Tough numbers for the economy continue to come out of January. A report released on Monday by employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas shows that planned layoffs in the United States sky rocketed by 69 percent in January over the previous months. It also showed that in comparison to last year planned lay-offs are up by 19 percent. The biggest job cuts came from the financial sector still reeling from the collapse of the subprime market. That was followed by cuts in the pharmaceutical industry.
Where does one of the countries oldest and most storied unions come down as nearly half of the states vote on Super Tuesday? Jesse Russell takes a look.
While many unions have come down for one of the two Democratic candidates running for the Presidential nomination, nearly just as many have stayed silent, choosing to let locals decide on their own or not at all. On Sunday during an address before the Super Bowl United Autoworkers President Ron Gettlefinger said his union would not be backing either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as they battle for the nomination. “The stakes in this election could not be any higher,” Gettlefinger told the more than 1,000 union members in attendance at the Washington DC conference.
By Doug Cunningham
The working poor in New Orleans are facing a continuing affordable housing catastrophe, according to the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund. And now the city has issued demolition permits for 4600 public housing units. Malcolm Suber is co-founder of the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund and is active in the effort to stop the demolition. He says these housing units were home to the city’s working poor before those folks were forced from their homes and could still be home to the working poor of New Orleans.
[Suber]: “Those people who were forced at gunpoint out of their homes had legitimate leases to those public housing units where they resided. They were never served with eviction notices, they were just served with a gun to their face and said get out. And their rights to return have not been respected.”
As the TV and movie writers’ strike enters its third month, negotiators are making progress, but there is no deal yet, despite published rumors saying otherwise.
Officials of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have been meeting informally since Jan. 24, the first meetings between the two sides since the producers walked out of negotiations in December.
In a joint letter to members yesterday, WGAE President Michael Winship and WGAW President Patric Verrone say:
The facts: We are still in talks and do not yet have a contract. When and if a tentative agreement is reached, the first thing we will do is alert our membership with an e-mail message. Until then, please disregard rumors about either the existence of an agreement or its terms.
In Hawaii, hundreds of hotel workers on Kauai’s North Shore voted to join International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 142, topping Bargaining Digest highlights the week of Feb. 1. The AFL-CIO Collective Bargaining Department delivers daily bargaining-related news and research resources to more than 900 subscribers. Union leaders can register for this service through our website, Bargaining@Work.
ILWU, Princeville Resort: In Hawaii, workers at the Princeville Resort on Kauai’s North Shore voted for union representation by International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 142. The 320 workers staff the 252-room luxury resort, which will become a St. Regis in 2009. ILWU leaders say negotiations with the hotel for a first contract, which is managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, are in preliminary stages.
Distracted by the race for the White House, we sometimes forget the election for president is only one of many taking place this fall.
In fact, voters this year will see new names on the ballot in dozens of U.S. House and Senate elections—primarily because Republicans are leaping off the sinking ship steered by the Bush administration. Twenty-eight Republican representatives to date, and still counting. That’s more than any Republican retirements in one session, ever. According to The New York Times, the next closest number for end-of-session Republican retirements is 27 in 1952. Five Senate Republicans also are joining the exodus.
With much of the public counting the days until Bush is out of office, thanks to mismanagement of the economy, health care and more, many retiring Republicans in Congress suspect—correctly—they may not be able to win another term. Longtime Republicans members like Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), who won in 2006 by a razor-thin 1,055-vote margin, are leaving voluntarily before the voters throw them out.
In Georgia, Linda is one of the nearly 15,000 people who have taken the AFL-CIO/Working America 2008 Health Care for America Survey. She writes that her husband’s employer provided health insurance for him but the family could not afford coverage for her and her daughter. Now Linda’s husband has lost his job.
My husband now has no health insurance, and he has diabetes. I have several chronic conditions which, if treated, would enable me to take a full-time job. But without treatment, I am unable to work full-time, and unable to do any kind of job that requires standing, bending, or lifting. My teenage daughter gets frequent severe headaches, and we can’t afford to have her diagnosed to find out what is causing the headaches.