Boosted by a new home tax credit that is set to expire at the end of this month sales climbed by 27 percent in March – the biggest increase in 47 years. That number beat economists expectations and the Commerce Department cites good weather across the country in addition to the subsidies as the primary reason. Businesses are also spending on new equipment with orders, outside of transportation, jumping by 2.8 percent, also beating the expectations of economists. If transportation is factored in durable goods slightly decrease by 1.3 percent.
In California the Screen Actors Guild wants to convince state lawmakers to renew and fully fund a tax credit to keep the entertainment business in the state. Nancy Fox is national director of government relations and policy for the Screen Actors Guild. She says in recent years entertainment “runaway production” leaving California has become an issue for SAG members there as other states offered tax incentives to lure the work away.
A day before it was set to be shuttered workers have saved a Hugo Boss plant in Ohio. Three hundred fifty workers will continued to be employed at the plant under a new three-year agreement the workers will be paid $10 on average during the first year, 20 cents more than second year, and 40 cents more in the third year. For more than a year workers at the plant have only been working three day work weeks, under the new agreement there hours will increase to five days per week.
What goes on behind closed doors when a supervisor or anti-union hired gun summons a worker to a meeting when a union organizing drive is under way?
A new video from the Electrical Workers (IBEW) gives a pretty clear picture of the behind-closed-doors intimidation and veiled (and not-so veiled threats) workers who are trying to form a union are forced to endure. In union organizing drives, 78 percent of employers force workers to attend closed-door meetings.
The dramatization features longtime employee Max, who has been observed, both on and off the job, meeting with “union types.” While Max is at work, a beefy foreman approaches and sternly says:
Max, we need to see you in the conference room.
With the foreman hovering menacingly behind, and two corporate suits across the table, Max is quizzed about the drive and not so subtly warned that his and all the jobs at the plant just might vanish if the workers voted for the union.
We’ve been here a long time, you know we’d hate to have to close this plant…You know thereare people in Vietnam who would do this work without complaining….We need to now where you stand. You won’t be joining that union now will you?
The IBEW says the video is intended as a counterpunch to the commercials, online videos, talking points and other misinformation that claim union intimidation is the biggest threat to the rights of working people to decide whether to unionize or not. Those videos have even used an actor from the mob drama, “The Sopranos,” and dressed up elementary schools students as junior gangsters threatening young voters in a school election.
But the reality is that most workers are forced into closed-door interrogation sessions that are far more threatening than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s and right-wing front groups’ “union thug” fantasies. The IBEW says such ”lies…can’t be allowed to stand unchallenged.”
Rather than earnest position papers and counterpoints, the IBEW thought it was time to push back with a video version of how corporations really view workplace democracy.
So click on the video and take a look at “Workplace Democracy: Corporate Style,” and share it with your friends and co-workers. Click here to find out more about how employers use threats and coercion to fight workers’ organizing drives. It’s time to fix the nation’s broken labor laws.