UNION DAYS: Approximately 90 workers and organizers of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America, Local Div. No. 128 pose for a picture in April 1913. Despite North Carolina’s status as one of the least unionized states in the country, current-day local union chapters such as ATU 128, have a long history of organizing and advocating for workers’ rights in the Southern Highlands. Photo via the Norh Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville North Carolina

Labor pains: WNC unions at a crossroads

In Western North Carolina and across the country, labor unions seem to be a dying breed these days, and many local residents don’t seem overly concerned about it. Yet WNC’s complex history of unionization stretches back to the late 19th century. From high-profile labor disputes and the emergence of “right to work” laws to the […]

Franzi Charen encourages  folks to "Go Local" in front of Anthropologie. Photo by Able Allen

Charen appointed to Downtown Commission

City Council appointed Franzi Charen to the Downtown Commission and Barry Bialik and Laura Collins to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee at its Jan. 26 meeting. Council also passed a “Ban the Box” measure, meaning that applicants for most city positions will no longer be required to answer questions about past criminal convictions on their initial job applications.

Bus riders push agenda for ‘transportation with representation’ at rally, meeting-attachment0

Bus riders push agenda for ‘transport­ation with representa­tion’ at rally, meeting

A group, People’s Voice for Transportation Equality, presented an agenda for an overhaul of the Asheville Transit System to make it more responsive to its ridership at a rally this afternoon. The group is calling for late-night and Sunday service, more representation in the decision-making process and more accountability, among other changes. Photo by Michael Carlebach

Group to rally for ‘transport­ation with representa­tion,’ unveil plan on Jan. 14

This coming Tuesday, Jan. 14, a group of transit riders and citizens will assemble in Pack Square to call for an overhaul of the city’s system that “prioritizes the needs of the people who use public transit out of necessity.” The group has a 19-point plan to improve transit services and make the management of the system more representative of its ridership.

Living-wage “offsets” are questionab­le

I was deeply disappointed to read Jake Frankel's Aug. 24 Xpress article “Working It: Living Wages are Good for Business” which states “living wage — currently $11.35 per hour without health insurance or $9.85 per hour with it.” This statement ignores the fine print in Just Economics' Living Wage Certification Program, which can be found […]

Just Economics responds

Just Economics is proud to inform your reader that we closely reviewed the criteria with which we certify a business at great length, with a special focus on “offsets” earlier this year. We eliminated any offsets not related to the basic needs of a single individual. We do, however, recognize that if an employer offers […]