Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • Debate: As FCC Votes on Internet’s Future, What’s the Best Way to Protect Net Neutrality?

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    The Federal Communications Commission is voting today on new rules that may effectively abandon net neutrality, the concept of a free and open Internet. The FCC proposal would let Internet providers charge media companies extra fees to receive preferential treatment, such as faster speeds for their products and content. Under previous regulations struck down earlier this year, providers were forced to provide all content at equal speeds. Just steps from the vote, demonstrators have set up an "Occupy the FCC" encampment calling for federal regulators to reclassify broadband service as a public utility, which would allow for the requirement of net neutrality rules. The CEOs of 28 U.S. broadband providers and trade groups have asked the FCC not to classify broadband as a utility, arguing that regulating broadband would "impose great costs, allowing unprecedented government micromanagement of all aspects of the Internet economy." We host a debate on net neutrality with two guests: Timothy Karr of the media reform group Free Press, who backs greater regulation, and Joshua Steimle, a tech entrepreneur who argues the government should not be entrusted with regulating the Internet.

  • "We Have to Stop This Inequality": Fast-Food Worker Strike Spreads to Dozens of Cities

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    In a historic move, thousands of fast-food workers are staging a one-day-strike today in least 150 cities including St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Organizers with Fast Food Forward say workers from 80 cities in more than 30 countries around the world will also join the day of action. The workers are demanding the right to organize and are calling for a doubling of their wages from the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour. We hear voices from a protest in New York City outside a McDonald’s across the street from the Empire State Building.

  • Fast-Food CEOs Oppose Worker Raises Despite Making 1,200 Times More Than Average Employee

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    Thousands of fast-food workers in the United States and around the world are staging a one-day strike today to demand a livable wage. A recent report found fast-food CEOs make 1,200 times as much money as the average fast-food worker, a disparity that maximizes short-term profit while harming worker security and the overall economy. We are joined by the report’s author, Catherine Ruetschlin, a policy analyst at Demos; and by Terrance Wise, who has worked at Burger King for nine years and is striking today in Kansas City, his fourth such action since last August.

  • Walmart & Contractor Settle $21M Wage Theft Suit, Days After Obama Praises Penny-Pinching Retailer

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    Just days after President Obama praised Wal-Mart’s business practices in a speech at one of its California stores, more than 1,800 warehouse workers in the state have settled a major wage theft lawsuit against one of the retail giant’s largest contractors. On Wednesday, workers at three California warehouses used by Wal-Mart agreed to settle a wage theft lawsuit by accepting a $21 million settlement. The workers had sued Wal-Mart and Schneider Logistics, an outside company that owned and ran the warehouses. Schneider will pay the entire settlement. The lawsuit alleged that workers were often paid less than minimum wage, with no required breaks or overtime compensation. We speak with attorney Theresa Traber, who represented the warehouse workers, and Demos policy analyst Catherine Ruetschlin.