CWA, IBEW Agree to Try Federal Mediation for Verizon Strike

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Workers Independent News is heard Monday through Friday at 8:45 and 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.

The CWA and IBEW have agreed to accept the help of a federal mediator in efforts to resolve the Verizon strike. The unions represent roughly 39,000 striking workers.

Mediation meetings will be held in Washington, D.C., following a Tuesday meeting with U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

Verizon and the unions have agreed not to speak publicly about the strike while these mediation sessions are being held.

4.2 Million More U.S. Workers Win Overtime Protection from New Labor Department Rule

A new labor rule expanding overtime pay to 4.2 million workers has been finalized by the U.S. Labor Department.

The rule affecting salaried workers raises the income threshold for overtime eligibility from $23,660 to $47,476 per year.

The rule change is allowed under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was designed in part to protect workers from being worked long hours without overtime pay.

In 1975, 60 percent of salaried workers qualified for overtime. But inflation and a weakening of the labor protection under George W. Bush has led to just 7 percent of salaried workers getting overtime today. The new rule takes effect Dec. 1.

Fired WeWork Employee Tara Zoumer: ‘As A Citizen I Don’t Ever Want to Give Up My Rights’

“As a citizen I don’t ever want to give up my rights to a trial by jury, or to my judicial system period,” said former WeWork employee Tara Zoumer on why she’s fighting back against a forced arbitration agreement imposed on WeWork employees.

When Tara refused to sign the waiver of her legal rights WeWork fired her. So she’s fighting that firing and other alleged violations of labor law by WeWork.

She says she’s determined to do all she can to continue to fight to assert her labor rights and her right to recourse in the judicial system.

“By signing this you’re giving away your right to fight back later, really. And this is just the privatization of the court system ultimately, which is terrifying words to put together and say. But that’s really what’s happening out there. So I urge everyone to just fight back and stand up for yourself. Also, talk to each other. It’s really important. I found there are still other employees that I’m helping that are former employees from this company as well. We’ve done it together.”

Forcing employees to sign arbitration agreements, waiving their rights to class action lawsuits, and other judicial due process is emerging as a huge issue for workers. Corporations are using these forced arbitration procedures to block workers court rights while passing them off to employees as standard employment policy.