WBEZ | Jobs http://www.wbez.org/tags/jobs Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Britain to Foreign Workers: If You Don't Make $50,000 a Year, Please Leave http://www.wbez.org/news/britain-foreign-workers-if-you-dont-make-50000-year-please-leave-114730 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ukjobs.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Britain&#39;s Prime Minister David Cameron promised back in 2010 to bring net migration down to 100,000 people a year. Six years later, it&#39;s more than three times that number.</p><p>That&#39;s one reason the government&#39;s Home Office decided that non-Europeans on skilled worker visas &mdash; known as Tier 2 visas &mdash; are not welcome to stay unless they are making at least 35,000 British pounds (about $50,000 a year).</p><p>The message is aimed at slashing migration to Britain and goes into effect in April. But critics call the new rule discriminatory and say it will strip Britain of lower-paid artists, health care workers and tradespeople.</p><p>&quot;The estimates put the GDP loss at 181 million [pounds, equivalent to $264 million] to 761 million [pounds, equivalent to $1.1 billion], so that&#39;s a massive blow in the first year alone, for starters,&quot; Joshua Harbord says.</p><p>Harbord, who rattles off facts and figures about why he thinks this move will hurt Britain, might sound like an expert on immigration. But he&#39;s not. Harbord performs at kids&#39; birthday parties as a pirate. And when he heard his friend Shannon Harmon might be forced to leave, he got angry.</p><div id="res465451252" previewtitle="Joshua Harbod started a petition opposing the new rules that would set a minimum income requirement for workers from outside the E.U."><div><div><p>&quot;It was scaring Shannon and everybody it was affecting, and it felt like a massively mean policy that was apparently convincing my friends that they were worthless and unwanted,&quot; Harbord says.</p></div></div></div><p>Since no one else was doing anything about it, Harbord started a petition,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stop35k.org/">Stop 35K</a>, to try to change the government&#39;s mind. Harmon, who is from Chicago, has a work visa and has been in the U.K. more than seven years. But she makes less than the amount needed to stay under the new rules.</p><p><img alt="Joshua Harbod started a petition opposing the new rules that would set a minimum income requirement for workers from outside the E.U." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/03/british-1-5fa81121fdccc114834ac5d1a4d5c5071a02511a-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 232px; width: 310px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Joshua Harbod started a petition opposing the new rules that would set a minimum income requirement for workers from outside the E.U. (Leila Fadel / NPR)" /></p><p>&quot;It feels pretty horrible and unfair; that&#39;s why we&#39;re trying to fight it,&quot; she says. &quot;I don&#39;t think we should be valued on an arbitrary number that they&#39;ve made up. I mean, not that many people make that much money.&quot;</p><p>Harmon works for a nonprofit and says charity workers, who aren&#39;t paid well, contribute more than those in the finance industry. The changed rules will also affect health care workers, public transport workers and the many artists, musicians and actors who are drawn to London as a cultural hub.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s just going to make places like London less dynamic, less cultural; it&#39;s just going to change the whole atmosphere,&quot; Harmon says. Come April, she will very likely have to leave her British life partner, her career and the U.K.</p><p>&quot;I leave everything, my whole life,&quot; she says.</p><p>Harbord and Harmon spend their nights brainstorming, working on their website and checking on the electronic petition. Every few minutes, the signatures increase. They are approaching the 100,000 they need for Parliament to consider debating the issue.</p><p>At present, immigration is a hot-button issue in Britain. There is another petition calling on the government to completely close the U.K.&#39;s borders. And last weekend, rival protests supporting and opposing immigration turned violent.</p><p>David Metcalfe, chairman of a committee that advises the government on immigration, recommended the plan that is scheduled to take effect in April.</p><p>&quot;It seems to me absolutely right,&quot; he says. &quot;They&#39;ve been here five years. If they&#39;re going to settle, they should be making a proper contribution in terms of productivity, which will be reflected in their pay.&quot;</p><p>Asked about critics who say it&#39;s an arbitrary measure that values money over other contributions to British society, he says: &quot;Pay, in my view, is the best measure of skill and contribution, but you are right, it&#39;s not a perfect measure.&quot;</p><p>Metcalfe says there will be temporary exceptions for people with skills such as nursing, because there is a shortage in the U.K.</p><p>Susan Cueva, however, has been trying to stop the new rules. She works with UNISON, a trade union that represents the public sector &mdash; people who work in education, health care and transport.