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  • Monday, April 29, 2013 Who is responsible for negligence?

    The recent collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh that killed at least 340 workers is a chilling example of how workers around the world are facing shocking abuses from their employers. “I wouldn’t call it an accident,” the government’s information minister, Hasanul Haque Inu, told Bangladeshi journalists. “I would say it’s a murder.” 

    Bangladeshis Burn Factories to Protest Unsafe Conditions - New York Times 

    "During the last 30 years, the U.S. has been moving millions of jobs overseas, with no end in sight as long as there is cheap labor elsewhere and American firms bear no legal responsibility for what happens in their offshore suppliers’ factories...Consumers and shareholders should be a part of the answer to this problem. But American consumers have not exercised significant bargaining power with American corporations since the successful California grape and iceberg lettuce boycotts of the 1960s." It's time we stand in solidarity with workers around the world to make changes.  

    Consumers’ Role in Labor Conditions - New York Times 

    These tragedies aren't only happening half way across the world. Just look at the Texas fertilizer plant explosion that left so much carnage in its wake. "Over the years, though, the media have not kept up Cronkite’s dogged reporting on workplace safety — or on workers at all. This decline in coverage has created an environment in which companies may feel as if they can get away with massive safety violations because they will face little scrutiny from the media and the public."

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  • Friday, April 26, 2013 Act Now to Reinstate Javier Rodriguez

    From our friends at Warehouse Workers United. Please help them and take action now!

    Javier Rodriguez worked as a forklift driver inside a critical Walmart-contracted warehouse in Southern California until he was fired yesterday.

    Javier and his coworkers labor moving Walmart merchandise for low wages. Most warehouse workers are temporary employees with no benefits, no guaranteed hours and no sick days. They often encounter pollutants, high temperatures, little ventilation and intense retaliation if they complain about the conditions. Serious injuries on the job are common.

    Last fall, Javier and his coworkers went on strike to protest retaliation they experienced when speaking up about unsafe working conditions. They launched a 50-mile pilgrimage from the dusty shadows of Southern California’s Inland Empire to Downtown Los Angeles.

    After dismissing workers’ claims about unsafe working conditions in the fall, Walmart told the Wall Street Journal it would step up monitoring of its domestic warehouses. Workers have seen no changes and now one of the most outspoken leaders has been fired.

    Please take action now. We will deliver this petition to Walmart April 29.

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  • Wednesday, April 24, 2013 Low-Wage Worker Walk Outs Spreading!

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  • Monday, April 22, 2013 Proud To Be Union

    “Some 200 members of Teamsters Local 25 members began gathering at St. Joseph’s Church before 8 a.m. today, promising to block protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church if they follow through on a threat to picket the funeral of Krystle M. Campbell, who died in the Boston Marathon bombings.”

    Teamsters gather to shield victim’s funeral from protesters - Boston Globe

    “Frontline healthcare workers at the hospital, including many 1199SEIU members, answered the call of duty to save lives and provide exceptional care,” in the wake of the tragic Boston Bombings. 

    Union Members in Boston Answer the Call of Duty: Heroism in the Face of Tragedy - SEIU Blog

    “Along with some heroic civilians, it was government workers who ran toward the blast zone. And they were unionized government workers.” The members of public sector unions aren’t the evil bureaucrats they’ve been made out to be. They are often the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. 

    Government to the Rescue in Boston - Daily Beast

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  • Friday, April 19, 2013 Unions Urge Congress to Close Loopholes Allowing Corporate Criminals to Avoid Strict Enforcement of Life-Saving Job Safety and Health Rules

    WASHINGTON- Democrats on the House Education and Workforce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives have reintroduced the “Protecting America’s Workers Act.”

    Below is a statement from Joseph T. Hansen, Chair of Change to Win and President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)

    "For over 40 years, the OSHA law has remained virtually the same -- with the same weak provisions that have allowed bad-actor employers to escape punishment. At the same time, workers who complain about OSHA violations often face abusive treatment from their supervisors, and interminable delays when they seek official protection from such retaliation.

    We strongly support these updated provisions, which will give workers covered by OSHA many of the same protections given by other laws.

    We urge the Congress to quickly consider and pass this bill -- before another preventable incident kills, injures or sickens one more hard-working American."

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