Philadephians, for the second year in a row, celebrated International Labor Day at Elmwood Park in the city’s southwest section. The site has historical significance in part because of its history in the heart of what was once a major industrial area for the Delaware Valley. It will soon be the home of a memorial monument to the labor movement.
Des Plaines, Ill. — Six-hundred union workers at the Hart Schaffner & Marx’s manufacturing plant here, which is one of the last and largest U.S. suit makers, are demanding it’s time that they, and not the banks, get bailed out. The workers are fighting to keep their jobs after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. The filing followed reductions in its credit line by the bank.
The labor movement, determined to be heard as Congress and President Obama hammer out changes in the U.S. healthcare system, is insisting that any new plan include the four features of cost controls, a public option to compete with private insurers, a ban on taxation of employer-based plans, and a choice of doctors and hospitals.
The latest Quinnipiac Poll in Pennsylvania helps explain what may be Sen. Arlen Specter’s second switch on the Employee Free Choice Act.
Have you heard the one about the recession being over? New data out today show 539,000 workers lost their jobs in April and the nation’s unemployment rate worsened to 8.9 percent, from 8.5 percent in March, according to the Labor Department. Jobs lost in April were spread across nearly all major private-sector industries. Jobs lost include 149,000 in manufacturing; 110,000 in the construction industry; 122,000 in professional and business services; and 47,000 in the services industry.
Military veterans in Maine, Arkansas and around the country are calling for quick passage of the Employee Free Choice Act this week. In cooperation with national veterans groups, these veterans are holding meetings, writing letters and speaking about the need to restore the basic freedom to form a union and bargain for a better life.
A spokesperson for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the lead sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act, confirmed today that an agreement is near that will allow Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) to return to his earlier position of support for the legislation. Specter, originally a co-sponsor of the bill, announced on March 24 that he had switched to the opposition. At the time, as a Republican senator, he was under pressure from business lobbyists and right-wing Republicans lining up against him in that party’s coming primary election.
The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO has issued an urgent appeal for workers across the country to write President Obama urging him to stop Chrysler from shutting down an engine plant in Kenosha, Wis., and shipping the 800 jobs to Mexico.
For the last six years the United Food and Commercial Workers union has led a national publicity campaign that has resulted in millions viewing Wal-Mart as a monster that chews up its workers and takes advantage of its customers. The union is now shifting gears, however, and renewing an effort it set aside six years ago – a drive to organize the workers employed by the retail giant.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Port board members got an earful from workers and local residents at a May 2 public hearing on the Comprehensive Truck Management Plan the Port of Oakland is preparing as part of its overall program to clean up air pollution plaguing the port and surrounding neighborhoods.