Topics Labor
Stay Focused
Sign up for our free newsletter, and we'll make sure you never miss a beat.
Photo of benefit workers' protest outside their office building in Syracuse
Workers Blame Low Pay and Understaffing for New York’s Benefits Backlog

Some counties pay social services workers so little, the people who administer benefits end up applying themselves.

Alex Lubben   ·   June 5, 2023
Hochul Calls for Rail Safety Regulations — After Vetoing Keystone Rail Safety Bill
In December, the governor vetoed legislation requiring freight trains to be staffed with at least two crew members. Rail workers say it’s a bare minimum for safety.
Julia Rock   ·   February 28, 2023
Hochul and Senate Clash on Public Power, With Utility Workers on Sidelines
The New York Power Authority manages resources built half a century ago. But a plan to make it the vanguard of clean energy could be hamstrung by labor-environmentalist divisions.
Lee Harris   ·   February 16, 2023
Will Hector LaSalle Be the Next Janet DiFiore?
LaSalle’s supporters argue opponents are cherry-picking his record. But on eight out of nine recent cases, he agreed with the Court of Appeals’ conservative bloc.
Sam Mellins   ·   January 5, 2023
Thousands of New York City Nurses Are on Strike. Statewide, a New Law Drove Bitter Staffing Debates
The law was supposed to deliver safer staffing ratios. Instead, it raised tensions at one in four New York hospitals.
Maxwell Parrott   ·   January 5, 2023
As Hochul’s Deadline Nears, Law Professors Urge Against ‘Activist Conservative’ for Chief Judge
Dozens of law professors are raising the alarm over Judge Hector LaSalle’s rulings on ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ and union protections. Hispanic and Latino lawyers’ groups say his appointment would be a win for diversity.
Sam Mellins   ·   December 19, 2022
Here’s Every Bill Hochul Hasn’t Signed
The governor has three weeks and 265 potential laws to consider. New York Focus compiled them all.
New York Focus   ·   December 12, 2022
Mayor Issues Ultimatum on Retiree Health Care, Seeking End to Standoff
The City Council must enable budget-cutting new health insurance options for retirees, warns Eric Adams’s chief labor negotiator — or City Hall will eliminate existing insurance plans.
Sam Mellins   ·   October 31, 2022
Home Care Workers Battle Their Own Union on 24-Hour Shifts
1199 SIEU says it wants to end 24-hour shifts - but it has opposed city and state bills that would do so, and some question the sincerity of its objections.
Maxwell Parrott   ·   September 28, 2022
Adams and Unions Strike Deal on Shift to Cost-Cutting Medicare Plan
The mayor and major city unions plan to press the City Council to clear a path for a privatized Medicare plan for retired city workers.
Sam Mellins   ·   September 8, 2022
Medicare Standoff Threatens Cuts to Current City Workers’ Benefits
The cancellation of a proposed cost-saving health plan after retired city workers sued could drain a special fund City Hall and unions use to pay employee benefits.
Sam Mellins   ·   August 10, 2022
Amazon Likely To Win Nine-Figure Tax Break To Build Western New York Warehouse
The deal has been two years in the making, but it’s been a secret for most of that time.
Julia Rock   ·   August 9, 2022
Is Eric Adams About to Gut the Nation’s Most Important Local Climate Law?
Enormous pollution cuts and tens of thousands of jobs depend on how Adams implements New York City’s landmark climate law in the coming months.
Pete Sikora   ·   July 26, 2022
Health Insurers Just Killed The Medicare Plan City Retirees Railed Against
With the plan tied up in court, insurers Elevance Health and Empire BlueCross BlueShield pulled out of a controversial deal to switch retired city workers to privately run health insurance.
Sam Mellins   ·   July 19, 2022
A New Conservative Majority on New York’s Top Court is Upending State Law
A new four-judge bloc has consistently voted together in its most recent term, impacting criminal defendants, workers and people suing police.
Sam Mellins   ·   July 7, 2022
Robert De Niro’s Astoria Film Studio Backs Out of Promise to Hire Union Construction Workers
“We’re basically being blocked out in the process of even trying to bid on the work,” said one union leader.
Sam Mellins   ·   June 22, 2022
City Employee Health Plan Could Switch to Lower-Cost Company Under New Proposal
Hundreds of thousands of city workers and their dependents could have their healthcare shifted to a cheaper plan by 2024, documents show.
Sam Mellins   ·   June 15, 2022
Our Group of Freelancers Took on Albany’s Byzantine Legislative Process. Here’s How We Won.
An organizer for the Freelance Solidarity Project describes how getting a bill passed through Albany takes “running into a brick wall repeatedly, waiting for a tiny crack to show.”
Eric Thurm   ·   June 15, 2022
Electrical Workers Union Fights to Expand Fossil Fuel-Powered Crypto Mining in New York
The IBEW opposes a bill awaiting signature by Gov. Kathy Hochul that would put a moratorium on new fossil fuel power plants for the crypto industry.
Paige Oamek   ·   June 14, 2022
New York Labor Bills Are Stuck in Limbo
The Assembly Labor Committee has emerged as a bottleneck for unions’ top legislative priorities.
Maxwell Parrott   ·   May 31, 2022
1 2 3