This is good news—no doubt about it—and it shows the power of working people when they make their voices heard. But don’t think for a second that Republicans have given up trying to tank the economy to get their way. Or trying to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits. Or trying to cut taxes for Wall Street and rich people. Because they haven’t and they won’t. This fight is still on.
In a tough economy, how does a kid from a rough-and-tumble neighborhood go about finding a good job that pays well or obtain the skills needed to become the worker employers want to hire?
One path is through the TCU/IAM Job Corps Program. In 1971, TCU/IAM partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor to provide advanced transportation training to young people looking for careers. Today, hundreds of students take part in the program each year and more than 8,400 young men and women have been placed in meaningful jobs in rail, mass transit and airline companies since its inception.
According to a new report from Oxfam, the wealth and income that the world's richest people accumulated last year would be enough to eliminate world poverty four times over. Ben Phillips, a campaign director at Oxfam, said that extreme wealth is now one of the major obstacles to solving the problems of extreme poverty. The $240 billion the top 100 billionaires in the world made in 2012 would completely eliminate extreme poverty, the report concludes.
The union membership rate was 11.3% in 2012, down from 11.8% in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which released updated figures today. This decrease in union membership highlights the painful fact that people are working harder but are making less and less.
One area that saw a significant loss was in the public sector. There are nearly 400,000 fewer union members, from teachers in the classroom to police and firefighters that keep us safe. In manufacturing, the jobs that have returned so far are largely low-wage, nonunion jobs.
Christian Torres worked as a cook in the Pomona College dining hall for more than six years. Torres and 16 of his co-workers were fired from Pomona College for not re-verifying their work eligibility after the college asked for documents, which were requested while he was leading an effort to organize to form a union. Torres and his brother came to the United States while still teenagers to join their mother and father who were already in the U.S. He supports the movement to create a common-sense immigration process. Although Torres was fired from Pomona, he continues to support his co-workers in their struggle for better working conditions at the college.