Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.
The Workers Win One at Momentive: "Thursday, at winter’s dark midpoint, after all hope felt cold, the almost 700 workers on strike at the Momentive chemical plant in upstate Waterford reached a tentative deal with management after nearly 100 days on the picket line."
Labor Unions Press Trump to Drop Puzder Nomination: "President Trump should withdraw Andrew Puzder’s nomination to lead the Labor Department, the AFL-CIO and other labor groups said Thursday in a letter obtained by The Hill. The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor organization, raised concerns about Puzder hiring and not immediately paying taxes on a housekeeper who was an undocumented immigrant—an issue that has also generated criticism of the Trump nominee from the right."
How to Close a Gender Gap: Let Employees Control Their Schedules: "The main reason for the gender gaps at work—why women are paid less, why they’re less likely to reach the top levels of companies, and why they’re more likely to stop working after having children—is employers’ expectation that people spend long hours at their desks, research has shown. It’s especially difficult for women because they have disproportionate responsibility for caregiving. Flexibility regarding the time and place that work gets done would go a long way toward closing the gaps, economists say. Yet when people ask for it, especially parents, they can be penalized in pay and promotions."
Andrew Puzder Won't Work for Women: "Only weeks ago, women took to the streets across the country and sent a resounding message: They will hold the Trump administration and Congress accountable for any attempts to turn back the clock on women's rights. But the Senate, despite delays, may soon consider President Donald Trump's pick Andrew Puzder for secretary of labor—a man with a problematic record on women that demonstrates he is unfit to serve. Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, put the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's brands on the map by pushing the envelope. Given the company's brand identity, it is not surprising that women working at CKE Restaurants appear to experience harassment at even higher rates. Puzder's record makes clear that he should not be entrusted with the enforcement of laws protecting working women from sexual harassment and assault. In addition, his long and consistent opposition to any significant increases in the minimum wage and his hostility to robust enforcement of wage and hour laws are bad news for women."
Andrew Puzder Will Be a Disaster for Workers. I Know: He Was for Me: "Andrew Puzder, the chief executive since 2000 of CKE—which owns Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr., and other fast-food companies—is now in line to become the country’s next labor secretary. The headlines ponder what this may mean for working people in America, but I already know. I already know what Trump/Puzder economics look like because I’m living it every day. Despite giving everything I had to Puzder’s company for 21 years, I left without a penny of savings, with no health care and no pension. Now, while I live in poverty, Trump, who promised to fix the rigged economy, has chosen for labor secretary someone who wants to rig it up even more. He’s chosen the chief executive of a company who recently made more than $10 million in a year, while I’m scraping by on Supplemental Security payments."
Supreme Court Nominee Gorsuch Has Sided with Businesses on Labor Issues: "Some labor leaders have held their fire on Gorsuch's nomination. But AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Gorsuch doesn't seem like a friend to employees. 'He's been a very, very strong advocate for corporations at the expense of working people,' Trumka said in an interview. 'You think corporations need more help? And that they're not strong enough and that they should be stronger, then he's probably your guy. If you think that workers need more protection and corporations need less protection, then he's probably not your guy.'"
The Democratic Party Needs Keith Ellison: "The American people have faced stagnant wages and rising inequality for decades. Many Americans voted for Donald Trump or decided not to vote at all because Democrats failed to communicate effectively with working people and turn out the vote—end of story. The fact is that shouldn’t have happened. The Democratic Party has long been the party of working people, and needs to do a better job of making that case. No one knows this better than Keith Ellison, and we are proud to endorse him as the next chair of the Democratic National Committee."
709,401 (and Counting) Reasons to #DefendCFPB: "The big banks came out swinging at the beginning of the new Congress. What’s at the top of their list for 2017? Raising workers’ wages? Lowering prescription drug prices? Fighting the gender and race wage gaps? Nahh."
What if Andrew Puzder Were Your Boss?: "Andrew Puzder was nominated as secretary of labor, and hearings for his nomination, though postponed, are going to happen soon. As reporters and pundits are examining Puzder's record, we thought it would be interesting to imagine what it would be like to actually work for Puzder. This is speculative fiction, of course, but based on the things he's said and done over the years. Here's what we think it could be like to work for Puzder."
AFL-CIO Statement on Jeff Sessions’ Confirmation: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement in response to the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as attorney general."
North American Unions Together Against Islamophobia Stand in Solidarity with Immigrants, Refugees and Muslim Communities: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff made the following joint statement about recent acts of violence against Muslim communities in both countries and President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration."
How Trump's Retirement Advice Executive Order Could Affect Your Retirement: "This past Friday, President Donald Trump ordered the Department of Labor to reconsider the Obama administration's retirement savings protections due to begin taking effect in April, with an eye toward revising or completely eliminating them."
AFT's Weingarten: DeVos' Confirmation as Education Secretary a 'Sad Day for Children': "AFT President Randi Weingarten released the following statement in response to the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education."
7 Things You Need to Know About Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch: "Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court. Soon the U.S. Senate will hold hearings on his nomination. In taking a deeper look at Gorsuch's record, there are quite a few rulings and writings that should concern working people. As a private lawyer and as a judge, he has aligned himself with the interests of Big Business, not the concerns of working families. He has ruled against protecting the health and safety of workers, made it harder to have discrimination-free workplaces and argued for corporations’ misconduct to be protected from correction by investors and consumers."
Did Someone Just Say 'Industrial Policy'?: "Let’s take a breath and step back from our circus-like introduction to the Trump era."