Thursday, February 08, 2018

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Michelle Chen takes note of the influx of young energy into the U.S.' labour movement:
(I)n contrast to the myth of millennials’ being economically and politically adrift, they’re stepping in readily to fill the union ranks that have hemorrhaged middle-aged workers over the years—2017 actually saw an increase in the overall number of unionized workers over the previous year. A movement that we’re used to thinking of as getting older and smaller is actually growing stronger and younger—and they may well be leading the next progressive voting bloc in tandem with the labor movement.
millennials may experience unique push-and-pull factors that drive them into unions. As EPI details in a separate analysis, unionization counters the characteristics that make jobs lousy today: gender and racial discrimination, wage gaps and lack of advancement opportunities.

Union jobs provide a net wage premium for women, especially in service-sector jobs that often lack stability and livable wages. Collective bargaining and union representation are associated with significantly higher wages for black and Latino workers. Nationwide, unionized workers are more than 50 percent more likely to have an employer-sponsored pension, and the vast majority have health insurance through their employer—a virtual financial unicorn for millennials who are often tracked into freelance and gig work with few benefits. Workers under age 25 who are unionized earn roughly a fifth more than their non-union counterparts.

Because unions give workers a voice in their workplace, unions offer young people a progressive support network at work, including legal support if they suffer harassment and want to bring a grievance against an abusive supervisor, and a community of solidarity for organizing colleagues against biased or inequitable treatment. 
(W)hether they just cast a union vote or just landed their first gig, millennials have a keen sense of what they’re up against in the new economy, understand the challenges and opportunities of taking action at work, and, see unions are a springboard into the jobs, and justice, that they need and deserve.
- Meanwhile, as a reminder of the long-term benefits of collective action by workers, Guy Chazan reports on one German union's success in winning both a 28-hour work week and a substantial pay increase.

- In contrast, Ellen Smirl studies Winnipeg's privatization of waste collection and finds that it's served mostly to reduce pay and job security for the workers delivering public services.

- Karolina Walczak and Fallon Hewitt write about the particular dangers faced by homeless women. And Blooms reports on the freezing death of one Portland woman in the immediate wake of her eviction from a home for seniors and people with disabilities.

- Finally, D.C. Fraser reports that after first dragging its heels establishing any policy to deal with the legalization of marijuana, the Saskatchewan Party still hasn't bothered to consider its budget impacts.

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