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U.S. productivity down 3 percent in 4th quarter

WASHINGTON — U.S. productivity fell sharply in the final three months of 2015, closing out a fifth straight year of weak gains in worker efficiency.

Date: 02/04/2016 | Business Wire

Obama rule would examine gender pay inequity

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama proposed a new rule Friday that would require every large company in America to report employees' pay based on race and gender, an effort to reduce longstanding pay inequities for women and minorities.The new policy, already drawing...

Date: 01/30/2016 | Nation & World

We all need and deserve paid family leave

As Americans, we strongly value both work and family — but as citizens we've structured our economy and laws to too often force people to work at the expense of their families.We have given millions of parents the cold choice of leaving their job and not getting any...

Date: 01/27/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Raise the minimum wage, but $15 an hour may kill jobs

Two years ago, Thumbtack — a startup that connects consumers with local contractors — conducted a survey to see what they thought of proposals to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, as per President Obama's bid "to give America a raise."

Date: 01/24/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Wal-Mart to give pay raises to most workers

NEW YORK — The vast majority of Wal-Mart’s U.S. employees will get raises as part of the world’s largest retailer’s previously announced commitment to invest in its workforce as it faces pressure from labor-backed groups and seeks to retain workers in a tighter labor force.

Date: 01/21/2016 | Business Wire

Feds send warning shot on temp staffing agencies

WASHINGTON — The Department of Labor thinks more companies should take responsibility for their contracted workforces, and it's just told them exactly how and when.If there's one trend that's characterized the changing American workforce more than any other in recent...

Date: 01/20/2016 | Business Wire

SEIU’s dues collection from home-care workers is illegal

Miranda Thorp is a caregiver for her daughter who, because of her disability, qualifies for state assistance through Medicaid. As her caregiver, the state pays Miranda to help reimburse her for the cost of caring for her daughter.There are currently about 35,000 state-paid...

Date: 01/16/2016 | Commentary

Want quality early learning? Pay teachers

You may remember the Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson hit from the mid-70's that started, "Mammas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys." There's probably less chance to become a cowboy these days — but if you change the line to "Mammas, don't let your babies...

Date: 01/13/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Work to create future of better wages, benefits

Is the future something that will happen to us? No, because as citizens in a democracy, we can make choices and put forward ideas that actually shape that future. So in anticipation of 2016, here are some ideas about how we as a people can shape our own future:In 1998 the...

Date: 12/30/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Reversing the loss of State Patrol troopers

That the Washington State Patrol was losing officers to better-paying jobs with police and sheriff departments across the state has become clear in recent years.The State Patrol is authorized for 690 trooper positions, but currently only 580 are filled. And the drain of...

Date: 12/29/2015 | Editorials

Do more to ensure safety of corrections staff at Monroe

As we give thanks this holiday season, we must not forget to honor the sacrifice of the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect our communities.While most of us will be spending the holidays with our families, thousands of correctional...

Date: 12/19/2015 | Commentary

Cuts to Everett Fire Department staffing would put public at risk

Gone are the days of merely responding to fire and medical emergencies; the modern fire department is an all-hazards response team dedicated to keeping the community safe.The Everett Fire Department has a history of adapting to the size and needs of the community, through...

Date: 12/19/2015 | Commentary

U.S. adds 211,000 jobs in November; Dow soars

WASHINGTON — If the Federal Reserve needed any final evidence that the economy is ready for higher interest rates, it got it on Friday.

Date: 12/04/2015 | Business Wire

What’s behind L&I increases

Business owners don't want to see their rates increase; the question is whether they can plan well for their companies when rates swing widely up and down from one year to the next.The news Tuesday that the state Department of Labor and Industries had announced a 2 percent...

Date: 12/04/2015 | Editorials

Take a ferry for a spin, sort of

Agency recruiting new employees to head off shortage

Date: 12/02/2015 | Local News

Ford to invest $1.3 billion at aluminum truck plant

DETROIT — Ford will spend $1.3 billion and add 2,000 jobs at its truck plant in Louisville, Kentucky, where it will make its next-generation Super Duty pickup.

