A brand new labor battle opens on Broadway as omicron closes exhibits

A sign indicating canceled performances of “Mrs. Doubtfire” due to Covid is displayed in the window of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on December 16, 2021 in New York City.

Dia Dipasupil | Getty Images

After over a year of industry-wide closures, Broadway theaters finally reopened in September, but 2021 did not end the way theater professionals hoped it would. The late 2021 comeback had largely bucked London’s touch-and-go reopening earlier that summer: only a handful of Broadway productions temporarily closed due to delta infections. But omicron outbreaks late in the year stalled live theater. Before Christmas, 18 productions canceled performances. Five shows closed permanently in December, citing extreme uncertainty ahead this winter and increased challenges from the pandemic.

If some shows can’t go on under these conditions, how Broadway producers are choosing to close is creating a new labor controversy involving artists already among the hardest-hit by the pandemic.

Kevin McCollum, a prominent producer of numerous Broadway shows including the Tony Award-winning productions of “In the Heights,” “Avenue Q,” and “Rent” says he remains “very bullish on the theatre business,” but he just made a decision that has theater unions alarmed.

McCollum has multiple shows currently running on Broadway, including “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Six,” but as omicron surged in New York City, “Mrs. Doubtfire” had yet to find its footing.

“Mrs. Doubtfire was especially vulnerable because [it] just opened,” McCollum said.

With no cast album (unlike the wildly popular show “Six”), he says opening the show as cases spiked was “like planting a sapling, but there’s a hurricane.”

Doubtfire was open for seven days before an omicron outbreak in the cast forced McCollum to cancel Sunday’s matinee performance on December 12. Due to infections, the show did not reopen until December 22. During the 11-show shutdown in December, McCollum says the production swung $3 million: $1.5 million in expenses and another $1.5 million in ticket sales refunded to customers. But the larger issue was the shutdown’s impact on advance ticket sales, coupled with negative to lukewarm reviews.

Prior to the shutdown, the show sold around $175,000 in ticket sales per day, a relatively decent figure compared to gross weekly ticket sales during the same period in 2019. After the shutdown, that number dropped to $50,000. “When a show cancels a performance due to Covid, we see an increased cancellation rate for all performances,” McCollum said.

The Broadway League suspended their publication of gross-ticket sales during the pandemic, making it impossible to verify box office performance. The Broadway League declined to comment.

The decrease in box office sales and increase in ticket cancellations was particularly concerning to McCollum as the holiday season is the most profitable, bolstering Broadway productions through the slower winter months. Family-oriented musicals, such as “Mrs. Doubtfire,” in particular benefit from the busy season.

“Especially for a family show, there are younger people who are not vaccinated, and with a family of four, none of them can come in because they’re not going to let their child wait outside,” McCollum said.

He remains optimistic that family-oriented productions will have a greater chance of survival later this spring, benefitting from rising vaccination rates among kids and FDA approval of booster shots for younger children.

But in the meantime, McCollum has made a move that has attracted controversy: the show must be suspended, with a plan to return, but no guarantee for any of the artists involved.

An unprecedented ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ suspension

In a move described by unions as unprecedented for the Great White Way, McCollum decided to temporarily suspend performances until March 15. Soon after announcing the hiatus, two other productions followed in McCollum’s footsteps. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” the hit play based on Harper Lee’s novel of the same name, announced Wednesday that it would suspend performances until June (temporarily laying off the cast and crew), and reopen the show in a smaller theater. “Girl from the North Country,” a jukebox musical featuring the work of Bob Dylan, will also end its run this month, but the production is currently in “advanced talks” with the Shubert Organization to reopen at another Broadway theater later this spring.

McCollum says he’s “not just throwing in the towel.”

According to the producer, the cost of the shutdown will be between $750,000 and $1 million. However, if the show were to remain open and experience additional closures as infections permeate the cast and crew, the production would lose around half a million each week. Between a decrease in ticket sales, mounting last-minute ticket cancelations and refunds, the evaporation of group sales (which account for a large portion of box office sales), and a plethora of costs associated with Covid testing (which average $30,000 per week), McCollum says the show would be forced to close permanently if it attempted a January run.

Other producers have made the final curtain call. Among Broadway shows that have closed for good: “Thoughts of a Colored Man”, “Waitress”, “Jagged Little Pill” and “Diana.”

The Temptations’ jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud” is closing later this month. “Caroline, or Change” also recently closed, though it was scheduled as a limited run.

Theater unions push back

McCollum says the nine-week hiatus is the only viable option to keep the production open.

“I have to figure out a way to extend my operation,” he said. “Because with the 14 unions … we don’t have a mechanism to hibernate. We do have a mechanism to open and close. Therefore, using that binary mentality of opening and closing, I had to turn the show off … preserve my capital, and use it when the environment is more friendly towards a family show.”

But according to the NYC Musicians Union, who represents musicians on Broadway, there is a mechanism for a production to hibernate. Provisions in the union’s contract with Broadway productions allow producers to temporarily close for a maximum of eight weeks during the months of January, February, and September. To do so, producers must get permission from the union and open their books to prove the show is losing money. McCollum declined, forcing the production to officially shut down — albeit temporarily, if all goes according to plan.

The union claims the producers of “Mrs. Doubtfire” intentionally chose to close the production (rather than enter an official, union-sanctioned hiatus) to hide their finances. “Our Broadway contract does allow a show to go on hiatus in a way that protects everyone’s jobs and gives audiences the promise that the show will return. But some producers choose not to follow this route so they can hide their finances from us. Instead, they simply close down their shows completely, with a vague promise of re-opening,” Tino Gagliardi, the President of the NYC Musicians Union Local 802, said in a statement to CNBC.

A spokesperson for McCollum’s “Doubtfire” production said the producer’s decision to shut down rather than follow the procedure for a union-sanctioned hiatus was due to difficulties in coordinating a unified deal between multiple unions, who presented the producer with different terms.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 05: Producer Kevin McCollum poses at the opening night of the new musical based on the film “Mr. Doubtfire” on Broadway at The Stephen Sondheim Theatre on December 5, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)

Bruce Glikas | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Actor’s Equity Association – the union that represents Broadway actors and stage managers – says their contract with the Broadway League includes language from the last century that permits a show to close for at least six weeks.

According to Mary McColl, the union’s executive director, the archaic provision was meant to prevent producers from closing a show, laying off the entire cast, and re-opening shortly after (often in a new city) to “revitalize” the production, potentially with a new cast. McColl, whose last day as executive director of AEA was Friday, told CNBC that “it was never contemplated that it was made to create a layoff circumstance, which is what it is being used for now.”

“Even though it might completely comport with that specific article in our contract, it was never contemplated that it would be used in this way. And I don’t believe that any producer, up until now, has actually put it out in the public realm as ‘this is just a hiatus,'” she said.

While omicron has put shows in a challenging financial position, she says producers like McCollum are using that as an excuse to engineer a new cost-cutting tool: producers suspend productions during the winter months when shows struggle to sell seats, a challenge facing the industry even before the pandemic.

“I think this producer really looks at this as a layoff that’s necessary in the winter,” McColl said. “I don’t think it’s just exclusive in their mind to the Covid situation we’re in, but to create a layoff provision in the production contract, which we do not have.”

She says the move to go on hiatus should have been bargained between the union and The Broadway League (which represents shows in negotiations with artist unions). The union attempted to negotiate, but The Broadway League refused. The League recently came under fire for its disparaging comments against understudies, in which president Charlotte St. Martin blamed show closures on “understudies that aren’t as efficient in delivering their role as the lead is.”

