Our Issues In The News

Obama’s Fast-Track Plan Could Lead to Mass Loss of American Jobs

WASHINGTON—Barack Obama’s fast-track plan appears to be in trouble in the Senate. This could boost workers and their allies in campaigns to prevent giving Obama unlimited authority to negotiate free trade pacts that lawmakers can’t change.   Fast-track, formally known as “trade promotion authority” (TPA) is made up of three trade pacts: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a pact with Europe, [...]

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New Congress Brings New Federal Worker-Bashing Bills

WASHINGTON (PAI)—The opening of the GOP-run 114th Congress brought another series of bills bashing federal workers. In the past, federal workers have had their pay frozen for three years, lost two-weeks-plus of wages to GOP-enacted “furloughs” due to sequestration, and their pensions contributions triple, with no promised benefit increases.   The latest variations include representatives Ken Calvert, R-Calif., Cynthia Lummis, [...]

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Federal Government Plans to End Consent Decree Governing Teamsters

NEW YORK (PAI)—The federal government plans to end its consent decree and direct oversight governing the Teamsters after 26 years, however there are still limitations. This agreement will be officially discussed at a hearing in Manhattan before Loretta Preska, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Southern New York, on February 11.   Jim Hoffa, Teamster’s President, will achieve [...]

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New Report: Union Weekly Wage for Union Members Higher than Non-Unionists

WASHINGTON (PAI)- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Union density was 11.1% in 2014, a decrease by 0.2% from last year. However, 48,000 members were added last year. The median weekly wage for union members was $207 more than that of non-unionists.   The median wage in 2014 for union women was $904 (89% of $1,015 weekly wage for [...]

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ATU in Portland, Ore. Area transit Agency Ratify First new Agreed-Upon Pact in 10 Years

PORTLAND, Ore. (PAI)–Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 in Portland, Ore., ratified a new union contract at the area transit agency, TriMet — the first time the two agreed on a pact in over 10 years, the union announced in late October.  A 6-year deal ratified in March 2004 was followed by a 4-year contract imposed by an arbitrator.   [...]

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Labor Board Rejects Right-to-Work Crowd’s Initial Attempt to Use Supreme Court Health Care Ruling vs. Union Drive

WASHINGTON (PAI)–The National Labor Relations Board has rejected, for now, the anti-worker “Right to Work” crowd’s initial attempt to use the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling letting employers refuse to offer women’s health care coverage to justify banning unions in religious-sponsored universities.   Instead, the NLRB took note of the RTW crowd’s stand, but did not say how it would rule [...]

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Mine Workers Hail CEO’s Indictment in Fatal Upper Big Branch Explosion

TRIANGLE, Va. (PAI)—Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts hailed the indictment of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship as a result of the fatal Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia four years ago.   The blast killed 29 miners.  Though UBB, like the rest of Massey, was non-union, the federal government let the Mine Workers represent the interests of the [...]

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Justices Wrestle with Retiree Health Care Benefits Case

WASHINGTON (PAI)–Can retirees get lifetime health care benefits under a union contract?  That question, which now affects retirees at a West Virginia firm whose employees are Steelworkers, but which could affect millions of workers in the future, hit the U.S. Supreme Court on November 10.   At issue in M&G Polymers USA vs Robert Tackett et al is how to interpret contract provisions [...]

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Obama Dumps NLRB Nominee Block

WASHINGTON (PAI)—In one of the first signs he is kowtowing to the incoming Senate Republican majority, Democratic President Barack Obama officially dumped the nomination of Sharon Block for an upcoming vacant seat on the National Labor Relations Board.   With strong backing from unions and workers, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved Block on a party-line [...]

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Lack of Ebola Protection, Health Care Issues Force Brief Nurses’ Strike

Can you imagine a hospital emergency room that lacks enough saline solution, a common and vital supply?  Jowita Lyn can – because her emergency room at Washington’s Providence Hospital has that problem every day.   And it’s a lack of such basic supplies, along with high nurse-to-patient ratios and hospitals’ lack of protection for nurses and doctors exposed to the dangerous [...]

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