Are background investigations of NASA employees a violation of privacy rights? The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would take up a case asking that very question. It revolves around the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California where laboratory jobs are held by contract employees who are at risk of losing their jobs if they don’t submit to background investigations. Scientists, engineers, and other employees filed a lawsuit challenging the requirement.
By Doug Cunningham
When the Oregon legislature began looking at tax hikes for corporations, individuals making more than $125,000 a year, and couples earning more than $250,000 corporations thought they could beat it by forcing a statewide vote on it. The people of Oregon instead voted for these more progressive taxes. Jordana Sardo is Portland organizer for the Freedom Socialist Party.
By Doug Cunningham
About 3,000 protesters are expected to show up in Washington, D.C. Tuesday to protest health insurance abuses. More than fifty labor, religious and grassroots activist leaders will join protesters from at least ten states. They will conduct a symbolic “mass arrest” of insurance industry leaders meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington.
President Barack Obama is making a second go at filling one of the most important cabinet positions. Jesse Russell reports:
A new Center for American Progress (CAP) report released in time for International Women’s Day today offers practical solutions to help America’s workers and families meet the dual demands of work and family. (Read the full report here.)
- Updating basic labor standards to recognize that most workers also have family responsibilities and need predictable and flexible workplace schedules,access to paid family and medical leave the right to paid sick days.* Improving basic fairness in our workplace by ending discrimination against all workers, including pregnant women and caregivers.
- Providing direct support to working families with child care and elder care needs.
- Improving knowledge about family-responsive workplace policies by collecting national data on work-life policies offered by employers and analyzing the effectiveness of existing state and local policies.
The report builds on the 2009 Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation, which took a comprehensive look at working women and how their work has transformed today’s workplace.
In a telephone press conference this afternoon, the report’s co-author Heather Boushey, senior economist at CAP, cited a poll that shows a large majority of Americans support new, more family-friendly workplace policies. A full 85 percent of respondents say businesses that fail to adapt to the needs of modern families risk losing good workers. Boushey said:
These issues are becoming more important in the recession. Most of the jobs that have been lost have been lost by men leaving millions of women and mothers to support their families On top of this for those worker who have their jobs we need to make sure they stay employed, that…family-work conflicts don’t put them on the unemployment rolls.
In addition to higher poverty rates and the ongoing prevalence of sexual and domestic violence, the United Nations reports that women earn between 30 percent and 40 percent less pay than men for equivalent work. And with the nation’s financial debacle, U.S. women are shouldering the added burdens of sky-high unemployment, rampant foreclosures and inadequate access to health care.
The AFL-CIO has a “long-standing commitment to gender equality in the workplace,” AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler said.
And today we’re reaffirming that commitment, standing firm with workers around the world to call for a more equitable and inclusive future for women.
In a statement, the AFL-CIO said:
It’s clear that the jobs crisis is a crisis for working women. But like the women who marched in New York City over 100 years ago for shorter working hours, better pay, an end to child labor, and the vote, women today are fighting back. As labor readies for a massive campaign to create the jobs our country desperately needs, the AFL-CIO is proud to stand with them in that fight.
Some 30,000 Communications Workers of America members ratify a contract with AT&T, and more news from the “Bargaining Digest Weekly.” The AFL-CIO Collective Bargaining Department delivers daily, bargaining-related news and research resources to more than 1,200 subscribers. Union leaders can register for this service through our website, Bargaining@Work.
CWA, AT&T: Members of Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 3 last week ratified a three-year contract with AT&T. The contract covers 30,000 workers in the Southeast. CWA District 1 in Connecticut is now the only region still in negotiations with AT&T.
AFT, Detroit School District: The Detroit Federation of Teachers/AFT signed a letter of agreement with the school district that avoids the layoffs of 72 teachers and the transfer of another 50 teachers due to take effect March 7. The deal also preserves $46 million in federal funding of the early childhood program.
AFSCME, Columbus City Schools: 3,500 public school support staff in Columbus, Ohio, approved a new two-year contract on Tuesday. The contract provides a 3.55 percent wage increase over the term for the members of the Columbus School Employees Association (AFSCME-CSEA).
UFCW, Stop & Shop: Members of five United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local unions in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Sunday ratified new three-year contracts with Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. The contracts cover nearly 40,000 workers and provide wage increases while maintaining pension and health care benefits.
AFTRA and SAG, AMPTP: The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) last week announced it will join the Screen Actors (SAG) in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, after bargaining separately during the last contract talks. The current contract expires June 30, 2011, and talks are scheduled to begin Oct. 1.
Multiple, City of San Francisco: Some 15,000 San Francisco city workers received layoff notices Friday as part of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s plan to cut costs by rehiring the workers to a reduced workweek. The workers are represented by multiple unions, including the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 21 and SEIU Local 1021, which have formed the Public Employees Committee to develop counterproposals. If no alternative to the layoffs can be agreed upon, the city unions plan to file a lawsuit.
NFLPA, NFL: The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) on Thursday shared with members details of team owners’ latest proposal, which could reduce players’ compensation by 18 percent. The union says this reduction in pay is “not justified given the NFL’s unprecedented growth and [the owners'] failure to provide meaningful financial data relating to their expenses.”
UFCW, Shaw’s Supermarkets: Workers at a Shaw’s Supermarkets distribution center in Methuen, Mass., went on strike yesterday, after voting to reject the company’s latest contract proposal. The 309 workers are members of UFCW Local 791.
Disclaimer: This information is being provided for your information only. As it is compiled from published news reports, not from individual unions, we cannot vouch for either its completeness or accuracy; readers who desire further information should directly contact the union involved.
New Jersey state workers have agreed to both furloughs and wage concessions to assist in balancing the state budget, but a new proposal that landed in the legislature would also freeze salaries for three years. Burlington County Assemblyman Joe Malone made the proposal which also includes freezing property taxes at the current level. Unions representing state workers have expressed they would consider such legislation a dismantling of collective bargaining rights. New Jersey is dealing with an $11 billion budget deficit.
According to the labor organization Alliance@IBM,the computer company began slashing jobs early last week. The numbers of cuts as of Thursday were estimated to be more than 2,500. The Alliance@IBM website allows laid off workers to report when their job has been cut. The organization is an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America and has been seeking for the past few years to be the officially recognized representative of IBM workers.
Grassroots labor activists from California to Ohio gathered at the Nation Labor College, just outside Washington, D.C., to discuss the next step in the battle for single-payer healthcare.
WIN’s Kate Sheehy reports.
Kate Sheehy reports.
One of the most vocal unions has been the California Nurses Association, along with their umbrella group, National Nurses United. Martha Kuhl, Secretary-Treasurer of NNU, is a pediatrics nurse in Oakland, California. She says that nurses see everyday how lack of healthcare affects people. She says that the success of the campaign lies with unions.