Category: Union Matters

The Clock is Ticking, Mr. President

Richard Cucarese
USW Local 4889

There was a time during the history of America that our elected officials did their best to act expeditiously on the behalf of their constituents when it came to dealing with the ‘hot button’ issues of the day.

But over the past few decades especially, the most important issues seem to be pushed aside in the interest of partisan politics and media posturing while the proletariat suffers under the weight of indecision.  Within this framework of political grandstanding, the Section 232 cases for the steel and aluminum industries are no exception.

Contending these measures that would help save the industries and create jobs in these vitally important sectors, candidate Donald Trump used Section 232 as a dangling carrot to a workforce that has recently become resentful of presidents whom we thought were our allies promising us job security, only to have them deliver a hard slap to the face by decimating our ranks under the guise and false promises of the benefits of Free Trade.

Riding into the White House with not much wiggle room to have a mandate, President Trump still acknowledged that one of his key achievements would be to move along Section 232 expeditiously in the interests of national security due to their level of importance in the military sector and the resurrection of our once-mighty but now-crumbling national infrastructure.

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#TimesUp on Worker Abuse

From the AFL-CIO

More than 2 million working people, mostly women, care for America’s homes and families, and more than 14 million workers have jobs in the restaurant industry. The members of the AFL-CIO support the freedom of these working people to raise pay and improve working conditions.

All working people must be safe at work, whether we work in a factory, a home, a restaurant or office.

We must be able to fight against wage theft, and to exercise our freedom to raise our pay and work in safety.

That’s why we organize, because we’re stronger when we use our freedoms of speech and assembly to advance the issues that mean the most to us and our communities.

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We Can Raise Pay

From the AFL-CIO

The rules of our economy have been rigged against working people for decades, but our sustained activism can raise pay and build momentum for a new economy built on broadly shared prosperity.

We raise pay by negotiating with employers. As congressional leaders were ramming through a massive tax cut for corporations, Communications Workers of America (CWA) pressured employers to use the savings to raise pay. This week, AT&T will pass along a $1,000 bonus to workers.  

We raise pay at the ballot box. A national worker-led movement to raise pay will lift the minimum wage in 18 states and 20 cities on Jan. 1. Ten states passed minimum wage increases that go into effect over several years. Pay in eight other states will automatically rise to match a higher cost of living.

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The GOP Tax Scam

From the AFL-CIO

Congress should never raise taxes on working families to pay for huge handouts to corporations and billionaires. Instead of rigging the rules to kill our jobs, cut our health care and education, and take money out of our pockets, Congress should focus on advancing an agenda that lifts up working people.

The GOP tax bill will directly benefit the super-rich and allow their children to inherit millions tax-free, while killing jobs and putting a heavy burden on working families.

The richest 1% of households will receive 83% of tax cuts, and the richest 0.1% will get an average tax cut of more than $148,000.

The average household making less than $75,000 will pay more in taxes by the year 2027. In all, 70 million households making less than $100,000 eventually will pay more.

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Action by Voters from Six Key States Could Stop the Tax Scam

Hugh J. Campbell

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

The American Sustainable Business Council’s Senior Tax Analyst, John O'Neill asks supporters to immediately target the following seven “on the fence” Republican Senators a very close vote, on the vitally important tax bill with long-term repercussions:

Sen. James Lankford (R, OK) – Concerned about the federal debt.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R, WI) – Concerned that the tax bill does too little to help small business.

Sen. Susan Collins (R, ME) – Concerned about the wealthy getting most benefit.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R, AZ) – Concerned about how the bill will affect the sick and grow the debt.

Sen. John McCain (R, AZ) – Concerned that the bill’s not following regular order and does too much for the rich.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R, FL) and Sen. Mike Lee (R, UT) – Concerned that the tax bill does too little for working families while cutting the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

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Trump Joins Attack on Worker Freedoms

From the AFL-CIO

President Donald Trump has once again broken his word by siding with powerful corporations over regular working people. The Trump administration is seeking to abandon decades of settled law in order to take away the basic freedom of millions of working people to have a voice on the job. The U.S. Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, could undermine the ability of nurses, teachers and other public workers to negotiate over pay, benefits and workplace safety.

America’s labor movement urges Trump to stop backing powerful corporations and start supporting working people.

The Janus case is a well-funded and blatantly political plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people.

The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to strike at our freedom to come together in strong unions.

