Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Today's Teamster News 09.02.14

Trade
Trade deal could cost us jobs, wages (opinion)   Miami Herald   ...Sadly, members of Congress — and the public they are supposed to represent — are being left out of important talks about a trade deal that could end up costing us our jobs and wages while jeopardizing our clean air and water...
TPP nations kick off fresh official meeting in Vietnam  Global Post   ...it is uncertain how much closer they can move over contentious issues, official sources say, as not a few issues remain to be resolved, while Japan and the United States -- the biggest economies in the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- have yet to secure a bilateral deal seen as key to advancing the broad negotiations...
State Battles
Did Gov. Scott Walker Violate Campaign Laws? (opinion)  New York Times   ...Mr. Walker and his aides brazenly violated state campaign finance regulations barring coordination between independent groups and candidate campaigns, first by rounding up the money and then by telling the groups how to spend it...
Indiana’s working families deserve a raise (opinion)  Indianapolis Star   ...Our wages haven’t remained stagnant by chance. The rise in political and corporate attacks on working people has meant that for decades wages have declined or remained flat. The drop in labor union participation over the years has contributed to falling labor standards in Indiana and across the country...
War on Workers
Eric Cantor joins Wall Street bank  Politico   ...(Former House Majority Leader Eric) Cantor is expected to receive a pay package of $3.4 million in his new role...
Atlantic City facing unprecedented economic collapse  Philadelphia Inquirer   ...The closing of three casinos, starting with Showboat and Revel this weekend followed by Trump Plaza two weeks later, and the rapid-fire loss of 5,700 jobs, draw historic comparisons to longer-term collapses of U.S. industries such as steel...
Study: Citizens United elected more Republicans  Washington Post   ...The 2010 Supreme Court decision that helped usher in a new era of political spending gave Republicans a measurable advantage on Election Day, according to a new study...
This is why it feels like the recession never ended  Washington Post   ...Say that you're a median wage earner, right in the 50th percentile. And let's say that in 2007 you could buy a week's worth of groceries for $100. Fast forward to today: those exact same groceries cost $115, but you only have $112 dollars in your pocket...
It’s harder to reach the American dream if you’re reaching all alone (opinion)  Reuters   ...No job is inherently marginal. Lousy jobs in places like non-union Phoenix are middle-class jobs in unionized New York City...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Today's Teamster News 09.01.14

Trade
Stop conflating trade policies with trade itself (opinion)  The Oregonian   ...Trade clearly has benefits for Oregon's economy. The relevant question is whether individual trade agreements are helping or hurting. There is little debate that U.S. trade policy is worsening the country's job-displacing and wage-suppressing trade imbalance...
Trade treaties expose Australia to costly litigation, experts warn  Sydney Morning Herald   ...Australia risks getting swept up in a wave of litigation by foreign corporations wishing to sue over unfavourable domestic laws, experts warn, after the government rejected a bill to ban controversial trade agreements...
State Battles
Voter Suppression in Wisconsin  Blogging Blue   ...a town or municipal clerk now has the authority to stop dead in its tracks any voter registration drive that any organization or group of concerned citizens may want to mount in that jurisdiction...
War on Workers
A Look at Income Inequality, Hour by Hour  Wall Street Journal   ...Inflation has been low by most measures in recent years, but wage growth for the majority of workers has been even lower. That means even small amounts of inflation have been painful for vast swaths of the workforce...
The Changing Face of Temporary Employment  New York Times   ...The work of temping has changed vastly — today 42 percent of temporary workers labor in light industry or warehouses...
Labor Day stems from deadly labor strike, but few Americans know the history  New York Daily News   ...A labor movement in Chicago in 1894 left 30 Pullman workers dead, and later spurred Congress and President Grover Cleveland to pass a bill creating Labor Day. But the history of this holiday is rarely taught in schools, and there are few full-time labor journalists to write about working class communities...
Labor Today  New York Times   ...five years into an economic recovery that has been notable for resurging corporate profits, the number and quality of jobs are still lagging badly, as are wages and salaries...
Six reasons to kiss a union member  Arizona Republic   ...1. The 40-hour work week: Back in 1903 a labor organizer named Mary Harris "Mother" Jones led the "March of the Mill Children" over 100 miles from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt's Long Island summer home in Oyster Bay, New York, to publicize the terrible conditions of working children (unions ended child labor eventually, too) and to demand a 55-hour work week...
