Hollywood won’t be seeing a strike anytime soon according to the President of the Screen Actors Guild. The contract expired today without a contract being reached between the union members and studios. SAG President Alan Rosenberg said no steps have been taken to initiate a strike authorization vote.
A lockout of United Auto Worker members continues at a Peterbilt plant in Madison, Tennessee. The workers have been locked out since last Monday, their contract expired on Friday June 20. The two sides have been unable to reach an agreement. The local representing the workers has expressed that it would like to sit down and continue negotiations, but no new discussions have been set. The company is asking workers to pay 25 percent of health insurance premiums, a move that could triple premiums for some workers. The company has offered to pay each worker a $1,200 bonus when the new contract is ratified, in exchange for a wage freeze until 2010. The contract would also institute a two-tier wage structure where new hires would start at much less than predecessors.
Lede: University of South Florida film student Jean Carlo Penaloza is one of the winners of the AFL-CIO’s Turn Around America video contest. Doug Cunningham spoke with him about the video and turning America around.
His video was in Spanish and it focused on the economic hardships gripping much of America these days.
[Jean]: “Gas prices being the main one, the high cost of foods. And the number of houses that are being lost by a lot of American families. Not just American families, but also immigrant families.”
Jean Carlo says he was moved to make the video because he knew people were being hit hard by rising food and gas prices and because his own family experienced hardship.
Marybeth Litcholt has worked as a casino dealer at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City since 1987. After 21 years on the job, she makes $9 an hour.
Meanwhile her uber boss, Donald Trump, the chairman and largest single shareholder in Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., which owns the Trump Plaza, made $32 million in 2007. Trump’s approximated net worth is more than $3 billion.
Given that Trump & Co. hadn’t shown a willingness to pay even longtime employees more than near poverty-level wages, Litcholt and other employees there voted in March 2007 to join the UAW by a margin of more than 2-to-1. Wages weren’t the only problem: They needed a strong union like the UAW to negotiate a fair contract to provide basic workplace safety standards, a decent wage, pension and health care. Despite working 40-hour weeks, many can’t afford health care for themselves and their families.