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Showing blog posts tagged with productivity

Study Finds Union Mines Safer, More Productive Than Nonunion

UMWA photo

Once again, a study has shown that unionized coal mines are not only safer places to work than nonunion mines, but that union miners produce more coal. The study, by SNL Energy, found that in 2013 unionized mines in northern and central Appalachia produced about 94,091 tons of coal per injury versus 71,110 in nonunion mines, despite research suggesting that unionized miners are more likely to report injuries that have occurred on the job.

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5 Things that Have Changed Since the Federal Minimum Wage Was Last Increased

5 Things that Have Changed Since the Federal Minimum Wage Was Last Increased

The federal minimum wage was last increased on July 24, 2009, and since then, a lot has changed (don’t forget tipped workers haven’t seen a raise since 1991). There have been so many attacks on working families since that time that it would be difficult to catalog them all. But workers and their allies haven't taken the attacks sitting down, and many are finding new ways to organize and stand up for their rights. 

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Where's Your Raise? A New Calculator from EPI Explains

Where's Your Raise? A New Calculator from EPI Explains

Today, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) launched an online wage calculator that lets people see what their wages should be if based on increases in worker productivity and if most companies didn't fail to adequately compensate workers for those gains. For example, if you are a worker who makes $40,000 a year and you enter that salary into the calculator, it tells you that you should be making $62,529 if your wages had kept up with productivity increases.

Click here to get to the calculator

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We Decide How to Share Gains

Last summer, a respected policy expert from the Brookings Institution spoke at a large meeting. He introduced himself, saying that he works with a lot of brilliant economists who can't understand why the recovery is so slow.

Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman has an explanation,"...corporations use their growing monopoly power to raise prices without passing the gains on to their employees."

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Work Harder, Make Less: 40% Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

At one time it was an economic tenet for America's worker: Work smarter, better, faster and harder and you’ll reap the rewards. That’s exactly what America's workers have done for the past four decades plus. But while worker productivity has soared, workers’ wages have been tightly tethered to the ground. So much that economist Dean Baker writes:

If the minimum wage had risen in step with productivity growth [since 1968], it would be over $16.50 an hour today. That is higher than the hourly wages earned by 40 percent of men and half of women. 

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Overtime Rules Help the Economy

Franklin D. Roosevelt quote, June 24, 1938

This is a cross-post from Regs Talk, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) blog. Catherine Ruckelshaus is the legal co-director of NELP. 

Big drug companies’ salespeople don’t usually inspire much sympathy for being overworked or exploited. But last week’s Supreme Court decision in Christopher v. GlaxoSmithKline was a reminder that even pharmaceutical sales representatives, who brought a case for working 60-odd hours a week without being paid overtime, can face unfair working conditions that need to be checked.

This week marks the 74th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which established a minimum wage floor, outlawed some forms of child labor and discouraged overly long workweeks by requiring premium pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week. By paying time-and-a-half of one’s regular hourly wage for overtime, the policy is intended not only to compensate workers for long hours but also to promote work sharing or spreading by employers, who can hire additional workers for the extra hours needed. Especially in tough economic times, it’s a practice that is not only fair but makes good economic sense.

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Policy, Not Productivity, Behind Manufacturing Job Loss

Over the past decade, as 5.7 million manufacturing jobs were vanishing, many prominent economists and policymakers said the job loss was inevitable. They reason, they said, wasn’t a lack of national manufacturing policy, growing incentives for U.S. firms to move jobs offshore or flawed trade policies. They pointed to increased productivity as the main culprit. A new report debunks that claim.

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