The War on Workers

Labor’s story is the story of the American people. To view it narrowly, to concentrate on the history of specific trade unions or on the careers of individuals and their rivalries, would be to miss the point that the great forces which have swept the American people into action have been the very forces that have also molded labor. Trade unionism was born as an effective national movement amid the great convulsion of the Civil War and the fight for black freedom… Labor suffered under depressions which spurred the whole American people into movement in the seventies, in the eighties, and in the nineties. It reached its greatest heights when it joined hands with farmers, small businessmen, and the black people in the epic Populist revolts of the 1890’s and later in the triumph that was the New Deal.
Things have not faired better for workers in the 21 st Century. The 40 hour work week is gone. People are making less on minimum wage at 32 hours or less. A group of fast-food workers rallied in front of a New York City McDonald’s on Tuesday in support of lawsuits accusing the company of wage theft. Employees have filed suit in three states, claiming McDonald’s and its franchises have stolen their wages through a range of illegal practices. Workers’ accusations include being forced to work while off the clock, having hours deleted from their time cards and being denied meal and rest breaks.
Lets loot at fast food workers. In Many places there is wage theft. Lattita James, New York City Public Advocate says, Fast-food corporations are regularly committing wage theft by not paying workers for tasks performed before clocking in or after clocking out, not paying workers for all the hours they work, not providing workers with a required meal break. It is unacceptable, and it’s now time that government steps in and supports these workers and protects their salaries — and supports their right to organize, so that they could have a decent salary, a living salary to make ends meet in New York City.”
On February 26, Boston School Interim Superintendent John McDonough of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) proposed a fiscal year 2015 budget that would include hundreds of layoffs of teachers and administrative staff and deep cuts to student transportation services. The School Committee will vote on McDonough’s budget on March 26.
More than 200 teacher and instructor jobs are threatened in the proposed budget. Targeted are 43 “regular ed” teachers, 41 bilingual aides, 38 kindergarten teachers, and 34 special education teachers.
The status of 1,000 other teachers is also precarious. In an attack on job security, Massachusetts public schools have a longstanding practice of issuing layoff notices in the spring to teachers who are then rehired later in the summer.
Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made a case for increasing the minimum wage last week during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing, in which she cited a study that suggested the federal minimum wage would have stood at nearly $22 an hour today if it had kept up with increased rates in worker productivity.
“If we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the same. And if that were the case then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour,” she said, speaking to Dr. Arindrajit Dube, a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who has studied the economic impacts of minimum wage. “So my question is Mr. Dube, with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, what happened to the other $14.75? It sure didn’t go to the worker.”
In my experience, as I have run for Congress District 2 congressman Frank Lobiondo had this bill passed. He supported H.R. 3246 would have outlawed the practice of “salting” by which building and construction trades union members “hire on” at non-union contracting companies with the intent to organize them. If this bill became law, workers could be fired simply for engaging in; what the employer perceived to be “pro-union” activities. This bill would have undermined the fundamental principle of our nation”s labor laws: workers have the right to organize free from management interference. The bill prohibited “salting” as an organizing tool, made single unit bargaining more difficult, and shifted NLRB case costs from the employer back to the Board. The bill passed by a vote of 202-200 on March 26. IBEW position on Official Roll Call Vote #78: OPPOSE (Yes = Wrong, No = Right).
Looking at the expenditures the IBEW rewarded him $10,000 in donations.
Mr Lobiondo is for the worker so much that when the AFL-CIO endorsed him-he voted for the Ergonomics bill, but afterward here is what Mr Lobiondo voted for this Bill
H.R. 987 was introduced by Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO), and would prohibit OSHA from promulgating any guideline or standard on ergonomics until the National Academy of Sciences completes a study. This has been a stall tactic for Congress for a number of years. Business complains that an ergonomic standard would force companies to redesign work stations and the cost of this would be too burdensome. It would cut back on injuries and worker’s compensation claims, as well as improve productivity. The House passed H.R. 987 by a vote of 217 to 209, August 3, 1999 with the support of Mr Lobiondo. He also passed a protectionist bill for sweatshops disallowing unions to penetrate and organize exploited workers.

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