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Missouri AFSCME Members Aid Ferguson Community

AFSCME - 0 sec ago

FERGUSON, Mo. – Community members in this St. Louis suburb saw an outpouring of support from labor, faith and other organizations following the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown earlier this month. Among those helping are members of AFSCME Council 72, representing public workers across Missouri and Kansas.

Council 72 members stepped up by providing much-needed diapers, toilet paper, bottles of water and meals for the community and businesses that were shuttered during the protests that followed Brown’s death, said Willie Donald, a steward of Local 2730 (Council 72) who works as a developmental assistant at the Bellefontaine Habilitation Center in St. Louis.

With the school year start date postponed in Ferguson until this week, these donations are making a real difference for families, many of whom receive meal assistance through their schools. AFSCME Council 72 members provided lunches outside of libraries offering educational programming for Ferguson’s children.

“We want to help the businesses so that they’ll open back up and go back to normal,” Donald said. “Everything’s still boarded up. We’re trying to help meet people’s immediate needs. We want to start building everything up into something better.”

AFSCME members also joined with the PICO National Network and other locally based organizations, this past Saturday, to launch a weekly voter registration drive to foster political empowerment and civic engagement in Ferguson.

“Our union stands in solidarity with the entire Ferguson community,” said AFSCME Pres.Lee Saunders. “And we stand with our labor and faith allies to urge a peaceful resolution to this tragic situation.”

Categories: News By Union

The political issues women care about.

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:58

Former PA State Senator Allen Kukovich and Democratic Candidate for PA Congressional District 12 Erin McClelland join us to talk about the need for more women in government, and a recent poll released about the issues women care about.

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Labor Day Marathon and the importance of youth involvement.

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:56

Co-hosts Daniel Lee and Julie McQueen of the Union Sportsman’s Alliance TV show Brotherhood Outdoors joins us with special guests Kentucky Laborer Adam McCormick and his 14-year-old daughter Kaitlyn to talk about the upcoming Labor Day Marathon and the importance of youth involvement.

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East Allegheny Teachers are going on strike.

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:54

Cheryl Ihnat, President of the Eastern Allegheny Education Association joins us with some breaking news: after almost 3 years of no contract, East Allegheny Teachers are going on strike.

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Mark Schauer’s campaign, and the current pole numbers.

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:53


Buck Geno of Work in Progress Radio joins us to talk about the latest on Mark Schauer’s campaign, and the current pole numbers.

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Womens rights, and updates on a recent healthcare convention held in California

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:51

Mark Dudzic, National Coordinator of Labor for Single Payer Healthcare joins us to talk about the recent convention held in California this past weekend.

Frank Emspak of Workers Independent News joins us to talk about the recent poll released saying women of this country feel the GOP is “stuck in the past”

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GOP the Shutdown party, and Putin for President?!

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:44

Burgess Everett, congressional reporter for POLITICO, joins us to talk about the article ‘Dems Paint GOP as Shutdown Party.’

Media Matters Researcher Brian Powell joins us to talk about Fox Host Requests Putin Be US President For 48 Hours To Deal With Islamic State.

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Teamsters Warn of Antitrust Obstacles To Sysco-US Foods Merger

Teamsters - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 10:02

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters warned industry analysts and investors about possible antitrust obstacles connected to the proposed merger of Sysco [NYSE: SYY] and US Foods [USF]. The merger is currently under antitrust review by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

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A Whopper of a Tax-Avoidance Scheme

AFSCME - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 09:00

Next time you consider chomping into a Burger King Whopper, you might think about the bite this fast food giant is trying to take out of the American taxpayer.

The company announced it will purchase beloved Canadian coffee and donut shop chain Tim Hortons. That purchase could help it dodge its U.S. tax obligations, shifting its burden to the rest of us American taxpayers.

While the prospect of avoiding taxes and raking in higher profits may sound appealing to the company’s top brass, the rest of us know we’ll have to make up the difference, or do with less public service as the tax revenue pool shrinks.

Burger King is pursuing the purchase as a process called a tax inversion. That is, when a U.S.-based firm buys a company in another country, and relocates its corporate headquarters. Even if most of the company’s managers and employees remain in the United States, the firm can take advantage of the other country’s lower tax brackets.

It’s a decision that Walgreens recently mulled but dropped after American taxpayers came together in protest of the move. But since 1983, approximately 75 corporations abandoned America through inversion, and at least 10 more corporate inversions are currently underway.

AFSCME opposes these corporate tax evasion schemes. We are urging members of Congress to enact the “Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2014” (S.2360), introduced by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.). The measure would prevent U.S. corporations from claiming to be foreign companies unless they meet specified conditions. 

We also support the Bring Jobs Home Act, introduced by Sens. John Walsh (D-Mont.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). The legislation would eliminate some tax incentives that corporate CEOs use to increase their profits by sending our jobs overseas.

To tell Congress to pass the "Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2014," send them a message here!

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Philadelphia City Workers Reach Tentative Agreement

AFSCME - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 09:00

PHILADELPHIA – After more than five years, AFSCME District Council 33 reached a tentative contract agreement with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's administration. Perseverance paid off for the hard-working members of DC 33. If the contract is ratified, they will receive a $2,800 signing bonus and wage increases, among other improvements.

The Nutter administration spent the past five years trying to force the council to accept a contract that would have reduced wages, benefits and working conditions. The mayor even went to the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court to overturn decades of collective bargaining law in order to have the ability to impose the city’s “last best offer.”

But the AFSCME members stayed strong.

