Even the world’s oldest profession is feeling the pinch from rising fuel prices. According to a recent article by the Associated Press truckers account for 75 percent of business at Nevada’s brothels and with diesel fuel costs up 67.5 percent in less than a year, truckers have less to spend. As a result the legal brothel business is down 25 percent from the same time last year. As a result, many are whipping out customer incentives, such as gas cards to big spenders.
By Doug Cunningham
The Michigan Nurses Association says its decision to leave the American Nurses Association Friday happened because the ANA’s stance on issues is doing little or nothing to address the crisis that the nursing profession faces – including staffing and mandatory overtime issues. The MNA was the third largest affiliate in the ANA.
By Doug Cunningham
Thanks to the work of a coalition of unions representing nurses in New York state, mandatory overtime for nurses will be banned in New York in July of next year. Mandatory overtime is big issues for nurses and for their patients as health care provider corporations squeeze nursing staff to maximize profit. Many nurses face serious hardship on the job when forced to work overtime for extended periods of time. Nurse unions say nurses are often forced to work double shifts with no advance warning. That stresses nurses and patient care also suffers.
Chrysler announced the idling of a St. Louis area plant on Tuesday. The automaker will also cut a shift at a pickup truck plant in the region. Chrysler has watched sales plummet 19.3 percent this year. The shift will be cut on September 2 and the minivan plant will close October 31. The decisions means 2400 jobs will be lost.
Jobless workers coming to the end of their unemployment benefits received a reprieve on Monday. Jesse Russell Reports:
On Monday President George W. Bush signed legislation that provides a 13-week extension in unemployment benefits for workers. The benefits kick in at the end of July. The unemployed who have exhausted their unemployment benefits between November 2006 and March 2009 will be allowed to reapply for benefits under the extension. The unemployment extension was part of a $162 billion war funding bill that also included disaster relief for Midwest flood victims. The President had previously threatened to veto any attempt to pass an unemployment extension.
Over the weekend, union members in Texas and Kentucky held events to demand relief for working families during this time of economic difficulty and soaring gas prices.
In Houston, more than 75 union members gathered in front of Shell Oil headquarters to demand an economic plan that helps families beset by these rising costs. They called attention to Sen. John McCain’s record on tax breaks for oil and gas companies, and asked that he change course and look out for workers, not the lobbyists who fund and run his campaign.
The union members were joined by Charles Steel, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which co-sponsored the rally.
Phil Hayes, Labor 2008 state director for Colorado, reports on member-to-member walks in Colorado this past weekend. Walks also took place in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin and elsewhere across the nation.
This weekend, 92 union members came out in Colorado to talk with their fellow union members about important issues in this election. AFGE, AFSCME, AFT, APWU, ATU, CWA, IAFF, IBEW, IUOE, LIUNA, NALC, NATCA, SMWIA and USW had members walking to turn around America.
This member-to-member walk is part of Labor 2008, the AFL-CIO’s largest grassroots political mobilization in history. In recent days, union members have gone door to door to talk with their fellow workers about the 2008 election, the economy and the Employee Free Choice Act.
In Denver, volunteers talked with other union members about the AFL-CIO’s endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for president. Colorado is sure to be a crucial state in this fall’s elections for the White House and Congress.
When you get a chance, cruise on over to the United Steelworkers (USW) revamped and eye-catching new website.
Launched earlier this month, the site features live streaming video, daily news, photo slide shows, audio reports, updated blogging and a wealth of other USW information.
In the “In Our Members’ Words” section, USW members, like David Garcia, speak out about what the union means to them. Says Garcia, a member of USW Local 296 in Tucson, Ariz.:
I have been union for 31 years. I see my union as an enforcer and protector of the workers. The union is a check and balance that keeps corporations from taking advantage of the workers.