Ryan Lowery

A sampling of what a news junkie & business nerd has been reading

Posts tagged union

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The Case for a Higher Minimum Wage

Last night, during his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama called for the Federal minimum wage to be raised from its current rate of $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. He also proposed that we tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, allowing it to increase each year. If this became reality, it would be the first increase in the minimum wage in four years, and the most substantial increase in our nation’s history.

I got my first job in 1994, at the age of sixteen. It was in the warehouse of a moving and storage company. Being an entry-level labor job, it paid minimum wage, which was $4.25 an hour at the time. It was a decent job and I really liked the people I worked with. That being the case, if I decided today—nineteen years later—that I would… [Read More]

Filed under business politics minimum wage labor economics union unions

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Rep. Earl Blumenauer: Unions Are (Not!) Destroying America

It is unfortunate that we are seeing an attempt in Congress to scapegoat America’s unions for the economic problems that beset us.

After all, it was not America’s grocery clerks, nurses, teachers, postal workers and electricians that nearly caused the meltdown of the economy. It wasn’t America’s labor unions that were pushing for tax loopholes that made our revenue system a hopeless, inefficient mess. It wasn’t unions that pushed for shortcuts for worker safety that produced the tragedies that we have…

Filed under labor unions union

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Study: U.S. Has Weakest Labor Protections Among Rich Nations

A new international comparison makes it clear just how weak  protections are for working people in the United States. University of Missouri-St. Louis Associate Professor Kenneth Thomas reviewed numbers from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and found that in 21 categories,

U.S. workers are more vulnerable than workers in any [OECD] mewmbers (rich industrialized democracies) or even…

Filed under labor unions union

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No, Let's Not Slash the Minimum Wage

Karl Smith agrees with Casey Mulligan that reducing the minimum wage would boost the job market:

I understand that there are sophisticated studies showing a limited impact of the minimum wage on employment. My judgment is impacted by those studies. Nonetheless, they are climbing a steep hill against intuition and a supply and demand paradigm that has proved incredibly powerful in the past.

It may not be the case that the minimum wage…

Filed under labor unions unemployment union jobs economy

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Poll numbers keep saying the same thing: Voters not happy with Scott Walker

As everyone who follows politics knows, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has been making some bold moves. His budget reforms that–among other things–targeted public unions exploded into a combination of street warfare and soap opera as pro-union forces took to the streets and Democratic state senators fled to hide in Illinois. (At the same time, Democratic state senators from Indiana were “vacationing” in the Land of Lincoln to avoid some issues in Hoosier-land. What’s next…Gadhafi in Peoria?)

As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, Wisconsin’s public opinion pendulum is in constant motion, and the state has historically embraced free-thinkers over the long run. Earlier polls…

Filed under wisconsin unions union labor politics

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Jimmy John's labor dispute escalates

Six former workers who led a union organizing effort at a west metro Jimmy John’s sandwich shop franchise have filed federal unfair labor practice charges against their ex-employer.

The complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board says the workers recently were fired for engaging in activities that are protected by law. The activities included putting up posters suggesting sick workers may be making sandwiches at the restaurants and for inciting supporters to…

Filed under labor unions union

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Maine GOP Gov. Paul LePage Stole Candy From Children, Wants To Undo Child Labor Laws

At an event in Lewiston, ME last night, the state’s tea party governor Paul LePage (R) told a crowd of French-Canadian-Americans that when he was 12 years old, he used to hide out in the French-Canadian part of town and steal Halloween candy from children. “Isn’t that awful? And now I’m governor of Maine,” LePage said with a laugh. But now that LePage…

Filed under labor unions union politics