“Even as life became increasingly hard for our members, with increased health and welfare costs, frozen wages and threats to their collective bargaining rights, the members of DC 33 did not give up,” said Pete Matthews, president of District Council 33. “Many thought our firm bargaining position would not work, but our members knew they would prevail. I am proud to lead a district council that stood firm and remained strong.”

The lawsuit filed by the Nutter administration would have negatively affected public-sector bargaining rights throughout Pennsylvania. After the state Supreme Court declined to hear the case, Mayor Nutter quickly appealed the decision to a lower court. The case was still active throughout the negotiations. As part of the tentative agreement, the city agreed to drop the lawsuit upon ratification of the contract.

Should DC 33 members ratify the agreement, they will receive a $2,800 signing bonus, increases in health and welfare contributions, and a 3.5-percent wage increase in September and a 2.5-percent increase next July. The mayor froze step increases and longevity pay during negotiations in an attempt to force workers to accept his unreasonable terms. Both will be reinstated immediately upon ratification of the agreement, which would be in force through July 2016.

A major sticking point in contract negotiations was the city’s demand for 15 furlough days, which President Matthews argued were not necessary and the members of DC 33 refused to accept. The Nutter administration was forced to abandon its position and there are no furlough days in this agreement. 

“Our fight for fair wages,  benefits and working conditions did more than just awaken our members, it made the community more aware of the important jobs we do that make Philadelphia work,” Matthews said. “I want to thank the other unions, members of the community and faith leaders who came out in support for the work we do. This not only helped our cause but it also made our city stronger.”


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Missouri Home Care Workers, Clients Build Coalition

AFSCME - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 09:00

Nearly 100 Missouri Home Care Union activists and their clients convened last weekend to plan their push to the finish line for a first contract. Negotiations with the state wrapped up on non-economic issues; now the focus is on winning a decent raise for the home care workers in the state’s Consumer Directed Services program serving Medicaid clients.

The remarkable alliance between clients and attendants was strengthened significantly at the summit. “Your fight is our fight,” client Michael Richards told home care attendants. “We’re all one in this.”

Clients were resolute in linking better wages to better care. Demand for home care is expanding, but poverty-level wages cause high turnover and make recruitment difficult.

“For the work we do, $11 an hour isn’t too much to ask,” attendant and longtime activist Elinor Simmons told the group.

The three-day conference was packed with workshops devoted to mobilizing support for the wage increase. It left participants fired up and prepared.

“I learned how to fight for what’s right,” said Miracle Martin, whose grandmother Juanita Crenshaw is an attendant.

“We know how to speak up for what we want, how to write our political leaders and newspapers,” said attendant Laverne Harrell. “I’m taking a stack of community support cards back home with me, and I’m getting every one of them filled out!”

“We’re building one great, powerful voice,” Richards said, “and Missouri is going to hear from us.”

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Transgender State Employees Win Health Care Coverage

AFSCME - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 09:00

Transgender state employees in Washington state, on July 31, celebrated a vote by the Public Employee Benefits Board (PEBB) that ended discriminatory exclusions in the state’s health care coverage.

“I applaud the decision … to eliminate insurance coverage exclusions targeted strictly at transgender employees,” said Cherilyn Tate, a member of Local 793. “This decision will finally bring the insurance provided by the state for public employees into line with Washington state's non-discrimination law. This is a good solid second step that I am proud to have had the respect and support of my brothers and sisters throughout AFSCME and specifically WFSE Council 28.”

Greg Devereux, executive director of the Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME Council 28 and PEBB board member, called the denial of coverage unfair. “No one should be denied health care coverage because of who they are,” he said.

According to the Coalition for Inclusive Healthcare, nearly all insurance plans in Washington state exclude coverage for transition-related medical treatment, even when that same treatment, such as mental health care, cancer screenings or hormone therapy, is covered for non-transgender people.

The board’s unanimous vote means transgender employees will gain access to hormone treatments, mental health care and other nonsurgical treatments as early as Jan.1, 2015. Surgeries will be covered next July.

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MV Transportation Drivers Unanimously Choose Teamsters Union

Teamsters - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:05

(SALINAS, Calif.) – MV Transportation drivers have voted unanimously, 67-0, to join Teamsters Local 890 in Salinas, Calif., to improve their working conditions. The 91 drivers provide adult paratransit services, shuttle and tourist trolley routes in Salinas and Monterey.

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Upcoming Labor day events with AFL-CIO Treasurer A.J. Sterling.

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 05:20

Tennessee AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer A.J. Sterling joins us to talk about upcoming Labor Day events, and news coming from the UAW.

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FBI going after fraudelant Charter Schools, and the latest labor news from across the country.

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 05:18

Frank Emspak of Workers Independent News joins us to talk about the latest labor news coming from across the country.

Progressive Michigan Editor Ruth Conniff joins us to talk about the FBI tracking charter schools.

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The Importance of bringing jobs back home.

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 05:15

SEIU Director of Government Relations Peter Colavito joins us to talk about the importance of bringing jobs back home.

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How we prepare todays youth to enter the future labor force.

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 05:13

President of UAW 167 Adam Underhill joins us to talk about the future of Labor and the importance of getting today’s youth involved in spreading the message.

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Mitch McConnel's thoughts on the Koch brothers shouldn't surprise you, Labor day coming!

Union Edge - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 05:11

Berry Craig of the Kentucky Labor Institute and the Western Kentucky Area Labor Council joins us to talk about Mitch McConnel’s recent appearance at a Koch Brothers meeting.

Doug Cunningham of Workers Independent News joins us to talk further about Mitch McConnell and upcoming Labor Day events.

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Today's Teamster News For August 28, 2014

Teamsters - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 04:50

Here are today's top news stories of interest to Teamsters for August 28, 2014.
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