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Commissioner to forgo pay in NFL work stoppage

National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell will reduce his annual salary to $1 if the sports league has a work stoppage next season, the NFL Network said Wednesday.

In a letter to the league’s 32 owners obtained by the NFL Network, Goodell also said Jeff Pash, the league’s chief negotiator with the NFL players’ union, also will reduce his annual pay to $1 if next season is not played. The NFL also would hold back bonuses for league officials until April. Get the full story »

27.6% teen jobless rate for 2010 an Illinois record

More than a quarter of Illinois teenagers looking for jobs last year could not find one, according to preliminary data by the Employment Policies Institute, a think-tank that focuses on entry-level employment issues.

Illinois’ rate climbed to a record high of 27.6 percent, up from 25.8 percent in 2009 and well above the national average of 25.9 percent. Get the full story »

Only 11.9% of workers in a union

The nation’s labor unions saw another sharp decline in membership last year even as the economic recovery began and job losses slowed.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says unions lost 612,000 members in 2010. That drops the unionized share of the work force to 11.9 percent from 12.3 percent in 2009.

Union membership in the private sector fell from 7.2 percent to 6.9 percent, a low point not seen since the infancy of the labor movement in the 1930s. The steepest decline was among construction workers. Get the full story »

UAW turns up effort to organize transplants

United Auto Workers President Bob King dialed up the rhetoric this week in his campaign to organize foreign-owned auto plants based in the U.S.

Speaking at the first day of the UAW’s legislative conference in Washington, D.C., King vowed to step up the union’s effort to organize the transplants owned by companies including Toyota, Honda and Nissan and said the union’s future depended on expanding its membership. Get the full story »

GM contributes $6B in stock to pension plans

General Motors Co. has completed the contribution of 60.6 million shares of its stock to its U.S. hourly and salaried pension plans, wrapping up the last part of its planned $6 billion in payment. Get the full story »

Britain abolishes forced retirement at 65

British employers will no longer be allowed to force people to retire at 65 years old, unless they can justify the dismissal, the government said Thursday in a bid to lessen pension payouts as Britons live for longer.

The move was welcomed by nonprofit organizations campaigning against age discrimination. Others, however, complained that the move will make it expensive for employers to continue to provide benefits such as health or life insurance to employees older than 65. Get the full story »

GM wants to tie union pay to performance

General Motors Co. wants pay for union-represented workers be tied to employees’ work performance and the company’s financial health — much like the way its salaried workers are paid — in what would be a major shift in how generations of auto workers have been compensated.

“They are trying to give hourly workers the same metrics as salaried workers,” GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky said Tuesday at the Detroit auto show. “There is a big pay-for-performance element going through the company and there is going to be more of it.” Get the full story »

U.S. wages take sharp fall as recession lingers

Even at times of high unemployment in the past, wages have been very slow to fall, but not in this recession. To an extent rarely seen since the Great Depression, wages for a swath of the U.S. labor force this time have taken a sharp and swift fall.

Many laid-off workers who have found new jobs are taking pay cuts or settling for part-time work when they get new ones, sometimes taking jobs far below their skill levels.

Economists had wondered how far this dynamic would go in this recession, and now the numbers are starting to show it: Between 2007 and 2009, more than half the full-time workers who lost jobs that they had held for at least three years and then found new full-time work by early last year reported wage declines, according to the Labor Department. Thirty-six percent reported the new job paid at least 20 percent less than the one they lost. Get the full story »

Supervalu settles Chicago bias case for $3.2M

Supervalu Inc. has agreed to pay $3.2 million to 110 workers to resolve allegations it systematically terminated disabled employees at Chicago-area supermarkets, one of the largest such settlements under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Get the full story »

Continental, attendants reach tentative labor deal

Continental Airlines, now part of United Continental Holdings Inc., and a union representing thousands of flight attendants reached a tentative labor agreement Tuesday.

The two previously had reached an agreement in late September, a day before United Air Lines’s parent UAL Corp. merged with Continental to vault them over Delta Air Lines Inc. as the world’s biggest airline. Get the full story »

Caterpillar, other companies boost hiring overseas

Corporate profits are up. Stock prices are up. So why isn’t anyone hiring?

Many American companies are — overseas, where sales are surging and the pipeline of orders is fat. Get the full story »

Condo of ex-Blackhawk Ruutu back on market

By Bob Goldsborough | Elite Street | Former Chicago Blackhawks forward Tuomo Ruutu, now with the Carolina Hurricanes, has just placed his two-bedroom condominium unit in Lincoln Park back on the market for $499,000.

The Finland-born Ruutu, 27, played with the Blackhawks from 2003 until 2008, when he was traded to Carolina for Andrew Ladd. Get the full story »

AIG to pay $100 million in workers’ comp fines

Bailed-out insurer American International Group will pay $100 million in fines in a settlement with all 50 states over reporting errors for premiums on workers’ compensation insurance. Get the full story »

Caterpillar, UAW halt contract talks for holidays

Negotiators for Caterpillar Inc. and the United Auto Workers are taking a break for the holidays and plan to resume talks on a contract on Jan. 11. The contract covers about 9,500 workers at a number of sites around Illinois and in three other states. Get the full story »

UAW OKs wage cuts at Downstate Mitsubishi plant

United Auto Workers members at Mitsubishi Motors North America’s plant in Downstate Normal ratified a new contract Thursday that includes wage cuts the union has said could determine the fate of the facility and its 1,300 jobs.

Seventy-seven percent of the union workers who voted on the deal approved it, UAW local President Ralph Timan said. He declined further comment, including providing any details about the deal. Get the full story »