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About NH Labor News

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.

12-18-14 List Of Open Union Communications Positions From UnionJobs

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Union Jobs header

DECEMBER 18, 2014 WEEKLY SUMMARY OF COMMUNICATIONS POSITIONS POSTED AT UNIONJOBS.COM

AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)
Data Coordinator – Wisconsin, Campaigns Department – Midwest Region, Wisconsin
Campaign Coordinator – Ohio, Campaigns Department Midwest Region  Ohio
Popular Education Coordinator, Campaigns Department  District of Columbia
Communications Coordinator, Communications Department (MW Region)  Michigan
Organizing Field Communications Assistant, Organizing Department  District of Columbia
Development Manager, Digital Strategies Department  District of Columbia
Strategic Campaigns Coordinator, Organizing Department  District of Columbia

AFM (American Federation of Musicians)
Communications Director, New York  New York

AFSCME (Council 3)
Database Analyst and IT Coordinator, Baltimore  Maryland

AFT (American Federation of Teachers)
Human/Civil Rights Advocacy Director, Human Rights and Community Relations Department District of Columbia

ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association, International)
Sr. Communications Specialist, Herndon  Virginia

ATU (Amalgamated Transit Union)
Campaign Organizer Intern  District of Columbia

CMD (The Center for Media and Democracy)
Manager, Digital/Social Media, based in Madison  Wisconsin

CNA/NNU (California Nurses Association (CNA) / National Nurses United (NNU) AFL-CIO)
Video Specialist, Oakland  California

CPD (Center for Popular Democracy)
Fair Workweek Deputy Campaign Director, New York City preferred  New York

CSEA (AFSCME, Local 1000, New York)
Labor Education Specialist, Albany  New York

CWA (Communications Workers of America)
Digital Media Technician  District of Columbia

CWA-NJ (Communications Workers of America, New Jersey)
Social Media Organizer, Trenton based  New Jersey

JCEA (Jefferson County Education Association)
Director of Field Operations and Political Action, Lakewood  Colorado

Kaiser Permanente LMP(Labor Management Partnership)
Labor Relations Communications Director, Oakland  California

Labor Notes
Assistant Editor, New York New York

NELP (National Employment Law Project)
Campaign Coordinator (Home Care Fair Pay), New York (with an option of DC office)  New York

NNU (National Nurses United)
Educator – Immediate Opening, San Francisco Bay area  California
Communications Specialist, Oakland California

NTEU (National Treasury Employees Union)
Director of Information Systems  District of Columbia

NYCOSH (New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health)
Communications Director, New York City  New York

NYHTC (New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council)
Video Communications SupervisorNew York

OEA (Oregon Education Association)
Communications PR/Media Consultant  Oregon

RTF (Raise the Floor Alliance)
Campaign Coordinator, Chicago  Illinois

SEIU (Local 1)
Communications Specialist, Detroit  Michigan

SEIU (1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East)
Communications Specialist, Boston  Massachusetts

SEIU (Local 32BJ)
Member Communications Strategist, New York City  New York
Communications Specialist: Mid-Atlantic Region, Philadelphia based Pennsylvania

SEIU (Local 721)
Communications Specialist  California

UDWA (United Domestic Workers of America)
Media Relations Specialist, Sacramento  California

UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers International Union)
Senior Strategic Targeting Coordinator, Washington D.C.  District of Columbia

UFT (United Federation of Teachers)
Social Media Coordinator, New York City  New York

UPTE-CWA (University Professional and Technical Employees-Communications Workers of America)
Systemwide Director  California

WOCC (Workers’ Organizing Committee of Chicago-Fight for 15)
Communications Associate, Chicago  Illinois

Working America(a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO)
Communications Director  District of Columbia

Executive Branch State Employees Declare Impasse in Contract Negotiations

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Concord, NH, December 18, 2014 – Earlier today, the Executive Branch employees’ bargaining team unanimously agreed to move to the next step in contract negotiations with the State of NH. The team declared impasse, which is the trigger to take negotiations to the next level, mediation; meaning a neutral third party will be selected to help move negotiations forward. The team has been negotiating the employment contract with the state since late October.

“Negotiations have been respectful, cordial and smooth,” said Bargaining Team Chair James (Jim) Nall. “However, it became apparent this week that we could not continue to make progress with negotiations without the assistance of a mediator.” The negotiation process frequently requires the addition of an impartial and objective third party to reach ratification. “We have given the process due diligence and based on the state’s most recent response to our good faith negotiations, we unanimously agree we must take a different approach,” said Nall.

