• Advertisement

DoD Union Applauds House Vote to Protect Civilian Jobs from Outsourcing

Amendment to Defense appropriations bill retains department-wide ban on conducting privatization studies

WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is praising the U.S. House of Representatives for including a bipartisan measure in next year’s Department of Defense appropriations bill that will protect civilian jobs from being outsourced.

AFGE Sunders“The Armed Forces rely on civilian employees for a range of services that are vital to military readiness, from training warfighters and maintaining equipment to treating the wounded and sustaining facilities,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “The House action ensures that these jobs cannot be outsourced, since the current privatization process is biased against federal workers.”

The House on June 15 included a provision in the fiscal 2017 DoD Appropriations Bill that bans conducting public-private contracting studies under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76.

The provision was added as a bipartisan amendment offered by Reps. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Don Beyer of Virginia, and Rob Bishop of Utah. The House approved the amendment by voice vote.

“A ban has been in place since fiscal 2010 because of systemic problems with the contracting out process and DoD’s failure to produce a full and meaningful inventory of its contractor workforce,” Cox said. “Some lawmakers have proposed lifting this ban, even though these well-documented problems remain in place. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the four members of Congress who pushed to include a DoD-wide ban in the Defense appropriations bill.”

The Senate dropped the moratorium from its version of the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and failed to consider a bipartisan amendment that would have restored the ban. This is the first time a DoD-wide ban has been included in the Defense appropriations bill.

“Civilian employees are the backbone of our military and no effort to outsource their jobs should move forward until DoD can show it has an unbiased process in place for conducting privatization studies,” Cox said.

AFGE represents more than 270,000 DoD civilian employees nationwide and overseas.

Transport Workers Union of America Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Transportation Workers Union Logo -TWUWashington D.C. – The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), which represents 140,000 workers from all across the country, today endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. In making their endorsement, TWU’s International Administrative Committee (IAC) noted her dedication to ensuring working people have a voice against corporate America and her plan to invest billions in the country’s infrastructure.

“Working people in this country continue to suffer because of Corporate America. They see good wages and retirement security slowly ripped from them by CEOs who make millions. Our next president must be someone who will give working people a voice at the table—who will stand up and say enough is enough. Secretary Clinton will fight to protect airline workers’ retirement security in the face of continued corporate greed in that industry. She has put forth an aggressive, bold plan to invest billions of dollars to fix this country’s transit and rail infrastructure. We need someone who is going to sit in the Oval Office and represent us, not Corporate America. We need Hillary Clinton as our next president and we are proud to endorse her,” said the IAC.

In Secretary Clinton’s own words, “the diverse members of the TWU keep our airplanes flying, our trains running, and our buses driving…They keep passengers and residents alike safe, healthy, and moving every day. In the process, they’ve helped to build the American middle class. And they’ve stood up and demanded the fair treatment and respect that they deserve.”

TWU is dedicated to bettering the lives of working families. We work to safeguard, protect and improve working conditions and living standards of all workers. TWU is nearly 140,000 transportation workers, and “We Move America.” TWU has four main divisions: Air, Railroad, Gaming, and Transit, Universities, Utilities and Services. The union is composed of 100 autonomous locals representing members and retirees from New England to California and Texas to Michigan.

Today, following the endorsement of the Transport Workers Union (TWU), Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:

“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of the Transport Workers Union.

“Every day, members of the TWU keep America on the move—driving our buses and trains, flying our planes, and keeping our communities safe and healthy. For decades, transport workers have helped power our economy and keep families connected. And along the way, they’ve helped build the American middle class, standing up for workers’ rights and fighting for the respect they deserve.

“As President, I will always stand with the TWU in the fight to protect workers’ fundamental rights to organize, bargain collectively, be safe on the job, and retire with dignity and security after years of hard work. We will make the kinds of investments that grow the economy for everyone, including building 21st century roads, transit systems, and airports. In my first 100 days in office, I will put forward a plan to make the most ambitious investments in our infrastructure since the Interstate Highway System. And I will make sure workers always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House.”

