George Becker, 78, former president of the United Steelworkers (USW), died Feb. 3 at his home in West Deer, Pa. Twice elected USW president, Becker served from 1993-2000, taking him through some of the most intense union battles of the late 20th century in the United States.
“Coal is more important than life.” That is how Pam Campbell, sister-in-law of miner Marty Bennett who died inside Sago Mine, sums up over a year of government and coal corporation stalls, speeches, secrecy and frustration. More than a year after Sago exploded in January 2006, killing 12 West Virginia miners, the country’s 2,100 coal mines are no safer.
“We sent a statement,” declared Dennis Gannon, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL), in the afterglow of the Feb. 27 municipal elections. And what a statement it was.
LAS VEGAS — The main focus of this week’s AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting was moving forward from the March 1 passage of HR 800, the Employee Free Choice Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives, federation President John Sweeney told reporters here.