1.) The Michigan House and Senate yesterday passed so-called “right to work” bills. “Right to work” laws effectively defund the ability of workers to have a voice at their workplace. In 23 other states, these laws have lowered wages, weakened benefits, raised the poverty rate and led to increased workplace injuries and deaths. The House passed one such bill and the Senate passed two.
Michigan is poised to become the latest state to pass "right to work" for less legislation, a mislabeled policy that is designed to weaken the rights and wages of working families. As is often the case in recent years, extreme anti-worker legislation, like the law in Michigan, can be traced back to Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and the group's founders Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who fund a host of extreme right-wing organizations.
When billionaire CEOs ask a politician to jump, apparently the proper response is—if Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is any indication—“how high?” Earlier this year, Snyder told the U.S. House education and Workforce Committee (see the video in this blog post):
Right-to-work is an issue that is a very divisive issue… we have many problems in Michigan that are much more pressing… I don't believe it is appropriate in Michigan during 2012.
For the past several years, the Southern California CLEAN Carwash Campaign has raised awareness of the serious exploitation faced by thousands of carwash workers—known as carwasheros—including violations of health and safety laws, wage and hour laws and anti-discrimination laws.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican legislators are doing their best to ram through “right to work” for less legislation that passed the state House and Senate on Thursday, even going so far as shutting the Capitol’s doors on workers seeking to make their voices heard.
But final action on this assault on workers’ rights won’t come until next week, and if you are in Michigan, you can join the drive to protect workers’ rights by volunteering at the Michigan State AFL-CIO phone bank in Lansing today through Monday, Dec. 10.
Nearly 2 million long-term jobless Americans will lose their unemployment insurance lifeline just days after Christmas if Congress doesn’t act to renew the federal unemployment insurance program for job seekers out of work six months or longer. The program expires at the end of the year. Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project (NELP), says if long-term jobless aid ends,
The basic economic security floor will be ripped from under two million unemployed workers.
The current state of the U.S. Congress—marked by gridlock and bad legislation—is attributable, in large part, to understaffing and a lack of bipartisan expertise, according to a new report from the New America Foundation. Representatives and senators are barraged with an overwhelming amount of information and the methods they use to handle that flood of data is antiquated the report says.
Jon Israel, a Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) member, didn’t plan on falling off the roof of a house he was working on in Barrington, R.I. a few weeks ago. He also didn’t plan on the local labor movement organizing a holiday fundraiser to help his family get through his recovery from the serious injuries he sustained from the fall.
Yet there is a long history in the labor movement of stepping up community service during the holiday season. In Rhode Island, local labor unions are starting early with the holiday cheer this year. In addition to the fundraiser for Jon Israel, union members in Rhode Island are organizing a wide variety of community service opportunities.
Paul Krugman reminds us in his New York Times column today that the real economic problem right now is a jobs crisis—not a deficit crisis. The unemployment rate may have dipped, but the number of jobless workers is more stubborn. So why aren’t pundits and the rest of the Inside-the-Beltway crew screaming about unemployment?