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Sherman A1

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Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 06:37 AM
Number of posts: 26,746

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Botanical Garden outsources shop, projects more sales

ST. LOUIS • The Missouri Botanical Garden, host of regional food markets, peddler of native plants and promoter of all things local, has outsourced its retail operations.

Without advance notice to vendors — without even a vote of its board — the Garden signed in January a contract worth about $670,000 a year with the California museum shop operator Event Network Inc.

About 16 Garden Gate Shop workers will no longer be Garden employees, though staffers say Event Network has already offered nearly all of the workers their jobs back. It’s unclear if the company will match their current pay.

The news began to trickle out this week, after Garden bosses met with staff to notify them of the move. Event Network manages stores at the Smithsonian in Washington, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Ill., among others. The outsourcing will free up Garden personnel and bring in more revenue, Garden President Peter Wyse Jackson wrote in an email Friday to staff. Wyse Jackson was out of town this week and unavailable for comment.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/botanical-garden-outsources-shop-projects-more-sales/article_71da1aaf-38dd-531c-8836-f15ca1ec5691.html

Workers Can ‘Don and Doff’ Off the Clock, Says Court

For workers in dangerous industries, safety should be non-negotiable. But the Supreme Court may have just given employers a little more leeway to put critical protections for workers on the table when bargaining over labor contracts.

In a unanimous decision issued last month in Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, the Supreme Court ruled against a group of steelworkers who argued that they should be compensated for the time they spend suiting up before and after their workdays, or “donning and doffing” protective gear including hard hats and safety glasses. Workers at U.S. Steel’s Gary Works in Indiana had sought compensation for what they believed were unpaid overtime wages, earned during their time spent changing into and out of their work clothes, which they argued was not properly clocked.

But the justices ultimately ruled that the steel company's labor contract did not require the company to count the “donning and doffing” of workers' clothes as paid overtime labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), meaning that the workers will lose their claim to back pay for the time spent putting on and taking off their gear.

The Sandifer ruling is limited from a legal standpoint, as it applies only to section 203(o), an obscure provision of the FLSA governing wage negotiations in collectively-bargained union contracts. According to an analysis in legal news outlet SCOTUS Blog, section 203(o), a 1949 amendment to the FLSA, “allows collective-bargaining agreements to exclude time spent ‘changing clothes’ from the work time subject to the statute.”

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/safety_for_steelworkers

Nixon Wants Missourians To Vote Again On Same-Sex Marriage

Gov. Jay Nixon says he hopes Missourians get another chance to vote on same-sex marriage.

The Democrat made that comment Thursday in response to a reporter's question during the annual Missouri Press Association/Associated Press Day at the Capitol. The governor said that he's in favor of repealing the 2004 constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

"We shouldn't treat folks differently just because of who they are or who they love," Nixon said. "If folks want to get married, they should be able to get married, but to change that law will necessitate and require the people of Missouri to speak, and I hope they get the opportunity to do that."

No legislation is currently filed that would seek to undo Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage. There is, in contrast, a proposed constitutional amendment to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage and civil unions if that recognition is dictated by the federal government. It's part of a larger resolution, SJR 38, sponsored by state Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, Mo.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/nixon-wants-missourians-vote-again-same-sex-marriage

St. Louis hopes to rev up its red light cameras despite legal setback

ST. LOUIS • Officials said Wednesday the city will seek a green light to resume using cameras to catch suspected traffic scofflaws at dozens of intersections.

One day after St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer invalidated the city’s red-light camera ordinance, officials announced plans both to appeal and to seek a court order to allow enforcement until that appeal is decided.

Until then, however, St. Louis is barred from issuing new tickets, processing payments or initiating collection actions for pending ones, according to Ohmer’s ruling.

City Counselor Michael Garvin said Wednesday that a June 2013 opinion by the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District “found only one small flaw” with the city’s program, which has since been fixed.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-hopes-to-rev-up-its-red-light-cameras/article_7d784e6f-3ba3-58c7-85c9-280cb632e1bd.html

Protest organized over Whole Foods firing

A women’s group is urging consumers to call Whole Foods Market today to protest the retailer’s decision to fire an employee for calling out of work to care for her child on a day his school was closed for a weather emergency.

“Whole Foods’ policy explicitly allows for absences during a metro-wide weather disaster,” said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, the group organizing the protest, said in a statement. “It violates its own rules, but it’s also morally wrong. No parent should have to choose between leaving their kid at home alone and losing [her] job.

UltraViolet is urging consumers to call Whole Foods' human resources department and ask for employee Rhiannon Brosschat’s reinstatement. It is also urging the retailer to adjust its time off policy to include family sick leave. The group has a petition on its website.
According to reports, Whole Foods has said that employees in its Midwest region, where Brosschat worked, are allowed up to six unexcused absences before they're terminated, with missed shifts being excused if they can get someone to cover for them.

http://supermarketnews.com/retailers/protest-organized-over-whole-foods-firing

Seattle General Strike began on February 6, 1919

The Seattle General Strike of 1919 was a five-day general work stoppage by over 65,000 workers in the city of Seattle, Washington, which lasted from February 6 to February 11 of that year. Dissatisfied workers in several unions began the strike to gain higher wages after two years of World War I wage controls. Most other local unions, including members of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), joined the walkout. Although the strike was non-violent and lasted less than a week, government officials, the press, and much of the public viewed the strike as a radical attempt to subvert US institutions.

Some commentators raised alarm by calling it the work of Bolsheviks and other radicals inspired by "un-American" ideologies, making it the first concentrated eruption of the anti-Red hysteria[citation needed] that characterized the Red Scare of 1919 and 1920.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_General_Strike

Union membership rose by 162K in 2013

Washington (PAI) – Union membership in the U.S. rose by 162,000 in 2013, to 14.528 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculated, but the union share of the nation’s workers stayed unchanged at 11.3 percent.

Nationwide, African-Americans were more unionized than whites or Hispanics, and the oldest workers – aged 45-64 – were more unionized (14.5 percent) than other age groups, BLS reported. Almost eight million men were unionized, compared to 6.58 million women.

Union members’ share of the private sector workforce was 6.7 percent last year, a ratio unseen since the pre-labor law era of the Roaring 20s.

The private sector employed 7.31 million union members last year, 100,000 more than in the public sector. In 2012, the public sector had edged ahead.

http://labortribune.com/union-membership-rose-by-162k-in-2013/
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