Air Traffic Controller Staffing Has Reached A “Crisis Level” Says Controllers Union

Controller Staffing at a 27-Year Low; Rinaldi Tells House Aviation Subcommittee the Situation is a “Crisis”

NATCA President Paul Rinaldi

NATCA President Paul Rinaldi

WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi told the House Aviation Subcommittee today that the number of fully certified air traffic controllers, already at a 27-year low, fell again in the first three months of this year. Rinaldi said the situation has reached a crisis level and outlined several recommendations, including increasing annual hiring totals and passage of bipartisan legislation, H.R. 5292, the Air Traffic Controller Hiring Improvement Act of 2016.

Controller staffing levels have fallen nearly 10 percent since 2011, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has missed its hiring goals in each of the last seven years. In fact, in fiscal year 2015, the FAA fell 24 percent short of its hiring goal. More controllers are eligible to retire today, specifically one-quarter of the workforce, than are in the pipeline to replace them.

“If we do not act decisively and soon, I fear that our nation’s air traffic control system will soon face the same challenges and consequences as D.C.’s Metro system, which has been plagued by deferred maintenance and chronic underfunding,” Rinaldi said in his testimony for the Subcommittee’s hearing, entitled, A Review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Controller Hiring, Staffing, and Training Plans. “Without a stable and predictable funding stream for the National Airspace System (NAS), controller staffing is just the first of many NAS crises that Congress will need to resolve in the near future.”

NATCA believes the FAA must take a holistic, collaborative approach to resolving these staffing issues. Rinaldi said NATCA is committed to working towards permanent, sustainable solutions. He cited budgetary missteps, including stop-and-go funding for the FAA and sequestration in 2013, and the FAA’s bureaucratic red tape as contributing factors in the shortage of air traffic controllers.

“Although NATCA does not believe that the safety of the air traffic control system is at risk, without proper staffing at our facilities, efficiency and modernization efforts are being negatively affected, which could lead to further system inefficiencies, delays, and a reduction in air traffic services for the flying public,” Rinaldi testified.

Rinaldi said the staffing crisis has been the cause of the FAA’s frequent denials to release bargaining unit employees from their facilities’ schedule in order to provide subject matter expertise (SME) for technological and modernization projects throughout the NAS. Within the last three months, the FAA has denied at least 15 separate requests due to staffing. Moreover, attempts to request SME support from facilities that are critically understaffed have ceased. These facilities include Chicago Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), Los Angeles Tower (LAX), Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center, and Atlanta TRACON, among many others. Rinaldi said the expertise of the controller workforce from the busiest facilities on these important projects would facilitate successful development, testing, and implementation on modernization projects.

Among the recommendations Rinaldi proposed in his testimony to address the crisis:

  • Passage of H.R. 5292, which would streamline the hiring process by ensuring a path for experienced controllers to be hired quickly and allow military veterans and graduates of schools in the FAA’s Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) to be hired more expeditiously. The legislation, if enacted, would ensure that CTI graduates and veterans are considered in a separate pool from the general public, and would increase the maximum entry age for a controller with 52 weeks experience to 35 years of age.
  • Maximizing the capacity of the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City. The FAA will only have approximately 1,300 new employees enrolled at the Academy this year. The facility can accommodate up to approximately 2,000 employees per year.
  • An FAA controller vacancy announcement for experienced controllers that is open and continuously maintained 365 days per year.
  • The aggressive FAA recruitment of experienced former FAA controllers, military and civilian DOD controllers and Federal Contract Tower controllers.
  • Stable, predictable funding for the FAA, including ensuring that the FAA is not subject to future sequester cuts.

“I truly believe that the United States has the safest, most complex, and most efficient airspace system in the world, one that is vital to our nation’s economy,” Rinaldi said. “However, this system needs a strong and growing air traffic controller workforce in order to modernize and expand into the 21st Century.”

See the full version of Rinaldi’s written testimony.

New Hampshire Democratic Party To Launch “New Hampshire Together” Statewide House Party Series

Concord, N.H. — Looking forward to November, the New Hampshire Democratic Party is inviting grassroots volunteers and supporters for a series of “New Hampshire Together” house parties across the state. Organizers, elected officials, and local leaders will lay out what is at stake this election and discuss issues that unite our community. 