Date: 12/02/2015 | Business Wire

Ford workers narrowly approve new contract with UAW

DETROIT — Ford workers narrowly approved a new four-year contract, wrapping up five months of negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and Detroit automakers.

Date: 11/21/2015 | Business Wire

United enters early talks with Machinists union

CHICAGO — United Airlines and employees represented by a machinists union on Friday said they would open contract negotiations more than a year early and expedite talks on a new deal. The airline also promised not to outsource the union’s jobs for the next three-plus years.

Date: 11/07/2015 | Business Wire

Ford, UAW reach tentative agreement on contract

Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers union have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract.

Date: 11/07/2015 | Business Wire

For good or ill, nature of work is changing

Robots make the perfect employee. They don't complain, they don't get sick, and, as of this writing, they don't have babies. When robots can do the job in today's economy, they get the job.When they can't, a human must suffice. You still need a human to make the perfect...

Date: 11/06/2015 | Opinion Columnists

U.S. firms added 182,000 workers in October, ADP says

WASHINGTON - Companies added 182,000 workers in October, signaling steady improvement in the U.S. job market, according to a private report based on payrolls.

Date: 11/05/2015 | Business Wire

Kraft Heinz to close U.S., Canada factories

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Kraft Heinz will close seven plants in the U.S. and Canada as part of a downsizing that will eliminate 2,600 jobs, or roughly 14 percent of its North American factory workforce, the newly-merged food company announced Wednesday.

Date: 11/05/2015 | Business Wire

Challenge for state: Recruiting, retaining 147 new troopers

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Patrol is seeing its ranks depleted faster than can be replenished. It can't recruit enough new troopers to fill existing vacancies and newer...

Date: 11/02/2015 | Local News

New abuse allegations filed in suit against Saudi prince

LOS ANGELES — Three female workers who accused a Saudi prince of attacking them inside a compound on the edge of Beverly Hills said in court papers that they feared for their lives and tried to escape the home at least three times after he threatened to kill them and yelled, “I am a prince and I do...

Date: 10/24/2015 | Nation & World

A fifth of small-business owners say pot at work is OK

A fifth of small-business owners say they would allow an employee with a medical marijuana prescription to use the drug while at work, according to a survey released Wednesday by insurance company Employers Holdings.

Date: 10/15/2015 | Business Wire

Wal-Mart cuts HQ 'to become a more agile company'

NEW YORK — Wal-Mart laid off 450 workers at its headquarters Friday as the world's largest retailer attempts to become more nimble so that it can better compete with the likes of are more than 18,000 people who work at the headquarters in Bentonville,...

Date: 10/03/2015 | Business Wire

Blame wage gap on the gap between employee, employer

Could there be a reason for the widening pay gap that's not exactly economic? There could be.The employment rate has fallen to a very low 5.1 percent. A tightening labor market is supposed to lead to higher wages, but that's not happening. Some of the lowest wages are...

Date: 09/17/2015 | Opinion Columnists

County Council to vote on mostly symbolic hiring freeze

EVERETT — Snohomish County Council members are set to vote Wednesday on imposing a hiring freeze for government employees, in another sign of unease over finances.The move might put other leaders on notice, but the main effect would be symbolic."I...

Date: 09/16/2015 | Local News

U.S. job openings soar to record high of 5.8 million

WASHINGTON — The number of available jobs jumped sharply in July to the highest level in 15 years, evidence that confident employers sought to step up hiring to meet greater demand for their goods and services.

Date: 09/09/2015 | Business Wire

Worker safety at dairies needs the Legislature’s attention

As we celebrate Labor Day, I want to take this opportunity to thank all workers for the contributions they make to our economy. I hope all get to enjoy end-of-summer picnics and barbecues, watch a baseball game or participate in some other family activity this weekend.Last...

Date: 09/06/2015 | Commentary

NLRB decision: What's the definition of employer?

What makes an employer an employer?That's the question a new ruling by the National Labor Relations Board attempts to settle. The NLRB last week decided that contract workers and franchise employees — think of your local McDonald's — may more easily unionize...

Date: 09/06/2015 | Commentary

Professionals on tap for best salary boost in 8 years

Even as the landscape for wages looks bleak, at least one rung of the compensation ladder is doing just fine. And 2016 may be even better.

