Thirty-Three percent of workers have faked being sick to get a day off from work. A new survey by CareerBuilder.com made the discovery, but if the results inspire you to fake some coughs, think twice. Thirty-one percent of employers claim they follow up on workers who claim sick days and 18 percent said they have fired workers for the attempted fake out. Thirty percent of those who have played sick said they did so to recharge and relax.
By Doug Cunningham
Thirty- six immigrant restaurant delivery workers in New York City will get a share of $4.6 million in back wages , overtime pay, penalties and fines that a federal judge ordered this week in a lawsuit against several Vietnamese restaurants. The workers sued to get the back pay dating from 1999. The Chinese immigrant workers were aided by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which helped bring the suit.
By Doug Cunningham
Elly Spicer has blazed a trail for women for 23 years with the Carpenters union in New York. She was one of the original co-founders of the New York City District Council of Carpenters Women’s Committee that works to bring more women into the union.
[Spicer]: “It’s our goal with the Women’s Committee to educate members not only in trade issues but in union issues and to build the next generation of leaders and active unionists.”
Merck’s layoffs are just a drop in the bucket. The Labor Department released unsettling numbers regarding mass layoffs on Wednesday. Jesse Russell takes a look:
A mass layoff is defined by the Labor Department as when a company lays off 50 employees or more. September of 2008 saw the highest number of layoffs since September of 2001. During September of this year the country saw 2,269 mass layoffs. In comparison, August of 2008 only saw 497. The biggest number of mass layoffs in September came from the manufacturing industry which accounted for 28 percent. That industry also made up 36 percent of unemployment claims. September also saw the highest number of unemployment claims related to mass layoffs since the days following Hurricane Katrina. Overall 235,681 filings for unemployment were related to mass layoffs. The days following 9/11 still had the highest rate of mass layoff action with September of 2001 reaching 2,407.
By Doug Cuningham
Unrelenting recessionary pressures continue to pound the economy and workers. Merck said Wednesday its cutting 7200 jobs as it reported profits dropped 28 percent in the third quarter. The giant drug maker is slashing 13 percent of its workforce. Yahoo announced this week it’s slashing 14,000 jobs. More than 60,000 people lost their jobs in September.
The momentum for pro-working family candidates is building across the nation. In Kentucky, Sen. Mitch McConnell, one of the Senate’s most virulent opponents of workers, is now at risk of losing his seat, thanks to a strong union program.
AFL-CIO-endorsed candidate Bruce Lunsford is running to unseat McConnell, and union members around the state are essential to his campaign. They’re leafleting worksites and talking to other union members to make sure they vote with workers and vote for Lunsford.
Bill Bandy, a UMWA member, leafleted at a GE plant in Louisville last week and reports the response was enthusiastic.
All the recent talk by the McCain campaign about socialism is making me long for the time when this nation didn’t have any socialism—that is, for the pre-Wall Street bailout days when CEOs weren’t given taxpayer money which they are now using to buy up other companies, to go on half-a-million dollar retreats, to hoard, or to fund lobbying for, what else? More taxpayer money. In short, doing everything with our money but what they were supposed to do: return it to the market so credit again would flow on Wall Street and Main Street.
Spreading the wealth among CEOs via the Bush administration’s socialist policies is a bit unseemly. In fact, it’s downright un-American. Economist Dean Baker sums it up this way:
Last week, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson mailed $150 billion in checks to the big banks. From that point forward, the CEOs and all the other top executives of these banks are now our dependents. They are living off the tax dollars of schoolteachers in Iowa, truck drivers in Montana and even Joe the Plumber.
School workers in West Virginia, airline dispatchers in Texas, call center workers in Oklahoma and transportation security officers (TSOs) in California are among the latest groups of workers to win a voice at work with AFL-CIO unions.
The better than 7,800-member-strong West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSP) voted to affiliate with AFT and AFT-West Virginia. WVSSP and AFT-West Virginia represent more than 15,000 school support workers in the Mountain State.
The two groups have a long history of working together to win wage and workplace improvements, especially in the state legislature. Because there is no formal collective bargaining for West Virginia state employees, the two unions have worked together to win significant legislative gains for school workers—including wages, seniority rights, benefits and job descriptions.
Across the country, some Republicans are engaging in the tired tactics of personal attacks and attempts to intimidate voters—especially in North Carolina recently.
According to James Andrews, president of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO, dirty tricks are off the scale this election because Sen. Barack Obama’s message about the economy has taken hold in the Tarheel State. Says Andrews:
The Republicans are making every effort to use the same tactics of intimidation, misinformation and outright lies. But they’re not going to trick us. Folks are not going to buy it this time. People have been hurt by the economy. They’re focused and concerned about their jobs and what’s going to happen to their health care and if they can keep their homes. So those distractions they’ve used before won’t work this time.