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  • Monday, February 27, 2006 Macy's Employees, Members of Local 1-S, RWDSU/UFCW Rally for Fair and Decent Contract

    NEW YORK, February 27, 2006 - Members of RWDSU Local 1-S (Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW), local and national labor leaders, elected officials and other supporters rallied today for a "fair and decent" contract for all Macy's New York employees. RWDSU Local 1-S currently represents over 3,500 workers in Macy's Herald Square, Bronx, Queens and White Plains stores.

    Last week, the retail workers union announced that its members, employed by Macy's Federated Department Stores, voted to authorize a strike should a job action become necessary to obtain what the union calls a fair and decent contract. A strike could occur if a new contract is not agreed upon by the current deadline of March 3rd. No strike date has been set.

    Contract negotiations with Macy's started last month, but have moved at a slow pace, and a federal mediator has been called in by both sides. Major conflict issues include Macy's proposals that demand employee concessions in areas such as healthcare, job security, and general wage increases. Under Macy's current healthcare proposal, a majority of employees, mostly women and minorities, will be unable to afford healthcare benefits and will force workers to pay upwards of 60% of their healthcare premiums. Federated is currently one of the top employers in the state that is transferring the cost of healthcare for its employees to New York taxpayers. Macy's is also refusing general wage increases. Last week, Federated announced triple digit profits during the Company's annual earnings report.

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  • Wednesday, February 15, 2006 Statement of Change to Win Chair Anna Burger on Launch of National Hotel Workers Campaign

    "Today, thousands of hotel workers across the country are joining together to improve their working conditions, their lives and their communities.

    "The hardworking women and men who clean and maintain our hotel rooms, serve our meals, and welcome us when we visit their cities, are uniting in an effort to win the things that most business travelers and tourists take for granted - wages that allow them to support their families, safe working conditions, access to healthcare and a chance for a secure retirement.

    "While hotel rates have risen and travelers' expectations of luxury and service have increased, most of the men and women who make these hotels work are struggling just to make ends meet for themselves and their families. In many cities, and at many of the world's biggest hotel chains, workers are being asked to work harder, faster and without the protections, benefits and wages earned by similar workers in other cities.

    "Through this campaign, the first joint effort of the Change to Win labor federation, the almost six million members of our affiliated unions are sending a message to the hotel industry and the major U.S. hotel chains that these disparities must end.

    "We are committed to supporting the aspirations of hotel workers and all others striving to build an America that works for everyone."

    Contact:
    Carole Florman, 202.262.1513

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  • Wednesday, February 15, 2006 Hotel Workers Rising Campaign Kickoff Speech by Change to Win Chair Anna Burger

    February 15, 2006
    San Francisco, CA

    I'm here with a simple message.

    Last year was a year of decision.

    This year is a year of action.

    Last year, we decided to debate the future of the labor movement. We decided to sever the bonds that had kept us tied to the past and the AFL-CIO, and we decided to strengthen the bonds that join our 7 unions to one another.

    This year, we take our united strength - the strength of nearly 6 million members -- and turn it to action on the part of working families.

    Those of you who know me know that I was born into the labor movement. My mom was a nurse, my dad was a truck driver - a Teamster. When my father was disabled in a terrible accident - three things got my family through: Mom's incredible strength, Dad's Social Security and Medicare, and a labor movement that raised up whole communities.

    In my first job out of college, I was a Case Worker in Philadelphia -- our office was an old Cadillac warehouse. The working conditions were horrible, and it all came to a head, one month in, when a rainstorm sent water started pouring through the ceiling. As we debated going on a wildcat strike I did something I hadn't done in a while - I asked my Dad for advice.

    He said, "Anna, whatever you do, stick to the union, it's what makes a difference for working people like us."

    I did.

    We struck.

    And we won.

    Since that day, I've been sticking by the union. I know you have, too.

    But the problem is... our country hasn't.

    Every single minute of every day of my life, America has lost two union jobs.

    Now, I know a woman doesn't tell you her age, but that's two jobs every minute since 1950. [1]

    I refuse to accept that as inevitable.

    When large businesses merge, what's the first thing they announce? Layoffs. Job Losses.

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  • Monday, February 13, 2006 Change to Win Hires New Communications Director

    Carole Florman Joins Effort to Build an America that Works for Everyone

    Washington, DC - Change to Win labor federation executive director Greg Tarpinian today announced that Carole Florman, deputy director of public affairs for the Justice Department during the Clinton Administration, and, most recently, deputy chief of staff for communications to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), has joined the staff of Change to Win as its communications director.

    Following her tenure at the Justice Department, Florman served as vice president of communications for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting before becoming a communications and special events consultant for such organizations as the ACLU, AARP and the Library of Congress. Florman has also worked on four presidential campaigns and for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the League of Conservation Voters and the Battery Park City Authority in New York City.

    Tarpinian said "We are excited to have someone of Carole's breadth of experience and commitment to progressive values on our staff. We expect that she will make a major contribution to our efforts to unite working Americans in their quest for a meaningful voice in the workplace and the community."

    Florman holds a Masters of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BA in Liberal Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

    Florman will serve as the primary media contact for Change to Win. She can be contacted at 202-721-6045 (direct), or by email at Carole.Florman@changetowin.org.

    Contact:
    Michael Yellin, 212.714.1677, Ext. 203

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  • Tuesday, February 7, 2006 Letter to the Senate on the Asbestos Bill

    Letter to the Senate on the Asbestos Bill - PDF file

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