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Trump Nominates Fast Food CEO As Sec of Labor And House Labor Committe Chair Implies Unions Are Obsolete

Image by Chris Potter ccpixs.com

Image by Chris Potter ccpixs.com

As if this incoming train-wreck we call President-Elect Trump is not bad enough two more horrible things happened last night.

First, Trump is considering the head of a fast food chain as his new Secretary of Labor.

Second, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the newly elected chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce said we don’t need unions anymore.

The Hill is reporting that President-Elect Trump is considering Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor.

Puzder is a CEO of CKE Restaurants (Carls Jr / Hardees) and is an outspoken opponent of President Obama’s changes to the overtime rule, “claiming it will force employers to offset costs by making cuts elsewhere.”

“In an op-ed that ran in Forbes in May, Puzder said the rule adds to the ‘extensive regulatory maze the Obama Administration has imposed on employers.’”

As the head of a multi-national fast food chain with over 20,000 employees Puzder has also used his position to advocate against raising the minimum wage. He has threatened to fire workers and replace them with automated kiosks if the government increases the minimum wage. A threat that many fast food corporations have been using to counter the Fight for $15 movement.

Puzder will say anything to protect CKE’s profits that rose by 30% last year and his $4.4 million dollar compensation package.

According to PayScale.com the average fast food worker makes between $7.24 and $9.92 per hour. This means that Andrew Puzder makes more in one day ($17.250) that the average Carls Jr. worker make in a year.

Coincidentally, 52% of full-time workers who make between $7.42 and $9.91 must rely on some type of government assistance to survive. People like Savino, who works 72 hours a week, at a Brooklyn grocery store and still doesn’t make enough to get by.

“Sometimes things are so bad that I have to decide—should I pay rent this month, or should I eat?” said Savino.

“When employers pay wages so low that working people have to turn to public assistance to make ends meet, they’re effectively receiving a subsidy from taxpayers,” said EPI economic analyst David Cooper. “Policies that raise wages would free up resources that could then be used to strengthen anti-poverty programs or make investments in any number of other policy priorities. The simplest way we can do this is by raising the federal minimum wage.”

Within the next few months we could have a new Secretary of Labor who opposes raising the minimum wage and we could have a Labor Committee chair that says unions are obsolete.

Representative Virginia Foxx told Reuters “Organized labor has ‘sort of lost its reason for being’ and one of her committee’s top priorities will be to roll back a slew of Obama administration labor initiatives.”

“At the top of her agenda is the U.S. Labor Department rule that would extend mandatory overtime pay to more than 4 million workers” wrote Robert Iafolla for Reuters.

What a strange coincidence, that is exactly what the potential Sec. of Labor wants to do as well.

Foxx is also targeting the NLRB decision on “joint employment.” This is the rule that “could make it easier for unions and regulators to hold companies accountable for the employment practices of staffing agencies, contractors and franchisees with which they partner. That issue has been most prominently in play in a case involving McDonald’s Corp over whether it, as well as its franchisees, can be held liable in complaints about the violation of employee rights,” Iafolla explained.

The change to the “joint employment” rule is to stem the growing trend of hiring workers as “independent contractors” to avoid having to pay any benefits or be held responsible for any labor or safety violations. This would also hold corporations accountable for the actions of their franchisees.

Together, Puzder and Foxx will put a massive target on the backs of working people. They want to undo all of the progress we have made in the fights to raise the minimum wage and expand workers rights.

Now, more than ever, we need to come together to push back against this anti-worker agenda. We must fight back against the oligarchs that President-Elect Trump is filling his Cabinet with. We cannot sit idly by while the super-wealthy reap all the rewards from our hard work. We need to keep organizing and redouble our efforts in the Fight for $15.

We are all in this together.

We still are the 99% and we must make our voices heard.

A New Report On ‘The Wage Gap’ Show More Problems Than Just Equal Pay For Equal Work

Today, the national survey group PayScale.com just released a massive new report on the Gender Wage Gap. The Wage Gap is the difference between what men and women are paid on average. The report surveyed upwards of 1.8 million people to gather the best and broadest cross-section of workers.

The results showed many similarities to data gathered from other researchers. Overall they found that the wage gap shrank slightly to 23.7% in 2016 from 25.6% in 2015.

To be clear this is just the raw data. PayScale.com took the average of all the male workers and compared them to the average of female workers and found that women made on average 23.7% less than men.

uncontrolled-wage-gapThis image shows the wage gap state-by-state.