In declining to comment, The Broadway League added to CNBC that it “would refrain from commenting on an individual show’s business model.”

As a result of McCollum’s decision, 115 people will be laid off for at least nine weeks while the show is shuttered; an especially difficult prospect for theater artists who have been out of work for over a year. One of those workers losing her job is LaQuet Sharnell Pringle, who is a swing, understudy, and assistant dance captain for “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Pringle says she had to find additional streams of income while Broadway was closed for 18 months. Now, she is leaning on those side hustles again – entrepreneurial opportunities that include teaching, writing, and editing.

While McCollum argues the temporary closure will ensure “long-term employment,” others are not as optimistic about the show’s future.

“This is either going to be a wonderful idea that helps to keep live theater going during a global pandemic, or it is just prolonging us actually being closed,” Pringle said. “There’s the actor side of me that wants to believe in this [but there is also] the actor who has lived through this for going on two years now [that] says it might be too soon for theater to be back.”

Will the cast return?

It remains unclear whether the cast, crew, and musicians will return if the show re-opens in March, as many are still recovering from the significant financial blow of 18 months of unemployment and may look for work elsewhere.

Pringle is pondering another career, like many on Broadway, looking for work in less volatile sectors of the entertainment industry. “I’m auditioning for as much television and film as I can to get work that way,” she said. While she doesn’t think ongoing closures will dry up Broadway’s pool of talent, she says it will “severely injure it.”

She wants to continue with “Mrs. Doubtfire” but said, “I have to be smart, business-wise, and keep all my options open. … Actors care about the projects we’re attached to, but we also have to think about our livelihoods.”

“It’s been painful,” McCollum said. “There’s nothing harder than working in the theater.”

McCollum says Broadway’s need for mask-less employees coupled with a live performance poses a unique challenge to the theatre industry, in which Covid is more likely to spread and interfere with operations.

Another issue hitting many Broadway productions is the absence of older patrons, which theater heavily relies on. For the 2018-2019 season, the Broadway theatergoer was on average 42.3 years old. Conversely, film audiences skew younger. According to PostTrak’s Motion Picture Industry Survey, those aged 18-24 represent the largest demographic among moviegoers.

Despite the challenges, he insists that his team is “ready to do whatever we have to do to re-open the show in March” and he says those who want to return to the production can have their jobs back.

No guarantees

However, according to both unions, McCollum has not guaranteed that “Mrs. Doubtfire” will return in March, nor has he contractually guaranteed that the current workers will remain with the show when it is scheduled to re-open. If he had closed the show temporarily under the musicians’ union’s contractual provisions, he would be obligated to re-hire all musicians, according to their union, when the show resumes performances.

“Stopping a show abruptly and firing everyone creates a financial shock to our musicians and the other hardworking theater professionals,” Gagliardi said. “When a show closes like this, none of the artists have a guarantee of being re-hired when, or if, the show reopens. Artists deserve a written guarantee that they will be re-hired.”

The unions are collectively perplexed by McCollum’s resistance to working out a deal.

“If in fact, they’re saying we have to do this because we don’t have enough money to keep the show running, and we want to save enough money to reopen the show at a time when we think people will buy tickets, why would they not put that in writing so that the actors, and all the other workers, have some security, because everybody’s laid off,” McColl said.

Producers are also not obligated to re-hire the cast under the same terms of their original contract. In other words, the union will have to renegotiate the contracts when the show re-opens, and the actors could be paid less as a result.

The spokesman for the Doubtfire production said there are no guarantees to anyone who works on the show that it will re-open. “The show has closed. Kevin has said he will be offering everyone on the show their jobs back on March 15, if they want to come back,” the spokesman said. But he said anyone associated with the production has “no obligation to come back to the show if we don’t want to and we are free to take other employment if we wish.”

“When a show closes, their contract ends. Their contract is just negated regardless of how long it was supposed to run for,” outgoing AEA executive director McColl said, who added the union will be taking up issues related to the McCollum decision in its next negotiations, though she will no longer be leading it. “If they are an actor or stage manager who earns above the union minimum, which a lot of actors and stage managers do, they’re able to negotiate over scale. Without a guarantee that they’ll come back at that dollar amount, it’s possible that that producer would offer them less money to come back.”

McColl says that in negotiations with McCollum, the producer refused to put his words in writing. Although he has made a verbal “promise,” McColl says, “there is no guarantee that that’s going to happen,” and that is a difficult position for all of the workers, including actors, stage managers, musicians, stagehands and wardrobe workers on “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

To make matters worse, equity members’ health insurance is based on the number of weeks they work, and many workers will be unable to gain access to unemployment benefits, as some have not worked long enough since the 18-month shutdown to qualify.

Union officials are concerned that other shows, like “Mockingbird” and “Girl from North Country” have done, will enter similar hiatuses during slow months, dealing a significant blow to workers in the entertainment industry who will be without pay and health insurance while productions wait to open in a more fiscally advantageous environment.

The situations are different. Mockingbird is downsizing and moving to a new theater, while the Dylan musical is working on a new reopening plan. Unlike Doubtfire, they were not in negotiations with unions that fell apart. Neither union commented on these shows to CNBC, but expressed concerns about the general trend of going on hiatus.

Producers for “Mockingbird” and “Girl from North Country” could not be immediately reached for comment.

“It’s just a terrible circumstance that our members find themselves in, and the fact that it is now being picked up by other shows is a really terrible situation,” McColl said. “If an employer wants something, usually the negotiation provides something in return for the worker. I see that coming for The Broadway League and their members. I see that coming.”

Missed this year’s CNBC’s At Work summit? Access the full sessions on demand at https://www.cnbcevents.com/worksummit/

Labor unions push White Home so as to add employee protections to Biden vaccine mandate

President Joe Biden watches as AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler speaks during an event honoring the unions in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 8, 2021.

Oliver Contraras | AP

Some of the largest unions in the country are urging the Biden government to expand its vaccine mandate to private companies to include additional protection for workers, including masking requirements and other safety measures to minimize the spread of Covid-19.

The AFL-CIO and about two dozen other major unions representing teachers, service workers, meat processors, auto and steel workers, spoke with the Biden government on an October 18 conference call with White House officials from the Office of Administration and Budget.

“We emphasized the importance of mitigation measures,” Rebecca Reindel, who represented the AFL-CIO on the call, told CNBC. “We really need to be one step ahead of the transmission part of the virus. It takes a while to get vaccinated – we need protection in the meantime, ”said Reindel.

Three of the largest unions, notably the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, told CNBC that they had asked the administration to expand worker protection and urged employers to stop ventilation improve and enforce the mask and social regulations distance. Reindel said companies should also be required to conduct a risk assessment in consultation with workers to determine what combination of mitigation measures are needed to best protect their employees in the workplace.

president Joe Biden ordered the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Department to draft a rule requiring private companies with 100 or more employees to ensure that they are all vaccinated or tested weekly Covid-19.

OMB and Labor Department officials have held dozens of calls and meetings with industry lobbyists over the past two weeks while OMB is reviewing the mandate, OMB records show. The vaccine and weekly testing requirements will go into effect shortly after the OMB review is complete.

The AFL-CIO has called for comprehensive measures to protect workers from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. However, OSHA, which oversees workplace safety, has not yet enacted broad-based Covid safety rules.