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a policy that is not really based on sound judgment,&quot; Cueva says. &quot;I think from our point of view as a union, we always look at migrant workers as an asset and a resource in the country.&quot;</p><p>She says migrant workers make up at least 15 percent of the public sector workforce. And without them, she says, services will decline.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/02/03/465407797/britain-to-foreign-workers-if-you-dont-make-50-000-a-year-please-leave?ft=nprml&amp;f=465407797"><em>&mdash; via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/britain-foreign-workers-if-you-dont-make-50000-year-please-leave-114730 Obama Celebrates 'Durable Economy' as Unemployment Drops Below 5 Percent http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-celebrates-durable-economy-unemployment-drops-below-5-percent-114726 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/jobs2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The U.S. economy added just 151,000 jobs in January while unemployment dropped slightly, to 4.9 percent, according to the latest figures from the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>.</p><p>Economists had expected to see about 190,000 new jobs.</p><p>The unemployment rate, which has held steady at 5 percent the past few months, dropped slightly to 4.9 percent. It&#39;s the first time unemployment has fallen below 5 percent since the recession.</p><div id="res465704391"><div id="responsive-embed-unemployment-20160205"><iframe frameborder="0" height="562px" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/unemployment-20160205/child.html?initialWidth=556&amp;childId=responsive-embed-unemployment-20160205&amp;parentUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fthetwo-way%2F2016%2F02%2F05%2F465686010%2Fu-s-added-151-000-jobs-in-january-unemployment-dropped-to-4-9-percent%3Fft%3Dnprml%26f%3D465686010" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="620px"></iframe></div></div><p>President Obama celebrated that benchmark by making a statement on the economy, noting that not only had unemployment returned to its lowest level in 8 years, but that the private sector had also seen 71 straight months of private-sector job growth. The growth of the economy is also &quot;finally starting to translate into bigger paychecks,&quot; the president said.</p><p>&quot;The United States of America right now has the strongest, most durable economy in the world,&quot; Obama said. But when asked by reporters, he acknowledge that many Americans are still feeling the effects of the recession &mdash; and that the labor force participation rate, 62,7 percent, is still comparatively low, indicating many Americans aren&#39;t actively looking for work.</p><p>Obama explained his position on the economy by way of a workout analogy:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;We should feel good about the progress we&#39;ve made, understanding that we&#39;ve still got more work to do.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s sort of like, you know, I&#39;m 54 now so I&#39;ve got to work out harder to stay in shape. And you know, if I&#39;m feeling good in the gym I want to acknowledge that what I&#39;m doing is working. Because otherwise I&#39;ll just go off and have a big double bacon cheeseburger or something, because I&#39;ll think, well, this isn&#39;t working.</p><p>&quot;No &mdash; if it&#39;s working then we should be staying on that same path. That doesn&#39;t mean that I&#39;m where I&#39;m where I necessarily want to be, it doesn&#39;t mean that I stop doing some hard work to get where we need to go.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>The January jobs report also revised the more-robust job growth during the end of 2015, shifting the overall total downward: November&#39;s job gains were changed from 252,000 to 280,000, the BLS says, and in December, the economy added 262,000 new jobs, rather than 292,000.</p><p>One bright spot on the report: Wages. Average hourly earnings rose by 12 cents in January, to $25.39. The report says that over the year, wages have risen 2.5 percent overall.</p><p>Retail, restaurants, healthcare and manufacturing all gained jobs, the BLS says. But jobs were lost in transportation, warehousing, private education services and mining.</p><p>Meanwhile, NPR&#39;s Yuki Noguchi reports for our Newscast unit that other reports suggest layoff activity has increased:</p><p>&quot;The Labor Department said claims for new jobless benefits increased last week. And outplacement firm Challenger Gray and Christmas said planned layoffs spiked last month because of cutbacks in retail and energy,&quot; Yuki says. &quot;Last month, Walmart and Macy&#39;s both announced plans to pare down their workforces.