By Doug Cunningham
According to the United Steelworkers union, fines against Dupont for misdeeds around the world have totaled $500 million in 2007. The latest fine was $87.4 million imposed by the European Union for Dupont price-fixing of Neoprene rubber. The USW says the fines have cost shareholders 50 cents a share.
A UNITE-HERE strike by workers fed up with low wages against Prudential Laundry in California could continue through the holidays.
City of Commerce laundry worker, Lilia Villanueva was among 50 workers who joined a 12-day vigil in front of the Prudential headquarters in Irvine this week. They are demanding a living wage, an end to unfair labor practices as well as union representation for all company workers.
[Villanueva]: “We’re here because I’m a worker that is on strike, but also we’re supporting our workers, you know our brothers and sisters in Vista and Milpitas , who are non-union workers.”
By Doug Cunningham
[Sweeney]: “In an age of rampant global corporate outlaws the world’s workers must forge new alliances to defend their democratic freedom to come together in unions to improve their lives.”
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney at the Council of Global Unions conference in Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy says workers in the U.S. and around the world have to find a winning strategy to combat the global corporate assault on workers rights.
[Kennedy]: “It is time to stop this global assault on labor rights. It is time to put the brakes on a global economy that creates a boom for business and a bust for labor.”
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The United States has the lowest level of union membership and collective bargaining of any industrial nation—and now the oppressive culture that deters workers from freely forming unions here is being exported around the world.
A study released today by John Logan, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, points out that anti-worker governments are the main cause of the decline in union membership in several countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, but that in the United States there is the added factor of “aggressive and often-illegal employer opposition.”
The intensity of employer opposition and government hostility to collective bargaining in the United States is unique among developed nations.
The union, which represents more than 100,000 members in the motion picture, theatrical and television professions, is the 11th AFL-CIO-affiliated union to support Clinton.
IATSE President Thomas C. Short says Clinton has a record of strong support for working families:
Hillary Clinton’s ability to create real change for America’s working families is exactly what this country needs. She has the strength and experience to provide quality, affordable health care for every American and rebuild our middle class.
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The global union movement began the process of forming a common agenda today on critical issues such as global outreach and organizing.
Global leaders took part in a first-of-its-kind “electronic town hall meeting” earlier this day, with the vast majority—92 percent—saying global unions should target specific multinational enterprises to organize. This vote came in the context of support for ongoing, unified action by the world’s unions. As part of the electronic town hall, participants discussed problems in small groups and submitted solutions, voting on the submission by electonic keypad.
Guy Ryder, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), says organizing multinationals is critical:
“Multinationals operate on a truly global basis, and we in the labor movement must match this by ensuring that global trade union work connects with all levels of the union movement. Agreements between Global Union Federations and multinationals are one major way of ensuring union recognition and rights. We are also working on making sure that global trade, economic and financial policies are geared to support respect for workers’ rights rather than undermining them, which is so often the case at present.”
There’s quite a gap between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to their support of working families. In the past few days, six Democratic candidates have stepped up to support workers at New Hampshire’s WMUR-TV, who have been struggling for years for a fair contract. Where are the Republicans?
In 2004, technical staff at WMUR-TV joined the Electrical Workers (IBEW). But station management still has not gone to the bargaining table to negotiate a first contract.
In this crucial early primary state, presidential candidates have a lot of clout. And WMUR-TV General Manager Jeff Bartlett has received letters from six Democratic presidential contenders: Sens. Joe Biden (Del.), Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Chris Dodd (Conn.), former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Gov. Bill Richardson (N.M.).
The candidates for Grinch of the Year are in—and they’re appropriately ugly.
The four options—Verizon Business, American Airlines, Burger King and Smithfield—are all extremely (un)worthy candidates. But it would be great if another corporate evil-doer also was on the list: Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH).
We’ve covered the chain’s attacks against striking nurses here, here and here. Originally begun in the 1950s by Mine Workers President John L. Lewis to serve miners and their families in low-income communities, the hospitals now are run by a corporation that has treated its nurses shoddily, to put it politely.
Corporate polluters, companies with spotty safety records, big oil conglomerates, banks, broadcasters, job-exporting manufacturers and just about every member of the corporate community has found it much easier to do business in the past seven years. The Bush administration has stroked their boardroom friends by easing or killing regulation after regulation designed to curb corporate misbehavior.
But the Bush administration has a much different standard when it comes to unions. A new report shows how the Bush administration has “shoveled significantly more tax dollars” into the Labor Department office charged with monitoring union finances. At the same time, Bush loaded the office with political extremists who are carrying out a Newt Gingrich/Grover Norquist strategy to destroy unions.