Labor - USA

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SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West

Sal Rosselli, San Francisco Chronicle, May 29, 2005

With the merger in December of the Oakland and Los Angeles locals of the Service Employees International Union, Sal Rosselli became the head of the California's largest labor organization. Representing some 140,000 health care workers statewide, SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is at the center of a number of labor disputes, most notably a campaign against the giant hospital operator Sutter Health. ... SEIU

The Iraq War and the AFL-CIO Convention

Labor Must Take a Stand!
US Labor Against the War, May 24, 2005

To: President John Sweeney, the AFL-CIO General Executive Council, AFL-CIO National Union Officers, and AFL-CIO Convention Delegates

The AFL-CIO must address the issue of the Iraq war at its Convention this July.

I am asking you to support a Resolution at the convention that calls for:

• An immediate end to the US occupation of Iraq;
• The return of US troop to their homes and families;
• The re-ordering of our national priorities toward peace and meeting human needs.

Thank you for your support on this important issue.


Black Labor's Voice Amidst the Madness

Black Commentator, May 19, 2005

For the first time since one faction of the AFL-CIO declared war on the other nearly a year ago, Black trade unionists from across the US and Canada will gather later this month in an attempt to force the contenders for control of the labor federation to recognize the interests of African Americans. ... Black Labor's Voice

Labor’s Dilemma

Republicans have made important inroads into the universe of voters who shop and work at Wal-Mart. Can the Dems win them back?
Eleanor Clift, Newsweek, May 6, 2005

Everybody’s rebranding these days, and the labor movement is no exception. Fifty years ago, one in three workers belonged to a union; today, it’s one in 10. No other institution except maybe the Vatican is in more need of an overhaul. ... Labor’s Dilemma

AFL-CIO to Cut 167 Jobs, Spend More to Organize

Amy Joyce, Washington Post, May 4, 2005

The AFL-CIO told 167 of its employees yesterday that their jobs will be cut in a reorganization of the labor federation, but they will have the chance to apply for 61 new jobs.

President John J. Sweeney last week said the organization was planning to cut its workforce as part of an effort to redirect limited resources to help bolster union membership, which has dropped from 33 percent of the workforce to 12.5 percent over the past 50 years. ... AFL-CIO to Cut

AFL-CIO Kills Health and Safety Department

Jordan, May 3, 2005

AFL-CIO staff wore black to work today, and for good reason. Coming only a few days after Workers Memorial Day, 169 positions were eliminated, including half of the four-person Health and Safety Department's professional staff. Deborah Weinstock and Rob McGarrah have been given notice that their positions will no longer be funded, although it is unclear when these changes will take place. ... AFL-CIO

Labor Imperialism Redux?

The AFL-CIO's Foreign Policy Since 1995
Kim Scipes, Monthly Review, May 2005

Throughout much of its history, the AFL-CIO has carried out a reactionary labor program around the world. It has been unequivocally established that the AFL-CIO has worked to overthrow democratically-elected governments, collaborated with dictators against progressive labor movements, and supported reactionary labor movements against progressive governments. In short, the AFL-CIO has practiced what we can accurately call “labor imperialism.” The appellation “AFL-CIA” has accurately represented reality and has not been left-wing paranoia. ... Labor

Labor Group Tries to Address Dissent

Pete Yost, Associated Press, April 28, 2005

The AFL-CIO proposed spending more money on union organizing Thursday, trying to pre-empt a plan pushed by Teamsters President James P. Hoffa and other labor leaders.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney is seeking re-election in July and a new report by the labor federation says too few unions are investing 30 percent or more of their overall budgets on organizing.

Dissidents including Hoffa, who runs one of the nation's largest unions, want to cut the AFL-CIO's budget, proposing reductions in dues paid to the federation for unions that commit more resources to organizing. The initiative will be voted on at the AFL-CIO's national convention in July.

Sweeney is proposing a $22.5 million strategic organizing fund - an increase of nearly $10 million over the current amount. The fund would rebate $15 million to unions.

Sweeney Is Silent on Ties to War Hawks Promoting Bush’s Global Agenda

Harry Kelber, LaborTalk, April 6, 2005

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney has declined to explain why his name and title appear on a list of supporters of the Project for the New American Century, an organization whose prime activity is to promote the establishment of an American global empire through the use of military and economic power.

On the list of ‘people associated’ with the Project, besides Sweeney, are: Vice President Dick Cheney, a founder; Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and a gallery of neo-conservatives, many from the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation. ... Sweeney

Nurse Unity: 2005 Resolution - 002

UAN Executive Council, March 17, 2005

... BE IT ... RESOLVED that, in the event that a significant restructuring of the AFL-CIO occurs that will likely effect the operations of the UAN and UAN Affiliates, the Executive Council be directed to call for a reconvened NLA to determine UAN’s continued affiliation with the newly constituted AFL-CIO, as well as other strategic alliances with unions who represent Registered Nurses. Nurse Unity

No Short-Cuts

Mobilization and Politics Must Drive Labor's Revival from the Bottom Up Hetty Rosenstein & Bob Master, Communications Workers of America, Portside, March 16, 2005

Last fall, Andy Stern and the Service Employees Union threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the labor movement: “reform or die.”

Or, to be more precise: “reform or we’re out of here.”

The SEIU’s sense of urgency, even desperation, about the future of the labor movement is admirable and welcome. There is no need to rehearse the grim facts at length ... No Short-Cuts

Stern-Hoffa Group Loses First Round, Seeking 50% Rebate for Organizing

Harry Kelber, LaborTalk, March 9, 2005

For most of the three-day meeting of the AFL-CIO Executive Council on March 1-3 in Las Vegas, there were heated debates, mainly about money: who gets what share of the federationís annual income, what for and how much.

A proposal by Teamster President James Hoffa to give international unions 50% of the per capita contributions they pay the national AFL-CIO, a rebate of $35 million, was rejected by the Executive Committee by a vote of 15 to 7. ... Stern-Hoffa Group

San Francisco Labor Council Opposes Move Against Venezuela Unions

San Francisco Labor Council, Portside, March 6, 2005

In 10 days the ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association will be meeting in Geneva. On its agenda will be the Article 26 joint complaint filed by the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce FEDECAMARAS, and the US-backed Confederation of Venezuelan Workers (CTV) against the Venezuelan government and the newly formed National Union of Workers of Venezuela (UNT)

On February 28 the San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO) adopted a statement opposing the FEDECAMARAS/CTV complaint against Venezuela ... San Francisco

Interview with Andy Stern, president of SEIU

David Bacon & Philip Maldari, Portside, March 6, 2005

Last August the Service Employees International Union kicked off a process of reevaluation of the direction of the US labor movement, with a speech you made at the union's San Francisco convention and a interview in the Washington Post. You called for looking at the direction of the US labor movement, and at its relationship with the Democratic Party. Then, in the fall, SEIU made a series of proposals for specific reforms and reorganization for unions, called Unite to Win. ... Interview

No Real Labor Reform Without Blacks

Black Commentator, March 3, 2005

Far from ameliorating the crisis afflicting what’s left of organized labor in the United States, a number of “reforms” proposed by some of the nation’s largest unions appear as attempted rollbacks of historic gains won by Blacks, Latinos and women unionists a decade ago. Simply put, the vast changes in AFL-CIO structures demanded by the giant (and heavily minority) Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Teamsters and others contain no formal mechanisms to ensure that core labor constituencies have a voice remotely commensurate with their numbers and strategic importance. ... No Real Labor Reform

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