&quot;</p><p>And last month, the Commerce department reported that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-29/economic-growth-cools-as-american-consumers-temper-spendinghttp://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm">GDP growth had slowed to 0.7 percent</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/05/465686010/u-s-added-151-000-jobs-in-january-unemployment-dropped-to-4-9-percent?ft=nprml&amp;f=465686010"><em>&mdash;via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 12:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-celebrates-durable-economy-unemployment-drops-below-5-percent-114726 U.S. Economy Added a Robust 292,000 Jobs in December http://www.wbez.org/news/us-economy-added-robust-292000-jobs-december-114720 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/getajob.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="storytext"><div id="res462364817" previewtitle="A job seeker views a business card during a Giant Job Fair last month in Detroit. During 2015, employers created 2.65 million new jobs."><div data-crop-type="">The U.S. economy added 292,000 jobs in December while unemployment held steady at 5 percent, according to the latest figures from the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>.</div></div><p>The number of new jobs was higher than many economists had anticipated; NPR&#39;s John Ydstie says experts had expected about 200,000 new jobs.</p><p>In November, the BLS initially said the economy added 211,000 jobs &mdash; a &quot;healthy pace,&quot; as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/05/458511046/more-jobs-cheaper-gas-and-rising-stocks-help-the-economy-look-up">NPR&#39;s Marilyn Geewax put it</a>.</p><p>That number has now been revised upward, to 252,000. The job gains for October have also been revised up, from 298,000 to 307,000.</p><p>With the revised numbers, the past three months have seen an average of 284,000 new jobs each month. The unemployment rate has held at 5 percent all three months.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p data-pym-src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/unemployment-20160108/child.html">&nbsp;</p><script src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/unemployment-20160108/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Professional and business services, the restaurant industry, health care and construction showed some of the strongest job growth in December, the Bureau says, while mining jobs declined and manufacturing jobs stayed stagnant.</p><div id="res462371741"><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The economy added 292,000 jobs in December&mdash;a record-breaking 70 consecutive months of private-sector job growth.</p>&mdash; Barack Obama (@BarackObama) <a href="https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/685471723915837440">January 8, 2016</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p></div><p>The labor participation rate was little changed in December, and average wages fell by a penny.</p><p>Over the year as a whole, average wages rose 2.5 percent, the BLS says &mdash; the fastest rise since 2008. But a healthy growth rate for wages would be &quot;in the 3-4 percent range,&quot; writes&nbsp;<a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2016/01/08/december-jobs-report-everything-you-need-to-know-2/">The Wall Street Journal</a>.</p><p>All told, employers created 2.65 million new jobs last year &mdash; not as strong as 2014&#39;s 3.2 million total jobs, but enough to make 2015 the second-best year for U.S. job growth since 1999, The Associated Press reports.</p><p>The news comes during a week of turmoil in the international stock markets. Chinese stocks plunged this week, while the S&amp;P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial average had their worst-ever start to a year.</p><p>Last month, the Federal Reserve&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/16/459989461/federal-reserve-announces-hike-in-short-term-interest-rates">raised interest rates</a>&nbsp;in the U.S. by 0.25 percentage point, signaling confidence in the American economy. It was the first change in the interest rate since 2008, and the first&nbsp;increase since 2006.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/08/462362534/u-s-economy-added-a-robust-292-000-jobs-in-december?ft=nprml&amp;f=462362534"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 11:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/us-economy-added-robust-292000-jobs-december-114720 Why Some Still Can't Find Jobs as the Economy Nears 'Full Employment' http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-02-01/why-some-still-cant-find-jobs-economy-nears-full <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-185743197_wide-ca2aa052aea1cad8bc4df14edd823add15e92ad5-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res464870357" previewtitle="Economists use the phrase &quot;full employment&quot; to mean the number of people seeking jobs is roughly in balance with the number of openings."><div data-crop-type="">&quot;Full employment&quot; is a phrase economists use to explain how the job market recovers from a recession. We&#39;ll be hearing this phrase a lot as the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Labor Department</a>&nbsp;releases the latest jobs data on Friday. It&#39;s expected to show that employers added even more workers in January.</div></div><p>But the phrase doesn&#39;t tell the full story for millions of Americans either still out of work or who are looking for something better than part-time work.