labor

Courtesy of Gordon Janz

The U.S. Department of Justice has closed its four-year criminal investigation into whether environmental and worker safety laws were broken leading up to the fatal Tesoro refinery blast.

Too Many Apples, Too Few Hands In Washington

Aug 12, 2014
Flickr Photo/Andrea Parrish-Geyer (CC-BY-NC-ND)

 

Ross Reynolds talks with Karen Lewis, who is trying to come up with a better way to harvest apples when there's not enough people to pick them. Lewis is a tree fruit specialist at the Washington State University.

Voters in SeaTac, Washington, narrowly approved a $15 per hour minimum wage. Now, the state Supreme Court will decide whether that law should stand, and if so, whether it should apply to workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Currently it does not.

Courtesy of Microsoft

Following the announcement by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella that the company would undergo a 14 percent reduction in its workforce, conference rooms at the Redmond campus were reserved by the human resources.

Legal experts in Washington state are still assessing Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding labor unions. At issue is whether unions can require home health care workers to pay certain dues and fees. And, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports, Washington is one of a handful of states where this ruling could apply.

TRANSCRIPT

One of the last two Supreme Court decisions of this term was billed as a potential "final destruction" or "kill shot" for public sector unions. They seem to have been merely nicked by a bullet.

The federal minimum wage for tipped workers has been $2.13 since 1991. That pay rate tends to get lost in the larger debate over whether to raise the national minimum wage for nontipped workers, which is $7.25 an hour.

In theory, the money from tips should make up the difference in pay — and then some. But according to a White House report, tipped workers are more than twice as likely as other workers to experience poverty.

Living On Tips

Marcie Sillman interviews Anna Steffeney, founder and CEO of LeaveLogic, about President Obama's working families summit and the current state of family leave policies at the federal, state and local levels.

Flickr Photo/John Boren (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Lisa Brooks talks with Port of Seattle co-president Courtney Gregoire about a proposal to raise the minimum wage for SeaTac airport employees to $13 by 2017.

Marcie Sillman talks with Heather Weiner, spokeswoman for the group YES! for SeaTac, about the Port of Seattle Commission's proposal to raise wages for some airport workers, but not others.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle’s new $15 an hour minimum wage is scheduled to start phasing in next April. But it first must survive several challenges, both in court and at the ballot box.

Franchisees are challenging the law in court, and two separate groups are collecting signatures to put the law to a popular vote on this November’s ballot.

David Hyde interviews Carl Adrian, president of the Tri-City Development Council. He has a message to Seattle entrepreneurs that want to relocate due to the hike in the minimum wage here: "We're open for business."

American Apparel Ousts Its Controversial Founder, Dov Charney

Jun 19, 2014

The board of clothing chain American Apparel voted Wednesday to replace founder Dov Charney in the wake of allegations of misconduct against him.

In a statement on its website, the board said that it notified Charney of its intent to terminate his employment as president and CEO. He is expected to be fired following a 30-day period, the statement added.

The unemployment rate in Washington state is holding steady at 6.1 percent according to the latest numbers out Wednesday from the state Employment Security Department.

Benefit Corporations Look Beyond The Profit Motive

Jun 18, 2014

A corporation has one core obligation: to make money. But some companies are signing a deal, promising to create not only profit but also a tangible benefit to society and the environment. They're called benefit corporations, and their movement has caught the ear of lawmakers across the country.

In the tiny town of Gilsum, N.H., you'll find the headquarters of W.S. Badger Co. Inc. The company makes all-natural cosmetics marketed under the name Badger Balm. When CEO Bill Whyte founded the company two decades ago, the staff was lean.

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