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NEWS
By MICHAEL BURNS and MICHAEL BURNS,Michael Burns covers labor issues for The Sun | August 28, 1991
Organized labor usually gets its annual physical this time every year. Around Labor Day, its membership numbers are carefully weighed, its ability to win strikes and bargain favorable contracts tested, the wins and losses in the Congress and the Courts checked out.The evaluation typically concludes with the diagnosis that labor is in decline, but adds that things will get better for the unions as more workers recognize their plight.But it hasn't turned out that way: labor unions' share of the work force, fewer than one in six workers, continues to dwindle even in the face of a persistent recession.
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BUSINESS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | January 28, 2014
The operator of concessions at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport has joined with several local business organizations to provide new "enrichment" programs for its workers. The move comes amid an effort by Unite Here, a labor union in the hospitality industry, to unionize airport concessions employees. The "Workplace Development Program" will provide AirMall USA concessions workers with health and sanitation training, life skills classes, English as a Second Language courses and "career mapping and time management," the company said.
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NEWS
By Jack W. Germond & Jules Witcover | March 28, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Union membership today is at its lowest level since the Great Depression. From 14 percent of the work force in 1935, it rose to a high of 35 percent in the 1950s but since then has dropped to about 11 percent.The once politically potent AFL-CIO has been regarded in Washington as a paper lion, its legislative objectives repeatedly ignored or rejected by Congress and its clout in congressional and presidential elections sharply diminished.Through the 1980s and the early 1990s, legislation sought by the AFL-CIO generally got nowhere, and when it fought tooth and nail against the North American Free Trade Agreement, it suffered a particularly conspicuous defeat.
NEWS
December 6, 2013
Thursday saw fast food workers across in 130 cities the country walk off the job in order to protest for higher wages. The protesters were bemoaning the low pay earned in fast food jobs and are demanding an economically unfeasible wage of $15 per hour. To work in fast food. Now of course any worker would love to see a raise in pay. Of course, the economics of this don't actually pan on for most of the workers. Lots of fast food workers are teenage workers who are disproportionately impacted by minimum wage hikes and already facing ridiculously high rates of unemployment.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | September 9, 1992
Rodney Trump -- behind the wheel of a General Motors automobile, of course -- cranks down the window and announces that, if you don't mind, he won't be turning the air-conditioning on. It's a waste of energy, especially on such a mild, late-summer day as this. And, perhaps more important, Trump says, it's good to sweat. "A little perspiration makes a person feel alive," he says.Trump is president of United Auto Workers Local 239, a true believer in the spirit of unionism and a salty critic of the forces that have undercut the working class over the last two decades.
NEWS
By MICHAEL K. BURNS | October 3, 1993
The first thing you need to know about William B. Gould IV, who's slated to become new chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, is that he is crazy about baseball: a lifelong rabid Red Sox fan, a fantasy camper and a Major League Baseball salary arbitrator.A lawyer and college professor, Mr. Gould relishes the intricate teamwork that yields success on the playing field and the intense competition that breeds it. In short, a perfect outlook for becoming head of the 58-year-old NLRB, which enforces labor laws governing employers and workers.
BUSINESS
By Stacey Hirsh and Stacey Hirsh,SUN STAFF | June 8, 2004
Ronald Reagan's presidency signaled a critical period for organized labor, a time when unions began shrinking at a much faster pace and it became more acceptable for businesses to fight off labor organizations. But what remains in dispute about his legacy is whether the former president's actions triggered a decline in union membership or accelerated a trend that was had already begun. "It isn't clear whether Reagan set the tone for the '80s and into the '90s, or whether he reflected changes in society," said Charles Craver, a labor law professor at George Washington University Law School and author of Can Unions Survive?
BUSINESS
By Kevin L. McQuaid and Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF | February 28, 1998
The National Labor Relations Board, as expected, charged Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. yesterday with 17 violations of federal labor laws stemming from a union election in December 1996.The charges, announced by the NLRB's regional office in Baltimore, contend that the utility intimidated employees, refused to allow workers to distribute union material for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, forced employees to watch anti-labor videos and pledged a pay raise of up to 17 percent if the organizing effort was defeated.
NEWS
September 2, 2002
Samuel Gompers helped organize the American Federation of Labor in 1886 and, other than a single year off, served as its president from that year until his death in 1924. A cigar maker by trade, Gompers first joined a union - Cigar Makers International Union - in New York in 1864. He rose through its ranks and then that of the national movement, becoming the leading spokesman of his time for organized labor. Derided by critics as a socialist and a foreigner (he was born in London), Gompers viewed trade unions as a means for workers to obtain economic power, which, in turn, would lead to political power.
NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF | May 19, 1998
Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend picked up another endorsement from organized labor yesterday, when 12 Maryland locals of the United Auto Workers threw their support behind the Democratic ticket.Glendening and Townsend, who are running for re-election to a second term, are expected to lock up most of the state's union support over their primary challengers, Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, Montgomery County businessman Raymond F. Schoenke Jr. and Prince George's County physician Terry A. McGuire.
NEWS
By Lane Windham | January 28, 2013
You wouldn't know it from our nation's debate over Obamacare, but the U.S. has had government-supported health care for nearly 80 years. Not only that, but our nation bolsters a retirement level well beyond the thin safety net provided by Social Security, and it even ensures Americans a path to a family-supporting wage. And, no, I have not mistaken the U.S. for a socialist European nation. Our government assures us these broad economic benefits by guaranteeing our right to form a labor union.
NEWS
June 6, 2012
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's victory in Tuesday's recall election doesn't mean President Barack Obama is going to lose his re-election bid - or even that he will lose Wisconsin. But it clearly shows that organized labor is a seriously weakened political force that needs to reinvent itself for its sake and for the nation's. The vote was widely billed as a preliminary skirmish in the November election between Mr. Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, but there is good reason to conclude that its predictive value is low. For starters, exit polling showed that even as voters handed Mr. Walker a convincing 53 percent to 46 percent victory over Milwaukee's Democratic mayor, Tom Barrett, a solid majority of them would have voted for Mr. Obama over Mr. Romney.
NEWS
April 5, 2010
T he stated intent of Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry's project labor agreement bill couldn't be nobler. The legislation notes the sky-high unemployment rate in Baltimore City (16 percent, more than double the statewide rate) and says the city should be using the influence of its spending on construction contracts to put more Baltimore residents to work. The trouble is, what the bill actually requires is for contractors to hire workers from local union halls, and that's not the same thing.
NEWS
By Matthew Continetti | October 12, 2009
President Barack Obama says the big problem in Washington is that politicians focus on pleasing special interests at the expense of the general public. But his curious definition of "special interests" exempts one key political force: organized labor. Even during a recession, the public is ambivalent toward organized labor. In September, a Gallup poll found that 48 percent of Americans approved of unions. This was an 11-point drop from the previous year's approval rating and the lowest recorded since Gallup started asking the question in 1936.
BUSINESS
By Joel Havemann and Joel Havemann,Los Angeles Times | June 27, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans have blocked organized labor's top legislative priority this year - a bill designed to make it easier for unions to organize workers at nonunion workplaces. No issue splits the national parties more starkly than those involving organized labor, and the vote yesterday was no exception: All 50 Democrats stood behind labor, and among the 49 Republicans, only Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania broke ranks. The resulting tally, 51-48, left the Democrats nine votes short of the 60 they needed to cut off debate in the Senate and bring a bill to a vote.
NEWS
By Michael Reitz | February 6, 2007
The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the consolidated cases of Washington vs. Washington Education Association and Davenport vs. WEA, which could have major implications for organized labor and the free-speech rights of workers nationwide. Organized labor's numbers have been plummeting for decades. The U.S. Department of Labor reported in January that the number of union members is at a record low. Over the last year, the percentage of union workers has declined in 31 states.
NEWS
August 14, 1998
THE ISSUE behind the two-day strike at Bell Atlantic tells us much about our economy. High technology is where the action is and where it will be for years to come.The Communications Workers of America struck the big Baby Bell, but not over pay and benefits. Bell Atlantic is growing as it develops new telecommunications businesses. The union fought successfully to remain part of that growth.Organized labor won a clear victory but not an enormous one. Few workers in the vastly growing high-tech sector are represented by unions.
NEWS
November 24, 1993
Politically speaking, President Clinton appears to have made a perfect three-point landing in getting American Airlines Chairman Robert Crandall to agree to go to arbitration to settle the strike by flight attendants.This is just what the president needed after the turbulence of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Organized labor may never forget the way the president rammed that proposal through Congress over its objections, but it has to be mollified somewhat by the way he handled the flight attendants' strike.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,Sun Reporter | January 31, 2007
Brian Nesbit Organizer United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 27, Towson Salary --$83,500 a year Age --36 Years on the job --Nine How he got started --Nesbit became a UFCW member in 1986 when he started working at Safeway in Greenbelt as a sophomore in high school. He continued working there after graduating. During his employment, he got more involved in union activities and became a shop steward. In 1998, he was offered a staff position as an organizer in Local 27, which covers most of Maryland, including the Eastern Shore, and western and northern counties, and Delaware.
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