Uber will pay $45 million to New York City drivers it cheated, but even that isn’t all it owes

Uber remains evil, and for once it’s not getting away with every nasty trick it pulls. The company has admitted that it underpaid its New York City drivers by around $45 million, and will give back pay averaging $900 per driver:

The ride-hailing company has previously misled drivers about how much they could make and miscalculated fares. In this case, Uber was taking its cut of fares based on the pretax sum, instead of after taxes and fees as stated in its terms of service. The issue was also raised in a lawsuit against San Francisco-based Uber filed by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. In March, Uber acknowledged that it had underestimated drivers’ pay in Philadelphia by millions of dollars. 

But Uber’s wage theft, even just in New York, doesn’t stop at $45 million.

The Taxi Workers Alliance said the payments Uber is offering didn’t go far enough. “While we welcome

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This week in the war on workers: 40,000 AT&T workers strike for a fair contract

Friday afternoon, 40,000 AT&T workers in 36 states launched a three-day strike as part of their fight for a fair contract. David Bacon offered some background leading up to the strike:

AT&T has proposed to cut sick time and force long-time workers to pay hundreds of dollars more for basic healthcare, according to CWA. At a huge April rally in Silicon Valley, CWA District 9 vice president Tom Runnion fumed, “The CEO of AT&T just got a raise and now makes over $12,000 an hour. And he doesn’t want to give us a raise. He wants to sabotage our healthcare then wants us to pay more for it. Enough is enough!” […]

The relocation of jobs to call centers in Mexico, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and other countries is one of the main issues in negotiations. A recent CWA report charges that in the Dominican Republic, for instance,

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This week in the war on workers: Average CEO paid 347 times as much as the average worker

Compensation for the average S&P 500 CEO was 347 times what the average U.S. worker made last year, the AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch reports

1. The average compensation for an S&P 500 CEO last year was $13.1 million. In contrast, production and nonsupervisory workers earned only $37,632, on average, in 2016. The average S&P 500 CEO makes 347 times what an average U.S. rank-and-file worker makes.

2. Last year, S&P 500 CEOs got a 5.9% raise while working people struggled to make ends meet.

Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai took the top spot on the CEO pay chart, with just over $100 million.

Study shows Southern construction workers getting screwed on wages, benefits, safety

A new report whose authors label it a “call to action” shows that construction workers in the South get little or no employment benefits and comparatively low pay. The 68-page report—Build a Better South: Construction Working Conditions in the Southern U.S.—was put together by the Workers Defense Project, Partnership for Working Families, and the College of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois. The authors surveyed workers in six Southern states. Among other things, they found:

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  • 40 percent of Houston, Texas, construction workers had no health insurance, paid vacations, or sick leave 
  • 30 percent said they got no on-the-job breaks and that their employer did not provide drinking water.
  • 5 percent of the 1,435 workers interviewed said workers’ compensation covered the cost of their work injuries.
  • 24 percent of surveyed Nashville construction workers have suffered an on-the-job injury, four times higher than the national average compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health

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Bosses are stealing billions from their workers’ paychecks, but it’s not treated like a crime

Here’s a kind of theft almost no one goes to prison for. When an employer doesn’t pay workers the money they’ve earned, it has the same effect as if they got paid and then walked out on the street and had their pockets picked. But somehow wage theft—not paying workers the minimum wage for the hours they’ve worked, stealing tips, not paying overtime, and other ways of not paying workers what they’ve earned—doesn’t get treated as the crime it truly is. It has a huge impact, though, as a new study from the Economic Policy Institute shows. The EPI looked at just one form of wage theft: paying below minimum wage. Just that one type of violation steals billions of dollars out of workers’ paychecks:

This week in the war on workers: Republicans are coming for your overtime pay

In the spirit of traditional Republican generosity, House Republicans want to give workers the gift of time … at the cost of money. A House bill would “allow” workers to “agree” with their bosses to take comp time instead of overtime pay.

Republicans say the bill has plenty of worker protections, like a ban on coercing employees into choosing comp time; a guarantee that they be paid for any unused comp time within thirteen months after accruing it; and a requirement that workers who asked to utilize their comp time get to do so “within a reasonable period after making the request if the use of the compensatory time does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.”

Do you see problems with that? Because I see problems with that. How exactly would this ban on coercing workers into choosing comp time be enforced? In the same way that minimum wage and

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Government reports 211,000 new jobs in April. Headline unemployment rate falls to 4.4%

Hiring in the United States was considerably higher in April than it was March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly jobs report announced Friday. In April, the BLS reported, the seasonally adjusted net gain in new jobs was 211,000, with 194,000 of those hires in the private sector, 17,000 in the public sector. A consensus of experts surveyed by Bloomberg in advance of the report had forecast the gains would be around 185,000.

The bureau also revised job gains it had previously announced over the past two months. The March numbers were revised from 98,000 to 79,000, the February numbers from 219,000 to 232,000. Such revisions are standard procedure as more complete information is obtained in the months after a jobs report is released. Additional, usually minor, adjustments occur at yearly intervals.

The BLS count always includes both full-time and part-time positions. A person who has worked even one

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