The data analysts at Payscale did not stop there. They dug much deeper into their own data to find some very interesting results. They started by controlling for factors like education and years of experience to find out if women are actually paid equally for equal work.

“Using our proprietary compensation algorithm, we are able to estimate a controlled median pay for females by adjusting for outside compensable factors across gender (years of experience, education, company size, management responsibilities, skills, and more), and calculate the difference in pay between similar men and women working the same jobs,” said Katie Bardaro, Lead Economist and VP of Data Analytics, PayScale.

When they controlled for these specific items they found that the wage gap shrank dramatically to 2.4% nationally. This means that even women working in the same job, with the same level of education, the same level of experience are still being paid 2.4% less than men in the same jobs.

PayScales data shows that some states are better than others when it comes to equal pay for equal work. For example, Connecticut has a controlled wage gap of just 0.4% while Louisiana has a controlled wage gap of 7.0%. Again, this means a woman in Louisiana is paid 7% less than a man in the same job with the same level of experience and education.

controlled-wage-gapThis image shows a state-by-state breakdown of the wage gap after being controlled.

At first I was confused by these results. The data clearly shows that there definitely is a wage gap but not nearly as much when compared job-to-job.

So why is there a 23% wage gap overall and a controlled wage gap of 2.4%? PayScale’s data also revealed some intriguing answers to that question.

PayScale found that 18% of women overall reported being passed up for a promotion or a pay raise because of their gender compared to only 3% of men.

The problem is even worse for women with higher levels of education. The data shows that 35% of women with an MBA said they have been passed up for a raise or promotion because of their gender.

gender-raise-by-education

PayScale also broke down the percentage of women who have been passed up for raises and promotion by state. Utah topped the list with nearly 30% of female respondents saying they have been passed up for a raise or promotion.

passed-up-data-state-by-state

PayScale also found that women are less likely to get higher-level, higher-paying jobs.

“As workers age, men become significantly more likely to enter into management roles, with men being 25 percent more likely than women to be in management roles mid-career (age 35-40) and over 41 percent more likely late career (age 60-65),” said Bardaro. “The differences become starker as we move from mid- to upper-management.”

“Though the percentages are roughly the same for Managers/Supervisors and Directors, men are 85 percent more likely than women to be VPs or C-Suite Execs mid-career, and 171 percent more likely late in the career,” Bardaro added.

individual-contributor-levelmanagement-levelexecutive-level

Though it appears we as a nation have made great progress in closing the wage gap between men and women in equal job levels there are still serious systemic problems that create a much larger wage gap for women. Because women are still being passed over for raises and executive level promotions the overall wage gap will continue to plague working women for years to come.  To truly address the wage gap we need to also address the systemic gender discrimination that prohibits women from rising up the economic ladder.


One more bit of data I think should be mentioned. When controlled for education and job type one industry has virtually eliminated the wage gap.  Nationally the Wage Gap is 2.4% but among those in “Education Services” the gap is .6%.

Could it be because they workforce is predominantly female? Could it be because they have strong union contracts that ensure pay equity for years of experience and education levels?  Could it be because more and more women are taking higher administration jobs?

The answer to all of the above questions is YES.  Strong unions, a diversified workforce and upward mobility lead to the elimination of the wage gap.

NATCA Congratulates DOT Secretary Nominee Elaine Choa And House Transportation Chairman Shuster

Last week, President-Elect Trump nominated Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation.  Chao is the former Department of Labor Secretary and is well versed in the transportation industry as the heiress to a massive shipping corporation.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) seem to be optimistic that they will be able to work with Sec. Chao.

“We congratulate Secretary Chao on her nomination,” NATCA said. 

“We look forward to working with Secretary Chao to continue the tremendously successful collaborative relationship we’ve built with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation over the last eight years. That collaboration has yielded progress in modernizing the system and positive results for the American people.”

NATCA also praised the return of Representative Bill Shuster to his position as Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee.

“We extend our congratulations to Chairman Shuster for his selection to return as Chairman. NATCA has worked well with the Chairman and his staff and we look forward to continuing that relationship.

“In his role as Chairman, Shuster has led Congressional efforts to ensure the modernization of the National Airspace System  continues. He has also taken important steps to help address the air traffic controller staffing crisis and to help provide funding for the NAS.

“Chairman Shuster understands well the economic value of our NAS. It sustains nearly 12 million jobs and contributes $1.5 trillion to the United States Gross Domestic Product. The Chairman also values the contributions controllers and aviation safety professionals represented by NATCA make in keeping it moving.

