WIN Week In Review July 11-13, 2008
By Doug Cunningham
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney says the new Union Veterans Council will give a voice to veterans who want real change – both in veteran’s issues and on the economy.
[Sweeney]: “With the formation of the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council, veterans will be front and center in the effort to put our country back on track.”
Jim Wasser is a veteran and IBEW member featured in a new AFL-CIO political TV ad campaign.
[Wasser]:”I’m worried about four more years of continuation of a bad economy. That’s what I’m doing what I’m doin’. I want people to know about McCain’s agenda and to call on all vets and working people to let McCain know that his agenda is wrong on pocketbook issues. “
As shown in Working America’s Ask a Working Woman survey, women are especially vulnerable in the nation’s economic crisis. Working women have less earning power to deal with the high cost of energy, health care and education because they still are paid less than their male counterparts. In fact, the WAGE Project estimates the wage gap costs the average full-time U.S. woman worker between $700,000 and $2 million over the course of her work life.
Obama says that in a U.S. economy that works for all, women must receive fair treatment in the workplace:
We won’t truly have an economy that puts the needs of the middle class first until we ensure that when it comes to pay and benefits at work, women are treated like the equal partners they are.
Yesterday, the AFL-CIO announced the formation of a Union Veterans Council to help get the country’s more than 2 million union veterans educated and mobilized. In states such as Minnesota, West Virginia and Colorado, union veterans joined together to talk about the important issues facing the country.
Members of the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council will spend the coming months talking with union members and comparing the records of the presumptive presidential candidates, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain.
The campaign kicked of with a rally in Dayton, Ohio, where nearly 100 union members, including many veterans, gathered for the launch of the Union Veterans Council. Speakers included AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Mark Ayers, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department and the head of the Union Veterans Council. Ohio AFL-CIO President Joe Rugola attended the rally, and Wes Wells, president of the Dayton-Miami Valley AFL-CIO Regional Labor Council and the father of a current service member, spoke.
Also yesterday, the West Virginia AFL-CIO organized a rally in support of union veterans in Charleston. Cecil Roberts, president of the Mine Workers (UMWA) and a member of the national Union Veterans Council, spoke to the crowd, as did Bob Brown, vice president of the West Virginia AFL-CIO and a decorated Vietnam veteran. The Charleston Gazette reports more than 700 union members came out to demand a president and Congress who will fight for veterans benefits and for all working families. Phil Smith, UMWA communications director, says the crowd was “very fired up and on their feet” at the stirring rally.
Some 5,000 postdoctoral researchers at the University of California (UC) took a huge step toward joining a union after a majority signed cards authorizing the Postdoctoral Researchers Organize/UAW (PRO/UAW) to represent them in collective bargaining.
“We’re excited that postdocs have formed their own union so they can have a stronger voice in their workplace,” UAW Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Bunn says in a statement.
These workers make significant contributions to biomedical and other scientific advances, and deserve the same voice that other workers have.
It’s darn hard to conduct your duties as a local union president when you are watched and followed by the employer’s security guards every time you need to meet with your members at work.
That’s exactly what’s happening to Steve Sherman, president of the Moore Federation of Teachers, an AFT affiliate, which represents the faculty at the Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.
Midwest Airlines long has had a warm and fuzzy reputation as the only U.S. airlines that served hot chocolate chip cookies on board after every meal. But no longer. The airlines is proposing pay cuts for Midwest Airlines flight attendants—and the flight attendants, pilots and other union members and allies rallied in downtown Milwaukee this week in protest.
Joined by Wisconsin state Rep. Christine Sinicki, whose District 20 includes General Mitchell International Airport, the group attended a candlelight vigil outside the Hyatt Hotel where the Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) held the first night of their two-day annual board of directors meeting.