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Showing blog posts published on Dec 19, 2012

HIT's Boston Investment Means Affordable Housing, Good Jobs

Boston Housing Authority photo

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is investing $33.5 million of union pension capital to construct 129 apartments for low-income households at Old Colony, one of Boston's largest and most distressed public housing properties. The project is expected to generate 340 union construction jobs. It is part of HIT’s National Construction Jobs Initiative and the AFL-CIO’s Green Jobs Initiative.

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Why Oppposing Benefit Cuts to Social Security and Other Programs Is So Important

Photo courtesy Fighting for Our Health

In a powerful article at Daily Kos, progressive political strategist and former community organizer Mike Lux makes a compelling case against benefit cuts to social safety net programs like Social Security, by telling the tale of a woman he met in Iowa in the 1970s whose cost-of-living adjustment didn't keep up with her heating costs:

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Exploited Filipino Teachers in Louisiana Win Historic Court Decision

Just in time for yesterday's celebration of International Migrants Day, a federal court jury ruled on Monday that Universal Placement International of Los Angeles and its owner, Lourdes Navarro, must pay $4.5 million to 350 Filipino teachers who were forced into exploitative contracts. According to the AFT, the Filipino teachers were brought to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and taught in public schools under H-1B guest worker program. This became the first positive jury verdict in a federal labor trafficking case brought forth by workers (as opposed to the government) involving workers who are not domestic workers. It is a clear example that workers can fight back against corporate greed and that when allies join forces on behalf of working families, victories can be achieved.

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Carwash Workers, Interpreters, Nurses and Others Join AFL-CIO Unions

NNU photo

In another victory for Southern California “carwasheros” seeking justice, respect and safe workplaces, the workers at Magic Clean carwash in Los Angeles this week voted to join United Steelworkers (USW) Local 675. The Magic Clean employees are the fourth carwash workforce to win their union as part of the CLEAN Carwash Campaign.

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Boehner’s Plan for Fiscal Showdown—Cut Social Security COLA to Pay for More Tax Cuts for the Rich

Boehner’s Plan for Fiscal Showdown—Cut Social Security COLA to Pay for More Tax Cuts for the Rich

On Sunday night, House Speaker John Boehner made clear he would like to make a simple trade with President Obama. He asked the president to extend tax cuts on income between $250,000 and $1 million a year—a tax bonanza of nearly $400 billion over 10 years, about half of which would go to millionaires.  

Call the White House at 202-456-1111; tell President Obama you oppose the "chained" CPI.

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'Right to Work' Laws Have Racist Origins

Last week, after Michigan became the latest state to pass "right to work" legislation, many began to dig into the history of such laws and discovered that one of the earliest pushes for "right to work" came from an extreme right-wing activist Vance Muse, who was staunchly anti-communist, anti-integration and anti-union. Muse was the leader of the Christian American Association, an organization that fought to pass "right to work" in more than a dozen states in the 1940s.

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The Fiscal Cliff and Odd Bedfellows

What a strange turn of events.  If we are to believe the leaks on the deal being cut for the fiscal cliff, it appears that President Obama’s agenda was narrow—restore fiscal sanity by upping the tax rates on very high earners. In the process, he appears ready to concede to House Speaker John Boehner a Republican plan to alter Social Security benefits recommended by the Simpson-Bowles commission. What an odd legacy the president would be leaving. The cut in Social Security benefits that Boehner proposes would have a disparate impact on African Americans, the group that voted most vociferously against the Republican world view. One would think the president’s agenda going into the fiscal cliff negotiations would be to remind those who worked hard for his election why it mattered he won.

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