New Hampshire Democratic Party Executive Director Sean Doyle announced today: “Up and down the ticket, Democratic candidates will fight for working families by taking on important challenges like getting our economy working for everyone–not just those at the top, combating climate change, achieving equal pay, protecting women’s health services, and making college more affordable. That is in stark contrast to the Republican ticket, led by a candidate like Donald Trump, who has defrauded hard-working Americans and would be far too big of a risk.”

“The New Hampshire Democratic Party is building a grassroots organization that will employ both traditional and innovative organizing techniques, through one-on-one meetings, larger events, house parties, and digital engagement,” concluded Doyle.

While there are many more house parties to come, below is a list of some of the upcoming events. Members of the public who would like to attend a house party should click here. If you are a member of the media and would like to cover one of the events, RSVP to press@nhdp.org to receive details.

Upcoming House Parties:

Nashua: Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 PM

Laconia: Wednesday, June 15 at 6 PM

Manchester: Thursday, June 16 at 5:30 PM

Salem: Thursday, June 16 at 6 PM

Keene: Sunday, June 19 at 12 PM

Rochester: Sunday, June 19 at 2 PM

Hooksett: Sunday, June 19 at 6 PM

Concord: Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30 PM

Bedford: Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30 PM

Claremont: Tuesday, June 21 at 7 PM

Randolph: Tuesday, June 21 at 5:30 PM

Goffstown: Tuesday, June 21 at 6 PM

Peterborough: Wednesday, June 22 at 6 PM

Merrimack: Wednesday, June 22 at 6 PM

Franklin: Wednesday, June 22 at 6:30 PM

Hollis: Thursday, June 23 at 6 PM

Londonderry: Thursday, June 23 at 6 PM

Clinton Receives Two Major Union Endorsements

Ibew logoLate last night Secretary Hillary Clinton received two major union endorsements. Clinton said she was “honored to receive the endorsement” from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the United Steelworkers. The Steelworkers endorsement came in conjunction with the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) and the Glass Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union (GMP).

“The choice America faces this November is now clear. As a senator, Hillary Clinton has stood with us, and the labor movement more than 90 percent of time, from opposing right-to-work laws to supporting federal project labor agreements. Secretary Clinton has vowed to invest in our industrial and energy infrastructure and push for stronger enforcement of labor law, including cracking down on wage theft that is all too common in the construction industry,” said International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Lonnie R. Stephenson.

“As a president of the largest union in the electrical industry, I want someone in the White House who will make it easier, not harder, for working families to come together and speak up for themselves. A president who is committed to raising wages, boosting retirement security and making it easier for working parents to raise their families – and has the legislative record to back it up. And I want a president who is committed to appointing justices who will not overturn our hard-fought for rights on the job,” added Stephenson.

Steelworkers logo USW“Given her vast experience both with foreign and domestic policy, Hillary Clinton is a supremely qualified candidate, one of the most qualified candidates ever to seek the presidency,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “These unique qualifications give her the vision and commitment necessary to continue to lead this country forward.”

“Secretary Clinton has promised to fight for fair, not just free trade, and has vowed to oppose the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” added Gerard. “She will fight for collective bargaining rights and labor protections, as well as high standards for domestic sourcing and ‘Buy American’ laws.

“On virtually every issue, Secretary Clinton stands with working Americans and their families,” said UWUA President Mike Langford. “Specifically, she has a plan to harness public and private capital to upgrade and repair our nation’s roads, bridges, energy and water infrastructure, expand public transportation, and bring our schools and our communications networks fully into the 21st century. These critical investments will grow our economy by creating and maintaining good jobs, raising wages and rebuilding struggling communities.”

“Secretary Clinton believes in raising the minimum wage, which will not only improve the lives of millions of low-wage workers, but in fact lift the standard for all working Americans. She supports tax relief to help struggling families. She is committed to closing tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy to make sure every American pays their fair share,” added the Steelworkers.

After receiving the endorsement, Secretary Clinton praised the work done by the hard working men and women of the USW and IBEW.

“For more than 100 years, the IBEW has kept the lights on in America’s homes and businesses and enabled Americans to communicate with each other from coast to coast. They have powered the American economy, and along the way they have helped build the American middle class.”

“Steel is crucial to our economy, our manufacturing base, and our national security. As President, I will stand with the USW in the fight to protect workers’ fundamental rights to organize, to bargain collectively, to stay safe on the job and retire with dignity. As a Senator from New York, I stood with steelworkers against efforts to undermine the competitiveness of American steel. And as President, I will throw the book at China and stop their illegal efforts to dump cheap steel in U.S. markets,” Clinton stated.

