Police unionists kill two outside union hall

AFSCME 4th of July party turns deadly, no comment from union

The head of Baltimore City’s police union is defending the actions of two officers who opened fire on a car early Saturday morning, killing two suspects. Baltimore police say shots were fired at the officers from a moving Ford Taurus, outside of Fourth of July party before. It happened around 1:30 a.m. Saturday outside the AFCSME union hall near Carroll Park in southwest Baltimore.

Police charging documents identify the men who died as 21-year-old Raemond Paul White and 18-year-old Haywood Theodore White Jr. The man who survived is 22-year-old Darryl White Jr.

Electronic court records say White was charged with several handgun violations and possession of marijuana and is being held on $175,000 bail.

Charging documents say security personnel from the party asked the men to leave. Once outside, police say they began firing hand guns into the air. When officers approached, police say they and uniformed officers approached after the men began firing into the air. When officers approached, police say their behavior turned lethal.

“We did not shoot them for shooting up in the air; they were shooting at the officers,” said Paul Blair, the head of FOP Lodge #3 in Baltimore.

Police are not releasing the names of the officers, who have been placed on routine administrative duty pending an investigation.

So far in 2008 there have been 12 suspects killed by police. Thirteen were killed in all of 2007. “The officers were totally justified in using force to combat the force that was used on them,” Blair said. “There is no such thing as a quiet night in the city of Baltimore when you have a uniform on patrolling these streets.”

On Monday, family members of Darryl, Raemond and Haywood white declined to comment. ABC-2 News reached the head of the local AFSCME unit by phone, but he also declined to comment -- so it is still not known who rented the hall for that party.


Non-union construction curb at LAX extended

Mayor's union-only subsidy deal will max-out union-dues

CurLos Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners today approved the coverage of an estimated $1.8 billion of certain upcoming projects in the first phase of Los Angeles International Airport's (LAX's) Capital Improvement Program under Los Angeles World Airports' (LAWA's) established Project Labor Agreement (PLA).

"This agreement will ensure that construction projects can proceed quickly using a highly qualified workforce," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. "The agreement will also make sure that our multi-billion-dollar construction program at LAX will provide high-quality job opportunities for local residents."

Richard Slawson, executive secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange County Building & Construction Trades Council, said, "Today's Board action to cover LAX modernization projects under the long-standing LAWA Project Labor Agreement is a huge step toward continuing the partnership for growth, economy and quality. Area craft union officers and workers, contractors' representatives, the City of Los Angeles and LAWA have seen the successful completion of various projects under the excellent labor relations policy contained in the PLA. The citizens of Los Angeles will gain tremendously from good jobs and successful projects that will be completed under this program."

Airport Commissioner Joseph Aredas, who participated in the negotiations, said, "Today's action by the Board of Airport Commissioners will ensure a stable workforce, fair wages and working conditions, and employment of affected local residents during the upcoming construction of public works projects vital to the future of LAX and our region's economy."

The project labor agreement was negotiated with the Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council and their affiliated local unions, the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations), the Building and Construction Trades Council of California, and signatory craft unions.

The agreement currently covers the on-going $723-million Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) Interior Renovation Program. Today's Board action will extend PLA coverage to certain LAX development projects, including two related crossfield taxiway projects (Taxiway C-13 construction with bridge and Taxiway D extension west to Taxiway C-13) and six related gate projects on the west side of the Tom Bradley terminal (south four gates, aprons/tarmac for these south gates, pedestrian tunnel structure, north three gates, aprons/tarmac for these north gates, and a terminal core addition).

