Feed aggregator

Union Organizer and Antiwar Activist Paul Booth Passes at 74

AFL-CIO Weblog - Fri, 2018-01-19 12:25
Union Organizer and Antiwar Activist Paul Booth Passes at 74 AFSCME

Paul Booth, a longtime union organizer and leading antiwar activist, died this week from chronic lymphocytic leukemia at the age of 74.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement: 

I offer my deepest condolences to Heather and the entire Booth family. Everyone who had the privilege of knowing and working with Paul is grieving today. Paul was a good friend and a lifelong activist for working people. From college campuses to Chicago union halls to AFSCME headquarters, he gave every minute and ounce of sweat he had to the cause of social justice. Now, more than ever, we must continue that important work. As he recently urged, 'Let us all be missionaries—missionaries for solidarity, for organizing, for growing our unions and for the fights for justice.’

AFSCME President Lee Saunders also spoke about Booth: "Paul was an organizer’s organizer, a man of great generosity and integrity, a friend and mentor to so many people in AFSCME, the labor movement and the progressive community." AFSCME's website paid further tribute to Booth:

But résumé items don’t capture everything he brought and meant to AFSCME. His leadership helped the union grow and thrive, becoming more diverse and dynamic. He was a gifted organizer. He combined passionate idealism with strategic smarts. He spent every day fighting for the right of public service workers to have dignity, security and a better life....

Paul was also a man of generosity, decency and integrity, who believed in paying it forward—in grooming the next generation of activists. He has been a mentor and teacher to so many in AFSCME and beyond.

Paul is survived by his wife, Heather Booth, a powerhouse of her own in the progressive movement. They met at an anti-war sit-in more than 50 years ago, and Paul proposed just a few days later. Paul and Heather have two sons, Gene and Dan, and five grandchildren. 

Paul Booth leaves behind a loving family, legions of friends and admirers, and a towering, inspiring legacy.

Here is video of Booth speaking at the Democratic National Convention in 2016:

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:25

Wireless Workers Vote Up Deal at AT&T Mobility

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2018-01-19 12:22

AT&T Mobility workers in 36 states, who struck for three days last May, finally have a new contract. They had been without one for eight months.

These 21,000 union members work for AT&T’s wireless division in retail stores and call centers and as technicians. They first unionized with the Communications Workers (CWA) in 2005, under a neutrality agreement when the company was known as Cingular.

Categories: Labor Notes

Wireless Workers Vote Up Deal at AT&T Mobility

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2018-01-19 12:22

AT&T Mobility workers in 36 states, who struck for three days last May, finally have a new contract. They had been without one for eight months.

These 21,000 union members work for AT&T’s wireless division in retail stores and call centers and as technicians. They first unionized with the Communications Workers (CWA) in 2005, under a neutrality agreement when the company was known as Cingular.

Categories: Labor Notes

Tax Act: Massive Giveaway to the Rich

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2018-01-19 12:10
Tax Act: Massive Giveaway to the Rich January 19, 2018 / John Miller<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Judging by what’s in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, Donald Trump and the Republicans who pushed this disastrous bill through Congress in December must have thought American inequality wasn’t unequal enough.

Their act showers benefits on the best-off taxpayers. For the rest of us, it offers only meager tax reductions written in disappearing ink.

In 2018, the Tax Policy Center estimates, taxpayers with incomes of $1 million or more will get an average tax cut of $69,660, while those under $75,000 will get an average cut of $353.

Categories: Labor Notes

Tax Act: Massive Giveaway to the Rich

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2018-01-19 12:10
Tax Act: Massive Giveaway to the Rich January 19, 2018 / John Miller<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Judging by what’s in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, Donald Trump and the Republicans who pushed this disastrous bill through Congress in December must have thought American inequality wasn’t unequal enough.

Their act showers benefits on the best-off taxpayers. For the rest of us, it offers only meager tax reductions written in disappearing ink.

