Trump order puts workers in meat and poultry processing, other essential industries in harm’s way
By: Allan Freyer - May 6, 2020
Frontline workers’ health and safety took another hit last week, after new Trump administration rules put meat and poultry processing workers at increased risk. This week COVID-19’s grim toll crossed 60,000 deaths. Over the past several weeks, the epidemic has ravaged workers in essential industries, from warehouses to grocery stores to meatpacking plants. Forced to work shoulder-to-shoulder without access to adequate, or in some cases, any protective gear, hand sanitizer, paid sick days, frontline workers across dozens of essential worksites are contracting and dying from COVID-19.
Report: Millions of NC workers excluded from federal paid sick days protections as COVID-19 spreads
By: Allan Freyer - April 22, 2020
Millions of North Carolina workers, especially women and workers of color, still lack federally guaranteed paid sick days protections as COVID-19 spreads, despite recent federal action to slow the spread of the pandemic. As a result, significant swaths of the North Carolina workforce are forced to choose to between earning their paycheck and keeping themselves, […]
What the Families First Coronavirus Response Act does (and doesn’t do) for working people
By: Allan Freyer - March 21, 2020
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed (and President Trump signed) the second of at least three anticipated emergency packages designed to respond to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus. In line with the version passed by the House on Tuesday, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides working people with critical support and protections to weather […]
New report: How to make youth apprenticeships work and boost NC’s economy
By: Allan Freyer - July 22, 2019
Youth apprenticeships are increasingly seen as a promising solution to a broken workforce development pipeline that too often fails to connect working people—especially young adults and people of color—to the training and the jobs they need. But to truly live up to their promise, apprenticeship programs for youth and young adults must be made more […]
How far short does women’s pay still fall? This far.
By: Allan Freyer - April 3, 2019
Yesterday was Women’s Equal Pay Day, the day that women’s wages catch up to what their white, male counterparts earned last year. Yes, that’s correct. It’s now April 2019, and it’s taken 15 months for women to earn what a white man earned by December of last year doing the same exact job. That’s because […]
New report: Raising the minimum is good for everyone in NC
By: Allan Freyer - March 19, 2019
Raising the minimum wage in North Carolina will provide families with bigger paychecks, create more good jobs, and build thriving communities, all without hurting employment, according to a new report from the NC Justice Center. North Carolina’s current wage floor is identical to the nation’s at $7.25 an hour, but legislators have introduced a plan […]
The fight for $15 arrives at the General Assembly
By: Allan Freyer - March 19, 2019
[Cross-posted from the website of the North Carolina AFL-CIO.] North Carolina lawmakers joined Raising Wages NC — a growing coalition of labor groups, advocates, business, and faith leaders — at a legislative press conference today to announce the introduction of H.B. 366, inclusive legislation that raises the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to […]
Economic development bill is not ready for primetime
By: Allan Freyer - November 28, 2018
The North Carolina Senate Finance Committee voted yesterday to approve a bill that will almost triple the maximum amount of cash that companies receive for each individual job they create through the Job Development Investment Grant program (JDIG), North Carolina’s premier economic incentives program. Although well-intentioned, the plan still needs some work before legislators finally approve it.
Growth in NC’s senior population bolsters push for paid family leave
By: Allan Freyer - September 12, 2018
As Hurricane Florence approaches North Carolina, thousands of families are figuring out the best ways to care for their ailing loved ones. This challenge is especially real in the face of the rushing storm, but countless families face this problem in slow motion every day. That’s why paid family medical leave is so important...
Supreme Court overturns 40 years of precedent, guts public sector workers’ capacity to organize and bargain for better wages
By: Allan Freyer - June 28, 2018
Democracy and economic progress took a beating today, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a blatantly partisan 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the nation’s highest court struck down 40 years of established workplace protections. Those protections allowed state and local government employees the right to sign collective bargaining agreements requiring workers who benefit from union representation to pay their fair share of fees to support that representation.
N.C. Justice Center statement on U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME
By: Allan Freyer - June 27, 2018
Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME, striking down the right of public sector workers to negotiate collective bargaining agreements that require workers who benefit from union representation to pay their fair share of fees to support that representation. The N.C. Justice Center issued the following statement on […]
Here’s the skinny on the new state budget’s fat incentive programs
By: Allan Freyer - June 13, 2018
This year’s budget goes big on economic development incentives. Forsaking previous General Assemblies’ libertarian hostility to targeted business investments, the state’s proposed spending plan creates a fat new program to land “transformative projects” (like a rumored Apple headquarters) and expands existing programs to provide more benefits to companies. Critics often deride these programs as ineffective, […]