News of the Month — February 2018

NewsFebruary 22, 2019

A record number of US workers went on strike or stopped working in 2018 because of labor disputes with employers, according to new data released Tuesday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Vox reported that a total of 485,000 employees were involved in major work stoppages last year — the highest number since 1986, when flight attendants, garbage collectors, and steelworkers walked off the job.

Employees who are required to stay “on call” before the start of a possible work shift — phoning their employer two hours before the shift to learn whether they’re needed — are entitled to be paid for that two-hour period regardless of whether they’re called in to work, a state appeals court ruled Monday. In a 2-1 decision with potentially broad impact, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles said on-call employees are protected by a 1943 California Industrial Welfare Commission wage order, still in effect, that entitles employees to “reporting time pay” as soon as they are required to report for work.

Two NUHW-represented Kaiser therapists were profiled on KQED for their work helping migrant families in Texas who had just been dropped off by ICE officials.

California has a decade to recruit and train a new generation of healthcare workers or the state will face a staffing crisis, according to a new report by the California Future Health Workforce Commission. CalMatters reports that among the most acute shortages: “Frontline workers” including community health and home care workers and medical assistants. High skilled professionals also are needed, including primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists and psychologists.

Since 2000, labor’s share has declined by about a trillion dollars, according to Mother Jones. If you’ve become jaded by numbers this huge and have no idea what they mean on a human scale, it’s simple: this works out to something in the ballpark of $7,000 per worker. If we could just get back to the level of 80s and 90s, we’d all be making about $7,000 more per year.