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Workplace Issues Today

Daily News for Friday, April 18, 2014

Selected by the Catherwood Library Reference Staff each Monday through Friday, excluding University holidays, WIT is a free alert service, providing abstracts and links to workplace-related news stories covered in the major media. Subscribe to WIT »

Established in 1999, this service also includes a searchable archive.

MTA, Union reach new contract with retroactive pay (May Require Subscription)

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its largest union, the Transport Workers Union Local 100, have reached an agreement over their newest contract. The 34,000 union members will vote on the tentative agreement and the MTA board will approve or disapprove of the contract next month. The agreement, which was facilitated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, includes 1% pay raises in each of the past two years and a 2% increase in each of the next three years. Union members will not pay 2% of their salary for health-care benefits, up from 1.5% under the previous contract, but also will enjoy paid maternity/paternity and better optical and dental benefits. The agreement also comes with no increase in fares for riders of MTA.

See “MTA, Transport Workers Union Reach Contract Deal,” by Andrew Tangel, The Wall Street Journal, Apr 18 2014 (BCS)

Total Americans receiving jobless benefits drop and business indicators up

Over the past week, initial claims for unemployment benefits only rose by 2,000 across the U.S. to a seasonally adjusted 304,000. This is just slightly above last week’s 6 ½ year low of 302,000. The jobless data was significantly better than the forecast of many economists who believed that initial claims would jump to 315,000, a number more reminiscent of the recent past than pre-recession levels. Several economists citing both the stabilizing of jobless claims and the increase of factory activity from 9.0 in March to 16.6 so far in April, as a sign of a return to economic growth. In addition to the drop in initial claims, the total number of people, 2.74 million, represents a drop of 11,000 compared with the week before and is the lowest total since December of 2007.

See “Jobless claims, factory data put some shine on the economy,” by Lucia Mutikani, Reuters, Apr 18 2014 (BCS)

Chinese government, union intervene in Yue Yuen strike

Over 40,000 employees of Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd marched for another day in the longest labor dispute in recent memory in China. Friday was different however, because it was the first time in more than 10 days that the Chinese government took action against the strikers, arresting dozens as about 1,000 employees marched toward the facilities of the world’s largest shoe maker. China’s official national union’s chapter, the Guangdong Federation of Trade Unions pushed for workers to tone down protests and “act rationally”. The protests were ignited when it was discovered that social security contributions by the company may or may not have been made in accordance with Chinese law. The company has said that it would correct any missed or too small contributions it had made if the employees also corrected their contributions for those payments.

See “Chinese government trade union to mediate shoe factory strike by tens of thousands of workers,” Fox News, The Associated Press, Apr 18 2014 (BCS)