• Advertisement

Every Child Matters Grills #FITN Candidates On Working Family Issues

“I think minimum wage is a classic example of a policy that is best carried out in the states,” Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina recently told MacKenzie Flessas at WMUR-ABC TV’s “Conversation with the Candidate” in New Hampshire.

cwtc-Fiorina-034-jpg

“To me, a national minimum wage does not make a lot of sense,” the former corporate CEO said in response to a question that began with the observation that, “In New Hampshire, someone who earns minimum wage earns less than $300 per week.”

MacKenzie is ECM’s New Hampshire field director. She and other ECM staff have also elicited replies during sessions of the TV campaign series from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Some highlights are provided here, and the full questions and remarks can be found at WMUR’s website.

ECM was able to ask former Florida Governor Jeb Bush a question today during taping of a program that will be broadcast Friday evening, May 29.

Senator Graham told ECM state director Mary Lou Beaver during one WMUR studio conversation that he has been a leading Republican champion in Congress for early childhood programs because, “by the time you are five years old, 90 percent of your mental development is there.” Graham promised that if he runs for president and wins, he will partner with states to assure adequate nutritional support for kids. But he warned that more ambitious plans to help children– “to give them a chance to compete in the twenty-first century” –will require entitlement reform.

Former Governor Perry told Beaver that he would “repeal Obamacare” and allow states to be laboratories of innovation for health care, suggesting health savings accounts, allowing insurance to be sold across state lines and tort reform as hopeful ideas. That was in response to a question from ECM about how to ensure that low-income children and their parents in New Hampshire would not lose health care access if the Affordable Care Act had to be replaced.

Governor Kasich said that he supports keeping the Earned Income Tax Credit to help low-wage working families, but he declined to endorse expanding or strengthening the program when asked. Kasich pointed instead toward education, including online programs, to help people get jobs that would pay more.

ECM will continue to ask candidates questions about policies that affect kids as part of our 2-year effort to put children at the center of campaign discussion during the presidential election process. In New Hampshire, Save the Children Action Network, a sponsor of the “Conversation with the Candidate” series, is a key partner in the effort to highlight early childhood issues.

We’ll continue to let you know what the candidates say!

New AFL-CIO Report Highlights Reasons Why TPP Is Not the Answer to Trade Issues with China

Read the report here

(Washington, DC) – On a conference call today, AFL-CIO Policy Director and Special Counsel Damon Silvers and Roosevelt Institute Senior Economist Adam Hersh described the reasons why the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is not the solution to improving China’s trade policies.

The U.S.-China Economic Relationship: The TPP is Not the Answer,” report explains why the TPP will have no effect on the way China sets its trade policy. It debunks claims that failure to pass TPP will allow China to set the rules of international trade.

“From what we know about the TPP, it’s a low-standards agreement from the perspective of working people.  It would solidify a model of globalization that drives wages and public interest policies down, it wouldn’t address job killing currency manipulation, and it could allow China to reap the benefits of the agreement without joining,” said Silvers. “It would undermine efforts to raise wages in China and to revive U.S. manufacturing. Congress must reject the notion that ‘TPP at any cost’ is worth it.  A corporate-driven TPP cedes important American values and hurts working families in the process.”

“The argument that TPP can counterbalance China’s rising economic power in the region holds no water,” said Hersh.  “In fact, Chinese policymakers are eager to see TPP completed for the opportunity to expand their economic footprint across Asia.”

A digitized replay of the call is available from today at 12:30 pm to 5/21/15 at 12:30 pm EST.

Telephone:   (USA) (800) 475-6701     (International) (320) 365-3844        Access Code: 360686

Read the report here.

Senators Shaheen & Cochran Introduce New On-The-Job Training Bill

Legislation Would Help Businesses and Job Seekers Through

Highly Successful Workforce Development Programs

Image from Senator Shaheen's Website

Image from Senator Shaheen’s Website 2014

(Washington, DC) ­– U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would help Americans find new jobs and update their skills through on-the-job training (OJT) programs. The On-the-Job Training Act of 2015 authorizes the Department of Labor to award competitive grants to establish and support local OJT programs, which have been demonstrated to be the most effective training model to help people gain the skills they need to get and keep jobs.

“This legislation is about getting Americans back to work with the skills they need in today’s economy,” said Shaheen. “On-the-job training programs are a highly effective way to boost local economies and help the long-term unemployed get their careers back on-track. These programs have been a success in New Hampshire and across the country and this legislation would expand them to keep America’s workforce competitive.”

