• Advertisement

Pack A Union Card? Beware The Trump Con Job

AFT Local 1360

Start by taking this three question quiz

1. Who of the following presidential candidates supports “right to work?”

A. presidential candidate Donald Trump

B. newly ex-presidential candidate Ted Cruz

C. both

2. Who said, We hear terrible things about outsourcing jobs—how sending work outside of our companies is contributing to the demise of American businesses. But in this instance I have to take the unpopular stance that it is not always a terrible thing.”

A. Donald Trump

B. Ted Cruz

3. True or false, Donald Trump said, “But I think having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country.”

Jeff Wiggins

Jeff Wiggins

Steelworker Jeff Wiggins of Reidland, Ky., knows the answers are “C” for question 1, “A,” for 2 and “true” for 3.

“Donald Trump is a liar and a con artist,” said Wiggins, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 9447 in Calvert City and president of the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council. “He’ll say anything to get elected, but he is no friend of organized labor.”

Cruz, a tea party-tilting Texas Republican senator, is so blatantly anti-labor that his presidential bid had almost zero support among union members. Bilionaire tycoon Trump is trying to sucker union members into voting for him by demonizing outsourcing, a business practice that unions vehemently oppose.

It looks like a lot of Americans who pack union cards also see Trump for the union-busting grifter that he is. “He preaches hatred of minorities to divide us,” Wiggins said. “He’s also doing everything he can to keep workers at his hotel in Las Vegas from organizing a union.”

Like Wiggins, Mother Jones magazine is on to Trump’s shell game. Before he became a politician, Trump defended oustourcing, the magazine recently pointed out.

Writer Russ Choma quoted a Trump blog from 2005. MJ even provided a screen shot of the blog, which includes the quote in question 2.

“Losing jobs is never a good thing, but we have to look at the bigger picture,” Trump posted.

“Last year, Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. Lawrence R. Klein, the founder of Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates, co-authored a study that showed how global outsourcing actually creates more jobs and increases wages, at least for IT workers. The study found that outsourcing helped companies be more competitive and more productive. That means they make more money, which means they funnel more into the economy, thereby, creating more jobs.”

Trump also parroted the corporate spin that outsourcing was often necessary for a company to survive or thrive, Wren wrote.

“I know that doesn’t make it any easier for people whose jobs have been outsourced overseas, but if a company’s only means of survival is by farming jobs outside its walls, then sometimes it’s a necessary step,” Trump blogged. “The other option might be to close its doors for good.”

Choma noted out that 11 years ago, “there was no fist-pounding about corporations that sent jobs overseas and the politicians who did nothing about it. By the way, at that time, Trump was selling ties and clothing under his Trump Collection line that were manufactured overseas.

“These days, Trump routinely rails against companies that ship jobs to other countries. He says he will no longer buy Carrier equipment or eat Nabisco’s Oreos. And he has blasted Apple for manufacturing its products in China. When did he change his tune on outsourcing? The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.”

Trump put Carrier Corp., front and center in his victorious Hoosier State presidential primary campaign. He never missed a chance to castigate the company for announcing that by next year it would outsource 1,400 jobs from its Indianapolis plant to a Mexican factory, leaving behind only 200 non-union research and development positions, Adam Wren wrote in Politico.

Wren covered a recent March and Rally for Good Jobs at the Indiana capitol building. The scribe reported that the gathering attracted hundreds of Carrier workers from USW Local 1999 who cheered for their presidential choice—Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running as a Democrat.

Wren waded into the crowd, interviewing a dozen workers. None of them supported Trump. All of them characterized him as a phony and they didn’t mince words.

“In all reality, I see Trump as an opportunist,” declared 57-year-old Carrier forklift driver Robert James.

Tay Walker, 52. replied with Trump-like bluntness.  “He’s full of shit,” the Steelworker said of The Donald.

“I don’t think he’s for the people,” said Ron Terry, 60, a 17-year employee in the shipping and receiving department. “He’s for his pockets.”

“He’s a loudmouthed fraud,” maintained Frank Staples, 37, who has worked at Carrier for 11 years.

Staples conceded that “a few people out there” favor Trump. But Wren wrote that by and large, the workers “see in Trump the same kind of corporate greed that led Carrier executives to outsource their own jobs.”

