Posted on February 7, 2014 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Jason Redrup
A group of Boeing workers to vote down a surprise mid-contract concessionary agreement. Photo: Jim Levitt.
Earlier this year, members at District 751 endured a devastating loss to our solidarity and the benefits we had fought decades to secure because of the actions of our International leadership. If what happened at 751 goes unchallenged, it will set a dangerous pattern for other contracts across the country. My goal is to ensure what happened in Seattle, doesn’t happen to another group of Machinists.
Even though we had a contract in place through 2016 and our District strongly objected, our International ordered a vote on a concessionary offer be held on Jan. 3rd knowing thousands of union members would be on vacation and unable to vote. This vote was ordered after many members had already begun their holidays, and the International refused to move the vote just one business day. With nearly 8,000 members not voting, we are now forced to live under a contract that eliminated pensions for all, more than doubles health care costs, slows wage growth by 75 percent and keeps us from returning to the bargaining table until 2024. This came not when Boeing was hurting, but enjoying record profits and backlogs. Continue reading
Filed under: Economy, Strikes and work action | Tagged: Boeing, IAM, IAM 751 | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 3, 2014 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Gregory N. Heires
We have a winner-take-all global economy, a malady that undermines democracy, distorts economic development and fuels inequality.
Timed to coincide with the meeting of the global economic elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a report released by Oxfam on Jan. 20 shows how the wealthy have rigged the economic and political rules in their favor. So much so that the 85 richest people in the world own as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest people.
“It is staggering that in the 21st century, half of the world’s population own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all sit comfortably in a single train carriage,” said Winnie Bryanyima, executive director of Oxfam, an international confederation of 17 organizations that work together to try to find solutions to injustice and poverty.
“We cannot hope to win the fight against poverty without talking inequality. Widening inequality is creating a vicious circle where wealth and power are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs from the top table.” Continue reading
Filed under: Economy | Tagged: inequality, Oxfam, Working for the Few | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 30, 2014 by dsalaborblogmoderator
U.S. corporations want to sit on their cash. If they won’t use it, why can’t we?
by Harold Meyerson
One fundamental reason why the American economy continues to limp along is that no one—at least, no one with major bucks—is investing in it. The Obama Administration countered the collapse of private sector investment in 2009 with its stimulus program, which, alas, was partially offset by all the cutbacks in state and local government spending. It’s not been able, however, to get any subsequent investment projects through the Republican House. The private sector—the corporate sector more particularly—returned not just to profitability but record profitability by the middle of 2010, but its profits have neither resulted from nor led to increased investment.
To the contrary, American corporations have never sat on so much unexpended cash. Right now, their cash piles total more than $1.5 trillion, and that’s not counting the assets of the banks. The cash is concentrated in the coffers of our largest corporations, many of them tech companies. Apple leads the list with $150 billion gathering dust, while Microsoft, Google, Oracle and Cisco Systems follow close behind. Continue reading
Filed under: Economy | Tagged: stock buybacks | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 28, 2014 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Jack Rasmus
Today, January 28, 2014, President Obama will address the nation in his State of the Union (SOTU) speech to Congress. A major theme of the address will be the growing income inequality in the US.
His speech represents an echo of similar themes and talks that have been presented this past week at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. That’s where every January the big capitalists of the world gather to discuss amongst themselves the major issues of the past year and what to do about them—in between being entertained by various cultural celebrities and performers who have been allowed into their club as junior partners in wealth. The annual Davos cultural events are not unlike the small venue side-shows held in the big Las Vegas casinos: the entertainers strut and sing while the real betting and dice-rolling discussions involving future capitalist policy initiatives go on behind ‘invitation-only’ doors requiring tickets for entry costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend ( the typical ticket price of entry for a Corporate CEO and his entourage at Davos, for example, exceeds $500,000). Continue reading
Filed under: Economy | Tagged: inequality, Obama, SOTU speech | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 27, 2014 by dsalaborblogmoderator
The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) is pleased to announce a half day conference,WORKER COOPERATIVES: JOBS FOR NEW YORK CITY’S FUTURE, on January 30th, 2014. Worker cooperatives are businesses that are owned by the workers and that have participatory management. FPWA seeks the attendance of government policy makers, workforce development officials, academics from leading NYC institutions, union representatives, and community-level and grassroots organizations to discuss the worker cooperative model and how workplace democracy can address the continuing economic crisis, income disparity and poverty in New York City. We intend to engage in a dialogue with those in attendance to raise awareness of worker cooperatives, to propose specific policy solutions to foster their widespread growth and be hopeful about the future of an overall solidarity economy in New York City.