Date: 09/02/2015 | Business Wire

Lunch often a last-second call for workers

Lunch may be one of the most important events of the workday, but a surprising number of workers give little or no thought to where they will go to eat until they are actually headed out of the office.Cleveland-based marketing services company WorkPlace Impact conducted a...

Date: 08/20/2015 | Business Wire

U.S. construction jobs on a big upswing

PHILADELPHIA — Brian Martin, 33, almost gave up on being a bricklayer during the recession. He loved the work but couldn't get any, so he joined the vast army of construction workers rendered jobless by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression."I...

Date: 08/12/2015 | Business Wire

Worker slowly cooked to death; firm will pay $6 million

LOS ANGELES — Bumble Bee Foods agreed to pay $6 million to settle criminal charges Wednesday in the death of a worker who was cooked in an oven with tons of tuna.District Attorney Jackie Lacey said the settlement is the largest payout in a California workplace-violation death.

Date: 08/12/2015 | Business Wire

U.S. tech workers fall in love with wacky job titles

San Jose Mercury NewsSAN JOSE, Calif. — It is a corporate feel-good movement sweeping the nation: titlemania.

Date: 08/11/2015 | Business Wire

Worker pay shows smallest gain since 1982

WASHINGTON — Wages and salaries rose in the second quarter at the slowest pace on record, dashing projections that an improving labor market would boost pay.

Date: 07/31/2015 | Business Wire

Clinton offers support for $12 minimum wage

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Hillary Clinton on Thursday offered some support for a proposal in the Senate that would raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour, hinting that the higher rate sought by labor unions doesn’t have enough support.

Date: 07/30/2015 | Business Wire

Working harder to relax so we can work harder

We ambitious strivers seeking guidance from fitness pros, decluttering experts and TED talks often find the day divided in two unequal parts. Three-quarters goes to overworking. The remaining quarter is for countering the ill effects of overworking. We do the latter not necessarily to...

Date: 06/25/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Get behind trade, worker bills

The path toward trade bills that would allow the U.S. to secure pacts with 11 Pacific Rim nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership has had more uphill climbs and switchbacks than the Silk Road.Trade issues, specifically trade authority for President Obama and related worker...

Date: 06/23/2015 | Editorials

Goldman Sachs tells interns to take 7 hours off

NEW YORK — Goldman Sachs is telling its summer interns to take the night off.Banking interns were instructed to leave the office by midnight and not return before 7 a.m., while also taking Saturdays off, Michael DuVally, a spokesman for the New York bank, said Wednesday.

Date: 06/18/2015 | Business Wire

Paid family leave can offer many benefits

Paid family leave affects our country and our businesses and the personal lives of the parents trying to strive without it. The United States is one of only four nations in the world without a federal entitlement to paid leave for families (out of around 200 nations). So it is obvious...

Date: 06/17/2015 | Commentary

OSHA urges transgender access to preferred bathrooms

WASHINGTON — The federal government is strongly urging employers to give transgender employees access to bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, marking a new policy front in the fast-moving campaign for transgender equality.

Date: 06/10/2015 | Nation & World

Why Americans are getting new credit cards

NEW YORK — A big change is happening inside your wallet.

Date: 06/10/2015 | Business Wire

Noncompete agreements keep workers' pay low

In olden days, the way you kept good workers was to pay them more. That's no longer the case in many jobs. Companies have been using "noncompete" agreements to stop these workers from seeking better compensation at rival companies.Originally designed to stop tech...

Date: 06/05/2015 | Opinion Columnists

L.A. approves landmark minimum wage increase

LOS ANGELES — Moving to the forefront of a national campaign to boost the incomes of low-wage workers, Los Angeles lawmakers voted Wednesday to approve an ordinance hiking the citywide minimum wage to at least $15 an hour by 2020.

Date: 06/04/2015 | Business Wire

What if we set a maximum wage for CEOs?

It's an ode to cognitive dissonance when pundits come out swinging (rhetorically) against a strong minimum wage or decent pensions for everyday working people but don't even bat an eyelash at big-time CEOs who take home millions of dollars a year or outsource local jobs —...

