Health care reform takes new turn in California

This article has been corrected. The long-running saga of health reform in California has taken a new turn, with two developments that are reshaping the debate about how best to cover millions of uninsured and underinsured people in the state.

Congress returns with economy topping agenda

WASHINGTON (PAI)--“It’s the economy, stupid.” That 1992 campaign slogan by Bill Clinton might be the theme as the Democratic-run 110th Congress returns to hard work on Capitol Hill in mid-January.

Despite Bush veto threat, House passes new mine safety bill

WASHINGTON (PAI)--Despite a veto threat by anti-worker GOP President George W. Bush, the Democratic-run House passed a new mine safety bill--strongly supported by the AFL-CIO, the Mine Workers, the Steel Workers and mine victims’ families--by 214-199 on Jan. 16. Democrats favored it 207-16; the GOP did not, 7-183.

Think tank: holes in presidential candidates health care plans

WASHINGTON (PAI)--A think tank, the Commonwealth Fund, that assembled a task force of experts two years ago to examine United States health care and draft principles for a comprehensive and affordable health care system, says there are holes of varying sizes in the health care plans of the top eight remaining Democratic and Republican presidential contenders.

Good for GM, bad for the rest of us

While the future is looking up for General Motors and its high-priced execs, it’s anything but good for workers, as the company is moving quickly to slash its labor expenses. Last week General Motors told Wall Street analysts it will take advantage of its new cost-cutting labor agreement with the United Auto Workers to reduce its annual U.S. labor costs by $5 billion by 2011.

At Rev. King gathering in Memphis: unions launch drive to win in '08

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – One thousand leaders of the nation’s labor movement, gathered here for the AFL-CIO’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance, launched a drive Jan. 18 to “take back the country” in the 2008 elections.

Tasini's take on directors' contract

The Directors Guild of America has struck a tentative deal with Big Media. Jonathan Tasini takes an initial look at the contract and blogs on workinglife.org that the Writers Guild of America strengthened the DGA's hand.

Mexican authorities move to crush copper strike

Mexican labor authorities seized on technicalities to order an end to the strike at the country’s largest copper mine in Cananea, Sonora, on Friday. The Mexican press reports that over 700 heavily armed agents of the Sonora state police arrived in Cananea just hours before the decision was announced, and agents of the Federal Preventative Police were sent to this tiny mountain town as well.


Labor support for Obama grows as unions eye 2008 elections

Barack Obama won the backing on Jan. 9 of the 60,000 strong Culinary Workers Union in Nevada, boosting his campaign for the presidency. Nevada voters will caucus on Jan. 19 to select their delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The endorsement followed announcements by the 450,000 member parent union, Unite HERE and the international plumbers’ union that they were backing the Illinois Senator.

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