National / International News
Tens of thousands of workers have flooded into rural North Dakota to take jobs created by the state's oil boom. Now, there's a shortage of housing and there's a shortage of restaurants. There's a shortage of workers for non-oil businesses. And at the end of the day, there's not a whole lot to do.
Some guys, though, have brought one hobby with them: tinkering with their pickups and showing them off. Todd Melby talked to a customizer shop about one distinct way to show off.
Listen to his story in the audio player above.
Diesel engines can be tuned so they pour out black smoke. In Williston, North Dakota diesel pickup truck owners turn to Mark Pyatt at Killer Diesel Performance.Todd Melby
Todd's series "Black Gold Boom" is an initiative of Prairie Public and the Association for Independents in Radio.
Fast-food workers in more than 100 cities plan to walk off the job Thursday. The goal is a higher wage: $15 an hour. The Service Employees International Union, the SEIU, is backing the workers.
“They are not giving up until they are heard, and $15 and a union becomes a standard of practice in all fast-food restaurants in the United States,” says Mary Kay Henry, the union’s president. Corporations argue that would be bad for business.
The SEIU has spent millions of dollars getting the word out, but it has also asked home-care workers, a group it recently unionized, to strike in solidarity with the fast-food workers.
“I think it is part of the redefinition of what a union really is and how unions operate,” says Thomas Kochan, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
According to Ruth Milkman, a sociologist at The Graduate Center, CUNY, this push for a higher minimum wage is part of “a comprehensive campaign with lots of different pieces” born out of necessity.
“The traditional approach to unionization that SEIU and other unions have used isn’t really working too well these days, and they recognize that, and they are interested in experimenting with new approaches and new methods,” she says, noting that less than 7 percent of private-sector employees are unionized.
The real question, argues Harry Holzer, a labor economist at Georgetown University, is: “Is there really pressure on employers to raise wages?” Sure, a daylong strike affects the bottom line, but, he points out, that is nothing compared to what it would cost them to raise wages and offer better benefits.
Very few were predicting the European Central Bank would cut interest rates today, but cut they did. The benchmark rate went from a super-low 0.15 percent to just 0.05 percent.
Brenda Kelly, Chief Market Strategist at London-based IG Group, joined us to offer some context on the surprising move.
Click the media player above to hear Brenda Kelly in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.