Labor News

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Labor to Senate: Raise minimum wage with no strings attached

WASHINGTON — The broad labor-led coalition supporting the Democrats’ “100 Hour Agenda” in the 110th Congress hailed the 315-116 House vote Jan. 10 to raise the minimum wage to $7.25, and urged the Senate also to approve the increase without more tax giveaways to big business.

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Unions sue Bush Dept. of Labor over worker deaths

Poultry workers typically stand shoulder to shoulder de-boning chicken breasts mounted on cones flying by at the rate of dozens per minute. They must wear metal mesh gloves on their non-cutting hands to protect them from the razor sharp blades they and their co-workers wield at lightening speed.

Iraqi unions reject foreign control of oil

Leaders of Iraq’s labor movement have criticized Iraqi government plans to hand control over the country’s oil production to multinational companies.

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Stop victimizing workers: Labor, community groups mobilize against immigration raids

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided Swift & Co. meat-processing plants in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Utah last week, arresting 1,282 undocumented workers. The raids have generated an outpouring of support for the workers and their families, with many calls for a halt to raids and for comprehensive immigration reform that guarantees workers’ rights.

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Illinois hikes minimum wage, but not enough

CHICAGO — The Illinois Legislature wasted no time heeding the national voters’ mandate, overwhelmingly passing a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage from $6.50 an hour to $7.50 effective next July. The bill, which Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he looks forward to signing, will make the Illinois minimum wage one of the nation’s highest.

Organize! Army of union stewards deploys for Employee Free Choice Act

WASHINGTON — “Union power’s on the rise, now’s the time to organize!” More than 1,000 union members took up that chant as they marched to Capitol Hill, Dec. 8, still riding high from labor’s huge victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections.

Play reveals struggles of South Asian women

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — In response to Eve Enseler’s feminist “Vagina Monologues,” a series of theatrical vignettes on the theme of contemporary women’s gender and social oppression, South Asian Sisters, a California-based group, developed “Yoni Ki Baat” (“Talks of the Vagina”).

Labor summit launches drive to fulfill voter mandate

Folks were still eating turkey sandwiches when the AFL-CIO issued its call for a Dec. 8-9 labor summit and march in Washington, D.C., to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, a top legislative priority for labor. Among the summit’s goals is training 250,000 “trusted messengers,” worksite-based labor activists, to force veto-proof enactment of EFCA.

They heard

Do you think they heard us this time? Although the Bush administration and its congressional allies have done a very good job of ignoring working families for six years, I think they must have heard us Nov. 7.

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Education is a right: New Yorkers fight for fair funding

NEW YORK CITY — In 2001, New York State Supreme Court Justice Leland DeGrasse ruled that New York State was in violation of its own Constitution which guarantees every child the right to a “sound, basic education.” Since then, education activists, teachers and parents have been fighting — in the courts and in the court of public opinion — to remedy the gross inequities in public school funding.

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