In 2018, the Tax Policy Center estimates, taxpayers with incomes of $1 million or more will get an average tax cut of $69,660, while those under $75,000 will get an average cut of $353.

Categories: Labor Notes

Report: Friend Doing Sober January Must Have Really Fucked Shit Up Over Holidays

The Onion - Fri, 2018-01-19 12:10

MONTCLAIR, NJ—Noting the incident had to be seriously messed up to make the regular drinker stop all of a sudden, friends of local man Tom Barrack reported Friday that he must have really fucked shit up over the holidays if he’s doing a sober January. “Tom puts booze away like nobody else, so something really fucking…

Read more...

Categories: The Onion

In the Air: Renounce a Sexist Past

AFL-CIO Weblog - Fri, 2018-01-19 12:01
In the Air: Renounce a Sexist Past AFA-CWA

Flight Attendants, about 80% women, are ongoing victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Not that long ago, the industry marketed the objectification of "stewardesses," a job only available to young, single, perfectly polished women who until 1993 were required to step on a weight scale. Our union was formed to give women a voice and to beat back discrimination and misogyny faced on the job.

We defined our careers at the bargaining table, in the courts and on Capitol Hill. We taught the country to leave the word "stewardess" in the history books. But the industry never disavowed the marketing schemes featuring short skirts, hot pants, and ads that had young women saying things like "I’m Cheryl, fly me."

Even today, we are called pet names, patted on the rear when a passenger wants our attention, cornered in the back galley and asked about our "hottest" layover, and subjected to incidents not fit for print. Like the rest of our society, flight attendants have never had reason to believe that reports of the sexual harassment we experience on the job would be taken seriously, rather than dismissed or retaliated against.

The most effective thing that could be done now is a series of public service announcements from airline chief executives. It would be powerful to hear these men clearly and forcefully denounce the past objectification of flight attendants, reinforce our safety role as aviation’s first responders and pledge zero tolerance of sexual harassment and sexual assault at the airlines. They need to back up their words with action: A survey of our members last year showed the majority of flight attendants have no knowledge of written guidance or training on this issue available through their airline. Increased staffing and clear policies are needed.

Credibility from the industry on this issue isn’t only about keeping only flight attendants safe. It is absurd to think that a group of people frequently harassed for decades can effectively become enforcers during emergencies without this level of clarity about the respect we deserve. Knowing that CEOs will back us up will also make it easier for flight attendants to intervene when passengers are sexually harassed or assaulted on planes. Flight attendants need to know the airlines will take this as seriously as any other safety duty we perform.

Sara Nelson is the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. This article originally appeared at the Washington Post.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:01

Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf Expands Overtime Rules to Benefit Working People

AFL-CIO Weblog - Fri, 2018-01-19 11:47
Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf Expands Overtime Rules to Benefit Working People

The officers of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder, issued the following joint statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s overtime expansion announcement:

For the last four decades, too many working people have been denied fair compensation for their dedication and productivity. Governor Wolf’s actions are a crucial first step to correcting this imbalance and changing the rules of the economy to benefit Pennsylvania’s workers. Now more than ever, while the federal government is repealing workplace and wage protections for working people, the governor’s initiative on this matter is critically important.

Read the governor’s official announcement below:

Governor Wolf to Modernize Outdated Overtime Rules to Strengthen the Middle Class and Provide Fairness for Workers

Today, as part of his "Jobs That Pay" initiative, Governor Tom Wolf announced a proposal to strengthen the middle class by modernizing Pennsylvania’s outdated overtime rules to increase the pay of nearly half-a-million people to ensure they are compensated fairly for their hard work.

"Pennsylvania’s overtime rules haven’t changed in more than 40 years and workers are paying the price," Wolf said. "I am taking this action to ensure hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who work more than 40 hours a week for the same job receive the overtime pay they have earned.

"It’s simple, if you work overtime, then you should get paid fairly for it. This important step will put more money into the pockets of hardworking people and will help expand the middle class in Pennsylvania."

