Manuel Madrid

Former Prospect writing fellow Manuel Madrid is a reporter for the Miami New Times.

Recent Articles

D.C. to Decide on Giving Its Servers a Raise

Next week’s election includes an initiative to hike the tipped worker minimum ($3.33) to the level ($12.50) for all other District workers.

trickle-downers_54.jpg The “2026” pop-up bar occupies the basement of a two-story building in Washington’s trendy Dupont Circle neighborhood, where young professionals observe the tradition of the weekly happy hour with near-religious fervor. Upstairs, the parent bar, Rebellion, brims with the usual sounds of glasses clinking and laughter. Head to lower level, though, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks painting, reimagined for a new age. The dimly lit and almost-empty bar stretches to the end of the room. Two servers sit idle on their smartphones while the bartender finds ways to keep busy. This not-so-happy hour is dolorous by design, part of a campaign by restaurant owners to depict a ballot measure, known as Initiative 77 , as a threat to their workers. The measure will come before voters in the city’s primary elections on June 19. The initiative would gradually phase out the District’s current two-...

Missouri's Greitens Guts Public-Sector Unions on His Way out the Door

The scandal-plagued governor scrambled to sign anti-union legislation and a stack of other bills before he resigned.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
trickle-downers_54.jpg In the waning hours of his tenure as governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens delivered on his campaign pledge to kneecap the state’s labor unions. A former up-and-comer in the Republican Party, Greitens’s star quickly dimmed after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced and a felony charge of invasion of privacy and a charge of potential campaign-finance violations followed. Under the threat of impeachment proceedings in the state legislature, Greitens announced his resignation right after Memorial Day, giving himself until the end of that week to tie up loose ends on his way out the door. And tie them up, he did. Greitens signed a staggering 77 bills into law before handing the reins over to Mike Parson, his lieutenant governor. One of those bills was H.B. 1413 , which would require unionized government employees to vote every three years on whether they want their union to continue to represent them. Any union that fails to get a majority of its...

Fast-Food Blues: Workers Protest Low Wages, Sexual Harassment as McDonald’s Profits Soar

At annual shareholders’ meeting, the fast-food chain’s tone-deaf executives fail to confront critical issues facing the company’s workers.

trickle-downers_35.jpg Shortly before the company’s annual shareholder meeting last week, more than 100 cooks and cashiers rallied in the rain outside McDonald’s new headquarters in Chicago’s West Loop to demand higher wages. In recent years, the meeting has attracted demonstrations organized by the union-backed Fight for 15 movement. But in 2018, a new grievance appeared on the roster of complaints against one of the world’s largest fast-food chains: sexual harassment. With the help of Fight for 15, ten current and former female McDonald’s employees in nine different cities have taken legal action against the company over alleged instances of harassment by employees and managers. Most shareholders appeared largely indifferent to the unrest. The topics of pay and harassment did not appear on the group’s agenda, which included elections to the board of directors, approval of new executive compensation packages, and votes on other shareholder...

OPM Director Wants Federal Workers to Join Retirement Race to the Bottom

Few civil servants work for the federal government to get rich, but at least they can count on a decent pension. The Trump administration wants to change all that.

What better way to kick off Public Service Recognition Week than a proposal to cut retirement benefits for current and former federal employees? Before the start of the annual celebration during the first full week of May, Office of Personnel Management Director Jeff Pon sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan outlining the administration’s proposals to cut monthly retirement income for all future federal retirees and to require employees to fund a larger portion of their retirement. The proposals, which mirror requests made in the White House’s fiscal year 2018 budget, are sure further strain to an already frayed relationship between the Trump administration and federal workers. The requested changes would reduce cost-of-living adjustments for current retirees in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), which provides retirement benefits for most federal workers hired before 1984. Such adjustments would also be eliminated for current and future retirees in the Federal...

Kevin McCarthy: Trickle Downer of The Week

The House majority leader is the front-runner to succeed Paul Ryan atop the House Republicans. He’d also be a fitting heir to Ryan’s trickle-down legacy.

“You’ve got to remember, I’m the only guy in the modern era who didn’t want this job,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told Politico Magazine last fall. Nonetheless, Ryan entered the speakership with a clear sense of mission. There were taxes to be cut and safety nets to be slashed. Forced to traverse a chasm between Republicans factions, Ryan considers holding his caucus together in December for the tax overhaul to be the highest point in his speakership. Now, with Ryan’s announced departure, those hoping for a change in the trajectory of the Republican Party to arrive with Ryan’s replacement should brace themselves for disappointment. For the second time in nearly three years, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California appears to be the odds-on favorite to take the spot as number-one Republican in the House. McCarthy has been at the center of the fights for nearly every major Republican piece of legislation and deregulatory effort...

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