What is the cost of obesity on employers? According to a new report from the Conference Board obese employees cost US companies $45 billion per year in medical coverage and worker productivity. Thirty-four percent of American adults are obese, double the rate 30 years ago. Obesity has led to an increase of 36 percent in healthcare spending. More than 40 percent of U.S. companies have obesity-reduction programs.
Indian workers in the United States who believe they are victims of human trafficking and “modern-day slavery” take their case to the United Nations. Jesse Russell reports:
At the end of March the Indian workers who were brought to the United States to work in the shipyards for oil rig manufacturer Signal International marched from the Gulf Coast to Washington, DC. They met with the Indian ambassador to the United States and left dissatisfied with his response. The next plan? On Tuesday the workers met with United Nations High Commission for Human Rights Deputy Director Craig Makhabir explaining that they have been forced into slave like conditions and leading to the filing of a class action suit against Signal International.
By Doug Cunningham
Helmets To Hardhats is a union program helping veterans get into skilled construction trades. G. Natasha Zoe is one of the few women in the program. Zoe says Helmets to Hardhats allows vets to interview with unions to find the right trade.
[Zoe]: “I love the fact that the unions are patriotic and support their vets. This is just one of many ways that the unions honor the vets and the sacrifice that they make for their country.”
Zoe is retired from the Marine Corps. he’s getting her Helmets To Hardhats training in New York City.
By Doug Cunningham
In a surprise move on Wednesday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected White House pressure to vote on the Colombian Free Trade deal within 90 days. Instead, the Speaker tied up the deal. The AFL-CIO agrees with Speaker Pelosi’s actions. The federation says Congress must keep a hard focus on the economic crisis facing America’s working families. The AFL-CIO applauds Pelosi’s assertion of congressional control over trade. Bush sent Colombian Free Trade deal to Congress despite Pelosi urging him not to. The AFL-CIO and other labor groups oppose the Colombian Free Trade deal because deals like it have bee so destructive to U.S.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that tomorrow the House will vote to lift the 90-day Fast Track time limit for the House to vote on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that President Bush sent to Congress yesterday.
Pelosi said Congress and the president should be focusing their energy on the needs of America’s working families during these precarious economic times, not on the flawed trade deal. She told reporters she told Bush on Monday that:
we really had to continue our conversation about addressing the economic concerns of America’s working families.
Sugar dust, like other industrial dusts, is extremely combustible, but despite the urging of safety experts, the Bush administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has yet to set a federal standard to control combustible dust levels.
Today, the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee approved a bill to force OSHA to issue combustible dust rules. Says committee chairman Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.):
It’s unfortunate that OSHA didn’t heed warnings from 2006 about the dangers of combustible dusts, but it’s downright stunning that OSHA still has no sense of urgency in dealing with these deadly hazards, even after the Imperial Sugar tragedy. Unlike OSHA, this Congress is not complacent about the safety of American workers.
The gap between the wealthiest and the rest of us grew significantly during the past two decades, leaving lower- and middle-class families at more risk during the current economic downturn/recession confronting the nation, a new study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) finds.
The report says that lower- and middle-income families are much more vulnerable to rough economic times and income loss because they have higher debt loads and are seeing the value of their homes plummet while wealthier families are likely to have savings and other assets to ride out the storm.
Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) held a pricey fundraiser at a top-notch Washington, D.C., hotel, just yards from the White House. As he has in similar events across the country, he was met by AFL-CIO union members out to set the record straight.
More than 80 union members from the Washington, D.C., area held signs, chanted and marched outside the expensive Willard Intercontinental hotel as the fundraiser began. As we rallied, we were joined by a family of tourists, whose children (at left) took part, marching with signs and helping convey a clear message: In a time of job loss and economic recession, McCain isn’t offering the solutions working families need. On issue after issue, the protestors agree with what McCain himself has admitted: He’s the McSame as Bush.
The Postal Workers’ national executive board endorsed Obama in a unanimous vote. The 60,000-member union is the sixth union affiliated with the AFL-CIO to back Obama.
Postal Workers President William Burrus says Obama’s campaign offers a unique opportunity for working families.
Sen. Obama’s message is one of hope and change. His message is special, and the timing is right.
His ability to bring new participants into our nation’s democratic process—to get young people involved, and to persuade ordinary citizens that they have a real stake in politics—is an inspiration.