Big business tried to keep the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) from becoming law in 1993. Now the business lobby is trying to dismantle one of this era’s most family-friendly reforms, says the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Over 1,000 janitors and their supporters gathered here June 15 to say the time has come for janitors in New Haven to become union members. “You cannot live on the wages you earn and your kids cannot afford a good education,” Hector Figueroa, SEIU Local 32 BJ secretary treasurer, told them. “We have won many struggles before, and this is one more that we are going to win.”
DETROIT — On June 15, national Justice for Janitors day, several hundred Detroit area janitors, members of Service Employees International Union Local 3, marched to the new downtown PricewaterhouseCoopers building to send notice to New Image, the nonunion cleaning contractor servicing the building, that they will not allow nonunion businesses to take root in the city. On their way back, the marchers were warmly greeted by many fans leaving the stadium of baseball’s first-place Detroit Tigers.
WASHINGTON — When Exxon Mobil reported 2006 first quarter profits of $8.4 billion, it put the energy giant on track to outstrip its record $36 billion profits in 2005. Last week’s “Take Back America” conference here noted that while Exxon Mobil is a big winner, millions of Americans are the losers in an economy based on fossil fuels and denial of the human and environmental damage it causes.
CHICAGO — Three years to the day since workers at the downtown Congress Hotel went on strike, the strikers and their union, Unite Here Local 1, joined leaders of the city’s religious, labor and community groups for a funeral-themed rally.
HOUSTON — A giant inflatable rat was the featured participant in a protest at Duke Energy headquarters here by members of Pipeline Workers Local 798. The workers came from Tulsa, Okla., to protest the unfair practices of Duke Energy contractor Sunland Construction.
Levees ‘in name only,’ says report AFL-CIO invests $1 billion for affordable housing Extend jobless benefits for 80,000 workers Public housing residents reclaim apartments Undocumented face abuse, hazardous conditions
CHICAGO — Over 100 community supporters, including religious leaders and elected officials, rallied here in front of the immigration court building June 1 as about two-dozen former employees of IFCO Systems, who were arrested as part of a nationwide raid by federal agents in April, went to their first deportation hearing.
Because Congress has refused to raise the $5.15 an hour minimum wage since 1997, coalitions of labor, religious and community groups are organizing voters to do so, one state at a time. So far 21 states and Washington, D.C., have done so. Similar campaigns are under way in another dozen states.
They could not find enough seats so they sat on the Capitol steps. Over 100 high school students from across Ohio gathered in Columbus on May 17 to present their minimum wage petitions to the committee of petitioners.