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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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

The Forbes Ridiculously Rich 400

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

The latest annual Forbes magazine numbers on America’s richest 400 have just come out. The personal fortunes of our nation’s 400 deepest pockets, Forbes tells us, now average $5.8 billion each.

A little historical context makes that figure even more impressive. Forbes began its annual top 400 tally in 1982. Our top 400 averaged back then, in today’s dollars, $570 million. In effect, after inflation, our wealthiest have multiplied their wealth more than tenfold since 1982.

And the rest of us? Forbes doesn’t count our fortunes. Economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman do, and they've just updated their stats. Between 1982 and 2012, their figures show, households in America’s bottom 90 percent saw their average net worth, after taking inflation into account, increase less than 1 percent per year.

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