Legal services union: ‘Impeach Bush/Cheney’

Both Bush and Cheney should be impeached for lying to the American people in order to start an unjust war, and for spying upon civilians without a warrant, said a resolution passed overwhelmingly by delegates representing nearly 4,000 legal services and human services workers Jan. 25 in Las Vegas, Nev. It was the national joint council meeting of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, otherwise known as Local Union 2320 of the UAW, that took the action.
Delegates also overwhelmingly supported a resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. These resolutions are being forwarded to the UAW’s Constitutional Convention scheduled to held in June.

Stanford Hospital win

Workers at Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital have ratified a new contract. The SEIU members had conducted a 24-hour strike along with Stanford University workers on Dec. 12 to protest stalled negotiations.

Workers making less than $50,000 will get full family health care this year and there will be a wage increase of at least 12 percent over the three-year contract.

New DOD rules on hold
The scheduled Feb. 1 implementation of new personnel rules in the Department of Defense has been put off to March 1 by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan.

A 41-union coalition, led by the American Federation of Government Employees, challenged the rules, which set up a new personnel system for the agency. The new system replaces standard civil service law and its protections for six years.
AFGE lawyer Dan Chember said the DOD, headed by Donald Rumsfeld, broke the law by unilaterally and secretly creating the new rules which virtually outlaw collective bargaining by taking almost every subject off the bargaining table. Rumsfeld’s rules also gave DOD managers “unlimited management rights” over transfers, hiring, firing raises and promotions.

IBM sued for OT pay

A group of IBM workers who install and maintain computer hardware and software is suing the company in federal court for cheating them out of their overtime pay.

John Shelly and Thomas Rosenburg of San Francisco and Exaldo Topacio of New York City said they and other tech support workers “were misclassified by IBM as professionals” in order to exempt them from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The three said they often worked more than 40 hours a week and on weekends, usually at customers’ sites, maintaining and repairing computers.

The lawyers asked the court to include other former IBM tech support workers nationwide and make the case a class-action suit. They said thousands of workers and possibly millions of hours of unpaid overtime could be involved

Even at $1 this guy is overpaid!

Bankruptcy artist Steve Miller, current CEO of Delphi Corp., made a big show of reducing his salary for 2006 to $1. But financial documents filed in bankruptcy court reveal that in 2005 Miller collected $875,000 in salary in addition to a $3 million signing bonus he banked when he joined the corporation in June.

Miller came to Delphi with the expertise of having taken Bethlehem Steel and United Airlines in and out of bankruptcy. In both cases jobs were slashed, union contracts cancelled, pensions and retiree health care stolen and executives amply rewarded.
Delphi, of Troy, Mich., put its U.S. operation into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 8 under Miller’s direction. Delphi reported sales of $24.10 billion in 2004.

“Miller contends his executive team has been underpaid while Delphi’s hourly workforce commands significantly higher wages than the labor market dictates,” according to Automotive News.

The company has proposed various bonus plans to retain its management team during the bankruptcy reorganization, but those plans are being opposed in court by the United Auto Workers. UAW Local 651 in Flint, Mich., announced plans to protest Delphi’s attempt to nullify their labor agreement in a Feb. 16 informational picket and rally at the local’s union hall.

This Week in Labor is compiled by Roberta Wood ( Tim Yeager, Marilyn Bechtel, Jim Gallo and PAI contributed.