Forty one states suffered monthly job losses in September. That is more than double the 18 states that reported job losses in August. Payrolls declined by 159,000 jobs last month. The United States economy has now lost jobs for nine months straight. Michigan lost the most jobs, shedding 28,300 followed by Georgia. The state to gain the most jobs was Missouri, only adding 3,800.
Employers on a Navajo Reservation in Arizona will now be required to allow nursing mothers the opportunity to breast feed or breast pump while on the job. The Navajo Tribal Council passed the law unanimously on Wednesday and businesses now have 90 days to submit a written plan to the Tribal labor office explaining how they will handle the new law. The nation joins 13 U.S. states that allow such measures for nursing mothers.
By Doug Cunningham
Keith Franco found out the hard way that all too often a worker’s legal union rights aren’t worth a thing when employers decide to violate them. Franco is hoping for an Obama win November 4th so the Employee Free Choice Act can be passed to put some real teeth in union rights. Franco tried to help organize a union at cablevision in New York.
[Franco]: “I’ve never felt so discriminated in my life. My van was vandalized, my personal truck was vandalized with the words ‘union scum’.
Cablevision was able to use a union busting law firm to beat the workers’ union organizing effort. But Franco has since quit Cablevision and he’s now in the second year of an Ironworkers Local 46 apprenticeship in New York City. He’s now paid nearly $32 an hour and has solid health, pension, 401(k) and annuity benefits.
Workers at a luxury resort in Massachusetts will finally receive more than 14 million in tips. Jesse Russell reports:
Roughly 600 workers at a luxury resort in the Massachusetts Berkshires will be receiving $14.7 million worth of overdue tips. In a class action lawsuit filed against the Canyon Ranch resort employees claimed that customers were discouraged to tip because it would be including in an 18 percent service fee attached to the bill. The resort claims no wrong doing, but has agreed to pay out the $14.7 million to employees who worked at the resort between August 2004 through October
Mariya Strauss, a media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA), explains how early voting works—and like all of us in the union movement urges everyone to vote early if possible to avoid long lines and other potential roadblocks to casting a vote Nov. 4.
Voters in most states have one great choice to make sure their vote is counted: early voting. Some states allow you to vote early in person or vote absentee, but you don’t need an excuse. Some states have mail-in voting. Some states allow absentee voting, but only for a good reason.
The options can be confusing, so here’s a quick look at how it works. (And when you do get to the polls, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney has some tips for making sure your vote will count.)
A “green,” clean energy economy that reduces global warming could create millions of new jobs in the United States. This month, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) took its place in the green jobs movement when it joined the Blue Green Alliance.
The Blue Green Alliance began as strategic partnership between the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Sierra Club to address global warming and climate change through initiatives and solutions that would create millions of jobs and protect workers’ rights. With CWA and the National Resources Defense Council as the newest partners this month, the Blue Green Alliance is now 4 million members strong.
More than 2 million union members and thousands of union retirees around the country have served their country in the armed forces, and through the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council, union vets are reaching out to other union vets to talk about what’s at stake for them this election—as veterans and as workers.
Wesley Reed, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marines and a member of the Air Line Pilots (ALPA), spells out some of the differences between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain on veterans’ issues. Obama sponsored the 21st Century GI Bill that McCain opposed, and Obama has consistently voted in favor of Veterans Affairs (VA) funding and access to VA care for all veterans, while McCain has been inconsistent on supporting the VA. Says Reed:
I’m supporting Sen. Obama in his run for president because of his support for veterans’ issues.
The AFL-CIO community affiliate Working America and the Sierra Club joined forces this week for two telephone forums on green jobs that drew participation from a total of 36,000 members of the two organizations.
On Sunday night, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard and Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope spoke to and took questions from Pennsylvania members, while on Monday, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka joined Pope.
Working America members in Ohio and Pennsylvania received a recorded phone call inviting them to join the forum. They did so in astounding numbers, with 18,000—the equivalent of a small stadium event—participating each night and more than 100 submitting questions.
For nearly three weeks, Joe Rugola, Ohio AFL-CIO president, has walked across the state to remind Ohioans not to be distracted by side issues this election season and to focus on the toll of eight years of Bush-McCain economic polices—more than 180,000 Ohio jobs lost and nearly 1,100 plants, factories and other workplaces closed forever.
Yesterday in Jackson, a town of some 6,000 in southern Ohio, Rugola saw firsthand the devastation wrought by a policy that rewards employers who take jobs overseas. Rugola talked with Peggy Nixon, a member of the United Steelworkers who lost her job at Meridian Automotive Systems when the plant shut down last year, putting some 300 workers out of a job. Nixon, who has worked more than 30 years at the plant, says she and her husband live off his disability check and “whatever we can pick up.” (See video.)
We’re just trying to pick up and start all over again. We recycle a lot. I’ve sold more pop cans than I care to mention. If it wasn’t for the union, I don’t know what we would have done.