“And together, we will fight to make the kinds of investments that make America’s economy grow for workers everywhere,” continued Clinton. “We’ll make the biggest investment in infrastructure since Dwight Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System, and make sure that we’re buying American materials to build America’s infrastructure. We’ll invest in manufacturing, because we can and we will make things in America.”

“Above all, we will make sure American workers have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House. Because when workers are strong, families are strong—and when families are strong, America is strong,” concluded Clinton.

The endorsements came just days after Clinton won the majority of the delegates in the Democratic primary. Both the Steelworkers and the IBEW praised Senator Bernie Sanders for his dedication to labor and his “contribution to the campaign.”

“I want to thank Sen. Bernie Sanders for his numerous contributions to the campaign. He raised issues of major importance to working families and stood with our members when times were tough. I look forward to working with him in the years to come in the fight for fairness for the middle class,” said Stephenson.

“Like Secretary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has also been a lifelong supporter of working Americans, and he has run a strong, principled campaign that has raised awareness of critical issues and energized millions of Americans,” said Gerard. “He clearly sees how corporate-fed Republican economics fatten the coffers of Wall Street, while denying young people and families the opportunities they deserve.

“The USW salutes Sen. Sanders’ lifelong commitment to social and economic justice. He and his supporters must play a vital role in pushing the issues he raised and that his supporters are so passionately fighting for. They must continue to be front and center in this campaign, and we need them to continue to push Sanders’ agenda and have their voices heard on Election Day and beyond. We must work together to defeat Trump,” Gerard added.

The Steelworkers also took this opportunity blast the Republican nominee Donald Trump.

“By contrast, Secretary Clinton’s Republican opponent has seemingly worked at every turn to divide Americans along lines of race, ethnicity and gender with his racist, sexist and xenophobic statements.”

“Besides just his dangerous and un-American rhetoric, Trump has consistently proven to be on the side of the wealthy and powerful, rather than on the side of working people. Trump believes workers’ wages are too high and supports union-busting legislation. His tax plan would benefit millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class. He supports efforts to repeal the ACA but has no concrete plan to replace it.”

“Nothing better exemplifies Trump’s say-one-thing-do-another approach to the plight of workers than his treatment of the 500 hotel workers at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas who voted last December to join the Culinary Workers Union. Trump refuses to bargain with them, even after more than a dozen objections filed with the NLRB were either withdrawn or dismissed, and the union was certified as a bargaining agent.”

“On the one issue on which workers might agree with Trump, trade, he has proven himself a hypocrite. He criticizes companies for moving production overseas while his own signature line of clothing is produced in low-wage countries like China, Mexico, Honduras and Bangladesh. He just can’t be trusted,” the Steelworkers concluded.


Read the full endorsement from the USW, here.

Read the full endorsement from the IBEW, here.


 

UNH Staff Begins Organizing Effort with NEA-NH

NEA - NH LogoCONCORD, NH, June 9, 2016: NEA-New Hampshire announced today that the University of New Hampshire Professional, Administrative, and Technical staff and Operating Staff are now in the process of organizing with NEA-NH under the guidelines of RSA 273-A.

7_unhlogo_web_hrEarlier this year, the staff at Keene State College voted to organize with NEA-NH into three associations; Keene State College Administrative Staff Association (KSCASA), Keene State College Staff Association (KSCSA), and the Keene State College Directors and Supervisors Association (KSCDSA).

“When employees organize to exercise their legal right to collectively bargain, they see better job security, working conditions, benefits, and increased democracy in the workplace as compared to non-organized employees in the same profession,” said Scott McGilvray, President of NEA-New Hampshire.  “We are excited and honored to have this opportunity to work with the hard-working and dedicated staff of this great university.”

“Organizing into a professional association gives us a voice. It guarantees we have a seat at the table as decisions that have a direct impact on the University campus we love so dearly are made.  It gives us the ability to stand up for the dignity of our colleagues and sustain the caring community we have at UNH,” said Monique Couillard, former UNH Operating Staff Council Chair.

