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lia href= http://www.laborradio.org/node/9927Millions Of Auto-Related Jobs Hang By A Thread – UAW Implores Congress To Acta//li
lia href= http://www.laborradio.org/node/9928Unemployment Filings Keep Soaring – Highest Number In 26 Years Getting Jobless Checksa//li
lia href= http://www.laborradio.org/node/9929November Continues Bad Trend For Job Market As Boeing Cuts 800 Jobsa//li
pNovember is also shaping up to be a bad month for the job market. In addition to job cuts by Circuit City and Citigroup, Boeing announced today that 800 jobs would be cut at a Wichita, Kansas plant. The positions being cut both salaried and hourly workers. Most of the layoffs will take place in the first quarter of 2009, but at least 76 employees willbr /
receive notices on Friday. /p
pMore layoff news in the headlines as unemployment filings skyrocket. Jesse Russell reports:/p
pThe number of the unemployed filing for first times claims jumped to its highest rate since July of 1992 last week and the number of people receiving benefits leaped to the highest point in 26 years. 4.01 million workers filed for unemployment the second week of November. Most economists are projecting the unemployment rate to finish out the year between 6.3 and 6.5 percent. That rate could rise as high as 7.5 percent in 2009. Even workers with jobs are having a hard time making ends meet. As a result they are taking on second jobs. According to a poll by staffing firm Express Employment Professionals 42 percent of those polled said they are “looking for a second job to make ends meet this holiday season.” Only four percent said they were not looking for a second job and that their finances were fine. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 11 percent of all working Americans have both a full time and part time job. /p
pBy Doug Cunningham/p
pWith the U.S. auto industry hanging by a thread Congressional leaders decided Thursday to postpone financial help until the automakers present Congress with a detailed recovery plan. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger urged Congress not to delay./p
p[Gettelfinger]: “Congress must not adjourn without an agreement with the Bush administration to move forward with an emergency rescue plan for the domestic auto companies.” /p
pMichigan Senator Carl Levin says he and five other senators have a plan for immediate aid to the auto industry. He says government must act, because to allow the Detroit Three automakers to go bankrupt will be devastate millions of workers and their families./p
With a Republican filibuster and a promised veto by President Bush in store for a $25 billion emergency bridge loan for the auto industry, Senate leaders today postponed action on legislation to help the industry weather the credit and economic crisis.
But congressional leaders say they are willing to come back into session after Thanksgiving if Detroit’s Big Three can present a detailed plan by Dec. 2 on how they plan to spend the money and retool the industry.
Says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.):
No one has come up with a plan that can pass the House and Senate and be signed by President Bush.
But he also noted that the delay in helping Detroit could have been avoided. Reid says Bush has the authority to use funds from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.
In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, columnist Thomas Frank showed just how far the corporate types will go to stop workers from having the freedom to make their own decision about joining a union and bargaining. Frank quotes Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus as saying CEOs who don’t contribute to Republicans fighting the Employee Free Choice Act “should be shot.”
During an Oct. 17 conference call about allowing workers to choose a union through majority sign-up, Frank reported Marcus as saying:
This is how a civilization disappears. I’m sitting here as an elder statesman, and I’m watching this happen, and I don’t believe it.
Here’s another clear example of why we need the Employee Free Choice Act. For more than six years, Russ Teegardin and Bill Lawhorn have fought to get their jobs back after they were fired for supporting a union at Consolidated Biscuit Co. (CBC) in McComb, Ohio. Even though the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered the company to rehire the workers, CBC all but ignored the order.
Finally, justice will be done at CBC after a federal appeals court on Nov. 14 ordered the company to comply with the labor board’s decision and reinstate the two workers with full back pay with all wages lost, plus compounded interest. If CBC, which makes Nabisco cookies and Kraft products, does not comply with the order, it could face thousands of dollars in fines. Check out Lawhorn talking about his firing in the video above and speaking before Congress here.
Carwasheros, as the car wash workers in Southern California are known, scored a big victory yesterday when California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet announced that 60 employees of the Hollywood Riviera Car Wash in Redondo Beach will receive $450,000 in unpaid wages. The payout comes in settlement of a lawsuit against the car wash filed by the state on the workers’ behalf.
Meanwhile, the campaign for justice for carwasheros is working to address the violations exposed by the labor commissioner in other area car washes.
A state investigation revealed that Hollywood Riviera had been paying the mostly immigrant workers minimum wage for as little as three to four hours of work but required them to finish out the day being paid in tips only.
Cross-posted from the Georgia Labor 2008 blog. Jimmy Hyde, Georgia state Labor 2008 director, reports that Georgia’s union members are working hard as the Dec. 2 runoff election for the U.S. Senate approaches.
Around the state, union volunteers are getting involved with the effort to send pro-worker Jim Martin to the Senate and send Sen. Saxby Chambliss packing.
One of the core pieces to our campaign is making sure we get leaflets out to union members at the worksite. David Carpio, the AFL-CIO’s political education and campaign coordinator, and Carmella Cruse, an Electrical Workers (IBEW) international representative, are both coordinating the leafleting campaign here in Georgia.
At a conference earlier this week on “Real Investment in America” sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future (CAF), some 100 members of Congress, congressional staff, union leaders, academics and other experts urged the incoming Obama administration to act boldly to create fundamental changes in the economy that provide for long-term growth. The cornerstone of the economic package should be a massive investment in rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, they said.
AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker opened the conference by laying out the case that the best way to revive the economy for America’s workers is by investing in the nation’s infrastructure and its people.