More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft’  New York Times   ...Mr. Rangel stands to receive more than $20,000 in back pay as part of a recent $21 million legal settlement with Schneider, a national trucking company...
Low-paid Britain: 'People have had enough. It's soul destroying'  The Guardian   ...Yes, they have jobs … but the five people featured below are typical of millions who have no security, no holiday or sick pay, limited hours, and no dignity at work...
Woman Working Four Part-Time Jobs Dies in Car While Trying to Nap  Gawker   ...A 32-year-old woman was found dead inside her SUV in a convenience store parking lot, where she was trying to get some extra sleep between shifts at her four part-time jobs, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports...
International Paper worker killed in accident identified  WJCL   ...A maintenance worker was killed Sunday afternoon at International Paper in Savannah. Firefighters and emergency crews responded to an industrial accident at the plant around 2:30 p.m. International Paper said Ricky Salter, 58, died in the paper roll handling area...
Popeye's night shift worker killed in Anne Arundel County  Baktunire Syb   ...An employee at a Popeye's Restaurant off Richie Highway in Brooklyn Park was found dead early Sunday with significant trauma to her upper body, Anne Arundel County police said...  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Today's Teamster News 08.31.14

Teamsters
Wage Watch: Court ruling could upend FedEx's business model  Fortune   ...In a ruling with the potential to upend the logistics industry, a three-judge panel on Wednesday decided that FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery drivers are employees of the company and not independent contractors, as FedEx had characterized them...
Trade
Top TPP negotiators to meet in Hanoi for 10-day trade talks  Japan Times   ...Top trade negotiators from 12 countries will hold 10-day talks in Hanoi from Monday, aiming to clinch a broad accord on a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership pact by the end of November...
Wake up America Champions  Trade Reform   ...Post World War II we had about 19 million people employed directly in manufacturing – a sector where producers work.  That was roughly 10% of the population.  Today there are about 330 million people living in the United States.  About 3.5% of the population makes the stuff we consume. ..
State Battles
John Ketzenberger: Right to work and unions  The Star Press   ...The Indiana Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case Sept. 4 from Lake County that found the right-to-work law unconstitutional. Another Lake County judge ruled the law unconstitutional in July. Both decisions hinge on the "particular services" clause of the state Constitution, which states "no person's particular services shall be demanded without just compensation."...
Who's Getting a Raise? Minimum Wage Hikes Gain Steam in States, Cities  NBC News   ...“Because Congress hasn’t acted, states and cities are doing it instead; $10.10 is the new starting point...”
Michigan hourly minimum wage rises to $8.15 on Labor Day  Oakland Press   ...It’s scheduled to increase regularly over the next few years before topping out Jan. 1, 2018 at $9.25...
War on Workers
Private equity's giant collusion case is over, as Carlyle folds  Fortune   ...The plaintiffs had argued that Carlyle and its co-defendants had conspired to not bid against each other on eight large “take-private” buyouts that occurred prior to the financial crisis...
Skydiving event in memory of worker killed in propeller accident  Journal-News   ...Sarah Rhoads, 24, of Miamisburg, died after being critically injured when she accidentally walked into an operating airplane propeller this past June...
More Jobs That Pay Decent Wages: How To Fight Poverty In The United States  IMF   ...nearly 40 percent of American adults will spend at least one year in poverty by the time they reach 60. During 1968–2000, the risk was less than 20 percent. More devastatingly, 1 in 5 children currently live in poverty and, during their childhood, roughly 1 in 3 Americans will spend at least one year living below the poverty line...
The Unprecedented Failure to Regulate Citigroup Continues  Wall Street on Parade   ...Wall Street’s self-regulator, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), charged Citigroup with cheating its customers out of fair prices on preferred stock trades — 22,000 times. Citigroup was fined a meager $1.85 million, ordered to pay $638,000 in restitution, allowed to neither deny or admit the charges, and sent on its merry way to loot the next unwary investor...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Today's Teamster News 08.30.14

Teamster News
Teamsters Warn Of Anti-Trust Obstacles To Sysco-US Foods Merger  IBT   ...The union hosted today’s call to educate investors, analysts and members of the press about the potential imbalance the merger would create within the food service industry - an imbalance that could have widespread, negative effects on customers, providers and consumers and workers across the country...
