On the heels of positive news for existing homes sales Tuesday, a new report says sales of new homes continued to decline in February. The Commerce Department said the median new home price dropped to $244,100 in February, down 8.2 percent, and the sales of new single family homes fell by 1.8 percent. The inventory of unsold new homes now stands at 471,000.
By Doug Cunningham
Thirteeen thousand Delta Airlines flight attendants will start voting April 23rd on whether or not to be represented by the Association of Flight Attendants- CWA. Voting will be open through June 3rd. AFA-CWA President Patricia Friend says it’s an exciting and historic time for Delta flight attendants who have engaged in one of the largest grassroots union organizing efforts in the union’s history.
A new report from Policy Matters Ohio alleges that workers in a Chinese factory that makes lightbulbs for General Electric have been exposed to mercury. The report by the nonprofit policy research organization also says that some workers had been forced to work 64-hour work weeks. GE says it is reviewing the report.
The shoe is on the other foot in China where workers are upset that they weren’t consulted when Kraft decided to relocate jobs. Jesse Russell reports:
U.S. workers are used to having no say when their jobs are moved to different states or out of the country to places like China and Mexico, but now, some Chinese workers are crying foul over Kraft’s plan to move operations from Beijing to Shanghai. According to Chinese labor law companies are required to consult with employees before making major changes that may impact the best interest of workers – such as moving jobs. On Tuesday the Chinese labor union representing the Chinese Kraft workers demanded that the company not only apologize to the 340 workers who could be out of work, but also give the workers a say in the relocation process. In a statement from Kraft Foods China, the company said it “offered higher compensation than the law requires, but employees have their own thoughts.”
By Doug Cunningham
As GOP Presidential candidate John McCain scoops up campaign cash from well-heeled Republicans in Pebble Beach. L.A., Newport Beach and San Francisco this week working families will be there. They’ll urge McCain to address working people’s financial priorities and concerns rather than suck up to the rich who have benefited from the Bush economic policies and anti-labor legacy. The California Labor Federation says most of the McCain events cost a minimum of 2300 bucks. The federation’s Art Pulaski says McCain fails to recognize how the current economic situation is negatively impacting California’s working families.
Martin Luther King Jr. was killed 40 years ago while trying to help striking sanitation workers in Memphis gain dignity and respect on the job. On March 31, historian Michael Honey, whose book Going Down Jericho Road chronicles King’s last campaign, will share stories from the workers and discuss the strike’s impact on the civil rights movement during a presentation at the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C.
Those in the Washington area who can attend the event also can take a look at an exhibit of photos and quotes in our lobby that commemorate the sanitation strike and King’s commitment to working people. The AFL-CIO exhibit runs through June 30.
In a Point of View guest column on the AFL-CIO website, Honey says we should remember King not only for his “I Have a Dream” speech and his leadership of the civil rights revolution, but also for his quest for economic equality.
Progressive students have been deeply involved in issues of worker justice on campuses and in their communities. So much so, that those involved are forgoing spring break on the beach so they can take action in support of low-wage workers’ struggle for fair wages and freedom to form unions.
The ninth annual week of action, sponsored by the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) and co-sponsored by the AFL-CIO and several unions, takes place March 28–April 4 between the anniversaries of César Chávez’s birth and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Many student events will support the struggle of tomato workers, members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), who are reaching out to 1 million people to sign a petition demanding that Burger King and food industry leaders improve wages for workers who pick tomatoes and help eliminate slave-like conditions and human rights abuses from Florida’s fields.
Like most parents, Marie from Wisconsin puts her children’s welfare above her own, even when it means foregoing the medicine she needs so she can feed her kids.
Employed and with health insurance, Marie told the AFL-CIO/Working America 2008 Health Care for America Survey that the nation’s broken health care system has failed her, as it has for too many millions of others in the nation.
What would you do if you had to choose between food or medicine? Because of rising health care costs, that is a question that is frequently asked in my home. I work full time and have health care through my employer, but only a percentage is paid by them. I need a better-paying job, but as a single parent…I cannot go to school and work at the same time—I need the money to pay for myself and my two children to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Adding extra things to our budget is devastating.
I recently needed medication for an ailment, but did not get the medicine—I couldn’t. What would I choose? I chose my children and what they need, whether it be food or medicine. I am the one who will go without before they suffer.