In a major win for nurses, patients and three Texas communities, registered nurses (RNs) in El Paso, Corpus Christi and Brownsville gave final approval to contracts yesterday in first-ever collective bargaining agreements, reports National Nurses United (NNU).
Farm workers and their allies delivered nearly 5,000 letters from consumers around the country to convenience chain Kangaroo Express at its headquarters in Cary, N.C., this week. The letters call on its chairman of the board, Edwin Holman, to visit the tobacco fields and see firsthand the harsh working conditions of those who toil for Reynolds American.
True Value should take back the 2011 Supplier of the Year Award it gave North American Salt, says United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard, because North American operates a salt mine in Louisiana that has received safety and health citations for serious violations and been shut down temporarily by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Some 100 workers at the company’s Cote Blanche mine in Louisiana are USW members.
When a company locks out skilled employees and replaces its entire workforce with inexperienced new hires, here’s what happens: productivity plunges and profits tank.
Losing money is not a wise corporate strategy. Yet, unless American Crystal Sugar Co. agrees to return to contract negotiations with the 1,300 workers the company locked out a year ago, the company is on course to repeat its sorry fiscal 2012 performance. After the company replaced all its seasoned employees, production costs increased by 23 percent and payments to its shareholders lagged behind the rest of the industry, which saw their shareholder payments increase. That followed a year in which Crystal Sugar was hugely profitable, with $1.5 billion in net earnings.
(Sign a petition calling on American Crystal Sugar CEO Dave Berg to treat workers fairly and return to the bargaining table.)
Michael Frank headed over to a rally in East Grand Forks, Minn., last night, one of many he’s taken part in over the past year. Frank, along with 1,300 other workers, was locked out of the American Crystal Sugar factory a year ago, and last night’s event was part of the workers’ ongoing efforts to urge the sugar beet processing company return to the bargaining table.
“They don’t want to sit down with us,” said Frank, a 33-year veteran with with company and currently day warehouse foreman. “We didn’t do anything to deserve this.”
Many U.S. workers don’t have jobs—nearly 13 million. Less known, however, is that many more don’t have good jobs—fewer than one-quarter of America’s workforce, according to a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). The center defines a good job as one that pays at least $18.50 an hour, or $37,000 per year, equal to the inflation-adjusted earnings of the typical male worker in 1979. A good job also includes employer-provided health insurance and a retirement plan (click on chart at left to expand).
The lack of available good jobs is not new. As CEPR finds, compared with 1979, the U.S. economy has lost about one-third (28 percent to 38 percent) of its capacity to generate good jobs.
United Steelworkers (USW) members at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., have voted to accept the company’s latest contract offer. Shortly after USW members protested May 3 outside Tesoro’s shareholder meeting in San Antonio, the company presented a revised “last-and-final offer” that reportedly included some key concessions on workers’ benefits.
Pittsburgh-based The Union Edge, “Labor's Talk Radio,” is making its debut today in Washington, D.C., with a feature on this week’s local Verizon rally and an interview with Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 2108 President Marilyn Irwin, taped live from the local’s rally outside Verizon in Silver Spring, Md.