“We look forward to continuing the tremendously successful collaborative relationship we’ve built with members on both sides of the aisle in the coming Congress. That collaboration has yielded progress in modernizing the system and positive results for the American people. However, there is more work to be done. The NAS does not have a stable, predictable funding stream and this uncertainty has caused many serious problems for the system. NATCA is prepared to collaborate with all aviation stakeholders to achieve the stable, predictable funding stream necessary to ensure that the United States remains the world leader in aviation,” NATCA concluded. 

Last year, Chairman Shuster pushed for a bill, supported by NATCA, that would remove portions of Federal Aviation Administration from the federal budget and create a not-for-profit self sustaining agency to overcome the unpredictable funding and government shutdowns that has plagued the entire federal government over the last decade.

The idea for this self funded agency came from other governmental aviation agencies around the world, including our neighbors to the north, whose aviation agency is called NavCanada.

Shuster and NATCA received opposition to this proposal as workers fear that Republicans are trying to privatize the Air Traffic Control system.  NATCA has made it clear that they only support this “not-for-profit model” that protects the labor and working rights of all of the current employees.

In a recent article, Chairman Shuster said that President-Elect Trump was supportive of Shuster’s proposal for a self-funded agency and will be working out the details in the coming months.

Leo W Gerard: Fire Ants Killed The TPP

The defeat of the TPP is a tale of ants slaying a dragon.

It seemed a fearsome task, challenging the powerful behemoth that is Wall Street, Big Pharma, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Big Ag, Big Oil, all their lobbyists, and all the Congress critters they’d “campaign-financed” to support their money-grubbing 12-country trade scheme.

The battle was engaged, though, for the sake of workers’ rights, clean air and water, food safety, reasonably priced pharmaceuticals, national sovereignty, internet freedom, financial regulation, public control of public lands, the right of governments to pass laws for the public good without corporations suing for so-called lost profits in secret tribunals adjudicated by hand-picked corporate jurists, and the freedom of local governments to buy American-made products for taxpayer financed projects to create American jobs. And, frankly, so much more.  For a righteous, just and equitable society. That’s why there were so many ants.

Literally thousands of civil society groups coalesced to combat the TPP. These included labor unions, health care organizations, food safety advocates, environmentalists, churches, family farmers, social justice societies, indigenous rights organizations and allied groups in the 12 TPP partner countries. My union, the United Steelworkers, was among them. It was an overwhelming number of groups with an overwhelming number of members who conducted an overwhelming number of events over years to make it clear to lawmakers just how strongly citizens opposed the TPP.

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USW members at a 2016 anti-TPP rally in Washington, D.C. organized by the USW Rapid Response Department. Photo are by Steve Dietz of Sharper Image Studios

It began slowly with warnings about the secret negotiation process itself. Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign, which was instrumental in organizing the collaborative action against the TPP, said groups started telling politicians early on that they weren’t going to tolerate another NAFTA. No one listened. As a result, he wrote:

“. . .first thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands and then literally millions of Americans signed letters and petitions urging the Obama administration and Congress to abandon TPP negotiations that gave corporate lobbyists a seat at the table, while keeping the public in the dark.”

Let me tell you about the fire ant. They mostly live in mounds. If an animal steps on the mound, the ants will attack. A few ants are irritating. A bunch are annoying. Half a million fierce fire ants with tiny venomous stingers working together can kill a 10-pound animal. That’s what happened to the TPP.

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USW members at a 2016 anti-TPP rally in Washington, D.C. organized by the USW Rapid Response Department. Photo by Steve Dietz of Sharper Image Studios

The anti-TPP forces conducted call-in days that resulted in hundreds of thousands of calls to Congressmen and women. When Congress was weighing whether to fast track the TPP, in other words to approve it without even bothering to amend it to fix it, the anti-TPP forces conducted an encampment on Capitol Hill for three weeks. This, and many other anti-TPP demonstrations, occurred a year before either party chose its presidential nominee.

The USW Rapid Response, Legislative and Political departments worked with USW members to send to Congress more than 350,000 postcards protesting the TPP. USW members met with their Senators and Congressmen 1,500 times this year to oppose the deal. They held rallies, demonstrations, town hall meetings and even rock concerts to inform their communities about the problems with the TPP. They conducted large rallies and other events in Washington, D.C. They built support with their state legislatures and local governments, persuading cities and towns across the country to pass resolutions officially opposing the TPP.

And that’s only what the USW did. The AFL-CIO was an important leader on this issue. And many other unions were just as active, and so were groups like the Sierra Club and the BlueGreen Alliance. The effort was relentless and concerted. And that’s why it was successful.

For the USW, this win was a long time coming. It began 22 years ago when the USW took on NAFTA. The union filed a federal lawsuit trying to overturn that scheme. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court refused to hear it, and the USW lost. Workers continue to suffer devastation from NAFTA today, as manufacturers close profit-making American factories and re-open them across the border in Mexico where greedy corporations can make even more profit by destroying the environment and paying slave wages then shipping the goods duty free back to the United States.

For example, Carrier announced in February that it would close two profit-making factories in Indiana and reopen them in Mexico. The result is 2,100 workers, members of the USW, will lose their good, family-supporting jobs.

That’s NAFTA. That’s a trade deal negotiated by corporations for corporations. After that came Permanent Normalized Trade Relations with China in 2000. The USW strongly protested that as well, because the union believed none of the hype about how China was a huge market, and the United States was going to do all of the selling there.

As it turns out, the USW was right. China has relentlessly dumped government-subsidized products on the American market, baldly defying the international trade laws it agreed to abide by when it signed that agreement in 2000. That has devastated companies that want to manufacture in America, including steel, aluminum, paper and tires producers. These manufacturers have repeatedly had to pay untold millions to file trade cases to obtain limited relief in the form of tariffs, and tens of thousands of workers have paid in the terrible form of lost jobs.

The USW has protested virtually every so-called free trade scheme proposed since NAFTA, most particularly those with Korea and Colombia. In the case of Colombia, where more trade unionists were murdered than in any other country in the world, we asked for a delay in approval of the deal at least until safety for collective bargaining could be assured. We were ignored. And more trade unionists have been murdered every year since the deal took effect.

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Image from the Rock Against the TPP concert in Pittsburgh and is by Chelsey Engel, writer, photographer, singer.

Photo are by Steve Dietz of Sharper Image Studios

Photo are by Steve Dietz of Sharper Image Studios

Then came the massive, hulking dragon of a TPP, the likes and size of which had never been seen before. This time, the corporatists really stepped in it. This time it wasn’t just a few angry trade unionists stinging their ankles. This time the self-dealing free traders had pissed off far too many civil society groups. And they were organized. And they weren’t going to take it anymore.

It’s not over, though. None of us oppose trade. We just want trade deals that, as economist Jared Bernstein and trade law expert Lori Wallach put it, are “written for all the cars on the road, not just the Lamborghinis.” For that to happen, all the groups that protested this deal must be at the table to negotiate the next deal – not just the corporations. The Lamborghinis are one interest group. We are many.

When I was a kid, Frank Sinatra sang a song called High Hopes, and the most famous verse was this:

“Just what makes that little old ant

Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant

Anyone knows an ant, can’t

Move a rubber tree plant.”

No ant can move a rubber tree plant. But let me tell you, a couple million ants just killed a TPP monster. There’s high hope in concerted action.

Federal Unions Vow To Continue Fighting For Workers After Trump’s Election Win

Millions of Americans are still reeling from the results of the Presidential election.  All but one of the federal unions endorsed Clinton in the Presidential election and are continuing their efforts in spite of the heartbreaking loss.

American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) members have been fighting the Republican controlled Congress and their attacks on federal workers.  AFGE has spoken out against cuts to the VA and repealing members right to due process.

AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. vowed to continue fighting for workers rights and the protection of government services.

“The American people have spoken and elected Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. As public servants, federal employees work for the American people and will continue to carry out the missions of their agencies under the Constitution and law.

“AFGE will continue to fight for workers’ rights and for the programs and services government employees deliver for the American people. That never changes no matter who sits in the White House.

“We ‎will work with the Trump administration on areas of common ground, as we have with every administration for generations. AFGE remains the leading advocate on behalf of the federal workforce and the incredible service provided to our nation by the dedicated civil servants we represent.”

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) have also been outspoken in their opposition to cuts in the federal budget that have forced employee furloughs and government shutdowns.

NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert pledge to continue to work toward a stable funding system for the National Airspace System that would remove the threat of forced closures and provide the agency the ability needed to address critical staffing issues.

NATCA remains cautiously optimistic that they will be able to work with President-Elect Trump to continue their collaborative efforts within the FAA and the Department of Transportation.

“We congratulate President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on their victory.”