Instead, OSHA enacted Restrictions in summer limited to healthcare workers. Most healthcare providers have had to develop plans to mitigate the risk of Covid, ensure employees wear masks indoors that keep people 6 feet apart indoors, install barriers in workplaces when employees are less than 6 feet apart , and ensure adequate ventilation – including a number of other requirements.

The AFL-CIO and United Food and Commercial Workers sued the Biden government, arguing that the OSHA standard “does not protect employees outside the healthcare industry who are at a similarly grave risk from occupational exposure to COVID-19” . The unions specially quoted meat packaging, groceries, transportation and corrections as industries where workers need the Department of Labor to issue an enforceable safety standard for Covid.

The unions and the Ministry of Labor tabled a joint application in September pause the case until the vaccination and weekly test mandate is granted to the Biden administration. The court will ask the parties to submit a joint status report on Monday.

“The harsh reality is that current COVID safety guidelines just aren’t enough and have left millions of key workers to their own devices,” said Marc Perrone, President of United Food and Commercial Workers. said in August after OSHA issued voluntary guidelines recommending masks for vaccinated employees working in areas with high transmission. “What we need now is a clearly enforceable COVID safety standard in the workplace that will protect America’s vital workers who are still at the forefront of this deadly pandemic.”

Perrone said his union is now waiting to see if mitigation measures are included in the vaccine and testing mandate. “If we still have concerns, we will move on,” he said, referring to the trial. The group represents 1.3 million employees in the food, retail, meat packaging, food processing, cannabis, chemical and distillery sectors, including employees from Tysons Food, Kroger, Macy’s, Cargill and Pfizer. People in these industries are largely viewed as key frontline workers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The UFCW warned in a letter to the Department of Labor in August that vaccinations – even if important – cannot remove the danger posed by Covid to workers as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads the effectiveness of vaccines over time subsides and new mutations of the virus emerge.

The AFL-CIO, in a May report, found 1,833 Covid outbreaks, nearly 90,000 infections and 378 deaths in the meat packaging, food processing and agriculture industries from the start of the pandemic in April 2020 to April 2020. A report by the House Select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis found infections among meat packing workers almost three times as high as previously reported.

“There will be certain people who won’t take [the vaccine] and get tested, and if you don’t have mitigation measures like masks then you’re defeating your purpose, “Perrone told CNBC.

The Service Employees International Union asked the von Biden government in September to add additional protective measures to the vaccination mandate. The union represents 2 million workers in basic services such as janitorial, health and other professions.

“Layered mitigation measures, including but not limited to masking and distancing, as well as quarantine after exposure or positive testing, are still necessary to protect against outbreaks,” wrote Leslie Frane, the union’s executive vice-president, in a letter to the union in September OSHA chief James Frederick.

The SEIU and UFCW have also called for paid vacations for workers to get vaccinated and recover from the shot, paid vacations for workers to quarantine and recover from the virus, and free Covid tests for Workers with testing facilities at the workplace. The Biden government said in September that it would also require companies with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for vaccination and recovery.

The United Auto Workers declined to expressly comment on whether the vaccine and test mandate should include measures to contain Covid. The big three automakers have already implemented extensive security protocols against Covid. While the union is generally in favor of vaccination, it rejects it under federal or employer mandate. The union will review the vaccine and testing mandate when it is released, UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg told CNBC.

“We’re waiting for the standards because we have over 700 contracts and we need to go through them and see how they affect our contracts,” he said.

Inflation, labor and delta variant hit restaurant homeowners, Goldman Sachs information finds

Restaurants across the county have been looking forward to the economy reopening in recent months as Covid vaccines continued to spread and pent-up consumer demand was felt.

But headwinds from supply chain interruptions to labor shortages and rising costs hit the industry as the contagious Delta variant tarnishes hopes of a return to normal.

Small business owners in the food, restaurant and hospitality sectors are more concerned than most about the ongoing disruption of the pandemic, according to new data from Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business Voices program. The data shows that 84% of owners in these sectors are concerned about the impact of rising Covid-19 infection rates on businesses, compared to 75% of the entire small business population.

Almost all of them saw an increase in operating costs, with 93% believing that inflationary pressures have increased since June, negatively affecting finances.

The data subset of 117 food, restaurant and hospitality owners came from a broader survey of 1,145 participants in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program earlier this month.

The numbers underscore the continuing pressures restaurants face even in an economy recovering from the worst of the damage caused by the coronavirus. While the introduction of vaccines and looser public health restrictions have brought the industry closer to normal, challenges remain as restaurant owners look to fall.

Ruby Bugarin, who runs Margaritas and Pepe restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area, said both the availability of goods and the higher cost hit her business. Products like crabs are harder to find, the cost of chicken and pork has increased by more than $ 1 a pound, and the prices of other goods have increased.

“In the past two or three weeks, the price of avocados has gone from about $ 40 a box to $ 85 a box. So that’s more than double, ”said Bugarin, a member of the Small Business Voices program. “We can’t do the same to our customers – we raise prices once or twice a year.”

Labor costs are also rising in her two restaurants with a total of 63 employees. Bugarin said she would like to add a chef or two at each location, but instead pays overtime weekly to her current staff.

Restaurant, hospitality and hospitality owners like Bugarin are also more affected by work problems than in the wider small business community. The data shows that 79% of these business owners say the challenges for employees have worsened since the pandemic, compared with 64% overall.

Recent data from the National Federation of Independent Business underscores the labor law issues that weigh on the optimism of small businesses. The vacancies in August were above the historic 48-year average for the second month in a row.

“In June, despite inflation and despite labor challenges, 67% of small businesses said they believed the US is on the right track,” said Joe Wall, national director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices. “That number is now 38%. The delta variant is sure to be the # 1 issue in terms of sentiment change, and then you pile on it, inflation dynamics and the challenges facing the workforce.”

With the pandemic taxing restaurant operators, Goldman’s data shows that nearly 40% of food and hospitality companies say they expect they’ll need to take out a loan or line of credit for their business this fall or winter. This corresponds to 29% of the companies as a whole.

The Small Business Administration recently announced a revision of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for businesses. The credit limit will be increased to $ 2 million and recipients will be allowed to use the funds to prepay business debts, which allows restaurants to use the money on business debts and more.

“At a time when small business restaurants still have extreme working capital needs, these changes will improve the prospects for thousands of operators and improve the economic prospects for communities large and small,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public policy at the National Restaurant Association said in a statement. The group worked with the SBA on the new small business terms.

Beyond these changes, small business and restaurant owners and advocates have urged lawmakers to top up the $ 28.6 billion restaurant revitalization fund. It granted grants to the industry but was quickly exhausted due to high demand.

“We were able to distribute it to over 100,000 companies across the country, but demand was 2.5 times as much,” SBA administrator Isabel Guzman told CNBC about the RRF last month. “There are still restaurants, food and beverage companies that need support. We know they have been hardest hit, and will often be the last to reopen in communities, but they define so many of our main streets.I can’t say exactly what the actions of Congress will be, but the SBA would be ready to take these Manage programs quickly, efficiently and fairly. “

CA’s Finest Labor Day Weekend Barbecue Ideas, Carolina Model

CALIFORNIA – The Golden State may be the top outdoor grilling destination this Labor Day weekend, but the state has nothing to offer like authentic Southern barbecue.

With vacation coming up, we reached out to someone with real barbecue chops for tips on how to sizzle a California backyard feast.

