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NFL Announces Plans To Stream ‘Thursday Night Football’ Exclusively On Delta Flights

The Onion - Thu, 2017-11-16 12:14

NEW YORK—In an effort to continue delivering games to viewers in new and innovative ways, the NFL announced plans Wednesday to begin streaming “Thursday Night Football” exclusively on Delta flights. “We are thrilled that NFL fans will now be able to enjoy the excitement of ‘Thursday Night Football’ exclusively through…

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Working People are Tackling High Drug Costs Through State-Level Reforms

AFL-CIO Weblog - Thu, 2017-11-16 10:07
Working People are Tackling High Drug Costs Through State-Level Reforms ccPixs.com

Despite all of the talk in Washington, D.C., about health care, Congress and Donald Trump have done nothing to deal with the No. 1 health care problem facing working people. Surging health care prices—especially prescription drug prices—are putting ever-increasing pressure on family budgets, workers' health plans and public health programs.

Consider this: the average annual cost of a brand-name drug grew to $5,807 in 2015, more than three times what it was in 2006 ($1,788), according to AARP’s most recent analysis of widely used brand-name prescription drugs. There also have been instances of immense overnight increases in the price of some generic drugs. For example, drug manufacturer Rodelis raised the price of Seromycin, its off-patent tuberculosis drug, from $500 to $10,800 for a 30-day supply.

While federal policy makers ignore the problem with drug prices, working people are calling on their elected state representatives to take action. In two states—Nevada and California—working people have won important breakthroughs this year, establishing new rules requiring prescription drug corporations to be more transparent about their prices and the reasons for them, especially when drug prices go up by large amounts.

In Nevada, a coalition of unions spearheaded by the Culinary Workers Union and including the Nevada State AFL-CIO led the fight to win enactment of diabetes medication price transparency rules. Under this first-in-the-nation law, corporations that manufacture essential diabetes drugs must explain any price increases that are larger than the price increases for medical care overall. Between 2002–2013, the price of insulin jumped by nearly 200%. With 12.4% of adult Nevadans having diabetes, and 38.5% with pre-diabetes, such a large price increase hurt working people and their health plans and raised serious concerns about whether these increases were justified. The new law also requires prescription drug manufacturers to provide the state with a list of all of their sales representatives operating in Nevada, and those sales representatives must submit annual reports disclosing their activities. Further, a nonprofit group in Nevada that advocates for patients or funds medical research has to disclose any payments, donations or anything else of value it receives from a prescription drug manufacturer or certain other drug-related corporations or lobbying groups. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Yvanna D. Cancela, who represents Nevada’s District 10 and is a member of Culinary Workers Union Local 226.

In California, a two-year fight led by the California Labor Federation resulted in enactment of a law that requires prescription drug manufacturers to provide health plans, public purchasers such as the state’s large public employee health plan (CalPERS) and pharmacy benefit managers 60-day advance notice of price increases greater than 16% over a two-year period. The manufacturers also are required to explain to state regulators the factors behind the price increase. Pharmacy benefit managers are required to notify workers' health plans of these large price increases so steps can be taken to deal with these increases, including negotiating better deals when possible. Drug manufacturers also are required to notify the state when they start selling new expensive drugs (costing $670 or more per month). The legislation was authored by Sen. Ed Hernandez, who represents California’s 22nd Senate District and is a doctor of optometry.

The United States is the only major economy without any government oversight or regulation of prescription drug prices. Federal law gives drug corporations unchecked monopoly rights for brand-name drugs over long periods, and there is little, if any, competition in the sale of some generic drugs. Companies are not even required to explain or justify their pricing decisions. While patients and their private health plans are "free" to negotiate with drug companies, in reality they face a take-it-or-leave-it proposition: pay the company’s price or go without a needed drug.

