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Man Wishes Women In Crowded Bar Would Let Him Read Jane Austen Novel In Peace

The Onion - Thu, 2018-01-18 15:04

MODESTO, CA—Frustrated with the nonstop unwanted intrusions, local man Russell Goldin wished Thursday that the women in crowded O’Donnell’s Pub would let him read his Jane Austen novel in peace. “Jesus, will all these women just go away and let me enjoy Pride And Prejudice without being constantly interrupted,” said…


Categories: The Onion

North And South Korean Teams To March Together In Winter Olympics

The Onion - Thu, 2018-01-18 14:54

In a milestone toward thawing relations between the nations, North and South Korea will march under one flag and field a unified ice hockey team in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. What do you think?


Categories: The Onion

Donald Trump: A Year of Making Workplaces More Dangerous

AFL-CIO Weblog - Thu, 2018-01-18 14:49
Donald Trump: A Year of Making Workplaces More Dangerous Wikimedia Commons

It has been a year since Donald Trump took office. Despite promising to be a friend of workers, Trump has spent much of his first year making our workplaces less safe. 

AFL-CIO Director of Safety and Health Peg Seminario described Trump's actions:

The Trump administration has teamed up with Republican leaders in Congress and corporate allies to launch a war on regulatory protections, putting workers and the public in danger. Workers’ safety and health, wages and financial security are threatened. These regulatory protections don’t kill jobs. But there is no doubt that rolling back these protections will hurt workers.

Here are some of the ways Trump's record on health and safety has failed working people in the United States:

  • Repealed an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule requiring employers to keep accurate injury records (PL-115-21).
  • Repealed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule to make sure federal contractors follow safety and labor laws (PL-115-11).
  • Repealed Department of Labor rules providing for state and local governments to establish voluntary retirement savings programs for private-sector workers. (PL-115-25, PL 115-35).
  • Executive Order 13771 required that for every new worker protection, two existing safeguards must be repealed.
  • Executive Order 13777 required agencies to identify regulations that are burdensome to industry that should be repealed or modified.
  • Withdrew an OSHA policy allowing workers to designate walkaround representatives to participate in OSHA inspections in nonunion workplaces.
  • Withdrew more than a dozen rules from the OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration regulatory agenda, including standards on combustible dust, styrene, 1-bromopropane, noise in construction, update of permissible exposure limits, and MSHA penalties and refuge alternatives in coal mines, which abandons protecting workers from major hazards.
  • Withdrew Wage and Hour Division guidance and interpretations on independent contractor and joint employer status, issued to ensure workers receive the benefits of labor protections and to prevent misclassification of workers.
  • Proposed a 2018 budget that would slash the Department of Labor's budget by 21%, eliminate worker safety and health training programs and the Chemical Safety Board, cut NIOSH’s job safety research by $100 million and cut NLRB funding by $17 million.
  • A U.S. District Court overturned DOL's 2016 rule to update and expand overtime protections for 4.2 million workers on Aug. 31, 2017. It is unclear whether DOL will appeal the ruling. Secretary Acosta has announced that he thinks the salary threshold in the rule is too high, and DOL is moving forward with rulemaking to consider lowering the salary threshold and other measures to weaken the Obama overtime pay protections.
  • In response to Executive Order 13772 directing review of financial regulations, the DOL delayed the compliance date for DOL's conflict of interest fiduciary rule for 60 days until June 9, 2017, and has proposed to delay certain provisions until July 1, 2019. DOL is currently reviewing the rule and has solicited comments on whether it should be revised.
  • A U.S. District Court issued an injunction against DOL's persuader rules. DOL proposed to repeal the rules and final repeal action is expected shortly. These rules were created to increase transparency in the union-busting industry.
  • Delayed OSHA’s new beryllium standard from March 10, 2017, until May 20, 2017. Industry groups have asked OSHA to stay the rule (general industry, construction and maritime) and reopen the record for consideration of the standard. He also proposed weakening the beryllium rule in construction and maritime by revoking the ancillary provisions on medical surveillance, exposure monitoring, housekeeping and other measures.
  • Delayed enforcement of the OSHA silica standard in construction for 90 days until Sept. 23, 2017, allowing continued high dust exposures that will result in the deaths of more than 160 workers. He later announced a further 30-day delay for full enforcement of the standard.
  • Delayed MSHA’s mine examination rule for metal and nonmetal mines from May 23, 2017, until Oct. 2, 2017, and further delayed it until March 2, 2018. He also proposed weakening changes to the rule, including delaying mine inspections until after work has begun, instead of before work commences, and eliminating recording of hazardous conditions that are immediately abated.
  • Delayed the compliance date for reporting summary injury data to OSHA under the injury tracking rule from July 1, 2017, until Dec. 1, 2017. OSHA also announced it intends to issue a separate proposal revising or revoking other provisions of the rule.
  • Delayed the effective date of EPA’s Risk Management Program rule to prevent chemical accidents from June 19, 2017, until Feb. 19, 2019, putting workers, the public and first responders in danger.
  • Removed from active development on the regulatory agenda critical OSHA standards on workplace violence, infectious diseases, process safety management and emergency preparedness, and MSHA standards on silica and proximity detection systems for mobile mining equipment.
  • Nominated Andrew Puzder, a fast food restaurant chain CEO, as secretary of labor. Puzder's nomination was withdrawn after allegations of labor violations and concerns about personal conduct.
  • Nominated David Zatezalo, a former coal mine CEO, as MSHA assistant secretary. Zatezalo's mining company had a history of serious mining violations.
  • Nominated Marvin Kaplan, a former Republican Hill staffer, and William Emanuel, a management side labor attorney who has a long record of opposing workers' right to organize, to the National Labor Relations Board. Both have been confirmed, giving Republicans a majority on the board.
Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:49

