Dozens of Georgia union members urged their state lawmakers to block several anti-worker bills now before the state House and Senate in the Georgia AFL-CIO’s annual Lobby Day Thursday. At the same time, they celebrated the passage of a resolution that honors Hurricane Sandy relief workers from Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 84 and Georgia Power who traveled to New Jersey and elsewhere to help repair and recovery efforts.
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.
Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R) portrays himself as a pickup truck-driving, Boston Bruins jersey-wearing friend of union workers and working families. He paints his opponent in the Senate race, Elizabeth Warren, as a woman who is an elitist college professor. Both points are untrue.
Today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka set the record straight on Brown and Warren in an address in Boston to New England union members and leaders that media and political observers are comparing to his 2008 speech on the role race played in some workers’ opposition to President Obama’s candidacy.
Now that the Republican National Convention—with its divisive policies, masked by a cynical call for unity—has wrapped up, let’s take a look at the deeply embedded anti-union and anti-worker philosophy in the Republican platform of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Daily Kos’ Laura Clawson says:
The basic message of the Republican platform on labor issues is this: Rights are there to be taken from workers and given to the 1 percent.
A new project labor agreement (PLA) between Southern California construction unions and NBC Universal for a major redevelopment of the company’s movie and television studios and the Universal City theme park in Los Angeles will create about 13,000 local construction jobs.
The PLA reached between the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and NBC Universal on the 10-year project in the east San Fernando Valley was announced yesterday.
The Tappan Zee Bridge in New York will be replaced through a union-public-sector partnership involving 14 building trades labor bodies and the New York State Thruway, a project that will create thousands of family-supporting jobs and save taxpayers $452 million.
The second phase of the Silver Line Metrorail project to Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia was nearly ready to move—but now it’s mired in a lot of noise over the proposed inclusion of a project labor agreement (PLA)—even though a PLA was used successfully on the first phase. Project labor agreements are pre-hire agreements between labor and management that require all construction jobs be filled by local workers, include diversity requirements, establish wages and work rules covering overtime, working hours and dispute resolution and ensure safety guidelines on the jobsite are enforced.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law this week a bill that says local governments cannot issue blanket prohibitions on project labor agreements (PLAs) without losing state funding for public works projects. Los Angeles and San Francisco recently approved PLAs for projects that will create tens of thousands of good, middle-class jobs. But other cities—including San Diego— have tried to ban the agreements.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced an agreement that will enable the construction of an overhead, high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) transmission line to deliver 3,500 megawatts of renewable power from neighboring states. With a project labor agreement in place, the project will create 1,450 jobs that maintain the highest safety, diversity and wage standards.