The split in organized laborâ€™s ranks spurred when prominent unions left the AFL-CIO and formed a new coalition appears to be lessening, as the two sides last week signaled their willingness and desire to reach a working agreement on state and local levels.
Between 2000 and 2004, the number of companies providing health insurance to their employees dropped significantly, leaving fewer than 60 percent of people in the country insured by employers, according to a study released yesterday by a privately-funded think tank. The recent study confirms earlier reports from a variety of organizations.
The people of the Gaza Strip coastal area known as Al-Mawasi had little access to the outside world until Israel withdrew its settlers and army; now the enclave's fishermen return to the beach, if not the sea.
Citing a need to "meet the challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead of us," National Parks Service Director Fran Mainella issued new hiring rules for the federal agency Tuesday that call for top civil-service employees to show a commitment to a set of sweeping federal rule changes.
Already at odds with the stateâ€™s governor, public employee unions and their allies have been taking strides to oppose a ballot measure that would require members to opt-in to political spending every year. Union leaders claim the provision is a burden designed solely to undermine workersâ€™ collective power.
Terming last weekendâ€™s bankruptcy filing by Delphi Corporation a "bitter pill" and pointing to company plans to award executives for staying with the company as it restructures, the United Auto Workers (UAW) is signaling that it is preparing for a showdown with the nationâ€™s largest auto-parts manufacturing company.
Topping a series of challenges to the nationâ€™s largest laundry company, two unions seeking to organize workers at Cintas Corporation earlier this month applauded a recent Labor Department ruling allowing hearings over alleged labor-law violations against Cintas to go forward. The National Labor Relations Board will hold four hearings as the company seeks to settle fifteen other allegations of unfair labor practices.
Another judge sides with labor activists and federal employees' advocates continuing to resist drastic changes in government employment policies.
Hot on the heels of their hard-fought win against Taco Bell, Floridaâ€™s Immokalee migrant workers and their advocates are far from resting as they plan to take on still more exploitative companies.
Just before sweeping new bankruptcy laws take effect, the nationâ€™s largest auto parts manufacturer filed for bankruptcy protection for all US-based units. The move comes as domestic automakers face growing financial problems and threaten to jettison workers while shifting more economic burdens to remaining staff.
A federal court in New York took the teeth out of an anti-discrimination lawsuit earlier this week by stating that religious institutions receiving federal money may prejudice their personnel decisions based on the religious beliefs of potential and existing employees, so long as government monies are not used specifically for religion-related activities.
Stating that his agency is "aggressively" enforcing standards to prevent workers from dying in trenches, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) administrator John Miles announced Tuesday that the federal workplace watchdog was levying a $108,500 fine against a Texas contractor for "willful" violations that resulted in the death of a ditch worker.
Workers at the United States headquarters of one of the worldâ€™s largest newswire services voted to turn down the companyâ€™s latest contract offer. The 274-4 vote to reject Reutersâ€™s latest offer leaves open the possibility for future negotiations and possible job actions by union members in coming months.
With both sides claiming victory in what were at times tough negotiations, the union representing New York City public school teachers and the office of the cityâ€™s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, yesterday announced a tentative deal. The agreement â€“ which must be approved by members of the United Federation of Teachers â€“ ends two years of rancorous talks that grew more intense in the face of an upcoming mayoral election.
The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to dramatically increase the number of jobs it outsources to private companies.
Just days after the founding convention of a new labor federation, two Washington State locals with the United Food and Commercial Workers announced would merge to create a 30,000-member-strong organization that can more effectively deal with multinational corporations and the changing world economy. The merger officially took place Saturday.
Friday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the recipients of its annual grants for workplace health and safety training. The awards include $5 million for disaster response and clean-up training.
College students across the country yesterday kicked off a campaign aimed at forcing 40 different institutions to abandon tacit approval of sweatshop labor practiced by the worldâ€™s largest collegiate apparel providers. Organized by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), the campaign is calling on the colleges and universities to require companies that license school-logo garments to commit to providing safe work conditions and a living wage.
In what is thought to be the first case of its kind, a California judge last Friday ordered one of the worldâ€™s largest laundry goods suppliers to pay over $1 million to settle a claim brought by its Haywood employees under the cityâ€™s living wage ordinance. UNITE HERE, the union representing the workers, termed the ruling "historic" and vowed to continue its battle to force the company, Cintas, to abide by living wage laws.
A group of seven unions gathered yesterday in St. Louis to mark the official birth of the first organized labor body with the numbers, clout and resources to rival the movementâ€™s old guard in over 50 years. The meeting marks the first time in five decades that a large body of unions announced their intention to officially work together outside of the venerable AFL-CIO.
Undocumented workers and families in the areas devastated by one of the worst storms in US history â€“ including Central American survivors of Hurricane Mitch â€“ face perhaps the steepest route to recovery.
Reminiscent of the 9/11 recovery workers in Manhattan, first responders and relief personnel operating in the toxic gumbo New Orleans has become are toiling largely unprotected, treated as dispensable by the federal government.
Citing unaddressed workplace dangers in airplane cabins, a union representing flight attendants filed suit against the US Secretary of Labor and the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration yesterday.
A second sign that two members of competing labor organizations are willing and able to work together surfaced yesterday after the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) approved a two-year pact meant to end territorial disputes and create a new working partnership. Over the last several years, the two unions have had several organizing disputes, mainly over home-care workers.
Two of the nationâ€™s largest air carriers filed for bankruptcy late Wednesday, raising immediate questions about the future of unions representing workers at both companies and prompting hints of an upcoming battle. Workers for both Delta and Northwest airlines reacted negatively to the news.
Even as the retail empire grows and profits, an ever-expanding array of challenges rise up from the grassroots and even rain down from government officials, posing a real threat to the companyâ€™s traditional impunity.
In a widely anticipated move, the board of the nationâ€™s largest hospitality and garment workers union voted to leave the AFL-CIO yesterday. Tuesdayâ€™s vote by UNITE HERE, a founding member of a collection of unions seeking new ways to organize workers, came after months of internal discussion, the union said in a statement.
Wal-Martâ€™s hometown newspaper Monday informed a union-backed organization fighting many of the retailerâ€™s practices that it would not run an advertisement it deemed critical of the company. The ad was to feature an open letter to Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott challenging the company to adopt a series of commitments to workersâ€™ rights.
Ahead of a nearly finalized merger between US Airways and America West, the unions representing workers at the two companies avoided a potential confrontation and announced a proposed partnership of their own Monday. The alliance represents the first major cooperative effort between an AFL-CIO-affiliated union and a member of a new, dissident coalition.
After offering terms unacceptable to the union representing Northwest Airlines mechanics and maintenance workers Sunday, the company is seeking to permanently replace more than 4,000 workers. The airlineâ€™s decision to halt negotiations with the union came after both sides had reached agreements on numerous positions.