By Jesse Russell
Happy Thanksgiving, let’s celebrate by paying an extra 20 cents per gallon at the pump. That is what holiday travelers are likely to feel in their wallet as they make trips to visit friends and relatives. Guy Caruso, head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration said pump costs will likely jump by 20 cents per gallon over the next two or three weeks – to the highest consumers have ever paid over Thanksgiving weekend. If that happens then a second record will be also be broken – it will be the highest average for gasoline prices on record.
SEIU Houston janitors will soon celebrate a triumphant anniversary.
Next week will mark the historic victory in which SEIU janitors in Houston won their first contract. On the heels of this anniversary, janitors along with their families and community supporters announced the launch of yet another campaign in the Lone Star State. Their target this time, as activist Maria Jimenez shares, is ARAMARK.
[Jimenez]: “Today, we are inspired to see ARAMARK workers taking on their own fight for a better future. Just as we stood with Houston janitors, we
are readyto stand beside ARAMARK workers!”
By Doug Cunningham
[Brooks]: “This is the agency that is supposed to be protecting employee rights. And instead of protecting employee rights they are violating the law themselves.”
Eric Brooks, President of the National Labor Relations Board union. The Bush National Labor relations Board is guilty of violating federal labor law for refusing to bargain with the union. That’s according to a Federal Labor Relations Authority judge. The NLRB is illegally refusing to bargain with a consolidated union bargaining unit representing a thousand NLRB workers. The NLRB is supposed to uphold the rights of workers to collectively bargain, but instead is violating it’s own workers labor rights. Brooks says if NLRB General Counsel Ronald Meisburg can’t obey labor law as he’s sworn to do or hit the road.
On the eve of a major national protest against the policies of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the union movement is making good on its pledge to make passage of the Employee Free Choice Act a major issue in the 2008 elections.
Last week, Alaska AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami and local Electrical Workers leader Larry Bell delibered 250 handwritten letters to the state offices of Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ted Stevens, both Republicans. They told the senators’ staffs to expect to hear more from Alaska’s working families about the importance of the Employee Free Choice Act.
That kind of mobilization is spreading across the country as momentum grows to elect a Congress and president who will honor the freedom of working people to choose a union without employer interference.
It sounds like a scene from a gangster movie, but the reality is that nurses fighting for a fair contract at Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) face the prospect of violence simply for speaking out for a fair deal and a chance to give better care to their patients.
Nearly 700 nurses, members of the United American Nurses (UAN), have been on strike since Oct. 1 at nine ARH hospitals facilities in Kentucky and West Virginia. ARH hired replacement nurses and is housing them in vacant wings of the hospitals. Now the striking nurses say the company has stepped up its efforts to intimidate them by hiring security guards who routinely harass them and use video cameras to spy on them. And more: Over the weekend, a union representative’s car was burned just minutes after he got off the picket line in Beckley, W. Va.
One-third of Americans today are “downwardly mobile,” making less than their parents and falling behind their parents’ economic status. African Americans are particularly vulnerable to tumbling down the economic ladder.
Overall, 33 percent of us are doing less well than our parents—but a shocking 45 percent of African Americans who were born in the late 1960s into solidly middle-class families—with incomes averaging $55,600 a year adjusted for inflation—have fallen into the bottom 20 percent of income distribution. Sixteen percent of white children in similar circumstances have fallen far out of the middle class.
After 76 child slaves were rescued recently from sewing sweatshops in Delhi, India, making clothes for GapKids, the Child Labor Coalition (CLC), which includes the AFL-CIO and several other unions, is calling for immediate action by retailers and brands to end child labor and trafficking of children, as well as forced labor, in their supply chains.
The Global March Against Child Labor (GMACL) estimates that as many as 5,000 to 7,000 sewing shops may be operating in Delhi, each employing between 25 and 30 children. That could total as many as 210,000 children.