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July 29, 2002

Labor Monday (7-29)

Roundup of labor stories, July 29

  • Take Action-- AFL-CIO has a new web page for you to send messages to employers not to break the law in opposing union rights for their workers.
  • Lieberman is actually standing up strongly for union rights in the Homeland Security Bill. As he states: ""Nobody argues that civil service protections or union rights contributed to September 11th, In fact, quite the contrary, the firefighters and the police officers whose heroism we celebrated in New York were all union members."
  • Along with trying to strip workers of employment rights in Homeland Security, Bush has been fighting Congressional efforts to improve wages for government workers, a fight he seems to have lost even in the GOP-controlled House.
  • An article on union responses to the Enron/WorldCom scandals, including a new AFL-CIO Web site, www.laidoffworkers.org, with resources and political ideas for the unemployed.
  • The living wage movement has passed the 80-city mark in passing local ordiances to require higher-than-minimum wage pay and benefits for companies doing business with those local governments. New York City is one of the big next targets.
  • Talk about timing- William Wolman and Anne Colamosca have published a new book, The Great 401(k) Hoax that highlights the fraud of expecting the supposed magic of the stock market to deliver a safe retirement in place of the traditional pension.
  • This week's Work in Progress details union gains by Southern California health care workers and Wisconsin grocery workers and notes on political gains such as New York's soon-to-be-passed rule barring state money from being used for anti-union campaigns by employers receiving government contracts.

    Posted by Nathan at July 29, 2002 07:27 AM

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    LA Times writes an article which may shed light on the Newman-Kaus conflict on media coverage of unions. http://www.latimes.com/templates/misc/printstory.jsp?slug=la%2Dfi%2Dlabor28jul28005104

    Posted by: Jeff at July 29, 2002 09:20 PM

    The raw fact is that labor union budgets nationally are somewhere in the range of $5 billion per year. Day to day, they are more involved in a range of worker concerns and politics than a broad range of groups, yet they get remarkably little ink. This is actually in deep contrast to the past when, whether positive or negative, union news was heavily covered-- in 1937, admittedly a highwater mark, 15% of all column space in the New York Times involved union news.

    William Greider in his WHO WILL TELL AMERICA? attributes the change to the professionalization of journalism, with the attendant class character change in reporters from identifying with other workers to identifying (even if critically) with the elite.

    Posted by: Nathan at July 29, 2002 09:35 PM

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