By Harry Kelber | LaborTalk | December 30, 2012

With only nine months before the start of the AFL-CIO’s 27th convention, unions are beginning to elect delegates and prepare resolutions to describe how they feel about Richard Trumka and his group of sell-serving, self-perpetuating bureaucrats, who have had a hammerlock on the organization’s policies and activities for years.

If AFL-CIO affiliates, down to the local unions, vote for pro-workers’ delegates, it would open up an opportunity to challenge Trumka’s "do nothing" policies at the convention. As they elect convention delegates, union members should be reminded that no officer or member… Continue reading

By Harry Kelber | LaborTalk | December 29, 2010

A new industry has been created that tells anyone who wants to know what your credit rating is. All they have to do is to look up your financial "credit score" and they can find out whether you are a financial dead-beat or a customer who can be counted upon to pay his or her bills.

The credit score, which is based on a complex formula that reflects your financial condition over the years, has now become widely used in determining your credibility, in whatever you buy, sell or engage in… Continue reading

Answer: Richard Trumka

Labor Reform Movement | July 24, 2012 | By Harry Kelber

The man who has earned that title is Richard L. Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, a 12-million-member labor organization. So let me tell you why.

Trumka is not the richest man in the U.S., although it’s true that he is doing far better than most of us at a salary of $264,827 in 2010, which is about eight times the average salary of union members.

In 2011, just one year later, he had his salary increased to $293,750. That’s a 10 percent increase in one year.… Continue reading

30 Million Workers Would Benefit from Proposed Minimum Pay Law

By Harry Kelber | LaborTalk | July 19, 2012

If some 30 million low-wage workers had received their minimum wage checks adjusted to inflation over the past 40 years, they would be getting $10 an hour, instead of the $7.25 an hour under federal law.

This gross injustice against poorly-paid workers of the past forty years is being rectified in a proposed bill introduced by Illinois Democratic Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., titled "The Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012."

The longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, Ralph Nader,… Continue reading

By Harry Kelber | LaborTalk | July 16, 2012

In the past decade, 50,000 manufacturing sites in the United States closed their doors and 6 million Americans lost their jobs. Why? Because U.S. companies were outsourcing those jobs to low-wage countries that also offered them tax breaks and freedom from "labor trouble."

Since the 1990s, our government has given profiteering companies a free hand to outsource and outshore hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs. It has even encouraged the practice of outsourcing by treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) since the early 1990s.

You won’t believe… Continue reading

By Harry Kelber | LaborTalk (252) | June 30, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama’s health care law, saying that its requirement that Americans obtain health insurance or pay a penalty was within Congress’s power to levy taxes. The vote was. 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John C. Roberts Jr. joining the four more liberal members.

Unions were pleased with the decision, because it safeguarded three important features of the Affordable Care Act; (1) that insurers could not reject people with pre-existing health disabilities; (2) children living with insured parents would be covered until age 26,… Continue reading

By Harry Kelber | LaborTalk (251) | June 14, 2012

On the assumption that the candidate with the most financial contributions will win the presidential election, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are spending most of their time to coaxing potential big donors for their support.

With only five months before Election Day, both Romney and Obama are on a frenzied schedule of fund-raising all across the country, leaving their surrogates to talk to voters about the critical issues of their campaigns.

On one afternoon, (June 12), President Obama made feature appearances at three fund-raisers in the Baltimore area before running… Continue reading

By Harry Kelber | LaborTalk (250) | June 8, 2012

The unions are faced with a perplexing dilemma: Why are hardly any of the millions of unemployed speaking up and demanding that Congress create jobs for them? Why is the campaign for jobs being led almost exclusively by unions and progressives whose members are currently employed?

The silence of jobless workers may be that most of them have lost hope and don’t see anyone coming to help them. But supposing the AFL-CIO made a serious effort to find and organize the unemployed in a massive jobs campaign?

What if every… Continue reading

Can Low-Paid Workers Support a Family on $7.25 an Hour?

By Harry Kelber | LaborTalk (225) | February 17, 2012

American workers have been repeatedly told by President Obama and his surrogates that "if you work hard and play by the rules," you can earn a comfortable Middle Class living.

This turned out to be untrue -a cynical promise–for millions of workers who tried to live by those precepts. Millions of tough, obedient workers ended up in the ranks of the unemployed, many losing their homes and healthcare insurance.

Congress has traditionally been reluctant to raise the minimum wage of… Continue reading

Analyzing the Pilot Issues at American Airlines (1999)

In this LabotTalk issue:

How a Corporate Campaign Defeated J.P. Stevens

By Ray Rogers, Director, Corporate Campaign, Inc. | Fall 1999

In 1974, after a 14-year struggle, the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA) won an election to represent 3,000 workers at seven J.P. Stevens & Co. plants in Roanoke Rapids, N.C.

A few years later, Sally Field won… Continue reading

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