LAWA's Project Labor Agreement provides for the following:

-- Establishment of uniform working rules and conditions for all major construction projects, including uniform enforcement of safety regulations; central oversight of non-discriminatory employment practices; and
consistent application of fair working conditions;
-- Labor stability through prompt and effective dispute resolution and prohibition on strikes, work stoppages, other labor disruptions and contractor lock-outs;
-- Hiring of qualified construction personnel through employment processes established by local contractors and union hiring halls;
-- Participation of local residents in employment and training programs, such as pre-apprenticeship programs and priority entrance of local residents into the state-certified apprenticeship programs jointly
administered by contractors and labor unions;
-- Participation by all qualified contractors and construction employees, including those who have not traditionally worked under project labor agreements or who are non-union members;
-- Establishment of fair wages and working conditions through enforcement of state prevailing wages; and
-- Establishment of joint labor-management committees to encourage communications among stakeholders, including officials and residents of local communities impacted by the construction program.

LAWA's existing 10-year project labor agreement was signed in November 1999 and extends through Dec. 31, 2010. There is a provision for a one-time extension not to exceed 10 years, which must be approved by the end of next year. Parsons Constructors, Inc., administers the agreement on behalf of LAWA.


Controversial CWA official removed from office

Related Jon Corzine stories: here

Union attempts to 'Move On'

Carla Katz, the controversial union boss who used to date Jon S. Corzine before he became governor, was removed Monday as president of Communications Workers of America Local 1034, where she stands accused of financial impropriety. The CWA issued a statement Monday night saying it appointed a temporary administrator "to protect members' dues, ensure compliance with federal and state law and the local's bylaws and restore union democracy."

It was unclear whether Katz will be paid while the administrator is in place, but she has been removed, said Robert Master, legislative director of the regional CWA.

"We are governing the local now," Master said, "on a temporary basis until we can be sure that dues are protected and the democratic processes are restored."

According to the CWA's news release, an investigator presented evidence to the union's national board that Katz:

Misappropriated union money, such as using local dues to pay for travel, lodging and other expenses to those helping with her campaign to remain the local's president.

Spent union funds without required oversight by the local's executive board, such as making more than $700,000 in political contributions between October 2005 and May 2008, including to candidates in areas that have few Local 1034 members.

Suspended an executive board member for expressing concern about the local's policies and expenditures and threatened a "dissident" member's employment and other illegal retaliatory conduct.

Didn't keep time records that reflected what she has been doing on behalf of her members.

Katz called the allegations false and retaliatory for the opposition she and other leaders in her local had for a contract negotiated with the state in 2007.

"The national's baseless and extreme action, done without any notice, tramples the democratic rights of the members of our union under the deceptive guise of protecting democracy," Katz said in a prepared statement.

Master said the matter hasn't been referred to law enforcement.

A hearing has been scheduled for July 22 at which Katz, or the members of her executive board whose duties were also usurped Monday, could challenge the administrator's appointment.

Katz, who last month had a feeble showing in her effort to become a regional vice president for the CWA, was due to stand for re-election as local president in the fall. Her stewardship of the union has been a public controversy since it was revealed during Corzine's 2005 gubernatorial bid that they dated when he was a United States senator and had forgiven a $470,000 mortgage he provided for her home.


Workers use secret-ballot against union again

Related UPS Freight - Teamsters stories: here

Why UPS and unions prefer card-check

Dockworkers and drivers at UPS Freight’s Kansas City, Kan., terminal again rejected a labor organization’s attempt to unionize them. For the third time since last August, workers voted against joining the Association of Parcel Workers of America, this time by a 157-58 vote.

The election was held last week and conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. The parcel workers group has until Wednesday to file an objection, although there had been no indication by Monday that it intended to so, said Dan Hubbel, regional director of the agency.

Van Skillman, president of the parcel workers group, could not be reached for comment Monday. A UPS Freight spokesman also could not be reached.

The Teamsters union, which has been organizing UPS Freight workers around the country through a card-signing campaign, has dismissed the parcel workers group as an organization with no legitimacy.

“Once again, the workers at UPS Freight overwhelmingly showed that they can’t be led astray by this organization’s empty claims,” said Ralph Stubbs, president of Teamsters Local 41 in Kansas City.

