Congress should protect children, not agribusiness donors
Proposed child labor rules discussed at a hearing today in the House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade are necessary and should be implemented quickly. The rules, drafted by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), would protect children employed on farms from being made to perform particularly hazardous tasks such as demolishing buildings, spraying pesticides and harvesting tobacco.
Denny Rehberg, GOP congressman and Senate hopeful, blasts child labor regulations
In a speech expounding on the rift between rural America and Washington D.C., Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) vowed Thursday to use his funding powers to stop the Obama administration from implementing new child-labor rules pertaining to agricultural work, accusing the “urban” Labor Department of meddling in a “rural” industry it doesn’t understand.
Safety gains made in mining
Miners are the unsung heroes of our nation, providing much-needed American energy, and providing the resources we need to maintain our nation’s infrastructure. I like to say that miners are, themselves, our most important “natural resource.” That’s why I’ve dedicated my life’s work to keeping them safe and healthy, so that they can return home to their families at the end of every shift.
500 female Wal-Mart workers file sex-discrimination claims with EEOC
More than 500 former and current female Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) employees filed sex-discrimination claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, their attorneys said. The filings were made to preserve the women’s claims over pay and promotions against the world’s largest retailer after the U.S. Supreme Court last year said their cases couldn’t be litigated in a nationwide class-action, or group, lawsuit.
Suburban warehouse employees plan to sue Wal-Mart
Two months after a group of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. warehouse workers in far southwest suburban Elwood sued the retailer’s staffing firms for unpaid wages, the workers are going after Wal-Mart itself. The lawsuit, which attorneys said will be filed today, alleges that the world’s largest retailer violated the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act by failing to provide 60 days’ notice before eliminating jobs.
Even the guy who doesn’t care about poor people wants to raise the minimum wage: Where does President Obama stand?
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who remarked yesterday that he doesn’t care about the poor, supports indexing the minimum wage to inflation. If the minimum wage had been indexed since its last increase in July 2009 it would be $7.60 instead of $7.25. If it had been indexed to inflation since 1978 it would be almost $9.00 today.
New York must finally raise the minimum wage
It’s time to raise the minimum wage. Over the past several years, the cost of living in New York — like nearly everywhere else — has gone up, but for New Yorkers at the bottom of the economic ladder, one thing has remained unchanged: the minimum wage. Given today’s high cost of living, it is unrealistic to expect a working person, much less a family, to afford rent, groceries, clothing, heating, phone, transportation, child care — and be able to save for the future — on $290 a week. If the minimum wage does not allow someone to afford even the most minimal of expenses, the incentive to work is diminished.
Catholic teacher fired for having a baby
When Christa Dias of Cincinnati, Ohio, was hired as a part-time technology teacher in 2008 at Holy Family School, and in 2009 at St. Lawrence Catholic School, she had to sign employment contracts agreeing to comply with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Ms. Dias is not, herself, Catholic. In October 2010, shortly after Ms. Dias asked for maternity leave, she was fired from both schools for breaching her employment contracts. Her violation? Well, it’s confusing.
How toxic is black hair care?
Since the 1970s, when America’s environmental movement created unprecedented awareness of the damage humans were doing to planet Earth and to ourselves, there has been little if any media attention or research on the possible connections between African American beauty salons, the personal care products utilized primarily by Black women and adverse health outcomes, specifically in the area of reproductive health. But that has begun to change. In May of 2011, Dr. Mary Beth Terry and others authored a study, the findings of which showed that African-American and African-Caribbean women were more likely to be exposed to hormonally-active chemicals in hair products.