As they debate their contracts, grocery workers insist they’re serious about striking: Picket captains have been tapped at hundreds of stores throughout the region, and strike headquarters have popped up in five counties.
Grocery workers at QFC, Albertsons, Safeway and Fred Meyer have been in contract negotiations since March. Workers take issue with the grocery stores' current contract proposals: their lack of health care coverage, their holiday pay policy and stagnant wages.
The union member bargaining team has recommended a strike vote. The grocery unions, United Food Commercial Workers Local 21, Local 367 and the Teamsters Local 38 are holding strike authorization votes this week. David Hyde talks with UFCW Local 21 communications director Tom Geiger about the potential strike.
A ballot initiative that would raise the minimum wage for some workers in SeaTac to $15 an hour could mark a major change in the larger labor movement’s strategy in the US.
Marcie Sillman talks it over with New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse. We also hear from David Rolf, the president of SEIU Healthcare 775NW, and Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council.
Gene White of Des Moines, Wash., has had a litany of health problems in recent years: testicular cancer; cancer in his nervous system; pneumonia; the fungus Aspergillus infecting his lungs. The retired airline pilot says he got great care at Swedish Medical Center and the other Seattle hospitals that helped him survive those life-threatening diseases.
It’s Friday — time to talk over the week’s news. The Department of Justice signals a long-awaited green light on new pot laws in Washington and Colorado. Fast-food workers in Seattle and across the country hold a one-day strike to push for an increase in minimum wage pay. The Obama Administration makes the case for American military involvement in Syria.
Plus, state Republicans choose a new leader, Seattle schools face a possible teacher strike, and same-sex couples get a break from the IRS.
Losia Nyankale helps daughter Jonessa and son Juliean learn the alphabet. Nyankale, who works in a restaurant in Washington, D.C., says she needs food stamps and child-care subsidies to make ends meet.
Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.
"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."
A recent study found that even though the French work 16 percent fewer hours than the rest of the world, they can still afford a high standard of living. So what pays for all that bread, cheese and wine? Increased productivity in the workplace.
Ross Reynolds talks to economist Dean Baker about what makes France one of the most productive countries in the world.
Fast food workers around the country are agitating for higher wages and better working conditions. Here in Seattle, workers are trying to get fast food restaurant managers arrested for the crime of wage theft. Ross Reynolds hears from New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse about what these protests say about the state of labor in America. Greenhouse recently reported on the fast food strikes in the New York Times.
People in the City of SeaTac could vote this November on an initiative that would create a $15 an hour hour minimum wage for thousands of workers at Sea-Tac airport and other places. The so-called “Good Jobs Initiative” would apply to about 6,500 workers in transportation and hospitality jobs in the City of SeaTac. Tuesday night, the SeaTac City Council decided to allow the measure to go before voters.
For the second time in 10 days, workers at Sakuma Brothers Farms have gone on strike. More than 200 berry pickers have walked off the job at the farm near Burlington, saying they want the farm to pay more for each box of blueberries and strawberries they harvest.