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Working Conditions

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NEWS
By John E. Woodruff and John E. Woodruff,Tokyo Bureau of The Sun | June 9, 1991
TOKYO -- After years of working and living at one of the tightening pressure points of social change amid postwar prosperity, Japan's nurses are on the march for the first time in a decade.Brought up on a Japanese standard of femininity that demands a falsetto voice and a delicately tentative body language, they often look uncomfortable as they line up in white-clad ranks behind banners and raise their fists in the traditional gesture of Asian demonstrators and strikers.But for seven months they have been organizing demonstrations, petition campaigns, lobbying drives and -- for the first time in 11 years -- strikes, in a society seldom known for labor militancy.
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NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2014
Baltimore school bus drivers and aides have reached a settlement with Durham School Services, the transportation contractor that workers sued over unfair wages, according to attorneys for the plaintiffs. The $1.25 million settlement was filed in U.S. District Court on Monday, said Andrew Freeman, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, of Brown, Goldstein & Levy. It still has to be approved by a judge. The settlement stems from a class action suit filed in March 2013 that alleged the company has not paid workers for the hours they earned carrying out responsibilities required for transporting students, such as pre- and post-trip inspections, and fueling and cleaning buses.
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NEWS
By Sarah Koenig and Sarah Koenig,SUN STAFF | July 3, 2001
About 50 Baltimore Circuit Court workers rallied yesterday afternoon outside the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse, protesting what they called dangerously dirty working conditions and threatening to sue the city if they do not get relief. Arthur "Pat" Kelly, a court clerk and vice president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3674, blamed Mayor Martin O'Malley for "inhuman conditions." "We are looking forward to a class-action lawsuit that will go forward unless we hear from you immediately," Kelly said.
BUSINESS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | November 7, 2013
Shuttle bus drivers at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport sought to draw attention to what they say are unfair working conditions during a protest Thursday during which they drove around the airport's traffic loop "en masse. " In a statement about the protest released by the UFCW Local 1994 union, which is "standing with" the drivers despite their not being members, Patrick Benhene, a driver for 6 years, was paraphrased as saying the protest was about "giving drivers the basic tools to earn a living and do their jobs.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | December 18, 1997
A sudden movement, a startled cry -- it's Bubba!That's the generic name Baltimore County's 911 dispatchers give the field mice infesting their portion of Towson's county courts building. The rodents are among a number of maintenance woes at the multimillion-dollar center.But while they sometimes joke about the mice, workers say other problems at the center are more serious.They complain that exhaust and urine odors seep into the air system from the parking garage below the 911 center. They say the center isn't kept clean.
NEWS
By Gina Davis and Gina Davis,SUN STAFF | February 22, 2005
Providing teachers more planning time, compensating them for attending additional meetings and maintaining a reliable computer system are among the suggestions that a group of educators will propose to Carroll County's school board tomorrow in an effort to improve working conditions. In response to a growing chorus of complaints that teachers were being asked to do too much with too little time and resources, Superintendent Charles I. Ecker gathered 17 award-winning educators to find solutions.
NEWS
By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,SUN STAFF | October 2, 2002
Carroll County's teachers union will ask its members to support a countywide demonstration of their dissatisfaction with working conditions, following the lead of teachers who have begun boycotting after-school activities for which they are not paid, union officials said last night. Memos asking teachers to join a work-to-rule action as part of a "show of unity" are to begin circulating in county schools today, said Hal Fox of the Carroll County Education Association. Faculties at schools would be allowed to determine how they would carry out their protests, and no teacher would be pressured to conform to the job action.
NEWS
By Blanca Torres and Blanca Torres,SUN STAFF | May 4, 2005
MANY WORKING Americans find themselves stretched for time in an economy that requires companies to do more with less to stay competitive. So as workers are left with more to tackle, some study the office habits of colleagues to identify who is being efficient and who is slacking. How do the frequent break-takers get anything done, and aren't they slowing everyone else down? Are the workers who look too busy to say hello the top performers? Maybe not. The image of a productive employee being someone who works long hours and is chained to a desk is not always the best test for who is getting the most done, experts say. Improving job performance relies more on organizing your life, getting enough rest and making sure you have good working conditions than on constant back- or mind-breaking work, they say. "We think of productivity as the ability to do more with less, and that's really a short-term solution to being productive," said Rachna Jain, a licensed psychologist and job coach who is based in Bethesda.
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin and Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF | October 31, 2002
They want to be paid for more of the time they spend preparing for the school day. They want to decide how to use planning time on afternoons when students are dismissed early. Carroll teachers also want the school board and district administrators to butt out of school decisions on spending, curriculum and student discipline. These recommendations were among the 47 proposals submitted yesterday to Superintendent Charles I. Ecker by a task force appointed to suggest ways to improve working conditions for Carroll County public school educators.
