Airline workers pensions crash and burn

The union representing United Airlines’ flight attendants warned of the demise of the nation’s defined-benefit pension system after a bankruptcy judge gave the airline the go-ahead to dump billions of dollars of pension obligations owed to members of four unions, the flight attendants, pilots, and ground crews May 10.

Iraq upgraded from quagmire to morass

Situation disastrous but not catastrophic, defense sec’y says

Perfect storm on pensions, health care

Quickly converging with the debate on Social Security is the worsening state of the U.S. private pension system.

Houston janitors fight for justice

HOUSTON — “It is misery,” said Ercilia Sandoval, who has worked as a janitor in Houston for seven years. In a fiery speech to 1,000 participants in the April 30 Justice for Janitors convention here, the El Salvador native said she is paid $5.25 an hour. On those wages, she “can’t pay for child care, can’t pay for food, can’t pay to ride the bus.”

World Notes

Congo: Militiamen disarm; Haiti: Call to free all political prisoners; Sweden: Unions demand tax hikes; Puerto Rico: Students win strike; Ceylon: Unions protest privatization

Workers of the world hit streets on May Day

Millions of workers staged May Day rallies worldwide, from a rally of 5,000 Bangladeshis seeking a minimum wage to the streets of Moscow where workers rallied against sweeping cuts in social programs. Workers, from as diverse a list as South Africa, Mozambique, India, Nepal, Palestine, Canada, Mexico, Japan, France and Sweden, gave voice to a wide range of demands on the traditional international labor holiday.

Cubas AIDS program shows results

Cuba’s progress in fighting HIV/AIDS was recently on display at a national conference in Havana titled “Assuming the Challenge.”

Dallas voters reject strong mayor proposal

DALLAS — African American and Latino voters, turning out in record numbers for the May 7 local elections, were credited with dealing a stunning defeat to a “strong mayor” proposal that would have transferred most municipal power away from the 14 city councilpersons and into the hands of the mayor.

New ID bill will harm thousands

Congress has passed legislation that will profoundly affect the way U.S. citizens live — and not for the better. Spearheaded by Republicans, the REAL ID Act carries with it dangerous provisions, including the creation of a giant central database and national ID card.

U.S. bounty on Black Panther targets Cuba

New Jersey’s attorney general and its police superintendent announced May 2 that a bounty of $1 million had been posted for the return to New Jersey from Cuba of former Black Panther Party leader Assata Shakur. They also said Shakur, 57, had been placed on the FBI list of “domestic terrorists.”

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