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  1. #76
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    Wages shrink for state's middle-income workers

    California's job market is among the fastest-growing in the nation, and the state's unemployment rate is at one of its the lowest levels in seven years.


    But the state's middle-income earners continued to see their wages decline in 2014, according to new research — evidence that a crucial segment of the workforce is still falling behind.

    Typically you've seen the middle class as the key to economic mobility, a way to climb the economic ladder. They are feeling a very specific pinch right now.


    Wages for the typical worker in California — those who earn $19.18 an hour, or about $39,800 a year — are still 1.8% lower than they were in 2011, when the state's unemployment rate hovered around 11.5%. The current unemployment rate is 6.4%

    The research from the California Budget & Policy Center also shows that median earners in California are making substantially less than they were before the Great Recession in 2006, after adjusting for inflation.


    "Typically you've seen the middle class as the key to economic mobility, a way to climb the economic ladder," said Luke Reidenbach, a policy analyst at the nonprofit Sacramento research group, which wrote the report. "They are feeling a very specific pinch right now."


    Wage erosion for middle-income earners is particularly challenging as housing costs in California have continued to rise, he said. Unlike lower-income workers, those in the middle tend to have less access to subsidized housing programs, he said.


    Workers at all income levels except those earning in the top 10% suffered wage declines from 2006, when the economy peaked, through 2011. But since then, workers in both the upper- and lower-income brackets have had their wages increase, while those in the middle have seen continued declines.

    Since that peak, wage declines for median earners in California have also been more severe than the U.S. overall. Since 2006, median wages in California have fallen 6.2% — more than the triple the decline of 1.9% across the nation.


    Moreover, the gap between wages of the typical worker and those earning in the top 10% have consistently grown since 1979, according to the group's analysis of U.S. Census data.


    "These diverging fortunes have led to a widening gulf between higher-wage workers and everyone else," the report concludes.


    Reidenbach said the recent gains for lower-wage workers could mean that middle-income earners are next in line.


    "The way that recoveries tend to work is that low-wage workers are hired first, because they're cheaper," he said. "The hope is that as the economy continues to improve, mid-wage workers will see raises as well."

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...702-story.html



  2. #77
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    American workers are getting sick, and CPI wants you to understand why

    CPI began publishing findings of an 18-monthinvestigation on work-related disease in America. The multi-part exposé, complete with methodology, catalogues the toxic substances that many Americans come into contact with in the workplace—and the weak federal regulations that fail to police them. Workers from construction sites to grocery stores to semiconductor manufacturing plants often touch or inhale chemicals that hold the potential, advocates say, to irreparably damage or end lives.

    The conclusions are jarring in and of themselves. But what makes them even more frightening is the knowledge that such conditions exist—indeed, they’re often legal—in one of the most advanced countries in the world.

    CPI and several other news organizations have renewed their focus on workplace issues in recent years, an about-face after the decades-long decline of the more-traditional, union-focused “labor” beat. The reversal came in wake of the financial crisis, when stagnant wages and income inequality took center stage in the American political arena. Much of the coverage, from mainstream media to left-wing outlets, centers on such economic concerns. But CPI has focused its efforts on a different—though no less important—aspect of labor coverage. It targets the intersection of workers’ rights and public health, and it consistently connects in a big way.

    CPI’s lead piece on Monday outlined how a shoddy federal regulatory regime allows various toxic substances to pollute American workplaces, despite far stricter guidelines for protecting the general public from chemical exposure. Inhaled or otherwise touched by workers, these substances lead to an estimated 50,000 deaths, hundreds of thousands of illnesses, and tens of billions of dollars in medical expenses and lost productivity each year—what the piece’s headline terms a “slow-motion tragedy for American workers.”

    The blight of disease contracted on the job isn’t confined to factory workers. It consumes hairdressers, grocery store meat-wrappers, scientists and people in a variety of other professions. Many are stricken by middle age.


    The panoply of illnesses, from nerve damage to dementia to virulentcancers, takes a profound toll on workers and their families. Careers are lost, finances shredded, marriages tested. In some cases, workers opt for macabre, last-ditch procedures to try to save their lives…


    Federal regulators are overwhelmed by the scope of the problem,which didn’t materialize by chance. Congress has exacerbated the situation by refusing to fortify the weak 1970 law specifying what [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration] can do. Trade groups have challenged health standards in court while workers lose their lives. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget is a vortex that sucks in proposed agency rules and doesn’t spit them out for months — or years.

    The potential injustice isn’t merely that workers toil amid substances known for their toxicity: lead, silica, and hexavalent chromium, to name a few. It’s that such conditions are typically legal. Efforts to tighten such regulations have been hamstrung by Congress or the White House, CPI reported in an analytical sidebar Monday, and public agencies tasked with enforcing them lack the resources to do so effectively. The current head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, meanwhile, freely acknowledged to CPI that the body’s rules are “weak and out of date, or simply non-existent.”



    http://www.cjr.org/b-roll/cpi_americ...ers_toxins.php

    BigChem profits trump lives of Human-Americans.



  3. #78
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    did somebody say " OSHA"?

    OSHA says open-flame heater caused gas rig fire that killed three Oklahoma workers

    COALGATE, Okla. (AP) — Federal officials say an open-flame heater on the floor of an oil rig likely sparked a December fire that killed three and injured two in Coalgate.

    The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration says this wasn’t the first time the company that owns the rig was cited for using a heater on an oil rig floor, the McAlester News-Capital reports.