Ophthalmologist Instructs Patient Not To Look At Anything 24 Hours Before Eye Surgery

The Onion - Thu, 2018-01-18 14:34

BOSTON—Stressing the importance of taking the necessary precautions ahead of the procedure, ophthalmologist Brett Patel reportedly instructed his patient Alice Wahlberg Thursday not to look at anything 24 hours before her upcoming eye surgery. “In order to ensure optimal operating conditions, it’s very important to…


Categories: The Onion

Aspiring Actor Dreams Of One Day Publicly Voicing Regret For Working With Woody Allen

The Onion - Thu, 2018-01-18 14:16

LOS ANGELES—Explaining that it would be a landmark moment in her career, local aspiring actor Janine Caballero told reporters Thursday that she dreams of one day publicly voicing regret for working with Woody Allen. “Ever since I started acting, my wish has always been to land a role in a film directed by Woody Allen…


Categories: The Onion

Outgoing NLRB Chair Miscimarra Leads Attack on Working People's Rights

AFL-CIO Weblog - Thu, 2018-01-18 12:54
Outgoing NLRB Chair Miscimarra Leads Attack on Working People's Rights

On Dec. 16, 2017, National Labor Relations Board Chair Philip Miscimarra’s term came to an end. In the final days before the end of his term, a series of 3-2 decisions were handed down that were unprecedented in several respects, not the least among them was the extent that the decisions will harm working people.

What the board did during this time wasn’t normal. The decisions were all of great importance, they all reversed recent precedent, and they were issued without public notice or the ability for affected parties to weigh in with arguments or evidence. In several of the cases, the NLRB went far outside the facts of the case and  applied the law to other situations, including to both pending cases and other cases that may come before the board. In one case, the board addressed a question that neither party to the case raised. And, not least of all, two members of the NLRB, William Emanuel and Marvin Kaplan, only served on the board for a few months each before casting deciding votes in significant decisions without the benefit of briefing by all interested members of the labor-management community.

Here is a closer look at several of those key cases:

Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors (365 NLRB No. 156): Despite no one involved in the case asking for it, the board reversed the 2015 decision in the Browning-Ferris Industries case (362 NLRB No. 186). The decision provided that only direct control of employees determines who is the employer of those workers, rejecting indirect, reserved, or limited and routine control as potentially determining factors. In other words, an employer only counts as your employer if they have direct control over your terms of employment. Other legal entities involved in the work process are not responsible, even if they have a say in your employment situation—for example, controlling the speed of the line on which you work as in Browning-Ferris.

PCC Structurals Inc. (365 NLRB No. 160): This case rewrote the rules governing which employees are part of a unit and eligible to vote on whether to be represented by a union. Under the new standard, employers have more opportunity to add more employees to the requested unit in order to dilute the pro-union vote and also to delay a vote through litigation over the unit.

Raytheon Network Centric Systems (365 NLRB No. 161): When an existing collective bargaining agreement expires, the previous rule was that employers cannot make unilateral changes in terms and conditions of employment even if such changes had been allowed under the expired, unless the changes did not involve the exercise of discretion. Under the new ruling, the standard has changed, making it legal for a company to make changes as long as they are consistent with past activity. This means an employer could raise health care premiums for workers previously covered by a collective bargaining agreement after that agreement expires, for both bargaining unit employees and unrepresented employees, as long as the action was consistent with past practices under the expired management rights clause.

The Boeing Company (365 NLRB No. 154): The work rules, policies and handbook provisions that employers make have to be consistent with law and not suggest to employees that they might be discipline for exercising their right.  At least until this decision. In this case, the board changed the test used to determine whether work rules are legal, making it easier for employers to chill and even restrict activity that is protected under the National Labor Relations Act, as long as the impact on the protected rights is outweighed by the justifications for the rule that restricts the activity.

UPMC (365 NLRB No. 153): This one overruled a 2016 decision that determined that an administrative law judge may accept a settlement offer over the objections of the general counsel and charging party only if it constituted a full remedy for all violations alleged in a complaint. The new ruling says that a less-then-complete settlement can be accepted by the administrative law judge if it meets a reasonableness standard under a multifactor test. In other words, the judge can reject the position of both the expert general counsel and the aggrieved party and accept a weaker settlement offer.

Despite Miscimarra’s departure, these types of actions by the NLRB aren’t coming to an end any time soon. There is currently one vacancy on the NLRB, but President Donald Trump has just announced that he will nominate another management-side lawyer to take the seat—John Ring. But unions and working people are contesting several of these last-minute decisions, both in the courts and before the board.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/18/2018 - 11:54

Tags: NLRB

When CEOs Say 'Do No Harm' in NAFTA, They Mean 'Don’t Harm Me'

AFL-CIO Weblog - Thu, 2018-01-18 12:10
When CEOs Say 'Do No Harm' in NAFTA, They Mean 'Don’t Harm Me' AFL-CIO

We keep hearing CEOs of global companies and giant agribusiness conglomerates say “do no harm” in the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations, but from the perspective of working families who haven’t had a raise in the past 20 years, this advice doesn’t make any sense.

NAFTA continues to hurt families across the United States, Canada and Mexico, pushing down our wages, making it harder to join together in union, and making us constantly vulnerable to losing our jobs due to outsourcing. NAFTA threatens our health and undermines democracy. It forces our governments to pay off private companies like Exxon Mobil that object to laws and rules created in a democratic fashion. So how could any rational person say that fixing NAFTA would be "harmful"?

It’s true that the negotiations could make NAFTA more like the Trans-Pacific Partnership—and that would be extremely harmful. But big businesses liked TPP, so that’s not what they mean.

To understand what they mean, let’s use an analogy, comparing North America's economy to the human body. Like the human body, the North American economy is susceptible to various illnesses, and NAFTA is one such illness. In fact, we can compare NAFTA to a tumor. Like a tumor, it has led to rapid growth in profits and incomes for some, but at the expense of the economic health of the rest of us. In fact, bad U.S. trade policies cost most of America’s workers $2,000 a year in lost income.

To heal the North American economy, we need new rules for trade. New rules that level the playing field and prioritize ordinary families over corporate profits. But changing the rules means getting rid of the privileges that global corporations now enjoy. And just like tumors cling to life, these companies are fighting to keep their entitlements.

Those who have profited off NAFTA say "do no harm" because they can only see what benefits them. They don’t see that the unfair rules are actually bad for America as a whole. NAFTA’s unfair rules make it harder for most families to reach the American Dream because they divert the benefits of trade to those who already are economically powerful. That’s why we always feel like we are running in place and not getting ahead.

Changing the rules of trade means those who have benefited at the expense of others must get used to a level playing field. It means the president will have to say no to global corporations, despite their whining. The president promised to protect working families from bad trade, but it remains to be seen whether he will renegotiate NAFTA to protect working families or, as he did with the tax bill, protect the interests of his rich and powerful friends.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/18/2018 - 11:10

CVS To End Major Touch-Ups On Beauty Models

The Onion - Thu, 2018-01-18 12:06

Pharmaceutical giant CVS has announced plans to eliminate all touch-ups of models for their cosmetic, skincare, and hair products by 2020. What do you think?


Categories: The Onion

USA : Central Mass. electrician union adds 30 members

LabourStart US - Thu, 2018-01-18 12:00
Source: The Business Journal
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