</p><div id="res464898219"><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><strong>What is full employment and what does it mean?</strong></p><p>To economists, it&#39;s when the number of people seeking jobs is roughly in balance with the number of openings. It doesn&#39;t mean the unemployment rate is zero because that&#39;s not realistic. There will always be some unemployment. Companies have to close down obsolete operations, individuals have to quit their jobs to move with a spouse, or they might move to look for something better with higher pay.</p><p><strong>If the economists don&#39;t mean zero unemployment when they use the phrase &quot;full employment,&quot; what do they mean?</strong></p><p>Economists say a healthy job market has an unemployment rate somewhere between 4.6 percent and 5 percent. Some people are quitting, some people are getting hired &mdash; there&#39;s churn but no despair.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/08/462362534/u-s-economy-added-a-robust-292-000-jobs-in-december">In December</a>, the national rate was 5 percent and now many predictions have the rate gliding down to 4.6 percent by July. So bingo, we&#39;re basically there at full employment. If all goes as expected in 2016, people who want jobs will be able to find them, and employers who need workers will be able to attract them.</p><div id="res464897368"><div id="responsive-embed-unemployment-20160108"><p data-pym-src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/unemployment-20160108/child.html">&nbsp;</p><script src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/unemployment-20160108/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script></div></div><p><strong>Is it really fair to use the term &quot;full employment&quot; when that doesn&#39;t seem to match the reality that a lot of people are experiencing?</strong></p><p>Those words can hit hard and they can hurt because it sounds like you must be doing something wrong. But really, unemployment is very regional. In West Virginia, there are counties today with unemployment rates of 12 percent or even 13 percent. But in California&#39;s Silicon Valley, the rate is virtually zero, with companies battling each other for workers. So geography matters!</p><p>And there are big differences based on age. For black teenagers nationwide, the unemployment rate is 21 percent. For women of any color, if you&#39;re 50, studies show you have a tough time getting back to the workforce. You become long-term unemployed. Besides age and location, more than anything, education determines your unemployment rate. For college graduates, it&#39;s 2.3 percent unemployment; for high school dropouts, 7 percent.</p><p><strong>Is &quot;full employment&quot; something that a lot of Americans are still going to experience as something very unsatisfying?</strong></p><p>If you&#39;re a 30-year-old with a college degree and a U-Haul, you&#39;re all set, you can find jobs. If you want to go to night school and you want to move, you can be part of that full employment economy. But the reality for a lot of people is that it is very hard. About 7.9 million people remain unemployed because they may not fit that demographic description. Like women in their 50s who may actually be at the center of a whole financial and emotional ecosystem, taking care of aging parents, as well as children and grandchildren, it can be very hard to move.</p><p><strong>Is this sort of a new normal in that what we call &quot;full employment&quot; is really not at all &quot;full&quot; but very uneven?</strong></p><p>Yes, we can say now that for younger, tech-savvy, well-educated people, jobs abound. The recession truly is over. And&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/08/462410820/the-employment-outlook-for-2016-is-looking-much-brighter">2016 should be a great year</a>&nbsp;for job hunting. But for people in their 50s with rusty skills or teenagers with relatively little education, the phrase &quot;full employment&quot; is a painful taunt.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/31/464856256/why-some-still-cant-find-jobs-as-the-economy-nears-full-employment?ft=nprml&amp;f=464856256"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 15:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-02-01/why-some-still-cant-find-jobs-economy-nears-full Is Job Hopping Good For You? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-29/job-hopping-good-you-114641 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Job hopping-Flickr-MiiiSH.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Remember when building stability on a job required more than five years of service? Well, Tony Sarabia&rsquo;s got that covered. He&rsquo;s been here for more than 20 years. Employers wanted that symbol of loyalty and employees wanted to be vested in the company&rsquo;s retirement plan.</p><p>Looks like that&rsquo;s no longer the norm.</p><p>Could switching jobs every three or four years be a better plan? Alain Cohn of the University of Chicago&rsquo;s Booth School of &nbsp;Business breaks down the pros and cons of job hopping.</p></p> Fri, 29 Jan 2016 12:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-29/job-hopping-good-you-114641 'Reveal', New Series on WBEZ http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/reveal-new-series-wbez-114526 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Reveal-PRX.