    Records indicate that the company, Dan D Drilling, was cited in June 2013 for allowing the use of an open-flame heater on one of its rigs. Dan D Drilling received 10 OSHA violations and faces penalties.


    The company’s been placed on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. “which concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations …”

    http://fuelfix.com/blog/2015/06/17/o...rs/#31363101=0



  4. #79
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    Rising Economic Insecurity Tied to Decades-Long Trend in Employment Practices

    Even before the founding of the company in 2009, the United States economy was rapidly becoming an Uber economy writ large, with tens of millions of Americans involved in some form of freelancing, contracting, temping or outsourcing.

    The decades-long shift to these more flexible workplace arrangements, the venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and the labor leader David Rolf argue in the latest issue of Democracy Journal, is a “transformation that promises new efficiencies and greater flexibility for ‘employers’ and ‘employees’ alike, but which threatens to undermine the very foundation upon which middle-class America was built.”

    Along with other changes, like declining unionization and advancing globalization,, the increasingly arm’s-length nature of employment helps explain why incomes have stagnated and why most Americans remain deeply anxious about their economic prospects six years after the Great Recession ended.


    Last year, 23 percent of Americans told Gallup they worried that their working hours would be cut back, up from percentages in the low-to-mid teens in the years leading up to the recession. Twenty-four percent said they worried that their wages would be reduced, up from the mid-to-high teens before the recession.


    Even if the economy continues to improve, the lingering malaise will almost certainly be the central issue in next year’s presidential election.

    the tidal wave sweeping through the American economy has already reshaped the political landscape — from the rise of an anti-Wall Street movement on the left to the Tea Party on the right — and is sowing frustration among a large mass of voters.

    “Whether America will be America or not hinges on whether we have a downward spiral around wages,” said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress. “People know things are changing. They don’t feel like anyone has a handle on it. There’s a yearning for a political vision that addresses that.”


    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/13/bu...s&emc=rss&_r=0

    The Fed (belongs to the banksters) seems happy with the "economy as solid" and will raise rates (kills jobs), but GAF about Human-Americans, just like the Fed bailed out the banksters, but not Americans.



  5. #80
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    Pay Is Stagnant for Vast Majority, Even When You Include Benefits

    A newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics research paper by Kristen Monaco and Brooks Pierce provides important new data analysis of wage and compensation trends over the 2007–2014 period, updating earlier analyses by Pierce. This study draws on data from the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), an employer survey that provides detailed information on wage and benefits.

    there's a graph!

    http://www.epi.org/publication/pay-is-stagnant-for-vast-majority-even-when-you-include-benefits/

  6. #81
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    America Leads Developed World In Treating Working Moms Like Crap


    America is very harsh on working mothers.

    Women make up nearly 50 percent of America’s workforce and 40 percent of household breadwinners, yet they have few of the protections mothers in other rich countries enjoy. America is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t offer guaranteed paid paternity or maternity leave to workers. Only 12 percent of U.S. workers reportedly have such coverage, but it is usually a benefit provided through employer insurance.

    At least seven in 10 mothers with children younger than 18 were in the workforce in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center. Yet, America is quite hostile toward its working mothers. Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director of momsrising.org, says part of the problem is that most policymakers can’t relate to the issues moms face.

    More than 80 percent of the 114th Congress is male, a figure Rowe-Finkbeiner says explains why lawmakers don’t see childcare access as an urgent issue.

    another issue: employers discriminate against mothers. One studyfound that moms pursuing six-figure jobs could be offered salaries that are $11,000 less than female applicants who don't have children; that figure jumps to $13,000 less when compared to childless male applicants. Men don’t face such discrimination. In every state, working fathers earn more than working women.

    Men’s salaries increased by more than 6 percent when they had children, but women saw their salaries drop by 4 percent for each child they had

    Illinois is reportedly running out of money for childcare subsidies because the state legislature underfunded the budget by $300 million last year.

    In North Carolina, thousands of low-income families lost childcare subsidies under the state’s new eligibility requirements last year.

    Parents in Alabama face cuts to their state-supported childcare subsidies.

    http://www.alternet.org/america-lead...king-moms-crap




  7. #82
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    5 Ways Conservatives Make Workers Poorer, Sicker, And More Dependent On Government

    Here are five ways workers punish themselves by voting Republican:

    1. Working longer.


    More than 85 percent of American men and 66.5 percent of women work more than 40 hours a week. In exchange, we’re the only industrialized country on Earth that does not require paid maternity or sick leave. We also have less vacation time than any first-world nation.


    Needless to say, conservatives widely oppose all of these policies. Every Republican in the Senate running for presidentvoted against paid sick leave this year.


    “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers,” according to the International Labour Organization.


    But Jeb Bush is right—many of us would still like to work longer and can’t. But not because we need more work—we have plenty of that— but we need the economic freedom conservative policies deny us.


    2. Working to death.


    The retirement age for Social Security is already 67 for anyone born in 1960 or after. Jeb Bush would like to make that 68 or 70. He’d also like to privatize it and “phase out” traditional Medicare, presumably to phase in Paul Ryan’s Medicare voucher plan, which is opposed by everyone, including most Republicans.


    Bush’s argument is solvency or saving these retirement guarantees. What he’s really saying is that he would never consider the much less painful and viable options: asking the rich to pay payroll taxes the same way the middle class does, and negotiating drug prices for Medicare the way we do for Medicaid and the Veterans Administration.


