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After years of requests from drivers, Uber has added a tipping function on its app
Flickr photo/Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/kAYh8Z

Passengers who use the ride-hailing app Uber will now have the option to tip their driver.

The company has refused to offer it until now, even though drivers have long requested it and competing app Lyft already allows tipping.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We've been hearing stories about people adapting to a changing economy for our series Brave New Workers.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Do I still see myself as a cowboy? Yeah, I do, and I hope I always do.

The U.S. women's national soccer team has agreed to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Soccer, concluding a protracted dispute over their union contract.

File photo of Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The city of Seattle's law to let Lyft, Uber and taxi drivers form a union has been halted in federal court. The law is the first of its kind in the nation.

Baby kid mom parent
Flickr Photo/DonkerDink (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/21d0GBQ

Some states have paid family leave. Not Washington, though.

That could change.

Washington state capitol flag Olympia legislature
Flickr Photo/Tony Swartz (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to state Senator Joe Fain (R-Auburn) about the bipartisan Senate bill he is working on with Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Burien) that would require paid family and sick leave in Washington state. 

A broad coalition of groups across the nation is encouraging women to participate in Wednesday's strike, called "A Day Without A Woman."

The organized protest comes on International Women's Day and follows the successful Women's March in January.

Boeing’s Shared Services Group (SSG) is set to move to the southwest state by 2020.
Flickr Photo/Chuck Taylor (CC BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/7C1E9w

Deborah Wang talks with Reuters reporter Alwyn Scott about a vote over unionization at a South Carolina Boeing plant. South Carolina is the least unionized state in the country, and a union would mark a huge win for organized labor. But the fight has been contentious, and Scott doesn't see an easy path to victory. 

M. Lorena González
KUOW Photo/Meghan Walker

New moms and dads who work for the city of Seattle will now be allowed 12 weeks of paid leave. The City Council unanimously adopted a new parental leave policy Monday with the support of Mayor Ed Murray.

Supporters say expanding the paid parental leave law is a step toward closing the gender pay-gap.


There’s a movement sweeping states across the nation, known as the “Right to Work.” State Senators in Olympia heard a bill Wednesday that would bring it to Washington.

FLICKR PHOTO/TDLUCAS (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/nNMBep

Port of Seattle commissioners stood by their decision to pay around 650 employees close to $5 million in bonus pay, even though a routine state audit found the payments violated the Washington state constitution. Still, commissioners will attempt to collect some of the money back and are weighing future legal action.


The idea of giving workers paid time off to care for a new baby or an elderly parent has long been a priority of the left. But now the idea is gaining traction with some Republicans in the Washington Legislature.

Workers in Washington state are already eligible for up to 24 weeks of unpaid family and medical leave under state and federal law. A decade ago the Washington Legislature passed a paid family leave program, but never funded it. Now Washington Democrats and their labor allies are making a hard push to finally fund and expand that program.

File photo of Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The global ride-hailing company Uber is suing the city of Seattle. Uber is challenging new city rules that allow for-hire drivers to unionize.

Eileen Donoher lives in Snohomish and commutes to the UW Medical Center. She has three small children. 'We can make it work,' she says.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The Seattle area is getting more expensive. People are finding new ways to adapt, like moving farther away for affordable housing.

But what happens when you still need to work in the city — say, at a hospital in Seattle’s core?

Karam Maan says his Subway franchise has been hit hard by wage increases in Seattle
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Thousands of Seattle workers got a raise on January 1 when the city's minimum wage increased to $15 per hour.

The raise is for people working at Seattle's companies with more than 500 employees worldwide.

Millions of U.S. workers will get a raise on New Year's Day, as more than a dozen states increase their minimum wage. That will include thousands of people across Washington.

The Great Recession ended 7 1/2 years ago, and job gains have been steady since, but greater demand for workers is only starting to increase pay.

The increases are still relatively modest, and the data are still mixed. In October, for example, the Labor Department reported average hourly earnings increased at a 2.8 percent rate — the highest since mid-2009, but wage growth slowed in November. A separate report this month showed the cost of labor — another measure of wage growth — increased especially during the spring of this year.

Boeing 777x prototype
Boeing handout

Washington state's largest private employer will make another round of job cuts in 2017.

Boeing leaders notified employees in a letter Monday that the cuts are coming but didn't specify details. Company officials say one major reason is fewer sales opportunities for planes.

UW unions call for stronger campus protections for immigrants.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Several unions at the University of Washington are calling for stronger protections for immigrants and minority groups. It’s part of a so-called sanctuary movement on campuses across the country following the presidential election. 

Nicole Grant's blackboard still shows the causes the M.L. King County Labor Council fought for this year and won. Then, Donald Trump won the election and the labor movement risks setbacks.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The labor movement is preparing for conflict with the new Trump administration. The president-elect recently picked a fast food mogul as labor secretary who says the federal minimum wage should stay low, but labor’s fears extend much further than that.

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

Donald Trump’s pick as secretary of labor is a fast-food CEO. And that’s got labor leaders concerned.

Andrew Puzder heads the parent company for Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. And he's against a proposal to raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Newspaper box for the Seattle Times, 2012.
Flickr Photo/Mr.TinDC (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) http://bit.ly/2gKCGU9

“It’s not at all surprising.”

That was the reaction by David Boardman to the announcement by the Seattle Times that it will be reducing staff. The newspaper told staff in an email that it will be offering buyouts with the potential of layoffs after that.

President-elect Donald Trump's latest Twitter target is a local union official who questioned the billionaire's account of how many jobs he saved at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis.

Trump has previously used social media to browbeat companies that move jobs offshore as well as entertainers whose acts he finds tiresome.

On Wednesday, Trump took aim at Chuck Jones, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1999.

Trump wrote on Twitter that Jones "has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!"

File photo of Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Uber drivers packed themselves into a public hearing hosted by the City of Seattle Tuesday. The topic: an ordinance that lets drivers vote on whether to unionize.

The debate now is over which drivers will get to vote on whether to form a union. The city's proposal would give most drivers a vote, except those that only give a few rides a week.

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

For Tableau, a software company in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood, the bohemian neighborhood is part of the recruiting spiel.
Flickr Photo/Scott Lum (CC BY-NC 2.0) http://bit.ly/2h3woD4

On hot summer Fridays, workers from the software company Tableau gather at a dock and jump in the water.


The Obama administration is challenging a federal judge's decision last month to block the implementation of a new rule that would have made 4 million more Americans eligible for overtime pay.

The Department of Labor and its co-defendants filed a notice of appeal at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Thursday, the same day that the rule was set to take effect before the temporary injunction was issued.

Artist Sara Porkalob in her Queen Anne apartment
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

Jose Abaoag has an eclectic resume.

Iesha Gray, 20, resigned from her job at the U.S. Postal Service because she felt she wasn't given time or space she found acceptable to pump.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Iesha Gray called it the drought.

One month back from maternity leave, her breasts were empty. No more milk. Her baby girl at home was drinking her way through the freezer stash.

Brittany Johnson says the Freedom Foundation contacted her by mail to tell her she didn't have to be a member of SEIU. She said it was never clear how the right-wing organization got her information, and she wants her privacy.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

UPDATE 10/31/16, 2 p.m. 

On Friday the Washington state Attorney General’s Office said it filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court against the Freedom Foundation for campaign finance violations. The attorney general specifically said Freedom Foundation had failed to report its spending to oppose Initiative 1501.


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