|Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO|
Rana Plaza, the Bangladesh factory that collapsed three weeks ago, killed more than 1,100 workers, many of them young women. This tragedy adds to the more than 1500 Bangladeshi workers killed in preventable fires and building collapses since 2005. Documents found at the factory show that the workers produced for big names in global retail revealing the link between poor workers in Bangladesh and major retail brands.Obviously, the government must improve local laws and their enforcement to stop these tragedies, but brands must also take responsibility for their supply chains. They must be held accountable to the tragedy that happened in their supply chain. Read more >>>
Marcus Hedger will have to wait even longer to get his job back if Senate Republicans continue to block President Obama’s bipartisan nominees to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Call your senators toll free at 1-888-264-6154 and tell them to confirm the board nominations now. Hedger was illegally fired in 2010 from his pressman’s job at an Illinois printing company for his union activities on behalf of his fellow union members in the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters. Last September, the full NLRB—two Democrats and one Republican, at the time—ruled he should get his job back with back pay. Read more >>>
Most voters agree that big corporations and the wealthy should start paying their fair share in taxes. But, of course, big corporations and the wealthy don’t want to do that. They want to pay less, and they are used to getting their way. So what do you do? Some people in Washington think the answer is a “grand bargain.” In a “grand bargain,” Republicans agree to stop protecting millionaires from having to pay a single penny more in taxes. In return, Democrats agree to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits. Read more >>>
Union Busting Bill Gets BUSTED in LA House Committee
(5-13-13) Via The Advocate:
Panel scuttles union busting bill
A Louisiana House committee shot down legislation Wednesday that would have prohibited payroll deductions for public employees’ union dues.
House Bill 552 would have affected teacher unions (and public employee unions).
Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan told the House Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations that he had to question the timing of the proposal. “Shutting our voice out might mean there wouldn’t have been litigation over flawed programs,” he said.
Committee debate on the bill came just one day after the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, or LFT, prevailed at the state Supreme Court in a case that scuttled the way the state finances vouchers that use public dollars to send students to private or parochial schools. The LFT is one of the state’s largest teacher unions.
The measure’s sponsor, state Rep. Alan Seabaugh, characterized HB552 as a simple bill.
Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, said collecting union dues should not be a function of government. “Frankly, the dues often are used to engage in a political process,” he said.
Keep reading the rest of the article here. Many thanks to the Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan and the Louisiana team that lobbied against the bill for organized labor!
Supreme Court: Voucher Funding is Unconstitutional!!
(May 7, 2013) The State of Louisiana may not use funds dedicated to public education to pay the tuition for students in private and religious schools, the State Supreme Court ruled today.
“The state’s highest court affirmed what we believed all along,” said Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan. “Our constitution clearly states that public education’s Minimum Foundation Program is reserved for public schools and public school systems.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for the constitution and for the rule of law,” Monaghan continued. “It is a rebuff to an administration that railroaded the voucher bill through the legislature. In today’s ruling, the court restated the simple fact that no governor and no legislature have the right to ride roughshod over the foundational principles of our government.”
This is a tremendous win for the teachers and students of our state, thanks to the Louisiana Federation of Teachers beating the drum. Keep reading the rest of the article here.
Q&A with Saru Jayaraman
The partition that separates diners from the inner workings of the restaurant industry toppled for Saru Jayaraman shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Fekkak Mamdouh, one of the headwaiters of the restaurant housed on the top floor of the World Trade Center, approached Jayaraman seven months after the attacks. His former boss deemed him and his former crew “not experienced enough” to work in his new Times Square restaurant. Jayaraman, a 27-year-old organizer of immigrant women, took up the case to advocate for the displaced workers, organized protests and won—most of the workers were awarded the good jobs their former boss promised.
Jayaraman and Mamdouh formed Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United in April 2002 and were flooded with stories of workplace atrocities in New York City and, eventually, across the country. We spoke with Jayaraman earlier this month about her new book on the ills of the restaurant industry, Behind the Kitchen Door.
For Lapronda Eason and the other building service workers at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the link to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--who died in Memphis in 1968 advocating for the rights of city sanitation workers to form a union--is as real as the job they do every day.
Read more >>>
The Union Man - Sing Along!
Please share this music video with other sisters and brothers! This is a member of the UA, and it has great potential.
The time for immigration reform is now, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. This will be a focus for labor in 2013 as the country needs to create a common-sense immigration process with a road map to citizenship. Read more >>>
(10-22-12) Stand Up to American Crystal Sugar Greed!!
The CEO and board members of American Crystal Sugar (ACS)—the nation’s largest sugar beet processor—have blocked 1,300 workers from their jobs for more than a year, denying them incomes and health care benefits.
What’s worse, ACS made record profits last year and paid CEO David Berg $2.4 million in compensation. All this while workers and families struggle to make ends meet, small businesses—that rely on workers to keep the doors open—have been forced to close, and sugar beet farmers are making less and being forced to “turn under” their crops.
So, what can YOU do to help support 1,300 workers?Read more >>>
We Party Patriots Blog
Manufacturing jobs rose under Democratic presidents, dropped under Republican ones
(10-16-12) The United States gained between 5.4 million and 7 million manufacturing jobs under Democratic presidents and lost between 7.3 million and 9 million manufacturing jobs under Republican presidents since 1948, according to a new study by the Keystone Research Center and the Iowa Policy Project. Those changes came during nine Republican terms and seven Democratic ones, meaning that manufacturing jobs grew under Democratic leadership at about the same rate they declined under Republican leadership.
While the largest gains were posted under the earliest Democratic administrations included in the study—Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson—there was manufacturing jobs loss under Dwight Eisenhower, so the Democratic advantage doesn't come purely from having racked up big gains early. In fact, Barack Obama has a better record than eight of nine post-World War II Republican presidential terms, lagging behind only Ronald Reagan's second term in office. This makes for big differences.
What are they? Keep reading
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