Central to the decision to turn to a third party for assistance is the matter of wages and health benefits.

“We share the state’s ultimate goal of providing quality, efficient services to the citizens of our state,” said Nall. “We have a talented, dedicated state workforce that goes above and beyond for the state every day.”

Over the last decade, the SEA, SEIU Local 1984 Executive Branch negotiated contracts have resulted in the employees’ wage and benefits package concessions providing the state with millions and millions of dollars in savings.

FairPoint CEO Issues Misleading Response to Vermont Governor

FairPoint Communications

FairPoint Communications

FairPoint CEO Paul H. Sunu has issued a misleading response to Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin’s call for company to settle a fair contract

Sunu’s letter makes no mention of the more than $200 million in compromises the union has offered, including new health care premiums

Letter entirely omits the issue of outsourcing; company’s imposed terms allow the replacement of skilled workers with cut-rate contractors

North Carolina-based FairPoint offers no convincing plan that widespread service outages can be reversed

MONTPELIER — FairPoint CEO Paul H. Sunu issued a misleading letter today concerning the status of the company’s contract talks with its union workers. Sunu wrote the letter in response to Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin’s call on December 12 for the company to reach a fair deal and resolve the ongoing strike.

Sunu attempts to deflect charges against FairPoint by making a number of misleading claims about union positions. However, Sunu’s letter completely omits mention of the company’s controversial outsourcing practices, which FairPoint imposed in late August.

The unions representing the FairPoint workers — the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) — believe the key issues in the contract dispute are as follows:

  • The unions made dozens of proposals in bargaining between April and August. FairPoint negotiators — led by notorious anti-union law firm Seyfarth Shaw — rejected virtually all of those proposals before walking away from bargaining on August 27.
  • FairPoint’s initial demand was for $700 million in deep and damaging cuts. The company has never compromised on that original demand and imposed those cuts when it walked away from negotiations in August.
  • The unions have offered more than $200 million in cost-saving compromises during bargaining, including the adoption of premium sharing for their health insurance.
  • The company’s imposed terms allow it to outsource work to cut-rate contractors. This could lead to a further reduction in the company’s skilled and experienced workforce and a reliance on the sort of unqualified contractors FairPoint has hired during the strike.

“We have made tough compromises during these negotiations,” said Mike Spillane, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2326. “We’ve always been committed to making FairPoint a profitable business. But the outsourcing they’re pushing and the savage cuts they’re insisting on would make it impossible to serve our customers. We can’t let that happen.”

Shumlin penned his December 12 letter as widespread service outages had reached crisis levels in Vermont and across northern New England. “As you and everyone in Vermont know, we have seen a significant and unacceptable rise in service quality issues in recent months,” Shumlin wrote.

Vermont’s E-911 system went down for nearly six hours on November 28 due to a felled FairPoint line. On December 11, there were widespread Internet outages in both Vermont and New Hampshire. And state officials in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have all reported a spike in customer complaints since the strike began on October 17.

“It’s clear this is a PR game to FairPoint’s executives in North Carolina,” said Don Trementozzi, president of Communications Workers of America Local 1400. “They’re trying to tell the people of New England that they’ve got the situation under control, but anyone on the ground here can see that they are jeopardizing the economy and the safety of our region.”

The negotiations for a new contract at FairPoint began in April, and from the outset FairPoint pressed to increase outsourcing, cut pay for new workers, and slash benefits for all employees.

In August, FairPoint negotiators abruptly ended negotiations and imposed its package of aggressive cuts. The workers spent nearly two more months trying to find common ground with FairPoint. But with the company refusing to negotiate, union workers launched their strike in October.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T-9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states. For more information, visit www.FairnessAtFairpoint.com.

NATCA Applauds FAA Funding, Warns Of Potential Future Instability

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WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) today applauds the full funding of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, as part of the passage of the “Cromnibus” spending bill approved last week. At the same time, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi warns that sequestration remains a threat to the modernization and stability of the National Airspace System (NAS).

“The ground beneath our NAS has settled for the moment, thanks to the work of Congress to pass this funding bill,” Rinaldi said. “However, this is only a nine-month deal. Sequestration is a 10-year law. We cannot forget how damaging sequestration was in 2013 for the NAS and for the aviation safety professionals who work so hard maintaining it as the safest, most efficient, and most complex in the world.”

