The labor-backed group Envision Spokane is reportedly working on a “Worker Bill of Rights” for the City of Spokane. Founded by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Envision Spokane is comprised of more than two-dozen unions, community organizations and groups with ties to national organizations.
The battle to increase the state’s minimum wage is in full swing in the Legislature. In just the second week of the Legislative Session, two bills have already been introduced to require employers to pay every worker a higher minimum wage.
The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council recently released its annual “Washington State Economic Climate Study.” The report is charged with weighing a series of benchmarks under four main indicators (Innovation Drivers, Business Performance, Economic Growth and Competitiveness, Quality of Life) that are supposed to characterize the competitive environment of the state and measuring how Washington compares with other states.
Bucking the conventional union argument that right-to-work laws are union-busting, the Secretary-Treasurer of the United Auto Workers says right-to-work laws are good. In fact, the national labor boss says he actually prefers to organize in a right-to-work state because it helps unions:
“This is something I’ve never understood, that people think right-to-work hurts unions…to me, it helps them.”
A National Bureau of Economic Research study released late last month by economists with the University of California at San Diego found that mandatory increases in the federal minimum wage between 2007 and 2009 had “significant, negative effects on the employment and income growth of targeted workers.” The study shows hikes in the federal minimum wage during the Great Recession led to the loss of approximately 1.4 million jobs held
Yesterday the Tacoma City Council took the first step toward approving an ordinance that would require all employers to provide paid sick and safety leave to all workers. The mandatory paid leave proposal passed the first hurdle, a “first reading” of the ordinance, with unanimous support from the Council. The proposal will next face a final vote of the Council, likely sometime in January.
While the seemingly “modest” or “measured” .8% increase in workers’ compensation taxes for 2015 appear unremarkable and have garnered little criticism, our neighbors to the south continue to enjoy significant rate decreases.