By Doug Cunningham
United Auto Workers President Bob King says the union’s campaign to organize the unorganized foreign auto transplant factories in the U.S. will be a broader strategic campaign than ever before.
[King]: “What we want is for companies to recognize the workers’ First Amendment rights. Workers should have a right of free speech, they should have a right of association without being intimidated – in some cases terrorized by the boss – without having
Since a new tax break was offered to small businesses that hire unemployed workers – 5.6 workers have been added to company rolls – however, it isn’t clear how many of those jobs would have been created without the tax break. According to the Treasury Department, the numbers are for February until June and will save the businesses $10.4 billion in taxes if they keep three fourths of the workers for at least a year. Under the program businesses that hire workers who have been unemployed for more than 60 days won’t have to pay the 6.2 percent Social Security tax until the next year.
On Monday, the United Auto Workers announced plans to intensify pressure on non-unionized companies. The union has already been revving the engine with informational pickets at auto dealerships for non-unionized auto companies such as Toyota under the newly elected leadership of President Bob King. In a speech in Traverse City, Michigan on Monday King said the labor organization will begin asking companies to sign a pledge to principles that if adopted the will let the company off the hook from pressure even if their workers choose not to join a union.
A report released by the Obama administration on Monday says health care reform has produced Medicare savings of $8 billion this year. The report goes on to say that by the end of the decade a savings of nearly $575 billion is expected. By the year 2018 monthly Medicare premiums are expected to be lowered by $200 annually with the Medicare trust fund remaining solvent until 2029. Estimates prior to the passage of health care reform had projected the fund would only be solvent until 2017.
New York City remains the number one union city in the country with an organized workforce of 22.3 percent. That’s according to an analysis by chicagounionnews.com which found Chicago tied in second with Philadelphia. According to the website 17.5 percent of Chicago’s workforce was organized in 2009, up .2 percent over 2008. The majority of organized workers in Chicago are in the public sector which has a unionized majority of 54.7 percent. In the New York City region 69.2 percent of public sector workers are organized.
On Friday, President Barack Obama went to Detroit to speak with auto workers at GM and Chrysler plants. The President called the auto industry bail out plan a success pointing out that for the first time in six years all three U.S. automakers turned a profit last quarter. He also said the domestic auto industry added 55,000 jobs last year and will continue to add more in months to come. The President used the opportunity to call out opponents of his bail out gamble and said the autoworkers are proving the “naysayers” wrong:
A resolution passed by the National Conference of State Legislature’s on trade policies heralds a change in the way the country views our nation’s trade agreements. Doug Cunningham has more.
By Doug Cunningham
Sara Edelman is with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. She says the resolution reflects a widespread state and local realization that trade agreements like the upcoming Korea free trade agreement are not serving the interests of American workers, local communities and states.
A bill in the U.S. House that would have provided $7.4 billion in medical treatment and compensation to first responders and residents near Ground Zero failed Thursday. While the bill received 255 votes, it failed to achieve the majority needed for passage. 155 Republicans and four Democrats voted against the legislation. New York Rep. Anthony Weiner accused opponents of the bill of doing the right thing for other Republicans, but not “doing the right thing on behalf of heroes.”