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>The new year brings a new program you&rsquo;ll be hearing on WBEZ. It&rsquo;s called Reveal.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Reveal is a Peabody Award-winning investigative journalism program for public radio from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. It airs Sunday afternoons at 1pm and it just kicked off.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The first episode explores discrimination in temporary staffing nationwide.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>WBEZ&rsquo;s Chip Mitchell reported one of the pieces in that episode. He tells the story of a Chicago labor organizer who tries to get African-Americans and Latinos to work together to eliminate discrimination against black temp workers.&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 12 Jan 2016 09:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/reveal-new-series-wbez-114526 U.S. economy added 271,000 jobs in October, exceeding expectations http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-06/us-economy-added-271000-jobs-october-exceeding-expectations-113683 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1106_construction-workers-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_95667"><img alt="Iron workers help to build the new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center under construction, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke/AP)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/11/1106_construction-workers-624x416.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Iron workers help to build the new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center under construction, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Philadelphia. The U.S. economy saw big gains in construction, health care and retail in October. (Matt Rourke/AP)" /><p>The Labor Department reported Friday&nbsp;that the U.S. economy added 271,000 jobs in October, far exceeding expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 5 percent, a new seven-year low.</p></div><p>This comes as the Federal Reserve is weighing when to begin increasing interest rates.&nbsp;<em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Peter O&rsquo;Dowd looks at the jobs numbers with&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/Reganonymous" target="_blank">Mike Regan</a>&nbsp;of Bloomberg News.</p></p> Fri, 06 Nov 2015 14:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-06/us-economy-added-271000-jobs-october-exceeding-expectations-113683 Jam Productions stagehands demand jobs back after unionizing effort http://www.wbez.org/news/labor/jam-productions-stagehands-demand-jobs-back-after-unionizing-effort-113646 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Jam 1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Former employees for local concert powerhouse Jam Productions are asking for their jobs back.</p><p dir="ltr">As <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-10/jam-productions-vs-stagehands-113455">WBEZ&rsquo;s Jim DeRogatis reported</a>, in mid-September Jam president Jerry Mickelson called legendary stage manager Jolly Roger to inform him that he and around 40 other stagehands who worked at the Riviera Theatre were fired.</p><p dir="ltr">The employees say the firings directly followed Jam management hearing they were organizing to join a local union.</p><p>Jam did not respond to calls for comment.</p><p dir="ltr">Standing Wednesday outside of Jam&rsquo;s offices in Old Town, workers chanted and held signs reading &ldquo;Respect our right to organize!&rdquo; and &ldquo;Illegal retaliation - that&rsquo;s not my jam.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;People need protection,&rdquo; said Roger, who has worked for Jam since 1978. Roger claims he hasn&rsquo;t received a wage increase in 15 years.</p><p dir="ltr">Brent Benson, another former Riviera stagehand, added: &ldquo;Gas goes up, food goes up, cost of living goes up, but our wages don&rsquo;t go up? And no benefits? It&rsquo;s totally unfair and that&rsquo;s all there is to it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Jam Productions is known for being one of the largest independent live entertainment promoters in the country. It competes with global juggernauts Live Nation and AEG Live for business in Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Pollstar&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.pollstarpro.com/files/Charts2015/2015MidYearWorldwideTicketSalesTop100Promoters.pdf">mid-2015 rankings</a> of the Top 100 concert promoters, Jam Productions ranks 11th in the United States and 23rd in the world in terms of tickets sales.</p><p dir="ltr">Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn showed up to support the stagehands, urging Mickelson to come to his senses.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The right to organize is fundamental to our American democracy,&rdquo; Quinn said before shouting, &ldquo;Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and organize!&rdquo; to rapturous applause.