JetBlue Pilots Vote to Join Union

by Sahid Fawaz
Congratulations to JetBlue pilots who voted overwhelmingly to unionize and join the the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).
According to the ALPA,
"The National Mediation Board (NMB) announced that the 2,600+ pilots at JetBlue Airways voted overwhelmingly to join the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).
Of the votes cast, 71% of JetBlue pilots voted for ALPA. The win shows the strong desire of JetBlue pilots to gain a meaningful voice in their future, the certainty of a collective bargaining agreement, and the resources needed to be relevant. These objectives motivated the overwhelming grass roots effort by JetBlue pilots which led to today’s vote."
ALPA president, Capt. Lee Moak, said, 
"JetBlue pilot members immediately have available ALPA's aeromedical advisors and insurance benefits. The Association's world-class safety structure is also ready to go. We'll now start working hand-in-hand with JetBlue pilot representatives to set up the structure for them to make democratic decisions about their future and help negotiate their first contract."
For more on this, watch Capt. Moak’s full remarks here:

Earth Day 2014: Four Enviro-Friendly Cars

It's Earth Day, and here at Labor 411 we like to be eco-friendly as well as labor friendly. To touch on both of those themes we found a few vehicles that are union made, by members of the UAW, as well as either fully electric or hybrid for us environmentally conscious drivers.

See below for some quick specs and links for these awesome vehicles.

MSRP: $34,1852014-chevrolet-volt
Gas Mileage: 35 mpg City / 40 mpg Hwy

Engine: Gas/Electric I4, 1.4L
Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity: 4
Body Style: 4dr Car

Union-Made Easter

by Sahid Fawaz
We at Labor 411 love the holidays. We enjoy spending time with family and friends, celebrating traditions, and eating good food. 
And Easter is no exception. When Easter arrives it means that Spring is (finally) here, kids are excited to participate in egg hunts and get yummy treats, and billions of people from all over the world are observing the same religious holiday.
Of course, no Easter celebration would be complete without great food and sweets, many of which are made by proud union members. These workers belong to unions such as the Teamsters, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Bakery, Confectionery, the Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers, and the United Food and Commercial Workers.
We’ve put together a list of union-made products for you below so that you can support good union jobs this Easter while enjoying delicious quality foods!
Alta Dena
Horizon Organic
President’s Choice
Color those eggs: 
Durkee Food Coloring
Heinz Distilled White Vinegar
Basket fillers:
Cadbury Crème Eggs
Marshmallow Peeps
Jelly Bellies
Ghiradelli Chocolates
Mike and Ike’s
Tootsie Rolls

Union-Made Passover 2014

ManischewitzOn April 14, Passover begins at sundown and feasts of matzo ball soup, gefilte fish and plenty of wine will highlight this holiday celebrating the Jewish peoples’ liberation from slavery. Labor 411 wants to contribute to the Seder table this year, so we found a great charoset recipe via Epicurious. It’s super easy and everyone will love it.

Purchase your apples and walnuts from any of these union grocery stores and use our other union-made ingredients to sweeten the deal. See even more great union-made products below to make your Passover celebration the best in town.

The Shocking Truth On How Much Prices Would Increase If Walmart Paid A Living Wage

by Sahid Fawaz

It’s no secret that Walmart’s failure to pay a living wage to its employees results in the rest of us footing the bill in the form of food stamps to Walmart workers. Opponents of a wage increase argue that it would result in price increases. But how much of an increase are we talking about really? This terrific video from Slate provides an eye-opening answer.

Source: Slate

9 out 10 Fast Food Employees Say They Are Victims Of Wage Theft

by Sahid Fawaz

Poverty wages. Little to no benefits. Stressful work environments. These are just a few of the ordeals that fast food workers have to endure as their employers make obscene amounts of money.

And now it gets worse: Over 1,000 fast food workers surveyed allege that their employers paid them less than they were legally entitled to. 

According to the L.A. Times:

Out of 1,088 respondents nationwide, 89% said they have been forced to do off-the-books work, been denied breaks, been refused overtime pay or been placed in similarly unsavory circumstances.

The same holds for 84% of McDonald’s workers, 92% of Burger King employees and 82% of Wendy’s rank and file.

According to the survey, there were "[o]ther alleged misdeeds: employers paying workers late, asking employees to wait before cashing their paychecks or forcing cashiers to pay up if the cash register’s contents don’t match records." 

Fed Up: NFL Cheerleader Wants More than $1,250 a Year

raiders-cheerleader 5How does a business that rakes in billions of dollars get away with paying less than minimum wage? That's what an Oakland Raiders cheerleader is asking the NFL in a lawsuit covered by ESPN here. The Guardian also released an article that nicely summed up the paltry compensation of these hard-working women:

Back in January, Oakland Raiderette Lacy T brought a suit on behalf of the entire squad. Factoring in practice hours, charitable appearances and the annual swimsuit calendar photo shoot on top of a 10-game commitment, he and her attorneys argued that the Raiderettes’ $1,250 annual wage worked out to less than $5 an hour. That’s a whole $3 below the state minimum.

Watch: 7.1 Million Reasons the ACA is Here to Stay

"The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay," proclaimed President Obama on Tuesday. Monday was the last day of open enrollment for the exchanges that have been set up under the new law, and according to the president, 7.1 million Americans signed up.

Middle and lower class America finally has a way to obtain affordable health insurance. And while the system still remains far from perfect, as Mr. Obama concedes in this video, it's a step in the right direction that has been a long time coming for this country.

Watch as President Obama makes some bold and uplifting proclamations at the announcement:

Six Surprising Facts About The Minimum Wage

By Sahid Fawaz
The minimum wage issue is back in the spotlight again as workers are increasingly struggling to meet their basic needs. Because of inflation and a lack of Congressional action, those on minimum wage have seen their purchasing power decline dramatically, which in turn results in less demand and a weaker economy. The must-see video below, which provides six surprising facts on the minimum wage, is a timely addition to the debate on the minimum wage and its importance to a healthy economy.

Interactive: Minimum Wage Evaporates Quickly

wage calculatorBy Michael Messina

While some call the discussion about minimum wage in this country a "debate," there are many that have already discovered (or are living proof) that it is not enough to survive on. We at Labor 411 push union-made products and services because of their direct connection to providing a respectable living wage for workers in this country.

The New York Times recently published an article explaining the direct and obvious benefits of raising the minimum wage. Last month, it would seem in order to prove an obvious point in a creative way, they also created a minimum wage calculator -- an interactive experience that visually displays how quickly a year's worth of minimum wage pay gets sucked up. We encourage you to check it out here if you haven't already.

They posit the question "Can You Live on the Minimum Wage?" We know a rhetorical question when we see one.

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