Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

More Free Stuff for Corporations

More Free Stuff for Corporations
New scheme from CEOs and GOP: Workers should pay corporations

Republicans and the rich guys who imposed on American workers 35 years of stagnant wages now offer a prescription for easing this pain!

Their solution for robber-baron-level income inequality is not the obvious: Give workers raises. They don’t want to increase the minimum wage, which would eventually push up pay for everyone else as well. They don’t intend to provide paid sick leave or decent pensions or fewer unstable contract jobs. They have no intention of strengthening unions so workers can collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions.

Instead of any of those straightforward measures, rich guys and corporate-owned Republicans assert that the solution is more free stuff for corporations!  The government, they say, should provide that free stuff. The government, the very organization they deride and despise and denounce as incompetent and deserving of nothing but cutting and shrinking and destroying! Yes, they actually contend that very same government should take the taxes paid by workers and give that money to corporations to improve worker wages and working conditions!

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The Most Pressing Questions About The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Alan Pyke

Alan Pyke Deputy Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

The Most Pressing Questions About The Trans-Pacific Partnership

The United States is closing in on its first major free trade deal in years. Controversy and speculation have followed the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for months, but soon both lawmakers and voters will have a chance to see the treaty for the first time. Negotiators struck a final pact on Monday after more than five years of work.

Many questions still remain about the substance of the deal, the likely fight over it in Congress, and its impact on the world if adopted. Here are five we can answer:

What happens now?

The text of the deal must be public for at least 60 days before Congress renders a verdict, and it cannot begin to debate the deal formally until the text has been out for at least 30 days. Lawmakers forced these transparency concessions as part of the legislation granting Obama Trade Promotion Authority, commonly referred to as fast-track.

President Obama struggled to win support for fast-track, which has been a staple of trade negotiations since the 1970s, as the left flank of the Democratic caucus blanched. Many liberals have long opposed the deal on the grounds that free trade agreements historically harm U.S. workers and fail to deliver the exports boost promised by supporters. Members across the ideological spectrum have criticized the TPP’s system of international tribunals to resolve disputes, worrying that the tribunals could circumvent the constitutional court system and allow multinational corporations to override U.S. policies that harm their profits. And internet freedom groups warn the treaty will allow corporations and totalitarian governments alike to restrict free speech online in subtle, irreversible ways.

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Carwasheros, Before Meeting Pope Francis, Talk Of Gains From Unionizing

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

Joining a union has immensely benefited their lives, say the three “carwasheros” – unionized Spanish-speaking workers at New York car washes -- who met Pope Francis I during his U.S. visit.

Patricio Santiago, Refugio Denecia and Jose Reynaldo Sanchez were among 150 workers who met with the Pontiff at Our Lady Queen of  Angels school in East Harlem, their union, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers, reported. Day laborers and migrant farm workers who toil in New York’s Hudson Valley were also among the group.

“The invitation for these RWDSU members to meet with the Pope serves as a message to all people in  this country that every worker, regardless of what they do or where they came from, is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect,” union President Stuart Appelbaum said.

The carwasheros as a group picked Sanchez, a shop steward, Santiago and Denecia to meet with Francis, after Catholic Charities learned the Pope wanted to take time from his speeches to dignitaries in New York and D.C. to talk with workers and immigrants.


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BREAKING: Hillary Clinton Comes Out Against Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal

Alice Ollstein Political Reporter, Think Progress

Speaking to PBS on Wednesday, presidential contender Hillary Clinton announced her long awaited stance on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership — a massive free trade deal the U.S. just negotiated with 11 other nations. “I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” Clinton said, noting that the text of the agreement itself, though final, remains secret to the public.

Clinton outlined her concerns about the deal Wednesday in an interview with Judy Woodruff. “I’m worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement,” she said. “We’ve lost jobs to the manipulations that countries, particularly in Asia, have engaged in. I’m worried that the pharmaceutical companies that have gotten more benefits and patients and consumers fewer. I think there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but for me, it comes down to those concerns.”

Clinton added that a lot of trade agreements “look great on paper” but don’t end up having the desired result, citing the South Korea free trade agreement enacted under President Obama while she was Secretary of State.

“Looking back on it, it hasn’t had the results we thought it would have in terms of access to the markets, more exports, et cetera,” she said.

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A First Class First Lady Isn’t an Underwear Model

A First Class First Lady Isn’t an Underwear Model

Union Matters

Will the Democratic Primary Results Hinge on the Question: Can There be Leadership Without Trust?

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The concluding paragraph of the article On trust and the Democratic primaries starts with the following sentence: “If Americans do not trust their leader, then there is no leadership.”

A comparison of the two frontrunners in the Democratic primaries follows:  

A July 2015 Quinnipiac University Poll focusing on Colorado, Iowa and Virginia voters reported that one of the two cannot be trusted by: 62 percent of Colorado voters, 59 percent in Iowa, and 55 percent in Virginia, while for the other candidate mistrust was 24 percent in Colorado, 20 percent of Iowans, and 17 percent of Virginians

On consistency, the most distrusted is a notorious flip flopper, while the least distrusted one’s 1992 address to Congress could easily be a campaign speech in 2015.

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