A number of states are considering legislation that would allow workers to sue for on-the-job harassment and bullying that causes physical or emotional harm. Some employers have already instituted anti-bullying policies, but advocacy groups want a more comprehensive response to what has been a problem on the rise since the economic downturn began. More than a dozen states have considered legislation to combat on-the-job bullying in the past year.
Costco CEO Craig Jelinek has joined the push to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by saying he supports the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would not only raise the current wage from $7.25, but would index the wage to inflation and raise wages for tipped employees, too. Costco already pays its starting employees a wage of $11.50 per hour while maintaining a higher sales volume than competitors such as the WalMart-owned Sam's Club and ranking in the top 25 of the Fortune 500 in terms of revenue.
The basic system of worker representation is failing to meet the needs of America’s working men and women by every critical measure, said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka at today's 2013 Conference on New Models of Worker Representation in Chicago. Labor unions are vulnerable, which is a challenge, but this vulnerability also presents an opportunity to innovate, he said.
The AFL-CIO, along with its affiliate unions, community partners and allies, are embarking on a deep evaluation of the future for working people and the labor movement and exploring innovations for the future of worker organizing.
Irís Munguía began toiling at a banana packing plant at age 18, living on the banana finca (plantation) as a condition of employment. After 22 years at the plant, the longtime union activist now heads the Honduran banana and agricultural worker confederation, COSIBAH (Coordinadora de Sindicatos Bananeros y Agroindustriales de Honduras), founded in 1993. Munguía also is the first female coordinator of COLSIBA, the Latin American coordinating body of agricultural unions.
Live from Chicago, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is talking about the future of the union movement and new models of worker representation. This event is hosted by Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies and televised and streamed by Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV). Watch the live stream after the jump.