On December 5, 2013, low-wage fast-food workers are planning one-day strikes in 100 cities across the U.S. Support rallies will be held in an additional 100 cities, including in Ellsworth. Maine. Thursday’s action at McDonald’s is sponsored by Ellsworth’s Community Union coalition.
John Curtis, a retired letter carrier and union activist, is a contact for Community Union, and can be reached at 667-4877.
Click here to read the official Press Advisory.
Click here to view the video on YouTube.
Letter carriers, like Princeton, NJ Branch 268 member Josef Thompson (above), have begun delivering Parcel Select packages in more than 900 ZIP codes nationwide as part of a test involving Sunday delivery of packages from a major online retailer.
Click here to read the complete statement.
What do Starbucks, TJX Companies (TJ Max, Marshalls), Macy’s, Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster), Sears, Yum Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), Kroger, Target, MacDonald’s, and of course Walmart, have in common? They are the ten companies that employ the most low- and minimum-wage workers while paying their CEOs obscene amounts and making billions of dollars in profit.
Click here to read the entire article on 24/7WALLst.com.
The USPS today reported an operating profit of $600 million for fiscal 2013, but a net loss of $5 billion due to the 2006 congressional mandate to massively pre-fund future retiree health benefits. Click here to read the statement by NALC President Fredric Rolando.
When is enough, enough? Apparently never if you’re in the top 1%. According to an analysis by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University, IRS figures dating to 1913 show that the top 1% collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, the most since 1927. While the 1% incomes rose 20% last year, the remaining 99% only saw an increase of 1%.
Some more facts from Emmanuel Saez, an economist from University of California, Berkeley:
Top 1% incomes grew by 31.4% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.4% from 2009 to 2012. Hence, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years of the recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated from 2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011. In 2012, top 1% incomes increased sharply by 19.6% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 1.0%. In sum, top 1% incomes are close to full recovery while bottom 99% incomes have hardly started to recover.
Not bad for a “socialist” president.
To read more, click the links below.
New York Times
Breakfast is served by the Portland Baron Center’s Kitchen, AFSCME 1373.
The Southern Maine Labor Council hosted the 2013 Labor Day Breakfast at the Irish Heritage Center Monday. Douglas Born, President of the Southern Maine Labor Council, welcomed the 150+ workers, union members and elected officials to the annual celebration. Also speaking were Portland mayor Michael Brennen, Matt Schlobohm, Executive Director of the Maine AFL-CIO, Congressman (and our next governor!) Mike Michaud, Working Class Hero Award winner Bill Murphy, and Joel Pitcher and Rock Alley of the new 500-600 member Maine Lobsterman’s Union. Also appearing was the band Nine to Nine, a Portland-based band performing songs about the struggles facing working men and women.
Click here to see more Labor Day Breakfast photos.
Links to more Labor Day articles:
Portland Press Herald: Breakfast welcomes Maine’s new lobstermen’s union
Portland Press Herald: Our View: Middle class is strong when unions are strong
Nation of Change: Where Labor Day Came from, and Where it’s Going by Jim Hightower
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Labor Day Statement 2013
New York Times: This Labor Day
The 2013 Southern Maine Labor Council Labor Day Breakfast will be held at the Irish Heritage Center, 34 Gray St., Portland, on Sunday, September 2, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM, followed by a march to Longfellow Square (weather permitting).
There will also be a Labor Day Barbeque September 2, 2013, from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM at the IBEW 567 Hall, 238 Goddard Road, Lewiston.
Hope you can make one, or both!
*support a comprehensive postal reform package that would end the pre-funding of retiree health benefits
*mandate six-day mail delivery
*allow for creation of new streams of revenue through non-postal services, and
*return to the Postal Service the pension account surpluses with CSRS and FERS.
Please encourage as many members of your community as possible to sign the petition. Ask your friends, family members and neighbors to show their support for the USPS by signing it.
2. On the “We the People” petition web page, click CREATE AN ACCOUNT (if you have not already) or SIGN IN. (If you have an account, sign in and skip to Step 6.)
3. Enter your e-mail address, name and ZIP code.
4. The website will then send you an e-mail message. Open it and click the link provided to activate your account.
5. Once your account is activated, click this link again to go to the petition page.
6. Click SIGN THIS PETITION.
Thank you for your ongoing support for the U.S. Postal Service.
Fredric V. Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers
Donations Critical in This Difficult Economy; Effort Will Help Feed Needy Families in All 50 States. For more information, click here.
Maine Legislature’s oversight committee put off the decision to investigate Gov. LePage on charges he attempted to influence Maine’s unemployment hearing officers. They will wait until U.S. Labor Department auditors and a special bi-partisan commission appointed by LePage complete their inquires.
Read the article here: Portland Press Herald
In a related story, Maine House Speaker Rep. Mark Eves, D-North Berwick expressed skepticism of Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed commission to evaluate the entire unemployment system. “We don’t need a coverup committee.”
Read the blog by Steve Mistler here: Portland Press Herald
This morning, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced at an NALC congressional breakfast that he has started a “We the People” petition at the White House’s website asking the Obama administration to support H.R. 630 and S. 316 to “save American jobs and allow USPS to remain competitive.” These two pieces of legislation are the best blueprints we have for meaningful postal reform in Congress. President Obama should throw his administration’s weight behind their passage, to help solve much of the pressing financial crisis and allow the Postal Service to reinvent itself for the next century.
The White House website requires 100,000 signatures within 30 days before the administration will respond, so we need your help.
You can view the petition and have the opportunity to sign it here:
Fredric V. Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers
The LePage administration is claiming the U.S. Labor Department auditors will be doing a “routine” audit of unemployment cases and possible “inconsistencies”, and that they are on the same page with the federal government. This is just an example of a good offense being the best defense after LePage was caught red-handed trying to intimidate unemployment hearing officers into manipulating the outcome of unemployment hearings in favor of employers. Now LePage is interfering with an impartial investigation by calling acting U.S. Labor Secretary Seth Harris to “inquire about the scope of the inquiry”. His actions calling for a “Blue Ribbon Commission” to investigate the unemployment compensation system in Maine is nothing but a smoke screen to divert attention from the real and continuing issues of LePage abusing his power, bullying people, and maligning state employees.
You can read more at: Portland Press Herald Sun Journal
NALC President Fredric Rolando testified before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Postal Service’s financial situation Wednesday. Click here to read more on nalc.com, and here to read Rolando’s written testimony.
The federal government has been formally asked to investigate Gov. LePage about his alleged attempt to sway hearing officers to side with businesses over workers in unemployment hearings. You can read more at the Portland Press Herald