Sysco-US Foods Merger Under Fire From Teamsters  The Street   ...A major union representing workers at Sysco Corp. (SYY_) and US Foods  said Thursday the merger partners have underestimated the market share the combined company would have if their $8.2 billion combination is cleared by the Federal Trade Commission...
Uber Drivers Team Up With Teamsters Union  LA Weekly   ...A group of Los Angeles–area Uber drivers has teamed up with Teamsters Local 986. The affiliation doesn't mean the drivers are unionizing. At this point, they couldn't do so if they wanted to because they are not technically employees. But Joseph DeWolf Sandoval, a member of the California App-Based Drivers’ Association (CADA) leadership counsel, says that could change if future court challenges are successful...
Taylor Farms 'Poster Child' Bill Passes Senate  Monterey Herald   ...The bill's author, Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina, and the Teamsters union used Taylor Farms repeatedly to gather support. Part of their argument was that temporary workers at the company's Tracy processing facilities are kept in that status for years without benefits or job security...
Groups Vote To Remain With Teamsters Union  WTVW   ...Two members of Teamsters Local 215 vote to remain members. The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation reports school secretaries and bus drivers voted not to disband from the Teamsters and work on a new contract individually...
Drivers At Carl's Jr. Contractor MBM Corporation Win Teamster Representation  Marketwatch   ...The National Labor Relations Board recently announced the certification of Teamsters Local 63 as the bargaining representative for 72 drivers at MBM Corporation in Ontario, Calif...
Trade
Imminent Terrorist Attack Warning By Feds on US Border  Judicial Watch   ...Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED)...
Supplier For Samsung And Lenovo Accused Of Using Child Labor  New York Times   ...China Labor Watch said it had found more than 10 children working at the factory of a China-based supplier for the technology giants Samsung Electronics and the Lenovo Group in an investigation in July and August...
State Battles
Disappointing Jobs Report For Wisconsin In The 12-month Period Ending In March  Cap Times   ..."Wisconsin turned in another subpar job creation report Thursday with news that it gained 28,653 private-sector jobs in the 12 months from March 2013 to March 2014, according to data released late Thursday by the state Department of Workforce Development...
Wisconsin Forecasted to Lag Further Behind Minnesota  Econbrowser   ...the cumulative growth gap between Minnesota and Wisconsin (relative to 2011M01) is forecasted to grow — rather than shrink — over the next six months...
Legislature Approves New Insurance Requirements For Uber, Lyft, Sidecar  San Jose Mercury News   ...From the moment a driver turns on the company's smartphone app, the company will have to provide insurance amounting to $50,000 in liability coverage for death or injury to a single person; $100,000 in coverage for all damages in a single accident; and $30,000 for property damage, with excess coverage of $200,000. The company must then provide $1 million in coverage once the driver is matched with a passenger...
Top Official For GOP Governors Praised Their Strong Partnership With Koch Network  Huffington Post   ...One of the top officials responsible for electing Republican governors this November lauded the partnership between his organization and a leading arm of the Koch brothers' political network during a mid-summer conference...
Confusion Over Voter ID Law In Kansas Continues  KWCH   ...Gray says confusion over the state's Voter ID Law and problems with the DMV not accepting her paperwork kept her at home during the August primaries...
War On Workers
Public Higher Education: Another Casualty of the Great Recession  Washington Monthly   ...at some point in the last six years, 41 state legislatures in the United States slashed funding for their public universities and colleges...Only 14 states have re-invested in higher education at levels equal to or above their pre-recession levels. Last year, 20 states actually cut more funding from their public universities and colleges...
Divisions Grow as a Downturn Rocks Europe  New York Times   ...Six years after being struck by economic crisis, Europe is facing a fresh downturn, with few new ideas on the table for reigniting growth and deepening political divisions over the austerity policies that many blame for worsening the malaise...
Miscellaneous
'Google-Like' Search Engine Puts NSA Snooping Back In The Spotlight  Fox News   ...The National Security Agency’s surveillance machinery is again in the spotlight after a media report claimed that it is secretly providing data to almost two dozen U.S. government agencies via a powerful “Google-like” search engine...
