Tag Archives: new

Unions Plan to Back Marijuana Workers

California unions are hoping to organize the 100,000 expected workers that will enter the cannabis workforce this year. On January 1, legal sale of recreational marijuana in licensed shops to anyone 21 and older began. The United Farm Workers, Teamsters, and United Food and Commercial Workers all hope to gain members through what is already a $22 billion industry in the state that has the highest minimum wage and largest number of union workers.


Justice Department Denies LGBT Protections Under Title VII

The US Justice Department urged the federal appeals court in Manhattan to reject a lawsuit from a former skydiving instructor who claimed he was fired for being gay. Rights groups argue that LGBT workers should be protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on basis of sex, race, color, national origin, or religion. Essentially, the Justice Department contends that laws against workplace gender bias do not apply to the LGBT community because of companies that fire workers over sexual orientation will do so whether they are male or female.

This stance goes against a June brief filed by a group of 50 large, multinational companies and organizations arguing that discrimination based on sexual orientation should be illegal, even if that would lead to more employee lawsuits. The Justice Department’s decision came at the heels of President Donald Trump’s announcement that transgender people will not be allowed to serve in the military.

Singer Brad Paisley Rallies for Flood Victims

On June 23rd, West Virginia, home state of country singer Brad Paisley of local 257 (Nashville, TN) experienced one of the deadliest floods in the state’s history, which killed more than 20 people and destroyed entire small towns. He’s doing something big to help, and he needs your support.

Three counties have been declared federal disasters and 44 of the 55 counties have been declared in a state of emergency. Paisley set up a GoFundMe page, with a goal of $1 million—a small portion of what’s needed, but the quickest way to provide some relief to the victims. Please help. https://www.gofundme.com/westvirginiafloods

All funds donated will be distributed through West Virginia Flood Relief 2016—The Brad Paisley Foundation at WESBANCO Trust Department in Wheeling, WV.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Hires New CEO

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has hired Jennifer Barlament as its new CEO. Barlament has been general manager of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2013.

Her appointment brings her back to Atlanta, where she studied clarinet at Emory University. She earned her master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to The Cleveland Orchestra, she held positions at the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Omaha Symphony.

ASO’s previous CEO, Stanley Romanstein, resigned October 2014 during the two-month lockout that delayed the start of the season. Terry Neal, an ASO board member and retired Coca-Cola executive, stepped in as interim CEO and made impressive progress in getting the orchestra on a successful track.

“Terry Neal has done a great job rebuilding and solidifying our management team over this past year with regard to marketing and operations,” says Bruce Kenney, president of Local 148-462 (Atlanta, GA) and an ASO musician. “The financial rebuilding plan is working and he continues to push it even further ahead of schedule, while showing great care and appreciation for the music. Jennifer Barlament has a much better chance to succeed thanks to the progress made by Terry.”

Uber Faces Class-Action Driver Suit

Uber is trying to quash a class-action suit by drivers who claim they are employees and not independent contractors. The company claims the more than 160,000 American drivers control their own use of the Uber app and are therefore contractors. While the California Labor Commission has said that Uber drivers are employees and not contractors, the chair of New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission says her agency considers drivers for ride-hailing services such as Uber to be freelance workers, not employees. Five other states have ruled similarly. Classifying Uber drivers as employees would mean higher costs for the company, as it would likely need to pay Social Security, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance.