Whitney Benns

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33 posts


“Free” Labor: The Law of Prison Labor

Published May 28th, 2015 -

This is Part Three of a four-part series. Part One gave a description of a recent prison uprising at Willacy County Corrections Center in south Texas. The event provided a platform for introducing the concept of incarcerated workers and the intersections betwe... More »


"Free" Labor: An Introduction

Published May 26th, 2015 -

This post is the first in a four-part series. On the morning of February 20, 2015, a large number of inmates at Willacy County Correctional Center, a state prison facility at the southern end of Texas, went on strike. Inmate workers refused to go to work at th... More »

May 12th, 2015

Today's News & Commentary — May 12, 2015

Published May 12th, 2015 -

A study reveals rampant wage theft in the Massachusetts construction industry, The Boston Globe reports. Many of these workers are immigrants hired by subcontractors as “independent contractors,” in an attempt to skirt “overtime and health insurance rules and ... More »

April 28th, 2015

Today's News & Commentary — April 28, 2015

Published April 28th, 2015 -

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka delivered a speech today stating that labor is not ready to endorse a candidate for the 2016 presidential election, a message that has been characterized as a “memo to Hillary” by Politico. Trumka said that working men and wome... More »

April 14th, 2015

Today's News & Commentary — April 14, 2015

Published April 14th, 2015 -

In the wake of merger negotiations between Boston Medical Center and Tufts Medical Center, SEIU Local 1199 is working to unionize the “1,000 Tufts workers in service, clerical, and technical jobs, from housekeepers to surgical technicians,” The Boston Globe re... More »


McDonald's to Raise U.S. Workers' Hourly Wage to $10

Published April 1st, 2015 -

McDonald’s announced today that it plans to raise U.S. workers’ hourly wage by $1 per hour and increase benefits by the end of 2016, The Wall Street Journal and Time report (note that the WSJ article is behind a pay wall). The changes will affect workers in ro... More »

March 31st, 2015

Today's News & Commentary — March 31, 2015

Published March 31st, 2015 -

Fast food organizers driving the Fight for $15 campaign say they are expanding the scope of their campaign to other low-wage workers, including workers in airports, on college campuses and domestic workers laboring in homes across America, AP reports. The Figh... More »


Young v. UPS: A Backgrounder and Case Review

Published March 25th, 2015 -

Today, the Supreme Court announced its ruling in Young v. UPS, coming down 6-3 in favor of former UPS employee Peggy Young. The question at the center of the case was whether the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to offer accommodations to pregna... More »

March 3rd, 2015

Today's News & Commentary — March 3, 2015

Published March 3rd, 2015 -

According to The Wisconsin State Journal, Wisconsin law makers will likely vote Thursday on a proposed bill that would strip private unions in that state of their ability to charge mandatory fees of all workers that they represent. Such laws are commonly calle... More »

February 17th, 2015

Today's News & Commentary — February 17, 2015

Published February 17th, 2015 -

In continued coverage of the West Coast seaport labor dispute, Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is meeting with negotiators on both sides of the dispute today in San Francisco, The Washington Post reports. Negotiations between dockworkers and their e... More »