    Bush and most Republicans make the argument that “people are living longer!”


    “This sounds plausible until you look at exactly who is living longer,” The New York Times‘ Paul Krugman explains. “The rise in life expectancy, it turns out, is overwhelmingly a story about affluent, well-educated Americans. Those with lower incomes and less education have, at best, seen hardly any rise in life expectancy at age 65; in fact, those with less education have seen their life expectancy decline.”


    So the workers who are voting Republican are again most victimized by GOP policies.


    3. Working for less.

    If facts could change minds, this graph would be all workers would need to see to never vote Republican again.


    It’s almost impossible to directly connect the fall of middle-class incomes and the decline of labor unions, but the correlations are astounding. And wherever unions are busted or hindered by GOP policies, wages fall.

    Jeb Bush has said he doesn’t even think there should be a minimum wage and opposes President Obama’s revised rule that would force employers to pay millions of workers for the overtime they are already doing. And they pursue these policiesdespite evidence showing their arguments against higher mandatory wages have been repeatedly disproved.


    4. Working less safely.

    The Occupation Safety and Health Administration was created under President Nixon and has radically transformed the safety of U.S. workplaces.


    “In the past four decades, the number of deaths due to workplace accidents fell from 13,800 in 1970 to 5,657 in 2007,”David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz wrote. “The total incidence rate of private sector occupational injuries and illnesses plummeted from 10.9 per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.9 in 2008.” Some of this has to do with the decline of industrialized occupations in America. Most of it has to do with OSHA.


    Still, in 2013, nearly 13 Americans died on the job each day.


    So what does the GOP want to do? Gut OSHA , starve funding for regulators to police corporations, or just completely roll back regulations that prevent little inconveniences like factories exploding.


    5. Working for food stamps and Medicaid.

    What do you call people who work 40 hours a week and are still on food stamps and Medicaid?


    Republicans call them “takers,” even though it’s corporations that are really doing the taking.


    “You’ve got this giant industry of free riders,” billionaire and anti-inequality activist Nick Hanauer said on Barry Ritholtz’sMasters of Business podcast. “McDonald’s pays their workers poverty wages and not one of the people in McDonald’s can buy the products [of the companies I start]. All of my employees can afford to go to McDonald’s every day, right, but not vice versa. All of my employees pay taxes.

    All of the McDonald’s employees, they don’t pay taxes. In fact, they need public services like food stamps and Medicaid that my employees pay [into]. And none of this makes any sense.”


    It only makes sense if you want to keep wages unethically low and don’t actually care about the personal responsibility you preach. It makes sense if you think the people who should pay the costs of your extraordinary gains are the workers you exploit and the taxpayers you gouge.


    It actually makes a lot of sense. What doesn’t make sense is that the votes of the people being exploited make this possible.

    http://www.nationalmemo.com/5-ways-c...utm_content=C#



  8. #83
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    Why Are Americans Overworking Themselves to Death?

    The reality is, Americans don’t just work more than they have in the past, they work more than most of the industrialized world. It’s not exactly breaking news that we spend more hours at the office — or on the assembly line or behind the coffee counter — than our European peers. A 2004 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found Americans work “50 percent more than do the Germans, French, and Italians.”

    More recent data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that in 2014, Americans outworked several expected other countries, among them Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland and Austria, all countries that (coincidentally, I’m so sure) rank higher than us on the most recent World Happiness survey.


    The most surprising discovery of the poll, though, is that we have surpassed Japan, long stereotyped by Americans as a society far more workaholic than our own, in annual hours worked by a tally of 1789 to 1729. That means we’re now collectively putting in more work hours each year than the country where necessity led to the invention of the term karōshi (“death from overwork").


    Yet Japan, at the very least, demands a legal minimum of 10 paid vacation days (though many employers provide more) along with 14 weeks of maternity leave. (The country has also undertaken a more aggressive effort to get new fathers to take advantage of paid paternity leave.) France famously goes even further, offering 30 days of vacation and 16 weeks of parental leave, while Scandinavian countries and Australia and New Zealand top even the French.


    Then there’s the United States, where workers have no legal guarantee to any amount of vacation at all — or sick days, for that matter, despite a reportfinding all those sick people at work ultimately cost the country $160 billion in lost productivity each year. The U.S. has the distinction of being the world’s only industrialized, not to mention rich, nation with no national legislation demanding employers offer maternity leave. And paternity leave? That’s not even part of the national discussion.


    Without any legal right to vacation, sick days or maternity leave, nearly a quarter of Americans work jobs that offer no paid time off, per a 2013 study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. The study found that part-time workers are “far less likely to have paid vacations (35 percent) than are full-timers (91 percent).”

    http://www.alternet.org/gender/ameri...ter1040700&t=2



  9. #84
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    Inside the AMAZON HELLHOLE for Employees

    Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace



    The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions.


    They are told to forget the “poor habits” they learned at previous jobs, one employee recalled. When they “hit the wall” from the unrelenting pace, there is only one solution: “Climb the wall,” others reported.

    To be the best Amazonians they can be, they should be guided by
    the leadership principles, 14 rules inscribed on handy laminated cards. When quizzed days later, those with perfect scores earn a virtual award proclaiming, “I’m Peculiar” — the company’s proud phrase for overturning workplace conventions.

    At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are “unreasonably high.”

