labor

Crowd Sourcing Labor
12:04 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

What In The World Is Turkopticon?

Flickr Photo/Matt Wetzler

When we think of crowd sourcing, we often think about Wikipedia or Youtube, but  Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a different type of crowd sourcing.

Mechanical Turk is an online marketplace where employers can hire thousands of workers to complete tiny tasks such as identifying objects in a photo or editing a description.  Workers are offered no benefits and are not protected by minimum wage laws. They are paid per task, often as little as 20 cents, occasionally as much as $5. But sometimes, they aren’t paid at all.

Read more
Airport Wages
11:55 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Are Sea-Tac Workers Paid Fairly? New Report Says No

A report by Puget Sound Sage says Sea-Tac employees are not fairly compensated.
Flickr Photo/ellenm1

Puget Sound Sage's latest report finds that Sea-Tac Airport has fallen behind when it comes to minimum worker pay when compared to some other West Coast airports.

How do Sea-Tac's wages compare to the national average, and if workers at the airport were to get raises who would bear the brunt of that cost? Ross Reynolds talks with Puget Sound Sage researcher and policy analyst Nicole Keenan.

Fruits Of Undocumented Labor
5:15 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Northwest Town Rides Ups And Downs Of "Broken" Immigration System

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:57 am

BREWSTER, Wash. - There's one word that politicians almost always use when they talk about the U.S. immigration system. That word is “broken.” But what does that really mean? Residents of the small town of Brewster, Wash., know. For decades, immigrants have come from Mexico, often illegally, to work the surrounding apple and cherry orchards. Bewster, it turns out, is a microcosm of how the immigration debate is playing out.

Read more
Executive Pay
5:17 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Striking Providence Hospital Workers Criticize Nonprofit CEO’s $6 Million Pay

More than 500 workers at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia are on strike.

Read more
Big Law, Tiny Font
7:16 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Lesser-Known Washington Law Doubles Maternity Leave To 24 Weeks

Washington law says your employer must inform you of your labor rights with this poster. The tiny text in the red box (added) tells workers of their right to additional parental leave.
Phyllis Fletcher

A long-standing state law in Washington gives working mothers up to 24 weeks off when they have babies. If you didn’t know, you must not have read the poster in your break room at work. You know, the one everyone is always leaning over and squinting at to find out what their rights are.

Read more
Technology
12:40 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Is Amazon's Mechanical Turk A Digital Sweatshop?

Jonathan Zittrain
Berkman Center for Internet & Society

The Mechanical Turk was a fake chess playing robot that fooled Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin. Today the Mechanical Turk is a service Amazon provides, linking workers with people who need tasks done. Some pay as little as a penny. Critics call Mechanical Turk a digital sweatshop. Ross Reynolds talks with Jonathan Zittrain, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, about working for points, Mechanical Turk and artificial-artificial intelligence.

Pay Checks & Balances
10:46 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Wash. Lawmakers Take Up "Wage Theft" Bill

A proposed bill in Olympia aims to crack down on employers who shortchange their workers. The measure would create harsher penalties for business that skimp on minimum wage, overtime pay, or just flat out fail to hand over a paycheck.

This type of  underpayment is often referred to as “wage theft.” Advocates of the bill, HB 1440, say the victims of wage theft tend to be low-income workers and undocumented immigrants.

Read more
Dangerous Jobs
11:46 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Corrections Officers Say Prisons Still Unsafe Two Years After Biendl Death

Sgt. Boe holds the badge of honor made by his daughter.
Credit Courtesy/Karen Boe

Runners in a 5K race will wind through the grounds of the Monroe Correctional Complex on Sunday to remember Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl. Tuesday will mark the two years since Biendl was found strangled in the chapel at the prison.

Read more
Employment
12:20 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

The New Workforce: Stories Of Temping, Freelance And Temporary Work

Job growth continues to be sluggish, but there’s one big exception: temporary work.  The number of temp and contract jobs has increased by nearly 30 percent since early 2009, according to the American Staffing Association. 

Ross Reynolds takes a closer look at the new temping economy with Steven Greenhouse, the  labor reporter for The New York Times.

Labor Dispute
8:58 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Northwest Wheat Growers Hope For Resolution At Grain Terminals

Lester L Flickr

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 5:27 pm

Northwest wheat growers are hoping for a swift resolution to a labor dispute that could keep their grain from reaching the world market. Grain terminals remain open in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle, even though the terminals' owners have implemented a contract offer unionized longshoremen rejected.

Most of the wheat that grows on the rolling hills of eastern Washington is bound for the international market. But to get there, the wheat passes through one of a handful of grain terminals in the Northwest.

Read more
Environment
9:00 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Coal Port Hearings In Seattle

Coal transported by train through Bellingham in 2009.
Credit Flickr Photo/Ryan Sitzman

Officials from the US Army Corps of Engineers and state Department of Ecology hear public comment in Seattle this afternoon about a plan to build the largest coal export terminal on the West Coast near Bellingham. KUOW's Ashley Ahearn joins us with details. Then, we look at Michigan's new "right to work" legislation and the possible ripple effects in Washington state with University of Washington Professor Jim Gregory.

Read more
Business
6:17 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Former Hostess Workers Still Picketing Shuttered Plant

Union members Byya Soey, Shella Robbins, and Kim Laird outside the Hostess plant in Seattle. The company closed the plant for good this week, citing the ongoing strike by bakery union members.
KUOW/Deborah Wang

Striking members of a bakers’ union are still picketing a plant in Seattle that makes Hostess Twinkies and Ho Hos. That’s despite the fact the plant is now closed for good.

Read more
Boeing
3:28 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Boeing Engineers Reject Contract Offer, Return To Bargaining Table

Boeing 747.
Flickr Photo/Pylon757

Negotiators for the Boeing Company and its engineering and technical union are back at the negotiating table today. That’s after union members soundly rejected the company’s latest contract offer.

More than 21,000 members of SPEEA, the Society For Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, voted by mail on the company’s contract proposal. When the votes were counted last night, 96 percent of engineers and 97 percent of technical workers had voted ‘no.’

Read more

Pages