Are your wage earnings influenced by your views on gender roles? A new study by the University of Florida found that men who hold traditional views, such as women should be at home while men bring home the bacon, earn $11,930 more a year then men who think men and women should be paid equally and work equally. Additionally, men who held those traditional views also earned 71 percent more per year than women who shared their traditional values. Men who believe in equality only earn 7 percent more on average than female co-workers.
Meanwhile, the Teamsters continue to make major gains in organizing First Student bus workers across the country. The most recent to sign up are 316 drivers, mechanics, and other employees in Mississippi who are seeking better healthcare, safety improvements, seniority system, and fair wages. The Teamsters have organized nearly 10,000 bus workers across the country since 2006.
Milwaukee Teamsters local 200 enters the fifth week of its strike against Waste Management today. Jesse Russell reports.
The latest offer by Waste Management to striking Milwaukee garbage workers was rejected on Sunday. The workers walked off the job on August 26 over issues regarding pensions funds. The company wants to move the workers from the Central States Pension Fund to a new fund because they allege the Central States Fund is losing money. The Teamsters represent the striking workers and they are offering a plan similar to the one recently reach with UPS. The company has been hiring replacement workers to keep the garbage from piling up. Waste Management covers six-counties in its pick-up region and some areas have reported missed pick ups.
By Doug Cunningham
As Congress ponders the huge $700 billion government bailout for Wall Street the AFL-CIO is calling for fast action on a financial bailout for the rest of us. The AFL-CIO is calling for a moratorium on home foreclosures while loans are restructured, extended unemployment benefits, money for strapped state social aid programs, funding for food stamps and a jump-start for major construction projects to provide good jobs. The AFL-CIO says a comprehensive financial rescue plan is the right course. But that means helping the millions of Americans losing their jobs, their homes, pensions and health insurance.
Only a few months ago, the Bush administration repeatedly bashed attempts by Congress to expand health insurance coverage to an additional 4 million children, saying the $35 billion involved was too much to spend.
But now Bush is rushing to ram through a $700 billion corporate bailout—new estimates put the figure at up to $1.8 trillion—for companies whose greed outpaced their brains and plunged our nation into a financial debacle. (Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz concisely calls the disaster “the fruit of hypocrisy.”) The U.S. public isn’t buying it. Only 28 percent support the bailout plan as proposed.
Sometimes the only way to control the spread of a hazardous infection is to quarantine it at the source.
More than 150 union members and allies did just that today when they “quarantined” representatives of the nation’s private for-profit insurance industry—along with one of their biggest allies, Newt Gingrich—at a downtown Washington., D.C., hotel.
The event, spearheaded by the California Nurses Association / National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA / NNOC), included members of the Washington, D.C., Metro Council and the AFL-CIO community affiliate, Working America.
The symbolic quarantine featured several CNA/NNOC members in bio-hazard suits and protesters carrying signs that read “Warning! The Insurance Industry is Hazardous to America’s Health.” They strung yellow “Caution” tape in front of the hotel where members of the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and Gingrich were meeting to discuss how they can “Save Medicare”—and make a tidy profit.
The election is approaching fast, and union volunteers around the nation are taking part in the AFL-CIO Labor 2008 political mobilization program with door-to-door canvassing and phone banks and by sending out local union mail to make sure union voters turn out for working families by backing Barack Obama and other pro-worker candidates.
The race is tight in key states like New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, where union members are devoting their efforts to reaching voters. With 43 days to go and extremely close polling in all these states, the efforts of union members will make a crucial difference in whether we can elect Barack Obama, Joe Biden and other pro-working family leaders this fall.
In Virginia this past weekend, Biden spoke to a rally that included hundreds of members of the Mineworkers (UMWA) and their families. He noted the Bush administration has carried out a “war on labor,” and said electing John McCain would be disastrous for the health care system. Said Biden:
We need somebody on our side. We need somebody who agrees with us. We need somebody who cares about health care and cares about whether our kids get educated. We need somebody who cares about our pensions.
All working Americans are struggling in today’s economy, but the economic downturn has hit African American workers particularly hard. In fact, a new study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that nearly all the economic gains made by African Americans during the late 1990s have eroded, even as the economy grew. Since 2000, according to EPI, wages for the median black worker have stagnated, incomes and employment have declined and poverty has increased.
According to the study, African American median family income declined by $404, or 1 percent, between 2000 and 2007. This is the first decline in black median family income in a business cycle of this length since World War II.
More tellingly, African American income relative to whites has dropped in the past eight years. For example, in 1995, the median black family earned 60.9 percent of the median white family. By 2000, the ratio had climbed to a record high of 63.5 percent. But by 2005, it had dropped to 60.2 percent of the median white household.
Barb Kucera, editor of Workday Minnesota, reviews the movie “Battle in Seattle”, which opened Sept. 19 in selected theaters around the country. If the initial two-week limited release attracts a large audience, the film will be distributed nationwide.
With the recent street clashes at the Republican National Convention and the current multibillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street, the timing for the release of “Battle in Seattle” couldn’t be better.
The film chronicles “five days that rocked the world” when protesters shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Seattle in 1999. It also provides important context for today’s events. (See movie trailer.)