Victory in West Virginia

From the AFL-CIO

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed legislation Tuesday giving all state employees a 5% pay raise, the direct result of a heroic teacher strike that lasted nearly two weeks and highlighted the plight of low pay and rising health care costs in the Mountain State.

The victory for teachers and public employees in West Virginia is a true testament to their activism and an important reminder of the power of working people to improve the lives of everyone.

Whether it is raising pay, providing quality health care or making our jobs safer, all workers know that when we join together and fight together, we will win together.

Nothing is more important to our future than the quality of our children’s education.

Teachers are the backbone of the education system and deserve the resources needed to inspire the next generation. A top-tier education, in West Virginia and across America, requires top-tier talent—and that requires an investment in our teachers.

That is why the AFL-CIO’s 12.5 million working men and women and the entire labor movement are proud to stand with the brave teachers in West Virginia.

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Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

No Money for Pensions, But Plenty for Parties

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

Private equity work has been sweet for Marc Leder, the numero uno at Sun Capital Partners. He’s parlayed his takeovers of troubled firms into a fortune big enough to make him a co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers in basketball and the New Jersey Devils in hockey. New York’s tabloids, meanwhile, have come to dub the hard-partying Leder “the Hugh Hefner of the Hamptons.” The secret to his success? Private-equity firms, notes Center for Economic and Policy Research economist Eileen Appelbaum, plunder assets from the companies they buy, then send them into bankruptcy to sidestep their obligations to workers. Over the past decade alone, Sun Capital has bankrupted five firms and left their pension funds $280 million short. Leder, for his part, claims that the “vast majority” of Sun Capital deals have been successful. And he only parties hearty, the private-equity kingpin adds, 25 nights a year.

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Embracing a Legacy

Embracing a Legacy