Teamsters so far have gotten more than 11,000 UPS Freight workers to sign cards agreeing to join the union.

While another union cannot hold a representation election at the local UPS Freight for one year, the stipulation would not apply to a card-signing campaign that’s recognized by the company, a Teamsters spokesperson has contended.

Hubbel said the local NLRB office had not developed a position on that issue.


'No-vote' unionism ads air in Minnesota

Related card-check stories: here

Dems want to end secret-ballot union recognition elections

As part of its ongoing public education campaign, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) today launched a new television ad that identifies the positions of Minnesota U.S. Senate candidates Norm Coleman and Al Franken on workplace privacy and the mis-named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), legislation introduced in Congress that threatens a worker's right to vote for a union by private ballot.

The ad, developed by nationally known media strategist Mike Murphy, is the second spot in the series that uses a widely recognized character who will be easily identifiable to viewers and will use humor to reinforce the need to protect private ballots for workers. The script of the ad is attached.

Union special interests have made support for the EFCA, or "card check" bill, a top priority this year and are pressuring candidates to pledge their support. Under the EFCA, workers would lose their right to a private ballot when deciding whether to join a union. The private ballot would be replaced with a "card-check" scheme where a union is organized if a majority of workers simply sign a card; the workers' signatures are made public to their employer, the union organizers and their co-workers. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year but was blocked in the Senate in June 2007. The labor union lobby has promised to reintroduce the legislation next year.

"Minnesotans need to know that workers could effectively lose their right to cast a private ballot in a union election. The next U.S. Senate will have to make a decision about the anti-worker Employee Free Choice Act," said Brian Worth with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. "We will continue to provide information to Minnesotans about where the candidates stand on this issue, which affects all workers," added Worth.

In addition to informing all Minnesotans, the ad will ask candidates to support the right to private ballots. Candidates in Minnesota do not need to give in to union pressure. Recent polling in Minnesota conducted by CDW found that voters in Minnesota would be less likely to vote for a candidate for U.S. Senate who supports legislation to replace a federally supervised secret and private ballot system with a card check shortcut. A plurality of voters would be less likely to vote for Al Franken (41%) if he supports this legislation. Clearly, supporting legislation to replace secret ballots with a card check system will have negative consequences for potential Senate candidates.

Both candidates for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota have stated positions on maintaining private ballots in the workplace and the EFCA. Al Franken is opposed to allowing workers the right to cast their vote in private when deciding whether or not to join a union. Norm Coleman wants to keep private ballots in the workplace and voted against the EFCA.

The findings also indicate widespread opposition to organized labor's card-check scheme. Nearly two thirds of voters in Minnesota (65%) oppose the EFCA. Conversely, 82% of Minnesota voters believe that secret ballot elections are the cornerstone of democracy and should be kept for union elections.

The ad encouraging Al Franken to change his position on EFCA will begin airing on July 7, 2008 in the Minneapolis, Duluth and Rochester markets. The ad can be viewed and more information about the candidates' positions and CDW's polling can be found on the Minnesota microsite at http://www.MyPrivateBallot.com.

CDW is a broad-based coalition which has been actively working this important issue since early 2007. The coalition began its voter education campaign in the Spring with a series of national cable TV buys following a media campaign in states and Congressional districts last year, urging members of Congress to support private ballots for workers and oppose the EFCA.

About the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace is made up of more than 500 associations and organizations from every state across the nation that have joined together to protect a worker's right to a private ballot when deciding whether to join a union. For more information and a listing of our membership, please visit:



Workers reject strike, union pickets anyway

Collective bargaining confusion in labor-state

Union members are picketing a sheet metal fabrication plant in Corona (CA) after employees voted not to strike over a contract dispute that deadlocked over family health care benefits. Between 60 and 70 workers at CanFab, which makes heating and air-conditioning equipment, mostly for commercial buildings, had been negotiating with the Sheet Metal Workers International Association for two months, said Richard Marquez, business representative for Local 105.

