SEIU-NUHW conflict moves to Sacramento

By Duane Campbell

After an apparent  narrow defeat in Fresno, the battle between SEIU led by Andy Stern and former SEIU members in the National Union of Health Care Workers, led by Sal Rosselli, moves to Sacramento and the Bay Area.

In the past twelve weeks over 50,000 workers in California healthcare facilities have petitioned to leave SEIU and to join the newly formed NUHW. Continue reading


Labor movement backs UNITE HERE

by Randy Shaw

Randy ShawIn a dramatic blow to SEIU‘s efforts to raid UNITE HERE members and jurisdictions, 15 of the nation’s leading unions pledged Monday to provide UNITE HERE with “material and moral” support. Before a wildly cheering and upbeat crowd of 700, AFSCME President Gerald McEntee denounced SEIU for the “poaching” of UNITE HERE, and for engaging in “piracy on the high seas of organized labor.” Laborers President Terrence O’Sullivan described SEIU’s conduct as “deplorable,” and said “we didn’t join Change to Win to raid and hijack another union’s members.” Change to Win leaders James Hoffa of the Teamsters and Joe Hansen of the United Food and Commercial Workers also pledged support, while Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the only two international presidents that SEIU claimed back its position, now supports UNITE HERE.

Continue reading

Unions Oppose Taxing of Health Benefits

A majority of international unions have signed on to a letter to all U.S. Senators opposing any health reform proposal that would tax health care benefits saying, “…(W)e wish to express our strong opposition to any proposal that would pay for this reform by altering the tax treatment of employer provided health care.

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama was sharply critical of Senator John McCain for wanting to tax health care benefits. Currently,administration officials have not ruled out such a tax which was floatedby Democrats in the Senate. On June 24th, at an ABC News televised townhall meeting, President Obama refused to rule out the taxing of health benefits.

(For list of unions signing letter, click here. For text of letter, click here.)
Continue reading

Steve Early Book Party in Boston

Steve_Early_lawhca2009On Monday, June 29, meet Steve Early, the author of Embedded with Organized Labor: Journalistic Reflections on the Class War at Home.

Steve Early is a labor journalist, lawyer, former CWA organizer, and frequent Boston Globe contributor.

Find out more about workers and the economic crisis, the fight for health care reform, the fate of “Employee Free Choice,” current struggles for union democracy and rank-and-file control, and the future of national labor federations like Change to Win and AFL-CIO. Embedded with Organized Labor has been a featured selection of LabourStart’s on-line bookstore.  You can read Early’s exclusive interview by LabourStart’s Eric Lee here.

Steve will be speaking at: Porter Square Books (at Porter Square Shopping Center), 25 White St., Cambridge, 7:00 to 8:30 P.M. (with party afterward).

Sponsored by: Democratic Socialists of America, Monthly Review Press, Labor Notes, CWA Locals 1400 and 1298, IBEW Locals 2222 and 2321, Boston Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA, and Massachusetts Jobs With Justice.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, call: 617-930-7327.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Rite Aid workers charge company officials with abuse at shareholder meeting

riteaiddemoNew York – Rite Aid workers charged their employer with “abusive, disrespectful, and illegal treatment” at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in New York City on Thursday morning, June 25.

Standing up for employees at the company’s annual meeting was veteran Rite Aid employee Angel Warner, who attended representing 600 of her co-workers at the company’s massive million-square-foot distribution center in the high-desert community of Lancaster, California, located about 60 miles from Los Angeles.

Continue reading

Labor leader comes out

Stuart Appelbaum

Stuart Appelbaum

In 1999, Pride at Work became a constituency group of the AFL-CIO While  unions have occasionally taken a stand in favor of gay rights (such as the AFL-CIO support for ENDA),  it is probably fair to say that this has not been a top level issue for labor.   Last week gay rights got a human face for the labor movement. In a June 18 Huffington Post column, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the 100,000 – member Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union (RWDSU), came out. Appelbaum wrote

in an ideal world, sexuality would be a private matter. But it can’t be so long as any of us are denied our rights because of our sexual orientation. That’s what led me, a middle-aged, Jewish labor leader to decide to come out.

Continue reading

Unsung Hospital Heroines Finally Carry The Show

Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie

By Suzanne Gordon

Since the birth of television, Hollywood has given doctors a permanent starring role in prime-time hospital dramas. But most doctor shows have relegated the nation’s largest healthcare profession – nursing – to the status of bit players. Whether it was “Marcus Welby, M.D.’’ or “St. Elsewhere,’’ TV routinely presented RNs as mere handmaidens of physicians. In more contemporary shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,’’ “The Practice,’’ and “House,’’ medicine is now full of ethnic, racial, and gender diversity. Unfortunately, there’s hardly ever a nurse in the house.

That’s why it’s so remarkable that two new shows put the spotlight on a nurse. In TNT’s “HawthoRNe,’’ Jada Pinkett Smith is a chief nurse who’s smart and feisty. Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie’’ –played by Edie Falco–displays an edgier and far more realistic view of nursing. Continue reading