    The internal phone directory
    instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others. (The tool offers sample texts, including this: “I felt concerned about his inflexibility and openly complaining about minor tasks.”)

    Some workers who suffered from cancer, miscarriages and other personal crises said they had been evaluated unfairly or edged out rather than given time to recover.

    “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”

    his enduring image was watching people weep in the office, a sight other workers described as well. “You walk out of a conference room and you’ll see a grown man covering his face,” he said. “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”

    changes that the rest of the work world is now experiencing: data that allows individual performance to be measured continuously, come-and-go relationships between employers and employees, and global competition in which empires rise and fall overnight. Amazon is in the vanguard of where technology wants to take the modern office: more nimble and more productive, but harsher and less forgiving.

    “Organizations are turning up the dial, pushing their teams to do more for less money, either to keep up with the competition or just stay ahead of the executioner’s blade,”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/te...er=rss&emc=rss


    Sounds very much like soul-destroying brutality of Scientology, of extreme religious indoctrination, with nearly all workers undercompensated and having a diminished, ed up personal life, if any.

    Bezos is the chief priest and whipper, sounds very much like a brilliant sicko, a "peculiar" idiot savant.

    But since the ONLY value America really worships is financial $ucce$$, Bezos and his slave-whipping mgmt team gets a pass.




  10. #85
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    Low-Wage Colorado Workers Win Wage Theft Case

    Between 40 and 50 low-wage workers at a grocery store in the Denver suburb of Aurora will collect a total of $305,000 in back wages and penalties, thanks to a U.S. District Court ruling July 31 affirming the employees were underpaid.

    The decision is based on often under-utilized federal and state “wage theft” laws, which allow employees and employers to sue businesses that effectively steal money from employees by not, for example, paying required minimum or overtime wages.


    In the Aurora case, one employee at the Carniceria y Verduleria Guadalajara approached the group Towards Justice, which works to defend “the economic stability of working families,” and claimed to have been habitually underpaid. The grocery store did not realize it was breaking any laws, and did not appear to have malicious intent, worker advocates said.


    After an investigation confirming this allegation, Towards Justice represented the employee and others at the store in a class action lawsuit.


    “It’s really courageous for an employee to vindicate not only their rights but the rights of their colleagues,” Towards Justice Executive Director Nina DiSalvo told RH Reality Check. “Wage theft disproportionately affects immigrant workers, who are less likely to complain because they are unsure what their rights are in a foreign country. All workers, regardless of immigration status, are protected by wage laws.”


    Studies show that wage theft is common, and most incidents often go unchallenged by employees.


    The Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute reported last year that in Colorado alone, $750 million in “wage nonpayment” is withheld from workers annually with only a “small fraction” being reported. This translates to $25 million to $47 million in lost taxes for Colorado, the study estimates.

    http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/20...ality+Check%29



  11. #86
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    Appeals Court Reinstates Wage Rules for Home Care Workers


    A federal appeals court on Friday revived Obama administration regulations that guarantee overtime and minimum wage protection to nearly 2 million home health care workers.

    The ruling was a victory for worker advocacy groups and labor unions that have long sought higher wages for domestic workers who help the elderly and disabled with everyday tasks such as bathing or taking medicine.

    It also was a win for the White House, which proposed the rules four years ago as part of an effort to go around an unwilling Congress in a bid to help low-wage workers through executive action.


    A federal judge had scrapped the Labor Department rules earlier this year after finding that the agency had overstepped its authority. Since 1974, federal law has exempted home care workers hired through third-party staffing agencies from wage and overtime requirements.


    But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the Labor Department has the power to interpret the law to change that exemption.


    Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, Judge Sri Srinivasan cited a "dramatic transformation" of the home care industry over the past four decades as a valid reason for the change. While most caregivers used to be directly employed by individual households, the vast majority of workers now work for staffing companies that service hundreds or thousands of customers, Srinivasan said.


    He also noted a massive shift to providing care for the elderly in their own homes rather than in nursing homes, which requires workers to offer more advanced medical care and assistance to clients than the mere "companionship" services envisioned in 1974.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015...er=rss&emc=rss



  12. #87
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    Big Brother is watching: Why the workplace of 2016 could echo Orwell’s 1984

    Wearable health trackers

    Activity-tracking devices made by companies like Fitbit, Jawbone and Misfit are increasingly popular gadget purchases, but they’re also making their way into the workplace: research firm Gartner estimates that 10,000 companies offered activity-trackers to staff in 2014. Their motivation is being questioned, however: will your boss have access to the data from these devices? (Imagine your annual review including criticism of your sofa-loafing nature at weekends). And will they share it with advertisers or insurance companies?

    Monitoring your night-time habits

    Personal sleep monitoring – sometimes using standalone devices or sometimes built in to fitness-trackers like Fitbit – sounds like a good idea, but would you want your employer to know how much shut-eye you’re getting? Meanwhile, a flurry of reports in 2013 called attention to the prospect of daily testing of employees’ alcohol levels, with fingerprint-scanning device AlcoSense TruTouch taking just 10 seconds to return a reading. “The benefits of testing all staff, every day are immense and the change in workforce behaviour is immediate,” explains the company on its website . Anyone for a mineral water?

    Work/life balance


    Some of the best things about workplace technology come outside your workplace: faster, more reliable broadband; powerful smartphones and tablets; better video and text chatting software all enable us to be more flexible in our working patterns. But one of the worst things about workplace technology also comes outside the workplace, because all this flexibility often erodes your work/life balance. It might be your boss’s fault – emails in the evening, expecting an immediate response, or conference calls on public holidays – but just as often it might be your own: checking emails in bed and treating the train home as an extension of your office hours.