Rodney Scott is a legendary pitmaster in the southeast. He has been cooking whole pig barbecue over charcoal since he was 11 and learned his trade from his family at Scott’s Variety Store & Bar-BQ in Hemingway, SC

Scott is now a middle-aged married man with three sons three restaurants in the southeast which are a must for barbecue lovers.

He opened his first Rodney Scott’s BBQ on King Street in Charleston, SC., partnered with The Pihakis Restaurant Group in 2017, and it’s been a delicious ride ever since. In the same year, Bon Appétit named it one of the 50 best new restaurants; In 2018, Scott was named Best Chef: Southeast at the James Beard Foundation Awards.

Last September, the grill master starred in his own episode on the Netflix series “Chef’s Table”; this year he is a judge on the Food Network’s “BBQ Brawl: Flay vs. Symon”; and in March he published his first cookbook, “Rodney Scott’s Grill World: Every day is a good day“(Clarkson Potter; March 16, 2021).

The book is a compendium of special recipes and poignant essays on South Carolina food and traditions. It’s also an American success story that describes how a young pit master went from working for his father in the tobacco fields and smokehouse to making the sacrifices he made to expand his family’s business and then set up his own business in Charleston .

Scott’s BBQ restaurants serve ribs, chicken, and turkey on the menu, with classic side dishes like kale, coleslaw, and “Ella’s Banana Pudding,” a tribute to Scott’s mother. His barbecue style is “Carolina,” which is whole pork cooking.

“The whole pig is a difference that can be tasted, and the fact that we make it here is what sets us apart,” said Scott.

But the grill king is an easy man when it comes to gardening at home.

“My first port of call would be the hamburger or hot dog, then ribs,” he told Patch. “If I feel like it, it’s probably the ribeye steak and anything cooked over the fire.

“Believe it or not, my favorite weekends are pasta salad, chicken salad, or seafood salad, which is served cold with ribs,” he continued. “My next stop would be a hamburger and a hot dog in that order, both on the plate at the same time.”

But when planning a feast, “the first step is choosing your favorite protein,” said Scott. “Mine is steak, more precisely a ribeye cut with a bone. For fish I prefer fillet catfish or salmon, and for poultry I choose chicken legs because they are juicier and you get a nice crispy skin when cooked over a stone. Go with proteins that contain some fat for more flavor. “

Scott is a master at pit barbecue, which involves cooking in a hole in the ground. This method has evolved into above-ground pits, usually built with cinder blocks, with a grill about 2 feet above the fire.

“This method is the best because it comes slowly and slowly so that the food can really absorb that smoky taste,” explained Scott.

But many Californians use store-bought grills, and low and slow isn’t exactly a forte in the West.

“For people who don’t have the patience and want to grill quickly, I’d suggest a smaller protein like hamburgers, hot dogs, weenies, shrimp kebabs, and wings. They cook a lot faster and are super easy to add flavor, “explained Scott.

When it comes to seasoning, Scott recommends trying the flavors you choose before actually using them. Sometimes you need a rub, but sometimes a sprinkle is enough. Leave it to your taste buds.

“I always tell people to try the rub before you apply it so you can see if it’s too salty or too sweet, which helps you know how much to sprinkle or grate,” explained Scott . “If you want to tenderize your meat, be sure to marinate the protein at refrigerator temperature – that is, put it back in the refrigerator as long as possible before cooking it.”

For Seiten, Scott suggests picking what’s in season.

“Enjoy the last of the summer corn with some kale and maybe a grilled vegetable salad,” he said.

The biggest mistake Scott sees cooking over a fire is not being careful.

“A lot of people turn away from cooking and get distracted and burn the food. Focus on the food and it will be great,” he said.

According to Scott, the real secret to a good grill isn’t that complicated.

“Be prepared to have fun and enjoy your barbecue,” he said. “Enjoy the moment with family, friends and neighbors and serve it with confidence.”

Individuals are wanting to hit the street Labor Day vacation weekend

Large areas such as national parks and beaches are still popular for long vacation weekends.

Thomas Barwick | Stone | Getty Images

A spike in Covid-19 infections due to the Delta variant may slow recovery from the pandemic, but Labor Day travelers looking for a hurray last summer – and with the shadow of possible future bans on their mind – are eager to to be on the way.

Recent studies have shown that this is happening despite ongoing concerns about Covid-19 and related restrictions like mask and vaccination requirements for travel destinations and venues.

Up to that point, 75% of people surveyed by travel website The Vacationer and SurveyMonkey on August 1 said the coronavirus remains a “minor” or “major” problem, according to co-founder Eric Jones. However, Jones said he thinks Labor Day travel is on the rise “because people want to make sure they get something”.

“There is talk of new quarantine rules or bans … so some fear they will not be able to travel again,” added Jones, finding in an earlier poll this summer.

The Vacationer found that 25% of Americans are planning so-called revenge trips. “That means they travel more than usual just because they were bottled at home,” Jones said. “Well, I suspect this is one of the last Labor Day opportunities you have this summer.”

More from Personal Finance:
Here are the top 10 spots in the world for workations
Work remotely? Your tax situation in 2021 could get complicated
New apps bring travelers together with trips that fit their budget and score

In fact, The Vacationer’s latest survey found that more than 53% of 571 respondents are planning a work holiday trip, with 4.03% using public transit, 12.08% flying, and 36.95% driving a car. The result – extrapolated to the US population as a whole – would mean that 137 million American adults will travel that weekend, according to the website, an increase from July 4th and more than 10% more than the total number of weekends on Easter and on Memorial Day together.

For its part, Tripadvisor found that only 31% of Americans surveyed plan to travel this weekend, which is in line with 2020 (32%) and even 2019 (35%) levels.

Elizabeth Monahan, senior communications manager and US travel expert on site, said that “this is pretty consistent when it comes to a long weekend.” Tripadvisor found that 86% of travelers will stay in the US, with 45% traveling locally by car or train and 41% using domestic flights. Only 14% plan to travel abroad.

Among the age cohorts, Millennials are the most willing to travel with 38%, followed by Generation X with 32% and Generation Z with 31%. Older Americans are far less inclined to travel this week, with only 13% of baby boomers traveling.

Millennials, who are often thought to be in their 30s and 40s now, are more likely to be parents of children who went to school at home in the last year – perhaps Monahan explains the population’s eagerness to leave the home.

“This group in particular really missed some of the great memories that travel and experience different parts of the world with those who are closest to you can make,” she said.

It’s not just surveys that show an increasing interest in Labor Day travel, but also in hard sales data. TripIt, from Concur’s data analysis, showed domestic flight, car rentals, accommodations and vacation rentals bookings were 53%, 75%, 62% and 46% respectively, compared to Labor Day 2019 only 33% of 2019 levels; Bookings from car rental companies and accommodation have also increased significantly since the end of May.

Jen Moyse, TripIt’s senior director of product, said the analytical results were not a “big surprise”.

“What we’ve seen in our previous studies is that people are more comfortable traveling and that is reflected in the bookings,” she said. “As soon as the vaccines came out, we saw the level of comfort increase.”

In terms of spending, 39.4% of respondents said they wouldn’t spend cash on travel this weekend, The Vacationer found. But of those who take a trip, the majority of travelers are spending less than $ 500 at 37.13%, while 12.08% will spend $ 501 to $ 1,000, according to The Vacationer’s survey. Meanwhile, about 11.38% will spend $ 1,001 or more. That means almost one in four adults will be spending more than $ 500 this weekend.