“Our National Airspace System (NAS) is the world’s safest and most efficient. It provides 11.8 million jobs and creates $1.5 trillion in total economic activity, contributing over five percent to the United States Gross Domestic Product. We look forward to working with the new Administration to secure a stable, predictable funding stream for the NAS. This will be essential to protecting the system and the workforce that safeguards it, while also implementing modernization efforts and providing air travelers the safety and professionalism they deserve.”

“We also look forward to working with the new Administration to further advance the tremendously successful collaborative relationship we’ve built with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation over the last eight years, which has yielded positive results for the American people.”

Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, though disappointed in the outcome of the election, accepts the decision of the American people.  The AFL-CIO will attempt to work with President-elect Trump on issues of trade and restoring American manufacturing.

Donald Trump has been elected president. America is a democratic nation, and the voters have spoken. The AFL-CIO accepts the outcome of this election, and offers our congratulations to President-elect Trump. More than anything, this election is an indictment of politics as usual.

For too long, the political elites have embraced economic policies that hold down wages, increase inequality, diminish opportunity and ship American jobs overseas. Voters in both the primary and general election have delivered a clear message: enough.

The President-elect made promises in this campaign—on trade, on restoring manufacturing, on reviving our communities. We will work to make many of those promises a reality.  If he is willing to work with us, consistent with our values, we are ready to work with him.

But make no mistake, we can never back down from our values. The presence of racism, misogyny, and anti-immigrant appeals caused damage in this campaign and we must all try to repair it with inclusion, decency and honesty.

As we move forward, the labor movement is committed to defending our American democracy. Ultimately, the fundamental duty of America’s President, symbolized by swearing to uphold our Constitution, is to protect and preserve our democracy and the institutions that make it real.  We hope to work with President Elect Trump to help him carry out this solemn responsibility. Regardless, America’s labor movement will protect our democracy and safeguard the most vulnerable among us. 

This election is a statement about our broken economic and political rules. Therefore, the work of the labor movement continues with fresh urgency. The change voters cried out for in this campaign can be found by standing together in unions. The election is over. But we are more committed than ever to helping working people win a voice on the job and in our democracy.

We will never stop striving to represent everyone, fighting for basic human dignity, expanding our diversity and growing our ranks to give working people a strong, united voice.

Working people are in for a bumpy ride over the next few years.  We must stay vigilant and continue to organize to fight back against whatever President-elect Trump and his Republican controlled Congress throws our way.

Some Silver Linings Emerge From Last Nights New Hampshire Elections

Today we have some good news to report.

First, Governor Maggie Hassan has defeated Senator Kelly Ayotte in the US Senate Election.  By a slim 716 vote margin, Hassan wins.

As we’ve gotten more results overnight and this morning, it’s clear that we have maintained the lead and have won this race.  

This morning, there are only a few small towns left outstanding and I hope these remaining votes are quickly recorded. 

When they are, we are confident that our margins are large enough that we will maintain a lead.  

It is clear that we have won, and I am proud to stand here as the next United States Senator from New Hampshire.

It will be my job in the U.S. Senate to make the best decisions for New Hampshire to work with President-elect Trump when it is in the best interest of New Hampshire and the country, and to stand up to him when it isn’t.

As you all know, I entered public service as an advocate for people who experience disabilities. People whose voices are too often not heard. I believe we are stronger when we listen to all voices and all perspectives. We are stronger when we are working to ensure that every person has the opportunity to share in our nation’s success. 

And ensuring that we are expanding opportunity to all of our citizens will be my guiding principle in the United States Senate. 

I want to take a moment to congratulate Governor-elect Chris Sununu. I spoke to him this morning, and pledged to do everything I can to ensure a smooth and successful transition.  

In the United States Senate, I will always put the people of New Hampshire first. And together, we will work to heal the divisions this election has exposed and build a future where all Granite Staters are included in our shared economic success. 

Second, Congresswoman Annie Kuster won her reelection effort in the Second Congressional District.

“In my time serving in Congress, I’ve focused on working across the aisle to improve opportunity for all Granite Staters. Working with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to achieve real results, that’s the New Hampshire way. 

“I first want to thank my opponent, Jim Lawrence, for a spirited debate and an honorable campaign focused on the issues. 

“I also want to thank my family for their support and the volunteers who made calls, knocked on doors, and put out signs; I could not have done this without all of you. And of course, I want to thank all the voters. Thank you for trusting me with the responsibility of being your voice in Congress. 

