Articles from Working In These Times

“Salting” Built the Labor Movement—It Can Help Rebuild It, Too

This article was first posted by Jacobin.

The Left has a long tradition of asking ourselves, “What is to be done?” Ever since Lenin posed this rhetorical question, it has served as the hook for an ever-expanding genre of think pieces and calls to action on every imaginable social-movement dilemma.

Groundbreaking Bill in Illinois Would Give Temp Workers Equal Pay and Rights as Direct Hires

Sweeping legislation introduced in the Illinois state legislature last month would dramatically improve pay, benefits and working conditions for almost a million of the state’s temp workers toiling in factories, warehouses and offices.

The Responsible Job Creation Act, sponsored by State Rep. Carol Ammons, aims to transform the largely unregulated temporary staffing industry by introducing more than 30 new worker protections, including pay equity with direct hires, enhanced safety provisions, anti-discrimination measures and protection from retaliation.

Chicago Is Failing to Enforce Its $10.50 Minimum Wage

This article was first posted by The Chicago Reporter.

Sabrina Jackson looked forward to a raise last summer at her job as a crossing guard near her children’s Englewood school.

Chicago’s minimum wage was slated to increase from $10 to $10.50 per hour under a city ordinance, providing a small but welcome boost to Jackson’s paycheck.

The GOP’s National Right to Work Bill Is a Smokescreen—The Threat Is What Comes Next

Last week, Iowa Congressman Steve King introduced the National Right to Work Act, which would create a nationwide ban on the requirement that workers who are represented by a union have to pay for the costs associated with representation. The bill was cosponsored by South Carolina’s Joe Wilson, whose primary claim to fame is having yelled “you lie!” at President Barack Obama from the back benches of a joint session of Congress.

EPA Workers to Trump: We Don’t Want Scott Pruitt as Our New Boss

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) workers, activists and community members protested Donald Trump and his EPA administrator nominee, Scott Pruitt, in a rally outside the EPA’s Chicago office Monday.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 704, the union representing the EPA’s Chicago workers, organized the protest to oppose Pruitt’s confirmation and to pressure senators to vote against him. Speakers at the event included stewards and members of AFGE, state and city government officials and activists from non-profit environmental organizations.

Republican Victory in Missouri Means “Right-to-Work” For Less

Missouri’s House of Representatives passed a so-called “right-to-work” law this month, marking the end of a decades-long campaign for the adoption of the anti-union legislation in the state.

The measure had already been passed in Missouri’s Senate and newly-installed Gov. Eric Greitens has pledged to sign the law soon. Once he does, Missouri will become the 28th state to have such a law on the books.

When Raising the Minimum Wage is a Bad Thing

Right now, most progressives and leftists appear to be in resistance mode against Donald Trump and his administration. If his early moves are any indication, that’s exactly where they may stay. But politics is not a fixed mark, and—while we are cautious about making predictions in this utterly unpredictable political moment—one issue could emerge to court compromise: the minimum wage.

After String of Defeats, Workers Win Union at Baltimore Gas & Electric

BALTIMORE—Baltimore-area workers opened the Trump era by voting in favor of a labor union at the largest utility company in the metro region. The election victory at Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. (BGE) will bring more than 1,400 new members into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).