“In times of economic uncertainty, we should focus on programs with a proven track record of helping businesses and creating jobs. On-the-job training programs work.  They connect employers with future employees and ensure that they have the skills needed for career advancement in many fields,” Cochran said.  “I’m pleased to join with Senator Shaheen to promote this important, bipartisan legislation.”

In on-the-job training programs, participating employers sign a contract with a local workforce board agreeing to hire workers that need training. In exchange, the employers are reimbursed for a percentage of the wages they pay the employees undergoing training, until the workers gain the skills they need for the new occupation. The participating businesses are expected to keep the newly trained employees on after their on-the-job training has completed.

Last year, Senator Shaheen secured passage of two on-the-job training provisions as part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that became law. The first increased the amount that businesses participating in on-the-job training can be reimbursed for wages they pay employees hired under the program and the second would enable more young people to participate in on-the-job training programs.

On-the-Job Training has the best results of all training programs that are part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity ActIn 2013, 88 percent of OJT participants were still employed at their training sites or in other jobs three months after having finished the program, and 79 percent were still employed one year later.

On-the-job training programs have already demonstrated success helping the unemployed launch into new careers in New Hampshire, as demonstrated in this video made by New Hampshire Works featuring employers and employees who have used the program.

The bill text can be found here.

At Sewalls Falls Bridge, Senator Shaheen Calls For Long-Term Funding For NH Infrastructure Projects

By User: Magicpiano  CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons

By User: Magicpiano CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons

(CONCORD, N.H.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today visited Sewalls Falls Bridge in East Concord to discuss the need for long-term federal transportation funding to replace the aging bridge and other critical infrastructure projects across New Hampshire. Shaheen was joined by Concord Mayor Jim Bouley and other city officials.

“The problem is pretty simple: If there isn’t a real commitment to finance repairs of our roads and bridges, they don’t get fixed,” said Shaheen. “The Sewalls Falls Bridge is a critical project that’s been on-hold because of a shortfall in the National Highway Trust Fund. Leadership in Congress need to propose a long-term highway bill that allows for work on the Sewalls Falls bridge to finally get underway. I will continue to use every opportunity to urge Congress to pass a highway funding bill that makes the future investments needed to support public safety and commerce in our Granite State communities.”

Sewalls Falls Bridge, originally constructed in 1915, was closed in December after it was deemed unsafe for traffic. Prior to its closing the bridge’s weight limit had been downgraded to 3 tons, a move that lengthened emergency response times to certain areas of Concord. Senator Shaheen wrote to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting that it expedite approval of the project, which was subsequently granted. However, authorization for the Highway Trust Fund expires on May 31 and U.S. DOT projects the fund will become insolvent in late July, while Congressional leadership has not yet introduced a long-term highway authorization bill that would provide the stable federal funding so critical to this project and many others around New Hampshire. In recent years, Congress has resorted to passing short-term highway bills at the last minute which do not provide the guaranteed funding over many years that many projects need to begin construction work.  

New Hampshire has 775 bridges that are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 37% of state roads are rated as being in poor condition.

How Ironic, President Obama Pushes For The TPP at NIKE Headquarters

1naftaThe heated debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership just got a little hotter and a little weirder.

Yesterday President Obama went to NIKE headquarters in Oregon to push for the “Fast Track” authority to finalized the TPP.

Politico summarized his speech in their article, President Obama on trade deal: ‘Let’s just do it’, and posted this video.

President Obama pushing for his flagship trade agreement at the headquarters of one of the largest abusers of cheap foreign labor is more than ironic.  Rachel Maddow said, “It’s like going to approve the Keystone pipeline at the site of an oil spill.”

Politico reported: “Nike pledged earlier Friday that it would create 10,000 jobs over the next decade if the trade deal passes, a small part of the global company’s more than 1 million contract factory workers, most of which are based in Asian countries.”

Yea, 10,000 jobs but how many new jobs will Nike create in foreign factories thanks to the TPP?

The major issue with the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not that we do not want to have fair trade with these countries, it is that we as American workers want to know that the TPP will level the playing field not encourage more offshoring of US jobs.

stop-fast-track-rally-press-conference-fast-track-1Another major sticking point in this agreement is the lack of transparency.  The entire agreement is being negotiated in secret.  The White House is assuring us that this agreement will help American workers and force better wages and labor conditions overseas.

We need our elected leaders to stand up and be the representatives we elected them to be.  I recommend you call at tell them how you feel about the TPP and the Fast Track legislation at 1-855-712-8441.