</p><p dir="ltr">The union, IATSE Local 2, has filed a<a href="https://www.nlrb.gov/case/13-CB-162160"> petition of unfair labor practices</a> with the National Labor Relations Board.</p><p dir="ltr">A few employees said they were asked to stage a concert even after they were fired. But when they went to pick up their checks, they weren&rsquo;t allowed in the building.</p><p dir="ltr">Jerry Fritz was one of those workers. Fritz showed up at the rally with a IATSE Local 2 button, along with his son Zachary, who also works as a stagehand.</p><p dir="ltr">Fritz says even though he was fired, he&rsquo;d go back to work for Jam because he loves the concerts.</p><p dir="ltr">Jolly Roger shares Fritz&#39;s love of the work.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m upset that we&rsquo;ve been stabbed in the back&rdquo; said Roger. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t want to be out here in the street. We want to be unloading trucks, setting up lights, setting up sound, and watching the kid in the 4th row who is spending his parent&rsquo;s hard-earned money have a good time.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Ryan Katz works in the WBEZ newsroom. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/ryangordonkatz">@ryangordonkatz</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 05 Nov 2015 09:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/labor/jam-productions-stagehands-demand-jobs-back-after-unionizing-effort-113646 ConAgra selling private label unit to TreeHouse Foods http://www.wbez.org/news/conagra-selling-private-label-unit-treehouse-foods-113597 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_256205768119.jpg" style="height: 436px; width: 620px;" title="A statue of Chef Boyardee stands in front of the world headquarters of ConAgra Foods in Omaha, Neb., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. ConAgra Foods said it will cut about 1,500 jobs, or approximately 30 percent of its global, office-based workforce, and move its headquarters to Chicago from Omaha. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)" /></div><p>ConAgra Foods Inc. is selling most of its private label operations to TreeHouse Foods Inc. for about $2.7 billion as part its plan to focus more on name brands including Chef Boyardee and Slim Jim.</p><p>Omaha-based ConAgra initially announced plans to sell the unit in June and the deal is expected to close in the first quarter. It will keep some minor private label operations including its canned pasta, cooking spray, and peanut butter and pudding offerings along with several branded products that were bundled into the unit.</p><p>Oak Brook, Illinois-based TreeHouse Foods, which already focuses on store-brand food products, said it expects the newly acquired operations to boost its annual sales to nearly $7 billion.</p><p>It will also boost the company&#39;s employee base to more than 16,000 people and give it a total of more than 50 manufacturing facilities.</p><p>The deal comes one month after ConAgra said it will cut 1,500 jobs, or about 30 percent of its office-based workforce, and move its headquarters to&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;from Omaha, Nebraska. The restructuring moves are part of the company&#39;s plan to make the company leaner and develop products to meet changing consumer tastes as people seem to seek out less processed and healthier foods.</p><p>ConAgra had been facing pressure from major stockholder Jana Partners, which said ConAgra&#39;s results have been disappointing since it bought store brand business Ralcorp for $5 billion two years ago.</p><p>ConAgra, which also makes Hebrew National hot dogs, Jiffy Pop, and Bertolli products, reported a first-quarter loss of $1.2 billion.</p><p>Meanwhile, ConAgra expects to have about 700 workers in&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;by next summer, including top executives and it will keep about 1,200 employees in Omaha to handle research and development, supply chain management and some administrative functions. About 1,000 people will lose their jobs in Omaha and roughly 300 Omaha jobs will move to&nbsp;Chicago.</p><p>Overall, it expects about $345 million in one-time charges over the next two to three years related to the restructuring.</p><p>Shares of ConAgra rose 29 cents to $40.84 in afternoon trading while Treehouse Foods Inc. shares dropped $4.49, or 5.2 percent, to $81.25.</p></p> Mon, 02 Nov 2015 14:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/conagra-selling-private-label-unit-treehouse-foods-113597 U.S., other nations reach agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership http://www.wbez.org/news/us-other-nations-reach-agreement-trans-pacific-partnership-113174 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_843381100369_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/u3KBpGE1VLs?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p><p>&quot;We, the trade ministers ... are pleased to announce that we have successfully concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation,&quot; U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced Monday morning, to a loud round of applause.