Reposted from The Herald News Americans today are working harder than ever, and too often finding that the secure and stable middle-class life their parents counted on is falling further and further out of reach for them and their children.
On April 20, 1914, in Ludlow, Colo., one of the bloodiest chapters in the nation’s labor history was written. Thugs hired by several coal companies and the Colorado militia attacked a peaceful encampment of striking miners and their families. By the end of the day, 20 were shot or burned to death, including 14 women and children.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fewer workers are retiring when they hit 65. By 2016 the number of senior workers between the age of 65 and 74 are expected to rise by 83.4 percent. At the end of last year 68 percent of workers between the ages of 50 and 70 had no plans to retire. The deepening recession is expected to accelerate those numbers.
This week, state and local unions around the country mobilized to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to restore the freedom to form unions and bargain and make the economy work for everyone.
CHICAGO — “The irony of it all – Bush got on TV and said we were in Iraq because we had to get rid of weapons of mass destruction, stop terrorism and spread democracy over there. I served my country honorably over there only to come back home to a place where, as a worker, I don’t even have the right to union representation. The companies hold all the cards. They do us serious hurt if we try to exercise our rights.”
DETROIT — Sit-downers past and present were honored here recently during a “workers’ victory tour” by members of United Electrical Workers (UE) Local 1110 who last December staged a successful sit-down at the Republic Windows plant in Chicago. The workers beat back attempts by the company and its Bank of America financiers to cheat them out of back pay, severance pay and health insurance benefits.
CWA, AT&T: Some 20,000 telecommunications workers at AT&T, represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), voted to authorize a strike. The contract expired Saturday at midnight. When the two parties met Sunday, AT&T made what it called its “last, best and final offer.”
(Xinhua) Hollywood's largest actors union and the trade group representing major studios Tuesday resumed labor talks to renew an already expired contract, as possibilities of another industry-wide strike have faded.
Bank and insurance CEOs aren’t the only ones getting rewarded for horrendous behavior in this recession. There’s Wal-Mart, whom Newsweek now has anointed as “Our Corporate Savior.” (Hat tip to dakine01.)
Although the labor movement is cheering passage of the president’s stimulus bill, leaders of unions and organizations allied with them are pointing out that the bill, itself, is far from perfect and that much more will have to be done over a period of time to rescue the tanking economy.