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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

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Labor Groups Close to Deal on State, Local Cooperation

The split in organized labor’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.

Employer-funded Health Insurance Continues to Drop, Study finds

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.

‘Disengagement’ Affords Some Relief for Gaza Fishing Enclave

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.

Politics Trumping Service for Nat’l Parks Employees, Group Says

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.

Cali. Public Employees Oppose ‘Paycheck Protection’ Proposition

Already at odds with the state’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 workers’ collective power.

Union to Fight Delphi over Worker Pay Cuts, Executive Raises

Terming last weekend’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 nation’s largest auto-parts manufacturing company.

Feds Accuse Nation’s Largest Laundry Firm of Unfair Labor Practices

Topping a series of challenges to the nation’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.

Federal Workers Win Again in DHS Court Challenge

Another judge sides with labor activists and federal employees' advocates continuing to resist drastic changes in government employment policies.

Empowered by Victory, Tomato Pickers Look to New Season, New Goals

Hot on the heels of their hard-fought win against Taco Bell, Florida’s Immokalee migrant workers and their advocates are far from resting as they plan to take on still more exploitative companies.

Delphi Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Just before sweeping new bankruptcy laws take effect, the nation’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.

Court OKs Religious Hiring Bias by Federally Backed Charities

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.

Feds Go After Two Companies Over Dead Ditch Workers

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.

New York Reuters Union Rejects Contract

Workers at the United States headquarters of one of the world’s largest newswire services voted to turn down the company’s latest contract offer. The 274-4 vote to reject Reuters’s latest offer leaves open the possibility for future negotiations and possible job actions by union members in coming months.

Teachers Strike a Deal with New York City

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 city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, yesterday announced a tentative deal. The agreement – which must be approved by members of the United Federation of Teachers – ends two years of rancorous talks that grew more intense in the face of an upcoming mayoral election.

EPA Looks to Accelerate Outsourcing

The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to dramatically increase the number of jobs it outsources to private companies.

Washington State Food Workers Union Locals Merge

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.

OSHA Awards Workplace Health and Safety Grants

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.

Campuses Launch Renewed Anti-sweatshop Campaign

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 world’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.

California Judge Upholds Local Living-wage Law

In what is thought to be the first case of its kind, a California judge last Friday ordered one of the world’s largest laundry goods suppliers to pay over $1 million to settle a claim brought by its Haywood employees under the city’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.

New Labor Group Pledges Renewed Organizing Efforts at Founding Meeting

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 movement’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.

Some Immigrants Suffer Doubly After Hurricane Katrina

Undocumented workers and families in the areas devastated by one of the worst storms in US history – including Central American survivors of Hurricane Mitch – face perhaps the steepest route to recovery.

Relief Workers May Be Next Wave of Katrina Victims

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.

Flight Attendants Union Sues Labor Department

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.

Service Labor Rivals Sign Accord

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.

Delta, Northwest Bankruptcy Filings May Pose Setback for Unions

Two of the nation’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.

Workers, Activists Redouble Efforts to ‘Beat’ Wal-Mart

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 company’s traditional impunity.

Another Major Union Leaves AFL-CIO

In a widely anticipated move, the board of the nation’s largest hospitality and garment workers union voted to leave the AFL-CIO yesterday. Tuesday’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.

Arkansas Paper Refuses to Run Anti-Wal-Mart Ad

Wal-Mart’s hometown newspaper Monday informed a union-backed organization fighting many of the retailer’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 workers’ rights.

Teamsters, CWA Agree to Share US Airways, America West Representation

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.

Northwest Seeks to Permanently Replace Strikers

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 airline’s decision to halt negotiations with the union came after both sides had reached agreements on numerous positions.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.