With the new Nevada and California state drug price transparency laws, working people are sending a powerful signal that they want and need real action on health care prices. Requiring prescription drug corporations to justify big price increases is an important reform that could cause drug manufacturers to reconsider excessive price hikes, give workers' health plans better tools to negotiate fairer prices, and lead to improved prescription drug policies from federal and state lawmakers. Hopefully, Congress and President Trump are paying attention and will start making even bigger changes to bring down prices, like authorizing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices for seniors and people with disabilities, and stopping corporate abuses of federal patent laws.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 11/16/2017 - 09:07

Bill Gates Invests $80 Million In Arizona ‘Smart City’

The Onion - Thu, 2017-11-16 09:45

Bill Gates has invested $80 million in a proposed “smart city” near Phoenix, AZ, which will be designed from the ground up to incorporate technologies like autonomous vehicles. What do you think?

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Categories: The Onion

Hollywood Removes Statue Of Louis B. Mayer Beckoning Judy Garland To Sit On His Lap

The Onion - Thu, 2017-11-16 09:35

LOS ANGELES—In response to recent sexual misconduct allegations against prominent figures in the industry, Hollywood officials reportedly ordered Thursday the removal of a controversial statue depicting Louis B. Mayer beckoning the actress Judy Garland to sit on his lap. “Hollywood is proud of its history, but…

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Categories: The Onion

Zimbabwe: UNI Africa calls for calm and democracy in crisis-struck Zimbabwe

LabourStart - Wed, 2017-11-15 20:00
LabourStart headline - Source: UNI Global Union

Zimbabwe: Military Must Step Aside for National Reconciliation

LabourStart - Wed, 2017-11-15 20:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC

USA : EPI Tracks State GOP Local Labor Rights Pre-Emption Laws

LabourStart US - Wed, 2017-11-15 17:20
Source: Workers Independent News

Florida School Selling Bulletproof Panels For Backpacks

The Onion - Wed, 2017-11-15 17:08

As a means of protection against school shootings, a Miami elementary school is selling bulletproof panels for students’ backpacks for $120. What do you think?

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Categories: The Onion

Man At Job Interview Praying He Isn’t Asked About 2-Year Gap In Résumé When He Was Abducted By Aliens

The Onion - Wed, 2017-11-15 15:16

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Concerned that the span of unemployment on his résumé could be a liability during an upcoming job interview, local man Erik Hunt said Wednesday that he desperately hopes he isn’t asked about the two years he was out of the workforce because he was abducted by aliens.

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Categories: The Onion

Nutritionists Recommend 3-4 Daily Servings Of Anything That's About To Go Bad

The Onion - Wed, 2017-11-15 14:53

ROCHESTER, MN—In an effort to help Americans get the most out of every meal, nutritionists at the Mayo Clinic on Wednesday recommended three to four daily servings of anything that’s about to go bad. “Having found many American diets severely lacking in food on the borderline of being expired, we’re now suggesting…

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Categories: The Onion

New Babysitter Can Already Tell This Kind Of Kid Who Gets Naked For No Reason

The Onion - Wed, 2017-11-15 14:26

WAYNE, PA—Knowing what she was in for within minutes of meeting the 5-year-old, local babysitter Hannah Leeds told reporters Wednesday that she could already tell that Jackson Keller was the kind of kid who suddenly gets naked for no reason. “Yeah, I know the type—the second you look away, he’ll have his pants down to…

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USA : Relieving racial resentment in our unions

LabourStart US - Wed, 2017-11-15 14:03
Source: Labor Notes

Arguments For And Against School Uniforms

The Onion - Wed, 2017-11-15 13:56

While some argue that school uniforms eliminate distractions and help students focus on learning, others believe that a strict dress code stifles students’ self-expression. The Onion breaks down the arguments for and against school uniforms.

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Labor Puts Working People in Charge

AFL-CIO Weblog - Wed, 2017-11-15 13:21
Labor Puts Working People in Charge AFL-CIO

The three union member candidates who addressed the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention won their elections! This came shortly after the adoption of Resolution 10, "Encouraging Union Members to Run for Public Office," that pledges to adopt labor candidate programs in every state and local labor body in the country.