“Our counterparts at Keene State College recently completed their organizing efforts, and we hope to obtain the same protections, representation and benefits that come from collective bargaining as they now enjoy,” continued Couillard.

For more than 150 years, NEA-NH has been a strong advocate for the children of New Hampshire and for public school employees.

“The fundamental questions are these:  Do we want an equal voice at UNH? Do we want a seat as equals at the decision-making table? Organizing would provide us that legally protected seat.  Our belief is that being organized will help to protect and improve the strength and integrity of our campus community,” said Penny Gould, Sr. Program Support Assistant and OS Council member. “I want to help give a voice to choice on our campus, and am looking forward to learning as much as I can about how a relationship with NEA-NH will benefit the UNH staff.”

Leo W Gerard: The Buck Never Stops at Donald Trump

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore FLIKR CC)

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore FLIKR CC)

Way back in January, Donald Trump got himself a ton of prime publicity on the backs of veterans. He organized a benefit that he said was for them. But really he did it because he didn’t feel like debating other GOP presidential candidates that night.

At the event, he boasted that he’d raised $6 million, including $1 million that would come from his own pocket. Not too shabby, as he would say. But when reporters asked him later where the money went, including whether Donald had, indeed, donated $1 million, he told them he didn’t have to account for the funds.

This is the way Donald Trump rolls. He takes no responsibility for his actions. He refuses to be held to account. He collects donations for veterans but won’t disclose the money trail. He’s so delinquent on paying his taxes, dozens of municipalities must sue him to get what’s owed. He urges supporters to beat protesters at his rallies, then denies inciting violence. Donald Trump believes he should always be praised and never held liable, no matter what he does.

And that includes pledging cash to veterans and not actually paying it. It’s great to conduct a fundraiser and promise money. It’s much better to actually fork over the donations to the veterans groups so they can help returning servicemen and women.

 

2016-06-05-1465146805-3600769-TrumpBlogPresAccount.jpg

 

At the fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 28, Trump announced to the crowd, “We just cracked $6 million! Right? $6 million.” That included his gift. He told the gathering, “I don’t want to be called a politician. All talk, no action – I refuse to be called a politician. Donald Trump gave $1 million. Okay?” That made it sound like he’d already written the check.

But he hadn’t.

In May, Trump told a Washington Post reporter asking for an accounting of the money, “Why should I give you records? I don’t have to give you records.”

That was followed by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski lying about it, telling the Washington Post that Trump had ponied up his share.

“The money is fully spent. Mr. Trump’s money is fully spent,” Lewandowski told the Post on May 21. Though, Lewandowski added, only $4.5 million, not the promised $6 million, was raised.

Ok, fine. But where did all that money go, the Post wanted to know. Lewandowski said that was nobody’s business.

“He’s not going to share that information,” the campaign manager said.

So if Trump is president, maybe he’ll say, “I don’t have to give you records,” or “I am not going to share that information,” about how he spent tax dollars or how he deployed troops or how he failed to force Mexico to pay for that “big, beautiful wall.”

Unable to find veterans groups that received the money, the Post took to Twitter to seek them out. The question, basically, was: Did any veteran, anywhere get a dime from that fundraiser that Donald used to envelop himself in all that big, beautiful publicity?

Twitter-azzi Trump took that goad. That very evening, four months after the fundraiser, he called a veterans group that had given him an award and promised them his $1 million. The Trump check is dated the next day, May 24, when he held a press conference to attack reporters who had tried to hold the candidate accountable for distributing to veterans the money he promised them.

Trump contradicted his own campaign manager who said $4.5 million was raised,contending it was $5.6 million. And he contended that he never promised $6 million.

“I didn’t say six,” he asserted, despite video evidence in which he clearly says $6 million.

The presumptive Republican nominee for president doesn’t think he’s responsible to stand behind his words even when he says them to millions of people on national television.

Not only does Trump refuse to be answerable, he jumps to blame others when things go wrong. That was the conclusion USA Today came to after reviewing the 3,500 legal actions he filed or that were filed against him over the past three decades, an unprecedented number for a presidential candidate.

“While he is quick to take credit for anything associated with his name, he is just as quick to distance himself from failures and to place responsibility on others,”the paper wrote after analyzing the lawsuits.

