Labor News

Students and teachers back university strike

MINNEAPOLIS — Members of four locals of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) representing 3,500 clerical, technical and health care workers at the University of Minnesota walked out Sept. 5 over pay issues.

BP weighed costs of refinery blast

HOUSTON — In the ongoing litigation against BP following the March 2005 blast at the company’s Texas City oil refinery that killed 15 workers, a lawyer for some of the victims has produced an internal memo showing BP did a cost-benefit analysis that concluded it would be cheaper to not make structures blast-resistant than it would be to absorb the costs of a possible explosion.

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Security officers march for a living wage

SAN FRANCISCO — Security officers who protect downtown high-rise office buildings are telling this city’s corporate real estate giants they need real security, too, in the form of living wages, family health coverage, paid sick days and pensions. And if need be, they are prepared to strike to get it.

Union retirees tool up one-two punch for 2008

WASHINGTON — Retired garment worker Elli Kuhns of Shamokin, Pa., knows hard times, recalls when women could not vote, remembers Franklin Delano Roosevelt, savors the stunning defeat of Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum in 2006 and, sitting amid a sea of recently retired baby boomers, has her walking shoes on for 2008.

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Labor mourns 9/11 dead, fights for the living

NEW YORK — The city’s labor movement gathered near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, Sept. 8, in a combined Sept. 11, 2001, commemoration, Labor Day tribute and call for federal legislation to ensure health care for those suffering from 9/11-related illnesses.

Unions not welcome in Kid Nation

While it’s true that many parents would like to see their children become a bit more enthusiastic about household chores, they probably wouldn’t want to see them in the kind of world depicted in “Kid Nation,” the new CBS reality TV show. The show debuts Sept. 19.

2007 Labor Day roundup: A sampling of Labor Day events from around the country.

Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh

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Smithfield workers force company to the table

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — A thousand workers and activists demanding unionization of Smithfield’s Tar Heel, N.C., plant shook the walls of the Williamsburg Lodge Conference Center here Aug. 29 as they massed outside the annual meeting of the company’s shareholders, shouting slogans, chanting and blowing whistles.

Grand theft auto

The “Big Three” U.S. automakers lie, cheat and steal. Something to keep in mind as we watch GM, Ford and Chrysler negotiate with the United Auto Workers union. Let’s take the lies first.

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EDITORIAL: How wealth is created

“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” — Abraham Lincoln’s Message to Congress, Dec. 3, 1861.

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