Labor

Labor Must Counter Balance Corporate Power

On this Labor Day organized labor is more threatened than at any time in my life.  Blamed for our economic ills stupid people forget it was Wall Street and Organized Capital that collapsed the economy driven by greed and short minded selfishness.
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MI Court of Appeals Rules Collective Bargaining Bill Will Be on Nov. Ballot

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that voters will decide the fate of an amendment aimed at protecting collective bargaining rights come November. Predictably, opponents of the ballot initiative, led by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, have vowed to take the issue to the Michigan Supreme Court.
The appeals court rejected a challenge to the proposal which claimed the law was too sweeping and affected too many laws. But nearly 600,000 Michigan voters had signed petitions to get the “Protect Our Jobs Amendment” on the ballot, signaling its ubiquitous appeal.
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What Workers Really Fear on the Job

Some 40 percent of America’s workers say they fear their benefits will be reduced in the near future, according to Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll released today. That compares with 28 percent who are afraid their wages will be cut back and 28 percent who fear they will be laid off, a percentage that’s still high compared with pre-recession levels. (Click on chart to enlarge.) In addition, 26 percent fear their hours will be cut back.
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Boeing Promotes Record Profits while Shifting Costs onto Employees

As defense industry titan Boeing enjoys record sales and income it has made shifting costs to its engineers and technical workers a focal point of contract negotiations with the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEAA).
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IRS Giving Employers a Chance to Right their Misclassification Wrongs with Voluntary Classification Settlement Program

In the continuing, uphill battle against employee misclassification — or “classification fraud” — the IRS has announced a new program, the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), which would allow employers to reclassify independent contractors as employees for future tax periods. In exchange, the liability for past payroll obligations will be cut to 10 percent of the employment tax liability that may have been due on compensation paid to the workers for the most recent tax year.
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Waste Management Bringing in Replacement Workers from Out of State Instead of Bargaining with Seattle Teamsters

Striking Waste Management workers in Seattle braced for a showdown yesterday when an estimated 200 replacement workers were expected to arrive for their first day on the job. Complaints from customers and threats from the city have forced Waste Management to resume regular garbage pickup, but rather than negotiate with striking Teamster members they decided to bring in help/scabs from out-of-state.
“The company wants us to cave, because we see replacement workers doing our jobs,” says union driver Brent Barrett.
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Report: During Obama’s First Year in Office, The Number of Workers Killed on the Job Increased by 3.1%

A new report by the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) lays out a set of reforms that could help strengthen and stream line the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the 40-year old agency of the Department of Labor. The report notes that the now-underfunded agency had a ratio of inspectors to workers of 1-to-30,000 in the late 1970s. The ratio has since doubled to 1-to-60,000.
The report is alleged to be putting pressure on President Obama to reform OSHA if re-elected. A consensus is building around the importance of how workers report unsafe conditions and how the agency responds to this information above simply pumping more money into a semi-broken agency.
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Virginia Workers Mobilize for Minimum Wage Day of Action

While millions of workers struggle to live on $7.25 an hour, CEO pay has increased by 725 percent over the past thirty years. A raise in the minimum wage would put more money in the pockets of working people and boost consumer spending, which drives 70 percent of our economy. In Fairfax, SEIU Virginia 512 members paired up with area 32BJ members in support of increasing the minimum wage.
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