Nevada workers get some big wins because elections matter, this week in the war on workers

Nevada Democrats had a great Election Day in 2018, and Nevada workers are about to start seeing the effects of that. Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a package of major bills, including one giving 20,000 state workers collective bargaining rights, a minimum wage increase, paid sick leave, and more.

The state’s minimum wage will only go up to $12—$11 if the employer offers insurance—and won’t reach that level until 2024, with the first 75-cent raise not coming until July 2020. Compared with the laws taking some states’ minimums up to $15 on a faster timetable that’s not spectacular, but since Nevada’s current minimum wage is $7.25 for employers that offer insurance and $8.25 for ones that don’t, it’s still a substantial improvement for an estimated 300,000 Nevada workers. (And something for worker-activists to build on, perhaps.)

Workers at businesses with more than 50 employees will also start getting paid sick leave, up to 40 hours a year for full-time workers. That law will take effect January 1. Nevada will join 10 states and Washington, D.C., in having a paid sick leave law.

The law giving public workers collective bargaining rights is “yet another massive win for working people and the labor movement as union momentum continues to grow across the country,” according to AFSCME. Harry Schiffman, a local AFSCME president in the state called it “a historic day for state employees and all Nevadans, as collective bargaining rights will mean a voice on the job to make meaningful changes in our workplaces and communities.”

● Massachusetts voters recognize that education funding and reducing inequality in education need to be goals in the state—and they’re willing to pay more taxes to achieve them. That news comes as a group of parents is suing to improve funding in currently underfunded districts.

● Why women, but not men, are judged for a messy house. Why is that a labor issue? Because when you judge women if they don’t work a full second shift at home, you create the pressures that force some to scale back at work or leave paid work altogether.

● Target offers more child care and parental leave to workers.

● 18,000 airline food service workers may go on strike this month.

● A strong work-centered climate agenda must be central to addressing the next recession.

● How unions and climate organizers learned to work together in New York City:

Some labor advocates, like Mike Gendron, the executive vice president of Communications Workers of America Local 1108, also testified in support of the CCPA. “As we transition from fossil fuel based energy to renewable energy, we must make sure that the jobs created, are good paying union jobs with proper training, for both new workers and transitioning workers,” he said. “The New York State Climate and Community Protection Act will help make that happen."

● New Jersey now has a panic button law to protect hotel workers.

● Detroit security guards held a one-day strike on Tuesday.