Date: 06/03/2015 | Opinion Columnists

BNSF plans to furlough employees

BISMARCK, N.D. — BNSF Railway Co. says it’s planning employee furloughs due to slipping freight shipping demand across its rail network.The company said Wednesday in a statement that it hopes to call back employees “as soon as business needs change.”

Date: 05/27/2015 | Business Wire

Senate should do right by state workers

Investing wisely through our expenditures in education, transportation, research and development will help create opportunities for sustainable economic growth. To do so, however, we have to attract high quality employees to actually do the work.The people who keep our...

Date: 05/24/2015 | Commentary

L.A. latest city to favor $15 minimum wage

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Council gave initial approval Tuesday to raising minimum pay in the nation’s second-largest city to $15 an hour by 2020, a key step as wages in America have stagnated.

Date: 05/21/2015 | Business Wire

Suit challenges app tracking of worker phones

When Myrna Arias discovered that her employer could track her movements even when she was off duty, she decided to remove the GPS-enabled app on her company smartphone that facilitated the monitoring. That got her fired, according a suit filed by Arias.In the lawsuit, Arias,...

Date: 05/17/2015 | Nation & World

Use like terms to compare salaries

I am taken aback by the hostility expressed toward public school teachers in two recent letters to the Herald ("Accountability must play part,"

Date: 05/10/2015 | Commentary

Higher wage did not meet promises

It is axiomatic that a knowledge of history is necessary to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. When it comes to the minimum wage, Washington has a track record worth remembering.Amid heightened labor activism, however, state and local policymakers should carefully...

Date: 05/10/2015 | Commentary

Private-sector job growth slows in April

WASHINGTON — Private-sector job growth surprisingly slowed again in April, with businesses adding just 169,000 net new positions, payroll firm Automatic Data Processing Inc. said Wednesday.

Date: 05/07/2015 | Business Wire

Study: Top tech firms bypass Asians as execs

SAN FRANCISCO — Google, Yahoo and other major technology companies are far more inclined to hire Asians as computer programmers than to promote them to become managers or executives, according to a study released Wednesday.The analysis uncovered a glaring imbalance...

Date: 05/07/2015 | Business Wire

A minimum wage that works

At $9.47 an hour, Washington state has the highest minimum wage among the 50 states, well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25. But even at that rate, a family of three with one wage-earner grossing a little less than $19,700 a year would still fall below the federal poverty level...

Date: 05/01/2015 | Editorials

Shared duty for worker safety

The bell tolled 89 times Tuesday for those in Washington state who died from injuries or illness related to their work.Twelve times it rang for residents of Snohomish County. The annual Worker Memorial Day...

Date: 04/30/2015 | Editorials

$23,660-a-year ‘managers’ to get a raise

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is preparing to do what the U.S. economic recovery has been slow to accomplish: raise the wages of millions of Americans.

Date: 04/22/2015 | Business Wire

5 myths about fast-food work

Viewpoints: Many workers older, supporting families

Date: 04/19/2015 | Commentary

‘Right to work’ a right to low wage

I am writing in response to an opinion piece published in the Herald Business Journal on March 31, titled "Right-to-work effort under way in state." In this commentary there was use of...

Date: 04/19/2015 | Commentary

Fight-for-$15 protests expand

NEW YORK — The Fight for $15 campaign that began with fast-food workers expanded in size and scope Wednesday to include a range of workers who say their meager pay is a form of economic injustice.

Date: 04/15/2015 | Business Wire

The help's tales of first families are gossip and nothing more

The new tell-all, "The Residence," featuring intimate anecdotes collected from past and current White House staff members, is absolutely delicious — and utterly lacking in nutritious content.Just as desserts should be.Washington political...

Date: 04/09/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Lawsuits over pay can work against women

Ellen Pao's gender discrimination suit against her employer contained the juicy elements that captivate us. The plaintiff was a Harvard-educated lawyer suing for a healthy $16 million. The defendant was Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the high-powered venture capital firm. The...

Date: 04/03/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Tax increases meet two goals

With Democrats in the state House and Republicans in the Senate in general agreement about how much to spend on education, both now face a tougher climb in finding agreement in how to pay for it.The Senate...