    Augmented reality


    The Google Glass augmented-reality specs were essentially a toy for tech people with too much money to burn (“gl s” as they were labelled). Google has gone back to the drawing board with that product but the one area where experts agree AR glasses are likely to catch on is in the workplace. From warehouse workers to plumbers and electricians, people will be able to access data and services with a flick of their eyes. The risks? Information overload: emails and notifications in your face throughout the day. And also the questions around recording video and audio, whether in terms of your boss demanding your first-person footage of a task, or simply the danger of an entire workforce becoming walking CCTV cameras.

    Anonymous feedback tools


    One of the elements of Amazon’s working culture picked out by the New York Times was its “secret feedback” system, used anonymously by employees to praise – or criticise – one another to bosses. Amazon claims most of the comments are positive but workers interviewed for the report said it could also be used to gang up on colleagues through coordinated campaigns of negative feedback. As this kind of “collaborative anytime feedback” technology spreads to other companies, moaning about colleagues in the pub could be replaced by anonymous complaints that feed directly into their performance reviews – and its anonymous nature may hamper their ability to defend themselves.

    Driving-monitoring apps


    Tracking drivers remotely is well established in industries like logistics but the emergence of smartphone driving-monitoring apps may expand the idea to anyone who drives a company car. Insurance companies including Aviva and Admiral have launched apps for drivers that score their driving safety based on cornering, braking and acceleration, and then offer the best ones a discount on their insurance. Employees will be aware of GPS technology being used to track their location to eliminate dilly-dallying, but data on their driving safety – especially in a device/car that’s used at weekends – adds a new layer.

    Sociometric badges


    That badge hanging from your neck to get in to your workplace? What if it also recorded your daily interactions? This is the idea behind sociometric badges, which capture “face-to-face interactions” of the wearer, as well as speech and body movement, then serve all this data up for analysis by employers. It might provide data on how well (or poorly) a salesperson is doing – “improving the employee-customer interaction” as one firm selling the technology puts it. The implications for workplace gossip, or even simply judging someone more on their social interactions than other aspects of their work, are complex.

    Happiness analytics


    Some sociometric badges are going further. Earlier this year, Hitachi unveiled a new badge – slogan: “ Human Big Data” – which aims to measure your happiness. How? A mysterious algorithm based on your physical activity, from how quickly you walk to how often you nod. Hitachi says this data will be aggregated to provide an overall happiness score for a workplace, rather than used for bosses to grill individual staff about why they’re not happy enough. Mood-tracking is a hot area for tech development, from smart-rings measuring your sweat to wristbands monitoring your heart. Some, like headworn devices Melomind and Thync, even claim to change your mood via electrodes stimulating the brain. The science remains under debate, but the vision of your boss trying to make you wear a de-stress helmet is… a bit stressful.

    Facial recognition technology


    Privacy concerns around facial recognition tend to focus on two areas: its use by police and the government in the monitoring of citizens, and the worry that if Facebook is working on it (which it is), it must be up to no good. Employers don’t get mentioned often, but perhaps they should. Think about established fears of companies Googling potential employees or mining their Facebook and Twitter profiles, and then extend those into using software to scan for their faces in photos across the web – from drunken nights out to public protests.

    Security drones


    In 2015, consumer drones – as opposed to military ones – remain a plaything, with regulators still drawing up rules on how they can and can’t be used for commercial purposes. One of the uses being mooted is for building security: drones capable of zipping around buildings, filming any intruders. Concerns here don’t just include the risk of a drone falling out of the sky on to an employee’s head but the question of whether these drones will also film staff, and what will happen to the footage.

    Corporate security


    Most of these changes in the workplace will create huge amounts of data on employees, from personal activity and email archives to photographs and footage of them going about their business. Which begs the question: are the companies storing this technology able to do that securely, in an era when data breaches are increasingly common. If Ashley Madison, Sony Pictures and Carphone Warehouse fell victim to hackers, what makes you sure your company won’t? In an era of increased data collection within the workplace, what your employer plans to do with it may be the least of your worries.

    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/08/big-...e+Raw+Story%29

    With employers having won the War on Employees and operating in a "sellers' job market" for years and as far as we can see, will employers force employees to wear monitoring devices as conditions of employment, as if you were a
    monitored capital piece of closely equipment, like a truck with GPS?


  13. #88
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    a victory for workers. Thanks, Obama!

    Home Healthcare Workers Haven’t Qualified for Minimum Wage for 80 Years. Now They Do.

    It took about 40 years after the passage of federal wage standards for the government to decide that domestic workers deserved a minimum wage. And it’s taking nearly another 40 years for home healthcare workers—the subset of the industry specializing in elder and disability care—to gain the same protections.

    The Obama administration has amended federal wage and hour regulations to close a longstanding exemption for these aides. And after a legal tussle with home healthcare employers, last week, an appeals-court judge struck down a lower-court ruling blocking the reforms, paving the way forextending minimum wage and overtime protections for some of the poorest workers caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.



    The new rules, first issued in 2013, target the workers employed by home healthcare agencies, who were excluded in the 1970s amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on the basis that their services were akin to “elder sitting” (read: not a “real” profession).

    In reality, the industry today has evolved into a major component of the healthcare infrastructure, tending to a range of physical and social needs including feeding, bathing, managing clients’ medication, and providing rehabilitation and recreational activity.

