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News flash out of Seattle: the minimum wage has just been raised to $15/hour, by far the highest in the country. Indeed, it’s double or more the rate in Arkansas ($6.25) and about half the states, almost triple the rate in Georgia and...
From somewhere between the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s no one in my family or circle of friends bought grapes. Why? Cesar Chavez. The United Farm Workers co-founder was successful in using a boycott of grapes to raise the national consciousness about...
Workers at Alcoa’s Massena East plant met with their union yesterday to find out about the deal it’s made with the aluminum company when it closes the plant. The results, the Watertown Daily Times and North Country Now report today, are...
Dun dun (that’s the Law and Order between-scenes sound.) In an interesting and (to me) somewhat surprising move, the public defenders of St. Lawrence County have formed a union. That’s according to the Watertown Daily Times. Why...
Hi! Since this is one of my first days back from the vacation you may or may not have noticed I took in the last few weeks, I’d like to say that I heartily regret that I wasn’t during this year’s Lake George Elvis Festival, which...
News stories tagged with "labor"
Dec 23, 2005 — Five years ago, just a handful of dairy farmers in the North Country employed Hispanic workers. Today, some 50 farms use or have expressed a desire to hire workers from Mexico or Guatemala. The transition can be a bumpy one, for farmers and for the people they hire. There are the obvious language barriers, but also issues with food and housing and cultural norms. Earlier this month, a small group of farmers tried to bridge that gap in a big way. They took a trip to Mexico, to the very village where their employees come from, and met their families. David Sommerstein reports. Go to full article
Dec 23, 2005 — Agricultural labor specialist Tom Maloney of Cornell University completed a survey of Hispanic workers on New York dairy farms earlier this year. Many of these workers came into the United States illegally. The survey found crossing the border, language barriers, and lack of freedom are the biggest challenges they face in their work. Their employers also cite language and immigration issues as problems. Maloney told David Sommerstein dairy farmers are increasingly turning to Hispanic labor because they struggle to find employees at a price they can pay. Go to full article
Nov 21, 2005 — The General Motors plant in Massena won't be affected by the company's plans to slash 30,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada. GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said this morning the cuts were needed to make the company more competitive. David Sommerstein reports. Go to full article
Sep 22, 2005 — Some North Country ironworkers plan to picket during family weekend at St. Lawrence University. The local union says work to erect the steel skeleton of the new science building was given to out-of-state workers. The university says it has nothing to do with the hiring process. David Sommerstein reports. Go to full article
by Brian Mann
Jun 21, 2005 — A paper mill in Glens Falls has laid off more than ten percent of its salaried employees. Administrative workers and foremen at Finch, Pruyn and Co. will be idle for at least four months. Brian Mann has details. Go to full article
Jun 14, 2005 — Alcoa made its first concrete sign that it wants to stay in Massena for the next generation of aluminum production. According to the Watertown Daily Times, Alcoa offered the New York Power Authority a jobs-for-power deal at a meeting last week in New York City. Under the proposal, Alcoa would guarantee 500 to 700 high-wage union jobs in exchange for 30 to 50 years of cheap hydroelectric power. Alcoa currently employs almost 1300 workers at its two plants in Massena. The company would also invest up to $450 million to modernize what is the oldest continuously operating smelter in the world. David Sommerstein spoke with Ernie LaBaff about the proposed contract. He's president emeritus of the Aluminum, Brick, and Glassworkers Union and a former Alcoa worker. LaBaff says the offer is a good starting point. Go to full article
by Karen DeWitt
Apr 18, 2005 — The state's second largest public employee union is waging war against government privatization. The Public Employees Federation has launched a media ad campaign to get its point across. Karen DeWitt reports. Go to full article
by Todd Moe
Mar 04, 2005 — The Flynn Center in Burlington presents a musical tribute to legendary labor rights martyr Joe Hill this Saturday night (8 pm). Todd Moe talks with composer Wayne Horvitz about his musical exploration of a dynamic era in American history, and the workers' rights hero who inspired the work. Go to full article
Oct 14, 2004 — The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined General Motors Powertrain in Massena $160,000 for poor record keeping and safety hazards. As David Sommerstein reports, OSHA alleges GM intentionally failed to record work-related injuries and illnesses. Go to full article