Some wins, some losses for workers in state battles

WASHINGTON – In many states, legislative sessions have ended recently or are about to end and local governments are often active year-round. This means tons of legislation, both good and bad, is moving, providing opportunities for working families and their allies to pass laws that will help make people’s lives easier or stop laws that will make things worse. Here is a look at some of the key state battles that recently have passed or could be on the agenda this week or next.

Indiana: Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a series of anti-worker bills, including a repeal of the prevailing wage for construction and the prohibition of local governments from establishing their own local prevailing wage laws, a law that both weakens wage theft rules and allows companies to charge employees up to 5% of their salary for required uniforms and equipment, the undermining of teachers’ voices on the job, and others.

Massachusetts: The Boston City Council unanimously passed a new ordinance providing for up to six weeks of paid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child for certain city employees.

Minnesota: The Minneapolis City Council passed a measure that will allow city workers to earn up to three weeks of paid parental leave. The plan goes into effect in July.

Missouri: Extreme members of the state legislature used a procedural move to get past a filibuster and ram through “right to work” legislation, although Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has indicated he will veto the measure when it gets to his desk.

New Jersey: Two union members won local elections last night, bringing to 817 the number of candidates to graduate from the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates program and win election to office. John Amodeo of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825 won a seat on the Margate City Commission and Harry Kumburis of IUOE Local 68 was elected to the Cedar Grove Township Council.

New Mexico: The Albuquerque City Council passed a equal pay measure that provides incentives for companies that offer equal wages to both female and male employees.

Photo: Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana signed a bill repealing prevailing wage rules, weakening wage theft protection, and allowing companies to charge up to five percent of a worker’s salary for required uniforms or equipment.   |  AP

 


CONTRIBUTOR

Kenneth Quinnell
Kenneth Quinnell

Kenneth Quinnell is Senior Writer at AFL-CIO

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