“While we have accomplished a great deal, there is still important work to be done. I’m committed to bringing together Republicans and Democrats to get the much needed funding to support those on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic and to improve access to high-quality healthcare for our veterans. We also need to make sure students can get the education they need to succeed without being crushed by college debt. We must create jobs and grow our economy. And it’s long past time we changed the culture around sexual assault in our nation. I look forward to continuing my work on these critical issues facing the Granite State.

“I’m humbled by the faith you have put in me. I’m committed to the task at hand, and I look forward to continuing to fight for you in Washington.”

Lastly, in the First Congressional District we defeated Frank Guinta and returned Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter to her rightful place in the House.

“I am grateful to the voters of New Hampshire’s First District for electing me again to serve the good people of our district. Since the beginning, I’ve worked to represent ‘The Rest of Us.’ That was our message during this campaign, and I am looking forward to working for the rest of us in Congress. 

Our country has just endured a difficult campaign, but we must move forward together and work with each other to restore the American Dream. My priorities haven’t changed: I know we can build an economy that works for everyone, not just a few. That’s why I’ll keep fighting for good, middle-class jobs. It’s why I’ll again support investing in medical research, infrastructure, clean air, safe drinking water, education, and safe communities. I was a military spouse and am grateful to my husband and all veterans for their service, and I am pleased that I can be an advocate again for our veterans, our military men and women, and their families.

My staff and I have years of experience serving constituents, and we are well prepared and happy to help any citizens of our district who need assistance. I know that public office is a public trust, and I thank New Hampshire’s citizens for the great honor of representing them,” said Carol Shea-Porter.

We at the NH Labor News would like to personally congratulate our friends Maggie, Annie, and Carol on their electoral wins.  We look forward to working with this strong women leaders over the coming years.

Busted: Trump International Hotel Gets Smacked Down By NLRB For Union-Busting

Last night, news broke that the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Donald Trump, and Trump International Hotel, has been violating law by refusing to accept the results of the Culinary Union Local 226 (UNITE HERE) certification election and then refusing to negotiate with the union.

The NLRB decision ordered the immediate “cease and desist” from “interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees” in an attempt to break the union.

The NLRB also mandated that Trump International recognize the union and open bargaining immediately.

“The National Labor Relations Board has consistently told Donald Trump and his company that the union election wasn’t rigged and that he must sit down and negotiate with the Culinary Union,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Mr. Trump is breaking federal law and Trump Hotel Las Vegas is operating illegally. Mr. Trump should accept the federal government’s order to negotiate and treat his workers with respect.”

“The decision by the NLRB marks a major victory for the more than 500 workers at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas, whose right to organize and collectively bargain has been trampled by Donald Trump,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “The decision underlines what we already know: Donald Trump lacks respect for the hardworking men and women who have made his hotel successful. For months he has violated federal laws by refusing to recognize and negotiate with Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which represents the hotel workers.”

“Donald Trump is a hypocrite, whose true feelings towards working people are clear. The workers at Trump Hotel Las Vegas deserve a say in determining their wages, benefits and working conditions. Donald Trump must come to the table and negotiate with them. The labor movement will continue to stand by these hotel workers, and all working men and women, as we fight back against attacks on our rights,” Trumka added.

Donald Trump likes to brag about his skills as a negotiator—but yesterday, he had to be ordered by the National Labor Relations Board to stop breaking the law, respect his workers’ fundamental rights to organize and bargain collectively, and come to the table,” said Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President. “It’s appalling, but it’s not surprising. This is a man who personally signed a contract with a union-busting firm to try to stop UNITE HERE and the Culinary Workers’ Union from organizing in the first place, and engaged in a months-long intimidation campaign to bully his workers against voting to form a union.”

I was proud to visit workers on the picket line at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, and even prouder when they overcame Donald Trump’s intimidation campaign and were officially certified as a union earlier this year. I believe that when unions are strong, families are strong—and when families are strong, America is strong. And I will always stand with workers in protecting their rights to organize, bargain collectively, be safe on the job and retire with dignity, and if I am elected President, workers will always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House,” added Clinton. 

Throughout this entire election, workers and unions, have been speaking out against Donald Trump and his anti-worker policies. (You can see a few examples from our coverage of the Democratic National Convention.)  Working people spoke out against Trump’s support of so-called Right to Work laws, refusing to pay workers and contractors, and his refusal to negotiate with the unions inside his own companies.

Donald Trump claims to have the support on “many, many union members” and even went on to say, “I have tremendous support within unions…every poll shows it.” When in fact, polling data shows that only 36% of union members support Trump.