Staples also told Wren: “His own clothes come from China. He’s talking about American workers. There’s 1,400 people losing their jobs at Carrier. He could employ 1,000 people making his clothes. Bring his company to Indiana. Bring something that’s not going to fail to Indiana. Everything he’s ever ran has [fallen]. His airline fell. He got kicked out of his own Miss America pageant. I mean, come on. The Apprentice fell. He’s a reality star.”

Staples can’t imagine any union member wanting to vote for Trump. “You can’t have it both ways,” Wren also quoted him. “He has foreign interests himself, in China, and things of that nature. A few months ago, he made the statement that union workers make too much money. Then all of the sudden, you got an interest in Carrier?”

Staples ridiculed Trump for vowing not to buy Carrier air conditioners, pointing out that Carrier’s Indianapolis factory makes furnaces. 

Wiggins echoes Staples’ charge that Trump is a faker. “If Trump is such a patriot, loves America and cares so much about American jobs, why doesn’t he start making his clothes here instead of in communist China?”

The pro-RTW Trump, who likes a low minimum wage and  is fighting tooth-and-nail against a union at his hotel, figures to split the union vote with his new-found opposition to outsourcing. It’s the same divide-and-conquer strategy the Republicans have been using on organized labor since 1980 when Ronald Reagan trotted out the so-called social issues.

Reagan won votes in 45 percent of union households on his way to becoming the most anti-union president since Herbert Hoover.

“A union member voting for Ronald Reagan would be like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders,” said a sign in a Paducah union hall in 1980. That’s ditto for casting a ballot for The Donald.

UBER’s Sharing Economy Is A New Name For Exploiting Workers

Uber and the “sharing economy” may be the biggest economic lie since “Right to Work.”

The sharing economy is a fraud, a sham, a corporate marketing stunt to get people who believe that by using “on-demand” apps is somehow helping workers and not feeding the greedy capitalistic system.

Webster’s defines the sharing economy as: “Economic activity that involves individuals buying or selling usually temporary access to goods or services especially as arranged through an online company or organization.”

What part of “sharing” means charging a fee for service?

A true sharing economy would be offering free rides to people because you were already going there. Pretty much like a carpool of with your co-workers. Everyone rides together saving money and then rotates the burden of driving between the different riders.

That is not what ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft actually are. These ridesharing apps are using technology to hire a personal driver to take you wherever you need to go. They are a taxicab with a free app to notify the driver you need a ride.

Companies like Uber are actually hurting workers and hurting the economy with these on-demand ridesharing apps. Uber is bypassing years of progress and regulations on the taxicab industry that has helped to protect the passengers and helped to ensure the drivers are paid a living wage.

Most major cities and states have taxicab commissions that regulate the taxi and limousine industry. They ensure that the company properly maintains the cars, they ensure that the company carries the proper commercial car insurance, they ensure that drivers are properly trained, and usually set minimum rates to ensure that all workers are paid decent wage.

As employees of a taxicab company drivers are also able to access employment based benefits like social security, unemployment, vacation time, healthcare, and retirement options.

Uber avoids all of these regulations and employee based benefits by signing up drivers as “independent contractors.” The only requirements Uber has to be an independent driver is that you have a car, a driver’s license and proof of insurance. The driver’s name is also run through a very weak background check before being signed up as a driver that has led to hundreds of reported cases of assault by an Uber and Lyft drivers.

Uber does not verify the condition of the vehicle or ensure that the driver has coverage that would protect a paying passenger in case of an accident. Because Uber drivers are not employees they do not get access to healthcare benefits, retirement, sick or vacation time, social security, and Uber is not required to ensure that workers make at least the state minimum wage per hour.

Some Uber drivers in large cities are making upwards of $20 an hour for full or part time work, but after expenses (insurance, wear and tear on the vehicle, gas, taxes) are factored in, many only average about $10 an hour.

In smaller cities, where the demand for on-demand drivers is far less, drivers are routinely making less than minimum wage after expenses.

Recently the AFL-CIO released its “Statement of Principles On the On-Demand Economy” laying out ways to protect working people in an ever-changing work environment.

“The AFL-CIO is committed to making sure that the on-demand economy leads to better lives for working people,” said AFL-CIO Director of Policy Damon Silvers. “New technologies must not be an excuse for old style injustice. Workers in the on-demand economy, no matter what their titles, must have decent wages and benefits, safety and most of all, a collective voice on the job.”

If you really want to participate in the sharing economy, start a carpool don’t hire an Uber driver, because you are not really helping the driver, you are feeding the greed of capitalism that has exploited workers for hundreds of years.

