It’s National Pizza Week (Jan. 9- Jan. 16) and we’re inviting pizza lovers everywhere to celebrate in solidarity with the striking workers at the Palermo’s Pizza factory in Wisconsin. Striking since last summer, these workers are remaining strong in their plea to management for the recognition of their union and the reinstatement of those who were wrongfully terminated.
In July, Patriot Coal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. Among the reasons for Patriot’s financial difficulties were the huge legacy costs related to health care benefits and pensions owed to retirees and widows of former employees. The company's intended goal, it seems, according to the Mine Workers (UMWA), is to get out of obligations to the miners that worked hard for decades, often doing significant damage to their own health.
Three years after the disastrous earthquake struck Haiti, workers and their families continue to struggle as the cost of living keeps rising while wages—for those who have jobs—remain the same. Informal discussions by the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center staff with Haitian export-processing workers this month indicate that in the past year, the cost of food and education has increased between 20% and 25%, while rent and transportation have risen between 15% and 20%.
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.
Showing solidarity with our union brothers and sisters is a great way for us to ring in the New Year, says Jim Key, vice president at large of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 550 in Paducah, Ky. Key, also his local's legislative and political chairman, is asking union members and union supporters nationwide to take a minute to put their John Hancock on a White House cyber-petition against corporations that file for bankruptcy “to circumvent their liabilities for workers' pensions and post-retirement health care benefits.” (Click here to sign the petition.)
It’s back! Just when you thought you might never hear the words “fiscal cliff” again, the sequel to this horror movie is about to be released. Look for it in your local theater, radio, TV and website—non-stop, 24/7—beginning sometime in February.
Yes, those irrepressible Republicans in Congress have cooked up yet another manufactured crisis and are once again holding the U.S. economy hostage. This time they are threatening to cause a U.S. government default unless they get their way. You know—the same stunt they pulled last summer. And what are congressional Republicans demanding as ransom to spare the economy? The same things they were demanding last time we went through this ordeal: benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.