As many of you will be aware, the Apple iPad (pictured) had its world-wide launch this weekend.
What you may not know is that the factory which produces it, in China, has been the scene of a dozen worker suicides in recent months.
We've been asked by unions and NGOs in Hong Kong and Taiwan to launch a big international campaign to put pressure on the factory owners -- and on Apple -- to probe why this is happening, and to allow workers there to have real, independent unions that can bargain collectively.
Role of National Right to Work in the Anti-Union Network
National Right to Work is the country’s oldest organization dedicated solely to destroying unions. Its network consists of four organizations that share leadership, offices, resources and staff, all with the common goal of undermining workers’ freedom of association. To carry out this mission, the National Right to Work Committee employs over 200 staff to lobby, fundraise, distribute propaganda, and interfere with workers’ union organizing efforts, and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation employs nearly 50 staff for its litigation efforts.
While the organization has doggedly pursued an anti-union agenda for a half century, its public profile has recently been eclipsed by the big-budget anti-union front group the Center for Union Facts .
Does National Right to Work have anything to do with right-to-work laws?
When anti-union ideologues lost an effort to enact a national law weakening unions, they created the National Right to Work Committee in 1955 to pass such laws at the state level. The group’s single-minded focus of doing away with unions was as unambiguous then, as it is today, however the name it shares with the very legislation it was created to pass, is purposely confusing. For more background on this deceptively-titled legislation, click here.
What is the True Agenda Behind National Right to Work? Does National Right to Work advocate on behalf of workers?
The group claims to be a “worker advocate.”2 But the organization doesn’t concern itself with improving workers’ job conditions, benefits, or treatment. An examination of press releases issued by the National Right to Work Foundation between 2003 and 2005 reveals there was no discussion by the group of improving benefits for workers, better working conditions, or workplace dignity; and only one reference to increasing wages. There were, however, 267 negative references to unions.
"The terrorist could then use his influence with the union to make it easier for a terrorist colleague to board a plane or to get a bomb through baggage screening."
- National Right to Work's warning that an airport screeners’ union could be infiltrated by terrorists
If National Right to Work is really advocating for workers, why is does it refuse to disclose its donors?
Whose interests are they really fighting for? The funding trail that exists points to anti-union businesses:
•A lawsuit revealed that 84 percent of the National Right to Work Committee’s 1973 budget was funded by corporations, and other employers.
•Early known donors include:
◦Wofford Camp who served on a U.S. Chamber of Commerce committee and was a California grower who fought efforts by farm workers to organize unions.
◦Roger Milliken, former president of Milliken & Company, who shut down one of his southern textile plants as retaliation against his employees’ vote to form a union.
•The Foundation bragged that “over 350 Presidents and Chairmen of the Board listed in Dun & Bradstreet’s Directory of Million Dollar Corporations,” were associated with it.
•Anti-union companies indirectly fund National Right to Work through foundations. The network has received major grants from the Walton Family Foundation (funded with profits from Wal-Mart), Castle Rock Foundation (funded with profits from Coors beer), and Publix Super Markets Charities.
The group’s original leadership also suggests an anti-union agenda shaped by the interest of employers. For instance, the Committee’s first chairman of the board was Edwin Dillard, president of Old Dominion Box Company, who vehemently fought his workers’ efforts to organize his company’s plants in the South.9 Fred Hartley, the Committee’s first president, was the former Congressman who sponsored the Taft-Hartley Act amending the National Labor Relations Act to expand employers’ rights, not workers. (Continue)
For more information on this Foudation and others that interefere with workers rights in the workplace, visit American Rights at Work
As you can see already, there are two new authors that will have the ability to post information on Saveourtrade from their shops in their states across the country. I spoke with numerous delegates at the Newspaper Conference this week about sharing information on our site to provide all of our members a one stop website that will allow us to see what is going on in each GCC/IBT shop from coast to coast as they occur. There are several links to GCC/IBT shops on the right sidebar of this page as well to view their Local's respective websites.
I'd like to thank Boston's Local 3n President, Marty Callaghan and Local 406 Chief Steward, Lou Nicosia for being the first to accept our invitation. In the next few weeks I hope to have at least one Officer from each Local across the country posting current information from their respective Local or District Council. This will insure that we are all kept abreast of what is going on in our industry in REAL TIME. Readers will also have access to these authors/Officers and their e-mail information allowing readers a two way dialog between the reader and the author. Readers will continue to be allowed to comment on their posts which will lead to an ongoing dialog between all that wish to offer their comments and/or opinions.
