April 12, 2012 |
A "super PAC" created by an influential labor organization will focus its efforts on motivating voters on the ground, rather than financing television commercials. "It's not going to be about FEC deadlines, television ads or the usual super PAC activity. It's about building a new way for workers to connect,” said Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer for the AFL-CIO, at a news conference Thursday morning detailing the super PAC's strategy. Unlike past union efforts, the Workers Voices super PAC will be able to reach out to all workers, including nonunion ones.
March 13, 2012 |
Leaders of the influential AFL-CIO labor federation announced Tuesday it voted "proudly and enthusiastically" to endorse President Obama's reelection effort. "We feel that he's put forth bold initiatives and put people back to work, put revenues back in the country, put out a vision that expresses opportunity and fairness," said Gerald W. McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "We think he's a good man. " The council spoke to Obama by telephone during its closed-door session, in which the president sounded "very engaged, very knowledgeable," according to McEntee, who serves as chair of the AFL-CIO's political education committee.
March 10, 2012 |
As top union leaders gather in Florida on Tuesday to determine labor's political strategy this year, the influential AFL-CIO appears poised to endorse President Obama's reelection - despite some lingering dissatisfaction with his record. But the way in which unions back him and other Democrats this year is likely to take a very different form than in past campaigns. Concluding they need to be more independent of the Democratic Party, many unions are increasingly financing their own efforts instead of writing large checks to candidates and the party.
March 7, 2012 |
Now that seven American pro-democracy workers have been allowed to post bail and return to the United States, perhaps we can examine what the U.S. was up to in Egypt using reason instead of patriotic emotion. The Egyptian furor over such seemingly idealistic work may strike us as wild and idiotic, but in fact, the Egyptians have a right to be suspicious. America's attempt to promote democracy around the world through private organizations has unsavory beginnings and a sometimes troubling history.
February 22, 2012 |
Union membership is on the wane, but not at the Vermont Carwash and Nava's Carwash in South Los Angeles. The two businesses have agreed to collective bargaining agreements with their workers, who are members of the United Steelworkers union. Wages at the firms will be $8.16 an hour, organizers said, an increase of about 2%. There are now believed to be three union carwashes in the country, with Santa Monica's Bonus Carwash becoming the first last year. But if union leaders are able to stem — let alone reverse — years of declining membership, it will take the allegiance of these kinds of low-wage workers.
February 21, 2012 |
The future of the labor movement may very well rest in the hands of a man who was sitting over a paper plate piled with spaghetti, amusing his audience by twirling a napkin in his ear, then hamming it up with a wink and a goofy grin that would make any teenager cringe. He'd been working for 12 hours already, but AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka had every reason to be giddy. Ohioans had just voted down a law that restricted collective bargaining for public workers, and the American labor movement was savoring a rare victory.