Chances are fairly high that you had a flight cancelled in March. More than 28 percent of domestic commercial flights were canceled, diverted or late according to the Transportation Department. If that number sounds bad consider that in February more than 31 percent of flights had those same problems. On the other hand, an average of 6.7 passengers per every 1,000 complained of mishandled baggage in March compared with 7.7 per 1,000 last year.
A June 30 actor’s strike in Hollywood could be in the script now that talks have collapsed between the union and the organization representing major studios. Jesse Russell reports:
The talks lasted 18 days before the Screen Actor’s Guild and the organization representing Hollywood studios pulled the plug on negotiations. Sag will use the break in contract talks to gauge the feelings of the membership. Those feelings may lead to a strike vote as early as next week. The primary issues causing friction are the same that sent Hollywood writers to the picket lines earlier this year – residuals from new media. Meanwhile, the studios took the opportunity to start negotiations with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The studios think they can reach a deal with the smaller AFTRA within two weeks, but SAG representatives have said they expect the union will get caught up in the same issues that ended SAG contract negotiations. The studios have already reached agreements concerning new media with the Writer’s and Director’s Guilds.
By Doug Cunningham
The FBI is pouring over computer records and documents seized in raids Tuesday on the Office of Special Counsel and at the home of Special Counsel Scott Bloch. That office is supposed to enforce civil rights and whistleblower protections for federal workers. But Hans Johnson, President of Washington D.C.’s Pride At Work chapter, says Bloch instead tried to dismantle sexual orientation discrimination protections and attacked union and civil rights of federal workers. Johnson says it’s part fo a Bush administration pattern.
[Johnson]: “To name people to public service positions exercising a great deal of public trust who have a fundamental disbelief or antagonism toward the very mission of the agency they re named to head.”
The recent headlines about an FBI raid on the U.S. Office of the Special Counsel (OSC) finally validates the yearlong campaign by Pride At Work (P@W) to highlight the alleged mismanagement of the office that was created to enforce the civil rights rule and protect whistle-blowers in the federal workforce.
In March 2007, the AFL-CIO constituency group created a special campaign, “Blow the whistle on Bloch” aimed at letting the public know how agency chief Scott Bloch had weakened the office’s mission. Instead of protecting workers’ rights, the office had become a launching pad for partisan attacks on civil and workers’ rights, says P@W Executive Director Jeremy Bishop.
Brent Gillette, Labor 2008 director for Michigan, sends us a report on Sen. John McCain’s visit to Michigan.
When Sen. John McCain visited Rochester, Mich., this morning, he was met by a contingent of union members asking him for solutions to the crisis facing the economy.
Some 28 union members gathered in front of the hall where McCain was set to speak and distributed fliers on McCain’s anti-worker record on trade, health care and jobs.
Mark Gaffney, president of the Michigan State AFL-CIO, says McCain’s votes on trade and the economy are proof that he’s out of touch with working families.
John McCain will not likely have a government and an administration that does enough or cares enough about creating good-paying manufacturing jobs here in America.
The failure to enforce even weak U.S. labor laws has created an incentive for many employers to hire undocumented immigrant workers, several experts told a House committee earlier this week.
Bill Beardell, director of the non-partisan Equal Justice Center, told the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee some unscrupulous employers actually prefer to hire undocumented workers. In the absence of effective federal enforcement of worker protections, they know they can easily exploit and silence such workers, he says. During the hearing, Beardell played a chilling audiotape of an employer’s phone message to an immigrant worker who simply wanted to be paid for the work he had done. (See video.)
During the hearing, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), committee chairman, said that with more than 7.6 million unemployed workers in this country, some employers insist they cannot find workers to fill unskilled jobs. Miller makes it clear that Congress needs to enact stronger labor protections to protect the rights of guest workers and U.S. workers. (See video.)
McCain said that when it comes to looking for a Supreme Court justice, extremist conservatives John Roberts and Samuel Alito meet his standards “in every way” and “would serve as the model” for his nominees if he were elected president.
When you look at the record, though, Roberts and Alito have failed to look out for the rights of workers. Check out some of the cases where Roberts and Alito have provided decisive votes:
- Alito was the author of the May 2007 opinion that ruled against Lilly Ledbetter’s right to challenge the pay discrimination she faced on the job. Roberts joined that opinion, which fundamentally changed the way workers could fight discrimination at work.