WIN Week In Review July 19-20, 2008
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 today. 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.
A 30-story mobile crane, one of the country’s largest, collapsed yesterday in Houston, killing four workers and injuring seven others, according to an AP report.
The deadly collapse is the latest in a recent series of fatal crane accidents that have claimed more than a dozen lives in New York City, Las Vegas and Miami.
Friday’s collapse took place at the LyondellBasell refinery in southeast Houston. Workers ran to a lunch tent designated as an evacuation site when a siren went off. Tragically, the falling crane landed on top of the tent, according to the AP.
In this pivotal election year, the union and civil rights movements together can turn the country around from the disastrous course we have been on in recent years. But it will require members of both movements to “get angry and get our voters to the polls, fight through the barriers, wait in the lines and stand up” for our neighbors who are suffering in this economy, says AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker.
Speaking at the annual Labor Luncheon at the NAACP’s national convention in Cincinnati this week, Holt Baker said:
It seems to me that for the past 30 years, our country has been headed in the wrong direction, with our dual movements for civil rights and union rights struggling against a huge tide of oppressive history.