One layoff or involuntary job loss can turn a socially active individual into a reclusive homebody. Workers who are laid off from a job are 35 percent less likely to take part in community involvement. The study, published in September’s journal of Social Forces, found that youth and community groups were the first to be ditched by laid off workers, but political and professional groups remained popular no matter the working status. Workers aged 35 to 53 were the most likely to cut back on social activities.
American Airlines is facing new pressure in contract negotiations by united worker unions. Jesse Russell reports:
On Friday pilots, mechanics, and flight attendants for American Airlines, represented by separate unions, vowed to work together as the push for a faster pace in contract negotiations. The workers are seeking a restoration of wage and benefit concessions giving up in 2003 as the unions worked with the airline to prevent bankruptcy. The unions are also upset with $300 million in bonuses paid out to management over the last two years. The concessions made in 2003 included wage cuts of up to 25 percent and a reduction in vacation time.
By Doug Cunningham
American Rights at Work has launched a $5 million TV ad campaign promoting worker rights and the Employee Free Choice Act labor law reform. The ads, airing on national cable networks, are part of a coordinated effort among unions, worker rights advocates and progressive organizations to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. The act would guarantee the rights of workers to form unions by majority card sign-up and would put serious penalties in place against employers that violate labor rights law.
By Doug Cunningham
Poor and homeless people marched at the Republican convention in St. Paul Tuesday in a “March For Our Lives”. Jennifer Jewell of the * Unions Unite To Put More Pressure On A called for an end to poverty and a recognition that there is such a thing as economic human rights.
[Jewell]: “Economic human rights need to be provided for everyone in the United States – not just our citizens, but everyone in the United States – including housing, health care, living wage jobs.”
Jewell says protests at the GOP convention have been about trying to mobilize mass action to change the country’s values o na range of issues.
America’s workers know that although our economy may have grown since the recession ended in 2001, the average worker is in worse shape now than when the recovery began. Workers’ finances are stretched to the limit as the price of gas, food, clothing and other necessities rises and their paychecks remain stagnant.
According to The State of Working America 2008/2009 by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), healthy growth in the gross domestic product and historically high productivity growth since 2000 should have raised paychecks up and down the income ladder. Instead, the benefits of that growth have bypassed most of the people who made it possible.
On Labor Day, across the county—from Manchester, N.H., to Detroit, from Magna, Utah, to Los Angeles—working families marched, rallied and picnicked to honor the nation’s workers and their work, and get ready to turn around America this election year.
Introducing Sen. Barack Obama to a rally of thousands of union members that capped Detroit’s annual Labor Day parade, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said Obama and vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden:
…understand the critical importance of manufacturing to our nation’s economy. We have a chance to elect two proven leaders who have a track record of support for working families, and fighting for the good-paying jobs that keep our country strong.
Some 14,000 workers at ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, accept a tentative agreement, and more news from the “Bargaining Digest Weekly.” The AFL-CIO Collective Bargaining Department delivers daily, bargaining-related news and research resources to more than 900 subscribers. Union leaders can register for this service through our website, Bargaining@Work.
WORK STOPPAGES AND ACTIONS
USW, ArcelorMittal: Some 14,000 production, maintenance and clerical employees at 14 plants in eight states at ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, represented by the United Steelworkers (USW), voted to accept a four-year tentative agreement. Details have not been released. Previously, members authorized a strike if a contract was not reached by Sept. 1, the day the old contract expired.
It’s no surprise that 77 percent of the public says CEOs “earn too much,” according to a 2007 Financial Times/Harris poll, especially when you consider that about a week after US Airways began charging passengers $2 for water, the airline announced it was giving its top seven executives more than $5.3 million in stock options. Or that a new report shows tax and accounting loopholes for top executives and corporations cost taxpayers $20 billion a year. And that sentiment has likely intensified in 2008, says Sarah Anderson, with one banker after another walking away from the mortgage mess with overflowing pockets.
When that many voters agree on something, you can be sure the politicians take notice. Writing on AlterNet, Anderson says voters need to push the politicians to turn those words into actions. Anderson is co-author of the report Executive Excess 2008: How Average Taxpayers Subsidize Runaway Pay, released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy.