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Preventing Workplace Violence: National COSH and Local Groups Join Call for OSHA Standard for Health Care and Social Service Workers

NCOSH 300X250San Diego – In solidarity with labor unions representing millions of American workers, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH), the New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NHCOSH) and other local COSH organizations have endorsed petitions calling for a comprehensive federal standard to prevent workplace violence in the health care and social assistance sectors.

“With an issue like workplace violence, it’s easy to say, ‘Hey, how can you stop a person who wants to hurt somebody?’” said Jessica Martinez, acting executive director of National COSH. “But that’s just wrong and ignores documented best practices. If you address issues like adequate staffing and lines of communication, worksite security, proper training and safety protocols, there’s no question you can reduce the risks faced by health care and social service workers.”

Workplace violence is a problem across all sectors of the economy. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than two million workers each year report that they are victims of violent incidents on the job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported more than 400 workplace homicides in 2014, making homicide the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States.

Health care and social service workers are among those most at risk. Fifty-two percent of victims of workplace violence, according to the BLS, are health care and social service workers.

On July 12, a coalition of unions filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Labor, calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a “comprehensive workplace violence prevention standard to protect all workers in healthcare and social service settings.” The coalition of labor unions includes the AFL-CIO; American Federation of Teachers; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; American Federation of Government Employees; Communications Workers of America; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Service Employees International Union; the United Steelworkers and National Nurses United.

“Like other on-the-job hazards, workplace violence can be prevented – in health care, social services and in other sectors” said National COSH Senior Organizer Peter Dooley. “To be effective, a workplace violence prevention standard must be part of a comprehensive, systems approach to workplace safety, with workers involved in every step of the process.  That includes evaluating risks, assessing remedies, reporting incidents without fear of retaliation, and design of rigorous training.”

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels, National COSH and local COSH groups point to the proven effectiveness of prevention programs. “A comprehensive workplace violence prevention program,” the letter states, “reduced rates of assault at Veterans Health Administration hospitals between 2004 and 2009.”  The letter also notes that the states of California and Minnesota have recently passed legislation requiring health care employers to implement workplace violence prevention programs.

In addition to National COSH, local groups signing on to yesterday’s letter include:

  • Connecticut Council on Occupational Safety and Health (ConnectiCOSH)
  • Fe y Justicia Worker Center (Houston COSH)
  • Maine Labor Group on Health
  • Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH)
  • Mid-State Education and Service Foundation
  • New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NHCOSH)
  • New Jersey Work Environment Council (NJWEC)
  • New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH)
  • NorthEast New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NENYCOSH)
  • Rhode Island Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (RICOSH)
  • South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice
  • Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (SoCalCOSH)
  • Western Massachusetts Coalition for Workplace Safety and Health (WesternMassCOSH)
  • Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH)
  • Worksafe

Yesterday’s letter to Secretary Perez and Assistant Secretary Michaels is available here.

* * *

National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit coshnetwork.org.  Follow us at National Council for Occupational Safety and Health on Facebook, and @NationalCOSH on Twitter.

Teamsters Local 633 Endorse Colin Van Ostern For Governor

Teamsters LogoMANCHESTER, N.H. – Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 633 endorsed Colin Van Ostern for Governor of New Hampshire. Citing Colin’s record of fighting for working families and growing New Hampshire’s economy, the Teamsters Local 633 join six other local labor unions in backing Van Ostern.

“We are proud to endorse Colin Van Ostern for Governor,” said Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 633 Dave Laughton. “On the issues that matter most to our members – creating and maintaining good paying jobs, investing in our infrastructure and expanding opportunity – Colin has a record that we can trust and support. As our next Governor, Colin will continue moving New Hampshire forward to build an even stronger economy where everyone has the chance to succeed, not just those at the top.”

Teamsters Local 633 was chartered in 1934 and represents thousands of members in the beverage production and delivery industries, law enforcement, school principals, bus drivers, several municipalities, public works employees, warehouse and freight drivers.

“We’re proud to earn the support of Teamsters Local 633 and the thousands of hard working New Hampshire families that they represent,” said Pat Devney, campaign manager for Democratic candidate for governor Colin Van Ostern. “As Governor, Colin will continue to move New Hampshire forward by building a stronger economy for everyone, not just those at the top. We’re honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with seven local labor unions, more than 85 elected officials and thousands of grassroots activists in our campaign to create a better future.”

Teamster Mechanics Reject United Airlines’ Final Offer, Vote To Strike

Teamster Mechanics Reject Two-Tiered Wage System

WASHINGTON — Teamster mechanics voted overwhelmingly today to reject United Airlines’ final offer and authorize a strike. There are over 9,000 mechanics in the bargaining unit. Over 93 percent of mechanics who voted cast ballots against the company’s offer.

“The membership has spoken clearly. The final offer from United Airlines was soundly rejected today and the membership has authorized a strike because of the substandard proposition,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “At a time when United Airlines is incredibly profitable, it is clear that mechanics deserve a better offer from the company. United is profitable because of the dedication, passion and professionalism of their workers and the carrier needs to reflect those characteristics in their negotiating position. United needs to come back to the table and deliver an industry-leading contract for our hardworking mechanics.”

“The membership voted strongly against this substandard agreement. The idea of implementing B-Scale wages for incoming mechanics is unacceptable,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “There is no need to place the financial burden for this agreement on the backs of future mechanics. Executives at United Airlines are being compensated with million-dollar packages and the mechanics deserve their fair share.”

The leadership of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will petition the National Mediation Board for a release to begin a strike.


Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.

Teamsters Union Decides Not To Make Any Endorsement Yet In Presidential Primary

presseal(WASHINGTON) – On Tuesday, Sept. 29 the Teamsters Union General Executive Board decided to not endorse a presidential candidate at this time.

The Teamsters look forward to meeting with Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders and any other candidate, regardless of party affiliation, who is committed to improving the lives of America’s working families. This would include Vice President Joe Biden should he choose to run. In addition to meeting with the candidates, the union plans to survey its leaders and membership as well.

Earlier this month, the Teamsters Union launched the “Let’s Get America Working!” campaign to encourage both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to work together to focus on creating good jobs through investment in our nation’s infrastructure.

“It’s long past time for Republicans and Democrats to put aside their differences and work together for the good of our country,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “The Teamsters will work with and support any candidate who puts the needs of America’s working families above the deep pockets of their corporate donors.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Visit www.teamster.org for more information.
Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.

Statement By Richard Trumka On American Airlines And US Airways Unionization Vote

Richard Trumka (The Nation / AP-Photo)

Richard Trumka (The Nation / AP-Photo)

“Today, thousands of workers embraced a union future. The hardworking men and women of American Airlines and US Airways voted for union representation and a legally binding contract. Their collective skill has built successful airlines, and their collective voice will build successful workplaces.

“It should not be lost on the pundits that most of the nearly 14,500 new union members work in southern states. The right to a voice at work doesn’t have a geographic predisposition, and this victory will energize ongoing organizing efforts in the South.

“I want to thank all parties involved, including elected officials, for enabling workers to have a free and fair election. And I especially want to congratulate CWA and the Teamsters on helping give these workers a voice.

“Clearly, one of the largest labor organizing victories in the South in decades is a historic day. But it also shows that the future of the U.S. labor movement is alive, as these workers can be found at airports, call centers, even working from home. The right to collectively bargain will always be what our working family fights for.”

UNION YES! New American Airlines Passenger Service Agents Vote Big for Union Representation

American Airlines B777 (Aero Icarus CC FLICKR)

American Airlines B777 (Aero Icarus CC FLICKR)

Election is biggest union organizing victory in the South in decades

WASHINGTON — 9,000 American Airlines passenger service agents, after a 19-year struggle, joined together today in a vote with the members of the US Airways CWA-IBT Association to form a new bargaining unit of 14,500 agents at American Airlines. It is the largest labor organizing victory in the South in decades.

Three-quarters of the agents work in Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona and 2,300 are home-based reservations agents.

