Bosses say $600 coronavirus unemployment boost makes reopening harder
CHICAGO — About a month after suit-maker Hart Schaffner & Marx furloughed its nearly 250 factory employees, the Des Plaines-based company called them all back to work, marshaling their talents to cut and sew face masks suddenly in high demand to protect against COVID-19.But there was an unanticipated hurdle: Many employees were making more money on unemployment insurance than they did working. While unemployment benefits usually pay a fraction of a person’s regular wages — 47% in Illinois, up to a cap — people laid off or furloughed amid government-mandated shutdowns are getting an additional ...
Bob Brookover: Ruben Amaro Jr. hopes baseball's contentious labor talks lead to some future improvements
PHILADELPHIA — Sometimes you think things cannot get any worse. Killer bees, for example, had to believe they would forever hold the title of being the most menacingly named stingers in the history of the United States.And then along came the murder hornet.It sounds nastier, it looks nastier and it is nastier.For baseball, it is difficult to imagine anything more awful than the labor dispute that led to the cancellation of the 1994 World Series. It was American greed at its worst and it went on for eight months with the owners even staging six weeks of a bogus spring training before the sides ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Paul Sullivan: 12 questions as Major League Baseball and the players union enter a key week of negotiations
CHICAGO — The fate of the 2020 baseball season could be decided by the end of next week, which most have pointed to as a soft deadline for an agreement between MLB and the players union.Though negotiations have been contentious — to say the least — and neither side appears willing to budge on a fair way to compensate players during a pandemic-shortened season without fans, hope springs eternal that they can reach a compromise and play ball.Here are some things we’ve learned from discussions with baseball people on both sides of the issue.———1. What is the drop-dead date for a decision to start...
Royals won't lay off or furlough baseball operations employees despite MLB uncertainty
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With unemployment nationwide reaching historic levels and the professional sports landscape at a relative standstill, Kansas City Royals ownership and management have taken steps to avoid layoffs and furloughs amid Major League Baseball’s uncertain future.Royals general manager Dayton Moore confirmed an ESPN report Friday afternoon that the club has opted to institute tiered pay cuts at the upper levels of executive pay, including Moore’s salary, to avoid cutting employees.All 30 MLB franchises have taken steps to address revenue losses due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronaviru...
The Kansas City Star
The Week Ahead: Counting the uncounted
Investors are braced for an unemployment rate around 20% when the May figure is released on Friday in the week ahead. What’s less certain is how many people won’t be included in that jobless number even though they have lost work.Instead of focusing on what will likely be a jaw-dropping unemployment rate in May, economists and investors increasingly are turning attention to how many people are considered part of the labor force. Also in focus will be how many people are no longer counted in the workforce, but want a job.That number has more than doubled since February because of COVID-19. Almo...
Michael Cunningham: MLB's labor offer threatens damage to its best product: star players
The latest proposal by baseball owners for a 2020 season is so transparent in its attempt to divide the players’ union that it must be a gambit. Surely, they offered a deal they knew would quickly be rejected and rankle star players only because their next proposal will look good by comparison. I hope that turns out to be the case.But then I consider baseball’s poor track record marketing its product, the players. I think of MLB’s even longer track record of disparaging players during labor negotiations. And I must conclude that it’s possible that franchise owners are so intent on squeezing as...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in shareholder meeting rejects notion that workers were fired in retaliation
SEATTLE — Jeff Bezos rejected the notion that Amazon has fired employees in recent weeks for speaking about working conditions.“We support every employees’ right to criticize their employer’s working conditions, but that also doesn’t mean they’re allowed to not follow internal policies,” the Amazon founder, chairman and CEO said in response to a question during the company’s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday. “But for sure, your rights to protest working conditions, we take that super seriously, and we have no problem with that at all.”That has been the company’s official line in recent wee...
The Seattle Times
Tens of billions of dollars on the line as pro and college sports look to return, with or without fans
PHILADELPHIA — At some point, the conversations turn to money. Talks about restarting sports may start with public health, and maybe finish there. In the middle, somewhere in all these conversations, somebody is in charge of talking about the economics of the coronavirus crisis.These are not short conversations.All over the landscape, the professional sports and big-time college sports, the dollar figures on the line are into the billions. Not just overall, most separate sectors. The NFL has billions of dollars on the line. So does Major League Baseball. Even the Power 5 college leagues — bill...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Dieter Kurtenbach: You shouldn't have expected any better from A's owner John Fisher
It was Black Tuesday for the A’s, as the team furloughed scouts and other team employees, issued pay cuts to “a number” of other employees, and eliminating a $400-a-week stipend for all minor-league players, citing the lack of revenue amid baseball’s work stoppage.The A’s were not the first team to furlough jobs in the pandemic, but Tuesday’s moves made them the most aggressive cost-cutters in Major League Baseball. The cuts brought about justified outrage and condemnation from fans and baseball media.It should not have elicited surprise, though.This is how the cowardly John Fisher has run the...
The Mercury News
Stanford University forecasts staggering financial losses, workforce reductions
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Stanford president Marc Tessier-Lavigne wrote a letter to the university community Wednesday outlining current financial challenges and staggering projected losses in the months ahead.Tessier-Lavigne wrote that Stanford is forecasting a “$267 million negative financial impact from COVID-19” between March 1 and Aug. 31, 2020, which marks the end of the fiscal year 2020. Tessier-Lavigne also said the university expects “our financial challenges to be as great or even greater,” in fiscal year 2021.“Housing revenue will be reduced due to fewer students living on campus; income-p...
The Mercury News