</p><p>Froman said the &quot;historic&quot; TPP agreement will &quot;support jobs, drive sustainable growth, foster inclusive development and promote innovation across the Asia-Pacific region,&quot; while also raising living standards.</p><p>The 30-chapter announcement means that a years-long process to ease trading between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim nations is closer to being finalized, with negotiators clearing hurdles on how to handle everything from dairy products and drug patents to car factories.</p><p>The TPP will eliminate &quot;over 18,000 taxes that various countries impose on Made in America exports,&quot; the White House says, adding that import taxes on U.S. auto products will now be cut in member nations.</p><p>As news of the deal was announced, the U.S. Trade Representative&#39;s office also<a href="https://ustr.gov/tpp/">unveiled a new website</a>&nbsp;about the agreement. A more detailed summary of policy issues<a href="https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2015/october/summary-trans-pacific-partnership">was also released</a>&nbsp;through the office.</p><p>Officials from the U.S., Japan, and 10 other nations negotiated details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for much of the past week, meeting in Atlanta to push through a framework for a trade agreement that has set off political divisions in the U.S. and added to a debate over how the U.S. should deal with China.</p><p>The first question at Monday&#39;s news conference focused on what message the deal sends to China.</p><p>In his response, Froman didn&#39;t address China specifically, instead saying that the TPP &quot;helps define the rules of the road for the Asia-Pacific region in a way that&#39;s consistent with the interests and values that we share, and we look forward to sharing with other countries the results of the agreement.&quot;</p><p><strong>Update at 9:20 a.m. ET: Deal Is Announced</strong></p><p>After five years of talks, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman says, negotiators have reached a deal. Froman made the announcement in Atlanta; we&#39;ve udpated the top of this post to reflect the news.</p><p><em>Our original post continues:</em></p><p>The sweeping trade deal would cover roughly 40 percent of the world&#39;s economic output, reducing or eliminating tariffs, setting standards on some patents and work conditions, and easing the way for investments between countries.</p><p>Here&#39;s the list of countries the TPP would include: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the United States, Singapore and Vietnam.</p><p>The breakthrough came after several obstacles fell, including a dispute over the length of exclusive patents for new biological drugs, which had split the U.S. and Australia. It&#39;s one of several intellectual property issues that have been a top priority for American companies.</p><p>One of the issues that prompted last-minute negotiations centers on the dairy industry, according to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/10/05/business/late-delay-failure-finalize-deal-pacific-trade-talks/#.VhJ3V_lVhHw">The Japan Times</a>, which says New Zealand, a large dairy producer, disagreed with Canada over dairy tariffs.</p><p>The newspaper also detailed a potential shift in the auto industry, saying:</p><blockquote><div><p><span style="color:#696969;"><em>&quot;A &#39;rule of origin&#39; would stipulate that only 45 percent of a vehicle would have to be sourced from within the TPP, down from the equivalent ratio of 62.5 percent under NAFTA, officials have said.&quot;</em></span></p></div></blockquote><p>If it&#39;s enacted, the deal would be the largest free trade agreement the U.S. is a party to &mdash; but it has an array of opponents, both in Congress, which would have to ratify it, and in other countries.</p><p>Summarizing some of the resistance to the deal,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/05/26/408832953/just-how-big-is-the-asia-trade-deal-obama-wants-its-a-beast">NPR&#39;s Danielle Kurtzleben reported&nbsp;</a>earlier this year that leaked portions of the TPP &quot;have intellectual property advocates, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, worried it goes too far in areas like extending copyright laws and fair use rules. Doctors Without Borders&nbsp;<a href="http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/Washington-Watch/51653">has also argued</a>&nbsp;the deal could make for more expensive generic drugs, restricting access to medicine for some consumers. However, some wish the pact went further &mdash; environmental groups like the Sierra Club, for example, believe the provisions&nbsp;<a href="http://content.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2014/01/green-groups-leaked-trans-pacific-partnership-environment-chapter">won&#39;t do enough</a>&nbsp;to address overfishing.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<em><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/05/445987857/u-s-other-nations-reportedly-reach-agreement-on-trans-pacific-partnership?ft=nprml&amp;f=445987857" target="_blank">&nbsp;via NPR</a></em></p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 11:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/us-other-nations-reach-agreement-trans-pacific-partnership-113174