Did the stimulus checks do any good? Not in July. According to a report from Thomas Reuters, 65 percent of retailers missed their July sales estimates. The last of the more than $100 billion dollars worth of stimulus checks went out in the middle of July, but the majority had already been sent in the previous two months. Wal-Mart was one of the retailers that missed estimates. The company had projected a 3.4 percent sales increase, but only saw 3 percent.
Non-compete clauses may not be as restrictive as they once were in California. Jesse Russell reports:
On Wednesday the California Supreme Court ruled that employers can’t limit the right of former employees to work for competition. The court ruled that “non-compete” clauses conflict with the rights of “employee mobility” and “open competition.” In the unanimous decision, one justice wrote the “an employer cannot by contract restrain a former employee from engaging in his or her profession, trade, or business.”
U.S. Postal workers have reason to be proud as the Postal Service announced on Wednesday a nearly perfect service record during the third quarter of 2008. On-time overnight delivery rates reached 97 percent, the highest score ever achieved by the government organization. Two-day service had a 95-percent on-time rate, and three-day service was on-time 94 percent. The United States Post Office was established in 1776 by Benjamin Franklin.
By Doug Cunningham
Thanks to a successor clause negotiated by the United Steel Workers there won’t be any job losses or changes in employment terms for workers at Weyerhaeuser. The union managed to protect workers in the sale of Weyerhaeuser to International Paper. The contract, wages, pensions and benefits were all simply transferred to the new owner. Workers also retained their seniority rights.
By Doug Cunningham
A new bill in Congress would guarantee federally funded health care for 9/11 first responders, clean-up workers, residents and students in the area of the attack. Robert Spencer is with The World trade Center Community-Labor Coalition.
[Spencer]: “We have a situation where it’s sort of a national disgrace that the federal government has yet to make a firm, ongoing sort of commitment to the long-term health needs of those injured by 9/11. And so it’s really past due for Congress and the Bush administration to do the right thing here.”
The bill would create “Centers of Excellence” to centralize health data and offer ongoing treatment. The bill would also re-open a compensation fund for 9/11 victims. Spencer says New York’s congressional delegation and other sponsors of the bill are committed to getting this passed.
In southwestern Ohio, working families are nervous about the likely loss of 8,000 jobs if a major shipping company stops using the Wilmington airport as a hub.
The pattern is familiar, but the pain isn’t abstract for Ohio families. The potential job loss is the result of a chain of events driven by corporate greed—and back-room lobbying deals supported by Sen. John McCain.
DHL was purchased by the German company Deutsche Post in 2002, and within a year the company merged with Airborne Express, a delivery company based in Wilmington. Now, DHL has announced plans to stop using the airport and outsource all deliveries elsewhere. This would devastate the economy of the small town of Wilmington, leaving more than 8,000 people out of work.
Great economic news out this week—if you’re an excessively paid CEO. Seems some corporations are “quietly converting their pension plans into resources to finance their executives’ retirement benefits and pay.” This from The Wall Street Journal (subscription required):
In recent years, companies from Intel Corp. to CenturyTel Inc. collectively have moved hundreds of millions of dollars of obligations for executive benefits into rank-and-file pension plans. This lets companies capture tax breaks intended for pensions of regular workers and use them to pay for executives’ supplemental benefits and compensation.
In 2000 and 2004, the vote for president in Wisconsin and New Mexico were decided by less than 1 percent of the vote—the narrowest gaps of any state. Both also are hosting important races for Congress.
Through the AFL-CIO Labor 2008 program, the union movement’s largest political mobilization in history, union members in these two states are working hard to make sure that union voters know the fact about Sen. Barack Obama and his plans to improve the economy and fight for working families.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R) order last week to cut the pay of 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $6.65 an hour is “just wrong,” state Controller John Chiang told a state Senate hearing earlier this week. The pay-cut executive order
is based on faulty legal and factual premises….and it is just wrong….I will continue to refuse to slash the salaries of the dedicated civil servants who keep our state running.