labor

construction workers
Pixabay

Contractors believe 2018 will be a big year for projects from infrastructure improvements to corporate office updates. But a national survey shows one big challenge is set to stand in the way of these projects.

Donald Trump speaking on campaign trail.
Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia

Policy Matters Ohio says President Trump has a long way to go before delivering on his promise to restore blue-collar jobs in the state.

At age 31, Nixon Arias cut a profile similar to many unauthorized immigrants in the United States. A native of Honduras, he had been in the country for more than a decade and had worked off and on for a landscaping company for nine years. The money he earned went to building a future for his family in Pensacola, Fla. His Facebook page was filled with photos of fishing and other moments with his three boys, ages 3, 7 and 8.

But in November 2013, that life began to unravel.

Statehouse flowers
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Business and labor leaders, as well as Ohio’s cities, are very concerned about how some money is being moved around to balance the budget in the face of a billion dollar projected shortfall.

Casey Raub can easily deadlift over 100 pounds — not thanks to the gym, but from his work as a bartender at ever-packed Brooklyn brunch hotspot Five Leaves. Raub, 35, regularly hoists heavy boxes of liquor and massive buckets of ice for an endless stream of gin gimlets and grapefruit margaritas. Two and a half years ago, he was injured in a cycling accident, and his work routine only compounded his back pain.

Marches in support of worker rights and labor unions are taking place around the world Monday, dubbed "May Day." Here in the U.S., they're expected to draw larger than usual crowds due to President Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration.

In heavily Latino Los Angeles, where labor unions also hold big sway, community organizers spent much of the last weekend doing last minute planning and logistics, as well as peacekeeping training.

They come from places like Vietnam, China, Mexico and Guatemala, lured by promises of better-paying jobs and legal immigration. Instead, they're smuggled into the U.S., forced to work around the clock as bussers, wait staff and cooks, and housed in cramped living quarters. For this, they must pay exorbitant fees that become an insurmountable debt, even as their pay is often withheld, stolen or unfairly docked.

Alex Hoey

A group of about 20 Ohio State students will begin a week-long fast on Monday to show solidarity with farm workers. They say the university went back on its word by extending their lease with Dublin-based Wendy's, which is one of the few major fast food chains that's held out of joining a national program that works to prevent abuse of U.S. farm workers.

Flickr

Many businesses around the state could soon be getting a big rebate from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Everyone loves a cheap eats list. A treasure map to $1 tacos! $4 banh mi! $6 pad Thai! More often than not, the Xs that mark the cheap spots are in the city's immigrant enclaves. Indeed, food media is never so diverse as when it runs these lists, its pages fill with names of restaurateurs and chefs of color.

These lists infuriate me.

Before I became a restaurant owner, I spent my childhood in my relatives' pho restaurants. Because of that, I have deep compassion for and understanding of the pressures facing immigrant restaurateurs.

Judge Blocks Ohio Law Banning Local Hiring Regulations

Feb 1, 2017
SalFalko / Flickr

A judge has blocked an Ohio law that would have barred local hiring regulations for public projects, such as Cleveland's requirement that city residents get to work on certain projects.

One consequence of Republican gains in the 2016 elections is playing out at the state level where organized labor appears likely to face big setbacks in the coming months.

Within days of convening this month, Kentucky lawmakers passed "right-to-work" legislation that prohibit labor unions from forcing non-union members to pay fees to the union.

It's the 27th state with such laws. State legislatures in Missouri and New Hampshire are also actively debating similar bills that could become law by February.

The Department of Labor has guidelines for companies that want to keep unpaid interns. Essentially, unpaid interns have to be treated like students and shouldn't do the work of paid employees.

Those rules, however, don't apply to government agencies.

Saving money in a piggy bank
Flickr Creative Commons

Though Ohio’s jobless rate is below the national average and the state is on a job-gaining trend, a new economic report says there are still some numbers that show workers are still suffering in Ohio.