The news on the Teamster sites are very valuable and informative and I suggest Savourtrade readers continue to use them, this site will go a step further and keep Local Officers in touch with eachother year round as opposed to when we meet once a year at Newspaper Conferences.
I encourage readers to engage these new authors as they have knowledge and experiences that will benefit all that visit our site. The news they deliver will expose our members in Los Angeles, and shops across the country, to the ongoings in their neighborhood shops without having to read about it in eachothers papers or websites. Most of us really have no idea what is going on outside the 4 walls of our own shops.
The gates are open and I expect to see many more authors here for your benefit.
Thanks again Marty and Lou and we hope to soon see your postings on saveourtrade soon, Welcome!
Tribune Chapter 11 Plan Includes $15M In Executive Bonuses
Tribune Co. has unveiled plans for a third round of top executive bonuses, nearly $15 million, bringing to more than $72 million the amount of pay enhancements the media company handed out while operating under bankruptcy protection.
Publisher of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun and operator of a chain of broadcast stations, Tribune wrapped the latest bonus programs into the Chapter 11 plan it will be sending out for creditor votes.
Creditors will be voting on the bonuses as they decide whether to support Tribune’s plan, which dishes out equity to cover part of its $12.7 billion debt load.
The new bonuses, which cover 42 top executives, include nine of Tribune’s 10 top-ranking corporate leaders, according to papers filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.
They are in addition to $57.4 million worth of bonuses already approved by a bankruptcy judge over the protests of unions whose members lost jobs due to the company’s financial struggles. The earlier bonuses were paid out between May 2009 and February 2010.
Hundreds of managers were included in the court-approved bonus programs, along with top executives. Tribune has refused to identify top leaders who participated or say how much they received, other than to say Chairman Sam Zell didn’t participate.
The Chicago company also hasn’t revealed the identities of insiders who collected $268 million in pay, bonuses and severance pay the year before the company filed bankruptcy.
Tribune filed for Chapter 11 protection in December 2008 after a leveraged buyout piled $8 billion worth of debt on the media enterprise.
It hopes to be out of bankruptcy by September as the property largely of banks that financed the deal. If Tribune’s Chapter 11 plan is approved, the company will have shaken off billions in debt and silenced questions about the wisdom of the LBO transaction.
Yet to be revealed is the percentage of equity in the reorganized company that will be set aside for management under Tribune’s Chapter 11 plan. Like most companies departing bankruptcy, Tribune has said it plans to reward management with stakes in the reorganized media company.
How much equity executives will get, Tribune hasn’t said. The company’s financial advisers estimate the post-Chapter 11 company will have an equity value of $4.1 billion.
A spokesman and an attorney for Tribune didn’t respond Tuesday to requests for information about the equity incentive plan. The company has promised to supplement information on its Chapter 11 plan before a July 30 voting deadline on the plan.
(This report is from Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review, which covers news about distressed companies and those under bankruptcy protection.)
Date: May 20, 2010 To: All Hourly Pressroom Employees
We have experienced a problem processing this Friday’s (May 21, 2010) payroll checks. Unfortunately, all payroll checks for tomorrow will be live checks. Anyone who has signed up for direct deposit will be receiving a live check. We expect to have them available by 10AM tomorrow. If you will be coming in to the facility to pick-up your check, please contact your supervisor to confirm the arrival time of your check. If you would like to make other arrangements, for example have us mail your check to your home, please inform your supervisor.
The Family of Jose Gomez will be hosting a Remembrance at their home and wish to extend an invitation to Jose's L.A. Times family. We consider eachother family because of all the time we've spent together and the memories we've created and shared while working for the newspaper. We share the good times and the bad times, the happiness and the sorrow.
It is with great sadness to report the loss of two long time Orange County Pressroom employees.
Supervisor Jose Gomez has lost his admirably fought battle against cancer. Jose has my deep respect as a fighter for his unwillingness to allow his illness to take away from the things that were important to him, those obviously were his commitment to family and friends. Jose will be missed by many.
Brother Alan Miller was struck by a vehicle when it drifted onto the shoulder of the road and ran into his bike from behind while cycling in Corona. Alan was a man of very few words and his reclusive nature was understood and accepted by everyone in O.C. Alan sadly appeared void of emotion and deeply tormented due to traumatic events in his life; faith tells me that his pain and burdens have been lifted and he is now filled with peace.
No details for services have been announced at this time but will be made available as soon as the families make arrangements for their loved ones. Our Sympathies and prayers go out to the Families and survivors of Jose and Brother Alan.