It is getting more expensive to own a home. Rates on 30-year mortgages continued to rise this week as they hit the highest level in nine months. The average rate for a 30-year-fixed rate mortgage was at 6.42 percent and it is the fourth week in a row the rates have been above 6 percent.
Is Bally violating the rights of workers at their Atlantic City casino? Jesse Russell reports:
Dealers at Bally’s in Atlantic City testified in front of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission that the company is violating their rights to collectively bargain and abusing seniority rights. The National labor Relations Board had already ruled to prosecute Bally’s for their labor law violations and in the hearing the workers were asking for Bally’s to be monitored. The workers are represented by the United Auto Workers. Some of the other allegations levied at the commission hearing include forcing workers to attend unpaid meetings and failure to provide a safe working environment. The workers called on the commission to impose sanctions on the casino if the labor law violations do not cease.
By Doug Çunningham
Hundreds of pro-war bikers are expected in Berkeley, California Saturday and they will be met by antiwar protesters. Berkeley’s antiwar movement has focused efforts against military recruiters. The pro-war bikers are rallying at a marine recruiting station in Berkeley. The Berkeley City Council passed and then recanted a resolution calling military recruiters “unwelcome intruders”. Antiwar activists say the right-wing biker backlash is evidence that the efforts against military recruiting are striking a nerve.
By Doug Cunningham
The California Labor Federation is calling on the U.S. Air Force to reopen bidding immediately on a air refueling tanker contract worth billions of dollars. The General Accounting Office said this week the bidding process that gave the contract to a French company was flawed. Unions at Boeing say if Boeing gets the ocntract instead thousands of U..S. jobs will be created.
By Doug Cunningham
AFL-CIO and Change To Win labor federation leaders met with Senator Barack Obama this week as Obama seeks labor support for the general presidential campaign. Change To Win has already endorsed Obama. The AFL-CIO will surely follow. There is some fence-mending to do between Obama and many unions hat supported Senator Hillary Clinton’s White House bid. Obama met with top leaders of the two labor federations in Washington, D.C. An AFL-CIO decision on an endorsement of Obama is expected soon.
For the third time in little more than a month, the House today voted overwhelmingly (416-12) to extend unemployment insurance benefits (UI) to unemployed workers who run out of benefits without finding new work. This time, the jobless aid appears to be headed for Senate approval and—wonder of wonders—a presidential signature. Bush threatened to veto previous UI extensions claiming the economy wasn’t in bad enough shape to justify an extension.
House leaders last night announced they had reached a compromise with the Bush White House to include the UI extension in a supplemental funding bill for the war in Iraq. The deal will provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits for the millions of jobless workers who have exhausted their benefits or will run out of benefits over the next several months.
AFSCME President Gerald McEntee said the 1.4 million-member union would mobilize enthusiastically to elect Obama.
Barack Obama has mobilized a historic movement to reclaim the greatness of America. With his leadership, our nation will rise up to rebuild the middle class at home and restore America’s reputation in the world. AFSCME will mobilize more members and invest more resources than ever before to help Senator Obama win the White House. We will turn out an army of 40,000 AFSCME activists to knock on doors, make phone calls and talk with their co-workers and neighbors to produce an unprecedented turnout in the 2008 election.
The U.S. Supreme Court today overturned a 2000 California law that banned employers who receive state grants or other funding from using those taxpayer dollars to pay for “labor-related actives”—i.e. attempts to deter or promote union organizing drives.
The California law did not prohibit employers from engaging in anti-union, or pro-union activities; they just were not allowed to use state money to fund those activities. Backers of the law called it a “state neutrality” measure because the public’s money would not favor or oppose unions.
The Supreme Court ruled, 7–2, that the California law was pre-empted by federal labor law as states are not allowed to regulate employer conduct if it is determined Congress did not intend to put such limits on employers.
Congress took an important first step today toward ensuring paid family leave for federal workers. On a 278–146 vote, the House passed the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act (H.R. 5781), which would give federal workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a newborn or a newly adopted child.
If enacted, the bill would guarantee four weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a new child; federal workers also would be able to use up to eight weeks of accrued paid sick time immediately following the first four weeks of parental leave. The bill, introduced in the House by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), now goes to the Senate, where it is being sponsored by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.).