Lean meanness stalked workplaces. The political and economic outlook continued dismal. But the year was marked by workers trying new things and setting higher standards, for their employers, their unions, and—in the case of low-wage workers—their pay.

Unemployment ticked down slightly, but the jobs created paid worse than ever. Mainstream media reported with amazement that jobs that once paid the bills, from bank teller to university instructor, now require food stamps and Medicaid to supplement the wages of those who work every day.

California Walmart worker Anthony Goytia spoke for many when he said it’s no longer paycheck to paycheck for him and his co-workers, but payday loan to payday loan.

When long-awaited provisions of Obamacare kicked in, the promise of covering the uninsured was blighted by perverse incentives for employers to cut hours. Businesses that didn’t want to give insurance cried crocodile tears, so Obama delayed their fines by a year. But when unions objected that the new law unfairly undermined their multi-employer funds, the administration stonewalled.
- See more at: Labor Notes' Year-in-Review | Teamsters for a Democratic Union