The International Monetary Fund has a grim outlook for the US economy. According to a German newspaper, a study that will be released next week projects a recession this year with at least two quarters of negative growth. The IMF also projects the US economy will only experience growth this year of half a percent while the world overall will experience economic growth of only 4.1 percent.
By Doug Cunningham
Union membership is booming in Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Labor Department 85,000 more workers joined unions in Pennsylvania in 2007, boosting membership from 13.6 to 15.1 percent of the state’s workers. Pennsylvania’s union growth pushed the state past Michigan and New Jersey to become the fourth largest union state in the nation.
By Doug Cunningham
Workers for the giant food and cleaning services company Aramark have launched a national tour aimed at probing the impact of the company’s business practices on American communities. The janitors and food service workers are traveling to Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York City to draw attention to food safety and the need for good jobs with health benefits at the thousands of facilities where Aramark provides services. Aramark workers are often very poorly paid and say their working conditions are also poor.
The sky may not be the limit for thousands of NASA contractors. Jesse Russell reports.
A plan to end NASA’s space shuttle program in the year 2010 could result in the loss of more than 8000 jobs. The agency made the announcement on Tuesday and warns that not too much should be made out of them. The shuttle program will be replaced with the Constellation program which is focused on developing spaceships that can travel to the moon and beyond. Many factors could impact the job projections, including the next President of the United States. Jobs could be preserved, even increased, if the next occupant of the White House believes space exploration to be a necessary endeavor. The region that could be hit the hardest is Cape Canaveral where nearly 80 percent of the staff at the Kennedy Space Center could be laid off.
By Doug Cunningham
The grim news for U.S. workers is not just that the economy lost 80,000 jobs in March or even that it was the third consecutive month of net jobs loss. The Center for Economic And Policy Research says the really grim news is that job loss is likely to accelerate in coming months. So for workers, we’re already in a recession. CEPR economist Dean Baker says the March jobs loss report removes all doubt of that. During the months that all these jobs were disappearing workers’ wages grew just 2.5 percent, well below inflation. The official unemployment rate is up to 5.1 percent. Workers hit the hardest include those in auto, where 47,500 jobs were lost since November. Manufacturing as a hole has lost 151,000 jobs since November. Black teens are suffering much more than nearly any other workers and for workers without high school degrees unemployment is at 8.2 percent.
Union leaders in New York state have a unique opportunity to acquire new tools and sharpen their skills through the New York State AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute. The program begins its seventh year of leadership training this summer.
The one-year course covers leadership and managerial skills as well as critical economic and social questions. With the November elections so critical for working families this year, the program will emphasize politics.
The institute includes seminars, individual projects and elective courses. Students begin with a weeklong seminar in July on Cornell’s Ithaca campus. They complete a series of four two-day seminars during the year and then graduate at the conclusion of the second weeklong seminar the following July. Some of the seminar topics include Internal Organizing, Communications Skills/Conflict Resolution, Building an Inclusive Union and Regional Power Building.