TripIt found that travelers stay longer, with accommodation reservations increasing by a factor of 10 since 2019 for both 8-13 day trips and trips longer than 14 days. Moyse also attributes this to business travelers who just want to stay away longer when they decide to travel. “When I get out, I’ll travel as I mean,” she said.

The more flexibility the various hospitality sectors can offer guests, the more businesses these providers will win.

Elizabeth Monahan

Senior Communications Manager at Tripadvisor

According to Tripadvisor, flexibility remains important for travelers; Filters like Free Cancellation, Pay at Stay, and Travel Safe are some of the most clicked filters on the page.

“The biggest benefit people are looking for is cleanliness, but flexibility is also a priority right now,” said Monahan. “The more flexibility the various hospitality sectors can offer guests, the more business these providers will win.”

Later that year they also booked weekend Labor Day flights, with TripIt seeing 51% of reservations in July, compared to just 18% in 2020. Tripadvisor has also seen a trend towards last minute bookings. The website found that 70% of trips booked in the first week of August were for trips within three weeks.

TripIt’s Moyse attributed this behavior to people knowing that conditions change day by day.

“Some of this has to do with looking at the current conditions and thinking, ‘Am I ready to go? What will it be like in this destination?'” Moyse said, citing Hawaii, which eased entry restrictions in July just got to tighten them again.

No escape from Covid

EMS FORSTER PRODUCTIONS | DigitalVision | Getty Images

Three in four of The Vacationer’s respondents said Covid-19 was a “slight” or “big” problem for Labor Day. Almost half fear that they (46.06%) or a family member or friend (46.76%) could get Covid, and 37.83% fear that they could unwittingly spread it. Mask (28.55%) and test or vaccine requirements (20.32%) were also of concern, regardless of whether respondents were for or against such mandates. Only 16.99% had no concerns at all.

Moyse at TripIt said, “There’s still some nervousness there [and] they are still cautious. “

However, this may be due to the surprising rise of the delta variant. “Once the Delta variant has been with us for a while, it’s possible we will see other responses from people,” she added.

“But right now, people are learning how to mask, they’re learning to take precautions, they’re learning to plan ahead, and that’s some of the advice we’ve given a lot,” added Moyse. “Think about how you can plan your trip a little differently than in 2019.”

Top 15 Labor Day Destinations on Tripadvisor for 2021

  1. Ocean City, Maryland
  2. Orlando Florida
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  5. new York
  6. Cancun, Mexico
  7. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  8. Miami Beach, Florida
  9. Key West, Florida
  10. Honolulu
  11. Panama City Beach, Florida
  12. Atlantic City, New Jersey
  13. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  14. Chicago
  15. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Source: Tripadvisor

In fact, Tripadvisor found that beaches and national parks – mostly outdoor areas that became popular amid pandemic lockdowns last year – remain the most sought-after attractions in August.

“When people want to get out and travel, they want to be sure to do so in places like the outdoors or on beaches or while hiking – we’re even seeing a lot of interest in camping,” Monahan said. “Places where you can enjoy beautiful views but also practice social distancing have remained a really strong trend, and we’re now seeing that for Labor Day weekend as well.”

The trend is reflected in how Tripadvisor’s top Labor Day travel destinations compare to those in 2019, when more urban spots were popular. This year, Ocean City, Maryland ranked first, pushing former No. 1 destination Las Vegas to third, and 10 of the top 15 travel destinations are warm weather or seaside destinations. Two years ago, on the other hand, 10 out of 15 top positions were large cities.

That said, don’t expect the city to stay out forever.

“We’re seeing some places like New York and even Chicago popping up again,” Monahan said.

The Big Apple, # 2 in 2019, held its fifth place this year, and the Windy City, once the sixth most popular, retains some attraction at 14th place.

CDC advises unvaccinated folks towards journey over Labor Day weekend

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky advised unvaccinated people against traveling for the upcoming Labor Day weekend as the US battles a surge in Covid-19 hospital admissions from the highly contagious Delta variant.

“Given the current situation with disease transmission, we would say that people need to consider these risks for themselves when considering travel,” Walensky said during a Covid briefing at the White House Tuesday, noting that people who fully vaccinated and wearing masks can travel. “If you are not vaccinated, we advise you not to travel.”

Health systems in the US have struggled with record hospital admissions in the past few weeks, with several states including Washington, Mississippi and Florida all reached record highs in new Covid cases and hospital admissions.

The current seven-day average of new Covid infections in the US is 129,418 cases per day, a 10% decrease from the previous week’s seven-day average, Walensky said.

The seven-day average for Covid hospital admissions is around 11,500 hospital admissions per day, a decrease of about 5% from last week’s seven-day average, she said, citing data provided by the centers for that Disease control and prevention were collected.

Covid deaths had only increased 2.3% from the previous week to a seven-day average of 896 deaths per day, she said.

Walensky also recommended spending time with other vaccinated family members outdoors on Labor Day weekend and masking oneself indoors, especially in public, to prevent transmission.

“During the pandemic, we saw the vast majority of transmission among unvaccinated people happen indoors,” Walensky said. “Masks aren’t forever, but they are for now.”

Millennial Cash: Be able to work for Labor Day bargains

This Labor Day, some Americans will have extra cash on hand for holiday weekend shopping.

Some people padded their savings accounts by staying home during the pandemic. And some set aside the advance payments of the child tax credit they received, points out Amna Kirmani, marketing professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

But consumers who are ready to spend will face the retail impacts of the continuing pandemic, supply chain interruptions and inflation.

Labor Day savings may not be as easy to spot this year, either online or in person. In fact, for some product categories, there might not be discounts at all.

Here’s what you need to know about the sales — and why you may have to work a little harder to find what you’re looking for on Sept. 6.

RETAIL FACES TOUGH SLOG

Ramping up production after last year’s COVID-19 shutdowns has led to ripple effects in the retail world.

“We have consumers who are believed to have quite a bit of money in their pockets, but the retailers do not have a lot of product,” says Tom Arnold , professor of finance at the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business in Virginia.

“The supply chain issues are very real in that the retailers are having a difficult time getting product, and when they do get product, they are facing a higher cost for the product.”

That means some retailers are struggling just to fill their shelves. And if these stores don’t have much inventory to sell in the first place, they won’t be as motivated to discount the items they do have in stock.

Here’s how a retailer might be thinking about inventory: “In past years, I could have 100 units, thinking I could sell 50 at regular price, the next 30 at 25% off and then clear out with half-price,” Arnold says. “Well, this year I might only have 50 units and I might be able to sell all of them at regular price.”

SALE CATEGORIES ARE IN FLUX

As a result, Labor Day staples like car sales, appliance deals and mattress markdowns might not be a given in 2021 — or, not as impressive.

Products in low supply aren’t expected to be discounted much, if at all. That’s the case with some cars , Kirmani predicts.

You will, however, be able to find deep discounts on summer-related merchandise. Retailers will be motivated to unload whatever warm-weather inventory they have left over before consumers transition to fall. You can also expect clothing deals, as Labor Day falls within the back-to-school shopping season.

Promotions are expected to take place at big-box retailers, home improvement outlets, department stores and tech giants. For example, Wayfair, Best Buy and Macy’s have been known to offer Labor Day savings.

But, again, prepare for some of the discount levels to be modest.

“I think as far as Labor Day sales, they’re not going to be as good as they have been in previous years,” Arnold says.