Aviation creates nearly 12 million jobs that contribute $1.5 trillion to the nation’s gross domestic product. Every day, there are 70,000 flights that transport two million passengers. Thus, said Rinaldi, this FY15 spending bill is a “nice holiday present” for both travelers and the NAS.

However, he added, NATCA and its fellow stakeholders in the aviation system must continue to advocate for long-term funding stability.

“The current stop-and-go funding process increases costs and makes planning for complex modernization projects impossible. Stable long-term funding is needed to keep progress moving forward,” Rinaldi said.

NATCA’s collaboration with the FAA and the industry couldn’t be better and NextGen is advancing due to this collaborative effort. NATCA is issuing an update today on several NextGen programs that are progressing well, with notable recent successes. It’s our second quarterly issue of NextGen Now, available by clicking HERE.  (http://natca.uberflip.com/i/434417)

Join the discussion on social media: #NextGenNowUS

“NextGen is happening now,” Rinaldi said. “This is why stable funding for the long term is so critically important. The progress of modernization, as well as an effective pipeline for hiring and training the controller workforce to use the tools of a more modernized system, cannot and must not be slowed or stopped again if the U.S. is to maintain its standing as the world leader in aviation.”

NH Insurance Department Issues Winter Weather Tips

(Honda CRV in Ditch -- Patrick Hawks Flickr CC)
(Honda CRV in Ditch -- Patrick Hawks Flickr CC)

(Honda CRV in Ditch — Patrick Hawks Flickr CC)

Concord – In winter, snowstorms and icy roads are always a possibility. The New Hampshire Insurance Department urges you to take all possible precautions during storms or when out on the roads. In the event of an accident, here are some tips on how to work with your insurance company:

What to do if you’re in a car accident:

        Call the police.

        Obtain the names, addresses, telephone numbers, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers of everyone involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses.

        Record the time, date, location, road conditions, make and year of vehicles involved, apparent damages and injuries, and your version of what happened.

        Call your insurance agent or company to report the incident as soon as possible. Ask your agent what documents, forms, and data you will need.

        Take photos of the cars, the surrounding area, and the license plates of the other vehicles involved.

        Take notes each time you talk with your insurance company, agent, lawyers, police or others involved in the situation. Write down the dates, times, names and subjects you talked about, as well as any decisions or promises made.

        Ask your insurance company if you have coverage for a rental vehicle if your car is not drivable. Save all receipts and bills, including those from renting a car or having your car towed and/or stowed.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers an auto checklist – download it: http://www.insureuonline.org/auto_accident_checklist.pdf. It’s also available as a free app for your smart phone: http://www.insureuonline.org/insureu_getready_newcar.htm .

 

What to do if your home is damaged:

        Call your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. Have your policy number and other relevant information in hand. Cooperate fully with the insurance company, and ask what documents, forms and data you will need.

        Take photographs/video of the damage.

        Make the repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your property (i.e., cover broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls). Do not make any permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs.

        Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs covered by your insurance policy.

        If the damage is so severe that you must stay elsewhere, ask your insurance company if you have coverage for additional living expenses incurred while repairs are being made. Save all receipts to document these costs.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a free, downloadable home inventory checklist: http://www.insureuonline.org/home_inventory_checklist.pdf. You also may download a free home inventory app for your mobile phone: http://www.insureuonline.org/insureu_special_disaster.htm.

What types of damage are likely to be covered?

·         Wind

·         Damage to the exterior of your home or other structures from wind-driven rain

·         Tree damage to your home, garage, or other property

·         Other falling objects

·         The collapse of a structure due to weight of ice or snow

·         Damage to your home’s interior from ice dam or ice backup

Frozen pipes might not be covered if the damage is due to negligence, such as failing to maintain an adequate temperature in the house when the ability to do so is there. Check your policy and call your insurance agent or company if you need clarification or have specific questions.

What types of damage are not likely to be covered by a standard homeowners’ policy?

·         Damage as the result of a flood

·         Removal of fallen trees (if the trees do not damage your home or other property, or block your driveway)

·         Food spoilage due to a power outage

·         Water damage from backed-up drains or sewers.

