By Doug Cunningham
Pilot unions at both Delta and Northwest Airlines have said yes to a collective bargaining agreement that helps clear the way for a merger of the airlines. Delta is set to take over Northwest later this year. The deal includes 12,000 pilots at the airlines. MOre than 61 percent of the pilots voted for the agreement.
By Doug Cunningham
The U.S. isn’t gaining any on the rest of the developed world when it comes to high-speed internet. Debbie Goldman of the Communications Workers of America says the survey shows the U.S. continuing to fall behind other nations. Japan’s median download speed, for example, is thirty times faster than in the U.S.
[Goldman]: “We think it’s long past time for the U.S. to adopt a national broadband policy so that we can have affordable, quality, high-speed internet available to everybody in America. this is the infrastructure of the 21st century. In the same way that the government helped build roads and canals and railroads and assured that every American has affordable telephone service, it’s now time to make sure that every American can participate in the information age.”
By Doug Cunningham
About 70,000 workers at Verizon represented by the CWA and the IBEW are in the process of deciding whether or not to ratify the new tentative agreement that averted a strike at Verizon. CWA President Larry Cohen says this is a breakthrough agreement that creates new union jobs and takes a big step forward on health care. Union workers at Verizon will get roughly an 11 percent raise over the three years if the agreement and the company will continue to pay for all health care for active workers. For newly hired workers after they retire Verizon will pay just a fixed amount for their health care. The agreement also gives about 600 Verizon business workers the union representation they wanted. The CWA says the agreement will create about 2500 new union jobs. Both the CWA and IBEW expect their members to approve the agreement.
By Doug Cunningham
The SEIU is sending a team of investigators to California to look into allegations concerning possible financial irregularities at the United Long Term Care Workers Union – SEIU Local 6434. the Los Angeles Times reported that the union spent a six-figure amount to a video company and a day-care company run by the wife and mother-in-law of Locl 6434 President Tyrone Freeman.. The paper also said the local spent $300,000 on a Four Seasons Golf Tournament, a Beverly Hills cigar club, and restaurants. Freeman says members of the union have benefitted from the money spent on the video and day care companies that his wife and mother-in-law operate.
Most corporations, including a large majority of foreign companies doing business in the United States, pay no income taxes, according to a report released today.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that two-thirds of both American and foreign companies doing business here end up avoiding all income tax obligations to the federal government, despite corporate sales totaling $2.5 trillion.
According to the GAO, each year from 1998 to 2005, an average of 68 percent of the foreign companies operating in the United States paid zero federal income taxes. During the same period, 66 percent of U.S. domestic corporations paid no federal income taxes to the government.
Workers across the country are outraged that Wal-Mart is trying to squelch the Employee Free Choice Act by encouraging its managers and supervisors to vote against Democratic candidates this fall because the Democrats would make it easier to form unions in stores like Wal-Mart.
You can take action in two ways. First, tell Wal-Mart to stop intimidating workers. Send a message here. Next, sign a petition urging the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to investigate Wal-Mart’s electioneering to see if any laws were violated. The workers’ advocate group American Rights at Work says its petition drive has garnered more than 25,000 signatures.
It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Sen. John McCain is not on the side of Ohio workers in their struggle to keep their jobs as a foreign-owned company tries to move them out of state. It’s not the first time McCain’s action as senator—especially when he was chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee where Big Business goes to do business—put the hurt on U.S. workers.
Let’s take a look at his track record.
First, Ohio. In recent days, the workers learned that McCain and his campaign manager, Rick Davis, helped deliver the goods for German-owned DHL’s takeover/merger of the U.S. package delivery company Airborne Express. DHL is threatening to shut down Airborne’s Wilmington, Ohio, hub and kill thousands of working family jobs in southern Ohio.
All 435 members of the U.S. House are up for election this year, and in key swing states, pro-worker candidates know victory depends upon getting union members active and mobilized—and fighting for policies that help working families, like the Employee Free Choice Act. Among them: U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes in New Hampshire, Ashwin Madia in Minnesota and Martin Heinrich in New Mexico.
Hodes, a union member, defeated a Republican incumbent in 2004 in New Hampshire’s 2nd District by fewer than 15,000 votes. Hodes says union support and union voters made the difference in his race.
The business cycle that began in 2001 could be the first ever in which America’s middle class will end the cycle with less real income than they had at the beginning.
America’s workers are among the most productive in the world, but they are not sharing in the profits from their work. According to The State of Working America 2008/2009 by the Economic Policy Institute, the nation’s gross domestic product rose 2.5 percent a month, but the lion’s share of the benefits ended up in the pockets of the nation’s wealthiest, bypassing most of those whose work made that growth possible. An online preview of the biennial report will be released Aug. 28. The authors plan to add chapters later this year on poverty and health care. The full printed report will be released in January 2009.