In May 2012, a union was formed under the banner of the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress, the independent trade union federation formed in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian uprising, and 250 of the factory’s 300 workers signed up. In July, the union faced its first challenge in defending the rights of its members: Kraft refused to pay the workers a social allowance granted by presidential decree in the face of rising prices. Continue reading “Kraft Egypt sacks union leaders who called for company to obey the law!”
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”
CHICAGO, Aug. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Federation of Government Employees’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Labor Council 238 today announced its dismay over the failure of EPA to bargain in good faith. “In the midst of a pay freeze invoked by this administration, and with federal employees and labor under attack in Congress, we have concerns about this administration’s stance on federal employee unions,” said AFGE EPA Council 238 President Charles Orzehoskie.
On December 9, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13522 – Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services. In that directive, the President stated, among other things, that “Federal employees and their union representatives are an essential source of front-line ideas and information about the realities of delivering government services to the American people … Management should discuss workplace challenges and problems with labor and endeavor to develop solutions jointly.” Continue reading “EPA Union Questions Administration’s Support For Federal Sector Unions”
By Tami LuhbyAugust 30, 2012: 9:22 AM ET
The decline of union membership has been a key driver of income inequality in recent decades, a new report found.
The drop in unionization accounts for roughly a third of the growth in wage inequality among men and a fifth among women between 1973 and 2007, according to the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
The share of the workforce represented by unions declined from 26.7% in 1973 to 13.1% in 2011. This contributed to the increase in inequality by lowering wages for middle class workers, according to EPI.
A non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report last year showed that the average household income for the nation’s top 1% more than tripled, while middle-class incomes grew by less than 40% between 1979 to 2007.
The pullback in unionization has also been a primary cause of the growing wage gap between white- and blue-collar men, as well as between college-educated and high school-educated men.
“Unions reduce wage inequalities because they raise wages more at the bottom and in the middle of the wage scale than at the top,” said Lawrence Mishel, EPI’s president.
Declining unionization has hurt men more than women because men were more likely to have been in unions in their heyday.
Union workers are paid a premium of 13.6% thanks to their collective bargaining contracts, according to EPI.
Blacks and Hispanics enjoy premiums of 17.3% and 23.1%, respectively, while whites have a 10.9% bump. Men see a 17.3% premium and women 9.1%.
This advantage is calculated by comparing hourly wages between union and non-union workers who are otherwise comparable in terms of experience, education, industry and other factors.
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”