Still unsure about Uber and it’s effect on our economy. Check out this great video from Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.


Also listen to this excellent podcast from Best of the Left on the sharing economy.

Leo W Gerard: Outlaw Chinese Steel

Forged with the despicable dividend of stolen trade secrets, priced with monopoly collusion, then traded with fraudulent labeling to dodge U.S. duties, steel from China violates every principle of capitalism. That’s in addition to defying both U.S. and international trade laws.

It’s outlaw steel. And last week, U.S. Steel Corp. asked the U.S. government to outlaw its import.

U.S. Steel requested this unusual intervention after China hacked into its computers, ripped off trade secrets, then used those secrets to directly compete with U.S. Steel in the American market. China is flooding the international market with excess, government-subsidized steel. That is closing mills and killing jobs from South Africa to Great Britain to North America. The United States can choose to ignore this. It can become a weakling, reliant on other nations for steel, including some, like China, that clearly are not allies. Or, the United States can act now, as U.S. Steel demands, to secure America’s industrial strength and independence.


Graph showing Chinese steel exports rising while prices declining. Source: U.S. Steel pleading


U.S. Steel is the largest integrated steel company headquartered in the United States. Integrated means that it does everything from mine ore, convert iron to steel and finish steel into sheets and plates and beams. Last year, it lost $1.5 billion, even as it slashed costs by closing operations in Fairfield, Ala.; Gary, Ind.; Keewatin, Minn.; and Granite City, Ill., and furloughing more than 5,000 blue and white-collar workers.

As U.S. Steel’s petition to outlaw steel imports from China explains, there’s no amount of cost-cutting American steel companies could do to keep up with the illegal activity that’s supporting the steel industry in China.

The petition puts the racketeering in three categories.  There’s price fixing conducted through a government-established cartel called the China Iron and Steel Association. There was the theft of trade secrets that took U.S. Steel a decade to develop. And there is a scheme to duck U.S. trade duties imposed on Chinese steel involving shipping the steel to another country, such as Malaysia, and claiming it was produced there.

The petition to outlaw imports starts to read like a spy novel when it gets to the part describing the scam that Chinese steel distributors established to elude American duty payments.

Investigators knew something was fishy with Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam because steel shipments from these countries spiked after 2009 when the United States imposed duties on a certain type of steel pipe, Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) from China.

In 2009, none of these countries shipped more than 5,000 metric tons of OCTG to the United States. But the following year, Taiwan suddenly sent 50,000 metric tons. By 2012, Vietnam shipped 200,000 metric tons.

Straw buyers started talking to distributors of steel from China and got some fascinating responses. It’s all documented in the U.S. Steel pleading to the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The straw buyers asked the steel distributor for a price, then expressed concern that the quote was too high. The distributor would then offer to lower the price by duping U.S. customs officials by routing the steel through a country like Indonesia or Malaysia or Thailand, where the steel would be marked as made there – sometimes without ever leaving the original ship. That was the cheapest option.

The straw buyer would ask for documentation that the steel actually was produced by a specific company in China. The distributor often would offer to email the straw buyer a certificate from the company in China.  That, U.S. Steel asserts, means the companies in China were in on the scam.

U.S. Steel’s petition includes copies of the email offers. Here’s a sample:

“We load the casings from China mainland, and deliver to port Klang, Malaysia. Then our agent will reloaded the casing into new containers, to transport to H[o]uston. Meanwhile, they will change the documents in the name of one exporting company in Malaysia. Also they will issue the certificate of origin to certify the casings are from Malaysia origin. Thus, there will no high anti dumping duty for the customer.”

It’s not just one example. This is not a piddling case. The document includes nine instances of distributors offering to falsify documents and “trans-ship” for some of the largest steel companies in China including Baosteel, Hebei, Ansteel, Shandong, Wuhan, Shougang and Benxi.

The largest of these companies operate with the benefit of state-imposed collusion. The U.S. Steel petition describes how the government established the China Iron and Steel Association and required the biggest companies to participate. Its purpose is to help companies control the price of raw materials, share cost and capacity information and regulate prices, including prices of products exported to the United States. All of this, of course, enables them to destroy competitors.

If this sounds like a bunch of U.S. railroad and oil magnates sitting in smoke-filled rooms establishing monopolies before the Sherman Antitrust Act was passed in 1890, that’s exactly what it’s like. And that’s exactly why U.S. Steel says China’s monopoly steel should be blocked at the border. Commodities manufactured in connection with a Sherman Act conspiracy may be denied entry into the United States.