    Many of the responsibilities of the job require ongoing professional training, along with extreme hours (being on-call around the clock for intensive medical needs), and considerable manual labor (lifting fragile clients).


    http://www.thenation.com/article/hom...s-now-they-do/

  14. #89
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    The NLRB just acted to give some of the most disadvantaged workers in America more bargaining power.

    This new National Labor Relations Board decision looks important and potentially very positive for low-wage workers facing a huge bargaining-power deficit with their employers.

    The Board’s decision held that workers hired by a contractor–Leadpoint in this case–were jointly employed by both the contractor and the contracting company, Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI). From the NLRB:

    …the Board found that BFI was a joint employer with Leadpoint, the company that supplied employees to BFI to perform various work functions for BFI, including cleaning and sorting of recycled products. In finding that BFI was a joint employer with Leadpoint, the Board relied on indirect and direct control that BFI possessed over essential terms and conditions of employment of the employees supplied by Leadpoint as well as BFI’s reserved authority to control such terms and conditions.

    The reason this is such a big deal is that, as the NYT recognizes, “…the ruling could apply well beyond companies that rely on contractors and staffing agencies, extending to companies with large numbers of franchisees.” Like Mickey D’s, e.g.


    Now, there are a lot of potential slips between the cup and the lips on this one. First, the board’s ruling has to survive legal challenges. If it does, then there’s got to be a union to organize these workers. Given the fact that by definition, they’re scattered around among franchise shops and subcontractors’ payrolls, that will be a challenge.

    But in the name of fighting economic inequality and rebalancing bargaining power, it is one well worth undertaking.

    There’s another point here, one which I fear is underappreciated: the members of the NLRB are appointed by the president. And so it really matters who the president is, in ways we don’t always think about.

    http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/the-nl...d+Bernstein%29



  15. #90
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    Kock Bros/ALEC synthetic Kockenstein monster

    Scott Walker's latest attack on unions is straight out of Alec's playbook

    In a speech on Thursday at the alma mater of his hero Ronald Reagan, Eureka College in Illinois, he pledged to destroy the political activities of federal employee unions by blocking their political funding.

    Vowing to “wreak havoc on Washington” – his new campaign mantra – Walker said that on his first day in the White House he would force the unions to disclose how much of their dues they were spending on political activities.


    He would also put an end to the federal government practice of holding back a portion of union dues from workers’ paychecks for that purpose.


    An interesting though largely overlooked feature of Walker’s bid for survival is that it is not new at all. In fact, the idea of hitting public unions by cutting off their political funding has been promoted by none other than the American Legislative Exchange Council, Alec, since at least 1998.

    In that year, Alec released the Paycheck Protection Act as a model bill that it began disseminating among Republican-controlled state legislatures.

    In subsequent years, it has pushed similar legislation under slightly different titles – Public Employee Paycheck Protection Act, Public Employer Payroll Deduction Policy Act – in each case seeking to push back the political influence of public unions by cutting off their supplies of political cash.

    Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy, which monitors Alec, said the legislation was billed as protecting workers’ freedom.


    “But really it is about defunding unions and tilting the playing field in favour of corporate interests like Koch Industries, the energy empire of the Koch brothers who are among Alec’s biggest funders,” he said.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...cal-activities




  16. #91
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    Corporations are putting a $535 billion squeeze on workers' share of the pie





    The wage squeeze is not in workers' imaginations. The Economic Policy Institute's Josh Bivens explains:

    Between 2000 and the second quarter of 2015, the share of income generated by corporations that went to workers’ wages (instead of going to capital incomes like profits) declined from 82.3 percent to 75.5 percent, as the figure shows. This 6.8 percentage-point decline in labor’s share of corporate income might not seem like a lot, but if labor’s share had not fallen this much, employees in the corporate sector would have $535 billion more in their paychecks today. If this amount was spread over the entire labor force (not just corporate sector employees) this would translate into a $3,770 raise for each worker.

    And by the way, American corporations were doing just fine back when they weren't squeezing quite so hard.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/09/11/1420414/-Corporations-are-putting-a-535-billion-squeeze-on-workers-share-of-the-pie?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_camp aign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29

    BigCorp s employees unstoppably.



  17. #92
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    A fundamental plank of the Repugs/VRWC/1%'s War on Employees so they pocket salaries that used to go to employees, esp union employees, is their war on Unions.

    Study: Unions and upward mobility go hand in hand



    The evidence that upward mobility is out of reach for most low-income kids in America,particularly in certain areas, keeps building. Over the past 40 years, research by Raj Chetty and coauthors suggests, declining racial segregation and high school dropout rates—factors that should have increased mobility—were in competition with rising income inequality and single motherhood—factors that work against mobility. But a new study adds in another factor that is correlated with kids from low-income families moving up: unions.
    According to the study by Richard Freeman, Eunice Han, David Madland, and Brendan V. Duke of Harvard, Wellesley, and the Center for American Progress, unions are linked in a few ways with improved outcomes for kids:


