Thank you for taking local action on TPP. Your emails made a difference. On October 29th, 2013 the Madison Common Council voted unanimously to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement and “Fast Track“. Dane County County Supervisors also voted unanimously to oppose TPP on October 17th. These two bodies are the first in the country to take action, but many other local government organizations are expected to follow soon.
If you would like to take your concerns about TPP directly to Congress, Senator Ron Johnson announced that his staff will be available for mobile office hours at the dates and locations listed below. These office hours allow constituents to meet with the Senator’s staff to request assistance with a federal agency or regarding other federal matters.
Let Senator Johnson know TPP threatens jobs and could roll-back consumer protections in the areas of banking, the environment, food inspection and safety, and the cost of drugs. Fast Track is simply a way to ram through incredibly complicated legislation with only 20 hours for debate and no amendments allowed.
Tuesday, November 12th1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Wednesday, November 13th9:00 am – 10:00 am
Thursday, November 14th 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Demand Justice for Wisconsin’s Asbestos Victims
Say NO to Senate Bill 13
Please contact your State Senator(ASAP) and requestthat they vote against Senate Bill 13 the “Asbestos Claims Transparency Act”. SB 13 is a one-sided bill crafted under the guise of transparency that will do nothing more than create unnecessary delays in getting life-saving treatment for asbestos victims. These unnecessary delays could be the difference between life and death for plaintiffs in Wisconsin suffering from mesothelioma.
For more information on SB 13 Click on the links below.
Update H.R. 3040 The Safe Freight Act
Thank you to everyone who e-mailed your representatives to urge them to support the Safe Freight Act. Your action resulted in over 4600 emails sent to over 300 legislators. If you haven’t sent an e-mail please consider doing so. Your voices are being heard in DC so it is important to keep the momentum up on this important issue.
Please contact your Representative to urge them to support the Safe Freight Act.
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1) Arlene Holt-Baker retired from her position as Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO and the elected leadership of the AFL-CIO is now comprised of the following:
Richard L. Trumka, President
Elizabeth Schuler, Secretary-Treasurer
Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President (Gebre replaces Holt-Baker and comes from the Orange County California Labor Federation –
Gebre’s bio may be accessed at: http://www.aflcio.org/About/Leadership/AFL-CIO-Top-Officers/Tefere-Gebre
2) AFL-CIO Executive Council was increased from 51 to 55 by Convention action (Entire slate, including President Loeb, was reelected to serve on the Council)
3) United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW – includes RWSDU) has reaffiliated and is back under the AFL-CIO umbrella.
4) International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) – continues its affiliation with the AFL-CIO and its President Harold Daggett became a member of the Executive Council as a result of the additional 4 posts approved by the Convention.
To be clear, it is noted that the ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) left the AFL-CIO.
5) Keynote Address by President Trumka who spoke about the middle class and “Shared Prosperity”.
He noted that we need to open up our movement to all workers, i.e. accept new members, grow the labor movement in order to build a stronger movement.
Video of Trumka’s speech may be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TlmMzM8ukQ&feature=youtu.be
6) Convention Resolutions (and other information) can be accessed via the AFL-CIO’s Convention website at: http://www.aflcio.org/About/Exec-Council/Conventions/2013/Resolutions-and-Amendments
Based on the theme of our Convention and some of the resolutions that passed in July, I note some of the Resolutions adopted by the AFL-CIO Convention that might be of particular interest to you:
Resolution 5: A Broad, Inclusive and Effective Labor Movement
Resolution 6: Shared Prosperity
Resolution 11: Retirement Security for All
Resolution 12: America and the World Need A New Approach To Trade And Globalization
Resolution 16: Community Partnerships and Grassroots Power
Resolution 28: Solidarity, Effectiveness and Accountability at the Grassroots: State Federations, Central Labor Councils and Affiliates
Resolution 41: Collective Bargaining
Resolution 54: Affordable Care Act
7) Thomas Perez – U.S. Secretary of Labor
Perez was one of the Convention speakers. He assumed office on July 18, 2013 and is clearly a strident supporter of working familes.
Watch video of Perez’ address (after intro by President Trumka) at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il8NJ6MWMr4&list=PLSIUF-toHGIXF4_ldMZY8Ya_EqV9fSAzL&index=9
For those who are interested, Perez’ bio can be accessed on the DOL website at the following link: http://www.dol.gov/_sec/
8) Senator Elizabeth Warren
The Senator gave a keynote address on Sunday (opening day) of the Convention. Her address can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deruS2zJ4aU
9) Convention Videos
Additional video coverage of the AFL-CIO Convention may be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSIUF-toHGIXF4_ldMZY8Ya_EqV9fSAzL
10) State of Indiana –
One of the highlights of the Convention (not on the Agenda) was when an announcement was made that word had been received that a Judge in the State of Indiana ruled that Right to Work legislation was unconstitutional. Most of you have no doubt seen the articles on this huge victory for labor, but here are a couple of links to the articles that came out during the AFL-CIO Convention:
State Federation and CLC Affiliation
The AFL-CIO continues to put pressure on the State Feds and CLC’s to comply with Resolution 8 as passed in 2009, and Resolution 28 passed last month.
