Entries by Clayton Sinyai

Demographic news reflects decline of labor in USA

Two apparently unrelated demographic stories caught my eye in recent weeks — because they both described the declining place of labor in modern America. Out of Georgetown came a study showing that high-school graduates have been virtually locked out of the economic recovery. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control reported on suicide rates by occupational […]

Trading Up? Labor, Catholics and the TPP

The election – with both major party candidates expressing a critique of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — has our friend Michael Sean Winters over at the National Catholic Reporter thinking about trade and the global economy. Winters recently attended “Trading Up,” a conference at the AFL-CIO exploring how the global trade system affects workers, […]

Home Care Workers Secure Minimum Wage, Overtime Protections

In 1975, the Labor Department made a far-reaching decision – home care workers who assist the elderly and disabled with basic tasks were “companions” exempt from the minimum wage laws, much as babysitters were. With the aging of our society, the ranks of home care workers rapidly grew. Moreover, a job category that was once […]

Sad turn at St Martin’s

“The repeated calls issued within the Church’s social doctrine, beginning with Rerum Novarum, for the promotion of workers’ associations that can defend their rights must be honoured today even more than in the past,” observed Pope Benedict XVI in Caritas in Veritate. Administrators at St. Martin’s University in Washington state aren’t so sure. Contingent faculty […]

Negotiations at Catholic Health (Buffalo) coming to a head?

A year-long contract dispute at Buffalo’s Catholic Health system may be heading for a strike. Nurses and other employees at the system’s St. Joseph Hospital have been bargaining since their contract expired last summer; now the contract has also expired at the system’s Mercy Hospital property. Among the key issues: the nurses are calling for […]

Dorothy Day, Servant of God and Worker Justice

(courtesy of Jeffry Korgen) I used to think the word “worker” in “Catholic Worker Movement” referred to the Works of Mercy accomplished by its members. But a new encounter with the thought of Dorothy Day, Servant of God, and Peter Maurin, through staffing the Archdiocese of New York’s canonization Inquiry into her life, taught me […]

Cork Celebrates Mother Jones

Festival recalls native daughter who became legendary American labor activist Back on the ould sod, Cork is once again staking her claim to famous mineworker advocate Mary Harris, aka “Mother Jones.” Americans know her social justice crusader as the dressmaker-turned-agitator who organized colorful demonstrations by the wives of striking miners, with the authorities labeling her […]

Nearly two years after union vote, Sacred Heart doctors still seeking first contract

Doctors losing patience In 2014, Oregon’s Sacred Heart Medical Center floated plans to outsource the jobs of “hospitalists” – staff MDs who oversee treatment of hospital patients. The doctors, alarmed at the proposal and concerned that untenable patient loads would follow, organized and voted 30-3 in favor of forming a union. The AFT-affiliated Sacred Heart […]