In the mountain of litigation are suits that demonstrate Trump’s refusal to accept responsibility for even the most basic of civic duties ­– paying taxes.

Trump is a tax shirker. To build his Trump towers and casinos, he uses public highways and bridges and municipal inspectors and licensing agencies that other citizens pay for with their tax dollars, but he doesn’t pay until sued by local governments in courts – also paid for with the tax dollars of the non-delinquent.

New York placed liens on Trump properties for unpaid taxes at least 36 times. Local governments across the country where Trump owns golf courses and casinos wrangled with Trump over his property taxes, including one case where hespent $45 million to upgrade a 140-acre golf course and 75,000-square-foot clubhouse, then claimed the property was worth only $1.4 million for tax purposes. In addition, his companies have been involved in more than 100 tax disputes.

Trump wants to run the government but doesn’t feel he’s accountable for paying the taxes necessary to run the government or, for example, to cover the cost of federal benefits for those veterans he claims he loves so much.

He’s just never responsible. Just like he claims he’s never liable for the violence that keeps breaking out at his rallies. It happened again in San Jose last week.

When protesters began appearing his speeches, he said things like this on Feb. 1: “Knock the crap out of him, would you? Seriously, okay, just knock the hell, I promise you I will pay your legal fees.”

Then he denied that inflamed violence. Nope. Not him. He didn’t do it.

He’s the opposite of the man who was the first Republican president. That was Abraham Lincoln. When confronted with adversity, President Lincoln took responsibility.  Lincoln often shouldered blame when others were at fault. The Edwin Stanton incident is a good example.

After Gen. George B. McClellan’s failure in 1862 to use his greater force to take Richmond, Va., then the Southern capital, the press and public blamed the devastating loss on War Secretary Stanton. Many demanded Stanton’s dismissal. It would have been easy for Lincoln to throw Stanton under the bus and replace him.

Instead, Lincoln gave a speech saying that as commander in chief, he was responsible for the defeat. Lincoln said he was answerable for all union losses, no one else.

By contrast, when the union army would win a battle, Lincoln was the first award credit to the troops and the general.

It’s a measure of the man. In good times, Lincoln generously gave others recognition. In bad, he said the buck stopped at his desk.

In all times, Trump says he is really, really great, greater than anyone else, and the buck never, ever stops at his big, beautiful desk.

Teenage Workers Face Real Danger In Summer Jobs

(Image by Donald Lee Pardue CC FLIKR)

(Image by Donald Lee Pardue CC FLIKR)

Watchdog group issues annual list of
most dangerous summer jobs for American teens

Washington, DC—As millions of American teenagers begin summer jobs this month, a national child labor watchdog group is issuing a warning to avoid this year’s most dangerous seasonal work. The National Consumers League (NCL), the country’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy group, founded in 1899 to fight child labor, issued its annual report on the worst jobs for teens, with work in tobacco fields topping the list.

“Nearly 5,000 workers die on the job each year in the United States, an average of 13 workers a day. Tragically, some of those workers are teenagers,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Summer jobs are a great American tradition, a wonderful learning and earning opportunity. But each teen worker death causes irreparable suffering and pain to the families, friends, and communities of these youth. Today we issue our annual warning to serve as a reminder to teens and parents that there are jobs that pose extreme risks to youth workers and should be avoided at all costs.”

Thousands of American children are hurt on the job each year, approximately one every 9 minutes, according to the Children’s Safety Network. In a typical year, 20-30 U.S. children will die on the job, although the statistics are generally trending in the right direction; 20 years ago, that number was 70+ per year. In 2012, 29 children died while working. In 2013, that number fell sharply to 14, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Unfortunately, progress isn’t always steady. The teen work death toll increased from 14 in 2013 to 21 in 2014—the latest year for which we have data. “We hope that the increase does not represent a trend,” said Greenberg.

The 2016 report names five job categories that present an above average risk of injury or fatality. It also provides practical advice for staying safe as well as tips for parents and employers to help make teen work safer.

