Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Let’s Sue the GOP

Let’s Sue the GOP

House Republicans last week overwhelmingly endorsed suing President Barack Obama for delaying part of the Affordable Care Act, a law Republicans hate and condemn and voted 50 times to repeal. So, really, the president did exactly what the GOP claims it wants. But they’re suing anyway.

On the other side of the Capitol, Senate Republicans last week prevented repair of a law that 99.99 percent of Americans hate and condemn and would vote 50 times to repeal, given the chance. The GOP blocked a bill that would have ended tax breaks bestowed on corporations for offshoring factories and jobs.

Only one Senate Republican voted for the Bring Jobs Home Act – the bill that would have replaced corporate reprobate rebates with rewards for firms that move factories back to America. Americans of all political persuasions object to paying higher taxes to offset the cost of coddling corporate defectors. The GOP’s filibustering of this bill is dereliction of duty. So let’s sue. And look at it this way, even if this is a lost cause – and it is – the more time Republicans must spend in court, the less time they have to obstruct the will of the people.

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Ku Klux Klan Seizing On Anti-Immigrant Sentiment To Draw New Members

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee Immigration Reporter, Think Progress

Citing the issue of child arrivals through the U.S.-Mexico border, about 100 members of the Ku Klux Klan held a protest in North Carolina over the weekend to drum up support against immigration. The event was part of the organization’s latest campaign strategy to recruit new members.

According to a local Fox affiliate, Klan members did not give a speech at the rally, opting instead to shout messages of white power and hate against “mixed breeds.” At the same time, the Fox reporter said that immigration advocate counter-protesters across the street sang the gospel song, “Hallelujah.” The event at the Troy County Courthouse devolved into a shouting match between Klan members and counter-protesters who were separated by law enforcement officials. For over a month, the KKK has advertised the Troy rally, calling on local residents to “save our land, join the Klan.” The rally drew between 400 and 500 immigration advocates counter-protesters.

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Inequality: A Broad Middle Class Requires Empowering Workers

Robert Borosage

Robert Borosage Co-Director, Campaign for America's Future

On Labor Day, families gather, politicians pay tribute to values of hard work, and some workers even get an extra day off. But this Labor Day arrives with working families struggling to stay afloat.

Working family incomes haven’t gone up in the 21st century. Inequality reaches new extremes. Corporate profits are reaping a record portion of the nation’s income, while worker wages wallow at record lows. Three-fourths of Americans fear their children will fare less well than they have.

This Labor Day, we should do more than celebrate workers – we should understand how vital reviving worker unions is to rebuilding a broad middle class.

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The Latest Attack on Labor, From The Group That Brought Us ‘Harris v. Quinn’

Moshe Z. Marvit

Moshe Z. Marvit Attorney, Fellow, The Century Foundation

The Latest Attack on Labor, From The Group That Brought Us ‘Harris v. Quinn’

On the heels of its recent Supreme Court victory in Harris v. Quinn, the National Right to Work Committee and Legal Defense Foundation (NRTW) has initiated a bold new attack on unions.

In a recent fundraising appeal sent on August 10, the president of both organizations wrote that Harris “was just the beginning,” and that fair share provisions (or, as he called them, “forced dues”) were only “part of the problem.” Now, having succeeded in imposing a right-to-work model for home healthcare workers across the country, NRTW is gunning after a much greater and unexpected target: exclusive representation.

One of the bedrock principles of American labor law is exclusive representation, whereby a union represents all the workers in a bargaining unit after it shows majority support by the workers. In a new case filed on behalf of a few Minnesota home care workers, Bierman v. Dayton, NRTW is now arguing that a union elected by the majority of workers should not be permitted to represent anyone that does not choose to join.

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A Real Whopper

A Real Whopper

Union Matters

Median Income Rises, But Not Fast Enough

The question is, though, will your income go up as fast as the median has?

In June of this year, median income topped out at $53,491.00 for a household of four.  That sounds encouraging and has been cited as evidence of the continuing improvement of our economy.  But the Great Recession of 2009 hasn’t receded completely into memory.  That seemingly robust $53,491.00 remains 3.1 percent below the June 2009 median of $55,589.00, largely because unemployment has been stubbornly slow in lessening.

So it’s still too early to celebrate.  Overall, Americans' median income remains 5.9 percent below its January 2000 level.

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