September 7, 2022

Last week, California’s legislature passed a bill that will bring sweeping changes to fast food chains operating in the state. After being signed into law by the governor on Monday, the new legislation effectively sets a minimum wage for the industry while also establishing new safety and anti-discrimination requirements. California will create a 10-person council composed of restaurant workers and employer representatives along with two state officials, who will all review pay and safety standards across the state’s restaurant industry. Continue reading

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August 24, 2022

exasperated woman working at computerLike other social networks, TikTok users share almost everything about their lives on the app, from their favorite music and TV shows to their anxieties about work. In fact, talk about the latter has increased significantly in recent weeks as videos about “quiet quitting” generate millions of views among young professionals. The phrase is meant to convey the opposite idea of “hustle culture,” another popular work-related topic on TikTok that encourages people to devote themselves entirely to their careers. Quiet Continue reading

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August 12, 2022

Thousands of workers at Amazon warehouses and Starbucks stores across the country have voted to unionize in recent months, potentially reversing decades of declining union membership in the U.S. This video takes a close look at the history of unions in postwar America, examining the reasons why service industries largely stayed unorganized and how that could change in the coming years. 

Questions:

  1. Why did union membership start to decline in the 1970s and 1980s?
  2. Do you think U.S. legislators Continue reading
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July 12, 2022

Since the start of the summer travel season, air carriers have canceled thousands of flights as they grapple with bad weather, high fuel costs, and rampant inflation. Along with these problems, airlines are also encountering increased resistance from one of their most important groups of employees: pilots. Faced with large workloads and an unpredictable post-pandemic environment, pilots are demanding substantial wage increases as well as quality of life benefits from their employers. 

According to analysts, airlines are likely to Continue reading

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In January 1990, McDonald’s made history when the company opened its first location in Moscow, creating a symbol of unity between the U.S. and Russia after decades of tension. “In the history of McDonald’s, it was one of our proudest and most exciting milestones,” said CEO Chris Kempczinski. “After nearly half a century of Cold War animosity, the image of the Golden Arches shining above Pushkin Square heralded for many, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, the beginning of Continue reading

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April 8, 2022

The e-commerce giant Amazon is the second largest private employer in the U.S., with more than 1 million employees working in fulfillment centers and corporate offices around the country. For years, labor activists have sought to unionize this enormous workforce, but past efforts largely failed to gain traction. That may be starting to change, however, if recent developments at New York’s largest Amazon warehouse are any indication. 

Last week, staff at the JFK8 facility on Staten Island voted 2,654 Continue reading

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January 20, 2022

Although heavy traffic in U.S. ports did not end up canceling Christmas last year, the supply chain crisis still led to some empty shelves and expensive items as companies struggled to obtain needed inventory. Now that the holiday shopping season is long over, however, some officials are optimistic that the worst has passed as ports in Southern California work through their backlogs and shipping costs drop from their September 2021 highs. But like so many other aspects of American Continue reading

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November 16, 2021

The pandemic completely upended the concept of work in the U.S., resulting first in mass layoffs as companies closed down followed by mass resignations when businesses returned. This video looks at how the first problem may have led to the “Great Resignation” as workers continue to leave their jobs and companies struggle to attract talent.

Questions:

  1. Why have employment rates in travel and hospitality struggled to return to pre-pandemic levels?
  2. What are some of the causes of the Great Resignation? Continue reading
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September 29, 2021

At the beginning of the year, the widespread distribution of Covid vaccines gave many companies the confidence to start plotting their triumphant returns to office life. Then the spread of the delta variant largely thwarted these plans as firms brought back just a fraction of the staffers they had intended to. And for those few employees who returned to offices, most are still doing the same thing that they’ve done since March 2020: Zoom meetings. 

For example, Nick Kneer Continue reading

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September 23, 2021

Since the widespread restaurant shutdowns of 2020, workers have steadily started to leave the food service industry, many for good. Along with the dangers of working in public during a pandemic, employees also found that some customers at reopened restaurants tended to tip less while others responded aggressively to mask rules. As a result, eateries across the country have nearly one million fewer filled positions than they did before the pandemic, amounting to an 8 percent decrease. And in a Continue reading

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