Would you trust that your food is clean and uncontaminated, the plane you’re flying in airworthy or your workplace safe, if those were certified by companies counting on the profits they’ll make from your purchases, travel and labor? Of course not.
But that’s the dilemma millions of workers around the world face—often with deadly results—when it comes to their safety on the job, a new report from the AFL-CIO reveals:
This is an excerpt from “Public Schools, Private Agenda: Parent Revolution,” by Gary Cohn of Frying Pan News.
At first glance, it is one of the nation’s hottest new education-reform movements, a seemingly populist crusade to empower poor parents and fix failing public schools. But a closer examination reveals that the “parent-trigger” movement is being heavily financed by the conservative Walton Family Foundation, one of the nation’s largest and most strident anti-union organizations, a Frying Pan News investigation has shown.
Sixteen years ago the American public and Kathie Lee Gifford were shocked when it was revealed that the Walmart clothing line that carried Gifford’s name was manufactured—unbeknownst to her—under sweatshop conditions by Honduran children working 20 hours a day. She burst into tears when shown undercover footage of the factories, and consumer support for new rules and labor standards for imported clothing grew.
But now, writes Jake Blumgart in a Salon series of articles on workers and workplace issues brought to you by the AFL-CIO, “nothing much has changed.“
The wrong way to greet our military veterans as they return to civilian life after defending the nation would be offering an $8.81 an hour part-time job with little to no benefits.
Walmart CEO Bill Simon said this morning at the National Retail Federation conference that starting Memorial Day, Walmart would offer honorably discharged veterans jobs. Simon pledges to hire 100,000 vets over the next five years. Right now, it's unclear if these Walmart jobs would be full-time or offer adequate benefits.
For those interested in learning more about the state of labor activism at Walmart and how worker-employer relations got to this point at the nation's biggest employer, read Josh Eidelson's latest article in The Nation, The Great Walmart Walkout. Eidelson also examines Walmart's effect on local communities and the supply chain that provides the company's products.
Berry Craig, recording secretary for the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council and a professor of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is a former daily newspaper and Associated Press columnist and currently a member of AFT Local 1360. Craig sends us this follow-up to his Nov. 21 story.
The manager at the Southside Walmart in Paducah, Ky., might have figured he’d quashed the protest at his store. After all, he made James Vetato and three other OUR Walmart picketers leave from near the front door.
The quartet retreated but regrouped at the entrance road to the busy shopping center the Walmart store anchors.
Workers at Walmart are continuing their actions to win respect and bring change to Walmart , with a demonstration today outside Walmart’s Bentonville, Ark., headquarters and with strikes yesterday by workers at stores in Dallas; Seattle; Miami; Sacramento, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; and in the Chicago and Washington areas.
Colby Harris, who earns $8.90 an hour after three years working at a Walmart in Lancaster, Texas, told The New York Times:
We’re protesting because we want better working conditions and better wages and because we want them to stop retaliating against associates who exercise their right to talk about what’s going on in their stores.
For the first time in history, Wal-Mart workers have gone on strike. Workers participating in the one-day strike at several Southern California stores say they are striking to protest attempts by Wal-Mart to silence and retaliate against associates who speak out about working conditions, low-pay, lack of respect and other issues that plague workers at the notorious anti-union retail giant.
While the striking workers are not union members, they have joined together in OUR Wal-Mart, a worker-led organization that stands up to make change in its company.
For those of us keeping score, 19 major corporations and 54 state legislators have cut their ties with the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Now pressure is mounting for other major corporations to join the exodus from ALEC and its agenda of voter suppression, union-busting and immigrant bashing.