    • Areas with higher union membership demonstrate more mobility for low-income children. Using Chetty and others’ data, we* find that low-income children rise higher in the income rankings when they grow up in areas with high-union membership. [...] This relationship between unions and the mobility of low-income children is at least as strong as the relationship between mobility and high school dropout rates—a factor that is generally recognized as one of the most important correlates of economic mobility. Indeed, union density is one of the strongest predictors of an area’s mobility. Furthermore, unions remain a significant predictor of economic mobility even after one controls for several variables including race, types of industries, inequality, and more.
    • Areas with higher union membership have more mobility as measured by all children’s incomes. We also measure the geographic relationship between union membership and another measure of mobility: the income of all children who grew up in an area after controlling for their parents’ incomes. According to our findings, a 10 percentage point increase in union density is associated with a 4.5 percent increase in the income of an area’s children. [...]
    • Children who grow up in union households have better outcomes. Using a different dataset, we match parents and children to compare the outcomes of children who grew up in otherwise similar union and nonunion households. The findings show that children growing up in union households tend to have better outcomes than children who grew up in nonunion households, especially when the parents are low skilled. For example, children of non-college-educated fathers earn 28 percent more if their father was in a labor union. This analysis helps provide evidence suggesting a link between unions and economic mobility.


    The study only shows correlation, not causation, so other factors that are associated with unions may be the ultimate cause, but the correlation sure is interesting, isn't it? Particularly since Republicans keep telling us how bad unions are for everyone. Even if unions aren't causing higher mobility (and they may be; we just can't tell from the available data), they sure aren't getting in the way. That fits with research finding that declining union membership contributes to rising income inequality.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/09/09/1419807/-Study-Unions-and-upward-mobility-go-hand-in-hand?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_cam paign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29



  18. #93

  19. #94
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    Kock Bros Kockenstein monster and protege blatantly exposing the VRWC/BigCorp War on Employees

    Scott Walker to AnnoScott Walker to Announce Proposal to Curb Union Power Nationallyunce Proposal to Curb Union Power Nationally


    • At event in Las Vegas late Monday, two-term governor will propose eliminating unions for federal government employees, making all workplaces right-to-work unless individual states vote otherwise, and eliminating National Labor Relations Board that oversees labor practices, according to his campaign
    • Also will call for end of Davis-Bacon Act, federal law that requires government contractors to pay workers the local prevailing wage, a perennial target for elimination by the business community
    • Proposal would also allow employers to provide employees with the option of using overtime for time off from work, instead of extra pay
    • Proposes requiring federal employee unions to disclose and certify the portion of dues used for political activity and prohibit withholding for that amount
    • Expected to say he would work with Congress, or use executive power, to make the changes if elected president
    • “Our plan will eliminate the big government unions entirely and put the American people back in charge of their government,” Walker is expected to say, according to excerpts of his speech provided in advance. “Federal employees should work for the taxpayers -- not the other way around.”
    • “Any economic plan that does not bring our federal labor laws into the 21st Century is incomplete,” Walker is expected to say. “To grow the economy at a higher rate, requires a comprehensive approach and reform of the labor unions is a key part of the plan.”


    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/ar...wer-nationally



  20. #95
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    Corporations are putting a $535 billion squeeze on workers' share of the pie





    The wage squeeze is not in workers' imaginations. The Economic Policy Institute's Josh Bivens explains:

    Between 2000 and the second quarter of 2015, the share of income generated by corporations that went to workers’ wages (instead of going to capital incomes like profits) declined from 82.3 percent to 75.5 percent, as the figure shows. This 6.8 percentage-point decline in labor’s share of corporate income might not seem like a lot, but if labor’s share had not fallen this much, employees in the corporate sector would have $535 billion more in their paychecks today. If this amount was spread over the entire labor force (not just corporate sector employees) this would translate into a $3,770 raise for each worker.

    And by the way, American corporations were doing just fine back when they weren't squeezing quite so hard.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/09/11/1420414/-Corporations-are-putting-a-535-billion-squeeze-on-workers-share-of-the-pie?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_camp aign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29

    BigCorp s employees unstoppably.


    Seems to peak as each new administration comes in...then declines throughout....regardless of party.
    _____________________________
    Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance. - Plato

  21. #96
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    Of course, when it "looks" best is during recessions....the LESS a corporation makes, the bigger percentage of the pie salaries are taking. Without overlaying other data, chart is kind of useless.

  22. #97
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    Of course, when it "looks" best is during recessions....the LESS a corporation makes, the bigger percentage of the pie salaries are taking. Without overlaying other data, chart is kind of useless.
    BigCorp has been suppressing salaries for 35+ years, concomitant with busting unions. Real household income has been essentially stagnant, while exec compensation and stock buybacks (to inflate execs' stock-based pay) have skyrocketed. More the the exec and investors always mean less for employees. Apparently, you have been hypnotized into believing BigCorp bullshit and passively accepting being screwed so carefully you don't even feel it. Check your .
    Last edited by boutons_deux; 01-09-2016 at 10:55 AM.

  23. #98
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    Why So Many Americans Defend the Failed Capitalist Experiment


    Capitalism has worked for big business and for the people with stocks and estates. But for the past 35 years our economic system, stripped of sensible regulations, has poisoned the nation with deadly inequality and driven much of middle America to an ever-widening lower class.

    Yet for much of the nation the delusion persists, against all common sense, that deregulated free-market capitalism works, that it equates to true Americanism, and that people have only themselves to blame for their failure to thrive in this expanding world of wealth. The reasons for this delusion are not hard to determine.

    1. The Rich are Easy to Understand: Capitalism Justifies Selfishness

    Studies have consistently shown that increased wealth causes people to turn inward, to believe more in their own "superior" traits, and to care less about the feelings and needs of others. This anti-social attitude blends well with the Ayn-Randish "greed is good" message of unregulated capitalism.

