Labor News

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George Becker, former Steelworkers President

George Becker, 78, former president of the United Steelworkers (USW), died Feb. 3 at his home in West Deer, Pa. Twice elected USW president, Becker served from 1993-2000, taking him through some of the most intense union battles of the late 20th century in the United States.

If Sago happened today, loved ones would still die

“Coal is more important than life.” That is how Pam Campbell, sister-in-law of miner Marty Bennett who died inside Sago Mine, sums up over a year of government and coal corporation stalls, speeches, secrecy and frustration. More than a year after Sago exploded in January 2006, killing 12 West Virginia miners, the country’s 2,100 coal mines are no safer.

Labor sends a statement in Chicago

“We sent a statement,” declared Dennis Gannon, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL), in the afterglow of the Feb. 27 municipal elections. And what a statement it was.

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Labor moves to offense

LAS VEGAS — The main focus of this week’s AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting was moving forward from the March 1 passage of HR 800, the Employee Free Choice Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives, federation President John Sweeney told reporters here.

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Workers, not guests

Ten days before Christmas, the Woodfin Suite Hotel in Emeryville, Calif., fired Luz Dominguez and 20 other housekeepers. Managers announced they’d received a letter from Social Security saying the numbers they’d given when they were originally hired didn’t match government records. The 21 housekeepers have been making beds, washing toilets and vacuuming carpets there for years.

Freedoms road includes the right to organize

The continuing effort by the world’s largest meatpacking giant to keep out a union has been transformed by its workers into a drive in Congress to streamline the way all American workers win the right to union representation.

Ford workers call for green jobs

ST. PAUL, Minn. (PAI) — Minnesota’s United Auto Workers are taking their fight to save jobs at the St. Paul Ford plant to the state Capitol, where proposed legislation would require the company to maintain the facility so it could be used for other manufacturing.

Workers Correspondence

To: Union supporters of HR 676 single-payer health care Re: Reintroduction of HR 676 in the 110th Congress

Kennedy challenges Smithfield, Homeland Security

The firing of workers trying to unionize at the Smithfield meat packing plant in Tar Heel, N.C., has prompted Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) to take aim at the Department of Homeland Security.

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Yales hospital: Poster child for union-busting

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) is 650 miles from the notorious anti-worker Smithfield Foods livestock processing factory in Tar Heel, N.C. On Smithfield’s killing floors and in New Haven’s healing wards, the workers have something in common. Their employers use illegal, anti-democratic union-busting tactics to deny a voice on the job.

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