Labor

Dennis S. Hurd / Flickr Creative Commons

This story was updated at 5:44 p.m.:

An Allegiant Air pilots' strike was averted after a judge blocked the walkout late Wednesday afternoon. The strike was set to happen Thursday.

Original post:

Allegiant Air passengers may have to make alternate travel plans because the budget airlines' pilots plan to strike beginning Thursday. The strike could impact flights across the country, including in Idaho.

ProPublica / http://bit.ly/1Bkivmf

Investigative news outlet ProPublica partnered with NPR to compile a trove of data about workers compensation laws across the country. Their findings paint a vivid picture of how workers comp – established to ensure injured workers get the medical help they need after getting hurt on the job – has been significantly eroded by state legislatures, and how the scaling back of those benefits has impacted workers.

Washington State Department Of Transportation / Flickr Creative Commons

The continuing labor dispute between a West Coast dock workers union and the Pacific Maritime Association is causing headaches for Idaho businesses. Twenty-nine ports in California, Oregon and Washington have been impacted by shutdowns.

tdlucas5000 / Flickr Creative Commons

Farmers in Idaho say hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of beef, potatoes, apples, cheese and other products are languishing in storage because of problems at West Coast ports. The state’s agriculture officials are trying to pressure dock workers and their bosses to resolve a labor dispute and resume normal operations.

Idaho potato farmers say the port delays have prompted some overseas customers to cancel their orders altogether.

Jim Mertz of the Symms Fruit Company in Caldwell says only about 20 percent of their shipments this fall made it out of port on schedule.

money, wages
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

The minimum wage goes up Wednesday in 13 states. Idaho isn’t one of them, but some of its neighbors are.

Washington and Oregon already have the first and second highest minimum wages in the country at $9.19 and $8.95 respectively. And, effective January 1, the lowest paid workers in Washington must get $9.32 an hour, and $9.10 in Oregon.

Northwest farmers hired significantly more foreign guest workers this season under a special immigration program.

Nick/KC7CBF / Flickr

Human trafficking happens in Idaho. But it's unclear how big the problem is. So Sara Thomas is trying to find out. 

She's the state Appellate Public Defender and a member of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Commission.  Thomas says it’s tough to put numbers to human trafficking because most of the crimes are reported as something else.

“What happens is, they’re charged as sex crimes or they’re charged as violent crimes but they’re not necessarily labeled as human trafficking,” says Thomas.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The group that represents Idaho’s school boards asked lawmakers Tuesday to bring back parts of the Students Come First laws. Voters repealed those last November.

The new bill would bring back open meetings for labor negotiations. The same bill would again allow school districts to set contract terms if negotiations with local unions were not concluded by a certain date.

Empty Classroom
Karen Apricot New Orleans / Flickr Creative Commons

The group that represents Idaho’s School boards has introduced four bills to the legislature on teacher labor relations. Two of them may sound familiar. They are provisions that were in the Students Come First law that voters rejected last November when they said no to ballot proposition 1.

The bill would require local teachers’ unions to prove each year they represent more than 50 percent of a district’s teachers in order to have collective bargaining. Another limits labor agreement’s to one year.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Classical musicians in Spokane stood outside their theater this weekend, lifting picket signs instead of instruments.

Musicians with the Spokane Symphony are entering week two of a strike over pay cuts. Five concerts have been canceled so far.

Spokane joins a growing list of cities this fall where symphonies have become embroiled in labor disputes -– including Seattle, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Adam Wallstein is the principal timpanist with the Spokane Symphony.