In September, the NH Labor News posted an article highlighting Trump’s financial support of the union-busting Governor Scott Walker.  “Because of the leaked documents, we now know that Donald Trump was one of the donors who helped Scott Walker stay in office,” wrote Liz Iacobucci.

This most recent decision by the NLRB confirms that Donald Trump does not care about workers. He does not care about workers rights to organize and collectively bargain.  He does not even care about what the law requires.

Donald Trump is only out for himself. He is the epitome of corporate greed and highlights exactly what is wrong with our country right now.

Hopefully the rest of America will see Trump for the lying fraud that he truly is and will vote for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. Then I will look forward to Wednesday when Trump will disappear and be relegated to the history books.


Personal Note:

We applaud the Culinary Union on this tremendous victory over Donald Trump and the Trump International Hotel.  The Culinary Union and UNITE HERE symbolize exactly why we must stand together to fight back against corporate greed and how unions fight for every worker.  We, as union members, should rejoice in this decision and be ready to join our fellow union members on the streets when greedy executives like Donald Trump attack working people.  

State’s Drug Addiction Epidemic Impacts Operation Santa Claus

 It’s that time of year!  The Operation Santa Claus (OSC) volunteers are busy at work matching sponsors with children for the 2016 Operation Santa Claus holiday program. But they are coming up short on sponsors and need your help. 

More children than ever before have been identified by NH Dept. of Health & Human Services Case workers as in need of the program.  This is attributable to the large number of children who have a history of one or both parents being addicted to illicit drugs. 

Due to the increased need, the all-volunteer program is in need of more sponsors. We ask that you open your heart and sponsor one or more children. You will receive a form with the child’s history, first name, gender, age, sizes and items the child needs and wants for Christmas.  We ask that you spend a minimum of $70 per child.  If that amount is beyond your budget, please consider co-sponsoring a child with your family, friends or co-workers.  You can access a sponsor form here.  Please email your completed form to seaosc@seiu1984.org or fax it to 603-271-6525.

There are gift drop off sites throughout the state and you will be able to bring your gifts to a location near you.  You will be given specific information about packaging and delivery options when you receive your child(ren)’s case sheet(s). Children from 0-17 yrs. of age are eligible for the program.

Established in 1960 Operation Santa Claus (OSC) is a non-profit organization founded by the State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984.  The program happens as a result of the volunteer efforts of retired and active state employees each year. Operation Santa Claus’ mission is to provide holiday gifts for NH children who are without resources and deserving of help.  Without OSC, their holiday would be just another day – without gifts, without things they need, much less want.

When the program began, it benefited 14 children and State Troopers delivered the gifts from county to county.  Today, the program benefits over 3,000 children each year and the delivery would not be possible without the generous participation of the NH National Guard.

Hassan Wins Final Debate Against Obstructionist Ayotte

“Throughout six debates, New Hampshire voters have seen a strong contrast between Governor Maggie Hassan’s vision for expanding opportunity for our families and small businesses, and Senator Kelly Ayotte’s record of siding with her corporate special interest backers like the Koch Brothers, Wall Street and Big Pharma at the expense of middle class families,” said Maggie for NH Campaign Manager, Marc Goldberg. “The choice in this election is clear, and in less than a week, voters will have the opportunity to replace the special interests’ Senator Kelly Ayotte and elect Maggie Hassan, who will always put the priorities of the people of New Hampshire first.”

In tonight’s debate, Governor Hassan highlighted her record of bipartisan problem-solving and the priorities she will focus on in the United States Senate to continue getting results for New Hampshire: 

  • Governor Hassan discussed her work to enact two bipartisan, balanced budgets, without a sales or income tax, and pledged to take the same fiscally responsible approach in the U.S. Senate 
  • She also vowed to continue fighting to make college more affordable, lower prescription drug costs and protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions 

Meanwhile, Senator Ayotte had no answers for her record of putting her political party and her corporate special interest backers first at the expense of New Hampshire: 

  • Senator Ayotte refused to accept responsibility for voting to cut Pell Grants for students, while also voting to protect corporate special interest tax breaks 
  • She had no answers for her long record of siding with corporate special interests such as big pharmaceutical companies while New Hampshire families and small businesses pay the price 
  • And she attemped to hide her true record of voting six times to defund Planned Parenthood and her support for overturning Roe v. Wade

“Tonight, Governor Hassan once again demonstrated why we need her values and pragmatic approach in the Senate. Republican gridlock in Washington has stalled efforts to address climate change, stagnant wages, student debt, our crumbling infrastructure, and filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “And partisanship is even preventing New Hampshire from getting the resources we need to fight the heroin epidemic. Maggie can break through the partisan gridlock. She has a record of reaching across the aisle to get results for New Hampshire and that’s what we need in Washington.”

