This is a cross-post from the California Labor Federation’s blog, Labor’s Edge, by Communications Director Steve Smith.
As the election results came in late Tuesday night, it became abundantly clear that the handful of billionaires and CEOs who sought to silence our voice were in for a rude awakening. Their deceptive measure, Prop. 32, didn’t just fail, it tanked -- by a 12-point margin.
Workers at Hostess Brands—who in September overwhelming rejected a contract that cut wages and benefits by as much as 32%—began a strike today against the maker of Wonder Bread, Twinkies and other well-known baked treats. Hostess has imposed the terms of the rejected contract. Frank Hurt, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) says:
Hostess Brands is making a mockery of the labor relations system that has been in place for nearly 100 years.
The workers at the nonunion mine featured in Spike TV’s 2011 reality show “Coal” voted this week to join the Mine Workers (UMWA). The 23 miners work at Cobalt Coal’s Westchester in McDowell County, W.Va.
Concerns about safety practices at the mine were raised after the airing of the first few episodes last year. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training cited the mine for several violations based on practices shown in the program.
Reflecting what voters said in AFL-CIO's election-night poll, a poll conducted on behalf of Democracy Corps and the Campaign for America's Future (CAF) shows that voters strongly reject proposals to cut Social Security and Medicare. When asked which was more important, 70% of respondents said that protecting education, Medicare and Social Security was more important than broad cuts to reduce the deficit. More than half—58%—of the overall sample said that they felt strongly about opposing such cuts. Only 17% of the survey said they felt strongly that across-the-board cuts were important enough to cut the popular programs.
Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at Democratic Diva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.
Protesters are chanting “Count our votes! Count our votes!” in a vigil outside the Maricopa County Recorder’s office they've been holding since Wednesday. At issue are an estimated 600,000 outstanding ballots statewide, representing about a third of the 1.8 million votes cast in Arizona on Tuesday night. The majority of the uncounted votes are in Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa. About a third of these ballots are provisional ones, which are issued when there is a discrepancy in the voter’s polling place or registration information. Promise Arizona, the Latino civic engagement group that organized the vigil in Phoenix, is demanding a transparent count of every vote and an explanation for why so many votes were provisional. Several precincts throughout the county reportedly ran out of provisional ballots, an occurrence unheard of before this election.
A report by Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council assistant mobilizer Julia Kann of Union City.
It took two-and-a-half years but the Teamsters 639 strike against Daycon is finally over. The Upper Marlboro, Md.-based janitorial and maintenance supply company is calling the last remaining strikers back to work after a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday upheld National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rulings in the union’s favor.
Some news outlets have suggested that Republicans have changed their position on taxes after their resounding defeat on Tuesday. This is not the case. Republicans are still demanding lower tax rates for the richest 2% of Americans, paid for by cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.
Yesterday, the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, said that Republicans are “willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions.” But this is the same position Republicans have staked out for more than a year.