But when the union members elected by a four-vote margin not to authorize a strike when the contract expired last week, Marquez said CanFab officials ended the company's policy of covering families under its medical plan.

"Their last, best and final offer was, if we didn't accept what they were offering, they would implement it," Marquez, a former CanFab employee, said outside the Sampson Avenue plant where about eight men picketed Monday morning.

Accepting the company's conditions amounted to going to work for a nonunion shop, and those who did so risked losing their union membership, Marquez said. Six workers at CanFab opted to leave, and he said several are still walking the picket line. Most of the bargaining unit is still working.

Bill Prosser, CanFab's vice president for sales, agreed that the two sides are divided over the health care issues although he declined to discuss the specifics at the advice of his attorneys.

Prosser called the men in front of the building "protesters" and not pickets. He said they were sent by the union and are not former employees.

CanFab has been a union shop for years, and Marquez said the company's stance on health care for families leads him to believe it did not want a new union contract.

"Family health care is something the guys have been accustomed to and have had for years," he said. "It's a fundamental thing of being a union member."


Union OKs give-backs to delay dues hit

AFSCME official: 'It's the best we can do.'

Full- and part-time unionized employees of the Hartford (CT) Public Library voted overwhelmingly to roll back pay increases and hours that they had agreed to work during fiscal 2008-09 in an attempt to eliminate further layoffs. The 42-4 vote in favor of a new contract took place Monday night at the Hartford Public Library on Main Street. The vote means that workers who previously agreed to increase their hours from 37.5 to 40 hours a week would continue working 37.5 hours a week, officials said after the union meeting. The fiscal year started July 1.

The action taken Monday night comes less than a week after Chief Librarian Louise Blalock and the library board announced an $870,000 shortfall in the library's $8.2 million budget for 2008-09. Last week, the administration closed the Mark Twain and Blue Hills branches, and it has promised about 40 layoffs by Aug. 1.

The union also agreed to accept an incremental pay increase, rather than a lump sum increase of 5 percent. Both concessions might result in "limited layoffs" in the future, said David Ionno, vice president of AFSCME Local 1716.

Hartford Library Cuts Looming

"This is the best we can do," Ionno said. The union vote might result in an estimated savings of about $232,000 during 2008-09.

After the vote, Geraldine Sullivan, library board president, said she was surprised by the union's action.

The union concessions are "something that we will look at carefully," Sullivan said. "We certainly don't want people losing their jobs."

The savings "might help somewhat. It was a very generous gesture," Sullivan said.

Sullivan said, however, that she could not say how or whether the union vote would affect the budget discussions until after the board meets and discusses it with Blalock, who handles administrative matters.

She said that more than $500,000 of the shortfall occurred when city officials took back the responsibility for library employee pension benefits in July. Another $250,000 shortfall was realized when the city said it would not make a mid-year transfer into the library budget, Sullivan said.

"I told the council on May 7 that this may be what happens," Sullivan said, adding that the library staff layoffs could be averted if the city gives the library more money to operate.

Mayor Eddie A. Perez has said that the library should use some of its $14 million endowment to close the deficit. But Sullivan said Monday night that other nonprofits, such as the Mark Twain House and the Hartford Conservatory, have dipped into endowments and realized negative results.

"It's a very bad, slippery slope when you start using endowments to cover operating expenses," Sullivan said.

Clark King, union president, said he will take the new contract back to city hall. He and other members said that they hope that city officials will see the union's concessions as a sign of good faith.


Teamster official opposes Bud sale

Teamsters/InBev web page: here
Related A-B/Teamsters stories: here

Signal: Hoffa could have the ultimate say

InBev raised the pressure on reluctant bid target Anheuser-Busch on Monday with a plan to replace the U.S. rival's board of directors that has rejected its $46.3 billion (23.49 billion pound) takeover offer. Belgium-based InBev filed a preliminary proposal with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission that would lead to Anheuser shareholders voting on the board's future.

InBev, the world's second-largest brewer by volume, said it wanted to give shareholders a voice in its proposed $65 per share takeover of the Budweiser and Michelob brewer in the face of the board's unwillingness to talk.

InBev, maker of Stella Artois, Beck's and Brahma, said it would ask Anheuser's board to set a "record date". InBev's bid to replace the board would succeed if a majority of holders of shares on that date later voted in favour of its plan.

Anheuser would have 10 days after InBev's request to respond with a date within 10 days after that, InBev said. InBev would have to submit to Anheuser written consents from shareholders within 60 days of the earliest dated consent.

The legal filing appeared to push InBev's takeover battle at least into the September/October period, analysts said.

"We believe InBev's move slows down a bit the pace of the takeover project," said Wim Hoste, analyst at KBC Securities.

The Belgian company also announced its own proposed board, including Adolphus Busch IV, an uncle of the current chief executive of Anheuser, and current and former executives of U.S. corporations.

It was also asking Anheuser shareholders to repeal any change to Anheuser's bylaws that might be made after June 26.

The SEC filing follows InBev's legal action launched last month at the Delaware Chancery Court in which it sought clarification that Anheuser shareholders could remove all 13 board members without cause.

"InBev is increasing the pressure with this move," said Kris Kippers, analyst at Petercam. "It has also referred to the current weak market conditions. I think the chances are less that it will increase its offer."

Joao Valli of Sanford Bernstein said InBev was sending a message that it was sticking to $65 per share.

"They have their own net worth invested in the company," he said of InBev's board and executives, adding that the bid could rise towards $70 but beyond that could lose shareholder support.

InBev stock closed up 0.7 percent at 41.73 euros, compared with a 0.8 percent rise in the DJ Stoxx European food and beverage index. Anheuser shares were 0.4 percent higher at $61.90 at 1545 GMT.


Analysts agreed that InBev had at least sounded out the alternative "independent" board members it was proposing to ensure that they were at least willing to consider a bid.

But Dresdner Kleinwort's Andrew Holland said he did not believe they would necessarily accept the $65 per share offer.

"I cannot see they would accept having their hands tied... They would have a fiduciary duty towards Anheuser shareholders," he said. "I would be surprised if InBev's opening shot were to be its final shot."

InBev repeated that it still preferred to discuss a friendly takeover to create the world's largest brewer with the current Anheuser board.

While the latest move did not amount to the launch of a hostile offer, analysts believed the board was likely to see it as a hostile manoeuvre in any increasingly acrimonious battle.

Some U.S. lawmakers, including both senators from Missouri, where Anheuser is based, have already expressed objections to the deal, arguing it could lead to job losses there.

The head of the Teamsters' brewery and soft drink workers conference has said he would prefer Anheuser to stay American.

InBev's next approach might be to gauge the appetite of major shareholders, chief among them Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway is Anheuser's second-largest shareholder with a roughly 5 percent stake.

He has so far called the battle "an interesting spectator sport", but has not thrown his support behind either side.

Anheuser-Busch's response has been to set out its own plan to cut $1 billion in costs and improve earnings and to tell investors that it can create much more value that $65 per share.

InBev argues that the figure reflects the full and fair value of the U.S. company.

"The proposal is backed by fully committed financing and provides immediate certainty of value in a weakened stock market environment," Chief Executive Carlos Brito said in Monday's InBev statement.

By contrast, Anheuser's plan entailed "significant execution risks", Brito added, and did not address the challenges the company faced in an increasingly globalised industry.


Big House for Teamsters embezzler

More dues-embezzlement stories: here

Justice meted out to dues thief

An ex-bookkeeper for a union that represents some Continental Airlines employees must serve 18 months in prison for theft. Prosecutors in Houston say 37-year-old Heather Lott was sentenced Monday. Lott, who in April pleaded guilty to embezzlement, must pay nearly $141,000 in restitution.

Investigators say Lott wrote more than 90 checks to herself, but in the union database she listed the payments as legitimate, such as for rent or to vendors.

Lott worked for Local 19 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 2003 until early 2006. An audit of 2005 payments turned up discrepancies.

About 2,300 workers, many with Houston-based Continental, make up Local 19.


Teamsters demand free insurance

Collectivizing privatized gov't services in labor-state

The private operator of the Indiana Toll Road and a union that represents its toll collectors both expressed disappointment Monday over contract talks that remain stalled over the use of temporary workers. Neither side budged from their stances last week on the percent of temporary workers they would accept working on the 157-mile highway in northern Indiana, said Bob Dobbs, a business agent for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 364 in South Bend.

The union wants no more than 10 percent temporary workers, while the Indiana Toll Road Concession Co., which was formed to operate and manage the Toll Road under a 75-year lease from the state, wants 30 percent, Dobbs said.

"There's no use to go any further until we can get over this hurdle," he said.

ITRCC spokesman Matt Pierce said temporary workers are needed to fill gaps in schedules caused by employee absences or sporadic increases in traffic demands. Dobbs said the ITRCC has been increasing the number of temporary workers while leaving permanent jobs unfilled.

"We do not want to have a total work force of temporary employees," he said.

The two sides couldn't agree on what was discussed during the negotiating session Monday.

Pierce said the company submitted an economic proposal Monday that included pay raises for toll collectors. He said the Teamsters responded with a demand for 50 percent pay increase and free insurance.

Dobbs said the ITRCC responded to an earlier economic proposal from the union and the union did not respond to the proposal. He reiterated his warning that a strike by toll collectors "is a very good possibility if they don't change their stance."

Pierce, though, said it was too soon to be talking about a strike, especially on a first-time contract after just 14 meetings.

"We definitely feel it is premature at this time," Pierce said.

Talks scheduled for Tuesday were canceled because union negotiators are not able to attend, Dobbs said. Two more meetings are scheduled for later this month.


Teamsters still on strike in NYC

Work halted on iconic projects

Cement truck drivers are at the bargaining table after nearly a week off the job. The drivers' union, Teamsters Local 282, and the Association of New York City Concrete Producers say they've resumed negotiations. Drivers say they've been offered some raises, but not enough.

"We're not asking for the moon, we're not asking for outlandish raises," said Francis Finnerman of Teamsters Local 282. "All we want enough to get by and even with these raises we are still going to be behind the eight ball. We want to get back to work. That's what we want."

Four hundred drivers went on strike last week, halting work on construction projects throughout the city, including the Freedom Tower and the new stadiums for the Yankees and Mets.


Teamsters set to punish labor-state privatizers

Union election could curb privatization success

The Chicago-area Community Unit School District 300 privatized its transportation services during the 2007-08 school year in effort to save $2 million. A year later, district administrators say it was the right decision. "It strictly was financial when you look back at it," said Associate Superintendent David Scarpino. "We were in debt. The transportation budget was going more and more in debt and we needed to revamp it. If you look at our financials now, we have made a turnaround."

After the 2006-07 school year the district's transportation fund was $2 million in the red. In its first year of a three-year contract, the district projected Durham School Services would save it about $2.14 million compared to when the district ran its own buses, according to Chief Financial Officer Cheryl Crates.

Crates said the district is on target to meet those savings.

The district will pay off $1 million of its transportation deficit this year and the rest by the end of the 2009-10 school year, Crates said, using money it has saved by outsourcing the service. Crates said another $700,000 has been saved because the district is no longer responsible for paying for drivers' Social Security and retirement costs. The drivers are now employees of Durham School Services.