Evidence Grows That Online Social Networks Have Insidious Negative Effects  MIT Technology Review   ...A study of 50,000 people in Italy concludes that online social networks have a significant negative impact on individual welfare...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Food prices to rise with Sysco-US Foods merger, Teamsters say

The proposed Sysco-US Foods merger will probably hurt workers and consumers if it is allowed to go through, a new report by the Teamsters concludes.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters warned the $8.2 billion merger would result in a virtual monopoly in many markets, costing workers' jobs and raising food prices. According to The Street:
The Teamsters found that the merged company would hold 60% in metro Chicago, 70% in Los Angeles and Southern California, more than 70% in metro Philadelphia, 75% in the midwestern region around Denver and 80% in Minneapolis-St. Paul. 
If corroborated by the FTC, the market shares estimated by the Teamsters would obligate the agency to require sizable divestitures for which there may not be viable buyers, the Teamsters warned.
The Global Competition Report today quoted Teamsters International Vice President Steve Vairma, director of the warehouse division, making that point:
Even with divestitures of physical assets, he said, a smaller competitor could not easily become a check on a combined Sysco and US Foods. 
“Nobody has bought a facility, loaded it with product and taken significant share overnight,” he said.
Teamsters have plenty of experience with what Wall Street likes to call 'rationalizing the supply chain': merging smaller distributors into one behemoth. To pay the exorbitant costs for the merger, companies borrow money. To be able to pay back the debt, they shut down some operations, fire workers and stop investing in new plant and equipment. Oh, and raise prices.

That's exactly what will happen if Sysco and US Foods merge.

The two companies say they will only have a combined market share of 25 percent, but the Teamsters dispute that. Again, from GCRI:
...critics of the tie-up such as the American Antitrust Institute and Food & Water Watch put it at 55 per cent. Alan Meyers, a mergers specialist in the Teamsters’ capital strategies department, said the union had performed an extensive field study to produce its own estimate. 
The union claims 11,500 Sysco and US Foods warehouse workers and truck drivers, who helped the Teamsters survey the number of employees at and the amount of available floor space in those facilities, which determines how much product can be moved through for distribution. Meyers said 70 per cent is an unweighted average of the markets the union has been able to verify, accounting for all types of customers for which Sysco and US Foods currently compete.
You can keep up with what's going on at Sysco and USFoods on the Protecting Sysco & US Foods Workers Facebook page.

Today's Teamster News 08.29.14

Teamster News
MV Transportation Drivers Unanimously Choose Teamsters Union  IBT   ...MV Transportation drivers have voted unanimously, 67-0, to join Teamsters Local 890 in Salinas, Calif., to improve their working conditions. The 91 drivers provide adult paratransit services, shuttle and tourist trolley routes in Salinas and Monterey...
Calif. Senate Approves Bill To Protect Temporary Workers   IBT   ...The California Senate approved AB 1897 Wednesday evening. The bill will hold companies accountable for serious violations of the rights of workers on their premises that are committed by their own labor suppliers...
Uber Drivers In Southern California Form Association With Teamsters Local 986  IBT   ...The California App-Based Drivers’ Association (CADA) met in El Monte, California on Tuesday, to formalize its affiliation with Teamsters Local 986...
How One Union Is Playing For Both Sides In The Battle Between Uber And Taxis  BuzzFeed   ...As the bitter divide between ride-sharing and taxi companies continues to grow, one union is trying to unite all the drivers, no matter who they work for...
Trade
TTIP Will Sacrifice Food Safety For Faster Trade, Warn NGOs  EurActiv   ...The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will irreversibly put EU consumers and animals at risk, the European Commission will be warned today...
Kristen Marshall: Reject the TPP  (opinion)   DailyCamera   ...“Why are we relying on WikiLeaks for information about TPP?”; and “What about Congress?”...
State Battles
Ballot Initiatives Become Pricey Playgrounds Of Parties And Corporations  Washington Post   ...For the first time in history, spending on the approximately 125 ballot questions facing voters in 41 states is likely to top $1 billion in campaign spending this year — and perhaps much more: Oil and gas companies in Alaska spent more than $170 for every vote they won in a successful campaign to reject higher taxes earlier this month...