By an 86 percent vote, airport and reservations agents overwhelmingly chose representation by the Communications Workers of America-Teamsters Association in the National Mediation Board election; results of the vote were announced this afternoon. US Airways and American Airlines merged to form the New American Airlines in 2013.

The vote clearly shows that workers who can make a fair choice about union representation want bargaining rights. New American agents are concentrated in southern states, and work at diverse locations, including large and smaller airports, call centers and at home. Across every group, they voted for bargaining rights and union representation.

Richard Shaughnessy has been an agent at Miami International Airport for 27 years and has been a leader of the American agents’ fight for a voice and bargaining rights.

“The merger between American Airlines and US Airways is an exciting time for all of us. But even more exciting is our victory today,” he said. “We’re the front line employees who interact with our customers every day, and we are looking forward to a positive relationship with management to make this merger ‘work’ for all of us. We are anxious to get to the bargaining table.”

Carroll Locklear is a home based reservations agent in Texas. “I’ve been with American Airlines for 18 years and through all of those years I have been praying for this day. We have been the odd employees out for so long, because we were the only employees without union representation. Gone are the days that management can take what want when they want. This will be  a win-win for all of us,” Locklear said.

“We feel stronger now with this vote,” Eula Smith, a customer service agent in Charlotte, said. “I’m a 60-year-old woman with 42 years with this employer. You can’t live in the South and make a decent wage unless you are in senior management in a corporation or belong to a union. We need this. We need not just a union, we need CWA.”

Ken Grunwald is a 23-year-reservations agent, working at the call center in North Carolina. “I’m proud to remember everyone over the years who worked so hard for our union voice, who never gave up in the face of adversity, and who gave their blood, sweat and tears so that we would have the opportunity to celebrate this victory today. It’s a victory for all American Airlines employees! I’m so excited to think that we will finally be able to negotiate a legally binding contract. We now all have each other’s ‘back,’“ Grunwald said.

Vickey Hoots has been a US Airways reservations agent at the Winston-Salem N.C., cell center for 29 years. “This win was a long time in coming, at American Airlines, just as it was  at US Airways. I’m so proud of all our members and we’re excited that we will be able to negotiate the industry leading contract that our members deserve,” Hoots said.

Janet Elston, an agent at Dallas International Airport, says, “19 years ago, a handful of agents started a drive to obtain representation for AA airport and reservations agents. Many hundreds of activists have spent thousands of hours over the years to get us to today’s election result. They never wavered and never, ever gave up. We have finally achieved what most thought was impossible: union representation for our work group. Now we’ll begin a new working relationship with our company, with a legal binding contract.”

US Airways agents have been CWA members since 2000. US Airways merged with America West in 2005; passenger service agents at the former America West had organized with the IBT in 2004. After the merger, the CWA and the IBT formed the Airline Customer Service Employee Association, CWA-IBT.

CWA represents 700,000 working men and women in telecommunications; media; airlines; the public; health care and education sector; and manufacturing.

Labor Unions Representing Tens of Thousands of New Hampshire Workers Endorse Jeanne Shaheen

Manchester — Just one day after Scott Brown declared he has no interest in promoting economic development here in our state, New Hampshire labor unions representing tens of thousands of Granite State workers including the NH AFL-CIO, SEIU, NEA, Teamsters, Iron Workers, Electrical Workers, Food and Commercial Workers, Postal Workers, and Laborers, endorsed New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen for reelection. In their endorsements, workers highlighted Shaheen’s commitment to creating good paying jobs and her record standing up for New Hampshire workers and their families. Meanwhile, Scott Brown has shown that he’s only looking out for one job, his own, after it was recently reported that he is collecting a hefty paycheck from a company that shipped jobs overseas. Yesterday, Brown declared he wasn’t going to work to create jobs in the Senate.

“I’m honored to have the support of so many New Hampshire workers and their families,” said Shaheen. “Every day in the U.S. Senate, my number one priority has always been to strengthen our economy and create good paying jobs here in New Hampshire so everyone who works hard can earn a decent living for their families. I’ll never stop fighting to increase the minimum wage, invest in our state’s roads and bridges, and close loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas. These are commonsense solutions that will make a real difference for people throughout New Hampshire.”

Jeanne Shaheen has fought to strengthen the state’s economy and create good paying jobs for New Hampshire workers. She reached across party lines to secure new funding to widen I-93 and rebuild the Portsmouth Memorial Bridge, both of which created jobs for workers across the state. Shaheen stood up to members of her own party to protect thousands of jobs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. She also voted to close tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and is fighting to raise the minimum wage because it’s what’s right for New Hampshire families.

Scott Brown has opposed increasing the minimum wage and voted to support tax loopholes for companies that offshore American jobs. Recently, the Nashua Telegraph reported that Brown has made over a quarter million dollars as a board member of a company that touts outsourcing American jobs to China and Mexico as part of its business plan. Legal documents dated just two days before Brown entered the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire bear his signature endorsing the company’s outsourcing strategy.

“This election, we’re going door to door because there’s a real contrast in this race between someone running for New Hampshire working families and someone who’s in this race to line his own pockets,” said Mark Mackenzie, President of the NH AFL-CIO. “While Jeanne Shaheen puts New Hampshire first, Scott Brown puts his bank account first, refusing to resign from the board of a company that offshored American jobs to increase its profits. We don’t stand for that here in New Hampshire.”

“As a former teacher herself, Jeanne Shaheen knows the importance of ensuring every child has access to an affordable, quality education,” said NH National Education Association President Scott McGilvray. “It’s an insult to working families that Scott Brown would sit on the Board of Directors of a company that sent American jobs to China and Mexico to increase its bottom line. What Scott Brown needs to understand is that the offshoring practices he endorsed don’t just hurt workers, they hurt communities and they hurt kids.”

“Senator Shaheen has shown time and time again she can reach across the aisle and get things done for the people of New Hampshire,” said Steven Burk, NH Business Agent and Political Liason for the Ironworkers. “She’s worked to create good paying jobs here in our state, including the rebuilding of the Portsmouth Memorial Bridge, which our workers were proud to be a part of. New Hampshire working people deserve a Senator who will stand up for them, fight to increase the minimum wage, and close loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas–not one who supports special interests and lines his own pockets while claiming to represent us.”

“Jeanne Shaheen understands that investing in New Hampshire’s infrastructure not only creates good paying jobs, but also strengthens our economy in the long run,” said New Hampshire Teamsters Secretary-Treasurer David Laughton. “Scott Brown is still cashing in from his role on the board of a company that shipped American jobs overseas. While he profits, working people suffer. Here in New Hampshire, we’re not going to tolerate that kind of behavior.”

“The bottom line is Jeanne Shaheen understands that people in New Hampshire have bills to pay, kids to send to college, and food to put on the table–all while trying to save for retirement,” said Diana Lacey, SEIU 1984 President. “Scott Brown didn’t just vote for tax breaks for companies that offshore American jobs, he sits on the board of one of those companies himself.”

“Senator Shaheen supported every postal worker in New Hampshire when she personally urged members of the Appropriations Committee to protect the USPS service standards, helping to preserve a vital public service,” said Dana Coletti, New Hampshire President of the American Postal Workers Union. “Jeanne Shaheen looks out for the people of New Hampshire and has always put the families of this state first.”

“As Governor and Senator, Jeanne Shaheen’s worked to create good paying jobs by investing in infrastructure and education right here in New Hampshire,” said Joe Bonfiglio, President of the Massachusetts & Northern New England Laborers’ District Council. “Scott Brown on the other hand seems to care more about the economies of China and Mexico. He’s made a quarter million dollars on the board of a company that shipped jobs overseas to increase profits. We need a Senator who prioritizes working people here in New Hampshire, and that Senator is Jeanne Shaheen.”

We’re proud to endorse Jeanne Shaheen for reelection to the United States Senate,” said Jim Carvalho, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 Political Director. “She has a long record of fighting to create good paying jobs and looking out for working families here in New Hampshire. As a Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown voted to protect tax breaks for Big Oil, Wall Street and companies that ship jobs overseas. Now, he’s collecting money sitting on the board of a company that touts relying on low cost manufacturing jobs in China and Mexico as a part of its business plan. That’s not the representation our state deserves to have in the Senate.”

“Jeanne Shaheen is a Senator New Hampshire working people can trust. Her top priority has always been to create new jobs and she’s delivered for New Hampshire time and time again,” said Joe Casey, President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 490. “Scott Brown is in this race for nobody but Big Oil, Wall Street and himself. I can’t believe he’d vote for tax breaks for all these special interests but won’t support increasing the minimum wage so working people can support their families. Now he’s making money off of a company that shipped jobs overseas? We need to keep Jeanne Shaheen in the Senate.”

Teamsters Local 633 Endorse Diane Sheehan For Executive Council

Teamsters LogoToday Executive Council candidate Diane Sheehan was endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters local 633.  After receiving the endorsement Diane Sheehan released the following statment:

“I am proud, honored and truly appreciative to receive the endorsement of the Teamsters Local 633 for Executive Council, District 5.

As a current Alderman At-Large in Nashua, I am well aware of the importance of having a solid, professional workforce. Investing in good employees is good for the long term health of our community, our economy, and our quality of life.  My track record of commitment to our labor forces is something I am proud of, and glad that is it noted by the Teamsters We see the importance and value of treating employees with respect, and compensation when we watch what just happened with Market Basket. People matter.  I pledge to bring to the Council their cares and concerns and to work as hard in representing them, and all the people of District 5, as they come to work committed each day.

I humbly thank them for the confidence they have placed in me.”

Shaheen Campaign Joins NH Labor Leaders Calling On Scott Brown To Resign From Outsourcing Company

Scott Brown Collected More Than A Quarter Of A Million Dollars Advising Company Outsourcing American Jobs

Manchester — Today, the Shaheen campaign joined labor leaders representing tens of thousands of New Hampshire workers and their families in calling on Scott Brown to resign from the Board of Directors of a company that outsourced U.S. Jobs.  The former Massachusetts Senator collected more than a quarter of a million dollars to advise the company, even endorsing their outsourcing practice of relying on low-cost manufacturing bases in China and Mexico.  Brown has refused to answer questions about his role with the company since it was revealed by the Nashua Telegraph.

Officers of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, New Hampshire Teamsters, and New Hampshire SEIU Local 1984, wrote Brown: “In New Hampshire, we value companies looking to create good jobs at good wages here, not those looking to increase their profits by killing American jobs and shifting production to low wages countries like Mexico or China. That is why we are asking you to step down from your position on the Board of Directors of Kadant, Inc.”

Shaheen for Senate Campaign Manager Mike Vlacich said, “Cashing in on the board of company that brags about its outsourcing of American jobs to China and Mexico is another example of why Scott Brown is wrong for New Hampshire. Scott Brown has to answer to the people of New Hampshire who deserve to know why he was collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a company that shipped American jobs overseas and that relies on low-cost manufacturing bases in China and Mexico. New Hampshire can’t afford a U.S. Senator like Scott Brown who cares more about lining his own pockets — even if it means taking jobs from U.S. workers. Scott Brown should resign from this company immediately.”

Brown even signed legal documents dated just two days before he entered New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race in which the company touted “using low cost manufacturing bases, such as China and Mexico” as a business strategy.  When he was a Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown voted to protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

“In tough times New Hampshire workers need a Senator who will advocate for them; someone they can trust.  We can’t trust someone who doesn’t support increasing the minimum wage, voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, and lines his own pockets with more than a quarter of a million dollars from a company that sent American jobs overseas,” continues the letter.

See the letter New Hampshire labor leaders wrote to Brown below in its entirety:

To Mr. Scott Brown:

Our organizations represent thousands of New Hampshire workers and their families.  We were deeply troubled to read about your lucrative position with a company that outsourced jobs to China and Mexico. In New Hampshire, we value companies looking to create good jobs at good wages here, not those looking to increase their profits by killing American jobs and shifting production to low wages countries like Mexico or China. That is why we are asking you to step down from your position on the Board of Directors of Kadant, Inc.

As the Nashua Telegraph reported in the Sunday paper, you received over a quarter million dollars as a Director for Kadant, Inc.. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which you signed your name to, the company proudly touts “using low cost manufacturing bases, such as China and Mexico,” instead of creating American jobs.

In tough times New Hampshire workers need a Senator who will advocate for them; someone they can trust.  We can’t trust someone who doesn’t support increasing the minimum wage, voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, and lines his own pockets with more than a quarter of a million dollars from a company that sent American jobs overseas.

From 2002 to 2012, New Hampshire lost a higher percentage of jobs to China than any other state in the country, according to the Economic Policy Institute.  Families here can’t afford a Senator who is personally profiting from corporate practices that hurt our economy.  Again and again, Mr. Brown, it seems that you are looking out for your self-interests ahead of the people of New Hampshire.

We believe you owe New Hampshire an explanation about your decision to profit from a company whose practices hurt American workers, and further that you should resign from the board of this company.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

SEA-NH/New Hampshire SEIU Local 1984 President Diana Lacey
New Hampshire AFL-CIO President, Mark S. MacKenzie
New Hampshire Teamsters Secretary-Treasurer David W. Laughton

Think US Manufacturing Is In Trouble Now? Wait Till WALMART Jumps In

photo of 2007 Northcross Mall Wal-Mart protest by Kristin Hillery, via flikr

Photo by Kristin Hillery, via flikr

Hey, Richard Trumka! You didn’t need to be so darn diplomatic yesterday. My take: Wal-Mart getting into in US manufacturing is pretty much the LAST thing America’s economy needs right now.

Unless, of course, somebody’s had an attack of conscience and they’ve completely changed their business model.

Really quick, let’s look at Walmart’s business model:

The retailer has a clear policy for suppliers: On basic products that don’t change, the price Wal-Mart will pay, and will charge shoppers, must drop year after year.

Yep, it’s that old ratcheting-down thing. Works the same way as chained-CPI for Social Security benefits. Or, what’s been happening to the middle-class for the last 40 years. Death by a thousand cuts (also known as “creeping normality”). They take a little bit this year, and a little bit more next year, and a little bit more the year after that.  Wal-Mart’s business model:

Wal-Mart also clearly does not hesitate to use its power, magnifying the Darwinian forces already at work in modern global capitalism. …The Wal-Mart squeeze means vendors have to be as relentless and as microscopic as Wal-Mart is at managing their own costs. …Wal-Mart has also lulled shoppers into ignoring the difference between the price of something and the cost. Its unending focus on price underscores something that Americans are only starting to realize: Ever-cheaper prices have consequences.

Why would anybody in their right mind want to apply this business model to US manufacturing? (Other than, of course, the Walton family. But maybe having a bigger fortune than the bottom 42% of Americans, combined, isn’t enough for some people…?)

Isn’t it time to start ratcheting things UP again?

Mr. Trumka, please… save the diplomacy for elsewhere. We gotta stop this Race to the Bottom.

—–

made in prison labelAnd, oh yeah… something else about “Made in the USA.”

If you haven’t noticed, we’ve got a lot of prisons here in the US. And inmates work for really cheap wages.

That USA-grown organic produce sold at Walmart? Yep.

Stuff that gets returned to Walmart? Yep.

And that may just be the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to ALEC pushing “prison industries enhancement” laws for the past 20 years, there’s now lots and lots of stuff “Made in the USA” behind prison bars. And no way to tell how much of it ends up for sale on retail store shelves. Apparently, in some states, it’s legal to sell prison-made stuff in local stores… as long as it’s not transported across state lines.

Myself, I’m thinking it’s about time for another nationwide product-labeling campaign. So consumers will know exactly where in the USA these products are made.

H/T to the Teamsters for the really great graphic above… and to Dennis Trainor, Jr. and Acronym TV for the video below.

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