The cost of Durham School Services in 2007-08 -- $8.7 million -- accounted for a little more than 60 percent of the district's transportation fund. The remainder of the $13.8 million was spent on buses, insurance, gas and maintenance. Durham is in charge of managing the district's transportation operations and providing staff. The only unexpected increases in cost have been rising fuel prices.

Crates said Durham saves the district money because it is more efficient in scheduling and managing routes.

"They are more effective in their organizational structure," Crates said. "That's what they do for a living. It's all in the scheduling."

Service improves

Durham's streamlined bus scheduling and route consolidations have saved the district money, but administrators say it's also helped curb complaints -- something the district was inundated with in the past, especially at the start of each school year.

"A school district is in the business of teaching kids," Scarpino said. "A school district is not really in the transportation business, so we looked for the experts and have been very pleased with Durham School Services."

Scarpino said he's pleased with how Durham has handled concerns from parents or guardians.

"The goal is to have 100 percent satisfaction," Scarpino said. "Is that possible? No, it's not. But it's always something to shoot for and to strive for."

Administrators say there were fewer of those angry phone calls from parents upset with transportation services this past year.

"Typically at the first board meeting of every school year, there is a long line of dozens of parents complaining about transportation," said Allison Smith, communications supervisor for District 300. "This year, there were only a couple of parents who expressed complaints to the board."

After the transportation contract went private, District 300 drivers had to apply for jobs with Durham School Services. Scarpino said a number of drivers did although an exact retention rate was not available.

"Durham offered positions to many, many of our drivers," Scarpino said. "It was not a 100 percent retention of everyone because some people chose not to apply, but they took many of our drivers."

Crates said drivers also are offered more shifts because Durham provides services for other school districts as well.

Drivers currently are seeking union representation. A labor relations judge decided in May that District 300 bus drivers will be represented by the Illinois Education Association until October.

The Dundee Association of Transportation Employees, which is associated with the IEA, had represented the drivers until District 300 privatized its transportation services last fall. The IEA and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have been vying to represent the drivers since then.

On Oct. 29, drivers will vote to decide which union they want to represent them, if any, in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.


Collectivist coalition seeks century-old goal

Progressive, incrementalist socialists soldier on

Health Care for America Now, an unprecedented coalition of major organizations including labor unions, large community-based membership groups, women's groups, DC think tanks, doctors, nurses, small businesses, and leading netroots activists, will launch a new $40 million campaign to push for quality, affordable health care for every American.

The coalition will hold a press conference on Tuesday, July 8th at 12pm EDT in the Conference Room of the National Press Club to outline their campaign plans and unveil their first ad buy - $1.5 million in national TV, print, and online.

Along with the event in Washington D.C., the campaign will be hosting launch events in 52 cities (including 38 state capitals) across the country. Between now and election day, the group plans to spend $25 million in paid media and have 100 organizers in 45 states.

The campaign's steering committee includes ACORN, AFSCME, Americans United for Change, Campaign for America's Future, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Center for Community Change, MoveOn.org, National Education Association, National Women's Law Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, SEIU, United Food and Commercial Workers, and USAction.


Richard Kirsch (Health Care for America Now), Maude Hurd (ACORN), Gerald McEntee (AFSCME), Caren Benjamin (Americans United for Change), Roger Hickey (Campaign for America's Future), Elizabeth Edwards (Center for American Progress Action Fund), Eli Pariser (MoveOn.org), Reg Weaver (National Education Association), Marcia Greenberger (National Women's Law Center), Cecile Richards (Planned Parenthood), Anna Burger (SEIU), Joseph Hansen (United Food and Commercial Workers), Jeff Blum (USAction), David T. Tayloe, Jr.,MD FAAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), and David White (small business owner).

WHAT: Launch of the $40 million Health Care for America Now campaign
WHERE: National Press Club Conference Room
WHEN: Tuesday, July 8th at 12pm
CONTACT: Trevor Fitzgibbon or Doug Gordon, +1-202-822-5200, both for Health Care for America Now


Franken opposes secret-ballot

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