The End Of The Scott Walker Experiment?  Slate   ...the biggest national test taking place in Wisconsin is a test of the Walker Hypothesis, which held that a politician who enacted conservative policies and didn’t shrink from the resulting controversy would be rewarded by a wide range of voters—conservatives, but also swing voters. ... With each new poll showing a close race, that hypothesis grows weaker...
DOR: Fiscal year revenue comes in $281.2 million below projections  WisPolitics Budget Blog   ...The largest shortfall came in income taxes, where the state collected $178.7 million less than expected. Corporate tax collections were also significantly lower, coming in $97.7 million behind projections...
War On Workers
You're Losing $18,000 A Year Because Of Income Inequality  Huffington Post   ..."Stagnant growth at the middle is just the flip side of fast growth at the top," Elise Gould, the author of the paper and EPI’s director of health policy research, told The Huffington Post...
When Do We Start Calling This “The Greater Depression”?  Washington Center for Equitable Growth   ...Between the start of 2005 and the end of 2007 U.S. real GDP grew at 3.1%/year. The recession trough in 2009 saw the U.S. real GDP level 11% lower than the 2005-2007 trend. Today it stands 16% below...
Most Americans Think The Economy Is Permanently Damaged  Huffington Post   ..."Looking at the aftermath of the recession, it is clear that the American landscape has been significantly rearranged," Rutgers professor Cliff Zukin said in a press release. "With the passage of time, the public has become convinced that they are at a new normal of a lower, poorer quality of life."...
For Every Education Level, Real Wages Have Gone Down So Far This Year  Bloomberg Businessweek   ...From the first half of 2007 to the first half of this year, real wages declined 4.9 percent for workers with a high school degree and 2.5 percent for workers with a college degree. Workers with advanced degrees registered an increase of only 0.2 percent over those seven years...
In Corporations, It’s Owner-Take-All (opinion)  Washington Post   ...Lazonick looked at the 449 companies listed every year on the S&P 500 from 2003 to 2012. ... That’s a total of 91 percent of their profits that America’s leading corporations targeted to their shareholders, leaving a scant 9 percent for investments, research and development, expansions, cash reserves or, God forbid, raises...
Sheriff releases name of Kalispell Walmart worker killed in fall  Missoulian   ...Larry Wurtz has been identified as the Kalispell Walmart employee who died after falling from a movable staircase in a back room of the store last week...
Worker hit and killed by SF city truck in the Bayview  SF Gate   ...A San Francisco Department of Public Works garbage truck struck and killed a crew member Thursday morning, city officials said...
Miscellaneous
Boomer Wealth Dented by Mortgages Poses U.S. Risk  Bloomberg   ...The share of Americans 65 and older with mortgage debt rose to 30 percent in 2011 from 22 percent in 2001, according to a May analysis by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau based on the latest available figures...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today's Teamster News 08.28.14

Teamster News
Teamsters At Fred Meyer Warehouse Vote To OK Strike  The Stand   ...Teamster warehouse workers employed at the Fred Meyer grocery distribution center in Puyallup voted overwhelmingly over the weekend to authorize a strike. The final vote was 241-2. Voting took place at the Teamsters Union hall in Tukwila...
Safety Agents and de Blasio Administration Reach Labor Deal  New York Times   ...Mayor Bill de Blasio and Teamsters Local 237, the municipal union representing school safety agents and special officers, announced a tentative contract and the proposed settlement of a pay equity lawsuit on Tuesday that would distribute $38 million in back pay to current and former school safety agents who are overwhelmingly female...
City Pays $38M To Settle Equal Pay Lawsuit From Female Safety Agents Being Paid Far Less Than Male Counterparts  New York Daily News   ...In a move timed to Women’s Equality Day, the city announced Monday it had settled a four-year-old lawsuit from a group of safety agents who were paid far less than their male counterparts. The suit was settled for $38 million as part of a new labor agreement with Teamsters Local 237...
Mayor’s Office: Union Contract Means Pay Equity For Largely Female School Safety Agents  CBS News   ...The deal with Teamsters Local 237, which represents both the largely female school safety agents and special officers, was reached Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced...
