Justice triumphed in the squared circle in downtown Raleigh, N.C., in a masked Mexican luchadoras (female wrestlers) Tax Day rumble that pitted Juicy Buns, wrestling as “The People’s Champion,” against corporate-created and -backed “Champion of the Powerful,” The Scrambler.
More than 160 state and local labor federations and central labor councils have passed resolutions in support of comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for aspiring citizens already in the United States. The labor organizations that have passed resolutions so far come from 39 different states and represent more than 6 million workers.
Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed a bill Tuesday that will make life much harder for North Carolina's unemployed workers. Beginning July 1, new claims will be reduced from $535 to $350 as the maximum benefit per week. And while current recipients can get unemployment insurance payments for 26 weeks, that number will be cut to a maximum of somewhere between 12 to 20 weeks, the duration varying depending upon the state's unemployment rate. If the maximum fell below 19 weeks, North Carolina would offer the lowest maximum number of weeks in the country. The bill also rejects extra benefits allowed under federal law, which means that 170,000 residents will lose $780 million in current weekly payments.
In a near party-line vote, the North Carolina House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to a bill that would harm many of the state's more vulnerable citizens by cutting back on unemployment insurance. The measure would cut maximum weekly benefits by one-third, bringing the top weekly payout to $350, and reduce the maximum length an unemployed worker can get from 26 weeks to 20. As the bill currently stands, 80,000 workers are set to lose unemployment insurance payments.
Public-sector workers in Charlotte, N.C., can now have their union dues deducted from their paychecks like other causes they support, with voluntary payroll deductions. Last week, the Charlotte City Council voted 6-5 to allow the checkoff. The North Carolina State AFL-CIO points out that denying workers dues checkoff is a favorite tactic for right-wing politicians to undermine labor unions' ability to organize.
While government in Washington, D.C., remains divided and marked by long-term gridlock, governments in the states are much less divided. Of the 50 states, 37 now feature state governments where the governor and majorities in both legislative houses are controlled by one party—24 of those are controlled by Republicans. Extreme, anti-working family Republicans have repeatedly assaulted the rights of people in recent years and, by all accounts, the trend looks to expand in 2013. Working families are mobilized and fought back in 2012 and will continue to fight in 2013. The response to the "right to work" for less push in Michigan was so strong, that governors in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have since declared that they won't push for right to work in their states.
Many people told President Barack Obama saving the auto industry was too bold, too risky, Vice President Joe Biden told the delegates at the Democratic National Convention tonight. President Obama met with policy and economic experts, members of Congress and other advisers to decide how to handle the imminent bankruptcy of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009. Despite the opposition, the president knew what a bankruptcy would mean to the auto industry workers and the American people. "He understood something they didn’t. He understood that this wasn’t just about cars. It was about the Americans who built those cars and the America they built."
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.
Promoting policies that strengthen the working and middle class is a major goal of the labor delegates who represent working people at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, N.C., this week.
Speaking at the DNC CarolinaFest on Labor Day in Charlotte, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker said:
We built this country together. Every one of us lends a hand. We do it every day. All work has value. Our work connects us to each other. And together, we are better….All work is honorable. All work has dignity and is worthy of respect. And decent pay. And good benefits. I’m talking about the work of all of us. Not just some of us. Not just the 1%. All of us. Each and every single one of us.
In the midst of a terrible jobs crisis, there are those in North Carolina who seek to cut assistance for those who have lost their jobs. That’s just plain wrong.
Currently, North Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce seeks to restrict unemployment benefits by reducing the maximum weekly income from $506 to $350. In addition to the monetary cut, the time allowed to receive benefits could be reduced from 26 weeks to 20 weeks. The restriction of unemployment benefits will devastate hundreds of thousands of families who are actively looking for work.