Chart shows allegations in U.S. Steel filing against specific Chinese companies. 

Then, of course, there’s the outright theft of trade secrets from U.S. Steel by the government of China. Throughout 2010, the Chinese government subjected U.S. Steel to cyber-attacks. Then in 2011, government hackers in China hijacked information from U.S. Steel on advanced high-strength steel used in the auto industry.

Companies in China had been unable to develop this technology and were under pressure from their domestic car companies to get it. So their government stole it for them. After the theft, one of the largest steel companies in China, Baosteel, used the trade secrets to produce the specialized steel and export it to the United States in direct competition with U.S. Steel.

Two years ago, the U.S. government criminally charged five Chinese military officials with economic espionage and other offenses for hacking into the computers at U.S. Steel. In addition, the government indicted the Chinese military officials with stealing trade secrets from the computers of the United Steelworkers (USW), Allegheny Technologies, Alcoa, Westinghouse Electric and SolarWorld.

China wants to maintain civil peace and high employment by running its mills at rates that could not be sustained in a country that must worry about markets and profits. China will do anything to continue that. When duties were imposed because of China’s illegal subsidies, it contrived “trans-shipping” to defraud duty collectors. To kill competitors, it formed a cartel. When it couldn’t match quality, it stole secrets. There’s no way to stop this but to stop all of it. The United States needs a vibrant steel sector for economic and national security. Outlaw Chinese steel.

Thursday May 5th, March For A Raise And Rally With Low Wage Workers In Fight For $15

Workers protest poverty wages. Image by )OFL communications FLIKR)

Workers protest poverty wages. Image by (OFL communications FLIKR)

March for a raise!

The minimum wage has not been raised since 2008. Full-time workers earning $7.25 are below the poverty line if they are supporting just one other person. Anyone who’s willing to work full time should not live in poverty!

On Thursday May 5th, we will march in Concord to call for better wages. We will gather in the NH DOT lot on Hazen Drive at 4 PM. People will tell us about their experiences as low-wage workers, and then we will walk up Hazen Drive, turn right at East Side Drive, walk down to Loudon Road and come back to where we started.

Please join us!

Questions? Call Cindy at 435-7552. Thanks!

NH House Labor Committe SB 416: Non-Retaliation for Flexible Work Schedule Requests

Bipartisan vote guards against retaliation for employees who request a flexible work schedule for child care or to take care of an elderly or disabled family member, among other things

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire House Labor Committee voted 13-5 today to pass SB 416, a bill that guards against retaliation for employees who request a flexible work schedule for child care or to take care of an elderly or disabled family member, among other things. Amended and passed in the Senate, SB 416 simply states it is against the law for an employer to retaliate against an employee for requesting a flexible work schedule.

“Currently if an employee asks an employer about flexibility in their schedule they have no obligation to consider that request, and there is nothing that stops them from retaliating because the employee asked,” said Kary Jencks, executive director for NH Citizens Alliance. “SB 416 encourages employers and employees to have an open and direct conversation when scheduling needs arise. This could be coming in 30 minutes early so you can leave in time for your child’s soccer game, or regularly adjusting your schedule for pick up or drop off times for children or elderly or disabled family members.  This bill will help with worker retention, worker productivity, and expand opportunity for all workers, especially women.”

“Forty-seven percent of New Hampshire’s workforce are women, the majority of whom are of sound reproductive age who due to family life may need at certain times in their career to request a flexible work arrangement without fear of being fired from their job,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress Education Fund.  “The same legislators who voted against this bill in committee are the ones who voted against access to reproductive health care, including birth control, and who oppose opportunities to raise wages for workers. These politicians stand in the way of women by making it harder for them to decide when and if to start a family, and by opposing policies that ensure they have the economic stability and family friendly workplace policies to thrive if they do. We applaud the majority of the committee for supporting SB 416.”

The prime sponsor of SB 416 is Senator Dan Feltes, (D-Concord). Co-sponsors include Sen. D’Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Kelly, Dist 10; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Woodburn, Dist 1; Rep. LeBrun, Hills. 32; Rep. Webb, Rock. 6; Rep. Rosenwald, Hills. 30; Rep. Luneau, Merr. 10; and Rep. Gile, Merr. 27. The Senate previously passed the amended version of SB 416 by a roll call vote of 13-10.

