Telling little stories about big stories at the @washingtonpost's @TheStoryline. Labor, mostly. lydia.depillis@washpost.com

The strange case of the anti-union union at Volkswagen’s plant in Tennessee

washingtonpost.com — CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - For someone who helped torpedo the United Auto Workers' attempt to organize the Volkswagen plant here earlier this year, Sean Moss sounds an awful lot like someone who might have been on the UAW's side.

Could teachers unions work more like doctors’ associations?

washingtonpost.com — WHEATON, Ill. - Parent-teacher conference days are usually long and exhausting for Erica Bray-Parker, a high school social studies teacher in the well-off Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn. But Nov. 5 was especially brutal. The day before, voters chose as their next governor an avowed foe of the teachers union she helps lead, millionaire businessman Bruce Rauner.

Why public-sector unions lost big in Illinois

washingtonpost.com — EAST MOLINE, Ill. - A week after the midterm election, Gregg Johnson heaved himself into a chair around a rickety table in a shopfront union hall here and lamented the state of public-sector unions in America.

For low-wage federal workers, Obama’s minimum wage order was nice - but not enough

washingtonpost.com — Four days a week, at 4:45 in the morning, Jessenia Vega pulls her hair back into a tight bun, leaves the small room she rents in an apartment in Hyattsville and catches a bus. The bus connects to a Metro line that leaves at 5:08.

Why fast-food workers are suing Scott Walker for a raise

washingtonpost.com — Motise Reynolds's family survives on fast food. Not literally: the 20-year-old and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Danni Espinal, get $230 a month in food stamps for their 2-year-old and newborn daughter, which helps them shop for the basics.

Howard University gives its janitors a crack at the middle class. Now, that could change.

washingtonpost.com — Sitting beside a flagpole on the campus of Howard University, Reina Lopez stared across at a man in a black shirt and khakis standing nearby, her gaze full of reproach. She's spent the past decade and a half sweeping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms of Howard's Cramton Auditorium.

How tipping is linked to sexual harassment in restaurants: readers’ stories

washingtonpost.com — A few weeks ago, we reviewed some new research on how the tipped minimum wage may make servers in restaurants more vulnerable to sexual harassment from patrons, and asked readers for their opinions. We got dozens of interesting responses. Here are a few of them, on the question of whether the culture of tipping made customer behavior worse.

D.C. Bikeshare workers look to unionize - and build a nationwide Bikeshare powerhouse

washingtonpost.com — Most large Bikeshare systems - those racks full of clunky rental bikes parked in docks that have been springing up all over American cities - are far from self-regulating. The number of bikes at the docks fluctuates, with full stations that can't take more bikes and empty ones that can't rent them out, which can paralyze movement between them.

How FedEx is trying to save the business model that saved it millions

stltoday.com — Mornings start at the FedEx facility in Halethorpe, Md., with "The Sort." Sixteen thousand packages arrive from regional hubs in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, get sifted by ZIP code, and trundle through the roller coaster ride of blue tubing that snakes through a giant warehouse.

How Fedex is trying to save the business model that saved it millions

washingtonpost.com — Mornings start at the FedEx facility in Halethorpe, Md., with The Sort. " Sixteen thousand packages arrive from regional hubs in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, get sifted by Zip code, and trundle through the roller coaster ride of blue tubing that snakes through a giant warehouse.
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Nov 21, 2014

Surprise: You can't just break pension obligations because you feel like it. (At least in Illinois.) chicagotribune.com/news/local/pol…

Nov 21, 2014

Apparently Walmart doesn't let media in stores Nov. 27-30, which seems a) unenforceable & b) stupid, since mob scene gets youtubed anyway?

Nov 21, 2014

Media ramp-up from @OURWalmart (Walmart starves workers!) and @WalmartNewsroom (woohoo Black Friday "Super Bowl"!) is getting whiplashy.

Nov 21, 2014

Columbia to conduct a "review" of how bad its football program is. This alumna hopes options include just canning it. capitalnewyork.com/article/city-h…

Nov 21, 2014

Do you have your holiday party invites out yet? No? Why not, slacker?

Nov 20, 2014

I guess it makes sense that people who make plastic bags would oppose a bag tax. But still. laborpress.org/sectors/politi…

Nov 20, 2014

This is the most chilling of the campus rape narratives I've read so far. Frats are the worst. rollingstone.com/culture/featur…

Nov 20, 2014

Smart @Edsall bit on how the GOP paints unions as more powerful than they are. But I wonder if the last line is true. nytimes.com/2014/11/19/opi…

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