Issues

“Like a Bad Neighbor, Chevron is there”

OP-ED: LIKE A BAD NEIGHBOR, CHEVRON IS THERE By Leo Gerard President, United Steelworkers The federal agency that investigates refinery catastrophes released its final report late last month on the massive fire, volatile vapor release and toxic smoke plume at Chevron’s Richmond, Calif., refinery in 2012 that imperiled 19 workers and sickened 15,000 residents of surrounding communities. The report says [...]

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Postal Workers Open Bargaining for New Contract with USPS

WASHINGTON—With new leadership sitting in the chairs at both the Postal Workers and the Postal Service, the two sides opened bargaining for a new contract on February 19 — and got an unexpected extra demand from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.   The federation chief challenged new Postmaster General Megan Brennan to let the USPS lead the way towards better wages [...]

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New Jersey Establishes Regulations for “Independent Contractor” Dodge

TRENTON, N.J.− In a ruling last month, the justices unanimously cited New Jersey law and regulations to establish a 3-part test employers must meet before they can use that “independent contractor” dodge to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes and workers’ comp – and to prevent workers from union organizing.   Millions of workers nationwide are misclassified as [...]

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New Legislation Would Protect Workers from Wage Theft

ST. PAUL, Minn.− Workers can see their wages stolen in many ways: Not receiving the minimum wage or compensation for overtime. Not receiving their final paycheck after leaving a job. Not being paid at all.   “It’s a problem that happens more often than most people think,” said Steve Hunter, secretary-treasurer of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, the labor federation representing some [...]

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GOP Gov. Yanks Union Rights to Collect Dues from Caregivers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.− New Illinois GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner yanked union rights to collect dues or fees from thousands of home health caregivers in the state, drawing protests from AFSCME, which represents the workers.   This impacts nurses, emergency responders, child welfare advocates and workers who enforce public oversight.   His announcement of anti-worker plans during his State of the State [...]

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AFSA Urges Congress and President Obama to End Sequestration

AFSA, Together with Diverse Groups Address Importance of Eliminating Sequestration, Fiscal Austerity  Washington, DC –  In 2013, The Bipartisan Budget Act negotiated by Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray provided partial, temporary relief from sequestration. With the return of full sequestration in 2016, NDD United, an alliance of organizations working together to protect nondefense discretionary funding, has renewed its efforts [...]

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Manufactures Push Bill to Avoid Worker Liability for Illness and Suffering

WASHINGTON− The remaining firms that manufactured items containing cancer-causing substance, asbestos, are pushing legislation to remove their remaining legal liability to pay workers for their illnesses and suffering.   Asbestos has killed thousands of shipyard workers, factory workers, construction workers and still kills 10,000 people yearly.   Their bill, HR526, in a GOP-run House Judiciary subcommittee, drew opposition from the [...]

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Teacher Unions Push for NCLB Rewrite

WASHINGTON—The main Senate committee on education issues is off to a quick start in attempting to rewrite the nation’s federal education aid law. Teachers and their two unions, National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT), are weighing in on issues.   Key issues include, how many tests kids should take in grades K-12, the weight of tests [...]

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Unemployment Rate at 5.7%; Businesses Create More Jobs

WASHINGTON− The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that U.S employment rate was 5.7 percent in January, 0.1 percent higher than at the end of 2014. Another survey shows businesses created a net of 257,000 jobs last month.   BLS also reports that in January 2014, there were 10.28 million unemployed workers and unemployment rate was 6.6 percent.   Elise [...]

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Illinois Legislature Democrats Defend Unions Against RTW Laws

SPRINGFIELD, ILL.− Democrats who still control the Illinois legislature vow to continue to protect working families.   First, they plan on stopping GOP Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposal on “right to work” (RTW) laws in Illinois. These laws ban unions from negotiating contracts that include mandatory dues collection.   RTW laws let “free riders” use union services without paying for them. [...]

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