Issues

Calif. Senate panel OKs statewide single-payer health care bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —By a 5-2 party-line vote, the Democratic-dominated California State Senate Appropriations Committee approved a government-run single-payer health care bill that would cover everyone in the state. It’s the first step on what could be a long road to the measure’s passage. The measure, SB562, the Healthy California Act, is a key cause of the California Nurses Association and [...]

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Jobless rate declines 0.1 percent in May

WASHINGTON—The U.S. jobless rate declined 0.1 percent in May to 4.3 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. But that’s because the labor force declined by 429,000 people last month, including 195,000 fewer jobless. The number of jobless was 6.861 million in May. And a separate survey showed businesses claimed to create a net of 138,000 new jobs. In Republican [...]

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Right wing GOP Missouri governor signs Project Labor Agreements ban

By Tim Rowden, Editor, St. Louis Labor Tribune and Press Associates EARTH CITY, Mo. –With union-hating Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker beaming at his side, right wing Missouri GOP Governor Eric Greitens signed a bill on May 31 banning local governments from entering into Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). The so-called “Fairness In Public Construction Act” – another blatant attack on unions, made [...]

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Lawmakers tackle lack of protections and benefits in so-called ‘gig economy’

Lawmakers tackle lack of protections and benefits in so-called ‘gig economy’

WASHINGTON—Two congressional Democrats, including one who first raised the alarm two years ago, unveiled legislation for a pilot program on how to give workers in the so-called “gig economy” protections and benefits other workers have. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., say that while “gig economy” jobs – in firms such as the Uber and Lyft ride-sharing [...]

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Trashing Workers’ Rights. Congressional Republicans start concerted effort to trash labor law by huge revisions in Natl. Labor Relations Act.

WASHINGTON —Maybe it was only just a matter of time, but Congress’ ruling Republicans, not content with picking off workers’ rights one by one, are launching a concerted effort to trash federal labor law – and workers’ rights – wholesale. Leaders are Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., the #4 Republican on the ideologically polarized House Education and the Workforce Committee, and [...]

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Ex-Massey CEO Blankenship leaves prison, starts blaming others for fatal Upper Big Branch blast

CHARLESTON, W. Va. —No sooner did Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Coal Company, leave federal prison after serving a year for violating mine safety laws – violations that led to the fatal explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine seven years ago — than he started blaming almost everyone else. The sole exception: The 29 victims. Needless to say, [...]

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University of Chicago TAs, RAs, undergrad library workers file for union votes

CHICAGO—Graduate student teaching assistants and research assistants at one of the nation’s most-prestigious private universities, the University of Chicago, filed union election recognition cards with the National Labor Relations Board’s regional office in early May. The same day, an undergrad unit of UofC library workers filed cards with the NLRB, too. The grad student vote marks yet another milestone in [...]

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Unions battle bipartisan Senate bill to make firing Vets Affairs Dept. workers easier

WASHINGTON—Unions representing federal workers are battling yet another congressional plan – a bill advanced by a bipartisan set of senators – to make firing workers easier at the Department of Veterans Affairs. One fear? That if the Republican-run Congress gives VA managers more firing leeway, without having to show cause for axing workers, it could take the next step and [...]

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GOP scheme to strip Minn. cities of right to pass pro-worker measures may face veto

By Press Associates and Workday Minnesota ST. PAUL, Minn. —A right-wing Republican scheme to strip Minnesota cities of their right to pass pro-worker ordinances faces a potential veto by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. But even with unions, local mayors and progressive groups cheering him on and urging him to act, Dayton’s veto is not a done deal yet. He recently told [...]

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Keystone pipeline construction saga continues

Despite an optimistic outlook from Laborers President Terry O’Sullivan – and Laborers locals on the ground in Nebraska – the saga of whether the controversial northern leg of the Keystone XL oil pipeline will ever get built continues. That’s because the Nebraska Public Service Commission, the last governmental body that must weigh in, scheduled public hearings for early August on [...]

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