Public union’s political director: Members to be ‘pivotal’ for Dems in Midwest races

By Kevin Bogardus – 09/02/12 06:00 AM ET

The political director for the nation’s largest public sector union said its members will prove “pivotal” in Midwestern swing states – including Wisconsin — for President Obama and Democrats come the November elections.

Brian Weeks, as the new political director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), told The Hill that state-level battles over public workers’ collective bargaining rights have fired up the union’s members for the fall campaign.

“It’s definitely one of the areas where we will be pivotal. We have a lot of membership in those Rust Belt states,” Weeks said. “The battles our members fought in Ohio, Wisconsin as well as Michigan have kept them engaged and ready for these coming elections.”

Weeks has been on the job for about a month after stepping into the shoes of Larry Scanlon, who retired earlier this year after spending nearly 17 years as AFSCME’s political director.  Continue reading “Public union’s political director: Members to be ‘pivotal’ for Dems in Midwest races”

EPA Management Thwarting Organizing Effort At Georgia Laboratory, Says AFGE

 EPA management fires a world-renowned EPA scientist and suspends another

ATLANTA, Aug. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Federation of Government Employees’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Labor Council #238 today expressed its utter disbelief that in the midst of a union election, EPA management has fired a world-renowned EPA scientist and suspended another at the Ecosystems Research Division of EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga.

Scientists at EPA’s Athens laboratory contacted AFGE, seeking union representation. “The two scientists who were blatantly reprised against were activists in seeking the union election. We stand by them in their hour of need,” said AFGE EPA Council 238 President Charles Orzehoskie. Continue reading “EPA Management Thwarting Organizing Effort At Georgia Laboratory, Says AFGE”

G.O.P. Platform Seeks to Weaken Powers of Unions

 

New York Times
August 30, 2012, 10:58 am

G.O.P. Platform Seeks to Weaken Powers of Unions

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

 

Unlike in the past, this year’s Republican platform in Tampa, Fla., does not contain any sympathetic nods to the nation’s labor unions, which have become among the Republicans’ most formidable political foes. Instead, the platform calls for numerous steps that could significantly weaken America’s labor unions — public-sector and private-sector ones — and help speed organized labor’s overall decline.

The 2012 platform urges elected officials across the country to change their laws regarding public-sector unions and follow the lead of Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, who spearheaded an effort to curb the ability of his state’s public employees to bargain collectively. The platform states, “We salute Republican governors and state legislators who have saved their states from fiscal disaster by reforming their laws governing public employee unions.” Mr. Walker said that that legislation was needed to weaken overly powerful unions and balance Wisconsin’s budget, while labor leaders said the legislation aimed to destroy public-sector unions and cripple them politically. Continue reading “G.O.P. Platform Seeks to Weaken Powers of Unions”

GOP platform takes aim at federal workforce

GOP platform takes aim at federal workforce

The Republican Party unveiled its national platformTuesday, revealing its plan to downsize the federal workforce, trim federal benefits and privatize airport screeners.

The platform calls for a wholesale reinvention of the federal government, which has become “bloated, antiquated and unresponsive to taxpayers,” according to the plan.

“It is our intention not only to improve management and provide better services, but also to rethink and restructure government to bring it into the twenty-first century,” the drafters of the Republican plan wrote. Continue reading “GOP platform takes aim at federal workforce”

Republican platform: Cut 10% of workforce, privatize TSA

Republican platform: Cut 10% of workforce, privatize TSA

Aug. 29, 2012 – 11:07AM   |  By SEAN REILLY   |    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waves as he arrives in Portsmouth, N.H., on Saturday. The GOP platform says the federal government should use attrition to reduce the payroll by at least 10 percent and adjust “pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waves as he arrives in Portsmouth, N.H., on Saturday. The GOP platform says the federal government should use attrition to reduce the payroll by at least 10 percent and adjust “pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector.” (Jewel Samad / AFP via Getty Images)

The Republican National Convention approved a party platform Tuesday that calls for cutting the federal workforce by at least 10 percent, overhauling federal pay and benefits, as well as privatizing airport screening and possibly some U.S. Postal Service operations.

Although the document acknowledges the dedication of federal employees, it says that the civil service has grown by at least 140,000 employees under the Obama administration, while the number making $150,000 or more has doubled. “At a time when the national debt has increased to over $15.9 trillion under the current administration, this is grossly irresponsible,” the platform continues. Instead, the government should use attrition to reduce the payroll by at least 10 percent and adjust “pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector.” Continue reading “Republican platform: Cut 10% of workforce, privatize TSA”