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We Still Stand with Puerto Rico

From the AFL-CIO

Another cargo plane of aid raised by union member volunteers and bound for Puerto Rico is set to leave Philadelphia with about 60,000 pounds of batteries, canned food, diapers, garbage bags, electric generators, children’s toys and other goods. The island’s American citizens enter the holiday season still struggling to recover from two devastating hurricanes.

The shipment, organized by unions including the Transport Workers, the Machinists and the AFL-CIO, is part of an ongoing and unprecedented effort by America’s labor movement to help communities in crisis.

Working people exercise our freedom in countless ways on the job and in our communities. In times of crisis, we work together with employers and allies to advance common solutions.

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Holiday Pay for Holiday Workers

From the AFL-CIO

The holidays are a time that everyone holds dear. Working people do more than just enjoy the holidays. From the food on our holiday meal table to holiday shopping, working women and men help make the holidays happen.

That’s why it’s particularly shameful that Walmart eliminated holiday pay for its workers in 2016. As the nation’s largest employer, Walmart should set the bar for other employers.

No matter your beliefs, the holidays are a time when people come together and celebrate all the goodness that unites us. Walmart should honor the sacrifices made by its workers to make the holidays happen and commit to fair compensation for those employees.

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Newly-Organized Workers Face CEO Backlash

Earlier this month, workers at two popular New York City news sites, DNA Info and Gothamist, voted to unionize. Then CEO Joe Ricketts announced he was shutting down both platforms due to financial reasons.

As much as Joe likes to make it seem like this was merely a decision about poor profits, a far more sinister picture can be seen as the workers faced pushback from upper management while they were attempting to organize. They were told unionizing might be "the final straw that caused the business to close." Joe himself even wrote, "As long as it’s my money that’s paying for everything, I intend to be the one making the decisions about the direction of the business."

Joe, a Trump supporter whose net worth is $2.1 billion, is supposed to be one of those “job creators” Republicans like to put on a pedestal. Yet he is doing the exact opposite by getting rid of 115 hard-working employees whose work is beloved by New York neighborhoods. Worse, he very likely did it as punishment.

 

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Biden His Time

Gary Villani Writer, Retired, USW Local 959

On May 2, 2011, hours before I underwent brain surgery, news broke that Osama bin Laden had been killed by Navy Seals. “At least I outlived you, you son of a bitch!”

Sitting up, I had accidentally pulled several EEG leads loose from my partially shaved head. An alarm sounded. I apologized to the responding nurses.

I described that moment to Beau Biden a year later, after he led a group of veterans marching in a Fayetteville, North Carolina voter registration drive.

I was still catching my breath and wiping my brow when the Vice President’s son walked over and asked if I was doing alright.

“Yes sir, I’m fine, thank you.” Sketching a salute with my walking stick, I said, “We’ve got other things in common besides we’re both voting for your dad.”

“Is that right?”

“Yes sir. We both served in Iraq—and we both battled brain illness afterwards.”

“And here we still are.” Biden smiled and the genuineness of his expression touched my heart.

I offered a quick account of my medical marathon, including the night bin Laden’s death cheered me up, then identified myself as a 2012 Obama organizing fellowship selectee. I expressed my regret that due to medical setbacks I wasn’t able to do more for the campaign.

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Union Matters

The Clock is Ticking, Mr. President

Richard Cucarese
USW Local 4889

There was a time during the history of America that our elected officials did their best to act expeditiously on the behalf of their constituents when it came to dealing with the ‘hot button’ issues of the day.

But over the past few decades especially, the most important issues seem to be pushed aside in the interest of partisan politics and media posturing while the proletariat suffers under the weight of indecision.  Within this framework of political grandstanding, the Section 232 cases for the steel and aluminum industries are no exception.

Contending these measures that would help save the industries and create jobs in these vitally important sectors, candidate Donald Trump used Section 232 as a dangling carrot to a workforce that has recently become resentful of presidents whom we thought were our allies promising us job security, only to have them deliver a hard slap to the face by decimating our ranks under the guise and false promises of the benefits of Free Trade.

Riding into the White House with not much wiggle room to have a mandate, President Trump still acknowledged that one of his key achievements would be to move along Section 232 expeditiously in the interests of national security due to their level of importance in the military sector and the resurrection of our once-mighty but now-crumbling national infrastructure.

More ...

Delve Deeper for Justice

Delve Deeper for Justice