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Is Andy Stern Resigning As President Of SEIU? – 04/13/10 By Doug Cunningham Workers Independent News received several calls early Monday evening asking us if it’s true that SEIU President Andy Stern is resigning in a matter of hours. A national SEIU media staffer expressed surprise when WIN contacted them about it. The staffer said they knew nothing about the reported impending resignation. read more

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Stern To Resign In A Matter Of Hours As SEIU President? – 04/12/10 By Doug Cunningham Workers Independent News received several calls early Monday evening asking us if it’s true that SEIU President Andy Stern is resigning in a matter of hours. A national SEIU media staffer expressed surprise when WIN contacted them about it. The staffer said they knew nothing about the reported impending resignation. read more

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Ikea Workers In Italy Strike Against “Unacceptable” Working Conditions – 04/13/10 Ikea workers in Italy went on strike late last week over what they say are “unacceptable” working conditions. Some of the conditions include timing toilet breaks, telling workers they can’t chew gum, and intimidation. The store being targeted is in Milan and is reportedly the company’s second largest in the country. In December workers at a Corsico Ikea called a strike due to excessive workloads and managerial intimidation. The company and the union representing the workers plan to meet today.

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Social Workers In Kansas Get New Protections – 04/13/10 Kansas is extending new protectons to cerain workers. Jesse Russell reports. Social workers in Kansas received new protections last week as Governor. Mark Parkinson signed a bill that would require safety training for new social workers. Social workers would be required to take six hours of safety training during the process they undergo for obtaining a license. The bill is in honor of Teri Zenner who was murdered by a client six years ago. The new law is expected to help social workers to have a better understanding on how to diffuse or avoid unsafe situations.

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Jobs For America Now Backs Local Jobs For America Act To Create A Million Jobs – 04/13/10 By Doug Cunningham The Local Jobs For America act would create a million local jobs starting this year by investing $75 billion over two years. Alan Charney of The Jobs For America Now coalition – a diverse and broad-based coalition of labor unions and allied progressive organizations . [Charney]: “This bill will create a million jobs. And we’ll be able to say exactly how many jobs are created in each city, in each county, in each congressional district. So members of Congress will be able to go home and say I helped create jobs for you.” read more

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Labor Secretary Hilda Solis: Our Mission Is To Protect Workers – 04/13/10 By Doug Cunningham In a marked departure from the Department of Labor under the previous administration, Obama Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is actively attempting to protect workers. Solis says those efforts are underway but are far from complete. [Solis]: “At the Department of Labor we’re focused on protecting workers. And that’s why I have bolstered the enforcement staff in all of my agencies. I have already added 250 investigators in the wage and hour division alone and we are not done yet.” Solis says she’s determined to bring unscrupulous employers to justice. read more

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Methane, Coal Dust Violations Cited at Massey Mine Before Deadly Blast The awful disaster last week at Massey Energy Co.’s Upper Big Branch coal mine that killed 29 miners has prompted several in-depth looks at Massey’s overall safety record and the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA’s) enforcement practices. Since 2000, 49 miners have died at Massey properties. Methane gas is highly explosive when it reaches a certain level. Proper mine ventilation is crucial to keep those levels down. Upper Big Branch is known as a “gassy” mine. Safety experts also say that because the explosion was so powerful, high levels of flammable coal dust—that federal rules say must be kept under control—likely fed the blast. The Washington Post reported over the weekend: Of the 129 federal violations issued to Upper Big Branch since the beginning of the year, 32 have related to dust, ventilation or combustible materials, according to data from the MSHA. Ken Ward, the Charleston Gazette’s longtime coal reporter, had two great pieces Sunday. First, he details how Massey’s contesting of 16 serious violations—withdrawal orders that require miners be removed from dangerous areas until significant hazards are eliminated—plus a 2007 Bush administration change in policy, prevented MSHA from shutting down the Upper Big Branch Mine last September and putting on a tougher enforcement program. In the second, he notes that in 2006, after the Sago disaster where 12 miners were killed, the West Virginia congressional delegation proposed some of the toughest reforms ever. The proposals included tougher mandatory penalties for the violations linked to reckless disregard for safety rules, tighter coal dust limits and more concrete details for adding new emergency response equipment, such as breathing devices and miner tracking gear. But West Virginia delegation’s bill was watered down to win support from the coal industry and the Bush administration. The bill that passed focused on responding to explosions and fires, rather than on tougher enforcement and accident prevention. Click here for the full story. David Moberg at In These Times and John Nichols at The Nation look at safety and fatality statistics of union and nonunion mines and find union miners are more likely to go home alive at the end of a shift. Writes Moberg: an examination of the incidence of coal mine fatalities since 1995 shows that in every year but one fatal accidents occurred in non-union mines at a rate disproportionate—usually much more disproportionate—to the non-union share of the workforce. In other words, unionized mines were much safer. Tonight at 7 p.m.-8 p.m. EDT, the nationally syndicated radio show “Building Bridges” will host mine safety experts Tony Oppegard, former general counsel of the Kentucky Department of Mines, and Wes Addington, from the Mine Safety Project of the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center. They will examine the pattern of safety violations at the Upper Big Branch Mine and how to strengthen the nation’s mine safety laws. Click here to stream from WBAI radio.

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Alliance for Retired Americans Re-Elects Easterling, Burks     Barbara Easterling             Ruben Burks         Alliance for Retired Americans President Barbara Easterling and Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks were re-elected during the Alliance’s national convention in Las Vegas last week. Easterling has served as president of the Alliance since February 2009. Prior to joining the Alliance, she was secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) for 16 years. In 1995, she took a leave of absence to serve as secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, becoming the first woman to hold that position. Easterling told the delegates: You have helped improve the lives of millions of current and future retirees. We have more work to do. I know none of you will rest, and neither will I. Burks, who has been secretary-treasurer of the 4-million member Alliance since it was launched in 2001, said: Thank you for re-electing me. I will do everything I can do to help this unique and wonderful organization. Burks is a former secretary-treasurer of the UAW. The more than 400 Alliance members at the convention also passed several resolutions,  including calls to better address elder abuse and report incidents of abuse nationwide, raise awareness for the annual tax credit or reimbursement for employers for prescription drug costs under Medicare Part D, pursue federal legislation outlawing the advertising of prescription drugs in both electronic and print media, and to reduce health care fraud. The Alliance also endorsed the speedy passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to include both sexual orientation and gender identity. Delegates honored Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) with its Leadership Award. Scott Watts, president of the Nevada Alliance and Alliance National Executive Board member William Holayter of Washington State received the President’s Award. Click here to see photos from the convention.

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Default utility Image Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award Honors Labor in the Arab Spring The 2012 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award will honor the Tunisian General Union of...
Default utility Image Quality Health Care for Women Includes Contraceptive Equity Women must have the right to quality health care, including equal access to contraception, and...
Default utility Image Council Says 30 Years of Policies for the 1% Caused Crisis, Outlines Steps to Fix Economy In a broad statement today at its annual winter meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.,...
Default utility Image AFL-CIO Calls for Overturning Citizens United Case Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court gave business corporations and other groups the green...
Default utility Image AFL-CIO Calls for Across-the-Board Raise in Social Security Benefits America has a retirement security crisis—not a Social Security crisis, the AFL-CIO Executive Council said...

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