I reached out to my Senator’s office through the press connections I have made.  I asked if Senator Shaheen supports the Fast Track legislation and the TPP as a whole?

“Senator Shaheen plans to carefully review the final Trade Promotion Authority legislation as it makes its way through the committee process in the coming months,” said Senator Shaheen’s Deputy Press Secretary, Nick Brown.

I asked the same of Congresswoman Annie Kuster’s office.  Her press secretary Rosie Hilmer responded with some more a more promising response. “

“Congresswoman Kuster has raised concerns with draft legislation to grant the President trade promotion authority, also known as fast-track authority, and there are ongoing efforts to change and improve this legislation.”

“Congresswoman Kuster supports fair trade policies that protect U.S. jobs and reflect American values.  She believes Congress must play a leading role in setting our nation’s trade agenda, and she has raised concerns with the flawed process that has been used to pass earlier trade agreements.  She continues to have concerns about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership could affect Granite State workers and, as Congress debates these issues, she will continue to advocate for Granite State priorities and will judge any trade legislation by its impact on New Hampshire.”

We need to keep pressuring all of our elected leaders and make your voices heard.  We want good paying American jobs, not more false promises of mythical jobs that come from these trade agreements.

CALL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE AND YOUR SENATORS AT 1-855-712-8441.

For more information on the TPP and Fast Track go to StopTheTPP.org and watch this short video from Robert Reich

AFL-CIO Warns Congress of the Dangers of Fast Track in a Wave of Actions Across the Country

Over 10,000 Calls and Nearly 7,000 People at Events Against Bad Trade

(Washington, DC) – Last week, the AFL-CIO and its allies placed 10,000 calls to 49 House Members and 2 Senators, with an additional 1,000 calls occurring on Saturday’s National Day of Action from Virginia alone.

Since Fast Track legislation was introduced last Thursday, nearly 7,000 union members, environmentalists, faith leaders and other community partners went to Capitol Hill and canvassed the streets in over 50 Congressional districts and states to warn about the dangers of the Fast Track trade deals. Current proposals would roll back state and local laws safeguarding food and the environment as well as laws that protect working people from wage theft, predatory lending, and consumer fraud. Click here for a list of the events in the DC metro area and across the country. Highlights include:

  • In St. Louis, MO, 400 hand written letters were drafted to Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, and to Missouri Members of Congress. In addition, 26 Missouri State Representatives wrote to Sen. McCaskill in opposition to Fast Track.
  • In Nebraska, nearly 100 people endured thunderstorms and pouring rain to rally in front of Brad Ashford’s district office. They then waited an additional half hour to personally go into the Congressman’s office one by one to express their opposition to Fast Track.
  • In Portland, Bend, Salem, Eugene, Medford and Coos Bay, OR, over 1,000 people protested the Pacific Rim Trade Deals.
  • In Washington, DC last Thursday, Members of Congress, labor and environmental leaders spoke to a crowd of 1,200 people. On Monday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Sen. Bernie Sanders, CWA President Larry Cohen, and commentator Jim Hightower, spoke to a 1,000 person crowd of community allies from National People’s Action, USAction, Campaign for America’s Future, and Alliance for a Just Society.
  • At a Springfield, MA panel discussion, 50 students, union members, environmentalists and other community activists concerned about our food supply pulled out their phones to call Congressman Neil and express their views.
  • Also last Thursday, the AFL-CIO launched a six figure digital ad buy in 34 targeted House Districts and 16 Senate states.

Last week’s wave of action across the country builds on the grassroots activity in the month of March when union members, environmentalists, small business owners, progressives and community allies made more than 86,000 phone calls to Members of Congress, gathered more than 40,000 petition signatures, and organized more than 400 events across the country.

Tell Congress NO To Fast Track: A Special Message From AFT

This is a special message from AFT Secretary Treasurer Loretta Johnson.

AFT_Logo-2

Yesterday, I spoke at a rally here in D.C., where hundreds gathered to urge Congress to put the brakes on “fast-track” trade deals that will hurt American workers. I don’t need to convince you that transparency is important when it comes to making decisions about our economy, jobs, safety and the environment. Unfortunately, just a few hours ago, the Senate introduced legislation that undercuts the public’s voice on free trade agreements through this fast-track legislation.

Click here to tell Congress NO to fast-track.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement that is currently being negotiated in secret between the United States and 11 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. And legislation granting fast-track authority would enable corporate power-grabs like the TPP to be rushed through Congress, circumventing ordinary review, amendment and debate procedures.

