LABOR COUNCIL OPPOSED TO CHARTER REVISION
The Central Labor Council has been advocating against the mayor’s charter revision proposals that will be on the ballot in November. The proposals call for the elimination of party primaries – to be replaced by a single primary in the month of September.
“We’re going to look to wage a labor for democracy campaign, a full-fledged mobilization like we would energize for any campaign. We think people beats money,” said CLC President Brian McLaughlin.
REPORT HIGHLIGHTS WORKERS’ WOES
The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law released a study entitled “Recession and 9/11 Economic Hardship and the Failure of the Safety Net for Unemployed Workers in New York City.”
The survey, with a sampling from 2,557 city workers who became unemployed either in 2001 or 2002, found that 60 percent experienced economic stress such as being evicted or dropping health insurance; 79 percent had trouble paying their bills; 86 percent had to withdraw savings, borrow money from friends or banks, sell property, or charge credit cards; 74 percent lost their employer-provided health insurance; and 70 percent lost all or part of their employer-provided pension.
ECONOMY FAILS TO PRODUCE JOBS
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the economic recovery that started in November 2001 has failed to produce jobs and real wage growth.
EPI reported that this is the worst recovery ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which began tracking monthly employment in 1939. Even if predictions of stronger growth in the second half of 2003 prove accurate, unemployment will stay near 6 percent through most of 2004. According to the report:
- During this recovery, unemployment has risen 0.6 percentage points overall and 1.3 points among African Americans.
- Real wages of the typical (median-wage) worker, which grew about 2 percent more than inflation through 2001, stopped growing entirely in 2002.
- This is only the second recovery since World War II in which unemployment has not yet started to fall this many months into recovery.
- Employment opportunities have declined more for college graduates than for high school dropouts.
- Underemployed workers – those working fewer hours than they want to or in a job for which they are overqualified – reached double digits (10.2 percent) in July 2003.
THE EMPLOYEE RIGHT TO CHOOSE ACT
Senator Charles Schumer recently introduced the Employee Right to Choose Act (S.1514), a bill that would simplify workplace organizing by directing that if a majority (50 percent plus one) of employees in a work unit have signed authorizations (a card, petition, or some other document) selecting a union, the National Labor Relations Board will automatically certify that organization as the union for that unit.
This legislation would protect workers engaging in organizing activity, limit employers’ abilities to bust unions, and facilitate contract negotiation.
IMMIGRANT WORKERS FREEDOM RIDE
Please join Local 802 members for the Freedom Riders Rally on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens. The rally will focus on legalization of undocumented immigrants, family reunification, ending the backlog of applications, protecting the rights of immigrants in the workplace and protecting civil rights and civil liberties.
For more information, visit www.iwfr.org.