Wal-Mart has been laying low, trying to spruce up its image in recent months. But two recent items show that fancy window dressing can’t hide the mega-giant retailer’s ugly anti-worker underbelly. First, Wal-Mart’s unjust treatment of its female workers. Second, a court decision that pretty much lets Wal-Mart proceed with its eight-year battle to bust a union in Texas.
Pride at Work, an AFL-CIO constituency group, pointed out this great video from a Wal-Mart company party, which pretty much speaks for itself. As PAW points out:
Considering that Wal-Mart now faces the largest class-action gender lawsuit in the history of the United States, their little drag show is just not that funny.
The video, taken by a now-disgruntled contractor who has posted it on YouTube with a few clarifications, shows Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott patting the posterior of a male employee parading around in a dress and wig.
Earlier this year, the AFL-CIO pushed hard for Congress to extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits beyond the normal 26 weeks as part of a stimulus package to address growing joblessness and a nose-diving economy.
President Bush indicated that extending UI benefits was veto bait for the bill and said unemployment wasn’t high enough to justify an extension. It was dropped from the bill.
Yesterday, Maurice Emsellem, policy co-director for the National Employment Law Project (NELP), told the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support that the Bush administration’s “claim that the unemployment rate is not high enough to justify an extension of jobless benefits” fails to recognize that the rate has become a lagging indicator of economic recovery. Thus, waiting to extend benefits until after the unemployment rate increases further is akin to closing the door after the recession horse has already left the barn.
On Wednesday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took his presidential campaign to Connecticut, where he continued his quest to raise big bucks and evade hard questions from union members.
McCain spent the morning speaking at a private event for a multibillion-dollar hedge fund company, and the evening at yet another high-dollar fundraiser at the gated Belle Haven Yacht Club.
Outside the yacht club, dozens of AFL-CIO union members challenged the longtime senator to listen to their concerns and work to turn around America.
Ben Waxman, the state director for the Ohio AFL-CIO, sends us this report.
All across Ohio, workers are gearing up to turn around America. Union members made up one-third of the record-breaking turnout in Ohio’s March 4 primary, and now they’re getting trained, mobilized and energized for November and beyond.
In the coming weeks, AFL-CIO union members will get trainings on key issues like health care and the economy, so they can communicate with their fellow workers and carry out an unprecedented mobilization to elect worker-friendly candidates.
We extend condolences to the international union movement for the loss of Janek Kuczkiewicz, the longtime director of human and trade union rights at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). This from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center:
Kuczkiewicz died suddenly at his home in Brussels on April 8, 2008. A staunch defender of the International Labor Organization’s core labor standards, especially freedom of association, he worked closely with the Solidarity Center on worker rights issues and was an expert consultant on several Solidarity Center country worker rights reports. Under his direction, the ITUC published its annual survey of trade union rights violations.