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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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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Groups Allege Ohio Governor Violated Civil Rights By Kicking People Off Food Stamps

Alan Pyke

Alan Pyke Deputy Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

Groups Allege Ohio Governor Violated Civil Rights By Kicking People Off Food Stamps

Ohio civil rights groups are asking federal officials to overrule the governor’s decision to kick thousands of the state’s poorest people off of food stamps rolls last fall, arguing that a state decision to set different work requirements for the program in different parts of the state disproportionately affected racial minorities.

The groups filed a complaint with the Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier this week, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, hoping to persuade the feds that Gov. John Kasich’s (R) administration is abusing rules governing eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That program requires able-bodied adults without dependents to work or spend 20 hours per week in some form of official job training or work program, but that requirement can be waived when economic circumstances get bad enough. All but a handful of states have requested and received such waivers in the wake of the Great Recession.

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A Co-op State of Mind

Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo

Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo Contributor, In These Times

A Co-op State of Mind

In 2006, Daniela Salazar, then a 22-year-old mother of two, was making about $7.25 an hour doing restaurant work and housecleaning. For three hours every month, she also stood on the street in Brooklyn with 12 other women passing out flyers, rain or shine (and sometimes snow).

They were promoting a cleaning company of a new kind: one that would not only provide them with jobs and more money to support their families, but would also make them business owners.

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Cut the Deficit: Tax Wall Street

Cut the Deficit: Tax Wall Street

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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