Filed under: Economy | Tagged: worker co-operatives | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 23, 2014 by dsalaborblogmoderator
During the editing of Carl Proper’s important article below, we made some formatting and other errors that may have created some confusion. We apologize and hope that all errors have been corrected. We hope you will enjoy this thought provoking article.-Talking Union.
by Carl Proper
“47 percent of U.S. jobs are ‘at risk’ of being automated in the next 20 years,” say Oxford University Professors Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, including “most workers in transportation and logistics occupations, together with the bulk of office and administrative support workers, and labour in production occupations.i”
“The opportunity is massive,” adds Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at the M.I.T. Center for Digital Business. “There are still people who walk around in factories and pick things up in distribution centers and work in the back rooms of grocery stores.”ii
One U.S. CEO, Amazon head Jeff Bezos, is doing his best to seize the “opportunity.” Reaching outside his highly automated “fulfillment centers” – where the remaining human workforce complains of being treated like robots themselvesiii – Bezos proposes to replace UPS delivery people with a fleet of mini-drone helicopters to drop packages on your doorstep, largely untouched by human hands.
Why exploit workers, Bezos appears to believe, if you can just do without them?
There is a lot of evidence that this may indeed be our future.iv
Filed under: Economy | Tagged: Amazon, automation, basic income, Walmart | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 22, 2014 by dsalaborblogmoderator
International Trade Union Confederation
Working people and their families need an urgent shift in policies by leaders to investment in jobs, a minimum wage on which people can live and social protection.
The ITUC Global Poll of 13 countries found 87 percent of people say their wages are falling behind the cost of living or stagnant. One out of eight respondents said they are struggling financially and can no longer pay for basic living expenses.
John Evans, Chief Economist, International Trade Union Confederation, said financial forecasts point to stagnation – not recovery – with nearly 200 million people unemployed.
“The World Economic Forum’s own Global Risks Report identifies widening income disparities and structural unemployment as the most serious problems confronting the global economy this year, yet government policies are worsening these trends; we need a change in policy direction,” said John Evans, who is also General Secretary of the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC). Continue reading
Filed under: Economy | Tagged: Davos, ITUC | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 13, 2014 by paulgarver
CWA Local 1103 Members Lobby Against Fast Track during work break
Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) are joining other citizens’ group in opposing
fast track authorizing legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, introduced on 9th January by Senator Max Baucus (Dem) and Representative Dave Camp (Rep).
CWA members are responding to this statement by CWA President Larry Cohen:
“Fast track is the wrong track when it comes to a trade deal like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that will affect our laws, our jobs, our food and our environment. Fast track, also known as Trade Promotion Authority, forces Congress to give up its Constitutional right to amend and improve this trade deal, which now is reportedly more than 1,000 pages long. Continue reading
Filed under: Economy, Fair Trade, Organizing, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: Communication Workers of America, CWA, fast track, Larry Cohen, TPP, trade legislation | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 11, 2014 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Joe Burns
Much has already been written about Boeing’s successful extortion against its unionized workforce in Seattle to make them choose between losing jobs or sacrificing pensions and taking other concessions. On January 3, Boeing workers narrowly approved a set of concessions in a controversial revote ordered by the international union over the objections of the local leadership. Certainly the fact that the Boeing corporation, a highly profitable corporation extorted workers was reprehensible as many commentators have pointed out.
What I would like to discuss here is not the decision of Boeing workers to accept concessions but the system of labor laws which allowed Boeing to place unionized workers in that situation. Looking at the question this way requires digging into the underlying set of legal rules that allow employers to either blackmail unionized workers or, more commonly, simply move to avoid unionization. It involves questions including the outlawing of solidarity or ‘secondary’ tactics, union influence over decisions of capital mobility, and the degree to which we as a labor movement can work within a legal framework designed to ensure our failure. Continue reading
Filed under: Economy, Organizing, Politics | Tagged: Boeing, IAM, Joe Burns, labor law | 3 Comments »
Posted on January 10, 2014 by dsalaborblogmoderator
From 1946 through the 1970s, the incomes of Americans grew together. This, of course, does not mean everyone earned the same amount, but it did mean that if the economy grew, everyone’s income grew. That pattern allowed President John F. Kennedy to note in a 1963 speech that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Since the 1970s, that has not been the case. A rising tide has lifted those at the top 1%, sunk those at the bottom and left the rest adrift in rough seas. President Kennedy used the speech to defend a project some felt was pork barrel politics.
Today, the claim that a growing economy benefits everyone is used to defend tax cuts to corporations—that send America’s jobs overseas and shift their profits to tax haven countries—and the top 1%, like corporate CEOs who direct their corporations to borrow money to buy back the company stock to boost the CEO’s bonus for rising stock prices and their personal wealth in stock holdings. Continue reading
Filed under: Economy, Politics | 1 Comment »