Teresa Mosqueda (OPEIU) will join the soon-to-be majority-woman Seattle City Council; Braxton Winston (IATSE) will be the first union member to serve on the Charlotte, North Carolina, City Council; and Keith Kazmark (AFT) was re-elected as mayor of Woodland Park, New Jersey. Their communities will benefit from the kind of legislation that improves the lives of working people.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has been a strong advocate for electing our members to public office:

The only way we can change the economic rules is by committing ourselves to independence in politics. The rules are written by the people we elect, and for nearly four decades, they have been written to ensure working people are the losers. Electing people like Teresa, Braxton and Keith ensures that we have a seat at the table. We will continue to work to elect candidates who share our vision to build strong unions, raise wages, and support quality public education, health care for all, modern infrastructure, American-made energy, voting rights, civil rights and worker rights.

You can watch and share their speeches from the Convention on Facebook.

President Charlie Wowkanech of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO has helped 900 union members win election since he began the program two decades ago:

We started this work 20 years ago because we knew that no one represents working families and their unions better than working people themselves. Who better to fight for high-quality public education than teachers and paraprofessionals who dedicate their lives to teaching our children? Who better to fight for quality, affordable health care than our nurses and health care professionals who dedicate their lives to healing others? And, who better to fight for important public services than the people who every day put on a uniform to serve their communities? If you really want to see government that serves working people, put working people in charge.

President MaryBe McMillan of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO was rightfully proud of the caliber of the union member recruited to run for Charlotte City Council:

We are excited and proud to have one of our own on the Charlotte City Council. As both a community activist and a union activist, Braxton built connections across the Charlotte community. Braxton is smart, energetic and committed to justice for all working people. With his vision and leadership, I’m confident that he will make Charlotte a better place to live and work.

And President Jeff Johnson of the Washington State Labor Council highlighted another important aspect of this work in building our movement:

To say we won a seat on the city council just scratches the surface of what Teresa’s victory means for us. Yes, we have a champion for working people at the table, and I couldn’t be more proud of her, but we also have a movement of workers who are more energized, more engaged and more active because they fought to elect one of their own. Today, the long arm of worker power stretches from the shop floor to City Hall.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders, chair of the Executive Council Political Committee, put these victories in a broader context:

It’s not just about electing people, but about the achievements working people make when working people lead. When working people have political power, great things happen in America: the middle class grows, wages rise, social justice is served, communities thrive. After passing Resolution 10, "Encouraging Union Members to Run for Public Office," and Resolution 2, "An Independent Political Voice," it is thrilling to see these three union members win their elections to advance the freedom of working people.

This message was re-emphasized by AFT President Randi Weingarten, who saw a number of AFT members win elections last week:

AFT member Keith Kazmark was one of countless union members, including AFT members in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, elected or re-elected on an Election Day on which Americans delivered two messages. They won’t support fear-mongering and race-baiting, and they will elect candidates who truly care for and fight for people and for the values that are important to working folks—public education, affordable health care and good jobs. Union members connected with voters on these values because these are the values we fight for every day on the job and through our unions. Congratulations to Keith and all of the union members who won on Election Day. We need more union members like Keith in our mayor’s offices and our statehouses and on our school boards.

If you had the chance to hear them speak at convention, then undoubtedly Keith, Braxton and Teresa made an impression on you. Each of them give great hope for the future of our movement.

Nearly 200 union members or union household members won election last Tuesday—see the still-growing list. A bigger picture of the Election Day victories is featured on our blog, Labor-Backed Candidates Win Big in Tuesday’s Elections. If you have a story to share, please contact us to get it included.

Thank you for everything you do to support working people having an An Independent Political Voice.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:21

Tags: 2017 Convention

Deaf Jam

The Onion - Wed, 2017-11-15 12:36
Categories: The Onion
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