Jane Slaughter

What’s In the Health Insurance Bill, What’s Not

What’s weird about the whole health insurance fracas is that Republicans and some insurance company execs fought just as hard against the crappy bill we have before us as if it were really what they claim it is: a vast government “intrusion” into health care.

Women in the Trades: They've Got Stories

It was a day like today—60s and sunny, decades ago—when I swung from the top of a telephone pole and thought I had the best job in the world. A few months earlier, in the Detroit winter, not so much. I remember phoning a customer from the pole behind her house and hearing her tell me she could see a man working on the pole back there. When I visited another customer’s home, climbing boots and tool belt and all, she called me “operator.”

Health Care Victory—or Pretzel?

Yesterday Rich Trumka announced a deal with the White House: high-cost union health care plans won’t be subject to an excise tax till 2018—five years later than almost everyone else. Trumka made clear that the intent of the changes the unions brokered is to make so many groups exempt from the tax that in practice it will almost never be applied. But why build a pretzel around the right thing?

Reform Teamster Leaders Out, Then In Again, in Chicago

In 2007 Teamsters in scores of small Chicago shops, and a few big ones, capped years of organizing against corrupt leaders and stolen elections by electing a reform slate to head 11,000-member Local 743. Attendees at the 2008 Labor Notes Conference heard President Richard Berg tell the inspiring story of how persistence had enabled the slate to slash officers’ salaries, get rid of do-nothings, and beef up representation and education.

‘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.

Pages