The United States has set its sights on battling child labor in the Philippines. $5.5 million dollars will be donated to the island country in order to tackle an issue that plagues an estimated 4 million children. The money will be distributed between organizations that fight sexual exploitation, child labor at sugar cane plantations, in mining, and in garbage scavenging. An estimated 30 percent of child laborers do not have schooling.
The Teamsters are taking their campaign to stop Mexican trucks from using U.S. highways to a new medium – the Internet. Jesse Russell has more:
The main crux of the new campaign by the Teamsters is to have U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters fired for violating federal laws. Congress passed a provision that should have stopped Mexican trucks from entering U.S. borders as part of a pilot program under the President George W. Bush’s Department of Transportation. The DOT decided the new law and started the pilot program without Congressional consent. According to the DOT, the provision, which was passed along with the Omnibus Budget Bill, only prevents them from using funds to establish a pilot program. According to the DOT they already had a program in place. The Teamsters say the program violates seven U.S. laws and makes U.S. roads unsafe. Mexican trucks are not held to the same standards as U.S. trucks and, according to the Teamsters, the Homeland Security department does not have the proper staffing to properly inspect every Mexican truck and the decals used can be easily forged. In addition to safety issues it raises questions about illegal border crossings. The Mexican National Truck Drivers Federation has also expressed concerns about opening their side of the border to U.S. trucks. On December 7 federation president Elias Dip Rame told the El Financierothat he feared the plan could devastate Mexican trucking.
By Doug Cunningham
At Detroit’s Wayne State University 900 part-time adjunct faculty members are in the midst of negotiations on their first collective bargaining contract. Amanda Hiber is a spokesperson for the American federation of teachers affiliated union representing the part-time faculty.
[Hiber]: “Probably the biggest issue is low pay. We also receive no benefits, no insurance, no participation in the retirement program, no sick pay. And we also pretty much have no job security from semester to semester.”
Talks are making some progress but key economic issues are still to be resolved. Hiber says there’s more at stake with this first contract, though, than just dollars.
By Doug Cunningham
The U.S. Senate passed an economic stimulus plan Thursday without any extension of unemployment benefits and without any new heating assistance for the poor. The package did extend tax rebate checks of $300 to retirees and disabled veterans. Taxpayers will get $600 checks, couples $1200. The AFL-CIO says denying the jobless an extension of benefits show Republicans believe working people should fend for themselves I na neconomy stacked against them.
The millions of jobless workers who are expected to run out of unemployment benefits during the next several months won’t be getting help from the U.S. Senate.
Republicans successfully derailed an economic stimulus bill last night that included an extension of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. This afternoon, Senate Democrats backed down and agreed to pass a House-passed stimulus plan that falls far short of reaching the people who need help the most as the economy teeters on recession.
Working people under the gun from globalization, a sinking economy and a hostile political environment need a center for incubating new ideas and strategies to reinvigorate the union movement. If William Scheuerman has his way, that place is the National Labor College (NLC).
Scheuerman, who was formally installed today as NLC’s president, says the school can play a major role in strengthening the union movement to benefit working families.
This could be the West Point of the labor movement, where all the leaders of the labor movement come through here….The Labor College should be a think tank for the labor movement.
An unemployment check to a jobless worker might mean the difference between paying the mortgage or rent and losing the home. A $500 tax rebate check to a low-income worker, senior citizen or disabled vet might the mean the difference between food on the table and going hungry.
But to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), they’re nothing more than “legislative goodies.”
Lucye Millerand, president of the Union of Rutgers Administrators-AFT, responds to a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post by former Bush adviser Lawrence Lindsey, in which he opposes the Employee Free Choice Act. In the column, Lindsey claims workers will be open to intimidation if they are allowed to freely choose how they want to form a union.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so when I saw the editorial by Lawrence Lindsey on the Employee Free Choice Act, I started to wonder. Who is this crusader for justice, so concerned about my rights as a worker?