Saturday, July 31, 2021


Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.


Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Labor Day 2013 Brings New Twist to Labor Movement


Wednesday, August 28, 2013   

CHICAGO - Fast-food workers in Chicago and around the nation are leading into Labor Day with another round of one-day strikes Thursday.

Steven Ashby, a University of Illinois professor who specializes in labor and employment relations, said these strikes have picked up momentum this year, partly because of their new approach. Instead of targeting one company, in Chicago, they target low-wage industries - fast food and retail - and strike for one day.

Another difference, Ashby said, is that religious leaders go back to their jobs with them the next day to make sure there's no retaliation. He said that empowers the workers.

"Scores of clergy just stand with the workers, to the bosses," he said, "and basically say to them, 'Look, it was legal for them to walk off the job. If you punish them, we're going to be back in much larger numbers.' "

In St. Louis, 40 people who had hours cut or lost jobs after a one-day strike all got them back after community leaders walked in and talked with their managers.

Ashby said he believes weak labor laws have caused the labor movement to change its approach.

"So, they're turning to these innovative tactics of labor-community coalitions, one-day strike, hitting an entire industry, organizing for the long run," he said. "And it does seem to be working. The morale of the workers is extremely high."

Ashby said today's fast-food workers are not teenagers living at home. The average employee in that industry is 28 years old, and many are working there after losing higher-paying jobs.

"We have the worst income gap we've had in 80-plus years," he said. "So, the wealthy are doing extremely well, whereas the wages of half of the workforce have been stagnant or declining."

The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 an hour, which for a full-time worker amounts to slightly more than $17,000 a year before taxes. President Obama has proposed increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2015. If the minimum wage in 1968 had been adjusted for inflation, analysts say, it would already be up to $10.56 an hour.

More information is online at

get more stories like this via email

In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)


LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …

Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021