WIN Week In Review August 22-24, 2008
By Doug Cunningham
There will be no strike at Qwest Communications. A tentative agreement was reached between the CWA, IBEW and Qwest on Monday. The CWA said some improvements were won in wages and pensions. If ratified by the workers, the agreement will last three years.
Wal-Mart is reportedly “carefully reviewing” a decision that gave eight Canadian Wal-Mart auto shop workers in Gatineau the first North American collective bargaining agreement at a Wal-Mart. It’s an arbitrator-imposed agreement that according to the United Food and Commercial Workers gave the union 98 percent of what it wanted. Workers will see their pay go up from $8.50 an hour to a minimum of $11.54. Wal-Mart closed a store in Canada in 2005 just days before an arbitrator was to impose a labor contract then. The union got the Canadian Supreme Court to agree to hear its case against Wal-Mart in the 2005 closing. It could close this store, too. But the UFCW says it will be difficult because a collective bargaining agreement is already in hand.
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Bennett College President Julianne Malveaux, economist Paul Krugman and journalist Robert Kuttner are set to take part in an AFL-CIO economic forum at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka also will join in the Aug. 26 panel, titled “All Boats Rising: Transforming the American Economy,” to discuss the key economic actions needed to ensure that the economy works for working people.
Co-sponsored by The American Prospect and the AFL-CIO, panel moderators are Ezra Klein, associate editor at The American Prospect, and Harold Meyerson, a editor at large for the magazine.
It’s clear that the 2008 elections will be all about the economy. More than 400,000 U.S. jobs were lost in the first half of 2008, as the unemployment rate worsened to 5.7 percent—from 4.4 percent in March 2007. Economists expect unemployment to reach 6.4 percent in 2009.
If you will be in Denver and would like to attend the forum, call 202-637-5297 or e-mail DNCinfo@aflcio.org.
|CWA members sign on to the million-member petition in support of Employee Free Choice.|
The union movement’s nationwide drive to get at least 1 million signatures in support of the Employee Free Choice Act is past the halfway mark and is growing rapidly.
In just five months, more than 550,000 people have signed postcards to tell the new president and Congress that working families across America want them to immediately enact the legislation.
The cards will be presented to the new Congress after the November elections in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. (You can show your support for the Employee Free Choice Act by clicking here to sign our online card.)
The 150,000-member union offered the endorsement at the annual Business Agents Conference in Orlando, Fla.
The endorsement followed a survey process in which the union’s members overwhelmingly voted to support Obama.
At the conference, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) addressed SMWIA members on Obama’s behalf, urging them to fight hard to elect him president.
Michael Sullivan, general president of SMWIA, says that on the key issues in this election, Obama always takes the side of working families.
The men and women of the SMWIA, who go to work every day building America, have chosen to support a candidate who will stand up for working families. Senator Obama is that candidate. He will fight for good jobs and a stronger economy; he will fight to improve our nation’s infrastructure, stop intimidation at the workplace and bring the change working Americans need with health care reform and true retirement security.
Georgian workers are rallying to protest the Russian invasion of their country.
On the first day of protests Tuesday, 40 labor activists from the Georgian Trade Union Confederation marched to a Russian checkpoint.
By the second day, there were 100 activists. Yesterday, their ranks had swelled to 300.
Read the field dispatches of Robert Fielding, AFL-CIO Solidarity Center country program director, on the ground in Georgia:
(This is a crosspost from the Solidarity Center website.)
When members of the Fire Fighters (IAFF) from around the country gathered in Las Vegas earlier this month for the union’s 49th biennial convention, there was a lot on the agenda, from political action to initiatives on fire safety to honoring fallen firefighters.
But they also had time to learn more about the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA), a hunting, fishing and conservation community for AFL-CIO union members, retirees and their families. Some 348 IAFF members signed up on the spot.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has come up with a cruel way to solve the Golden State’s budget impasse—take away the eight-hour day and cut overtime pay for private-sector workers. Those changes to basic workplace protections are part of his so-called compromise budget released this week.
His move followed the executive order he issued July 31, cutting the pay of some 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour and laying off thousands of state workers. The pay cut is now in the courts and workers will receive their full August pay.