SHOPPERS HAVE TO WORK FOR DEALS

If you choose to shop over Labor Day weekend despite the challenges, here’s how to maximize your money and increase your chances of finding a good deal:

— COMPARE PRICES. Comparison shopping on the internet is the best option for finding the lowest price, according to Kirmani. Seek out deal comparison sites and sales roundups that do the homework for you, or start monitoring prices yourself before Labor Day so you can judge the value of a sale.

— CHOOSE YOUR MODE OF SHOPPING. Browsing from home gives you the flexibility to visit countless sales in a short period of time — and the peace of mind of staying safe during the pandemic. But if you’re worried an item will be backordered, you may want to consider going in person instead to ensure you get what you want. Arnold anticipates the frustration of shipping delays could drive some shoppers to the store.

— WEIGH NEEDS VERSUS WANTS. Finally, consider how badly you need a particular item, Arnold suggests. If you need it right now, get it where it’s available. If you want it but could go without for a few months, try holding off until some of the supply chain issues are under control. Black Friday sales — which Kirmani says are historically better than Labor Day — will be coming in November. But it’s difficult to predict what those sales will look like this year.

The bottom line? Arnold says you can find some “good” deals this Labor Day, but they won’t be “fantastic.”

____________________________________

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Courtney Jespersen is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.

RELATED LINK:

NerdWallet: The 2021 guide to maximizing your money https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-2021-guide

rn//Load jQuery library using plain JavaScriptrn(function(){rn var newscript = document.createElement(‘script’);rn newscript.type=”text/javascript”;rn newscript.async = true;rn newscript.src=”https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.1.0.min.js”;rn (document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0]||document.getElementsByTagName(‘body’)[0]).appendChild(newscript);rnvar newscript2 = document.createElement(‘script’);rn newscript2.type=”text/javascript”;rn newscript2.async = true;rn newscript2.src=”https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/js-cookie/2.1.3/js.cookie.min.js”;rn (document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0]||document.getElementsByTagName(‘body’)[0]).appendChild(newscript2);rn})();rn/********TEST CODE for METER SNOW PLOW ANALYTiCS*******************/rnvar meter = {};rn$(document).ready(function(){rn // console.log(“this loads well”);rn $(‘.js-optimizely-click-goal’).click(function(){rn // console.log(this);rn meter[‘type’] = $(“input[name=”offer”]”).val();rn if(meter[‘type’] = 131){meter[‘type’] = “Premium Digital Access”;}rn else if(meter[‘type’] = 130){meter[‘type’] = “Sunday Print + Digital”;}rn else if(meter[‘type’] = 129){meter[‘type’] = “7-Day Print + Digital”;}rn else if(meter[‘type’] = 128){meter[‘type’] = “Sunday Print”;}rn meter[‘date’] = new Date().toLocaleString();rn // console.log(meter[‘type’]);rn // console.log(meter[‘date’]);rn var json_meter_cookie = JSON.stringify(meter);rn Cookies.set(‘meter_sign_up’, json_meter_cookie); rn rn });rn});rn/************************************************************************/rn // FACEBOOK TRACKING PIXEL #1rn !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s)rn {if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod?rn n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};rn if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version=’2.0′;rn n.queue=[];t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0;rn t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];rn s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window,document,’script’,rn ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js’);rn fbq(‘init’, ‘590074241155998’); rn fbq(‘track’, ‘ViewContent’);rn rnrn{% endblock %}”},”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup-optimizely/start”},{“id”:”limit-signup”,”count”:12,”action”:”ignore”,”mute”:true,”action_config”:{“template”:”{% extends “grid” %}rnrn{% block heading_text %}Youu2019ve read your 10 free articles for this 30 day period. Sign up now for local coverage you wonu2019t find anywhere else, special sections and your favorite columnists. StarTribune puts Minnesota and the world right at your fingertips. {% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rn{# limit Krux pixel from https://www.squishlist.com/strib/customshop/328/ #}rnrnrn{% endblock %}”},”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup/start”},{“id”:”meter-desktop-331″,”count”:10,”action”:”ignore”,”mute”:false,”action_config”:false,”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/meter-desktop-331/start”},{“id”:”PDA991499opt”,”count”:9,”action”:”ignore”,”mute”:true,”action_config”:false,”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/PDA991499opt/start”},{“id”:”limit”,”count”:8,”action”:”inject”,”mute”:false,”action_config”:{“template”:”rn.o-overlay,rn.o-overlay * {rn display: block;rn box-sizing: border-box;rn}rnrn.o-overlay {rn position: fixed;rn top: 0;rn left: 0;rn width: 100%;rn height: 100%;rn font-size:14px;rn background: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8);rn z-index: 999999;rn opacity:1;rn transition:all .01s;rn}rn.o-overlay h1 {rn font-family:popular-bold, ‘Popular’;rn font-size:28px;rn}rnrn.o-modal {rn width: 100%;rn max-height: 100vh;rn overflow: auto;rn position: absolute;rn top: 50%;rn left: 0;rn -webkit-transform: translateY(-50%);rn transform: translateY(-50%);rn}rn.o-modal-middle {rn padding:5px 5px;rn position:relative;rn background:#F6E463;rn text-align:center;rn border-top:1px solid rgb(246, 228, 99);rn -webkit-box-shadow:0px 0px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0);rn box-shadow:0px 0px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0);rn}rn.o-modal-inner {rn background: #ffffff;rn margin: 0 auto;rn width: 100%;rn max-width: 600px;rn position: relative;rn}rnrn.o-button {rn display: inline-block;rn font: bold 18px/1 Whitney, sans-serif;rn margin: 0;rn padding: 0;rn border: none;rn text-decoration: none;rn color: #fff;rn background: #00824A;rn padding: 15px 20px;rn border-radius: 4px;rn border: 2px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.1);rn -webkit-transition: all .1s;rn transition: all .1s;rn cursor: pointer;rn text-shadow: 0 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2);rn}rn.o-button:hover {rn text-decoration: none;rn color: #fff;rn border-color: transparent;rn background: #00824A;rn opacity:0.9;rn}rn.o-cta {rntfont:bold 38px/1 Whitney, sans-serif;rntcolor:#00824A;rntpadding:5px 0px;rntdisplay:block;rnttext-align:center;rntoverflow:hidden;rntcursor:defaultrn}rn.o-block {rn text-align: center;rn font-family:’Whitney’,sans-serif;rn}rn.o-block img {rn width: 150px;rn height: auto;rn display: block;rn margin: 0 auto 10px;rn}rn.o-block .text-left {rn text-align:left;rn}rn.o-block.pad {rn padding: 10px;rn}rn.o-block.pad-top {rn padding-top: 30px;rn}rn.o-block.pad-right {rn padding-right: 30px;rn}rn.o-block.pad-bottom {rn padding-bottom: 30px;rn}rn.o-block.pad-left {rn padding-left: 30px;rn}rn.o-block.shadow-out {rn box-shadow: 0 0 7px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);rn}rn.o-block.shadow-in {rn box-shadow: inset 0 0 7px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);rn}rnrn.o-small {rn color: #010101;rn font: italic normal 13px/1 Whitney, sans-serif;rn margin: 10px 0;rn}rn.o-small:first-child {rn margin-top: 0;rn}rn.o-small:last-child {rn margin-bottom: 0;rn}rn.o-small.left {rn text-align: left;rn}rnrn.o-small a {rn display: inline-block;rn color: inherit;rn text-decoration: underline;rn}rn.o-small a:hover {rn color: black;rn text-decoration: underline;rn}rnrn.o-bg-green {rn background:#86cff2;rn color:#ffffff;rn}rnrn.o-info {rn display:inline-block;rn position:absolute;rn bottom:20px;rn right:20px;rn overflow:visible;rn z-index:1;rn}rn.o-info:hover {rn padding-left:2em;rn padding-top:2em;rn}rn.o-info:hover div {rn display:block;rn}rn.o-info button {rn width:1.5em;rn height:1.5em;rn border-radius:100%;rn font-weight:bold;rn line-height:1.5em;rn padding:0;rn margin:0;rn border:0;rn text-align:center;rn font-size:1em;rn tbackground:#F6E463;rn}rn.o-info div {rn background:#F5F5F5;rn position:absolute;rn right:1.5em;rn bottom:1.5em;rn box-shadow:0 0 10px rgba(0,0,0,.5);rn padding:20px;rn font-size:12px;rn line-height:1.3;rn display:none;rn width:300px;rn border-radius:7px 7px 0 7pxrn}rn.o-info div a {rn text-decoration:underline;rn color:#005776;rn}rn }rnrnrnrnrnrn rn rn rn Premium Digital Access
starting at 99u00a2 rn trn SUBSCRIBErn Already a subscriber? Log in.rn rn All Star Tribune readers without a Digital Access subscription are given a limited number of complimentary articles every 30 days. Once the article limit is reached we ask readers to purchase a subscription including Digital Access to continue reading. Digital Access is included in all multi-day paper home delivery, Sunday + Digital, and Premium Digital Access subscriptions. After the 1 month Premium Digital Access introductory period you will be charged at a rate of $14.99 per month. You can see all subscription options or login to an existing subscription herern rn ?rn rn rn rn rnrn”},”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit/start”},{“id”:”nag”,”count”:7,”action”:”lightbox”,”mute”:true,”action_config”:{“height”:null,”width”:”630px”,”redirect_on_close”:null,”template”:”{% extends “shell” %}rnrn{% block substyles %}rnrn .nag {rn padding:0;rn }rn .nag-inner {rn padding:0 20px 50px;rn }rn .nag img {rn width:auto;rn margin:0 auto;rn }rn .nag h1 {rn margin-top:-20px;rn text-transform:uppercase;rn color:#61bf1a;rn text-align:center;rn font:normal 26px/1 ‘Popular bold’, serif;rn }rn .nag h2 {rn font:bold 28px/1 ‘Benton Sans’, sans-serif;rn font-style:italic;rn text-align:center;rn }rn .nag-status {rn text-align:left;rn background:#f5f5f5 url(“{{ static_url(‘img-icon-warning.png’) }}”) 12px 10px no-repeat;rn padding:12px 35px 10px;rn margin-bottom:65px;rn }rn .nag-status p {rn display:inline-block;rn margin-bottom:0;rn font:normal 14px/1 ‘Benton Sans’, sans-serif;rn font-style:italic;rn }rn .nag-status p:first-child {rn color:#ff8200;rn font-weight:bold;rn }rn .nag-status p:last-child {rn color:#ccc;rn float:right;rn }rn .nag-status .btn-link {rn color:#61bf1a;rn }rn .nag-divider {rn border-top:1px solid #e7e7e7;rn text-align:center;rn width:100%;rn max-width:500px;rn margin:40px auto 20px;rn }rn .nag-logo {rn display:inline-block;rn background:#fff;rn padding:10px;rn margin-top:-24px;rn }rn .nag-btn {rn display:block;rn font-size:24px;rn padding:20px;rn border-radius:5px;rn margin:20px auto 0;rn }rn .log-in {rn margin:-40px auto 30px;rn max-width:400px;rn }rnrn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block page %}rn{#rnrn{{ limit – count – 1 }}rnrn{{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: ‘firstSlide’}, null, null, ‘_top’) }}rn {{ form.btn(‘Save Now’) }}rn{{ form.flow_form_close() }}rnrnrn {{ form.get_general_error_messages([‘authenticate’]) }}rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: ‘login’}, [‘authenticate’], ‘login-form’, ‘_top’) }}rn rn {{ form.login }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rnrnrnKeep reading rnu2022 Log inrnrnrnrn#}rnrn rn