After the debate, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair, Raymond released the following:

“Tonight, voters saw more of Kelly Ayotte’s frantic attempts to rewrite her real Washington record, a clear contrast with Maggie Hassan’s pragmatic and common sense plans to help the hard working families and innovative small businesses of New Hampshire.

“No matter what absurd contortions Ayotte attempted to deny responsibility for her own actions in Washington, New Hampshire voters know the truth: on the issues that matter to Granite State families, from affordable healthcare to accessible education, ensuring equal pay for equal work to protecting our environment and natural resources, Kelly Ayotte puts the special interests that fund her campaign ahead of the interests of New Hampshire.

“By contrast, Maggie Hassan laid out a convincing case that she’ll bring the results-oriented and collaborative approach that has served her so well as our Governor to the U.S. Senate to fight on behalf of our families and businesses. Tonight’s debate reinforced why we need Maggie Hassan in the Senate, something the people of New Hampshire will vote to make happen in six short days.”

Others called out Senator Ayotte’s obstructionism toward filling the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.

“In tonight’s debate, Sen. Kelly Ayotte doubled down on her obstruction of the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court and defended her decision to join with Senate Republicans as they took this totally unprincipled stand,” said Alliance for Justice Action Campaign President Nan Aron. “The harm to our highest court is not an abstract problem: a hobbled Supreme Court risks deadlocking on issues of critical importance to millions of Americans.  With Senate Republicans now threatening even more obstruction of  judicial nominees in the future, it’s deeply troubling to hear Sen. Ayotte defend her choice to walk in lockstep with her party on this issue. New Hampshire residents should think carefully about an incumbent who would opt to put partisan politics ahead of the Constitution.” 

Women’s rights was also a big part of the debate.  EMILY’s List National Press Secretary Rachel Thomas had this to say after the debate:

“In tonight’s debate, Governor Maggie Hassan proved that she is the right choice for New Hampshire voters,” said EMILY’s List National Press Secretary Rachel Thomas. “Throughout this election cycle Senator Kelly Ayotte has advocated for harmful policies for women and their families, including wanting to defund Planned Parenthood six times. Senator Ayotte voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act four times, voted against an increase in the federal minimum wage, and is now trying to save her own political career with a last-ditch effort to distance herself from Donald Trump. New Hampshire voters deserve better, which is why they’re going to send Maggie Hassan to the Senate on November 8th.”

NH Want Big Money Out Of Politics

New polling finds that Granite Staters overwhelmingly support a new law in New Hampshire to reduce the power of big money in politics.

CONCORD: A new poll shows that two-thirds of New Hampshire adults support public financing of elections to reduce the influence of money in politics. Public financing had 67 percent approval overall and majority support among Democrats, Republicans and independents, according to the University of New Hampshire poll for the nonpartisan Coalition for Open Democracy and our project NH Rebellion. Only 7 percent opposed public financing, while 26 percent didn’t take a position.

National polls also have shown strong support for giving all voters more equal influence in elections.

“I are deeply concerned that elections are being bought and paid for by a handful of private interests looking out for themselves–not the people,” said Olivia Zink, Open Democracy’s executive director. “Voters are sick and tired of outside interests spending millions to influence our elections. This poll suggests the public is ready for reform in 2017.”

The telephone poll conducted Oct. 11-17 asked 907 randomly selected adults, 770 of whom plan to vote Tuesday, about a proposed state law with three components. First would be giving public matching funds to candidates who committed to relying solely on small donations from voters for their other campaign funds. Second, it would require all outside groups to fully disclose their spending on elections in the state and, third, the state would strictly enforce all campaign finance laws. The margin of error was +/‐ 3.3 percent for all respondents and +/‐ 3.5% for likely voters.

Open Democracy was founded by Doris “Granny D” Haddock of Dublin, who finished a 3,200-mile cross-country walk for campaign reform in 1999 at age 90. Members of the nonprofit’s New Hampshire Rebellion walked more than 40,000 miles across the state over two years to make money in politics a leading issue in the presidential primary in February.

The growing ranks of campaign reform activists include “Diet for a Small Planet” author Frances Moore Lappe. She will speak Nov. 19 in Hooksett at Open Democracy & NH Rebellion’s “Democracy Dinner,” where she will unveil her new “Field Guide to the Money-Out-of-Politics Movement.”   

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