The Stand With Women or Stand in the Way campaign of NH Citizens Alliance and Granite State Progress Education Fund believes that instead of protecting outdated workplace policies that discriminate against women and limiting reproductive rights, our priority in New Hampshire should be to guarantee fair opportunities for women to succeed and to take care of their families.

This 3 Minute Video Shows The Importance Of Buying Made In USA Products

VIDEO: Why Made In The USA Is Better For
Our Economy And Our Health

Buying imported goods is not only bad for the economy, it can be dangerous to you and your families health. Watch this video to learn why you need to start buying only products labeled Made In The USA. This is not a scare video or an overly dramatic piece, this is a fact filled video that will get you questioning your reliance on foreign made goods. By buying imports, you are not only helping to destroy jobs and harm the economy but you are inviting poisons and toxic mercantile into your environment.

This manufacturing video takes that subject and breaks it down category by category, using undeniable facts and figures to present their case. Remember when products used to last a lifetime and everything was not considered disposable? Liberty Tabletop does and they are encouraging American consumer to bring back that prosperous time by carefully choosing just where their dollars are spent and where those dollars are ending up.

#DenyNAI: New Legislation To Stop Norwegian Air International From Undercutting Labor Laws

Image by Viaggio Routard FLIKR CC

Image by Viaggio Routard FLIKR CC

Congressional Representatives From Both Sides Of The Aisle, Introduce Legislation To Deny NAI’s Application To The DOT.

Today, Congress took a big step forward in protecting American workers and upholding our nations trade agreements, by introducing legislation to stop Norwegian Air International (NAI) from skirting international labor laws as they attempt to expand in the U.S.

NAI, is based in Norway, but the airline is incorporated in Ireland. This is called a “flag of convenience.” It allows NAI to avoid paying taxes in their home country and allows them to avoid strong labor laws in U.S – European Air Transport agreement.

“Norwegian Air International (NAI) and its attempt to launch a flag-of-convenience airline has once again drawn a strong bipartisan rebuke from lawmakers who have long held that our government should not give operating authority to foreign airlines that violate our trade rules and threaten U.S. airline jobs,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD).

“Norwegian Air International specifically set up operations in Ireland to avoid labor laws in Norway—a flagrant violation of the labor provisions in the agreement. We implore swift action by all lawmakers to get this legislation adopted in order to uphold labor protections in trade deals, protect good aviation jobs, and ensure the safest aviation system in the world,” said Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA).

“As the Norwegian Air saga continues to rear its ugly head, we are grateful to the members of Congress who stand up against this bogus proposal with commonsense legislation that protects good jobs and fair competition. This bill would fight the Department of Transportation’s effort to allow airlines to flout labor standards in order to pad their bottom lines. It sends a message to any company looking to operate in the United States: if you don’t care about working people, you aren’t welcome here,” wrote the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

In order for NAI to expand operations in the U.S. they would first need DOT approval. On April 15, the DOT tentatively approved NAI’s application.

“The Machinists Union applauds Congress for acting to stop the Department of Transportation’s ill-conceived decision to pave the way for NAI’s entry into the US aviation market. Any airline that registers its aircraft in foreign countries with lax safety and security standards and ‘rents’ its cabin crews from countries with no labor laws to lower costs shouldn’t be welcome in the United States,” said IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja.

“Make no mistake: NAI’s scheme to gain entry into the US aviation market will unleash downward pressure on the wages, benefits and working conditions of airline workers here in the United States and cause airline workers to lose their jobs. That is unacceptable,” added Pantoja.

“NAI is a model for corporate practices that depress wages and diminish collective bargaining rights. It will contract—or more accurately ‘rent’— its flight crews through a recruitment firm based in Asia, which operates according to inferior labor laws. In doing so, NAI will be able to abuse weak labor protections to undercut U.S. airlines and their employees with significantly lower compensation and benefits,” added TWU.

Today, Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) introduced the bill, HR 5090, to deny NAI’s application.

Watch Rep DeFaszio on why we should Deny NAI’s application.

Congressman Larson said that allowing NAI to violate international labor laws would “reward countries that break their commitments to protecting workers.”

