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labor

Boeing
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.

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