Jane Slaughter

‘There Are No Tea-baggers in Soup Lines’

Auto workers outshone the tea-party types as dueling demonstrations took place in the snow outside the Detroit Auto Show today. Small numbers of auto workers gathered to say government should use its role in the auto bailout to direct the factories toward job-creating green products such as high-speed trains and wind turbines—and should enact Medicare for All.

A $26,000 Pilot?

Sometimes high-paid jobs provoke a lot of envy and resentment. But sometimes you feel a lot more comfortable when workers in certain positions are making more than a living wage. While attending the Teamsters for a Democratic Union convention Friday, I met a pilot who took home $26,000 last year as a first officer (that’s the one who sits on the right). And he’s union.

Movers and Shakers

“It’s time to close the concessions stand," said the New Directions Slate, and members of Teamsters Local 814 in New York City agreed—they’ve just voted 406-154 for a reform slate headed by Jason Ide and Richie Johnson.

More Ford Workers Voting No

Despite heavy pressure from United Auto Workers officials, Ford workers are voting against concessions this week. The two largest ‘no’ votes came from assembly plants in Kansas City and Walton Hills, Ohio: 92 and 88 percent.

Bloomberg News reported today that thus far four plants with 6,100 UAW members have voted yes and seven plants with 11,400 members have voted no. In most locals reporting a ‘yes’ majority the margin is slim, as at Local 900 west of Detroit, with 51 percent in favor.

AFL-CIO Convention: Free Choice Confusion, Invisible to Delegates

Stewart Acuff, coordinator of the AFL-CIO's Employee Free Choice Act campaign, told Labor Notes that a deal on EFCA has been made: it’s the same three provisions as the original bill except that we’ll get expedited elections—seven days—instead of card check. (The other two are heavier penalties for labor law violations during organizing drives and some form of arbitration of first contracts.)

AFL-CIO Convention: Reform? We'll take it!

Asked whether the AFL-CIO would stick to earlier statements that the federation will not support a health care reform bill without a government-insurance “public option,” incoming federation President Rich Trumka ducked this morning.

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