You have {{ limit – count – 1 }} articles leftrn

rn Keep readingrn u00a0u00a0u2022u00a0u00a0rn Log inrn rn rn rn rn {{ form.get_general_error_messages([‘authenticate’]) }}rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: ‘login’}, [‘authenticate’], ‘login-form’, ‘_top’) }}rn rn {{ form.login }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn rn Save More Todayrn

Over 70% off!rn rn rn Star Tribunern rn rn

99u00a2 for first 4 weeksrn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: ‘firstSlide’}, null, null, ‘_top’) }}rn {{ form.button(‘Save Now’, ‘btn nag-btn’) }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn rnrn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rnrn{% endblock %}”},”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/nag/start”},{“id”:”x”,”count”:4,”action”:”ignore”,”mute”:true,”action_config”:false,”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/x/start”},{“id”:”multi-start”,”count”:3,”action”:”fly_in”,”mute”:true,”action_config”:{“location”:”bottom_left”,”slide_direction”:”bottom”,”group_id”:null,”display_delay”:”0″,”collapse_delay”:”10″,”template”:”rn.fly-in-group,rn.fly-in-group *,rn.fly-in-group *:before,rn.fly-in-group *:after {rn box-sizing:border-box;rn -moz-box-sizing:border-box;rn -webkit-box-sizing:border-box;rn box-sizing:border-box;rn -webkit-text-size-adjust:none;rn margin:0;rn padding:0;rn}rn.fly-in-group {rn position:relative;rn width:300px;rn background:#484848;rn box-shadow:0 0 10px rgba(0,0,0,.3);rn}rn.fly-in-header {rn width:300px;rn height:70px;rn}rn.fly-in-collapse {rn background:#333333 url(“https://users.startribune.com/static/flow_group/14/slide/1531/1624710778/img-nag-savemoretoday.gif”) center center no-repeat;rn width:300px;rn height:70px;rn cursor:pointer;rn}rn.fly-in-close {rn position:absolute;rn top:0;rn right:0;rn height:20px;rn width:20px;rn display:block;rn color:#FFF;rn font-size:20px;rn line-height:1;rn text-decoration:none;rn cursor:pointer;rn text-align:center;rn}rn.fly-in-close:hover {rn color:#E0E0E0;rn}rn.fly-in-body {rn text-align:center;rn}rn.fly-in-body p {rn color:white;rn font:bold 14px/1 ‘Benton Sans’, sans-serif;rn text-transform:uppercase;rn margin:30px 0 7px 0;rn text-align:center;rn font-style:italic;rn}rn.fly-in-body h2 {rn color:#fff;rn font:bold 25px/1 ‘Benton Sans’, sans-serif;rn text-align:center;rn font-style:italic;rn}rn.fly-in-body h2 span {rn color: #A4A4A4;rn text-decoration:line-through;rn}rn.fly-in-start-btn {rn color:white;rn background:#61bf1a;rn font-family:”Benton Sans”,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;rn font-weight:bold;rn line-height:1;rn text-decoration:none;rn text-transform:uppercase;rn border:none;rn -webkit-appearance:none;rn cursor:pointer;rn padding:15px 0 12px;rn display:block;rn margin:10px auto 30px;rn width:130px;rn border-radius:5px;rn font-size:16px;rn}rn.fly-in-footer {rn background:#333 url(“https://users.startribune.com/static/flow_group/14/slide/1533/2757847127/img-logo-st-sm-darkgrey.png”) center center no-repeat;rn height:35px;rn}rnrnrn rn rn u00d7rn rn rn

From justrn

$3.79 99u00a2 a weekrn Save nowrn rn rn”},”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/multi-start/start”}]};

Perry County girl pleads responsible of embezzling labor union cash

LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) – A Perry County woman pleaded guilty to a US judge on Monday, June 28, of embezzling union money.