Some insurers offer endorsements (i.e., additional protection that may be purchased) for certain things not covered in a standard homeowners’ policy. Check with your agent or company to see if additional coverage makes sense for you.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department can help:

Contact us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your insurance coverage at 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-1406, or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov. If you wish to file a grievance, you may call, email, or submit a complaint electronically or by mail or fax: http://www.nh.gov/insurance/consumers/complaints.htm.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/insurance.

12-11-14 List Of Open Union Communications Positions From UnionJobs

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DECEMBER 11, 2014 WEEKLY SUMMARY OF COMMUNICATIONS POSITIONS POSTED AT UNIONJOBS.COM

AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)
Communications Coordinator, Communications Department (MW Region)  Michigan
Organizing Field Communications Assistant, Organizing Department  District of Columbia
Development Manager, Digital Strategies Department  District of Columbia
Strategic Campaigns Coordinator, Organizing Department  District of Columbia
Safety and Health Fellow, AFL-CIO Safety and Health Department  District of Columbia
Corporate Research Analyst, Office of Investment  District of Columbia


AFSCME
(Council 3)
Database Analyst and IT Coordinator, Baltimore  Maryland

AFT (American Federation of Teachers)
Human/Civil Rights Advocacy Director, Human Rights and Community Relations Department District of Columbia

ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association, International)
Sr. Communications Specialist, Herndon  Virginia

BAC (International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers)
Data Entry/Research Clerk  District of Columbia

CNA/NNU (California Nurses Association (CNA) / National Nurses United (NNU) AFL-CIO)
Video Specialist, Oakland  California

CPD (Center for Popular Democracy)
Fair Workweek Deputy Campaign Director, New York City preferred  New York

CWA (Communications Workers of America)
Digital Media Technician  District of Columbia

CWA-NJ (Communications Workers of America, New Jersey)
Social Media Organizer, Trenton based  New Jersey

Kaiser Permanente LMP(Labor Management Partnership)
Labor Relations Communications Director, Oakland  California

Labor Notes
Assistant Editor, New York New York

NELP (National Employment Law Project)
Campaign Coordinator (Home Care Fair Pay), New York (with an option of DC office)  New York

NNU (National Nurses United)
Educator – Immediate Opening, San Francisco Bay area  California
Communications Specialist, Oakland California

NYCOSH (New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health)
Communications Director, New York City  New York

NYHTC (New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council)
Video Communications SupervisorNew York

OEA (Oregon Education Association)
Communications PR/Media Consultant  Oregon

RTF (Raise the Floor Alliance)
Campaign Coordinator, Chicago  Illinois

SEIU (Local 1)
Communications Specialist, Detroit  Michigan

SEIU (1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East)
Communications Specialist, Boston  Massachusetts

SEIU (Local 32BJ)
Member Communications Strategist, New York City  New York
Communications Specialist: Mid-Atlantic Region, Philadelphia based Pennsylvania

SEIU (Local 721)
Communications Specialist  California

UDWA (United Domestic Workers of America)
Media Relations Specialist, Sacramento  California

UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers International Union)
Senior Strategic Targeting Coordinator, Washington D.C.  District of Columbia

UFT (United Federation of Teachers)
Social Media Coordinator, New York City  New York

SEIU (SEIU UHW West, United Healthcare Workers West)
Database Analyst, Oakland  California

UPTE-CWA (University Professional and Technical Employees-Communications Workers of America)
Systemwide Director  California

WOCC (Workers’ Organizing Committee of Chicago-Fight for 15)
Communications Associate, Chicago  Illinois

Working America(a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO)
Communications Director  District of Columbia

Senator Shaheen Votes For CROmnibus Bill While Objecting To Certain Provisions

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Immediate Release:

Legislation funds the government while making strategic investments in job creation and economic growth in New Hampshire

(Washington, DC) – Tonight U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) voted in favor of a bipartisan appropriations bill that funds most government operations through the 2015 fiscal year.

“The spending bill we passed tonight invests in strategic priorities that will support job creation, economic growth and our national security,” said Shaheen. “It is far from perfect, but it is the product of a bipartisan compromise that in my mind was better than any alternative. I’m disappointed by certain provisions included in this bill – including the rolling back of important taxpayer protections from risky behavior on Wall Street. But I’d rather pass this imperfect, bipartisan compromise now, than face a partisan Republican bill next year, one that would be more at odds with the priorities I believe best serve New Hampshire’s economy and middle-class families. This legislation will help to continue our economic growth and avert another costly government shutdown.”