“My colleagues and I have been clear with DOT that strong labor standards must factor into NAI’s air carrier permit decision. Today, we are introducing legislation that would prohibit DOT from issuing a permit to NAI if doing so would undermine labor standards,” Congressman Larsen said. “Granting an air carrier permit to NAI would say to the world that the U.S. rewards other countries that break their commitments to protecting workers. Our agreements with other countries are only as strong as our ability and willingness to enforce them, which is why I am pushing hard for the U.S. to hold other countries accountable for their end of the deal.”

After the bill was introduced, leaders from the major aviation unions praised their swift action in stopping NAI’s application.

“ALPA commends Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) for standing up for U.S. airline workers and introducing bipartisan legislation that will prevent Norwegian Air International from serving the United States with a business plan that is designed to undermine labor standards and the intent of one of this country’s international trade agreements,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA’s president.

“We applaud the immediate action of Representatives Peter DeFazio, Frank LoBiondo, Rick Larsen, Lynn Westmoreland to stop this downward spiral on U.S. aviation and good jobs,” added Nelson.

“This legislation is a timely response to the DOT’s April 15 Show Cause Order that moves NAI closer to gaining access to U.S. markets. We criticized that decision because we know that NAI’s business model blatantly violates the labor provisions negotiated into the U.S.-EU aviation trade accord. Inexplicably, the DOT ignored the strict international labor standards it negotiated into U.S.-EU agreement and now faces a final decision on whether it will enforce the labor article or greenlight this low-road air carrier whose operating plan will destroy fair competition and extinguish middle-class airline jobs here and in Europe,” added Wytkind.

“The legislation introduced today requires our government to fully enforce the labor protections in aviation trade agreements it negotiates, and makes it clear that a decision by DOT to permit NAI to launch air service to U.S. markets will not stand. We urge the DOT to reassess the compelling facts in this case, reverse course and deny NAI’s application,” Wytkind concluded.

Terry O’Sullivan: The Cost of Going to Work Should Never Be Death or Injury

(Terry O'Sullivan is the General President of the Laborers International Union of North America - LiUNA)

(Terry O’Sullivan is the General President of the Laborers International Union of North America – LiUNA)

As the April 28th Workers Memorial Day commemoration approaches, we can proudly highlight what we can accomplish when we have the best training programs and the right safety regulations in place.

Nationwide, workplace deaths and injuries have trended dramatically downward. For example, in 1970, 38 workers died from workplace-related causes each day. In 2014, the most recent statistic available, that number fell to 13. Workplace-related illnesses and injuries have fallen as well, from 10.9 incidents for every 100 workers to 3.2 incidents per 100 workers.

It’s good news, but not good enough. Despite our progress, the fact remains that 750 workers are expected to lose their lives this year on construction jobsites. Injuries resulting in lost work time are expected to number 75,000.

Let’s honor the brothers and sisters we have lost by commemorating Workers Memorial Day and saying loudly and clearly that the cost of going to work each day should never be death or injury on the job. I invite every LIUNA member to help send this message by joining a week-long conversation about safety for workers on LIUNA’s Facebook page starting on April 25.

As union workers, we know that with the proper safety training, effective temp-post-imagesafety programs on jobsites and a workforce free to speak out about hazards, most deaths and injuries are preventable. That’s why we make training and safety programs a cornerstone of union construction sites. In fact, according to a University of Michigan study, states with high union membership have construction fatality rates 50 percent lower than states with low union membership.

We still have work to do to reduce risks ranging from traffic hazards in highway work zones, to the lack of fall prevention on building construction sites, to inadequate safety equipment to prevent illnesses that are all too common in our industry.

As we approach Workers Memorial Day, let’s build on our accomplishments and fight for safe jobs so that every worker returns safely home at the end of a workday.

Learn more at www.liuna.org/tmo

AFLCIO Announces Support Of BCTGM Boycott Of Mexican-Made Nabisco Products

Campaign encourages Americans to “Check the Label” in support of American jobs by purchasing only those Nabisco products made in America

 SocialMedia_BoycottSimpleKENSINGTON, Md., April 27, 2016 – Today, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) – which represents nearly 4,000 members at Mondelēz International, maker of Nabisco snack products – announced that the national AFL-CIO has officially endorsed its nationwide consumer boycott of Nabisco snack products made in Mexico.

The “Check the Label” campaign was launched to stop Nabisco/Mondelēz from continuing to outsource jobs, by urging American consumers to reject Mexican-made Nabisco products and, instead, buy those that are produced in America in support of middle-class American jobs.

