40-Hour Workweek My Aunt Fanny

According to Gallup, and probably your own experience too, “full-time” in this country is not 40 hours a week.

The 40-hour workweek is widely regarded as the standard for full-time employment, and many federal employment laws — including the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare” — use this threshold to define what a full-time employee is. However, barely four in 10 full-time workers in the U.S. indicate they work precisely this much. The hefty proportion who tell Gallup they typically log more than 40 hours each week push the average number of hours worked up to 47. Only 8% of full-time employees claim to work less than 40 hours.

47 hours a week is more than one extra hour of work per day. WTF. This is because we don’t have unions anymore, right? (“The number of U.S. wage-earners also belonging to a union in 2012 and 2013 is 14.5 million, or 11 percent of the workforce, according to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to roughly 30 percent 64 years ago.”) 

Did you ever / do you now belong to a union? Is it amazing? I have a friend who works for a unionized lefty magazine and she doesn’t even realize how amazing she has it because amazing, for her, is the norm. For the rest of us, though, it is merely a dream.

Contract PSA For Comedians (And Other People, Too)

Nato Green is "either a comedian who moonlights as a union organizer or a union organizer who moonlights as a comedian," he can't really tell anymore. Regardless, he knows a thing or two about contracts, and knows how common it is to be screwed over by not reading or understanding something before you sign it. Care of the Comic's Comic, Green shares some helpful tips and real talk about contracts.

Labor Issues Made Real for Crazy TV Watching Life

The writers for FASHION POLICE are on strike. This is a good little case study in labor. Let's learn together.

Little Labor

Josh Eidelson explores the rise of nonunion labor groups—20 years ago, there were five, now there are 214—and possibly also the future of labor organizing in this country. (“As unions face declining membership these workers’ groups—like the mostly union-free job sectors they organize—are on the rise, particularly in New York. Because of their efforts, more restaurant workers in the city get paid sick days, domestic workers receive overtime pay, and taxi drivers will soon have health insurance.”)

What Happens When You Start Earning a Living Wage

Gothamist has really terrific profiles of five of the 1,400 workers at Resorts World Casino who saw their pay double from $10-$12/hour to $20 or more, plus benefits after their union struck a new contract deal for them. Here's Jeannine Nixon, who works at the casino as a customer relations representative.

Ruling Declares College Football Players University Employees

In a stunning ruling that has the potential to revolutionize college athletics, a federal agency said Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University can create the nation's first college athlete's union. The decision by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board means it agrees football players at the Big Ten school qualify as employees under federal law and therefore can legally unionize.
Whoa, via Politico.

‘Don’t Ever Write Anybody Off, Because I Changed’

Corey Robin's memories of Lucille Dickess, a registrar at Yale who became president of the local union in the eighties, are really beautiful.

Seattle Uber Drivers Unionizing

One of the first goals of the union is to encourage Uber to change its termination policy, wherein drivers are fired for bad ratings without discussion or review (it's the no hearing part drivers object to, not the ratings). They would also like to be consulted when Uber changes its pricing and policies. Seems fair.

Robert Reich on the “Paid-What-You’re-Worth” Myth

Robert Reich, an economist and former Secretary of Labor under the Clinton administration, has a post about why "paid-what-you’re-worth" is a dangerous myth. Do low-wage workers who earn minimum wage get paid what they're worth? Are CEOs of big companies worth their big compensation packages?

How and Why Josh Eidelson Went From Being a Labor Activist to a Labor Journalist (Also: Labor 101)

Logan Sachon: Tell me about you, Josh Eidelson. Josh Eidelson: I grew up outside of Philly and got involved in the labor movement in college. My first month in college I participated in civil disobedience with campus workers who were trying to win a union contract.