NEWS
February 26, 1992
* Bill Pachura, 59, of Columbia, retired engineer:Of course, there should be an effort. If he is dissatisfied with the staff, salaries, or working conditions, sure, work with him. There is a reason he is looking to leave. They should negotiate with him.
NEWS
September 4, 2013
You don't have to be a Marxist to conclude that the working conditions of millions of American workers today are akin to wage-slavery ("Jobs are coming back, but they don't pay enough," Aug. 27). According to columnist Robert Reich, the shareholders of the mega-corporation that operates Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut received a 15 percent return on their investment. Meanwhile, large numbers of the fast-food workers who deliver their products don't earn enough to rise above the poverty line.
NEWS
By Matt Patterson | August 8, 2011
On July 10, three Chicago-area Alderwoods funeral homes were viciously vandalized. All were Dignity Memorial network facilities that had also been targeted for a strike by local Teamsters. Teamsters Local 727, which represents 16 Alderwoods embalmers, drivers and funeral directors, had been negotiating with the company that owns the homes after their labor contract expired June 30. The union complained that the other side had bargained in bad faith and had "…proposed a three-year wage freeze and a company health care package that is more expensive and less comprehensive than the union's health and welfare benefits," reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | June 14, 2011
The holding lot at BWI Marshall Airport was a sea of white vehicles Tuesday as angry taxi drivers massed to protest a proposal that would award the airport's taxi concession to a Virginia-based company. With the state poised to consider Dulles Airport Taxi Inc.'s $7.1 million bid for a four-year concession contract, the drivers said they feared the company would reduce the number of owner-operated taxis at the airport. With flashing lights and signs reading "No Dulles Airport Taxi," they headed to Annapolis for a show of opposition a day before the proposal was scheduled on the state Board of Public Works agenda.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green and Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2010
An innovative new contract would enable Baltimore teachers who are effective and ambitious to move quickly through the ranks and earn up to $100,000 a year, as well as give teachers more input on working conditions in their schools. The new contract, being hailed as the most progressive in the nation, would in part link teachers' pay to their students' performance. The structure does away with the old model of "step" increases, or paying teachers based solely on their years of experience and the degrees they have obtained.
NEWS
July 19, 2010
Perhaps no other Maryland business is as dependent on seasonal guest workers as the crab processing industry. Hundreds of people come into the country each year, most from Mexico, to pick crabmeat from the shell at fewer than two dozen plants scattered around the Chesapeake Bay. This dependency on the H-2B visa program has always been controversial. And crab processors found themselves back in the spotlight last week after the release of a report alleging guest workers have been ill-treated with incidents of harassment, low wages, and substandard housing.
SPORTS
By Kevin Cowherd | June 9, 2010
Let me get this straight: There were Ravens players complaining about the offseason working conditions at The Castle? And moaning about being kept too long on the field and in the meeting rooms? And practicing too hard? And this is why the team was reprimanded by the NFL for offseason training violations? You gotta be kidding me. Let's go over a typical OTA (organized team activity), like the one being held this week, and see what horrible torture the Ravens endure on a daily basis.
BUSINESS
By Ted Shelsby and Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF | November 17, 1996
Hourly workers at the General Motors Corp. van assembly plant in Southeast Baltimore voted heavily yesterday in favor of a three-year labor contract covering working conditions at the local plant.Members of United Auto Workers Local 239 also overwhelmingly approved the national agreement negotiated between GM and the UAW on Nov. 2.More than 90 percent of the workers voted in favor of the two agreements, which the union had classified as fair and equitable.The local contract covers working conditions at the Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari plant on Broening Highway, including staffing levels, sanitation and job classification.
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin and Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF | October 15, 2002
After meeting for 2 1/2 hours yesterday to discuss ways to improve working conditions for Carroll County public school teachers, members of a task force appointed to consider teacher complaints reported making progress. Members shared little else, however, about the session at the school district's administrative offices yesterday afternoon. "We worked on identifying teacher concerns and issues ... and we've made some progress," said Gregory Bricca, the school system's assessment and accountability supervisor and task force co-chairman.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,liz.bowie@baltsun.com | August 4, 2009
With local governments cutting budgets during the recession and teachers unwilling to leave secure jobs, local school districts are hiring far fewer new teachers for the coming school year. Baltimore County will be hiring about 350 fewer teachers than it did three years ago, and Howard County will need half the number of new teachers it hired just two years ago - about 200. Anne Arundel County has hired 140 new teachers, down from 500 the year before and 700 two years ago. Even the city, which traditionally has opened schools with teacher vacancies and has unqualified teachers in some classrooms, will be hiring substantially fewer teachers, and many will come through programs such as Teach for America, which trains recent college graduates for two-year stints in urban school systems.
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