    Other studies have determined that money pushes people further to the right, making them less egalitarian, less willing to provide broad educational opportunities to all members of society, and certainly part of the reason that our investment in public infrastructure as a component of GDP dropped by 60 percent from 1968 to 2011.

    2. The Would-Be Rich: Dollar Signs Dance in Their Heads

    Capitalism allows profit-seekers to view students as sources of revenue, and to drain money from the public school system. Jeb Bush likened schools to milk cartons in a supermarket aisle: "I wish our schools could be more like milk...You can get whole milk, low fat milk or skim milk...chocolate, strawberry or vanilla...milk alternatives, like soy milk, almond milk and rice milk...Who would have ever thought you could improve upon milk? Yet, freedom, innovation and competition found a way."

    Bush's milk alternative is the charter school business. David Brain, head of the tellingly named Entertainment Properties, called it "a great opportunity set with 500 schools starting every year. It’s a two and a half billion dollar opportunity set in rough measure annually."

    But the money didn't start rolling in until the public school system began to be starved. The U.S. Department of Education reported that $197 billion is needed to repair the nation's K-12 public school buildings. The public system is going broke, deprived of tax dollars that go to charters. State budgets are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did six years ago - in many cases far less.

    And the results of the capitalist school experiment? Still coming in, although evidence is quickly accumulating that many charter school systems are mired in fraud and secrecy, and shaping up as a prime example of the folly of treating human beings like products to be bought and sold.

    3. The Rest of Us: The Media Keeps Telling Us that Capitalism is the Only Way to Live

    The mainstream media's unwillingness to state the truth about inequality has led people to vastly underestimate the wealth gap in our country, guessing that the poorest 40 percent own about 10% of the wealth, when in reality they own much less than 1% of the wealth. Out of every dollar, they own a third of a penny.

    Conservative writers overwhelm us with their capitalist-loving mantras:


    • Income inequality is simply not a significant problem. (The Wall Street Journal)
    • Income inequality in a capitalist system is truly beautiful... (The Washington Post's George Will, quoting John Tamny)
    • Capitalism has worked very well (Bill Gates)
    • A free market system...ensures a fair, democratic process (Sarah Palin)
    • Let the market do its job (Chicago Tribune)

    Many of them believe that the state of America is reflected in the stock market. But the richest 10% own over 90 percent of the stocks and mutual funds. No problem for the Koch Foundation. They comfort us with the knowledge that If you earn over $34,000 a year, you are one of the wealthiest one percent in the world.

    4. Anyone Above the Lowest Class: It's Empowering to Look Down on Someone

    Members of the sinking middle class in our pathologically unequal society may well find it convenient to blame people in lower economic classes, who are unlikely to fight back. Guidance for such condescension comes from libertarian write Charles Murray, who apparently doesn't understand the family stress caused by the lack of educational and employment opportunities. He accuses the poor of having a "genetic makeup that is significantly different from the configuration of the population above the poverty line." And, he adds, "Married, educated people who work hard and conscientiously raise their kids shouldn't hesitate to voice their disapproval of those who defy these norms."

    This inspires people like Paul Ryan and Scott Walker, both of whom compared the safety net to a "hammock," and John Boehner, who explained the thinking of poor people: "I really don't have to work...I think I'd rather just sit around."

    The critics of struggling Americans should be reminded that the cost of the entire Safety Net is only about ONE-SIXTH of the $2.2 trillion in tax avoidance that primarily benefits the rich.

    A good American capitalist like Republican Senator Lindsey Graham would say,
    "It's really American to avoid paying taxes, legally...It's a game we play."

    It's a game for the people looking down on a troubled nation.



    http://www.commondreams.org/views/20...ist-experiment

  24. #99
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    Halliburton to pay employees $18.3M in back wages


    http://thehill.com/regulation/254490...-in-back-wages

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    she's dreaming, but nice try

    BigCorp will never pay women the same as men, and Repugs block anything that would hurt BigCorp, investors' incomes.

    USA is a Euro-white man society.

    A Republican Senator Just Offered A Serious Idea For Combating The Gender Wage Gap

    After years of Republicans standing in lockstep against a Democratic bill aimed at closing the gender wage gap, a Republican senator just introduced a bill that looks nearly identical to it.

    On Tuesday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced the Gender Advancement in Pay (GAP) Act, a bill aimed at gender wage discrimination. While the full details of the bill aren’t yet available, some of the main provisions have been made public: It would tell the country’s employers that they must give men and women equal pay for equal work, while also stipulating that they can still give out merit pay; it would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for discussing pay or deciding not to disclose their salary histories; and it would create civil penalties for employers who discriminate in pay based on gender.


    “Men and women should be paid based on their experience and qualifications — regardless of their gender — but unfortunately, incidents of gender-based pay discrimination still exist,” Ayotte said in a press release. “The GAP Act strengthens our equal pay laws and gives employees the knowledge and tools they need to combat wage inequality.”


    The bill’s elements look nearly identical to those in the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure backed by a number of Democrats in the House and Senate but unanimously blocked by Republicansmultiple times. “It has some of the key provisions that the Paycheck Fairness Act has that are pretty important to addressing the pay gap,” said Jessica Milli, a senior research associate at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR).


    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/201...-kelly-ayotte/

    Ayotte will be primaried by the VRWC next election to be replaced by a male Repug.



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