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Library Workers: Facts & Figures Fact Sheet 2014

June 13, 2014 Comments off

Library Workers: Facts & Figures Fact Sheet 2014
Source: AFL-CIO

Libraries and library staff provide essential services for schools, universities, and communities. Americans use libraries for free, reliable, and organized access to books, the Internet, and other sources of information and entertainment; assistance finding work; research and reference assistance; and programs for children, immigrants, and other groups with specific needs, just to name a few.

This fact sheet explores: library staff in the workforce, diversity within the professions, educational attainment of library workers, the role of women in the professions, issues of pay and pay equity, and the union difference for library staff.

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Executive Paywatch: High Paid CEOs and the Low-Wage Economy

April 23, 2014 Comments off

Executive Paywatch: High Paid CEOs and the Low-Wage Economy
Source: AFL-CIO

In 2013 the CEO to worker pay ratio was 331:1 and the CEO to minimum wage worker pay ratio was 774:1. America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, a country where hard work and playing by the rules would provide working families a middle-class standard of living. But in recent decades, corporate CEOs have been taking a greater share of the economic pie while wages have stagnated and unemployment remains high.

High-paid CEOs of low-wage employers are fueling this growing economic inequality. In 2013, CEOs of the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index companies received, on average, $11.7 million in total compensation, according to the AFL-CIO’s analysis of available data from 350 companies.

Today’s ratio of CEO-to-worker pay is simply unconscionable. While CEO pay remains in the stratosphere, production and nonsupervisory workers took home only $35,239 on average in 2013, and a full-time worker making the federal minimum wage earned only $15,080.

Even as companies argue that they can’t afford to raise wages, the nation’s largest companies are earning higher profits per employee than they did five years ago. In 2013, the S&P 500 Index companies earned $41,249 in profits per employee, a 38% increase.

CRS — Federal Labor Relations Statutes: An Overview (updated)

April 7, 2014 Comments off

Federal Labor Relations Statutes: An Overview (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via MSPB Watch)

Since 1926, Congress has enacted three major laws that govern labor-management relations for private sector and federal employees. An issue for Congress is the effect of these laws on employers, workers, and the nation’s economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that, nationwide, 14.5 million employees are union members. In the 113th Congress alone, more than 25 bills were introduced to amend federal labor relations statutes. The proposals ranged from repealing provisions that permit employers to require employees to join a union as a condition of employment in certain circumstances to requiring mediation and, if necessary, binding arbitration of initial contract negotiation disputes. These legislative activities, and the significant number of employees affected by federal labor relations laws, illustrate the current relevance of labor relations issues to legislators and their constituents.

The three major labor relations statutes in the United States are the Railway Labor Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute. Each law governs a distinct population of the U.S. workforce.

Union Organizing Decisions in a Deteriorating Environment: The Composition of Representation Elections and the Decline in Turnout

March 1, 2014 Comments off

Union Organizing Decisions in a Deteriorating Environment: The Composition of Representation Elections and the Decline in Turnout (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

It is well known that the organizing environment for labor unions in the U.S. has deteriorated dramatically over a long period of time, contributing to the sharp decline in the private sector union membership rate and resulting in many fewer representation elections being held. What is less well known is that, since the late 1990s, average turnout in the representation elections that are held has dropped substantially. These facts are related. I develop a model of union decision making regarding selection of targets for organizing through the NLRB election process with the clear implication that a deteriorating organizing environment will lead to systematic change in the composition of elections held. The model implies that a deteriorating environment will lead unions not only to contest fewer elections but also to focus on larger potential bargaining units and on elections where they have a larger probability of winning. A standard rational-voter model implies that these changes in composition will lead to lower turnout. I investigate the implications of these models empirically using data on turnout in over 140,000 NLRB certification elections held between 1973 and 2009. The results are consistent with the model and suggest that changes in composition account for about one-fifth of the decline in turnout between 1999 and 2009.

Major Work Stoppages in 2013

February 20, 2014 Comments off

Major Work Stoppages in 2013
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

In 2013, there were 15 major strikes and lockouts involving 1,000 or more workers and lasting at least one shift, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The 15 major work stoppages beginning in 2013 were down from 19 major work stoppages beginning in 2012. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Major work stoppages beginning in 2013 idled 55,000 workers, lower than 2012 with 148,000 idled workers. In 2013, there were 290,000 days idle from major work stoppages in effect, also lower than 2012 with 1.13 million days idle. In 2013, two-thirds of major work stoppages lasted three or less workdays. State and local government accounted for 60 percent of major work stoppages beginning in 2013. In addition, over half of major work stoppages beginning in 2013 occurred in the state of California. (See chart 2, and tables 1 and 2.)

The longest and most days idle of any major work stoppage beginning in 2013 was between the New York City Public Schools and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, with 8,000 workers accounting for 176,000 days idle. The greatest number of workers involved in a major work stoppage beginning in 2013 was between the University of California Medical Centers and American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 (including the University Professional and Technical Employees Union for one day), involving as many as 18,800 workers. (See table 2.)

Other notable work stoppages beginning in 2013 included the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555. BART was involved in two major work stoppages, occurring in July and October. (See table 2.)

CRS — The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) – Union Representation Procedures and Dispute Resolution

February 19, 2014 Comments off

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) – Union Representation Procedures and Dispute Resolution (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via MSPB Watch)

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA) gives private sector workers the right to join or form a labor union and to bargain collectively over wages, hours, and other working conditions. An issue before Congress is whether to change the procedures under which a union is certified as the bargaining representative of a union chosen by a majority of workers.

Under current law, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) conducts a secret ballot election when a petition is filed requesting one. A petition can be filed by a union, worker, or employer. Workers or a union may request an election if at least 30% of workers have signed authorization cards (i.e., cards authorizing a union to represent them). The NLRA does not require secret ballot elections. An employer may voluntarily recognize a union if a majority of workers have signed authorization cards.

Once a union is certified or recognized, the NLRA does not require the union and employer to reach an initial contract agreement. When a union and employer cannot reach an agreement on a contract, instead of a strike or lockout the parties may use mediation and arbitration to resolve the dispute.

Union Members 2012

January 27, 2014 Comments off

Union Members 2012
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

In 2012, the union membership rate–the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of a union–was 11.3 percent, down from 11.8 percent in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.4 million, also declined over the year. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers.

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