labor

Demonstrators in Seattle form a human chain around City Hall in support of a $15 minimum wage in April 2014.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Ross Reynolds talks with Harold Meyerson,  journalist and editor of The American Prospect, about the future of organized labor and Seattle's $15 minimum wage movement.

An Amazon warehouse.
Flickr Photo/Scott Lewis (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks to Spencer Soper, reporter for Bloomberg News, about the complaints Amazon warehouse workers lodge against the company.

"Product of Mexico" — it's a label you see on fruit and vegetable stickers in supermarkets across the U.S.

It's also the name of an investigative series appearing this week in the Los Angeles Times.

Ross Reynolds talks with Richard Hollinger, a criminology professor at the University of Florida, about how retailers are protecting themselves from employees, who steal more than shoplifters do. Today, the Supreme Court rules that Amazon does not have to pay its warehouse workers for time spent waiting to go through security checks after their shifts.

Port of Seattle.
Flickr Photo/SLV Native (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Eric Schinfeld about how Washington business are being affected by a work slowdown at the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma. Schinfeld is oresident of the Washington Council on International Trade.

Then, Marcie Sillman gets reaction from International Longshore and Warehouse Union spokesperson Craig Merrilees.

In the Bolivian city of El Alto on a recent day, youngsters shout out the destinations of departing buses to lure passengers.

One of these barkers is 15-year-old Luis Canaza. He earns about 12 cents for every bus he fills.

Canaza says he began working at age 7, helping his parents sell tennis shoes. On weekends, he performs clown shows.

All told, an estimated 850,000 Bolivian children work. They sell food and clothes at outdoor markets. They mine silver and harvest sugar cane.

Shift work has been known to affect workers’ sleep patterns and has also been associated with increased health problems, including ulcers, cardiovascular disease and breast cancer.

And now, a new study published in the journal “Occupational & Environmental Medicine” shows that long-term shift work can cause cognitive deficiencies.

Robert Reich at the University of Iowa, Sep. 7, 2011
Wikipedia Photo

Former Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert Reich visited Seattle recently to encourage supporters of the 15Now campaign and to try to win over skeptics.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman talks to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about his new Labor Standards Office and the city's  budget priorities.

Flickr Photo/ghindo

Rollout of Seattle's $15 minimum wage is still half a year away, and Seattle's auditor says the city is already learning lessons about how to enforce workplace laws.

The Secret Lives Of Teachers

Oct 20, 2014

So where do they go, all the teachers, when the bell rings at 3 o'clock?

When you're a kid, you don't really think they go anywhere. Except home, maybe, to grade papers and plan lessons and think up pop quizzes.

And when you find out otherwise, it's a strange experience. Many people remember it vividly: the disorienting feeling of encountering your teacher in the grocery store, or in the line at McDonald's, talking and acting just like other grownups. A jarring reminder that they have lives outside the classroom.

Job growth stalled during September in Oregon and Washington according to new numbers from the respective state employment departments.

Amazon To Hire 80,000 Holiday Workers

Oct 15, 2014

An increase in customer demand is spurring Amazon.com to create 80,000 seasonal positions at its network of distribution centers across the U.S.

That's a 14 percent increase over the number of temporary workers it hired last year at this time.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

If today is a typical day in the United States, about 200 hospital patients will die with an infection they picked up while they were in the hospital.

Only one patient in the United States has ever died of Ebola, and many deadly diseases spread much more easily than Ebola.

Burnout at work seems like a fact of life, especially with employers cutting back on leave benefits.

But some companies are trying novel fixes. In addition to boosting morale, some employers say, eliminating burnout can increase productivity and profitability.

At Aptify, a Virginia software company, burnout was a problem a few years ago. Projects demanded long hours, which affected motivation and morale. It's a medium-size firm, with 200 workers, but at the time, procedures seemed overly corporate and cumbersome.

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