisted that their nine-day work stoppage that started Feb. 26 was a lockout. Their employer, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp., said there was no truth to that claim and that workers were free to return to their jobs. Ultimately, decision-makers in Harrisburg decided that the nine-day work stoppage met the definition of a lockout. Read the full story at Go Erie.


Nevada brothel faces lawsuit over pay for sex workers

The plaintiffs, who say they worked at the brothel in recent years, contend that Sheri’s Ranch violates state and federal law by classifying women who work there as contractors, which prevents them from collecting minimum wage and overtime pay. Read the full story at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.


How Domestic Workers Enable Well-Off Women to Prosper

Domestic labor is a model for the advancement and equality of upper-class women, but it depends upon a permanent underclass of impoverished women. Read the interview with author Megan Stack at The Atlantic.


Five Portland Water Bureau workers sue city, claiming ‘systemic corruption’

Five Portland Water Bureau employees are suing the city and seeking nearly $1 million in damages alleging they faced discrimination and retaliation after reporting safety issues, wasteful practices, sexual harassment and “systemic corruption.” Read the full story at Oregon Live.

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