NCL’s 2016 Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens 

  • Tobacco harvester
  • Agriculture: Harvesting crops and using machinery
  • Traveling youth sales crews
  • Construction and height work
  • Outside helper: Landscaping, grounds keeping and lawn service 

“Many teens lack the experience and sense of caution needed to protect themselves from dangerous conditions on the job,” said Reid Maki, NCL director of child labor advocacy and report author. “In addition, they are often reluctant to challenge authority or ask for safety information. Their judgment and ability to exercise caution is still developing. Parents should keep a close eye on the type of work their children perform and encourage kids to tell their employer, ‘I’m sorry, that seems dangerous.’”

NCL’s Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens encourages youth workers to say “no” when certain dangerous tasks are requested. NCL includes the following blacklist of jobs that involve any of the following tasks:

  • door-to-door sales, especially out of the youth’s neighborhood;
  • long-distance traveling away from parental supervision;
  • extensive driving or being driven;
  • driving forklifts, tractors, and other potentially dangerous vehicles;
  • the use of dangerous machinery;
  • the use of chemicals;
  • working in grain storage facilities; and
  • work on ladders or roofs or other work that involves heights where there is a risk of falling.

Recent on-the-job deaths of American teens

Over time, government agencies, NCL, and other youth advocates have tracked the categories of jobs that have proved most dangerous to teens, and NCL’s report is intended to make teens and their parents aware of those dangers. However, teens are injured and even killed working jobs that don’t fall into the most dangerous jobs categories.

  • Farmhand Heather Marie Barley, 17, of Buckley, Michigan, died suddenly while working on a hog farm in December 2015. Elevated levels of carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide were suspected to have come from a steam generator connected to a pressure washer.
  • On his first day on the job feeding tree limbs into a wood chipper, in December 2015, 19-year-old Mason Cox in Gastonia, North Carolina died instantly when his body was pulled into the chipper. His employer was so disturbed by the incident that he had a heart attack.
  • December 2015: 19-year-old Oscar Martin-Refugio was shot in the heart by robbers as he worked in a Bridgeport, Connecticut pizza shop. He died soon after.
  • Grant Thompson, 18, died from a snakebite while working in his parents’ pet shop in Austin, Texas in July 2015.
  • In October 2014, 18-year-old Jeremy McSpadden, Jr., of Spokane Valley, Washington was working as an actor at a Halloween haunted hayride when he died tragically after losing his footing and falling under the rear wheel of a bus.

To read the full report, click here (PDF).


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League (NCL), founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. NCL chairs the Child Labor Coalition, which seeks to remove children from work that threatens their health or development. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org or www.stopchildlabor.org.


THE ECONOMIST Hammers Ayotte On Failure To Support SCOTUS Hearings

Over 60% of Granite Staters Support SCOTUS Hearings and Vote On Nominee

Current Eight-Justice Court is “Sowing Legal Confusion”

 

Concord, N.H. — A new poll from Franklin Pierce University shows that 63% of Granite Staters believe the Senate should hold hearings and a vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee before the next presidential election, including 51% of Granite Staters who believe strongly that the Senate should hold hearings and vote.

This weekend, The Economist also highlighted the legal confusion that an eight-Justice court is leaving across the country. The Economist editorial board wrote that “Whether the divide manifests as 4-4 splits or a tendency to hear fewer cases in which those splits seem likely, a Supreme Court with eight judges is not a court that can live up to its name.” 

See below for excerpts of The Economist editorial or click here:

…Twice since Mr Scalia’s death the Supreme Court has performed the judicial equivalent of throwing up its hands. In a small case concerning banking rules and in an important one challenging the future of public-sector unions, the justices issued one-sentence per curiam(“by the court”) rulings: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.” A tie in the high court means that the ruling in the court below stands. But these non-rulings do not bind other lower courts, and the judgment has no value as a precedent. A tie, in short, leaves everything as it was and as it would have been had the justices never agreed to hear the case in the first place. 

That’s a lot of wasted ink, paper, time and breath. And now it seems the justices may be keen to reduce future futile efforts as they contemplate a year or more with a missing colleague. Only 12 cases are now on the docket for the October 2016 term, and grants are lagging below the average of recent years. The slow pace is especially notable because it marks a slowdown from an already highly attenuated docket. Seventy years ago, the justices decided 200 or more cases a year; that number declined to about 150 in the 1980s and then plummeted into the 80s and, in recent years, the 70s…

What’s wrong with eight justices? The main worry is that tied votes sow legal confusion. When the judges are split down the middle, they cannot resolve rival views on controversial issues—from affirmative action and public unions to gay rights, birth control and abortion. By letting lower-court decisions stand but not requiring other courts to abide by the ruling, the stage is set for odd state-by-state or district-by-district distinctions when it comes to the meaning of laws or the constitution…So if the justices divide 4-4 in Zubik v Burwell, women across most of America will have access to birth control through their employer’s health coverage, while women in seven midwestern states will not. 

