The Attack on Public Sector Pensions Will Accelerate (December 5, 2005)
The pension crisis that began in the steel industry and swept through the airlines and auto industries is now moving on to the public sector. Defined benefit pension plans are in jeopardy as state and local governments move to end these plans and shift to 401(k)-type plans for public employees.
The Perpetuation of Poverty and Race Discrimination (November 15, 2005)
U.S. unemployment rates have historically moved along racial lines in a recovery, but Bush administration policies have created even sharper distinctions between the employment opportunities for white and black workers. Workers with less education – overwhelmingly black and locked into large metropolitan areas – are still unemployed at triple the rates for white workers. But the administration and its allies in Congress are cutting back federal funding for the very programs that could help black youths enter college and end a long-standing cycle of poverty, leaving them instead to fall into the ranks of the chronically unemployed and underemployed.
The Larger Pension Question Looms (October 31, 2005)
A retirement based only on Social Security benefits and 401(k) payouts will leave most Americans in poverty. Pensions have made the difference between a modest but adequate retirement and financial disaster for millions of elderly Americans. The U.S. retirement system has long rested on the assumption that workers would draw from three sources of retirement income: Social Security, pension plans and personal savings, which now commonly take the form of employee contributions to 401(k)s. Without pensions, the system is not valid.
Union Advantage For Benefits Grows Wider (October 11, 2005)
Union workers receive employer-paid benefits that far exceed the benefits employers provide for nonunion workers, and the union advantage is growing wider. For years, employers have been canceling benefit coverage and shifting more of the remaining costs to workers. Unions have been able to fight off this employer attack on benefits, but nonunion workers have been left with inadequate health care protections and no retirement security.
Bush Corporate Government Seizes Katrina Opportunity (September 14, 2005)
With people still stranded on rooftops and bodies floating in the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration did what it has always done best: it moved with lightning speed to dole out lucrative contracts to private corporations.
Workers Lose Stock Options (September 12, 2005)
The gap between the diverging paths for wages and profits will grow wider as more companies abandon their broad-based employee stock options plans over the next year and do not replace them with other forms of compensation.
Help the Victims of Hurricane Katrina (September 7, 2005)
Labor unions around the United States and throughout the world are rallying to aid the people whose lives have been thrown into chaos by Hurricane Katrina. Many unions have created special disaster relief funds to help out. Volunteers are also needed. To find out what the unions are doing and how you can help, click here.
Labor’s Smaller Share (September 2, 2005)
This Labor Day marks yet another year of decline in the living standards of U.S. workers. The downward trend in real wages has continued for so long that workers no longer expect an annual wage increase. And the assault on benefits is now so entrenched that many workers don’t receive or expect to receive basic benefits.
Workers Left out of the Recovery, Wages Remain Flat (August 11, 2005)
The most recent round of economic reports points to higher growth in all parts of the economy except one: wages. Wage increases are weak and are forecast to remain low in 2006.
Breaking Through the Noise Part II: How Grassroots Campaigns Can Have an Impact on Capitol Hill (August 8, 2005)
These days it's easier to send a letter to your congressman, but it's harder to be heard and even harder to have a real impact. For unions and other policy-oriented member organizations, it's still possible, but only if groups follow the new rules that are required to break through the noise in Washington.