What’s a Works Council?

 

It’s not a “workers’ council.” The word “works” here means “factory” or “facility.” In English we use the word in names like the Bath Iron Works, a big shipbuilding facility in Maine.

Works councils were established in Germany through a 1920 law, specifically as an alternative to the workers’ councils that had sprung up in many factories after World War I. Workers attempted to take direct democratic control of the plants through the workers’ councils, on their way to a revolution that would take over the government. That uprising was thwarted.

The works councils, then, were the German government’s attempt at pacifying militant workers. There were mass demonstrations by workers who opposed the works councils law, charging it would hinder workers’ independent organization. Forty-two were killed by police and a state of emergency was declared, but the law went into effect.

The works councils were abolished by the Nazis but reinstated after World War II under the military government of the United States and its allies. Continue reading “What’s a Works Council?”

Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2013

A Notice by the Social Security Administration on 10/30/2012

Under title II of the Social Security Act (Act), there will be a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits effective December 2012. As a result of this increase, the following items will increase for 2013:

(1) The maximum Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly benefit amounts for 2013 under title XVI of the Act will be $710 for an eligible individual, $1,066 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $356 for an essential person;

(2) The special benefit amount under title VIII of the Act for certain World War II veterans will be $532.50 for 2013; Continue reading “Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2013”

Unemployment Insurance To Be Extended, $30 Billion Cost Won’t Be Offset

Unemployment Insurance To Be Extended, $30 Billion Cost Won’t Be Offset

Posted: 12/31/2012 3:32 pm EST  |  Updated: 12/31/2012 3:44 pm EST

 Unemployment Insurance Extended

WASHINGTON — One of the remaining sticking points holding up a fiscal cliff deal appears to have been resolved, as negotiators have decided to extend unemployment benefits without offsetting the cost.

A source familiar with negotiations told The Huffington Post that lawmakers would treat the provision as “an emergency measure that shouldn’t be paid for.” A Senate Democratic and Republican source each confirmed the plan. Continue reading “Unemployment Insurance To Be Extended, $30 Billion Cost Won’t Be Offset”