The TPP will create rules and obligations that govern an estimated 40 percent of the world’s economy, yet few Americans are aware of its impact or even its existence. Unfortunately, the last 20 years of corporate-driven free trade policy have created a downward spiral in which jobs have been shipped overseas and worker, environmental and consumer protections have been eroded.

We cannot allow corporate interests to determine trade policy like the TPP. We must urge Congress to fend off the corporate call for fast-track.

Smart trade policy has the potential to promote shared global prosperity, which is why our communities—NOT multinational corporations—must be the driving force in shaping trade policy.

Please urge your members of Congress to protect our economy, jobs, environment and public health by opposing fast-track legislation.

In unity,

Lorretta Johnson

AFT Secretary-Treasurer

One more thing: Would you help us by sending this tweet?: To preserve & protect US jobs Congress must stop Fast Track for the TPP! #StopFastTrack

AFL-CIO Worker Wins Update: Wages and Numbers Rise for Working Families

WASHINGTON, DC– Workers across the country have stood up in the past month to fight for better wages and working conditions.

Worker Voices Raise Worker Wages: Under pressure from workers, major corporations such as Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and McDonald’s have raised their minimum wage over the past months, addressing America’s national wage stagnation crisis. From coast to coast workers have held actions calling on employers to raise wages, and national leaders have echoed calls in favor of a raising wages agenda.

37,000 Workers Get a Raise as Seattle Minimum Wage Hike Begins: Seattle’s minimum wage rose to $11 on April 1stas part of a multi-step process that will eventually result in a $15 minimum wage throughout the city by 2021.  This raise comes as over two dozen stateshave minimum wages above the federal minimum wages.

The Union Difference in Mining: Safety and Efficiency: According to a March report by SNL Energy, underground coalmines with union workers are safer and more productive than their non-union counterparts. Of the 16 miners who died on the job in 2014, only one was at a union mine, while union miners were found to be nearly 20 percent more productive per hour.

Workers Rev Up Organizing Efforts as UAW Membership Climbs: The United Auto Workers added more than 12,000 members in 2014 according to its Labor Organizing Annual Report released in March. UAW membership has grown for five consecutive years with nearly 50,000 new members since 2009.

NYU and UAW’s graduate teaching assistants reach “A+” agreement:  Last month, New York University (NYU) and GSOC-UAW Local 2110, which represents graduate teaching and research assistants, reached a tentative agreement that provides improved wages and benefits among other improvements. This week, GSOC members overwhelmingly ratified the agreement making it the only contract covering graduate teaching and research assistants at a private university.

Workers Fight For Schedule Stability in California: Workers in California ramped up a fight last month to ensure that service industry employers give their workers at least two weeks’ notice before scheduling shifts. This law seeks to provide predictable work schedules to millions of workers in industries such as fast food and retail, where workers often have no notice of hours they’re expected to work.

President Obama Says ‘No’ To GOP Efforts to Weaken Union Rules: President Obama blocked Congressional GOP efforts last month to overturn NLRB rulings to streamline the union election process, making it easier for workers to have a voice. The NLRB regulations were issued last December and take effect on April 14th.

 

McCain Amendment to Keystone Pipeline Bill Blasted as a Job Killer by Sea Captains’ Union

John McCain (Image by Gage Skidmore CC Flikr)

(Image by Gage Skidmore CC Flikr)

 International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots Asks:       If Keystone is a “Jobs Bill” Why Would Congress Want to Send 400,000 Maritime Jobs in 26 States Overseas? 

WASHINGTON  –  S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, has been described as a “jobs bill” by the pipeline’s proponents since Keystone XL was first proposed, but a new amendment introduced by Arizona Sen. John McCain would turn S.1 into a “job killer” of epic and irreversible proportions.  The McCain amendment would gut a significant part of the Jones Act, a set of laws dating back to the 1920s that has helped build and maintain a domestic shipbuilding industry. Maritime unions and maritime industry groups are now mobilizing against the amendment’s passage. Among those actively opposing passage are the Maritime Labor Alliance and its coalition of maritime unions, and others in maritime and transportation labor, along with the Shipbuilders Council of America and the American Maritime Partnership.

“In Washington sometimes up is down and offense is defense, but an amendment that seeks to eliminate highly-skilled steady middle-class jobs employing hundreds of thousands of our countrymen should never be called good for America,” said Captain Don Marcus, who serves as the President of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, a union representing sea captains and deck officers on U.S. flagged vessels. “This is beyond hypocrisy,” he added.