2009 Convention Resolution 8 at: http://www.aflcio.org/content/download/6837/73934/file/2009res_8.pdf
2013 Convention Resolution28 at:
IATSE Locals need to be reminded that if they are not affiliated with their State Feds and CLCs, they need to do so in compliance with Article Nineteen, Section 22 of the IATSE Constitution. It appears that most of our local unions are affiliated. The State Feds usually send a letter to the International President notifying him when a Local is in arrears or not affiliated. It might be helpful for the Districts to alert the Locals of their need to comply before they receive a letter from President Loeb.
State Legislative Highlights
State Legislative Highlights – September 27, 2013
Alaska: The Anchorage city clerk’s office announced this week that the petition to repeal anti-public service worker law AO-37 has enough valid signatures to be placed on the Anchorage ballot. Last week, 22,136 signatures were turned in – more than three times the number needed to place the measure on the ballot. Meanwhile, the city of Anchorage has announced it will appeal to the state Supreme Court a decision that allowed organizers to go forward with efforts to put the measure on the ballot. In addition, the Anchorage Assembly introduced a proposal this week that could delay a vote on the referendum until 2015.
Arizona: Last week, Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to regain the authority to determine the boundaries for Congressional districts. This would override a decision by Arizona voters in 2000 that grants that authority to a five-member Independent Redistricting Commission. In 2012, Arizona Democrats won five of nine seats in Congress – the Congressional districts in 2012 were drawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission following the 2010 Census.
California: The state signed a five-year contract with Geo Group to lease space for 1,400 inmates this week. The deal will cost California taxpayers an estimated $30 million annually.
More information – including the draft proposal – became available this week about a campaign underway in California to put on the 2014 ballot an initiative that would allow state and local governments to cut pension benefits for current employees.
Governor Brown signed into law several pieces of legislation this week, including a domestic workers bill of rights, legislation that expands the family temporary disability program to include time off to care for a seriously ill grandparent, grandchild, sibling or parent-in-law, and legislation that increases the state minimum wage from $8.00 to $10.00 by 2016.
Florida: The Florida legislature began holding weekly committee meetings this week to prepare for the 2014 legislative session. Issues expected to be addressed in next year’s session include the state budget, tax cuts and Medicaid expansion.
Indiana: A legislative panel is expected to decide in the next few weeks whether or not to recommend that the Indiana Public Retirement System Board suspend its plan to privatize the annuity savings accounts that are currently offered to public employees and teachers.
The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to contract out the design and construction of its portion of the “Illiana Expressway,” a 47-mile toll-road between northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois.
Michigan: The House Oversight Committee passed HB 4643 this week. This bill would increase fines and restrictions on strikes and picketing.
Also this week, the State Administrative Board approved Governor Snyder’s plan to privatize the state’s prison food services. The three year contract is expected to eliminate 370 Corrections Department jobs, and will cost Michigan taxpayers $145 million.
New Jersey: The results of two polls were released this week showing that voters support the minimum wage increase on the November 5th ballot in New Jersey. One poll found that 65 percent of registered voters support the proposal, which would raise the state minimum wage to $8.25, after which the rate would be indexed to inflation. The second poll showed even greater support for the measure, with 76 percent of registered voters indicating their support.
The legislature may schedule a vote during the lame-duck period to override the Governor’s veto of a marriage equality bill.
This week, the Jersey City Council passed legislation to require paid sick days for private sector workers. The Mayor is expected to sign the measure into law.
New York: This week, the New York City Council held a hearing on a bill that would prohibit employers from demanding the username and password of employees’ social media accounts.
North Dakota: The Grand Forks City Council is expected to vote in October on an ordinance that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the city’s rental housing market. The city council passed legislation earlier this year that prohibits discrimination against LGBT workers in city government employment.
Oregon: The Governor has called the legislature into a one day special session on Monday, September 29th.
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania’s legislature came back into session this week – the session is expected to address infrastructure spending, public pensions, and liquor store privatization.
The House Labor Committee passed anti-prevailing wage bill HB 1538 out of committee this week. This bill would allow any municipality, political subdivision, authority or agency to opt out of the requirements of the Prevailing Wage Act.
Wisconsin: It was reported this week that half of Milwaukee’s 17 independent charter schools that were rated in accordance with the state’s school report card accountability system failed to meet performance expectations – and two received failing grades.
This week, several unions filed a contempt of court motion against the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. The motion was filed because the Commission is continuing to go forward with union recertification elections, despite a Dane County judge’s ruling last week that key provisions of 2011 Act 10 that limit local public service workers’ collective bargaining rights cannot be enforced.