Work & the Economy

Urban railroad freight yard

U.S. House votes to avert calamitous rail strike, but Senate prospects murky

BY: - November 30, 2022

The U.S. House moved Wednesday to avoid an economically disastrous nationwide rail strike, voting to codify an agreement that members of some unions had already rejected and separately add paid sick leave that workers had demanded. The two-track approach allows Democrats to avert a strike that could cost the U.S. economy up to $2 billion […]

Enbridge sign

Enbridge and Bad River Band to meet following pipeline decision

BY: - November 30, 2022

By the end of December, the legal battle between the Canadian energy company Enbridge Inc. and the Bad River Band will enter its next phase. U.S. District Judge William Conley issued an order Monday that requires Enbridge and the tribal community to meet to discuss ways to mitigate dangers associated with the company’s Line 5 […]

Sens. Mike Lee and Amy Klobuchar

Albertsons-Kroger mega-deal raises questions from lawmakers about higher food prices

BY: - November 30, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Members of a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee panel raised concerns during a Tuesday hearing that a proposed merger between two of the largest U.S. supermarket chains could mean a monopoly on groceries and lead to higher food prices for Americans. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who chairs the Subcommittee on Competition […]

Report: Public development subsidy deals should guarantee better jobs, working conditions

BY: - November 29, 2022

A proposed development that would bring a new soccer stadium to downtown Milwaukee should include guarantees of good wages and a path to union representation for workers in the stadium district in return for public subsidies, a new report recommends. The report, “Worker Power Levels the Playing Field,” was released Tuesday by COWS, a think […]

Alan Kaplan - Colin Gillis - Tony Evers

Despite union’s setback, leader says UW Health nurses now have stronger voice

BY: - November 29, 2022

While the nurses seeking union representation at UW Health have lost a round in the legal skirmish, a union leader said Monday they have  made significant advances in gaining a voice with the hospital system’s management. Under an agreement reached in September between UW Health management and the nurses’ union, hospital managers and UW Health […]

Train at grade crossing

U.S. House to intervene in rail workers strike, heeding Biden call

BY: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said the House will take up legislation to ratify an agreement between rail workers and operators in order to avert a nationwide rail strike. “This week, the House will take up a bill adopting the Tentative Agreement — with no poison pills or changes to the […]

Four in 10 adults in the United States have medical debt, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Getty Images.

Two communities find a cure for medical debt: pandemic stimulus funds

BY: - November 28, 2022

Local governments in Ohio and Illinois are using American Rescue Plan Act money to relieve residents struggling with medical debt by partnering with an organization that buys debt and wipes the slate clean for debtors. It’s a strategy advocates say could be duplicated across the country to help erase a multibillion-dollar problem. On Nov. 9, […]

Utility companies are spending billions building out transmission and distribution lines around the country, leading some to call for an independent monitor to protect customers. Photo by Robert Zullo.

As utilities spend billions on transmission, support builds for independent monitoring  

BY: - November 28, 2022

An aging electric grid, fossil fuel power plant retirements and a massive renewable electricity buildout are all contributing to a boom in transmission and distribution wire projects by electric utilities across the country.  In 2020, investor-owned electric utilities spent $25 billion on transmission, up from $23.7 billion in 2019, figures that the Edison Electric Institute, […]

Black Friday shoppers

Retailers may see more red after Black Friday

BY: and - November 25, 2022

Retailers are gearing up for another blockbuster holiday shopping season, but consumers burned by the highest inflation in a generation may have other ideas. Industry groups are predicting another record year of retail sales, with the National Retail Federation forecasting a jump of 6% to 8% over the US$890 billion consumers spent online and in […]

COMMENTARY
Jordan Laatz, a UW-Whitewater student who is a member of the university's Native American club, braids white corn cobs together so that the cobs can be hung and dried before being processed and distributed to Oneida Nation tribal members. (Photo by Julian Emerson)

Honoring our food – and those who grow it – this holiday season 

BY: - November 24, 2022

For years I had heard from my friends familiar with agriculture in the U.S. about the many benefits of eating food grown locally or regionally, and about the importance of supporting the people growing and raising those products. As I listened to them and learned more about the local food movement, bit by bit what […]

Electric bus

States test an electrifying idea: Roads that can recharge your EV

BY: - November 24, 2022

On two short stretches of road near downtown Detroit, Michigan transportation officials hope to make history. Over the next two years, they plan to embed technology in the pavement that can charge electric vehicles while they’re being driven. The wireless system will be the first U.S. test of so-called inductive charging on public roadways, according […]

President Joe Biden

Student loan repayment pause extended by White House amid legal battles over relief plan

BY: - November 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Department of Education announced on Tuesday it is extending the pandemic-era pause on federal student loan repayments until June 30 while legal challenges to the administration’s student debt relief program are fought over in the courts. The agency said if the student debt relief program has not been put in place by […]