…it is hard to see how a denuded court is appealing in the medium or long term. A patchwork of legal realities may have been fitting for America under the Articles of Confederation, before the country had a political system that turned it into a union, but America’s constitutional design is not consonant with confusion about what the law means on controversial questions. Whether the divide manifests as 4-4 splits or a tendency to hear fewer cases in which those splits seem likely, a Supreme Court with eight judges is not a court that can live up to its name.

Massive Strike Against Verizon Ends As Tentative Agreement Is Reached

Union to take down pickets.
Company agrees to add good union jobs on the East Coast.
First contract for retail wireless workers.
Improves workers’ overall standard of living.

2015-07-25_Mass_Rally_Stand_Up_To_VerizonFor over six weeks now, 40,000 Verizon workers have been on strike. They have been standing in opposition to proposed cuts and potential plans to offshore American jobs.

Two weeks ago, U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez along with federal mediator Allison Beck, stepped in to help me help resolve this massive strike.

“I’m encouraged by the parties’ continued commitment to remain at the bargaining table and work toward a resolution,” Secretary Perez said. “We will continue to facilitate conversations to help the unions and the company reach an agreement.”

On the 44th day of the strike, Perez announced that a tentative agreement has been reached between Verizon, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

“Today, I am pleased to announce that the parties have reached an agreement in principle on a four-year contract, resolving the open issues in the ongoing labor dispute between Verizon’s workers, unions, and management,” said Perez. “The parties are now working to reduce the agreement to writing, after which the proposal will be submitted to CWA and IBEW union members for ratification.

“This tentative resolution is a testament to the power of collective bargaining. I commend the leadership of Verizon, CWA, and IBEW for their commitment to resolving these difficult issues in the spirit of constructive engagement,” Perez continued.

Perez concluded by stating, “I expect that workers will be back on the job next week.

CWA praised the announcement and the tentative agreement. The agreement includes provisions that include improving working families’ standard of living, creating good union jobs in our communities and achieving a first contract for wireless retail store workers.

“The addition of new, middle-class jobs at Verizon is a huge win not just for striking workers, but for our communities and our country as a whole. The agreement in principle at Verizon is a victory for working families across the country and an affirmation of the power of working people,” said Chris Shelton, President of the Communications Workers of America. “This proves that when we stand together we can raise up working families, improve our communities and protect the American middle class.”

“This tentative contract is an important step forward in helping to end this six-week strike and keeping good Verizon jobs in America,” said Lonnie R. Stephenson, President of the IBEW. “We will be sharing the details of it with our members for approval in the immediate days ahead.

“My thanks to our members, along with those of the CWA, who made numerous sacrifices to finally come to this point,” added Stephenson.

“Our members look forward to returning to work serving their customers, working under a strong pro-worker and pro-jobs contract,” Stephenson concluded.

The strike against Verizon was not only about the contract for the 40,000 unionized workers at Verizon, it was about taking a stand against corporate greed for all working families.

“We thank the members of CWA and IBEW. They negotiated well with Verizon and elevated working people throughout the country. We applaud them for their solidarity and hard work,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.

Some say that unions are relics of the past and are no longer needed. This agreement shows that unions are the only ones to stand up for working families against the greed of Corporate America.


Author’s Note:

United_we_bargainI am pleased to write this story and congratulate all of the members of the IBEW and CWA who stood strong for 44 days. A long term strike like this can take a serious toll on workers’ families and tests the strength of their resolve.

Your strength and perseverance prevailed. Now Verizon Wireless workers all across the country will see the benefit of a strong labor contract.

Non-union workers will also see how standing together against corporate greed is the only way we are going to rebuild a strong middle class.

United we bargain, divided we beg.

  • 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 183 other subscribers

  • Advertisement