Work & the Economy

James Rudd - Capitol press conference

Can a Milwaukee janitors’ contract plant the seeds of a new middle class?

BY: - September 30, 2021

As a janitor in a downtown Milwaukee office building, James Rudd has often felt invisible. “People think we’re just mimes — we walk through silently,” says Rudd. “No — we have skills we can use.” Skills, he says, that make the building cleaner and safer. “As a janitor, we see everything.” At 29, Rudd has […]

Wisconsin farm cornfield and landscape -- Image by David Mark free use from Pixabay

Evers, Democratic lawmakers propose $25 million package to help farmers

BY: - September 29, 2021

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and a group of Democratic lawmakers proposed on Tuesday a legislative package that would spend $25 million on helping the state’s agricultural industry.  Evers announced the package at the World Dairy Expo in Madison alongside Sen. Brad Pfaff (D-Onalaska), State Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo) and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and […]

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 02: Airline passengers are blocked from proceeding through a Passport Control by police and protesters. Due to the failure of discussions between the management of Aéroports de Paris and union officials in employment contracts employees were blocking the boarding of passengers at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle terminal 2E, supervised on site by the police, in protest. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)

Huge uptick in pandemic ‘air rage’ hits flight attendants

BY: - September 24, 2021

Flight attendants have been subject to unprecedented harassment over masks and more during the pandemic, and a U.S. House panel on Thursday heard the raw details of those “air rage” incidents. While there’s no hard data, the leader of the flight attendants’ union said the most aggression appears to occur in Southern states where there’s […]

Biden walks by a Wisconsin flag to tout American Jobs Plan

Wisconsin could see major changes if Congress passes ‘Build Back Better’

BY: - September 23, 2021

In Washington, D.C., two intertwined pieces of legislation are ensnared in bickering among House and Senate Democrats while Republicans mostly look the other way. But this week, a pair of conversations 850 miles west of the nation’s capital brought the potential impact of those bills home to Wisconsin — a brief slice of real life […]

Madison alders pass unanimous resolution backing UW Health nurses’ union

BY: - September 23, 2021

A Madison Common Council resolution calling for a “fair and fast union election” by the end of 2021 for nurses at UW Health garnered unanimous approval from the body this week. The vote, conducted by acclamation Tuesday night, followed testimony from several nurses who support unionization at UW Hospital and Clinics. The resolution was introduced […]

Trainees watching confident male carpenter cutting with electric saw in workshop

Here’s how to boost employment for people facing tough times 

BY: and - September 22, 2021

Tyrone in Milwaukee knows how difficult it can be to find a good job. The well-paying ones require an in-demand skill, but it’s hard to pursue training for those in-demand skills when you need to work.  “The problem with training is that you don’t get paid and you have bills to pay,” he says.  Eighteen […]

Wisconsin farm cornfield and landscape -- Image by David Mark free use from Pixabay

Rural policymakers, leaders look for long term answers for economic growth

BY: - September 16, 2021

Leaders and officials in Wisconsin’s rural communities must be creative and work together to turn around decades of decline and build sustainable local economies, experts said at a WisPolitics event held in La Crosse on Tuesday.   The results of Wisconsin’s 2020 census show declining populations in many rural areas and a 4% decrease in the […]

Milwaukee East-West Corridor-I-94

Coalition proposes alternative plan for Milwaukee freeway project

BY: - September 15, 2021

With more bicycles, more buses and less highway pavement, environmental and transit advocates proposed an alternative Tuesday to a controversial state plan to widen part of Interstate 94 in Milwaukee. The pitch is the latest step in efforts by critics to push back against the state’s $1.1 billion plan for Milwaukee’s I-94 East-West corridor following […]

Housing costs saving piggy bank under magnifying glass

Billions of dollars in federal rental aid remains stalled in slow-moving states, localities

BY: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Make it simpler to apply for rental assistance money. Allow landlords to apply on behalf of unresponsive tenants. And consolidate two overlapping federal programs aimed at getting financial help to struggling renters. Those were among the proposals that U.S. House members weighed during a hearing Friday on how to better help states and localities […]

Vivienne Kerley-de la Cruz (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Farmers Union)

A fresh face for the Wisconsin Farmers Union

BY: - September 9, 2021

Eyes sparkling over a face mask decorated with little black-and-white cows, Vivienne Kerley-de la Cruz, the energetic new policy coordinator for the Wisconsin Farmers Union, slipped into a booth at Ancora coffee shop near the Capitol.  Brand new in her job, which she started in June, Kerley-de la Cruz has a background in rural organizing […]

uber driver

Uber, DoorDash want lawmakers to guarantee their drivers aren’t employees

BY: - September 9, 2021

Drivers for ride-share businesses such as Uber and app-based delivery services such as DoorDash would be blocked from collecting workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits in Wisconsin under legislation that would define them as independent contractors rather than employees. The proposed measures — Assembly Bill 487 and Senate Bill 485 — would also allow those sorts […]

Federal lawsuit seeks to overturn state ban on jobless pay for disability recipients

BY: - September 7, 2021

Eight Wisconsin residents who receive Social Security disability payments and who have also held part-time jobs sued Wisconsin in federal court Tuesday, charging that a state law that disqualified them from collecting unemployment insurance when they lost their jobs violates federal laws that protect people with disabilities. “Workers who received Social Security Disability Insurance benefits […]