On a day of a turbulent stock market a new study was released by Forbes showing it isn’t bad everywhere. Houston is number one on the magazine’s list of best cities to buy a home in. Median home sales in the Texas city have increased by 6.6 percent since 2005. The number two city is Austin, Texas with San Antonio in fifth and Dallas in fourth. Philadelphia and St. Louis fill out the top six spots in third and fourth place.
Are you a Wal-Mart worker that wants to collectively bargain? Then you might need to move to China. While the world’s largest retailer has a record of ferociously busting unions in the United States the company this week signed a collective bargaining agreement with the Shenyang City Trade Union. Wal-Mart began agreeing to union representation in China in 2004 as long as the union’s were associated with the Communist Party run All-China Federation of Trade Unions. The agreement provides an annual 8 percent pay increase, paid vacation, and overtime pay. The Chinese union said the agreement
Organized labor has its first openly gay leader. Jesse Russell reports:
New York based United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten has been elected to succeed Edward McElroy as President of the American Federation of Teachers. The election makes Weingarten the first openly gay labor leader to be president of a national labor union. Weingarten served for 10 years as UFT head and under her tenure she negotiated a 43 percent increase in educator salaries and helped organize 28,000 home childcare workers.
By Doug Cunningham
An awful economy for U.S. workers and now Working America’s Karen Nussbaum says fifteen million workers have bad bosses on top of the bad economy.
[Nussbaum]: “The bad economy makes the problem even worse. A third of U.S. workers, or about fifty million people, feel pressured to stay with a bad boss because of the current economy.”
Working America is holding its annual bad bosses contest to hear stories like one of last year’s winners.
[Nussbaum]: “A help desk worker in a plant who was required to stay in a burning building to keep answering the help desk line while the building was burning down around him.”
By Doug Cunningham
GM – America’s fourth largest company in annual sales – said Tuesday that it’s making more deep cuts to survive a harsh economy. GM jobs have gone from 107,000 hourly jobs in 2004 to 74,000. Buyouts and early retirement incentives will slash even more of those as some new workers are added at half the pay. The new cuts include selling off $4-7 billion in assets, slashing salaried jobs and benefits and suspending the GM stock dividend. GM CEO Rick Waggoner called this an “unprecedentedly difficult time”. He said these cuts are necessary for GM’s survival.
As he has throughout his nearly eight years in the White House, President Bush cast his lot with insurance companies and big corporations when he vetoed a bill today that would strengthen Medicare for the nation’s seniors.
But just hours later, the House (on a vote of 383–41) and the Senate (on a 70-26 vote) overrode Bush’s veto. Passage of the bill stops the Bush administration’s proposed cuts in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.
If those cuts had gone into effect, as many as 60 percent of physicians would have been forced to stop treating new Medicare patients and been forced to drop others from their rolls, according to an American Medical Association.
They are power-hungry, heartless, vicious, cheap, evil—and those aren’t the worst words workers have used to describe their bad bosses in Working America’s third annual My Bad Boss Contest. The more than 150 men and women who have sent in their horror stories in the past few days aren’t alone.
A survey conducted for Working America estimates that some 15 million workers have bad bosses. In the Lake Research Partners survey, 10 percent of the respondents say they have bad bosses, the equivalent of 15 million workers in the nation’s workforce. In addition, 36 percent say they feel pressure to stay with a bad boss because of today’s worsening economy.
If you work, or worked, for a jerk, dictator or weasel, enter the Bad Boss Contest, and you might win some rest and relaxation. The contest runs through Aug. 19.
The AFT endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president during its national convention, where more than 3,000 delegates voted overwhelmingly to support Obama. AFT delegates also made history during this year’s convention when they elected three women to hold the union’s top offices, including Randi Weingarten as president.
Outgoing AFT President Edward McElroy says Obama is the right choice for educators and all working families.
Sen. Obama believes, as we do, that our leaders have a responsibility to build the economy, not on the backs of poor and middle-class Americans, but for the benefit and well-being of all. His plans—to replace NCLB with education law that truly helps schools, instead of hurts them; to ensure all Americans have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare; and to bring home American troops as soon as possible—will help usher in a new era of progress and opportunity.
Yes, Virginia (and Ohio and Colorado…), it’s true: The battle for the White House isn’t the only election this fall. Every U.S. House seat and 33 Senate seats are up for election, and ensuring a pro-working family Congress will require a strong national effort.
Many candidates around the country understand the importance of passing legislation that levels the playing field for workers seeking to form unions. Kay Barnes (D-Mo.) and Rep. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) are both candidates endorsed by the AFL-CIO who believe strongly in the freedom to form unions and pledge to support pro-worker legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act. These candidates (see videos) understand that the Employee Free Choice Act will help restore economic fairness by allowing workers to form unions and bargain.
They know the AFL-CIO will carry out an unprecedented mobilization to support pro-working family candidates. Union member-to-member contact is crucial to winning elections and creating a strong pro-worker majority. The Employee Free Choice Act, health care reform and economic relief for millions of working families are only possible when working men and women get involved.