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December 23, 2002

Labor Monday (12-23)

  • The AFL-CIO is attacking the post-Christmas cutoff of unemployment benefits to 800,000 unemployed. See this page for details.
  • Bush's administration is seeking new regulations to force unions to itemize all expenditures above either a $2,000 or $5,000 threshold, a costly intrusive demand they of course would never apply to business.
  • In 2002, U.S. companies saw the price of health insurance increase by an average of 14.7%, which marked the highest annual increase since 1990, and the average employer paid $5,646 per employee for health insurance coverage in 2002, a hefty 56% increase from $3,594 in 1997. This is raising new tensions at the bargaining table across the country.
  • Schools across California must now, with new legislation, make sure all school construction meets minimum labor compliance standards, a legal change strongly backed by labor unions in the state.

  • The new head of Britain's Trade Unions Conference (TUC), the equivalent of our AFL-CIO, is calling for an aggressive push by labor unions to put representatives on corporate boards of directors to stop corporate abuses such as Enron and WorldCom.
  • Hugo Chavez's government in Venezuela has sent in troops to break the oil strike called by opposition forces. The conservative opposition is being backed by all business-run media in the country.
  • India is debating killing off workers protections in new export zones, a common practice. A recent ILO study of 850 zones around the world, which employ 27 million workers, found that free trade unions and minimum labour standards are "extremely rare."

    Posted by Nathan at December 23, 2002 02:28 AM

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