- Deadline Is Today For West Coast Longshore Workers Contract
- McCain’s Offshore Drilling Proposal Won’t Lower Your Gas Cost
- Wal-Mart Guilty Of Two Million Violations Of Minnesota Labor Law
- Starbucks To Close 600 Stores, Wiping Out 12,000 Jobs
- New York Labor Department Will Invest $26 Million In The State’s Workforce
New York’s Department of Labor announced plans on Monday to invest nearly $26 million in the state’s workforce. Since 2000 the state has watched federal funding for workers decline from $305 million to a proposed $136 million in the 2009 federal budget. Six point two million of the state’s investment will go toward AdvanceNY, a program that helps businesses train workers in necessary skills that lead to career growth.
Starbucks is closing up nearly 600 shops across the country, a move that would result in the loss of more than 12,000 full and part time jobs. That size of a cut would amount to 7-percent of the coffee company’s global workforce. Earlier this year the company had only planned on closing 100 stores. It is also adjusting the number of stores it plans to open in the coming fiscal year – down to 200 stores.
How many times did Wal-Mart violate Minnesota state labor laws? Jesse Russell has the number.
Two million times. That is how many times Dakota County Judge Robert King, Jr. says Wal-Mart violated labor laws by cutting worker break time. The ruling came on Monday as part of a class action lawsuit and the world’s largest retailer has been ordered to pay $6.5 million in damages. For Wal-Mart, $6.5 million is a drop in the bucket, but a flood could be coming in October. That’s when a jury will assign civil penalties and punitive damages to the company. The class-action lawsuit covers 56,000 Minnesota Wal-Mart employees who worked for the company between September 1998 and January 2004. Wal-Mart is considering an appeal of the judge’s decision.
By Doug Cunningham
Is off-shore drilling for oil in the U.S. going to lower the price you pay for gas at the pump? Not a chance. The Center For Economic and Policy Research says if off-shore drilling is opened up as Republican presidential candidate John McCain wants to do, it will be close to a decade before the first oil can even be extracted rom the currently protected off-shore sites. The Energy Information Agency says peak production from off-shore U.S. sites would be an estimated 200,000 barrels a day in twenty years time. That’s just two tenths of a percent of projected word production and is far too small to have any significant impact on prices.
By Doug Cunningham
West coast dockworkers are nearing the deadline to settle a new labor contract. Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union were locked out for ten days in 2002. The union represents about 25,000 workers on the west coast. The old six year contract expires Tuesday at 5 p.m. Talks are continuing, but details on where things stand aren’t being released by either the union or management.
Frank Snyder, Labor 2008 state director for Pennsylvania, reports on a union rally outside a John McCain campaign stop.
More than 70 union members and activists gathered outside Worth and Co. in Pipersville, Pa., to highlight Sen. John McCain‘s anti-worker record as he held a town hall meeting inside the building.
Members from AFSCME, AWIU, CWA, IAFF, IBEW, NATCA, SMWIA, UA, UFCW and USW attended the rally, chanting “John McCain is more of the same” and holding signs that read “Turn Around America” and “John McCain Voted Against Health Care for Children.”
Asserting that “our time is now,” United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard opened the union’s convention by calling on the more than 3,000 delegates to “seize the moment” to bring fundamental change to the nation’s economy and politics.
In a rousing keynote speech yesterday, Gerard said USW members
share the powerful belief that every human being, no matter where they work—no matter their gender, their race or their creed—every worker has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and the right to retire with security. This is our moment to challenge that shell game and reassert our rightful place as champions of the middle class.
While Sen. Barack Obama campaigns in America’s heartland over the Fourth of July holiday, Sen. John McCain is heading out of the country. He’s on his way to Colombia, where he plans to stump for anti-worker trade deals like the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Apparently McCain decided, in the midst of a hot presidential election season, his time is best spent showing he’s on the side of Big Business—by supporting trade deals that send family-supporting jobs out of the United States.
Why is McCain so strongly opposed to standards in trade agreements that would not send jobs overseas? Maybe it’s because his campaign is deeply entwined with the lobbyists and corporations who are the real winners in these unfair trade policies. According to reports by The New York Times and the Huffington Post, many of McCain’s top advisers and funders have actively lobbied for the Colombian government and corporations in support of the U.S-Colombia FTA.
In Pennsylvania, Missouri and across the country, union members went door to door last week to educate, mobilize and energize union members for the 2008 elections.
This month’s member-to-member walks are focused on the economy and the Employee Free Choice Act and are part of the AFL-CIO Labor 2008 program, the largest grassroots union political mobilization in history.
In St. Louis, 47 union leaders and members gathered Saturday at the Greater St. Louis Labor Council building for the AFL-CIO’s second labor walk.