McCain’s amendment, which has nothing to do with a pipeline that traverses the largely landlocked states of the Great Plains, seeks to repeal the build provisions of the Jones Act, the cabotage laws that require ships plying domestic waters to be built in the United States.

If S.1 is passed with McCain’s amendment included, it would decimate the nation’s shipping industry, eliminating as many as 400,000 U.S. jobs spread over 26 states, lead to the closing of shipyards and related industries, reduce GDP by an estimated $36 billion and erase $24 billion in American workers’ wages and benefits, according to figures compiled by the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department.

Using Florida as an example, 21,890 shipyard jobs generating $1.6 billion in annual economic activity would be at risk, including more than $1 billion in labor income, according to the U.S Maritime Administration.

The economic threat to their state’s largest private sector business is why Mississippi Senators, Republicans Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, have publicly opposed McCain’s amendment. Shipbuilding represents 23,450 jobs in Mississippi. The industry’s economic impact to the Gulf Coast state’s GDP is $2 billion, according to figures from the American Maritime Partnership.

Senators from across the aisle, including Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), oppose the change to the Jones Act.  Both Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have significant shipbuilding industries.

The parties that would most benefit from this amendment are heavily subsidized foreign shipping competitors not subject to U.S. laws, regulations, environmental standards and taxes.  Inexplicably, Senator McCain and his supporters would rather see fuel and cargo hauled in U.S. waters on tankers and freighters built overseas and operated by foreign crews rather than American-made ships staffed by U.S. citizens. “It’s outrageous that John McCain is doing this,” said Marcus.

Beyond the threat to the domestic economy, this amendment would also threaten national security by destabilizing the military’s strategic sealift needs. The Jones Act ensures that the U.S. has a reliable source of domestically built ships and skilled American crews available for its military and humanitarian aid operations. “Without the sealift capability and American maritime jobs provided by the Jones Act and the Maritime Security Program,” said Marcus, “the U.S. Armed Forces would be forced to rely on foreign-flag ships and crews with unknown loyalties to transport critical military cargo and personnel to overseas operations. Bad idea.” Among the groups that have voiced opposition to the McCain Amendment is the Navy League of the United States.

For more information on the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, please visit www.bridgedeck.org

Weekly List Of Communication Positions From UnionJobs

Union Jobs header

AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)
Senior Fellow, Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Department  District of Columbia
Assistant Director, Information Technology Department District of Columbia
Data Coordinator – Wisconsin, Campaigns Department – Midwest Region, Wisconsin
Campaign Coordinator – Ohio, Campaigns Department Midwest Region  Ohio
Popular Education Coordinator, Campaigns Department  District of Columbia
Communications Coordinator, Communications Department (MW Region)  Michigan
Organizing Field Communications Assistant, Organizing Department  District of Columbia
Development Manager, Digital Strategies Department  District of Columbia
Strategic Campaigns Coordinator, Organizing Department  District of Columbia


ACCE
(Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment)
Worker Justice Campaign Coordinator, Bay Area or Sacramento  California


AEA
(Actors’ Equity Association)
National Director of Governance, New York City  New York

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


CAPT
(California Association of Psychiatric Technicians)
Senior Communications Specialist, Sacramento  California


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


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


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


ITPI
(In the Public Interest)
Communications Coordinator/Writer  District of Columbia


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


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


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


OCEA
(Orange County Employees Association)
Communications Organizer
, Santa Ana  California


PSC/CUNY
(Professional Staff Congress, AFT Local 2334)
Union Newspaper Editor, New York  New York


PWF
(Partnership for Working Families)
Administrative & Executive Assistant, Oakland  California


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


SEIU
(Local 1)
Communications Specialist, Detroit or Cleveland  Michigan, Ohio


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


SEIU
(Local 521)
Communications Specialist, San Jose  California
Campaign Researcher, San Jose or Fresno  California
Temporary Campaign Researcher (term one year), San Jose  California


SEIU
(Local 721)
Communications Specialist  California


SEIU
(SEIU 775)
Political and Communications Specialist, based in Seattle  Washington


SEIU
(Local 1021)
IT Team – Database Specialist, Oakland  California


UDWA
(United Domestic Workers of America)
Communications Coordinator, San Diego  California
Staff Writer, San Diego or Sacramento  California


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


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


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


WIN
(Workers Independent News)
Digital Media Specialist, Madison  Wisconsin
Affiliate Relations Director, Madison  Wisconsin


Working Families
(Pennsylvania Working Families)
Pennsylvania Communications Director, Philadelphia  Pennsylvania

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement