Issues

Unions angered by hard-right philosophies of Trump picks for Education, Health cabinet posts

Unions concerned with Medicare, Medicaid, the future of the Affordable Care Act and support for public schools, students and teachers are angered by GOP President-elect Donald Trump’s picks for the top posts at federal departments dealing with those issues: Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., for the Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan right wing millionaire Betsy DeVos for the [...]

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High court to ponder if fed’l. bankruptcy judge can push workers to back of payment line

WASHINGTON—For years, when a company goes broke, workers have found themselves waiting to receive pennies from the sell-offs of assets left by their busted bosses, after bankers, bondholders and other “secured creditors” take their bankruptcy cuts first. On Dec. 7, the Supreme Court will hear a case that, if the settlement involved is upheld, could make things a lot worse [...]

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Jobless rate drops to 4.6% in November, lowest mark since a year before the crash

WASHINGTON—The U.S. unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percent in November to 4.6 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. It was the lowest jobless rate since a year before the Great Recession began. Businesses claimed to create a net of 156,000 jobs, while governments added 22,000 jobs. Most were in local governments, not including schools. Some 7.4 million people were jobless [...]

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95,000 Calif. State Workers Set 1-Day Strike for December 5

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Fed up by state officials’ stonewalling after seven months of contract talks, some 95,000 California state workers, represented by Service Employees Local 1000, voted for a 1-day statewide strike on Dec. 5. The strike threat was pending. While their union, which represents teachers, nurses, librarians, custodians, IT analysts, inspectors and more, is not legally required to give the state [...]

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Hundreds of Thousands of Low-Wage Workers Walk Out for $15 and a Union

From Washington to Los Angeles to Chicago, from Maine to Minnesota to Phoenix, low-wage workers – including fast food workers, airport workers, adjunct professors, home health care workers and for the first time, Uber drivers – walked off their jobs on Nov. 29 for “$15 and a union.” The nationwide protests, termed the “Day of Disruption,” were the largest yet [...]

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For the Record: Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Speech to the AFL-CIO Executive Council

WASHINGTON—Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the progressive, pro-worker firebrand, addressed the AFL-CIO Executive Council on November 10, two days after the election of Republican nominee Donald Trump to the presidency and the retention of GOP majorities in Congress. Below is the text of her speech, as released by her office: “We’re now two days removed from an incredibly close and hard-fought [...]

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Op-Ed: The Steelworkers on the Election

The United Steelworkers’ executive board, led by union President Leo Gerard, issued the following open letter to union members: “An open letter from the United Steelworkers Leadership: “On Tuesday, voters across the country took advantage of the hard-fought right to cast their ballots. The election is over and Donald Trump will be our next president. “The USW endorsed Hillary Clinton. [...]

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Union campaign fails vs insertion of right to work in Alabama constitution

MONTGOMERY, Ala.—Unionists campaigned hard this year to try to prevent Alabama voters from enshrining the so-called right to work law in the Alabama constitution. They failed. “The constitution ‘is the most amended in the world. Enough already!!’” state labor federation President Bren Riley wrote on the fed’s website in early October as part of the fed’s drive. Few listened. The [...]

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Letter Carriers’ Rolando hails USPS operating profit; Agency anticipates busy season

The president of one of the nation’s two largest postal unions, Fredric Rolando of the Letter Carriers, is hailing the $610 million operating profit the USPS revealed. Meanwhile, USPS officials are also looking forward to profits this quarter, thanks to huge volumes of the political mail and a big hike in packages during the holiday season. The USPS report showed [...]

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Pro-worker Minnesota Gov. Dayton faces Republican-led legislature

ST. PAUL, Minn. —Minnesota’s unions worked hard this election to send labor-friendly majorities to the state legislature so that Democratic-Farmer Labor (DFL) Gov. Mark Dayton could move forward with his agenda in his last two years in office. Instead, in a year observers are calling a “wave” election favoring Republicans, Minnesota Republicans increased their current majority in the state House [...]

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