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Things You Can Negotiate For at Work (And Didn't Know It)

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CareerBuilder.com

For most job seekers, the art of negotiation comes into play at two specific times in their careers: during an initial job negotiation and at their performance evaluation. Some negotiations operate on a grand scale, with discussion about company cars and relocation allowances. But most of us focus on one thing in our negotiations: salary.

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There are, however, a number of possible negotiation points for new and existing workers. And with many employers delaying or deferring raises because of tough economic challenges, hiring managers are more open to discussions about alternatives. Here are just a few of the possibilities that many workers are not aware of.

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Pushing working people down

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  • Those who are benefiting from the rotten economy are the wealthiest 20 percent of the American people, who hold upward of 85 percent of the country's wealth.
    Tell Mott's: get the scabs out of your applesauce!
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James Clay Fuller, Things We're Not Supposed to Say

The true nature of the great recession is beginning to show in ways that until very recently were pretty well hidden.

Probably the most obvious example so far of how the very rich are using this economic downturn to consolidate their power is the strike by 305 hourly workers at the Mott's apple juice plant in upstate New York.

For those who are manipulating the situation, you probably can look to the the richest 1 percent of Americans, who, among their tiny number, hold more than one third of the private wealth in the United States. They're the ones with the real power, the ones who hold the deeds to key politicians and mortgages on the Republican and Democratic parties.

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Related:

Tell Mott's: get the scabs out of your applesauce! Manny Herrmann, American Rights at Work

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  • Something's Rotten at Mott's
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  • Tell the CEO of Mott's: Your workers are what makes your company successful. And you can't get away with screwing them over. Not on our watch!
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  • Strikers at Mott’s pick up nationwide support
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Global Horizons Indicted for Human Trafficking

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  • Mordechai Orian, president of Global Horizons, a Los Angeles-based labor recruiter, was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for "engaging in a conspiracy to commit forced labor and document servitude" of some 400 Thai citizens who were brought to work on farms in the U.S.
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  • Largest Case in US History
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Pratap Chatterjee, Corporate Watch

In what federal officials described as the largest human-trafficking case ever brought by the government, Mordechai Orian, president and chief operating officer of Global Horizons, was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for "engaging in a conspiracy to commit forced labor and document servitude."

The alleged victims of the Los Angeles-based labor recruiter are some 400 Thai citizens who were brought to work on farms in the U.S. between May 2004 through September 2005. They were hired under H-2A visas which allow farm workers into the country for seasonal work.


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In late 2006, after CorpWatch published an article and a cartoon about the recruitment and abuse of Thai farm workers, Orian sued the non-profit. Orian stated that our reporter, Kari Lydersen was "part of (a) campaign against the H-2A program and [was trying] to protect illegal immigrant and the legal groups who stand to profit from the representation of illegal aliens." CorpWatch refused to retract the article or the cartoon but the two parties came to an out-of-court settlement in April 2007 to correct a few disputed facts in the story. No money was paid by either side.

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Someone's raking it in, and it isn't you!

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  • Unless, that is, you're a CEO big on layoffs. That doesn't play well, does it?
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  • Widening pay disparities can undermine the economic system by causing many to question its basic fairness.
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  • Corporate kings grab our tax subsidies but create no new jobs.
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Kansas City Star | KS

Photo Credit: AMagill

A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies says that "CEOs of the 50 firms that have laid off the most workers since the onset of the economic crisis took home 42 percent more pay in 2009 than their peers at Standard & Poor's 500 firms."

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If true, that is a troubling finding. In tough times, expenses must be cut and executives have a duty to shareholders to ensure the survival of the enterprise. Were they to do otherwise, the nation's long-term economic prospects would suffer dramatically.

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Yet the pay raises reported by the study were tacked onto salaries already stratospheric. S&P chief executives’ median pay is $1.025 million, or around $7.5 million with bonuses and benefits. Meanwhile, their workers are getting median packages of pay and benefits worth about $40,000.

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Related:

Corporate kings grab our tax subsidies but create no new jobs. Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown

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  • In the past two years 55 percent of workers have lost a job or taken a cut
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  • Obama fiddles.
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How much is US Airways paying unionbusting consultants?!

$375 an hour.
Tell US Airways CEO Doug Parker: Cut your ties with your unionbusting consultants!

Manny Herrmann, American Rights at Work

That's how much US Airways is paying a consultant for advice on how to crush unions.

In the lead-up to a union election at Piedmont Airways, part of US Airways, the company has hired Labor Relations Institute (LRI), a notorious unionbusting firm "dedicated to maintaining a union-free workplace."1

By hiring LRI, US Airways is sending a clear message: They're willing to manipulate and coerce their employees to stop them from exercising their rights.

US Airways might not care about its workers, but there's one thing that big companies like this do care about: their public image. Will you give US Airways' CEO a piece of your mind? It only takes a minute, and it could make all the difference for workers at Piedmont Airlines:

Tell US Airways CEO Doug Parker: Cut your ties with your unionbusting consultants!

It's simple: Workers shouldn't face interference or coercion when deciding whether to form a union - and they should have all the facts when they cast their vote.

LRI's strategy is also simple: Manipulate workers' choice to form unions by feeding them misinformation about unions, and stopping pro-union employees from setting the record straight.

And they'll be the first to admit they have the upper hand. Here's some of their $375-per-hour advice to Piedmont:

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"The number one advantage companies have over unions during [union] election campaigns is access to voters. Simply put, you can compel employees to listen to your campaign messages..."2

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Companies should keep a hands-off approach so employees can decide on their own whether they want to form a union.

Send your message to US Airways now.

Thank you for standing up for workers at Piedmont Airlines - and for all that you do for workers' rights.

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1Labor Relations Institute website, accessed September 9, 2010
2Anti-union presentation from LRI Management Services: "Union Avoidance:
5 Keys To Winning Your Union Election."

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