According to court documents, Linda Shepherd, 54, was employed as the finance secretary of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 14691, the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Employees Union, in Hazard from April 2011 to March 2018. According to court documents, Shepherd embezzled a total of $ 39,491.69 in union funds between May 2011 and March 2018.

“Linda Shepherd used her position as finance secretary to steal money from a union that represents workers in her community,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, acting US attorney for the eastern borough of Kentucky. “In order to enrich itself, it has abused the trust placed in it and damaged the financial well-being of an organization that is supposed to protect the interests of its members. Now she is facing the consequences of her crime.

As the finance secretary, she was responsible for paying the union’s bills and keeping their financial records. The USW policy states that a union official is paid for the personal time he spends on union business. “Lost time” is only paid when an official is allowed to miss work in order to conduct union business. Shepherd admitted stealing union funds by paying herself for lost time despite not losing any wages. Shepherd also admitted that she used union money to pay for meals and pay herself for unapproved services.

“Protecting the financial integrity of unions and combating fraud are high priorities for the US Department of Labor,” said Megan Ireland, US Department of Labor district director, Office of Labor-Management Standards. “While the vast majority of union officials do their jobs diligently and without incident, Linda Shepherd has abused the trust placed in her by USW membership and embezzled over $ 39,000 from the USW while on a salary at the expense of her employer and the union the USW and its members moved in. OLMS will continue to work with our partners to uncover criminal violations and take appropriate legal action if someone improperly exploits their position in the union to enrich themselves without regard to the best interests of union members. “

Shepherd is due to be sentenced on November 1st. You face a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to 250,000 US dollars.

The investigation was carried out by the Ministry of Labor.

Copyright 2021 WYMT. All rights reserved.

Job Openings Spike in WTF Type amid “Labor Shortages” whereas 15 Million Individuals Declare Unemployment Advantages

This messed up job market is finally producing rising wages. But companies can pass them on at higher prices: the beginning of an inflationary spiral.

By Wolf Richter to the WOLF STREET.

This is just insane: 15.4 million people are still eligible for unemployment benefits under all programs, with many receiving the additional $ 300 per week in federal allowances, according to the Department of Labor. And 9.3 million people are still “unemployed” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nevertheless, the number of job vacancies rose into the stratosphere as companies complain of “labor shortages” even though there is no shortage of people who could work.

The number of vacancies rose by 1 million from the highest ever record to a new highest record ever, to 9.29 million vacancies in April, seasonally adjusted and to 10.0 million non-seasonally adjusted, according to the JOLTS report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics today. Something is really messed up:

It does so while the number of jobs at employers of all kinds – corporations, governments and nonprofits – is still down 7.6 million from February 2020 (green line) to 144.9 million in May; and while households indicated that the number of employed persons, including the self-employed, was 151.6 million still down 7.1 million from February 2020 (Red line):

In the leisure and hospitality industry – around three quarters of the jobs are in restaurants and bars – the number of vacancies rose by almost 400,000 positions, from an all-time high to a new record of 1.59 million in April (seasonally adjusted) and rose by 55% from April 2019 :

But even though there were 1.59 vacancies in the leisure and hospitality industry that the companies were eager to fill, the number of employees in the industry still fell by 2.54 million compared to April 2019:

In the production, the number of vacancies rose to 851,000 for the second month in a row, an impressive 83% or 388,000 positions compared to April 2019.

Manufacturers have raised wages, and some have paid signing premiums, and they complain that they can’t fulfill orders because they struggle to hire enough people to ramp up production to meet trillions of dollars in demand in fiscal and monetary policy incentives.

This comes after two decades of lawsuits that American companies have relocated manufacturing jobs to low-cost countries.

The number of people currently working in manufacturing – including the new positions that manufacturers have actually been able to fill – has remained roughly unchanged for four months with around 12.3 million employees, according to the BLS job report last Friday. Compared to the Good Times last month, February 2020, that was a decrease of 509,000 employees. And yet there are 851,000 vacancies that manufacturers want to fill:

In art, entertainment and recreation In the industry, job vacancies rose historically to 248,000 vacancies for the third month in a row, more than doubling since April 2019:

Under constructionTheir job vacancies rose by 23,000 to the second-highest level of all time, below just April 2019:

But the number of construction workers hasn’t moved much through May this year (and down 20,000 jobs in May from April) and is still 225,000 lower than it was in February 2020:

In the areas of transportation, warehousing and utilities Job vacancies fell by 18,000 to 411,000 positions in April compared to the record increase in March, an increase of 17% compared to April 2019:

In wholesale Sector, job vacancies rose 79,000 in April to a record 335,000 jobs, up 21% from April 2019:

At retail, job vacancies rose by 208,000 to almost 1 million jobs, an increase of 27% compared to April 2019. This sector includes the currently hot car dealers, grocery stores, hardware stores and the like, but also the dying mall stores:

In professional and business services, job vacancies rose to a record 1.52 million in April, surpassing the previous record in December 2020 and up about 25% over the multi-year average.

In education and healthcare, job vacancies rose to 1.44 million, the second highest ever after the record in February, and grew 4.3% from April 2019.

In the information area, The number of vacancies rose to 116,000, in the mid-range of the multi-year and less than in April 2019. The industry cut fewer jobs in 2020 because it was able to switch to working from home.

Jobs in finance and insurance jumped back to the upper end of the multi-year range, to 315,000 openings in April. By moving to home office, this sector has largely retained employment, and job vacancies have so far not shown any unusual trends – unlike during the financial crisis up to December 2009, when they almost collapsed to zero.

In mining and logging, especially oil and gas drilling, the job vacancies fell to 25,000 in April, roughly in the middle of the broad multi-year range.

Small businesses have a big problem with recruiting.

A record high of 48% of small business owners reported vacancies, according to the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index today. “The labor shortage is holding back the growth of small businesses across the country. If small business owners could hire more staff to take care of customers, sales would be higher and approach pre-COVID levels, ”the NIFB said in the statement.

What does that mean in the bigger picture?

The gap between the 15 million people still receiving unemployment benefits under all programs and the difficulties companies have in filling their jobs is a sign of a messed up job market.

This already results in a mix: finally higher wages, and that’s a good thing; and higher inflation as companies pass their higher labor costs on to consumers, whatever happens and you can get away with it, and that’s not so good. It is the beginning of one of the mechanisms that set in motion an inflationary spiral that is not “transitory”.

Have fun reading WOLF STREET and would you like to support it? Using ad blockers – I totally understand why – but want to support the site? You can donate. I appreciate it very much. Click on the beer and iced tea mug to learn how:

Would you like to be notified by email when WOLF STREET publishes a new article? Login here.

Drone shots of roofs with aluminum and steel shingles. Get a bird’s eye view of the details of each installation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries