Labor & Economic News Blog
Monday, July 31, 2006
OECD calls on Australian Fed Govt to abolish Award wagesOECD calls on Fed Govt to abolish Award wages
Source: The Age
THE OECD has called on the Federal Government to consider abolishing award wages, applying work tests to a million people on disability or sole-parent pensions and targeting tax cuts at low-income earners as part of a new wave of economic changes.
Attendants reject NWA dealAttendants reject NWA deal
In StarTribune.com Business
Northwest Airlines flight attendants today rejected a concessionary contract that would have saved the airline $195 million per year. The vote was 3,266 to 2,637. The outcome sets up the airline for the possibility of an ongoing conflict between management and its most visible service workers. In late June, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper gave Northwest permission to nullify the attendants' current contract and set new work terms if no contract was approved by the union members. Northwest is likely to impose those terms within a matter of hours. The union, in turn, could follow through
Higher college achievement doesn't give women an edge at hiring timeHigher college achievement doesn't give women an edge at hiring time
Across the country, women are outperforming men at the university level. Despite this disparity, college counselors at these universities say that women are not doing any better than men when it comes to finding a job.
U.S. Puts Onus on Employers of ImmigrantsU.S. Puts Onus on Employers of Immigrants
By JULIA PRESTON
For years, workplace raids were a low priority for immigration authorities. Now, officials are cracking down on businesses.
An old lesson still holds for unionsAn old lesson still holds for unions
By Steve Early
THIS SUMMER marks the 25th anniversary of a strike whose outcome still haunts organized labor -- and affects the job conditions of millions of nonunion workers as well.
Immigration Crackdown Alarms Ohio WorkersImmigration Crackdown Alarms Ohio Workers
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- At his Tienda La Raza grocery store and restaurant, Jose Bravo sells Spanish-language DVDs and Mexico soccer jerseys, chorizo sausage and chopped cactus. Lately, there has been another hot seller -- one-way bus tickets out of here.
UK Leaked report fears chaos over flood of new immigrantsLeaked report fears chaos over flood of new immigrants
A huge rise in immigration from eastern Europe next year could cause chaos in schools, hospitals and welfare services, according to a leaked report. It also warns that ministers may be forced to abandon their refusal to grant council houses and welfare
Tiawan Government jobs being outsourced more frequentlyGovernment jobs being outsourced more frequently
Increasingly, outsourcing job openings is not a phenomenon unique to private companies. It has become common among the nation's government agencies,
Brazil's informal economy absorbs 60% of workforceBrazil's informal economy absorbs 60% of workforce
Over half of Brazilian workers make their livings in the informal economy, estimated in 122 billion US dollars, according to an official report published Sunday in O Globo by the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute, IBGE. The 'under the table'
U.S. Employers Look Offshore for HealthcareU.S. Employers Look Offshore for Healthcare
After going overseas to outsource everything from manufacturing to customer services, American businesses pressed by rising healthcare costs are looking offshore for medical benefits as well. A growing number of employers that fund their own health
Nurses' Association of Jamaica (NAJ), Government to resume talks todayNurses' Association of Jamaica (NAJ), Government to resume talks today
Executive Members of the Nurses' Association of Jamaica (NAJ) and senior officials of the Ministries of Labour and Social Security, Health and Finance are to resume salary negotiations today.
New Jersey Englewood nurses ratify three-year contractEnglewood nurses ratify three-year contract
Source: Bergen Record
The 660 striking union nurses of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center ratified a three-year contract Saturday that will bring an end to their monthlong work stoppage, as well as the hospital's employment of temporary medical staff at the 520-bed facility.
California Ballot measure endangers labor-business truceBallot measure endangers labor-business truce
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
Called the Clean Money and Fair Elections initiative, Proposition 89 on the Nov. 7 ballot is sparking renewed hostilities between the business organizations, particularly the California Chamber of Commerce, and one of the state's most aggressive labor unions, the California Nurses Association.
Putting the squeeze on middle managers:Putting the squeeze on middle managers:
Source: NPR's Marketplace audio
A huge legal fight is underway to define employees whose positions are between the managers and workers; The government is expected to give management a huge victory
Workers vote for Escondida mine strikeWorkers vote for Escondida mine strike
SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) - Workers at Chile's Escondida, the world's largest copper mine, voted overwhelmingly on Friday to strike to demand a new contract offer from the company that reflected soaring copper prices.
Hilton reaches accord with hotel labor unionHilton reaches accord with hotel labor union
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hilton Hotels Corp. said on Saturday it has reached an accord with the union representing North American hotel workers that includes an easing of the company's stance on how hotels are unionized.
GM and UAW support pensions billGM and UAW support pensions bill
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Final pension reform legislation headed for a vote in the U.S. Senate this week not only will help bankrupt airlines save their traditional retirement plans, but also is supported by General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers.
Wal-Mart first China union could mean more to comeWal-Mart first China union could mean more to come
BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Employees of retail giant Wal-Mart have set up their first trade union in China, a move analysts said on Monday could lead to more unionization in the sector.
House OKs bill increasing federal minimum wage / Future uncertain -- its fate is linked to estate tax cut planHouse OKs bill increasing federal minimum wage / Future uncertain -- its fate is linked to estate tax cut plan
By Carl Hulse
The House approved an increase in the federal minimum wage today, but its future was clouded because Republicans tied the pay change to an estate tax cut that had been blocked in the Senate. In a prelude to a summer of campaigning in the battle for...
Mexico's corn farmers see their livelihoods wither away / Cheap U.S. produce pushes down prices under free-trade pactMexico's corn farmers see their livelihoods wither away / Cheap U.S. produce pushes down prices under free-trade pact
By Monica Campbell and Tyche Hendricks
Tending his sun-drenched half-acre cornfield, Jose Davila represents a part of Mexico that may fade away as the pressures of free trade intensify. "I'm an antique," said the hunched 90-year-old farmer. "Who wants to work all day in the sun and earn so...
Grunge Inc. / Live-in startups combine frat-house culture with venture capitalGrunge Inc. live-in startups combine frat-house culture with venture capital
By Jessica Guynn
Tucked away on a leafy Palo Alto street lined with manicured, multimillion-dollar homes is a low-slung apartment building that houses the Meetro commune. Not a commune in the Haight-Ashbury sense.
Living in topsy-turvy tech time / The global economy never rests, nor do the driven -- some say crazy -- workers of Silicon ValleyLiving in topsy-turvy tech time / The global economy never rests, nor do the driven -- some say crazy -- workers of Silicon Valley
By Carolyne Zinko
Silicon Valley tech workers already have bragging rights when it comes to their workload -- they put in longer hours and take fewer vacation days than people in many other fields. Now, they're boasting about conditions that are getting worse: having to...
Ford reportedly plans more job cutsFord reportedly plans more job cuts
Ford Motor Co. may announce deeper job cuts as it tries to trim more costs in the face of a disappointing second-quarter loss. The nation's No. 2 automaker had already reported 4,000 salaried staff cuts and plans to trim 30,000 hourly jobs as it closes 14 factories in the coming years.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Hyundai labor union votes to accept 5.1 percent wage hikeHyundai labor union votes to accept 5.1 percent wage hike
SEOUL, South Korea - Hyundai Motor Co.'s labor union voted to accept a 5.1 percent wage increase negotiated earlier this week by management and union leaders, the company said
Immigrant Rights Groups Split Over Senate BillImmigrant Rights Groups Split Over Senate Bill
By Anushka Asthana
Even as Congress is stalled over legislation dealing with the growing number of illegal immigrants, a split has emerged among pro-immigrant rights groups over whether to back the Senate measure, seen as the more lenient of the two bills being considered by lawmakers.
As gas prices rise, so do demands on employersAs gas prices rise, so do demands on employers
(Inc.com) - Bill Lathem's family has run Lathem Time, an Atlanta manufacturer of time clocks, since 1919, and it's the kind of company where workers stay for decades. "That family feeling around here is what keeps our tenure up," says Lathem, who employs 150 workers, "and a lot of the skills that these guys have are not easily trained."
House set to vote on pension billHouse set to vote on pension bill
The House could approve a major pension overhaul bill as early as Friday after abandoning negotiations with the Senate over a larger package that combined pension reform with an extension of popular tax breaks, congressional leadership aides said. Such a move would be at best a partial victory for Delta Air Lines, which has pushed for a reform bill that will give ailing airlines extra time to fully fund their pension plans. Without such an extension, Delta says, it will have to terminate the plan as part of its bankruptcy restructuring. But the Senate would have to sign off on the House-passed version of the bill next week or the matter would likely be delayed until after both chambers return from their August recesses.
Delta to seek retiree health benefit cutsDelta to seek retiree health benefit cuts
Delta Air Lines retirees could face higher health care premiums as the company continues its drive to pare costs during bankruptcy court restructuring. Executives of the airline said Friday they plan to propose higher health care costs for retirees over the next few weeks. They said they will seek to negotiate changes with committees representing pilot and non-pilot retirees in the bankruptcy case. That would be followed by possible litigation before Delta's bankruptcy judge.
Town Battling Illegal Immigration Is Emptier NowTown Battling Illegal Immigration Is Emptier Now
By JILL P. CAPUZZO
The downtown streets of Riverside, N.J., were unusually empty the day after an ordinance banning employers and landlords from hiring or housing illegal immigrants was passed.
City Requires Registration Before Hiring Day LaborersCity Requires Registration Before Hiring Day Laborers
The city of Vista near San Diego is trying a novel way to control the number of day laborers who congregate in shopping centers and on street corners, looking for work. Individuals who want to hire these workers are being required to register first with the city.
Marketplace Report: Worker Pay Not Keeping PaceMarketplace Report: Worker Pay Not Keeping Pace
The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that employee compensation growth over the past two years has been even weaker than previously assumed, and the pay for many workers isn't keeping up with rising prices. Steve Tripoli of Marketplace talks with Noah Adams about the rising inflation rate and slowing economic growth.
Town bans hiring and housing illegal immigrantsTown bans hiring and housing illegal immigrants
TRENTON, N.J. -- Providing housing or jobs to undocumented immigrants has been banned in a southern New Jersey town, according to an ordinance adopted Wednesday night. In front of a noisy crowd of several hundred people _ whose numbers forced the group
India: Banking services take a hit over outsourcing fearsBanking services take a hit over outsourcing fears
India's Public sector banking services were hit across the country today, as their employees went on a token strike against privatisation of state-run banks.
U.S. workers need work? Go to El SalvadorU.S. workers need work? Go to El Salvador
In order to meet the demands of companies outsourcing their call centers to El Salvador, the Central American country is beginning a program to recruit its employees from an unlikely location: the United States. The Salvadoran government's economic development organization has started a program called "Meet Your Roots" that "looks for children of Salvadorans born in the U.S. and Canada to reside and work temporarily in El Salvador in order to strengthen their identity and ties to the country," according to the organization's Web site.
The Face of Poverty Ages In Rapidly Graying Japan: Welfare Cuts Hit 'Elderly Orphans' HardThe Face of Poverty Ages In Rapidly Graying Japan: Welfare Cuts Hit 'Elderly Orphans' Hard
TOKYO -- What is left after Gosuke Kakizaki's 73 years of life as a magazine typesetter turned failed businessman turned penniless retiree is contained in two small rooms of a gray public housing complex far from the glittery core of this city.
China Vows to Develop Outsourcing IndustryChina Vows to Develop Outsourcing Industry
The Chinese government is to promote the outsourcing industry with the aim of making the country an international base for outsourcing, said a senior official with the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Thursday.
China: More than 1,000 workers riot at factory producing toys for McDonald'sChina: More than 1,000 workers riot at factory producing toys for McDonald's
More than 1,000 workers riot at factory producing toys for McDonald's, US-based labour rights group reports Over 1,000 workers rioted over poor working conditions at a factory in Guangdong province which produces toys for McDonald's and other firms,
Survey: African Americans Urgently Want Relief from Rising Student DebtSurvey: African Americans Urgently Want Relief from Rising Student Debt
WASHINGTON African Americans view a college education as more important then ever, but also worry that it is becoming less and less affordable while they see students graduating with more debt, says a new survey.
Ford workers look at new job optionsFord workers look at new job options
The question blasted from a yellow flier posted to the window of United Auto Workers Local 919: "Are you prepared for 2008?" In the union hall Thursday afternoon, Eric Olson tried to help two dozen Ford workers find the answer. About 2,275 hourly workers stand to lose their jobs at Ford's F-150 truck plant within two years. Olson, executive director of Virginia's Board for Contractors, was in town to describe how they could earn contractors' licenses and move into attractive new jobs.
Northwest Airlines and Striking Mechanics Will Resume Contract NegotiationsNorthwest Airlines and Striking Mechanics Will Resume Contract Negotiations
Minneapolis - Minneapolis -- The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), which represents striking mechanics at Northwest Airlines Inc., confirmed today that Northwest Airlines and AMFA have agreed to resume contract bargaining.
Ralphs pleads guilty to illegal hiringRalphs pleads guilty to illegal hiring
Source: New York Times
Ralphs Grocery Co. formally entered guilty pleas in federal court Wednesday to several charges stemming from the grocery chain's hiring of hundreds of workers under fake names during a 2003 strike and lockout in the Southern California supermarket industry.
House GOP pressing vote on minimum wageHouse GOP pressing vote on minimum wage
House Republican leaders, giving in to political reality, plan a vote to raise the $5.15 minimum wage before leaving Washington this weekend for a five-week recess.
Organizing Meatpacking Hell!Organizing Meatpacking Hell!
Source: Labor Notes
After suffering two election defeats at the 5,500-worker operation, the largest hog-processing plant in the world, the UFCW has adopted a more long-term, multi-pronged approach. The union will rely on a combination of Tar Heel workers’ own activity, support from UFCW members in other facilities, and actions by supporters around the country who see the union drive as a civil rights and workers’ rights crusade.
Jobless claims decline by 7,000 (AP)Jobless claims decline by 7,000 (AP)
AP - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped below the 300,000 level last week, signaling continued strength in the labor market despite a recent slowdown in job creation.
US Compensation costs pick up in 2Q (AP)Compensation costs pick up in 2Q (AP)
AP - Employers' costs to hire and retain workers picked up in the second quarter, a development that could aggravate inflation worries.
Australian Unions urge a rise for poorest workersUnions urge a rise for poorest workers
UNIONS have called on the Government's new Fair Pay Commission to grant those on the minimum wage a pay rise of $30 a week in its first decision, expected in November or December. By the time the commission decides, it will be 18 months since the lowest-paid workers received a boost. The ACTU's $30 claim is roughly in line with inflation over that period.
South Africa: Welcome Warn Out for 'Foreigners'South Africa: Welcome Warn Out for 'Foreigners'
"The wave of foreign migrants has coincided with an upsurge in internal migration as more locals escaping poverty in the rural areas flood the cities in search of scarce jobs," said Korth. "The number of Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Somalis, Congolese and other refugee populations is doubling annually in the townships and informal settlements. There is serious competition for everything."
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Chicago City Council OKs 'living wage' (AP)Chicago City Council OKs 'living wage' (AP)
AP - Brushing aside warnings from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday that makes Chicago the biggest city in the nation to require big-box retailers to pay a "living wage."
Unions perseveringUnions persevering
A year after two of the AFL-CIO's biggest unions broke away from the national labor federation to build a new one, local labor leaders say unions have been able to maintain solidarity here.
Chicago Hotel chains unlinked for union talksHotel chains unlinked for union talks
The unions representing 7,000 Chicago hotel workers, whose contracts expire next month, launched separate negotiations Tuesday with Hilton-owned hotels, and will do likewise this week with Hyatt as part of a new negotiation strategy.
Pension bill deal close, Isakson saysPension bill deal close, Isakson says
After another day of intense negotiations to complete a pension overhaul bill, U.S. lawmakers are now close to announcing success, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said early Wednesday afternoon. "The bill is substantially done," he said, and could still be written up in time for the House to approve it on Friday, the last day before the August recess. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) told Bloomberg News the work is almost finished.
Chicago, Wal-Mart in tussleChicago, Wal-Mart in tussle
When Wal-Mart opened a store just outside the city limits last winter, it proudly announced it received a record 25,000 job applications, nearly all of them from Chicagoans.
PanAfrica: Domestic Workers Abused WorldwidePanAfrica: Domestic Workers Abused Worldwide
Domestic workers face a wide range of grave abuses and labor exploitation, including physical and sexual abuse, forced confinement, non-payment of wages, denial of food and health care and excessive working hours with no rest days, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today.
Napping Makes Inroads in the WorkplaceNapping Makes Inroads in the Workplace
Some employers are doing the unthinkable: encouraging workers to nap on the job. And one firm near Wall Street is trying to cash in on the concept of workday napping. It has opened a napping boutique, filled with bankers, brokers and cops who pay $14 for a 20-minute nap.
Migration laws may be the end of globalizationMigration laws may be the end of globalization
Limiting migration from poor countries to richer ones threatens to put a stop to the present free movement of capital and goods
More work, less play for older Canadians: StatsCanMore work, less play for older Canadians: StatsCan
More Canadians aged 55 to 64 are working later in life and devoting less time to leisure activities than older people, suggests a Statistics Canada study released Wednesday.
Movement to keep boomers on jobMovement to keep boomers on job
Companies are just beginning to understand that they need to adapt to an aging workforce. After grappling with careers filled with meetings, memos and long hours, a large number of boomers are getting ready to slow things down.
Minnesota Health costs slow downHealth costs slow down
Minnesota employers found some relief on health insurance premium hikes last year after six years of at times double-digit cost increases. Workers have been paying the price.
British Unions and Hewitt in NHS talksUnions and Hewitt in NHS talks
Health unions are meeting with Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt amid concerns about "creeping NHS privatisation".
UK: Hot staff 'at risk of accidents'Hot staff 'at risk of accidents'
Employers may face legal action if they do not protect workers from extreme heat, says the TUC.
UK: Union ballots Bmibaby for strikeUnion ballots Bmibaby for strike
Pilots at airline Bmibaby are balloted for a possible strike over pay that could take place around August bank holiday.
SEC Wants Details of Executive PaySEC Wants Details of Executive Pay
By By MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer
Regulators are moving to require companies to disclose more details of executives' pay and perks. They're also writing new rules on disclosure of the dating of stock options as controversy widens over suspect timing. The Securities and Exchange...
Washington state deal struck: Unionized state workers will continue to pay 12 percent of the cost of their health care iDeal struck for state workers: Unionized state workers will continue to pay 12 percent of the cost of their health care insurance and will receive a rebate check for $756 next year
Source: The Olympian
In Britain: Unison plans strikes as American firm hired to do all NHS shoppingUnison plans strikes as American firm hired to do all NHS shopping
Source: The Times UK
A GIANT American firm is poised to take over the responsibility for spending more than £4 billion a year of NHS money in the biggest privatisation yet seen in the health service, The Times has learnt.
Novation, the Texas-based group, is in the final stages of negotiating a far-reaching contract that will make it and its German partner, DHL, responsible for buying everything from bandages to hip implants for the health service. The move will mark a massive step towards opening up the NHS to outside companies and is certain to inflame simmering tensions within the Labour Party over what is perceived as creeping privatisation.
Limits sought on worker exposure to microwave popcorn flavor agentLimits sought on worker exposure to microwave popcorn flavor agent
Source: LA Times
Emergency safety standards are needed to counter a widening outbreak of lung disease among workers exposed to a common ingredient in microwave popcorn, health experts and labor unions said Tuesday. The Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers plan to file an emergency petition today demanding that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration set exposure limits for diacetyl, a flavoring agent used in the manufacture of artificial popcorn butter, dog food and other products.
Wal-Mart adopts a tougher defense against union attacksWal-Mart adopts a tougher defense against union attacks
Source: New York Times
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. signaled a more aggressive defense against its union-backed critics by naming Democratic Party insider Leslie Dach its new chief of public relations this week.
FAA redirects air traffic controllers; NATCA files grievanceFAA redirects air traffic controllers; NATCA files grievance
Source: NY Times
The agency hopes that the change will cut costs and errors. But controllers say that they are working without breaks longer than rules allow and that their supervisors have lost the flexibility to assign rest periods based on how hectic a job has been. The controllers union has filed several grievances relating to the change, the latest result of an agency campaign to cut labor costs.
Borrowing language of civil rights movement, drive is on to unionize guardsBorrowing language of civil rights movement, drive is on to unionize guards
Source: NY Times
For Michael Johnson, a security guard for 16 years, unionization cannot happen soon enough. Mr. Johnson says the $10 an hour he earns guarding an office tower on Wilshire Boulevard is too little to support his family, so he has taken a second full-time job, guarding a construction site. His long hours exact a toll on him as a father: he leaves home at 6:15 a.m., before his four children wake up, and returns at 11 p.m., after they have gone to bed.
New York City MTA to consider selling railyard; MTA cautions against 'swalling the proposal whole'MTA to consider selling railyard; MTA cautions against 'swalling the proposal whole'
Source: NY Times
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board is expected today to consider New York City’s offer of $500 million for development rights to 26 acres of railyards on the Far West Side of Manhattan, the site of the city’s failed attempt last year to develop a football stadium for the Jets.
Michelin, union reach tentative US tire agreementMichelin, union reach tentative US tire agreement
Source: Washington Post
Michelin and the United Steelworkers on Tuesday reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for hourly workers at three of its BFGoodrich tire plants in the United States. Details of the agreements, which cover about 3,450 workers, will not be released until the union has completed ratification votes, Michelin spokeswoman Lynn Mann said.
Botswana: Textiles Yet To Benefit From Weaker PulaBotswana: Textiles Yet To Benefit From Weaker Pula
Tally Tshekiso, managing director of Caratex, a garment manufacturing company, says the textile industry has not yet reapt much from the devaluation. "Devaluation is a double-edged sword with cancellation effects. We import from East Asia and buy raw materials in US dollars," Tshekiso explained. "We are losing if you thought that we have gained," he added.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
College degree no longer ensures rising payCollege degree no longer ensures rising pay
WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy has been steadily growing, with unemployment low and corporate profits at historic highs.
Lawmakers reach tentative agreement on pension overhaulLawmakers reach tentative agreement on pension overhaul
By Bloomberg News
Congressional negotiators reached a tentative agreement on portions of a measure overhauling the private US pensions system, and a final deal may come as early as today, House and Senate Republican aides said.
UK to toughen border controlsUK to toughen border controls
In BBC UK Politics
Home Secretary John Reid outlines plans to toughen up border controls as part of an immigration shake-up.
Florida city votes down immigrant billUS city votes down immigrant bill
In BBC Americas
A Florida city council narrowly rejects imposing what would have been strict legislation on illegal immigrants.
Namibia: Rural School in Dire StraitsNamibia: Rural School in Dire Straits]
The practice of multi-teaching, that results from the dire shortage of teachers in rural schools, could have a negative impact on the performance of most learners in remote primary schools.
Multi-teaching, as it is commonly known, involves one instructor teaching two grades in one room at the same time.
Ghana: It is Promises And Promises to End Child LabourGhana: It is Promises And Promises to End Child Labour
Records on Child Labour Statistics available at the Ghana Statistical Service revealed that an estimated 1,239,680 children are in the agricultural sector, most of them in farming, fishing and forestry. Other sub sectors include animal rearing and hunting for grass cutters, snails, mushrooms. Over 73.6% of the children in agriculture are to be found in the rural areas.
PanAfrica: Tough Road for Africa As Trade Talks CrumblePanAfrica: Tough Road for Africa As Trade Talks Crumble
The collapse of global trade talks was bad news for Africa, condemning the world's poorest continent to an uncertain future of high tariffs and lagging competitiveness, officials and experts said today.
World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy was expected to formally announce the end of the Doha round of talks today after nearly five years of wrangling failed to produce a deal.
Health care summit attendees agree that action is needed / No other consensus emerges; issue looms over GOP campaignHealth care summit attendees agree that action is needed / No other consensus emerges; issue looms over GOP campaign
By Tom Chorneau
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sat quietly Monday for three hours listening to some of the nation's top experts on health care, including business executives, union leaders and representatives of consumer groups. But Schwarzenegger left his health care...
Security won out over federal government workers, study saysSecurity won out over workers, study says
Source: Washington Post
The 122-page study, "Legislating Civil Service Reform: The Homeland Security Act of 2002," is the first major analysis of how the administration's ideas became law. The study's authors are Douglas A. Brook and Cynthia L. King , professors at the Naval Postgraduate School, and Navy Lt. David W. Anderson and Marine Corps Capt. Joshua P. Bahr , who earned masters of business administration at the naval school. (They have posted their study at
New Jersey Pension fund reforms affect public employeesPension fund reforms affect public employees
Source: Bergen Record
NEW JERSEY has just changed the way it invests the $72 billion state employee pension fund. The bad news is that it will cost at least $220 million a year in fees. The good news is that the move is designed to boost the fund's lackluster performance. It's long overdue.
Reid, labor key factors in Nevada caucus bidReid, labor key factors in Nevada caucus bid
Source: Washington Post
Democrats were lobbied hard by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and organized labor before they picked Nevada as the best bet to energize the party's early presidential voting in 2008. A Democratic rules panel on Saturday recommended that Nevada hold a caucus after Iowa's leadoff contest in mid-January 2008, but before New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary. South Carolina was awarded an early primary a week after New Hampshire.
Union trries to unite blacks, Latinos: Workers at meatpacking plant must first overcome distrustUnion trries to unite blacks, Latinos: Workers at meatpacking plant must first overcome distrust
Source: Washington Post
Bailey is a black, native-born American. Abrego is a Latino immigrant. At Smithfield Packing Co., the largest meat-processing facility in the world, the two think of themselves as being in the same boat. Recently, they attended a potluck to try to do something that is rare for African Americans and Latino immigrants: come together to fight for workers' rights.
Black U.S. Labor organization - Coalition of Black Trade Unionists - backs Zimbabwe liberationBlack U.S. Labor organization - Coalition of Black Trade Unionists - backs Zimbabwe liberation
Source: New American Media
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe now has a new American acronym to scorn – CBTU.The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) has launched a major campaign to clip Mugabe of his “liberator” image in the African American community by exposing the thuggish actions of his regime against the Zimbabwean people.
Wal-Mart's woes tell tale of city politicsWal-Mart's woes tell tale of city politics
Source: Chicago Tribune
Consumers watching Wal-Mart being put on the rack by the Chicago City Council might think this is just another political squeezing: The council's vote on the living-wage ordinance--which would require stores with 90,000 square feet or more to pay workers at least $10 an hour--is scheduled for next Wednesday. But there's much more to this than wages.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Huge Backlogs, Delays Feared Under Senate Immigration PlanHuge Backlogs, Delays Feared Under Senate Immigration Plan
By S. Mitra Kalita and Spencer S. Hsu
Arturo Zavala entered the United States illegally from Mexico in 1976 and picked mushrooms in Pennsylvania for a decade before he became a legal resident. But that menial labor was not the toughest part of life here.
California - Overtime fattens paychecks of state workers / 77 employees topped $200,000 last year, a big jump from 2004Overtime fattens paychecks of state workers / 77 employees topped $200,000 last year, a big jump from 2004
By Todd Wallack
Most state employees earn modest salaries of less than $50,000 a year, plus a decent pension and other benefits. But a growing number are earning more than $200,000 a year. For example: - Jose Chacon, a lieutenant in the state prison system,...
Coalition taking on anti-immigrant lawsCoalition taking on anti-immigrant laws
As Congress delays action on new immigration legislation, some local governments from Florida to Pennsylvania are drafting measures targeting undocumented immigrants.
High-tech jobs remain an unfulfilled vision in MexicoHigh-tech jobs remain an unfulfilled vision in Mexico
During the first half of 2006, more than 546,000 jobs were added in Mexico the best showing during President Vicente Fox's six-year term. A closer look at the statistic reveals this growth is failing to provide many workers with jobs offering security and the potential for economic advancement.
Apparel manufacturing jobs declining in MexicoApparel manufacturing jobs declining in Mexico
She works long hours on her feet in a noisy, windowless factory and makes only $6.80 a day 45 cents more than most workers there because she embellishes denim jeans with dainty flowers. But Yesenia Garcia, 27, is glad to have a job. "Sometimes you have work and sometimes you don't. But I like working on design," Garcia said.
Union considers risk of acquiring HooverUnion considers risk of acquiring Hoover
From the window in his small union hall office, Jim Repace can look out at the red brick, four-story Hoover Co. plant and dream about owning the well-known vacuum maker. Now his task is to inspire hundreds of workers that their best strategy to stop a job drain is a risky one: to buy a struggling company, if they can find some financial help.
Lawsuits over overtime increaseLawsuits over overtime increase
Since 2000, the number of wage-related cases filed in federal courts has doubled, and most involve overtime claims.
Workers call off protest in NepalWorkers call off protest in Nepal
In South Asia
Former bonded labourers in Nepal call off job protests after the government agrees to address their demands.
Spanish intercept migrant boatsSpanish intercept migrant boats
Spain says it has intercepted boats taking almost 250 presumed African migrants to the Canary Islands.
South Africa: Skills Lack Threatens Refinery ShutdownsSouth Africa: Skills Lack Threatens Refinery Shutdowns
A DIRE shortage of engineering skills is threatening the effective shutdown of fuel refineries in the coming three months and could result in yet another fuel shortage in the festive season.
Central Africa: Great Lakes States to Tackle Skills ChallengeCentral Africa: Great Lakes States to Tackle Skills Challenge
Four states in the Great Lakes Region have committed themselves to initiate and implement urgent policies to develop human capacities and labour market to help them build sound knowledge-based economies.
Zimbabwe: Govt Mulls Preemptive Crackdown On Congress of Trade UnionsZimbabwe: Govt Mulls Preemptive Crackdown On Congress of Trade Unions
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says government is planning to arrest its leadership as a pre-emptive move against threatened mass action by the labour movement over the worsening economic crisis in the country.
San Francisco hotel negotiations end without accordHotel negotiations end without accord
By George Raine
Contract negotiators for union hotel workers in San Francisco and the 13 hotels that employ them completed four days of bargaining Friday without resolving differences in a two-year dispute. More negotiations are scheduled in August by the union, Unite...
British Immigrant workers are stepping up their protest against changes to immigration laws, with a rally at London's ChinatownImmigrant workers are stepping up their protest against changes to immigration laws, with a rally at London's Chinatown
A policy change in April means immigrant workers must now wait five rather than four years before they can apply for settlement in Britain.
Union says unbowed by setback at JetBlue AirwaysUnion says unbowed by setback at JetBlue Airways
Union organizers plan to continue to target workers at discount airline JetBlue Airways Corp. despite getting rebuffed in an effort to unionize the airline. "The organizing effort will continue," Joe Tiberi, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, told Reuters.
Old issues echoing for Goodyear, USWOld issues echoing for Goodyear, USW
Source: Akron Beacon-Journal
The contract clock keeps ticking down for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and its largest union.
Three years ago, Goodyear was losing buckets of money when it entered contract talks with the United Steelworkers of America. The resulting pact, negotiated under intense conditions, helped stabilize the Akron tire maker while giving most union members job security, pay raises and health insurance. The agreement helped Goodyear report profits the past two years.
American Airlines, mechanics to talkAA, mechanics to talk
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Once-battling forces learn to work together for new income source.
American Airlines plans to open talks with pilots unionAmerican Airlines plans to open talks with pilots union
Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
American Airlines has notified its pilots that airline management wants to negotiate a new contract -- a move likely to spark a debate over whether employees can reclaim wages and benefits given up three years ago.
Goodyear, union agree to extend contractGoodyear, union agree to extend contract
DETROIT (MarketWatch) -- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the United Steelworkers of America have agreed to extend the current labor contract, which expires July 22, on a day-to-day basis. Goodyear and the union are working to forge a pact under a wider bargaining agreement that also covers workers at U.S. operations of Japan's Bridgestone Corp. and France's Michelin Group which owns BF Goodrich.
Labor's Mr. Fix-itLabor's Mr. Fix-it
Source: Boston Globe
If you are a trade union boss and know your costs are out of whack with your nonunion competition, do you sharpen your pencil and try again? No way. Not when you can call Marty -- state Representative Marty Walsh,
China: Caterpillar to Start Building Factory in 2007China: Caterpillar to Start Building Factory in 2007
The heavy machinery maker Caterpillar said it planned to build a factory in Jiangsu Province that would make midsize wheel loaders. Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Ill., said construction of the new plant was expected to begin in 2007. The loaders it produces will be sold across the Asia-Pacific region. That region is now largely supplied by a plant in Japan.
Trade Talks Fail Over an Impasse on Farm TariffsTrade Talks Fail Over an Impasse on Farm Tariffs
By TOM WRIGHT and STEVEN R. WEISMAN
The collapse of negotiations touched off a bitter new round of recriminations between the United States and Europe.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Proposed auto alliance worries laborProposed auto alliance worries labor
Source: Indianapolis Star
Today, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger is making clear that he has "very serious concerns" about a proposed global alliance between General Motors Corp. and automakers Nissan and Renault SA -- both headed by Ghosn. The flamboyant Ghosn's five-year-old stance against the UAW is hardly the only reason.
Hawaii resort Turtle Bay and hotel union settle disputeTurtle Bay and hotel union settle dispute
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu's only major hotel on the North Shore, and hotel workers union Unite Here Local 5 have reached a tentative labor agreement that could end years of contentious negotiations, a consumer boycott of the property and several pending legal proceedings.
Watchdog slams prisons over guards' union work / Inspector general cites oversight lack, poor record-keepingWatchdog slams prisons over guards' union work / Inspector general cites oversight lack, poor record-keeping
By Mark Martin
Poor oversight by California's corrections department has allowed leaders of the guards union to spend work time on union business without approval, a problem that could allow some guards to retire with bigger taxpayer-funded paydays than they would otherwise...
Indianapolis Library Board meeting gets loud as staff demonstrate for right to form unionLibrary Board meeting gets loud as staff demonstrate for right to form union
Source: Indianapolis Star
The conflict over union recognition provided the fireworks during a meeting to approve $25 million in bonds for cost overruns topping $40 million at the troubled Central Library expansion.
AK Steel employees at Butler plant approve 6-year contractAK Steel employees at Butler plant approve 6-year contract
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Workers at AK Steel Corp.'s plant in Butler approved a six-year contract Friday that raises wages an average 9 percent to 10 percent in the first year, condenses 300 job classifications into seven and boosts health insurance co-payments, a union official said.
Administration rejects AFL-CIO call for China labor probeAdministration rejects AFL-CIO call for China labor probe
The Bush administration on Friday rejected a petition by American unions seeking an investigation into Chinese labor practices, arguing that there was evidence Chinese practices were improving.
University of California regents approve $1 million in improper pay for 60 top execsUC regents approve $1 million in improper pay for 60 top execs
By Tanya Schevitz
About 60 top executives in the University of California system can keep more than $1 million they received in unauthorized extra compensation, the UC governing Board of Regents agreed Thursday. "The beneficiaries of this didn't do anything wrong, so...
United shuts gate on S.F.United shuts gate on S.F.
By David Lazarus
After publicly flirting with the idea of moving its headquarters to San Francisco or Denver, United Airlines announced the other day that it'll stay in the Chicago area after all -- and score some very lucrative perks from Illinois officials. So San...
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Pension Deal Closer, but Hurdles ExistPension Deal Closer, but Hurdles Exist
By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
Congressional negotiators have reached a preliminary oral agreement on a long-awaited package of amendments to overhaul the nation’s pension system.
Weekly jobless claims decline (AP)Weekly jobless claims decline (AP)
AP - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits posted a big decline last week, reflecting fewer layoffs in the auto industry.
Hotels propose fewer benefits for new workersHotels propose fewer benefits for new workers
By George Raine
Negotiators for 13 hotels in San Francisco have offered workers a contract proposal in which new hires will have to work five years to be eligible for the level of health care current workers have -- a two-tier system union officials predict will be rejected
Intel profit plunges, layoffs loom / Chipmaker also trims forecast for current quarterIntel profit plunges, layoffs loom / Chipmaker also trims forecast for current quarter
By Tom Abate
Intel Corp. hinted at future layoffs Wednesday, as the microprocessor giant reported its biggest three-month profit drop in more than four years. Under pressure from an increasingly competitive Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Santa Clara's Intel reported...
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Immigration Enforcement Benefits Prison FirmsImmigration Enforcement Benefits Prison Firms
By MEREDITH KOLODNER
Private prison operators are jockeying for a bigger piece of the growing business of detaining immigrants.
Airlines still downsizingAirlines still downsizing
The U.S. airline industry has not been the most stable workplace in recent years, statistics released Tuesday show. Continuing a downward slide, U.S. passenger airlines employed 5 percent fewer employees in May of this year compared with last year, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Minnesota reports job gainsMinnesota reports job gains
Minnesota added 14,700 jobs in June, capping a quarter of strong job growth that exceeded the fast pace the state experienced in the 1990s.
NWA lobbies for pension billNWA lobbies for pension bill
Congress must soon give Northwest Airlines more time to make payments to its massively underfunded pension plans, the airline warned Tuesday, or Northwest may start terminating the plans next month.
Italy police free Polish 'slaves'Italy police free Polish 'slaves'
In BBC Europe
Italian police free some 100 Poles they say were "kept in a state of slavery" in forced labour camps.
Judge rejects state's Wal-Mart lawJudge rejects state's Wal-Mart law
Measure requiring more spending for health care said to violate federal lawA federal judge in Baltimore struck down a state law today that sought to require retailing giant Wal-Mart to boost spending for employee health care, saying the legislation violated a federal law that promotes uniform treatment of employers.
House immigration hearing blasts Senate measure / Republican, Democratic ire, and actions at local levels indicate foes' rising tideHouse immigration hearing blasts Senate measure / Republican, Democratic ire, and actions at local levels indicate foes' rising tide
By Carolyn Lochhead
A House hearing called "Should We Embrace the Senate's Grant of Amnesty to Millions of Illegal Aliens and Repeat the Mistakes of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986?" produced vivid warnings Tuesday about the Senate's version of a comprehensive...
Wal-Mart and its critics slam each other on the webWal-Mart and its critics slam each other on the web
The brawl between Wal-Mart and its union critics is escalating as groups on both sides, fighting over whether the world's largest retailer is good or bad, launched attack-style Web sites maligning each other's motives and politics.
How Wal-Mart hurt our feelingsHow Wal-Mart hurt our feelings
So here we are, 16 months since the launch of America's campaign to change Wal-Mart. With a national debate raging about whether or not Wal-Mart is good for America and with the WakeUpWalMart.com movement growing to more than 246,000 supporters, it comes to this - Wal-Mart launches its very own personal attack website (yikes, it seems like someone is angry!).
Firms unionized overseas resist U.S. organizingFirms unionized overseas resist U.S. organizing
Source: WSJ Summary only. Full article available for WSJ subscribers only
Several large U.S. unions are increasingly targeting subsidiaries of foreign-based companies that have high unionization rates overseas, but they are finding stiff resistance instead of the more-receptive attitude they were hoping for.
The targeted multinationals say they support unions in general, but in some cases say they have problems with tactics employed by some U.S. unions. Many multinational companies also have economic incentives to resist U.S. unions. While health-care benefits are typically subsidized by governments elsewhere, such benefits in the U.S. are partly employer-paid, and unions generally push for even more.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Washington June unemployment rate unchanged from MayJune unemployment rate unchanged from May
Washington state employers added 3,800 jobs in June, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged from May at 5.1 percent, according to figures released this morning by the state's Employment Security Department.
Baseball begins to listen to sweatshop foesBaseball begins to listen to sweatshop foes
Source: The Nation
At this year's All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, the party was crashed by a bull-headed group of about seventy activists determined to change the way the corporate game is played. The Pittsburgh Anti-Sweatshop Community Alliance (PASCA) held a spirited rally outside Tuesday's game at PNC Park followed by a march to Roberto Clemente Bridge. The procession was a celebration of something antisweatshop activists had never been able to claim with Major League Baseball: real progress.
Shortage of workers means Washington state berries going unpickedShortage of workers means state berries going unpicked
In Local News
A third of Jerry Dobbins' 155-acre strawberry crop rotted on the vine this year. His blueberry bushes are so heavy with fruit that the branches...
Alaska Airlines workers get raiseAlaska Airlines workers get raise
Alaska Airlines Inc. baggage handlers, ramp workers, customer-service agents and clerks approved new contracts that will raise pay and offer early retirement to some workers.
Texas Hospitals Reflect the Debate on ImmigrationTexas Hospitals Reflect the Debate on Immigration
By JULIA PRESTON
Public hospitals are facing an uneasy decision: demand immigration documents, or provide basic care to anyone.
British union calls for work dress-down to beat heatWork dress-down call to beat heat
In BBC UK
A union calls for workers to be allowed to dress more casually, as temperatures continue to soar.
British Lecturers vote to take pay offerLecturers vote to take pay offer
University lecturers vote to accept a pay rise of 13.1% over three years, ending a long-running dispute.
Protesting workers held in NepalProtesting workers held in Nepal
InBBC South Asia
Nearly 100 former bonded labourers are arrested in Nepal after protesting in Kathmandu.
UK reaches deal over Airbus jobsUK reaches deal over Airbus jobs
The UK government and plane maker Airbus agree a deal in principle that aims to safeguard 16,000 UK jobs.
Migrants stuck in Malta stand-offMigrants stuck in Malta stand-off
In BBC Europe
Malta is refusing to allow African migrants aboard a Spanish trawler to dock.
More workers call wages inadequate, survey findsMore workers call wages inadequate, survey finds
But 50% of employers think pay is competitiveThe average worker hasn't seen a meaningful pay increase in three years, despite the economy's rebound, according to U.S. Labor Department data.
Nigeria: Labour Congress Backs Strike Over Retrenchments as Govt Raises Wages By 25 PercentNigeria: Labour Congress Backs Strike Over Retrenchments as Govt Raises Wages By 25 Percent
THE Federal Government plans to raise civil servants' salaries by 25 per cent from January next year, even as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday, expressed support for the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) to embark on a national strike should the Federal Government fail to halt the mass sack in the public service.
June output, capacity use up more than expected (Reuters)June output, capacity use up more than expected (Reuters)
Reuters - Output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities rose by a bigger-than-expected 0.8 percent in June and capacity use also topped expectations, a report showed on Monday in a sign that a hot economy could weigh on an inflation-wary Federal Reserve.
Poor pay more for services, study says / S.F. has high density of check cashersPoor pay more for services, study says / S.F. has high density of check cashers
By Leslie Fulbright
Low-income residents of 13 cities across the nation pay extra for many everyday services, sometimes thousands of dollars more over a whole year, a study to be released today shows. By taking out higher-interest mortgages, shopping at rent-to-own...
N.Y. Times to Reduce Page Size, Cut JobsN.Y. Times to Reduce Page Size, Cut Jobs
The New York Times Co. plans to reduce the width of its flagship newspaper by an inch and a half and close a printing plant in Edison, N.J., resulting in the loss of about 250 jobs, the company announced Tuesday. The reduction in width will bring the...
New York City labor pact OKs Long Island livingCity labor pact OKs Long Island living
Source: NY Daily News
At a City Hall announcement with DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts and other union leaders, Bloomberg hailed the pact "as a good, fair contract" that sets the "framework" for negotiations with the remaining two-thirds of the city's 300,000 municipal employees.
A bid to get religion? Wal-Mart hires ex-nun: Firm seeks to address critical areasA bid to get religion? Wal-Mart hires ex-nun: Firm seeks to address critical areas
Source: Washington Post
The world's largest retailer has hired Harriet Hentges, a former nun and foreign conflict mediator, to help steer the company's policies on the environment, health care and labor relations -- three areas where Wal-Mart's public image has suffered.
Honda Uses Ice-Making Plant to Cool WorkersHonda Uses Ice-Making Plant to Cool Workers
By By JAMES HANNAH, Associated Press Writer
Keeping Honda Motor Co.'s research facility in this western Ohio village cool in the middle of a heat wave without breaking the bank is as simple as freezing water. The Japanese automaker makes ice at night and then melts it during the day to cool the...
San Francisco Hotel contract talks resuming / After a strike, a lockout and nearly 2 years without a pact, 2 sides try again to negotiateHotel contract talks resuming / After a strike, a lockout and nearly 2 years without a pact, 2 sides try again to negotiate
By George Raine
Contract negotiators for 13 San Francisco hotels and the union that represents their workers are scheduled to resume talks today about wages and other economic matters that they have been unable to reach agreement on for nearly two years. The employers...
Monday, July 17, 2006
WTO Plan Reshapes Vietnam's EconomyWTO Plan Reshapes Vietnam's Economy
By Alan Sipress
HANOI -- A pair of eager workers gaze skyward from a billboard at the main gate of the Hanoi Textile and Garment Co., arms raised in proletarian zeal, a tableau of industry unfolding behind them. Bold slogans across the bottom urge worker solidarity and diligent labor.
U.S. Border Town, 1,200 Miles From The BorderU.S. Border Town, 1,200 Miles From The Border
By Dale Russakoff
DALTON, Ga. -- Jerry Nelson steered his grocery cart out of the Wal-Mart on a recent night, fuming about globalization, Southern style. "Another great night at the Mexican Wal-Mart," he groused to no one in particular. Dalton may be 1,200 miles from Mexico, but it is in many ways a border... To...
Democrats hope minimum wage push pays offDemocrats hope minimum wage push pays off
By Edward Epstein
House Democrats' election-year persistence in trying to force a vote on raising the federal minimum wage for the first time in almost a decade looks as if it could bear fruit. The Democrats have seized on the issue, which polls show is overwhelmingly...
AS WAGES STAY THE SAME, THE RENT GOES UPAS WAGES STAY THE SAME, THE RENT GOES UP
The average rent in Miami-Dade County rose 20 percent in four years but wages stayed nearly flat, worsening the gap between what workers earn and where they can afford to live, according to a county housing report.
`Who takes care of the workers in this city?'`Who takes care of the workers in this city?'
Frazzled, sweating and four months pregnant, Martha Pomare sat down for a minute, leaned forward in her chair and rested her head in her hands.
UK: Bosses to be sacked, firm's assets seized if found to be employing illegal workersUK: Bosses to be sacked, firm's assets seized if found to be employing illegal workers
LabourStart headline - Source: Independent
The hardline proposals to deal with illegal immigrants would mean that business leaders could be dismissed and their firm's assets seized if they are found to be employing illegal workers.
Weighing job offers? Compare their retirement plans, tooWeighing job offers? Compare their retirement plans, too
Like couples who are loath to discuss estate planning before the wedding, workers often fail to study retirement plans as they consider a new job.
UAW: Delphi strike still possibleUAW: Delphi strike still possible
DEARBORN, Mich. -- United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger said the union had made little progress in recent talks with Delphi Corp. and that a strike still was a possibility.
Absence 'falls among UK workers'Absence 'falls among UK workers'
Absences among UK workers fell last year a survey says, but sparks an angry public sector reaction.
Namibia: Lack of Skills Stunts Business GrowthNamibia: Lack of Skills Stunts Business Growth
A deficit of technical and managerial skills continues to stunt growth and expansion of business in Namibia.
Zimbabwe: End Strike, Doctors ToldZimbabwe: End Strike, Doctors Told
GOVERNMENT has ordered striking intern doctors at Parirenyatwa and Harare hospitals to immediately return to work while their grievances are being addressed. The doctors started boycotting their duties last week after being informed about their impending deployment to district hospitals for a year.
Kenya: Recruitment - Thousands of Teachers Could Be Locked OutKenya: Recruitment - Thousands of Teachers Could Be Locked Out
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) said it would give preference to teachers with registration certificates to fill the 7,332 vacancies in learning institutions. Teachers are deemed registered when they are licensed to teach by the commission, which issues them with registration numbers following the payment of a Sh500 fee. The fee was raised from Sh10 early this year following the introduction of a new code of regulations.
Sierra Leone: What Women Gain Out of Diamonds?Sierra Leone: What Women Gain Out of Diamonds?
In Koidu town the Programme for Women's Association (PROWA) is the only organisation trying to provide young women with skills training as an alternative to sexual slavery.
Group is pushing to raise pilots' retirement age to 65Group is pushing to raise pilots' retirement age to 65
Source: The Hill
From the time it was imposed in 1959, a federal requirement that airline pilots retire at age 60 has been controversial, particularly from the perspective of older members of cockpit crews. Airlines at the time saw an economic benefit to the new rule, according to a Senate synopsis. It was cheaper to hire young pilots out of the military who had trained on new jet technology than retrain commercial pilots experienced in piston-powered flight.
UAW may have to turn to the SouthUAW may have to turn to the South
Source: Chicago Tribune
As Jeremy Kimbrell watches thousands of United Auto Workers lose their jobs to plant closings at General Motors and Ford, he finds a silver lining.The workers aren't to blame, says Kimbrell, a pro-union activist at a non-union Mercedes-Benz plant near Tuscaloosa, Ala. "Their customers took a different route and went for more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Meatpacker's Treatment of Workers and Animals: Not KosherMeatpacker's Treatment of Workers and Animals: Not Kosher
Source: Confined Space
Washington Post reports that two Conservative Jewish organizations have created a task force to investigate the problems at the plant: A month after the [Forward] piece ran May 26, the Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism launched a fact-finding study to find out what wrongs, if any, are being committed at the plant in Postville, Iowa.
Boomers will change America again, by retiringBoomers will change America again, by retiring
Source: Seattle Times
All experts agree that the sheer size of the baby-boom generation — one-fourth of all U.S. citizens today — will be felt, for better or for worse. It has been felt since their first breaths.
California State employee union ratifies $500 million dealState union ratifies $500 million deal
Source: Palm Springs Desert Sun
The largest state employees union has ratified what union officials called their biggest contract ever, a package that could be worth $500 million over three years. The contract was approved by 94 percent of Service Employees International Union Local 1000's 85,000 members after a monthlong vote, the union said Saturday.
Kauai Nurses, management to resume talksNurses, management to resume talks
Source: Lihue Garden Island
Wilcox Hospital and its striking nurses are scheduled to resume negotiations Monday for the first time in three weeks. Leaders for the union and Wilcox Memorial Hospital got the word from a federal mediator earlier this week that the two sides would meet on Monday.
A new tone on concessions for New York CityA new tone on concessions
Source: NY Times
If Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had any motto in negotiations with the city’s unions, it was that the unions had to agree to money-saving concessions to help finance their raises. But in reaching a tentative contract on Wednesday with the city’s largest municipal union, District Council 37, Mr. Bloomberg appeared to have scrapped that motto.
Wal-Mart sends employees to search for bomb rather than evacuating themWal-Mart sends employees to search for bomb rather than evacuating them
source: Union-Network Org
Wal-Mart has scored new low points when it sent some forty Canadian employees to look for a bomb in a store instead of evacuating the premises. This followed a bomb threat received at a Wal-Mart store some 60 km from Montreal, in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
According to the Canada.com network, the story came out as a young employee, shaken by the incident, told her mother about it. She then complained both to Wal-Mart, and to the media.
Canadian newspapers reported yesterday that many store workers were indeed traumatised by having to stay behind, searching for a bomb, together with police, rather than leaving their workplace together with the evacuated customers. The store manager's comments that any worker who wanted could have left is a poor defence. Who would really have dared to do this in Wal-Mart, with its track record of brutal employer behaviour?