Date: 04/03/2015 | Editorials

Seattle begins to phase in $15 minimum wage

Seattle's new $15 minimum wage law began going into effect Wednesday, nearly a year after this pricey West Coast city was celebrated by activists as the first metropolis to push employers into providing higher wages.The fast food workers who staged walkouts to advance the...

Date: 04/02/2015 | Business Wire

Tech companies gaming work visa system

The libertarian-leaning me believes an American employer should be able to hire pretty much anyone he or she wants to hire. But the taxpaying me believes that if the federal government limits immigration yet creates a special visa program for highly skilled foreign workers with the...

Date: 03/31/2015 | Opinion Columnists

A renewed push for equal pay

Since the Equal Pay Act became law in 1963, women have made gains as the gap has closed between what they and men earn working at comparable jobs. According to

Date: 03/26/2015 | Editorials

U.S. household wealth hits record high

WASHINGTON — Fueled by higher stock and home values, Americans' net worth reached a record high in the final three months of 2014.Household wealth rose 1.9 percent during the October-December quarter to nearly $83 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. Stock and...

Date: 03/13/2015 | Business Wire

Federal workers enjoy their job stability

WASHINGTON — More federal workers feel financially stable than the rest of the U.S. workforce, according to a recent national survey.A Gallup poll released this month found that 44 percent of federal employees described their financial well-being as...

Date: 03/13/2015 | Business Wire

Paid sick leave helps workers and businesses

I'll spare you the details — since you've likely been through a similarly undignified experience — but a bout of intestinal flu isn't pretty. Hopefully you were able to do what I did: take a few days off work to get well. I could do that without losing part of my paycheck,...

Date: 03/11/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Why are taxpayers subsidizing low wages?

The idea of helping low-income people by subsidizing their fares on public transportation sounds noble. It truly does. But as a means of confronting the national problem of meager paychecks, it's rather misdirected.All eyes are now on Seattle, which has started offering...

Date: 03/08/2015 | Opinion Columnists

U.S. economy has a weight problem

WASHINGTON — Obesity is weighing heavily on the U.S. economy.As a panel of scientists considers ways to help Americans trim down, unpublished research shows medical expenses linked to being extremely overweight have skyrocketed. Experts say the damage is augmented by...

Date: 03/07/2015 | Business Wire

Value workers as shareholders

According to most measures, the economy is humming along, healthy and growing. Which, in capitalistic theory, is a good thing, but it turns out that once again, it's mostly those who are already wealthy that are benefitting from the economic gains.A new report from

Date: 03/02/2015 | Editorials

Public pensions relying on paper promises

To the casual observer, the investment returns recently announced by the California pension system might seem like cause for celebration. The state's investments in firms that buy private companies generated a 20 percent return in 2014.California's $30 billion worth of...

Date: 03/01/2015 | Opinion Columnists

10 signs that your boss is toxic

WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana — The new boss proved an able negotiator, winning himself an outsize compensation and benefits package. They even bought him a mansion.But at his first and only party for employees, he roped off most of the interior and installed backyard...

Date: 02/27/2015 | Business Wire

T.J. Maxx, Marshalls to boost worker pay

TJX Cos., the owner of discount retailers T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, is raising its worker pay to at least $9 an hour this year, a sign that the retail industry is responding to a similar wage hike announced last week by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Date: 02/26/2015 | Business Wire

Cheap labor — too cheap

Herald editorial: Young athletes should be paid their due

Date: 02/25/2015 | Editorials

Under investigation, junior hockey league seeks labor law exemption

OLYMPIA — While Washington’s four teams in the Western Hockey League are under investigation for child labor practices, the state Legislature is considering a league request to exempt amateur athletes from state labor laws.

Date: 02/24/2015 | Northwest

Bill ties Boeing tax breaks to maintaining jobs in state

OLYMPIA — An Everett lawmaker said Monday she is introducing a bill to reduce Boeing's generous tax break if the aerospace giant trims its workforce in the next 25 years.Democratic Rep. June Robinson said her aim is to ensure...

Date: 02/17/2015 | Business

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