- Engineer’s Union Wants To Know How Many Visa Workers Boeing Is Using
- Shank Family Puts Wal-Mart Fight Over Health Care Money Behind Them
- Hollywood Sets The Stage For Labor Confrontation Take Two
- “Good Help” Could Be Hard To Find On Cape Cod This Summer
- Flight Attendants Union Standing By Aloha Air Workers
By Doug Cunningham
The Association of Flight Attendants-CA says it remains focused on helping workers at Aloha Airlines navigate through hard times. A bankruptcy judge this week let the company go ahead with a shutdown of the airline’s passenger service, throwing 1900 people, including 350 union flight attendants, out of work. Flight attendants union president Patricia Friend says this is an example of how bankruptcy laws fail to protect workers while favoring companies.
The State of Massachusetts is facing a worker shortage as vacation season prepares to kick into high gear on the state’s islands. The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce is projecting a worker shortage of 5000 to 7000 workers this summer due to the limit on H2B visas. In response, the state and the chamber are hosting job fairs in areas of the state currently experiencing high unemployment in order to fill the void.
Hollywood takes a deep breath as contract talks with actors set a start date. Jesse Russell reports:
The Screen Actors Guild will begin negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on April 15, setting up a two month buffer before the contract expires o June 30. Negotiations are starting as Hollywood continues to mend bumps and bruises experienced during the 100-day writer’s strike that ended on February 12. SAG leadership has suggested that they will demand better terms then those reached in contracts with the Writer’s and Director’s Guild raising concern that the industry could be headed for a second shut down. SAG had been set to jointly negotiate their contract alongside the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, however, the two unions recently announced they would be parting ways due to differences in opinion over representation jurisdictions.
By Doug Cunningham
The family of Debbie Shank is putting their fight with Wal-Mart behind them. Wal-Mart had been suing the Shanks over money won in a lawsuit to care for Debbie, who was seriously injured in a car crash. Wal-Mart this week backed off its effort to sue the Shanks for the remainder of the money that’s in a trust fund to pay for some of Debbie Shank’s ongoing medical needs. Jim Shank says the family is grateful that Wal-Mart has seen their error and decided to rectify it. He said he hopes no other family has to go through this. Shank says the national outcry from the public and from groups pushing for Wal-Mart to reform its health care and labor policies made Wal-Mart back off.
By Doug Cunningham
The union representing engineers and technical workers at Boeing want to know how many technical workers Boeing is using through the federal immigrant worker visa programs. The Society of Professional Engineering Employees In Aerospace says it’s concerned that the drive to increase the number of foreign visa program workers takes jobs that Americans could be doing. Union executive director Ray Goforth says companies are adding visa program workers more from a drive to lower labor costs than from real need for the skills.
More than a thousand union members from around Pennsylvania have gathered in Philadelphia this week for the 38th annual Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Convention, where they heard from both Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the two contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Focusing on this fall’s elections, workers are discussing the key issues in play and getting ready for the unprecedented mobilization of hundreds of thousands of union members across the state.
Clinton and Obama are trying to make their case to workers as the crucial April 22 Pennsylvania primary approaches. Union members have come out to vote in huge numbers this primary season, contributing to record-breaking turnout numbers.
The highest priority of the union movement is help more workers join unions and, in doing so, to open the doors for millions of Americans to enjoy the benefits of union membership. But helping workers form unions takes time and requires a strong commitment of union members and resources to succeed.
Many AFL-CIO unions have made the commitment to change to organize. The Utility Workers (UWUA) union is the latest in a growing number of AFL-CIO unions to begin an internal change process with the help of our Organizing Department to organize more effectively, win bigger campaigns outside the broken National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) system and increase density in their core industry.
Here’s a podcast that probably isn’t downloaded to many executive iPods or streamed on CEO laptops—Corporate Watchdog Radio. The show’s latest installment recaps the recent Investor Summit on Climate Risk held at the United Nations and includes a segment featuring AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and his call to link the fight to stop global warming to social justice and a fair global economy.
Corporate Watchdog Radio is a half-hour weekly radio show and an audio/video podcast designed for financial professionals, corporate social responsibility activists and investors concerned about the social ethics and environmental impact of the corporations in their portfolios.
Elizabeth Edwards says voters should take a close look at Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain’s plan, one she says is far from the “straight talk” McCain so frequently claims he’s all about.
Edwards’ concern over the future of the nation’s health care system is shared by most of those who, like Donna in Florida and Cathey in New York, recently took the AFL-CIO/Working America 2008 Health Care for America Survey. Of the more than 26,000 people who completed our survey, nearly 7,500 respondents took the time to write about their personal health care experiences. Some 79 percent of respondents say that come November, candidates who can best fix the nation’s broken health care system will be a major factor in who gets their vote.