Shaheen provisions and priorities included in the final spending bill include:

New Hampshire’s Economy

The bill includes funding for another round of State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant program. The STEP program, which Shaheen helped create, is an export initiative that helps states assist small businesses to enter and succeed in the international marketplace. The bill also provides funding to complete the activation of the Berlin Prison which will boost the economy in Northern New Hampshire. Shaheen has fought for the opening of the prison since its funding became at risk and has continued to be a leader in the fight to fully open the facility. She has repeatedly pressed Congress and the Obama Administration to prioritize funding and has highlighted the economic boost the prison would have on one of the most economically distressed areas of the state. The facility is expected to create 340 local jobs and provide a $40 million economic boost to Northern New Hampshire.

Pease Air National Guard Base and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

The spending bill includes funding for the new KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tanker that will be housed at Pease Air National Guard base in New Hampshire. The new tankers will replace the Air Force’s current fleet of 1950’s era KC-135s, and Pease – home to the New Hampshire Air National Guard’s 157th Air Refueling Wing – is slated to be the first Air National Guard unit to receive the next generation tanker in fiscal year 2018. Shaheen has advocated for Pease to receive the tanker since 2011, and last year, announced that the Air Force had designated Pease as the first Air National Guard unit to receive the KC-46A.

The bill also includes $41 million in infrastructure upgrades to prepare the Pease Air National Guard Base for the new tankers, as well investments in further energy efficiency upgrades at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which will reduce costs and improve performance at the shipyard.

Veterans

The spending bill also provides support for service men and women and addresses issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The bill increases funding for the Beyond Yellow Ribbon Program, which connects service men and women and their families with community support, training, and other services, by $15 million.

The bill also supports job opportunities for veterans by incorporating several of Shaheen’s veteran small business priorities included in her legislation the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act. The bill includes fee waivers for veteran small business owners applying for Small Business Association (SBA) loans who are looking for loans to start or expand their small businesses. The bill also makes important investments to continue reducing the backlog of veterans’ benefits and appeals claims.

Peace Corps

The bill gives victims of rape who serve in the Peace Corps health care equity by providing them with health care coverage to terminate a pregnancy. Peace Corps volunteers will now receive the same basic health care benefits provided to other women on federal health care plans.

Heroin Abuse Intervention Funding

The bill will help local communities in New Hampshire address the growing heroin abuse crisis. It provides critical resources for communities by setting aside $7 million to strengthen law enforcement efforts in states with high incidences of heroin abuse. Shaheen has been working with local, state and federal officials as well as law enforcement and public health experts to identify ways to address the growing heroin and prescription drug problem in New Hampshire. Earlier this year, she announced Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program funding for New Hampshire, which will educate young people about the dangers of drug abuse to ultimately reduce youth substance use. The Senate Appropriations Committee also unanimously adopted several provisions Shaheen proposed and which were a direct result of her outreach with federal, state and local officials along with public health and treatment professionals.

Children and Families

The spending bill invests in important programs for children in New Hampshire such as Head Start, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Child Care and Development Block Grant program.  It allocates $430 million for the Violence Against Women Act, which is a record level of funding.  These resources are critical to providing the support needed by the millions of women who are the victims of violence.

Portman, Shaheen Bill to Reform Efficiency Standard Headed to the President for Signature

Senator Shaheen on the Senate Floor 4-29-14  (Screen Shot)

Bill Will Save Consumers and Manufacturers Money 

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced that their bill which makes technical corrections to External Power Supply (EPS) efficiency standards has passed the Senate and is now headed to the President for signature. The bipartisan EPS Service Parts Act of 2014 extends current energy efficiency standards so manufacturers can continue to produce, distribute and service energy efficient EPS for older, out of production products. By allowing continued production of older EPS spare parts to service older devices to continue, Shaheen and Portman’s bill will help save manufacturers money and spare consumers additional costs. The legislation also includes a reporting requirement to ensure this exemption is not abused for the remainder of the five-year efficiency standard cycle.

“This commonsense regulatory reform measure will lower costs for both consumers and manufacturers and I’m pleased it’s now headed to the President for signature,” Portman stated.

