- House Votes To Extend Unemployment Benefits
- Three-Union Coalition Scores Big Organizing Win For Colorado State Workers
- Blocked New OSHA Safety Rules Could Cut Crane Accident Deaths
- UAW In Detroit Briefing With Ford Officials On “Business Situation”
- How Much Protection Does Your State Provide Against Insurance Company Abuse?
How much protection does your state provide from insurance company abuse? Jesse Russell reports:
Few states protect people from questionable insurance company practices; such as denying coverage for pre-existing conditions or adding high premiums when there is a history of family health problems. According to the survey released by Families USA on Thursday only five states have laws that prevent companies from “cherry picking” who they cover based on health histories. In 44 states insurers can revoke a health policy without review by the state. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal joined Families USA on Thursday as the released the 50 state report. He said the survey should be an “action agenda” and “moral mandate for the nation.”
By Doug Cunningham
In Detroit today the UAW is meeting with Ford Motor company officials to be briefed on what the company calls the “changing business situation”. the unions says Ford’s production for 2009 will likely be covered. Ford is in the process of cutting back on truck production and trying to ramp up smaller car production to respond to changes in consumer demand sparked by the skyrocketing gasoline prices.
By Doug Cunningham
Several workers were injured in a construction crane accident in Texas Thursday, coming on the heels of two recent fatal crane accidents in New York City. Cranes and the workers who operate them would be safer if new federal safety rules had been adopted by OSHA. But the Bush administration is blocking implementation of new safety rules. Susan Podziba is a public policy mediator based in Brookline Massachusetts. She says had the new OSHA safety rule not been blocked, lives could have been saved.
[Podziba]: “These new regulations are expected to reduce the number of fatalities by at least half once they become law.
By Doug Cunningham
A united effort by AFSCME, SEIU and the American Federation of Teachers is scoring a big win for Colorado state workers. More than 22,000 state employees will soon have union representation after an election was held this week. The three unions formed a coalition called ColoradoWINS and it’s pursuing efforts to organize another 11,000 Colorado state workers. The workers became eligible for union representation through an executive order from Democratic Colorado Governor Bill Ritter.
By Doug Cunningham
The U.S. House voted Thursday to extend unemployment benefits for 3.8 million workers. The vote is short of what would be needed to override a threatened Bush veto. The AFL-CIO says if just five Republicans had voted with Democrats to extend help to unemployed workers there would be enough votes to override the veto. Despite the economic hard times pummeling workers Bush and congressional Republicans continue to refuse to extend jobless benefits.
The U.S. House today voted to extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to the 3.8 million jobless workers who will run out of benefits over the next nine months. The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would add 13 weeks of benefits—26 additional weeks for workers in states with high unemployment rates.
The 274–137 vote comes just one day after the House failed to pass the bill under special rules known as the “suspension calendar,” which required a two-thirds majority for passage. Today’s vote only required a simple majority. Click here for the roll call vote.
On any given day, some 218 million children between the ages of five and 14 are child laborers. Many of these children work long hours, often in dangerous conditions.
Today is the annual World Day Against Child Labor, and workers in more than 60 countries are holding events to focus on efforts to ensure children spend their days in school, not at the workplace.
Félie, 12, is among them. He works in a mine in Kolwezi, a town of 21,000, in the southern province of Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is featured in a post on the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center website. Here’s how the site describes what Félie does each day:
All day long, he hauls heavy bags of rock and dirt from the mouth of a cobalt mine to a water-filled pit—actually an abandoned industrial site—100 feet away, where others sift the content through the contaminated water to find the precious ore. The bags are so heavy that it takes two adult men to load them onto his back. The path is slippery with mud, and he must take care not to lose his footing and fall. The ore goes to a middleman, who sells it to a mining company. If he is lucky, Félie will make $2 a day for this hard, dangerous work.
With the price of gas hitting $4 a gallon this week, working families are feeling the squeeze. Pointing to skyrocketing prices and unemployment, union members from Boston to Albuquerque, N.M., hit the streets to demand a new national energy strategy and assistance for working families.
Led by the Greater Boston Labor Council (GBLC), 15 union activists from the Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), Operating Engineers (IUOE), SEIU, Machinists (IAM) and Bricklayers (BAC) and a member of the Massachusetts Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice met the McCain bus as he was holding the private fundraiser at the posh hotel Westin Copley Place in Boston.
The UAN Executive Council voted unanimously to endorse Obama yesterday after a process that included talking with candidates and a straw poll of delegates at the UAN’s National Labor Assembly.
UAN’s president, Ann Converso, RN, says Obama’s attention to the issue of health care and the needs of working families made him the right choice for president.
After a long and careful look at the candidates and listening to our staff nurse members and activists, it is clear that Sen. Obama is the best choice to make sure that the needs of staff nurses, their families and all America’s working families come first, not as an afterthought or an empty campaign promise. We look forward to working hard on his election.