Governor Wolf made the announcement at The Fresh Grocer of Grays Ferry in Philadelphia, where he was joined by legislators, local elected officials, store management, staff, and local workers, who were quick to praise the governor’s announcement. 

"What the governor is proposing is common sense," said Denise Kennedy, an Upper Darby resident and secretary at Garrettford Elementary School. "Paying workers fairly on the lower end of the pay scale will put more money in our pockets so we can spend it at local businesses. All I can say is, what can I do to help get this done?"

The middle class is built on the idea of hard work and fair pay, but workers in Pennsylvania have not received a minimum wage increase in nearly a decade and overtime rules established in 1977 have not kept up with inflation. 

Many hardworking Pennsylvanians are not getting the overtime pay they deserve. Because the overtime rules have not been updated, employees are covered by an exemption to overtime that was intended for high-wage, white-collar employees more than 40 years ago. As a result, a salaried worker earning up to $24,000 a year, which is below the poverty line for a family of four, can work more than 40, 50, 60 or more hours a week and is not guaranteed overtime at time-and-a-half. 

"Four decades is far too long for Pennsylvania’s overtime regulations to remain stagnant," said Acting Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. "Updating the overtime rules to keep pace with our 21st century economy is the right thing to do for the hardworking men and women of the commonwealth. It will also generate competitive salaries and reduce turnover, helping to create and keep ‘Jobs that Pay’ here in Pennsylvania."

At the direction of Governor Wolf, the Department of Labor & Industry is finalizing a plan to modernize rules and clarify requirements. The new rules will phase in over four years to increase the salary threshold that requires employers to pay overtime to most salaried workers.

The first step will raise the salary level to determine overtime eligibility for most workers from the federal minimum of $455 per week, $23,660 annually, to $610 per week, $31,720 annually, on Jan. 1, 2020. The threshold will increase to $39,832 on Jan. 1, 2021, followed by $47,892 in 2022, extending overtime eligibility to 370,000 workers and up to 460,000 in four years.

Starting in 2022, the salary threshold will update automatically every three years so workers are not left behind. Additionally, the duties for executive, administration and professional workers will be clarified to make it easier for employers to know if a worker qualifies for overtime. 

"This long-overdue moment for thousands of struggling, hard-working employees in the 8th senatorial district and across Pennsylvania is saying this really is a happy new year," said Sen. Anthony Williams.

When fully implemented, modernizing overtime rules will increase the wages of an estimated 460,000 workers in Pennsylvania. That will lead to a stronger middle class. When workers earn more, they spend it in their local communities, which helps grow the economy throughout the state.

"The governor’s proposal will give many working families in Pennsylvania an increase in their income and will make sure they are paid for the hard work they are doing," said Rep. Jordan Harris. "That additional revenue will help pay utility bills, buy groceries, take vacations, and just make life a little easier."

The Department of Labor & Industry anticipates releasing the proposed to update the regulations for public comments in March. 

This post originally appeared at Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 01/19/2018 - 10:47

Michigan Restaurant Selling $180 Tacos

The Onion - Fri, 2018-01-19 11:14

M Cantina, a restaurant in Dearborn, Michigan, is reportedly selling upscale tacos featuring foie gras, grasshoppers, and shaved black truffle and for $60, with a required 3 taco order that brings a single meal to a minimum of $180. What do you think?

Read more...

Categories: The Onion

‘At Least Days Getting Longer,’ Squeaks Tiny Inner Voice Drowned Out By Rest Of Worries

The Onion - Fri, 2018-01-19 11:08

BOSTON—Stressing the importance of looking on the bright side despite how things might seem right now, a tiny, pathetic voice reportedly squeaked, “At least the days are getting longer,” Friday before being drowned out by the litany of worries and fears continually roaring within your mind. “Hey, there’s still some…

Read more...

Categories: The Onion
Syndicate content