Posts Tagged ‘union advantage’

Laborers lend a hand in rebuilding Joplin

We’re excited to share yet another story of union members giving back to their fellow community members. On May 22, a devastating tornado in Joplin, MO claimed the lives of over 100 residents and flattened large sections of the city. With construction workers sorely needed to rebuild they city, Laborers’ Local 319 is providing free job training to help get the city and its residents back on their feet. Read more »


News of the World’s Decline Tied to (Gasp!) Unionbusting

The United Kingdom has been rocked in the last week with news of a major phone-hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World. The newspaper allegedly attempted to hack the phones of members of the British public, politicians, members of the Royal family, and 9/11 victims.  Read more »


Attorneys’ choice to organize underscores universal need for workplace protection

From the crowded aisles of a 747 to the rows of a tomato farm, unions have a role in every workplace. All of America’s workers deserve fair pay and respect, whether they are an autoworker or an attorney. Did I say attorney? Yes, even lawyers, who know the law and their workplace rights better than most, can benefit from having a voice through their union. Just ask those working in the New Jersey Attorney General’s office.

Tired of scant benefits, stagnant pay, and, most importantly, not having any power to change things in their workplace, these men and women decided to form a union with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Like a growing number of professional workers, the attorneys understood that they would be better protected if they had a say in their workplace. Read more »


Numbers show the sacrifice isn’t shared

Income Growth Pie ChartAs the economy struggles to rebound and local, state, and federal legislators seek to address cash-strapped budgets, the buzzword has been “shared sacrifice.” But the AFL-CIO’s annual Executive Pay Watch report shows that CEOs of major companies, unlike their employees, haven’t made too many sacrifices. In fact, CEOs from S&P 500 companies received, on average, $11.4 million in total compensation in 2010— a 23 percent increase from the previous year!

Shared sacrifice? Not so much. We sure don’t know any workers who got 23 percent raises last year. Read more »


Equal Pay Day- women working hard(er) for the money

Today, April 12 , is Equal Pay Day in the United States. Strategically chosen, the date marks how long it takes women to make up for the disparity in pay between genders. Just think, 102 days passed this year before women finally earned the same salary as men in comparable jobs during the past year.
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One hundred years after the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, worker safety still paramount

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Workers and communities across the country honor the memory of the 146 women and children who perished as a result of locked doors and employer negligence. In 1911 outrage toward such callous disregard for workers galvanized Americans to press for better working conditions, and today, the 100th anniversary gives us an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of workplace safety. Read more »


Pensions: A good investment for workers and their communities

As state governments and local municipalities grapple with serious budget challenges, pension critics are taking the opportunity to push for substantial cuts and wholesale elimination of defined benefit retirement systems. To hear them say it, pensions impose only costs – but that’s simply not the case. As our new research demonstrates, private and public pension funds help drive the economies of communities through investments that, in addition to producing solid returns, create good jobs.
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The market, unions, and gliding past stop signs

Guest Post by Author and Labor Scholar John Brueggemann, PhD

The logic of the market – that everything is for sale and we should strive to get as much as we can – has pushed beyond the economic sphere into other parts of our lives. Americans rush to work, gliding past stop signs, talking and texting on the phone, incrementally compromising public safety because our busy schedules feel more important. Once we get there, we stay, longer and longer, while simultaneously regretting the neglect of our loved ones. As a result, many of us have no network of social support, a trend that has worsened significantly over the last two decades. And despite this commitment to hard work and all the resources it yields – the highest Gross Domestic Product in the world – most Americans report not being able to afford what they need. I believe this mess is the result of a moral crisis brought about by market culture, which has led to a deteriorating capacity for meaningful relationships.
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Today only: Buy a book, help a worker!

Powell's BooksHere in the American Rights at Work office, three things get us going: coffee, helping workers, and a great book. While you’ll have to find your own caffeine fix, we’ve found a way to buy books at an affordable price and help workers out at the same time!
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Time for business schools to get down to business on workers’ rights

Kara Kahley is American Rights at Work’s Socially Responsible Business Intern.

It has been said that “Doing well by doing good” is the new M.O. of the business world.  Companies are realizing that there’s more to business than profit, and management education is beginning to reflect that perspective.

Traditionally, management education has focused primarily on creating shareholder value, but this too is changing. Social responsibility was once a trendy offering only at certain schools, but it is now becoming mainstream.  The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the premiere accrediting body for management education, has begun to push for more emphasis on ethics and sustainability in its schools’ programs.  Additionally, the presence of Net Impact, a student organization for corporate social responsibility, is rapidly expanding. Read more »