Union Employees Air Contract Dispute On MDI  Bangor Daily News   ...Municipal employees of three Mount Desert Island towns who are members of the Teamsters labor union are airing their grievances as they try to reach a new labor contract with the towns...
Contract Disputes Lead To Demonstrations On Mount Desert Island  Maine Public Broadcasting   ...Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are demonstrating on Mount Desert Island this afternoon to draw attention to ongoing contract disputes with three area towns...
Weary U.S. Workers Are Still Experiencing Hard Times (opinion)  Huffington Post   ...Despite a dip in unemployment during the past few years, low pay continues to plague many employees while their corporate bosses rake in record profits...
Trade
TPP: Expansive Rights for Big Pharma, Expensive Medicines for U.S. Consumers  Public Citizen   ...Leaked draft intellectual property texts for the TPP reveal broad monopoly protections for pharmaceutical corporations, which elevate the costs of medicines and medical procedures...
Turkish Firms Hit By Anti-Dumping Duties On Steel Pipes To US  Todays Zaman   ...The US International Trade Commission (USITC) decided to impose anti-dumping duties on Turkish steel pipes last week following an investigation into export prices, a development that is likely to hurt Turkish pipe exporters to this country...
State Battles
Minimum Wage Bump Would Help Close Wealth Gap For 23% In S.F.  San Francisco Chronicle   ...If San Francisco voters approve raising the minimum wage law in November, 142,000 workers - or 23 percent of the city's workforce - would get a raise by the time it fully kicks in to $15 an hour by 2018...
Scott Walker, J.B. Van Hollen Again Ask Court To Reinstate Voter ID  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel   ...Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen are asking a federal court to reinstate Wisconsin's voter ID law, but they have not finalized a plan to comply with a different court's decision requiring the state to provide IDs to people who don't have birth certificates...
War On Workers
Market Basket Revolt Ends as Arthur T. Demoulas Wins Bid  Bloomberg   ...Arthur T. Demoulas, the ousted chief executive officer of the Market Basket supermarket chain whose employees gained national attention in a revolt to get him back, won his bid to buy the company...
Why America’s Workers Need Faster Wage Growth—And What We Can Do About It  Economic Policy Institute   ...Comparing the first half of 2014 with the first half of 2013, real (inflation-adjusted) hourly wages fell for workers in nearly every decile—even for those with a bachelor’s or advanced degree...
The Expanding World of Poverty Capitalism (opinion)  New York Times   ...Sentinel Offender Services … oversees case management, including breath alcohol and drug-testing services, “all at no cost to county taxpayers.”…Sentinel is a part of the expanding universe of poverty capitalism. In this unique sector of the economy, costs of essential government services are shifted to the poor...
Caught on Tape: What Mitch McConnell Complained About to a Roomful of Billionaires (Exclusive)  The Nation   ...At a secret meeting of elite donors convened by the Koch brothers, McConnell laid out his plan for shrinking the federal government and whined about having to vote on minimum wage bills...
At Koch Retreat, Top GOP Senate Candidates Credited Koch Network For Their Rise  Huffington Post   ...Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst and Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton directly credited donors present at the June 16 retreat in Dana Point, California, for propelling them forward. Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner told attendees that his race would likely be decided by the presence of "third party" money -- an obvious pitch for generosity from the well-heeled crowd...
Argentina Set for Second National Strike as Economic Woes Deepen  Bloomberg   ...Argentina is bracing for a day of road blocks and disruption as labor unions stage a second national strike in less than five months while July’s bond default threatens to fuel inflation and undermine growth...
40 Percent of Restaurant Workers Live In Near-Poverty  Mother Jones   ...The industry's wages have stagnated at an extremely low level. Restaurant workers' median wage stands at $10 per hour, tips included—and hasn't budged, in inflation-adjusted terms, since 2000...
Miscellaneous
U.S. Budget Gap Narrows to Smallest Since 2007, CBO Says  Bloomberg   ...The projected shortfall will be $506 billion in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, compared with an April prediction for $492 billion and a $680 billion gap posted last year, the nonpartisan CBO said today in a report. In 2015 it’s projected to shrink for a sixth straight year, to $469 billion, capping the longest stretch of fiscal improvement since 2000, near the end of an era of surpluses...