An estimated 100,000 Costa Ricans marched on Sunday to protest a proposed trade pact with the United States. Their concern? The Central American Free Trade pact could slash jobs in the country of 4 million people. CAFTA has been ratified by every other central American country and goes to a ratification vote on October 7. In addition to concerns over jobs, opponents to CAFTA believe it will result in the country being hit with cheap imports, like dairy and rice.
Northern Nevada businesses could be faced with a boycott if a group of Hispanics get their way. The group has called the three-day boycott after Immigration and Enforcement Officials raided 11 McDonald’s restaurants and arrested 54 alleged illegal workers. The group is also calling for a general strike by all Hispanic workers on Wednesday to show the strength and scope of the Hispanic work force in the Northern Nevada economy.
Lede: UAW workers are voting on the new proposed GM contract as the union’s GM National Council unanimously endorses the deal. Doug Cunningham reports.
By Doug Cunningham
The UAW’s GM National Council, consisting of presidents and bargaining chairs from the more than 80 GM facilities nationwide, is unanimously endorsing the tentative contract agreement reached with GM last week. The UAW’s more than 73,000 GM members will wrap up their voting on the tentative agreement October 10th.
The UAW says GM gave unprecedented job security assurances in this proposed contract, spelling out production plans for 16 assembly plants around the country. But the proposed agreement reportedly allows GM to buyout and replace at a lower wage up to 24,000 workers. The union’s national GM council met for four hours Friday, questioning union national leadership on details of the contract. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger insists that UAW retirees and workers at GM will be protected by the health care trust fund called a VEBA. GM is funding the health care trust at about 70 percent of the company’s 80-year retiree health care liability. GM will put $24.1 billion into the VEBA in January and will pay an additional $5.4 billion to cover retiree health care until the VEBA takes over in January of 2010.
Even the most history-challenged among us have a passing knowledge of “Rosie the Riveter”—the symbol of the 6 million women of all backgrounds who became the manufacturing backbone of World War II America.
It was an era where most women didn’t work outside the home, let alone in male-dominated occupations, but that all changed as millions of men were called into the military. Rosie worked in airplane plants, tank factories, munitions plants, steel mills and shipyards.
President Bush signed a temporary spending measure today to keep the government running during his ongoing budget showdown with Congress. And he just couldn’t do it without taking another poke at supporters of health coverage for children.
In June, all the Democratic presidential candidates attended the All-American Forum, where they took on tough questions about issues that mattered to people of color—and the the nation. When it came time for the Republicans to take on the same challenge, the front runners were nowhere to be found.
CWA also will host an innovative online poll to solicit member input on the union’s 2008 endorsement. It’s an open, democratic and exciting way to get CWA members involved in the endorsement process.
Rebekah Friend, executive director of the Arizona AFL-CIO, was named one of the state’s Leaders of the Year in Public Policy by the Arizona Capitol Times, the influential, insiders’ newspaper that has been covering Arizona government, politics and legislation since 1946.
The paper says Friend and the other honorees are
…outstanding examples of leadership in the public policy arena. These individuals and organizations contribute a great deal to our community, making Arizona a better place to work and live.
Barbara Stack White of the United Steelworkers (USW) sends us this first-hand account of the USW’s rally yesterday to challenge attempts by well-funded zealots to make Michigan a “right to work” for less state.
In Lansing, Mich., yesterday, an alliance of labor organizations led by the United Steelworkers’ Rapid Response activist network, launched a counterattack to defeat right-wing extremists who have audaciously brought their falsely titled “right to work” campaign to the home of America’s autoworkers union.
Three-hundred trade unionists rallied at the Capitol and then fanned out into lawmakers’ offices seeking signatures on pledges opposing any effort to place “right to work” into law in Michigan.