The American Red Cross says a $200 million budget deficit means it must cut a thousand jobs The red Cross is 126 years old and has had funding issues ever since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when it set aside $200 million in donations for “future terrorist attacks”.
The lawsuit brought by a Nevada teacher’s union questioning the legitimacy of casinos being used as caucus sites goes before a judge today. Jesse Russell reports:
In March of 2007 Democratic presidential campaigns representatives and party officials met to determine how best set up the state’s caucus sites so they could accommodate the thousands of employees who work in downtown Las Vegas on Saturdays. The agreement allows for shift workers within two and a half miles of the Vegas Strip to attend caucuses being held at casinos in the area. Two days after the Culinary Workers endorsed Senator Barack Obama the Nevada State Teachers Union filed a lawsuit questioning the legitimacy of the at-large voting precincts.
By Doug Cunningham
Armed with a Presidential Emergency Board recommendation that Amtrak essentially agree to the union position, bargaining resumed Wednesday between Amtrak and several unions. Because Amtrak took a take it or leave it stance refusing to bargain in good faith, workers have gone eight years without a new contract agreement. If they can’t agree to a contract there could be a nationwide Amtrak strike January 30th. Don Griffin is Director of Strategic Coordination and Research for the Teamsters’ Brotherhood of Maintenance and Way.
[Griffin]: “It would effect freight railroad. It would be a nationwide strike. It would have impact on the freight railroads and it would have a substantial effect on commuter operations from Boston to Washington, D.C. Look, the last thing we want to do is go on a strike, have a strike. The members lose money, they lose benefits, the public is inconvenienced. What we wanted was a voluntary agreement. And we were just unable to get to the point where we had serious discussions with Amtrak.”
At the end of December, the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) appointed to investigate the long-running contract dispute between Amtrak and nine labor unions came down squarely on the side of the workers. The nearly 10,000 workers have been seeking a new contract and a general wage increase since the beginning of 2000—more than eight years.
The board’s report, submitted Dec. 30, recommends adoption of nearly all of the unions’ proposals. The AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) says the PEB’s report:
is the basis for agreement. Amtrak should come to the bargaining table and reach a negotiated settlement with its unions based on the recommendations of the PEB. Rail labor has repeatedly stated its desire to settle this dispute voluntarily, without a strike.
After listening to the pleas of the families of coal miners killed on the job, the expert advice of health and safety professionals and the strong testimony of union leaders, the U.S. House today voted to strengthen the nation’s mine safety laws.
But ignoring those same pleas, advice and testimony, the Bush administration says it will veto the latest attempt to keep more miners alive, safe and healthy.
By a 214–199 vote, the House approved H.R. 2768, the S-MINER Act that builds on the 2006 MINER Act that passed in the aftermath of the Sago, Aracoma and Darby coal mine disasters and was the first major mine safety legislation in decades. More coal miners—47—were killed on the job in 2006 than in any year since 1996. A similar bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).
Brent Gillette is the state director for Michigan Labor 2008. He reports here on the Michigan State AFL-CIO’s campaign to fight an anti-union “right to work” for less petition drive in the state.
While thousands voted in the Michigan presidential primaries yesterday, more than 3,500 union members and allies monitored polling places statewide for a potential “right to work” for less petition drive on the day of the primary. More than two dozen international unions participated in the statewide mobilization, taking shifts morning, noon and night at 2,000 polling locations across the state.
Last night, former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) won the Republican primary in Michigan with 39 percent of the vote. His win reveals less about his own campaign and more about the mood of the state and the country.
Wherever the candidates go, job security and the threat of inflation are the political topics people most want to discuss. Most voters are highly uncertain about who, if anyone, can get this state moving again.
Romney turned his message to the economy, and voters responded. According to exit polls, 55 percent of voters in the primary said the economy was their most important issue. Romney did well among all categories of voters, but among those whose top concern was the economy, he won 41 percent to Sen. John McCain’s 29 percent.