By Doug Cunningham
What would Barack Obama do about the economy? Obama’s economic plan includes massive investments in green jobs and an infrastructure jobs program that together would create 7 million new jobs, according to Obama. Obama would also cut taxes for all those earning less than $250,000 a year, suspend taxes on unemployment benefits and extend those benefits. Obama is also proposing a 90 day moratorium on home foreclosures.
By Doug Cunningham
[Harjo-Codd]:”I’m very thankful that I found the union and it’s changed my life drastically.”
Jeanette Harjo-Codd, one of thousands of people whose lives have been changed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters apprenticeship program in New York City. Harjo-Codd came from Oklahoma and had no idea what unions can do to for men and women looking for new opportunities.
[Harjo-Codd 2]: “Bein’ in the union and with the Carpenter’s union – it has changed my life dramatically – financially it has. And it’s been very rewarding.”
Stymied contract negotiations have led to a Halloween concert by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra to be cancelled. Jesse Russell reports:
The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra members have been on strike since the first week of October and a lack of movement in contract negotiations has led to multiple concerts by the WCO being cancelled, including the annual Halloween concert scheduled for October 24. Part-time Orchestra workers are seeking more flexibility in rehearsal attendance. The members said that management’s rehearsal requirements are beyond what similar music groups are required to attend.
By Doug Cunningham
The AFL-CIO’s Veteran’s Council is intensifying its get-out-the-vote effort to reach out to veterans. The labor federation will reach a million veterans in just five key presidential election states – Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Veterans, who are also union members, are telling other veterans that John McCain’s voting record shows he hasn’t fought for veterans in the Senate and won’t really fight for them if elected president.
PepsiCo announced on Tuesday that it plans to cut 3300 jobs and close six plants. The company, which is the world’s number two drink producer, and also owns the FritoLay and Quaker brands, plans to make the cuts both in and outside the United States. Announcements as to which plants will be shuttered will be made in the coming months. The company announced last weeks to shift focus back to soft drink promotion after a long running strategy of promoting more expensive to produce energy drinks.
A quick update on the huge—and growing—popularity of the speech by AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka in which he addressed the issue of race in this election. Trumka’s speech at the United Steelworkers convention in July went viral a couple of weeks ago and has generated a national debate on race, the economy and the elections.
Since then, the video clip of Trumka’s speech on YouTube has received nearly 400,000 views and now is rated YouTube’s 79th all-time, top-rated videos in the news and politics category.
If you’ve seen it already, you know it’s worth watching again.
There are three weeks remaining until the election, and Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain will meet tomorrow night at 9 p.m. for a final debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. With the debate centering on the economy—the top issue for the majority of voters—Obama will have solid solutions to offer. Will McCain?
Obama announced a new set of proposals for short-term economic recovery on Monday in Toledo. (See video.) He expressed hope that Congress would enact these proposals immediately, before the election, to make sure these proposals will help both working families and small businesses, with an emphasis on strengthening the economy by keeping people in their homes and putting them back to work. Here’s how Obama put it:
Right now, we face an immediate economic emergency that requires urgent action. We can’t wait to help workers and families and communities who are struggling right now—who don’t know if their job or their retirement will be there tomorrow; who don’t know if next week’s paycheck will cover this month’s bills. We need to pass an economic rescue plan for the middle class and we need to do it now. Today, I’m proposing a number of steps that we should take immediately to stabilize our financial system, provide relief to families and communities and help struggling homeowners. It’s a plan that begins with one word that’s on everyone’s mind, and it’s spelled J-O-B-S.
Another day, another lie from the McCain campaign. Or, as the mainstream media would put it, another “distortion.”
But this time, the mainstream media, in the form of CNN, is part of perpetuating the lie.
In a speech yesterday, Sen. John McCain falsely asserted Sen. Barack Obama planned to take away workers’ right to vote by secret ballot when deciding whether to join a union. CNN’s “Fact Check” then went on to assert McCain was correct.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
A U.S. Senate candidate who opposes the Employee Free Choice Act sure as heck wouldn’t win the union movement’s endorsement. After all, the legislation would level the playing field and allow workers to chose to join unions without the pitched anti-union battles so many employers launch.
But just last week in Oregon, Sen. Gordon Smith (R), who is in a tight re-election battle with Jeff Merkley (D), speaker of the state House of Representatives, implied he had won the backing of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Smith opposes the Employee Free Choice and holds a sorry 24 percent lifetime voting record on working families issues.