“U.S. manufacturers and consumers shouldn’t have to bear the cost of a regulatory oversight,” Shaheen said. “With our bipartisan proposal headed to the President for his signature, both businesses and consumers will be saving money without compromising the benefits of energy efficiency.”

“This bill’s passage, by simply fixing an unintended legal glitch, will save US companies hundreds of millions of dollars, and benefit consumers by allowing them to continue to use existing EPS charging for their laptops, desktops, tablets, networking products and mobile phones in ways that save energy and help the environment,” said Chris Hankin, Senior Director for Environment and Sustainability at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), an advocacy organization which represents 60 of the world¹s leading technology companies. “ITI and its member companies wish to thank Senators Portman and Shaheen for their leadership in helping secure its timely enactment.”

This proposal enjoys the support of EPS manufacturers, efficiency advocates and a broad coalition of organizations, including the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

AFL-CIO Urges Navient To Do Business Legally

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Institutional investor draws attention to company’s alleged abuse of student loan borrowers

(Washington, D.C.) AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent a letter to Navient yesterday questioning whether the mammoth student loan servicer has the necessary internal controls to prevent it from violating the law and losing lucrative government contracts.

“As a long-term institutional investor in Navient and its predecessor Sallie Mae, the AFL-CIO has a profound interest in the company’s performance. We are concerned by Navient’s alleged legal violations involving student loan borrowers. Since government investigations are still ongoing, we are asking those responsible for keeping Navient on the right side of the law to discuss our concerns as soon as possible,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Over the past year, Navient has had legal troubles involving their treatment of military members. In May, it was part of a settlement that agreed to pay $97 million over allegations from the Department of Justice and the FDIC that it overcharged 60,000 active duty military members on their student loans and that it mishandled their payments to maximize late fees in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is also investigating the company’s servicing practices and the Department of Education is reviewing whether the company breached its contract.

“While the men and women of our armed forces were protecting our country, Navient mishandled their loan payments. These types of business practices are unacceptable,” added James Gilbert, Director of the AFL-CIO’s Union Veterans Council and a veteran of the US Navy.

“Navient’s alleged servicing violations are significantly harming its reputation and are jeopardizing its role as a government contractor,” said Heather Slavkin Corzo, Director of the AFL-CIO’s Office of Investment. “Taking financial advantage of soldiers is horrifyingly wrong. The allegations that Navient failed to comply with regulations, if true, pose a real risk to the larger business.”

A copy of the letter can be found at the link below:https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7WDMtzVyAYQSVpjNDBZNVhDYzQ/edit

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Immigration Accountability Executive Action

Immigration rally Nashua 4-6-13 (credit Arnie Alpert)

Today is an important step toward rational and humane enforcement of immigration law. On behalf of America’s workers, we applaud the Administration’s willingness to act.  We have been calling upon the White House to halt unnecessary deportations since Spring 2013 because our broken immigration system is an invitation for employer manipulation and abuse, and U.S.-born workers as well as immigrant workers are paying the price.

By extending relief and work authorization to an estimated 4 million people, the Obama Administration will help prevent unscrupulous employers from using unprotected workers to drive down wages and conditions for all workers in our country.  Although this fix will be temporary, it will allow millions of people to live and work without fear, and afford them the status to assert their rights on the job.

The Administration is operating within its authority to advance the moral and economic interests of our country, and while we stand ready to defend this program, we must also be clear that it is only a first step.  Unfortunately, more than half of those who currently lack legal protections will remain vulnerable to wage theft, retaliation, and other forms of exploitation.

In addition, we are concerned by the President’s concession to corporate demands for even greater access to temporary visas that will allow the continued suppression of wages in the tech sector.  We will actively engage in the rulemaking process to ensure that new workers will be hired based on real labor market need and afforded full rights and protections.

But this announcement does move us forward – progress that is attributable to the courage and determination of immigrants who rallied, petitioned, fasted and blocked streets to make it happen.  Implementation of the executive action should begin immediately, before further delays open the door for legislative obstruction. Starting tomorrow, the administration should focus enforcement attention on high level targets, stop the community raids and leave workers, grandmothers, and schoolchildren in peace.

Going forward, we renew our call for comprehensive reform that provides a path to citizenship and real protections for workers.  We will continue to stand with all workers, regardless of status, to ensure that their voices are heard and their rights are protected.  Working together, we know that we will ultimately achieve a more just immigration system that promotes shared prosperity and respects the dignity of all workers.

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