The AFL-CIO’s endorsement is a watershed moment in BCTGM’s boycott movement, as it adds 12.5 million members in 56 affiliated national and international unions, as well as their families and their local and extended communities across the United States and the globe.

BCTGM International President David B. Durkee, stated, “BCTGM is proud to have the support of our 12.5 million Brothers and Sisters of the AFL-CIO who share our profound dismay that Nabisco/Mondelēz is asking American workers to give up 60 percent of their wages and benefits – amounting to $46 million per year in perpetuity – or have their jobs shipped to Mexico. The AFL-CIO’s backing sends the strongest signal yet that American workers and consumers will not stand idly by while Americans lose their jobs.  Most immediately, we believe that the endorsement lends substantial and sustainable support to our “Check the Label” campaign, aimed at supporting American jobs by ensuring consumers’ favorite Nabisco products are produced in America before purchasing.”

SocialMedia_3StepsBCTGM launched the “Check the Label” campaign after Nabisco/Mondelēz closed numerous U.S. production facilities, costing many hundreds of American jobs, while at the same time expanding production in its facilities in Monterrey and Salinas, Mexico, where pay is so low that the minimum wage is measured by the day, not the hour. BCTGM is sending teams of the laid-off workers around the country, focusing on large urban areas, to enhance support for the boycott and continue to expand its coalition.

The National contract between Mondelēz International and more than 2,000 of its 4,000 workers represented by the BCTGM, expired on February 29, 2016. BCTGM continues to be resolute in its commitment to securing a quality contract for its members – one that is in the very best interests of all members and their families today and into the future.

The full text of the AFL-CIO endorsement includes the following:

The AFL-CIO has approved your request to include Mondelēz International on the list of AFL-CIO national boycotts. Specifically, the boycott will apply to all Mondelēz International snack food products that are labeled “Made in Mexico,” including Oreos, Newtons, Chips Ahoy, Honey Grahams, Animal Crackers, Ritz Crackers, Premium, Belvita, Lorna Doane, Teddy Grahams, Honey Maid, and Wheat Thins.

In accordance with the policy on boycott endorsements adopted by the AFL-CIO Executive Council, the federation will maintain the “Made in Mexico” snack products of Mondelēz International on its published boycott list for up to one year from the date of endorsement unless your union requests an earlier termination of the listing. At the end of the year, you may request to have the company included on the list for another 12 months.

The AFL-CIO and the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department will post this product line to the list on their websites and Union Label Letter publication.

For more information about the “Check the Label” campaign, please watch this informational video.



150 Workers Die Every Day From Preventable Workplace Injuries And Illnesses

150 workers die every day AFLCIO
(Washington, DC, April 27, 2016)More than 4,820 workers were killed on the job in 2014, according to a new report by the AFL-CIO. Additionally an estimated 50,000-60,000 died from occupational diseases, resulting in a daily loss of nearly 150 workers from preventable workplace injuries and illnesses.

“Working people should not have to risk their lives to make a living and support their families,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Yet every day, millions of Americans are forced to work with little to no safety protections while big businesses and corporations profit off our lives.”  

Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, marks the 25th year the AFL-CIO has publishednational findings on the safety and health conditions for working people.Among other findings:

  • The report calls attention to an increase in fatalities among older workers.
  • The states with the highest fatality rates were Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota and Mississippi.
  • In 2014, 804 Latino workers lost their lives on the job and the fatality rate for Latino workers remains higher than the national rate.
  • Workplace violence injuries, particularly among women workers in health care, is a serious problem. The workplace violence injury rate has increased by 60% over the past five years, while the overall job injury rate has declined.

Oversight of job safety and health conditions remains weak and is getting worse in certain ways.  OSHA can now inspect a workplace on average only once every 145 years, compared with once every 84 years in 1992, when the AFL-CIO issued its first report. The average penalty for serious violations last year was only $2,148 and the median penalty for worker deaths was only $7,000.

DOTJ16_fb4b_UnionDensityStatesSafer“We have made important progress, including winning new OSHA silica standards to protect workers from deadly dust,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “But as this report shows, too many employers are cutting corners and workers are paying the highest price. We must keep working for stronger laws and enforcement to hold employers accountable, until all working people are safe on the job.” said Trumka.

Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect is being released in conjunction withWorkers Memorial Day when vigils, rallies, and actions are being held across the country to remember workers killed and injured on the job. The report can be found online here: aflcio.org/death-on-the-job.


  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 180 other subscribers

  • Advertisement