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Maryland Passes Responsible Contracting Law

Maryland Passes Responsible Contracting Law

Yesterday, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) signed a bill that protects taxpayers by prohibiting private contractors who have broken the law from obtaining contracts with the state. SB 669 would prevent companies from signing contracts with the state if they have been convicted of a variety of offenses, including tax evasion, conspiracy to defraud the federal government, or willful violation of state prevailing and living wage rates, state wage and hour laws or state occupational safety and health laws.

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Minnesota Set to Raise Minimum Wage to $9.50

Image via Working America

On Thursday, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of workers to $9.50 per hour by 2016. Under the law, which supporters expect Gov. Mark Dayton (D) to sign, businesses with gross sales of $500,000 or higher are required to raise their minimum wage to $8 per hour in August, $9 a year later and $9.50 by August 2016. Many smaller employers will be allowed to pay a lower rate, one that will reach $7.75 by 2016. Workers under 18 and 19- to 20-year-olds who are training still can be paid $7.25 per hour. From 2018 forward, the state's wage will be indexed to inflation.

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New Hampshire Workers Build Bridges to Push Equal Pay

New Hampshire's elected and community leaders marked Equal Pay Day with the traditional press conference—and a critical step toward ensuring that women receive a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. Shortly before a paycheck fairness bill, S.B. 207, was heard in the New Hampshire House Labor Committee, representatives from women’s groups and labor joined elected leaders at the Statehouse to commemorate the strides being made in New Hampshire to address pay inequity.

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Ohio Extremists Looking to End Government Transparency and Sell Elections to the Highest Bidder

Tim Burga

Anonymous extremists in the Ohio legislature are attempting to change the laws to increase the influence of independent groups in government and make it harder for average Ohioans to know what their government is doing or have any influence on that government.  According to Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, an anonymous amendment was submitted to a bill currently before the legislature that would eliminate an administrative rule governing campaign finance.  This would mean that contractors working for or attempting to work for the state can spend money trying to influence the outcome of elections of the very people who would potentially give them state contracts.  Furthermore, Burga said the repeal of the administrative rule would make groups that make independent election expenditures no longer required to disclose who made contributions to them.

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Ohio Extremists Next Target? College Athletes

Photo courtesy WFIU Public Radio on Flickr

Not content to only go after collective bargaining rights, pensions and voting rights, the extremists in Ohio are targeting a new group of their state's residents, attempting to pre-empt any attempt by college athletes to organize and express their rights. After the National Labor Relations Board ruled that players at Northwestern University were employees of the school, and could thus form a union, Ohio's right-wingers took action to try to stop athletes at Ohio colleges and universities from following suit, proposing a bill that would specify that college athletes aren't employees in Ohio.

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Extremists Going 'All In' to Make Missouri the Most Anti-Worker State in the U.S. We Can Change That

Extremists Going 'All In' to Make Missouri the Most Anti-Worker State in the U.S. We Can Change That

Extremists in the Missouri House are pushing for legislation that would hurt working families, importing a national agenda that faces bipartisan opposition in the state. Despite claims made by the proponents of the legislation, paycheck deception and "right to work" for less bills wouldn't help the states' workers and would limit the rights of those workers.

If you're in Missouri, call your state representatives at 888-825-1418 and tell them to oppose "right to work" H.B. 1770.

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Pa. County Commissioners’ Group Withdraws Paycheck Deception Resolution

Image via Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Facebook page.

Pennsylvania working families and their allies took a big step last week in their fight to stop paycheck deception legislation. Following a statewide mobilization aimed at county commissioners, one of the most influential groups supporting the anti-union bill backed off, significantly slowing momentum for the legislation.

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New Jersey AFL-CIO’s Brennan Honored as ‘Trailblazer’

New Jersey State AFL-CIO photo

Laurel Brennan, secretary-treasurer of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, received the Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Award on March 30. The award is named for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-N.J.) late mother and is given annually to New Jersey women for their outstanding contributions to the state and their advocacy on behalf of New Jerseyans.

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IFPTE Members Help Make a 'San Francisco for Everyone'

Some 4,000 International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 21 members who work for the city of San Francisco help make that vibrant and diverse city work for everyone. This new IFPTE video, “A San Francisco for Everyone,” highlights a number of those workers who talk about how their jobs impact the city and its residents.

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Minimum Wage Victory Celebrated on the New Jersey Senate Floor

Minimum Wage Victory Celebrated on the New Jersey Senate Floor

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO this week celebrated a milestone in its campaign to raise the state minimum wage by joining partners and advocates from across the Garden State in a recognition ceremony held in the Senate.

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