Is the doom and gloom in the North American auto industry starting to make way for some sunshine? Canadian Auto Workers saw some light this week as General Motors announced plans to bring back 600 laid-off workers at two factories in the province of Ontario. The company says it has had difficulty meeting demands for the Equinox and the Terrain.
Last Thursday workers rallied in San Francisco to protest plans by Mayor Gavin Newsom to cut 17,000 city workers. SEIU Local 1021 organized the rally concerned that the plan by Newsom undercuts negotiated contracts. Under his plan, workers who receive lay off notices may reapply for their jobs and if they are rehired they would be employed as part-time workers clocking 37.5 hours per week or less. The city by the bay is facing a budget deficit of $500 million and Newsom’s administration estimates this plan could save the city $50 million.
Lede: Construction trade unions in New York City have renewed a project labor agreement in an effort to keep as many workers as possible on the job. Doug Cunningham has more on the story.
By Doug Cunningham
Bob Ledwith is Business Manager for Ironworkers Local 46. He says although unions gave some concessions to developers, renewing the Project Labor Agreement is a good thing for workers in New York City.
State workers in Michigan are breathing a sigh of relief after the state Senate failed to pass a measure that would have blocked a raise set to kick in October of this year. The senate needed to block the 3 percent pay increase before an April 11 deadline, but Friday marked the start of a two week long recess and they will not be back in time to take the issue back up.
Workers Independent News Labor Radio
Internet Radio Program 03/29/10
Producers: Doug Cunningham & Jesse Russell
Labor Radio Rundown:
1) WIN Newscast
To reach a new generation of young people, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), in recent days, launched a new global campaign to help global unions combine their day-to-day work and help young people join unions.
The Youth Campaign involves a range of tools, including video, social networking, posters and websites, as well as a special campaign guide. The campaign aims to show that by joining unions, young workers can influence issues and events they are concerned about at a global level, as well as improve their own working conditions. Check out ITUC’s youth blog here.
Trade unions can choose from a menu of materials that fit into their campaigns or activities already under way in their countries.
Says ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder:
The benefits of trade union membership for young people are clear, and this campaign gives new tools to trade unions around the world to demonstrate the global dimension of union action in a way which is relevant to youth. It also gives a further push to innovation and creativity in the way unions reach out to their members, and to society at large.
The AFL-CIO, under the leadership of Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, is spearheading a major initiative to develop the leadership skills of young union members and connect with the realities of their workplace lives.
The AFL-CIO’s young worker program kicked off with the first of a series of forums with young union and community leaders in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The next forum is this weekend in San Diego, with four more set over the next two months. The regional forums will lead up to the first-ever AFL-CIO Youth Summit in early June, where young trade unionists will explore how younger workers can become even more involved in building the kind of country we all want to live in.