The United States needs a new direction in trade that creates good jobs here and protects workers’ rights abroad, not four more years of George Bush’s disastrous policies that John McCain is promising, political leaders and workers said today.
Responding to McCain’s speech this afternoon on trade policy in Ottawa, Canada, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told a conference call with reporters:
Instead of delivering a speech from Ottawa, Canada, Sen.McCain should visit Ottawa, Ohio, where the Phillips plant closed and 1,100 people lost their jobs. We need trade policies that create new jobs at home, not ship them to Mexico. With John McCain, when it comes to trade, it’s a third George Bush term.
As flood waters begin to recede in Iowa, the union movement in the Hawkeye State is assessing the damage left by several tornados that have ravaged the state and much of the Midwest along with what some are calling the biggest flood in 100 years.
Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, says much of the state still is under mandatory evacuation, and many residents don’t know what sort of impact the flooding has had on their homes and businesses.
He strongly urges union members to call the AFL-CIO’s toll free Disaster Hotline at 877-235-2469. He says you should be prepared to get a message due to the volume of calls. But if you leave your name, local union, international union and a telephone number where you can be reached, an AFL-CIO staff member will get back to connect you with the services that are available from your national union and other sources. To find out about this and other services available to Iowa residents affected by the flood, visit the state AFL-CIO website here.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s so-called “settlement” offer, what the agency says is its “last and final offer,” is
…just another tactic to delay the only true resolution to the dispute between our organizations, a return to good faith negotiations.
That’s how Patrick Forrey, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), describes the second FAA contract proposal in as many years. Like the FAA’s previous proposal, it fails to address issues that weren’t resolved before the FAA unilaterally walked away from negotiations in September 2006.
Pennsylvania union members will be joining tomorrow’s rally in Atlantic City, reports Labor 2008 State Director Frank Snyder.
Members of the Pennsylvania union movement are coming out in full force Saturday, to join the UAW casino workers in Atlantic City to demand that casino owners stop stalling and negotiate with the workers’ union.
Says UAW Pennsylvania Community Action Program Director Tony Forte:
We want a decent contract, or just a contract in general. To date, none of the casinos have seen fit to offer anything that our workers deserve.
Bush administration job safety officials claim the nation’s workplaces are getting safer because the number of recorded injuries and illnesses is declining. But several witnesses told a U.S. House panel yesterday that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may be counting and reporting as few as one-third of workplace injuries and illnesses.
Without accurate statistics, workers, job safety experts and employers cannot identify and address safety and health hazards and make sure workers receive the appropriate medical treatment.
Every graduation is special, but this year’s commencement at the National Labor College (NLC) marks an important milestone. This is the school’s 10th annual commencement, and next weekend, the school will celebrate a decade of providing a college education for union members.
Some 67 graduates will receive bachelor’s degrees at the June 28 ceremonies on the NLC campus in Silver Spring, Md.
Former presidential candidate John Edwards will deliver the commencement address. Edwards, who grew up in a working class family, is a former U.S. senator and was the Democratic candidate for vice president in 2004. A strong supporter of workers’ rights and social justice, he now leads Half in Ten, an effort by several organizations to reduce poverty in the United States by 50 percent within 10 years.
The nation’s post-Sept. 11 military veterans are set to get a big hand to help them pay the soaring costs of college. The supplemental funding bill for the Iraq war the U.S. House approved last night included a new GI bill for Iraq-era veterans.
The war spending bill—which also includes an extension of unemployment insurance benefits for the long-term jobless—is expected to be approved by the U.S. Senate next week, and President Bush is expected to sign the legislation.
Ben Waxman, Labor 2008 state director for Ohio, reports on a lockout at an Ohio auto parts factory.
In January, a Norwegian company bought an auto parts factory in Van Wert, Ohio, renaming it Kongsberg Automotive. Now, the company is trying to break the union, United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-524, that represents workers there.
The wages provided by these union jobs in the factory aren’t sky high—most people make between $14.50 and $17.50 per hour for the skilled work they do. But these wages, which have helped keep the local community’s economy afloat, now are threatened as Kongsberg Automotive (KA) tries to take them away, proposing to pay many workers a near-poverty wage of only $9 an hour.
||Working America in New Mexico celebrates 25,000 members
Don Manning, Labor 2008 state director for New Mexico, reports on the growth of Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, in the state.
If you were in Cherry Kline Park in Albuquerque last Friday, you’d have sensed the overwhelming pride and excitement among our Working America staff as they celebrated 25,000 new members.
Working America started in New Mexico in January with three employees. Since then, their ranks have swelled to more than a dozen employees and 25,000 members.
The Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) union has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.
The 140,000-member union announced its endorsement yesterday.
IUPAT President James Williams says Obama would protect workers’ rights and fight for an economy that works for everyone:
Barack Obama is a champion for working Americans, and his economic plan has the vision and strength to secure American prosperity for the future. The IUPAT and our members are proud to stand with Sen. Obama for real change.