April 18, 2011 NILRR News Clips

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Rebalance of Income Distribution Scale Necessary for Full Recovery, Economist

Daily Labor Report Online, 4/15/2011

Joseph Stiglitz, a professor of economics at Columbia
University who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001, spoke at AFL-CIO
headquarters at an event held in conjunction with the release of a book, Exiting
From the Crisis: Towards a Model of More Equitable and Sustainable Growth,
published by the Trade Union Advisory Council (TUAC) to the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Trade Union
Confederation (ITUC), and the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).

“Governments are being compelled to adopt many policies
that created the imbalance that produced the economic crisis in the first
place,” Trumka said.

According to Stiglitz, one such factor in the imbalance is
income inequality. He said about one-fourth of all income in the United States
currently goes to the top 1 percent of the income ladder, “a level of income
inequality that rivals most totalitarian societies in the world.” While other
democracies, such as Brazil, have enacted policies to combat such inequality,
the United States has not done so.

AFL-CIO Executive Council Members Express Anger, Disappointment With

Daily Labor Report Online, 4/15/2011

As the AFL-CIO April 13 began a review of its political
program in preparation for the 2012 elections, many union presidents expressed
anger and disappointment with the administration and congressional Democrats.

During an all-day closed door meeting of the AFL-CIO
Executive Council, the union presidents spent a good deal of time reviewing the
federation’s political program as well as the current political climate. During
the discussion, many council members raised specific complaints, aimed at
President Obama and congressional Democrats, often by name, several attendees
told BNA.

Indiana Panel Strips Prevailing Wage Language From Public Works Measure

Daily Labor Report Online,  4/15/2011

LANSING, Mich.—The Indiana Senate Pensions and Labor
Committee April 13 stripped language that would limit project labor agreements
from legislation (H.B. 1216) that would raise the threshold for the application
of common construction wages, before sending the bill on to the Senate for

United Airlines Pilots Defer Action On Resolution to Recall Union Head

Daily Labor Report Online,  4/15/2011

CHICAGO—A campaign by a faction of disgruntled United
Airlines pilots to unseat their current union leader stalled after a union body
agreed to defer action on a thorny leadership recall question, a union spokesman
told BNA April 15.

That old, angry union rhetoric

Boston.com, 4/17/2011

All the classic accessories were on display at last week’s
union rally in downtown Boston: Burly guys in sweatshirts hoisted “Solidarity’’
signs. The song “We’re Not Gonna Take It’’ thumped in the background. Cigarette
smoke and angry rhetoric filled the air.

Undeclared candidate Mitch Daniels becoming the big man on campus

CNN Online, 4/14/2011

New Haven, Connecticut (CNN) — It might be a stretch to
call him the big man on campus. But Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is getting some
presidential buzz at colleges across the country.

Daniels, a Republican, can thank Yale University students
Max Eden and Michael Knowles, who launched the Students for Daniels website.

Sick leave disciplinary records reveal teachers’ split opinions over union law

Oshkosh Northwestern Online, 4/16/2011

A split in teachers’ opinions over appropriate responses to
an explosive state collective bargaining law resonates through disciplinary
records released by the Oshkosh school district last week.

Comments hand-written by educators on many of the records
show a range of regret, defiance and confusion felt by rank-and-file employees
caught in a whirlwind of political rhetoric and polarization.

Labor’s last stand?  Unions appear to be on life support as memberships dwindle

Wisconsin State Journal
Online, 4/17/2011

Five decades ago, one in every three nonfarm workers in
Wisconsin belonged to a union — most of them in manufacturing, construction or
other blue-collar trades. They assembled cars for General Motors, produced and
packaged Rayovac batteries, made Mirro cookware.

Now, barely one in seven Wisconsin workers is unionized,
the lowest ratio since at least 1964, and they’re just as likely to earn their
paychecks from taxpayers as they are from corporations.

NH Senate to vote on right-to-work legislation

Boston.com, 4/17/2011

CONCORD, N.H.—The New Hampshire Senate votes this week
whether to end the practice of requiring non-union members to pay a fair share
of collective bargaining costs.

Unions, losing Wal Mart fight, attack longtime D.C. grocer

Washington Examiner Online, 4/17/2011

While grocery shopping this weekend, I was given a leaflet
form the Teamsters Union against Giant, a longtime staple in the D.C. area. The
leaflet is disguised as a guide to “Money Saving Shopping Tips.” If you read
through it, though, it’s a protest tract against the company.

The flyer asserts that Giant is failing to respect the
community somehow, without giving any details. As it turns out, Giant has earned
their ire by outsourcing its warehouse operation, which caused several layoffs
at facilities in New Jersey. While researching the nature of the dispute, I came
across this wonderful quote from a union activist:

“We fought for the consumer, who deserves to have food that
comes from union workers, warehouses and distribution.”

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