Issues

Contrasting speeches: AFT’s Weingarten links school privatizers to segregationists; Trump Ed Secretary DeVos touts the privatizing cause

WASHINGTON—When AFT opened its semi-annual “Teach” conference in D.C. in late July, union President Randi Weingarten was everywhere – and she pulled no punches. Weingarten’s keynote speech linked the so-called school privatization movement, featuring taxpayer-paid vouchers for parents of private school students, “choice” schools and similar schemes to the racists and segregationists of the 1950s and before. Meanwhile, Trump Education [...]

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Union leaders pan House GOP’s budget blueprint

WASHINGTON–As might be expected, national union leaders — joined by at least one top House Democrat — panned the budget blueprint that Republicans unveiled on July 19. The spending plan from Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., calls for a $203 billion cut in Medicare and Medicaid for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. It does so by including the [...]

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EPI hits Trump rollback of new DOL overtime pay rule

WASHINGTON—To no one’s great surprise, the GOP Trump administration Labor Department wants to get public comments – read “business opposition” – to a rule that would open millions of more workers to eligibility for overtime pay. The labor-backed Economic Policy Institute retorts that DOL is all wet and its demand is “wasteful” of time and effort. In a July 27 [...]

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Franken: Trump nominee for DOL’s #2 job lobbied for government that let firms exploit workers

WASHINGTON—Patrick Pizzella, GOP President Donald Trump’s nominee for Deputy Secretary of Labor – the department’s #2 job – lobbied more than a decade ago for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands government that let employers cruelly exploit workers while still allowing the companies to label their products “Made in the USA.” Franken raised the issue at the July 13 [...]

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Senate Panels OKs renewal of Fire Fighter programs

WASHINGTON—By unanimous bipartisan vote, the Senate committee that handles fire fighter issues approved renewal of two federal aid programs for fire fighters. It also increased the maximum the feds could allot to the programs, but actual amounts will be less. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee sent the measure, S829, to the floor on July 11. And while the [...]

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House panel Dems oppose GOP money cuts for job training, labor law enforcement

WASHINGTON—Democrats on the House panel that allots money for the Labor Department, the National Labor Relations Board and federal health and education programs sharply protested the GOP-run panel’s cuts in job training and labor enforcement spending., among other areas. And they didn’t like the shackles – called “riders” — outlawing pro-worker NLRB decisions, either. The Democrats spoke out as the [...]

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Study: Senate GOP health care bill could cost 919K health care jobs by 2026

INDEPENDENT STUDY: SENATE GOP HEALTH CARE BILL COULD COST 919K HEALTH CARE JOBS BY 2026 An independent study for the non-profit Commonwealth Fund calculates the Senate Republicans’ “replacement” for the 7-year-old Affordable Care Act could cost 919,000 jobs in health care alone by 2026 – and 1.45 million jobs overall that year. Health care jobs would start to shrink immediately: [...]

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Op-Ed: USW’s Leo Gerard on ‘Republicans working against workers’

By Leo Gerard, President, United Steelworkers Ever worsening is the chasm between the loaded, who luxuriate in gated communities, and the workers, who are hounded at their rickety gates by bill collectors. Even though this month’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed unemployment at a low 4.4 percent, wages continue to flat-line, killing both opportunity and the consumer economy. Meanwhile, corporations persist [...]

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Steelworkers and job safety specialist hit Trump EPA’s plan to kill protections around chemical plants

WASHINGTON–Scott Pruitt doesn’t want you to know what hazardous chemicals are being manufactured or used in the plant next door. And his decision, yanking a federal rule revealing the existence of such chemicals to workers, communities and first responders, has the Steelworkers and a top job safety and health specialist mad. Pruitt, GOP President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator, [...]

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For first time in nine years, ATU local in Buffalo wins a contract

BUFFALO, N.Y.–Ending a nine-year struggle, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1342 finally achieved a new contract with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), Western New York Labor Today reported. Members ratified it 498-297. The 4-year pact includes an overall 17.25 percent wage increase, local President Jeff Richardson said on July 14. The contract, retroactive to 2009, covers 1,100 workers at [...]

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