Manufacturing plunged during the month of September. According to the monthly report from the Institute of Supply Management, the manufacturing index fell to 43.5 percent last month; the lowest level since October 2001. It is also the biggest drop in 24 years. The same report also found that prices slowed in their rise to the lowest level in 21 months.
Nonunion Boston transit workers have filed a class action suit against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority asking for the same raises recently given to unionized employees. In July unionized workers agreed to a four-year contract that gave them a nine percent pay raise. In the past all workers had been given raises based on the unionzed workers contracts. With the cost of running the “T” increasing the decision was made to instead provide nonunionized workers who make less than $70,000 with only a three percent pay raise and cut the increase for other nonunionized workers. The non organized workers are now seeking membership with the United Steelworkers.
A new three-year contract proposal has been rejected by Qwest workers. Jesse Russell reports:
Qwest workers represented by the Communications Workers of America voted against a new three-year contract proposal on Tuesday. Although the authority to call a strike had been given to negotiators when the contract expired in August, both sides say negotiations are on going and no strike is in the forecast. Twenty thousand Qwest employees in 13 states are represented by the CWA.
By Doug Cunningham
The California Nurses Association is sponsoring a new ad highlighting some of GOP Vice-Presidential candidate Sara Palin’s comments. Here’s an excerpt from the ad campaign.
[Heartbeat]: Ad audio excerpt
The California Nurses Association says a new study from Bragg Associates, an actuary firm, says John McCain would have a one in four chance of dying in office from natural causes should he win the presidency. The CNA is calling on McCain to release his full medical records.
A panel of 19 experts, including AFL-CIO Policy Director Thea Lee, are holding an online conference to discuss the strategies and support available to help displaced workers navigate their way to new jobs requiring new skills. The two-day e-mail forum, which is sponsored by the nonpartisan group NewTalk, runs until 6 p.m. Oct. 2. Click here for more information and to view the entire forum live. Here is what Lee had to say in today’s forum.
The government needs to do two things: Support the creation of good jobs through appropriate investments, tax, and trade policy; and ease the necessary transitions for workers from one job to another, both through income support and effective and appropriate training. In recent years, the U.S. government has performed neither function well.
This week Congress took, what Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen called, “a good first step” to moving the nation toward high-speed broadband when it approved the Broadband Improvement Act. (S. 1492). The final action came yesterday, when slight variations between the U.S. House and Senate versions were ironed out and the bill was sent to the president’s desk.
The legislation requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct annual studies on status of broadband deployment throughout the country to better assess the levels of residential and commercial high-speed Internet use. It also would encourage private and public partnership efforts that identify barriers to broadband adoption on the state level.
San Francisco’s pioneering health care program that provides coverage for 80,000 mostly low-wage workers survived a challenge from the Bush administration and city restaurant owners when a federal appeals court yesterday upheld the program.
Tim Paulson, executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council (SFLC), says the court’s ruling
…is a huge win for hard working men and women in San Francisco who are currently without access to health care. We need more health care in San Francisco, not less.
Frank Snyder, Labor 2008 state director for Pennsylvania, joined members from the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council in leafleting construction sites to make sure union members know about Sen. Barack Obama’s record of support for working people.
Early Tuesday morning, business manager Pat Gillespie and affiliate leaders from the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council handed out leaflets at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard and at two construction sites. The Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades leadership is leafleting every day of the week from now until the election to make sure their members know about Barack Obama’s record of supporting working people.
With the election only 34 days away, working families are taking a close look at Sen. John McCain’s policies—including the new health care tax that could hurt the ability of millions of workers to access care.
Through a new mailer on health care, as well as phone banking and door-to-door walks, the AFL-CIO is reaching out to more than 1 million union members to educate them about what McCain’s health care tax means for them.
Workers and their families in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin will receive the mailer, which features Ohio union member Dave Fecke talking about how McCain’s wrong-headed health care plan shows just how out of touch he is.
The difference between me and McCain? McCain’s rich. He’s never had to sit at a bargaining table and choose between a 50 cent-an-hour raise and decent health care benefits. He doesn’t get it.