That Union Thing

According to the Economic Policy institute, the income gap in Florida has widened significantly since 1979. From 1979 to 2007, the top one percent of earners saw their income rise 219 percent, while income for the remaining 99 percent rose only 14 percent. Post recession, from 2009 to 2011, the top earners' income rose by over 9 percent, while wages for others fell by 2.4 percent.

College football players at Northwestern University are seeking union representation through the newly-formed College Athletes Players Association. They have requested an election through the National Labor Relations Board, which will now rule on whether the athletes are employees and eligible to be represented. The NLRB will review evidence such as compensation, hiring and firing, and control of scheduling in determining whether they are employees. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which organizes college sports programs, had revenues of $872 million in 2012.

Cheerleaders for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders have filed suit claiming they are paid less than minimum wage. Raiders cheerleaders are paid $125 per game, which cheerleaders claim is a 9-hour commitment, and they are not paid for attending practices or the required charity appearances. One Bengals cheerleader claims she was paid $855 for over 300 hours of work. The Labor Department is investigating the claims.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, last year Florida ranked second in states with workers unemployed for at least six months, behind only New Jersey. From 2011 to 2012, Florida had the longest average unemployment in the nation, at 44 weeks, well above the national average of 34 weeks.


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