This latest incident is of course incredible, but not really surprising. We remember how Wal-Mart used to lock in workers in their store overnight, in an apparent attempt to make sure that merchandise is not lost. Also here, the Bentonville multinational acted differently: Normally, a retailer gives absolute priority to the safety of its workers, not to defending its property.
Luckily, there was no bomb in the Canadian Wal-Mart store. But there could have been one.
IPOD'S CHILDREN / China's young make them, America's youth buy them -- Apple probes work conditionsIPOD'S CHILDREN / China's young make them, America's youth buy them -- Apple probes work conditions
By Kathleen E. McLaughlin
Lunchtime arrives and hundreds of young, weary workers in company shirts flood through factory gates and out into the sweltering southern air. Most are migrants in their own country. Born poor in rural China, they have come to this manufacturing mecca...
Flight Attendants, Northwest Reach DealFlight Attendants, Northwest Reach Deal
A union official said flight attendants have reached a tentative agreement with Northwest Airlines...
Along Part of the Border, A Zero-Tolerance ZoneAlong Part of the Border, A Zero-Tolerance Zone
By Sylvia Moreno
DEL RIO, Tex. -- On June 1, the three Ordaz-Valtierra brothers from Mexico illegally crossed the Rio Grande with the same dream that so many other Latin American immigrants have: head north from the border, get jobs and start sending money home.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Romney's minimum wage decision could have national implicationsRomney's minimum wage decision could have national implications
Source: Boston Globe
The Democratic-controlled Legislature in Massachusetts also handed the Republican governor a bill that would eventually raise the state's minimum wage to $8 per hour, resurrecting an issue that Romney has thus far managed to hold at bay.
US immigration overhaul given less than even odds (Reuters)US immigration overhaul given less than even odds (Reuters)
Reuters - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Friday gave less than even odds that Congress would pass an immigration law overhaul before the November congressional elections.
5 decades at Ford5 decades at Ford
Two weeks after Ralph Knudson started working on the assembly line at the Ford Motor Co. plant in St. Paul, managers warned him. "They told me maybe I should look for something else because they were probably going to shut this place down," he said.
PACIFIC COAST / More relief squeezed from Senate for salmon fishersPACIFIC COAST / More relief squeezed from Senate for salmon fishers
By Zachary Coile
California and Oregon lawmakers on Thursday persuaded Senate appropriators to approve $10 million in relief for West Coast salmon fishermen who are reeling financially from the nearly complete closure of the fishery by the federal government. The...
Latinos forge political unity from immigrant rights ralliesLatinos forge political unity from immigrant rights rallies
By Tyche Hendricks
Pro-immigrant marches this spring and the nation's ongoing immigration policy debate have unified and politically energized Latinos, according to a national survey conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington, D.C. For the first time since the...
University and nurses union compromise on retirementUniversity and nurses union compromise on retirement
Source: Daily Californian
The parties resolved the first of several issues Wednesday after mediation talks, agreeing to make no changes to the existing health benefits plan. Three other issues that await settlement in talks are a meal and break schedule, wage increases and a health insurance plan for nurses in 2007.
For day laborers, a new dayFor day laborers, a new day
Source: Wall Street Journal
Three months ago, about 120 immigrants who solicit work along a sun-drenched road in this town outside Los Angeles decided among themselves to only accept work for a minimum hourly wage of $15 -- about $2.50 higher than the previous, informal rate. "What they have here is the essence of a union," says Pablo Alvarado, national coordinator of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, who supervised the workers' roadside vote.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Claims for jobless benefits up to 332,000 (AP)Claims for jobless benefits up to 332,000 (AP)
AP - The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week, apparently reflecting the spring slowdown in the economy.
Wal-Mart singled out as anti-union by Chinese union leader: New legislation may be needed to secure the rights of workers in all foreign enterprisesWal-Mart singled out as anti-union by Chinese union leader: New legislation may be needed to secure the rights of workers in all foreign enterprises
Wang Zhaoguo, China's top trade union leader, has expressed serious concern over low trade union organising rates in the country's fast growing foreign enterprise sector. In a statement published on Thursday by the Xinhua news agency, Wang pointed at Wal-Mart as a particularly bad example when it comes to respecting the right of workers to unionise.
British University unions back pay dealUniversity unions back pay deal
Universities say support staff unions have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a three-year pay settlement. They said Amicus, the T&G and Unison had told them that more than 93% of their members were in favour of the offer of a total increase of 13.1%.
STANFORD / Transsexual tackles sexism in sciencesSTANFORD / Transsexual tackles sexism in sciences
By Keay Davidson
The debate over men's and women's roles in scientific research is drawing insights from an unusually well-qualified source, a Stanford scientist who has lived on both sides of the gender fence -- Ben A. Barres, a female-to-male transsexual. In January...
Tyson Trims 850 Jobs in Effort to SaveTyson Trims 850 Jobs in Effort to Save
Tyson Foods Inc., the world's largest meat company, said Thursday it would cut 850 positions to help trim $200 million in costs as it tries to boost profit amid slower sales of beef, chicken and pork The savings goal is up from the $110 million pledged...
Intel to Slash 1,000 Management JobsIntel to Slash 1,000 Management Jobs
By By DAN GOODIN, AP Technology Writer
Intel Corp. is cutting 1,000 management jobs as the chip maker tries to become more efficient amid stiff competition and weaker demand for personal computers. The reduction, which will take several days to be carried out, is the latest action in a...
Leaders of city workers union in New York announce dealLeaders of Huge N.Y. Union Announce Deal
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
The Bloomberg administration and the city’s largest municipal union, District Council 37, reached a tentative 32-month contract late Wednesday that ends a residency requirement and provides a raise of more than 10 percent. Two union leaders, who insisted on anonymity because the agreement is not scheduled to be announced until Monday, said the deal contained no concessions. Voicing concerns about spiraling pension costs, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had demanded concessions on pensions so that future hires would receive lower pensions than current workers.
Global: Trade union statement to the G8 Saint-Petersburg SummitGlobal: Trade union statement to the G8 Saint-Petersburg Summit
LabourStart headline - Source: UNI
Swaziland: Diversify Or Die - Economists WarnSwaziland: Diversify Or Die - Economists Warn
According to a Central Bank of Swaziland analyst: "Ten years ago, we put all our eggs into one basket - garment and textile manufacturing. Tens of thousands of jobs opened up. But the contraction has been just as dramatic. We need to court investors in all fields."
Disney reportedly will cut jobs, film outputDisney reportedly will cut jobs, film output
In StarTribune.com Business
Walt Disney Co. will substantially reduce its workforce and slash its annual output of films from 18 to eight -- cutbacks greater than Hollywood had anticipated, Daily Variety reported Wednesday. The Hollywood trade paper said that all the movies will be Disney-branded, suggesting diminished roles for its Touchstone label, and that a Disney announcement was expected within 10 days. Burbank, Calif.-based Disney, basking in the glow of a record $135.6 million debut weekend box office for "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," wouldn't discuss the report. Disney's move reflects a trend in
Employers see costs drop for big-deductible health plansEmployers see costs drop for big-deductible health plans
In StarTribune.com Business
People who have high-deductible health coverage plans are less likely to use the emergency room and have fewer hospital admissions than people with traditional coverage. They also are more likely to regularly visit their primary care doctor for free preventive checkups. Those are among the findings of a three-year study, released Wednesday by UnitedHealth Group Inc., of so-called consumer-driven health care plans. The plans feature accounts from which consumers pay for medical services until they've paid their full deductibles, and catastrophic insurance kicks in. The study, one of the large