Heat and Frost Insulators News and Events

NYC building trades target big money lenders in fight against non-union construction on ‘Billionaires’ Row’

Posted by on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 13:03 PM

 

             
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Topics: Labor Unions, Construction Jobs, Union Advantage, Construction

America needs labor unions

Posted by on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 @ 13:03 PM
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Topics: Labor Unions, Construction Jobs, Union Labor

Canada’s Union Advantage

Posted by on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 @ 18:03 PM
"The Canadian Labour Congress is releasing this study to show just how much better the union advantage truly is – both nationally and in 50 communities across the country. This study shows that on average, unionized workers across Canada earn $5.17/hour more than non-union workers, that women with unions earn more ($6.89/hour) and get paid more fairly, and that young workers (aged 14 to 24) earn more when they work under the protection of a collective agreement.”

"But this advantage doesn’t just belong to union members. It benefits everyone.

"Workers in unions are an important part of the local community and economy because that’s where they spend their paycheques. Their incomes support local businesses (who create local jobs) and bolster the local tax base, which supports public works and community services that add to everyone’s quality of life."

"The benefits enjoyed by unionized workers (dental insurance, extended health care coverage and legal insurance, to name a few) attract and support dentists, opticians, chiropractors, therapists, health specialists, and family lawyers whose services are available to everyone in the community."

"When unions stand up for fairness, they raise the bar for everyone. Many of the things first won by unions are enjoyed by all workers today – minimum wages, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, maternity and parental leave, vacation pay, and protection from discrimination and harassment."

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Topics: Labor Unions, Union Advantage, Union Labor

A Tale of Two States

Posted by on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 @ 17:03 PM

It's a tale of two states.

They sit side by side, each taking in the views of Lake Superior. Their economies both grew from foundations in manufacturing, farming and mining, and they each boast a strong history of organized labor. And in 2010, still reeling from the recession, they elected new governors.

Those two governors took these two states -- Minnesota and Wisconsin -- down two very different paths. Today, Minnesota's unemployment rate is 3.6 percent -- far below the nationwide rate of 5.7 percent - while Wisconsin's job growth has been among the worst in the region and its income growth has been among the worst in the nation.

Since his election, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton turned his state's budget deficit into a projected surplus of nearly $2 billion. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has swollen his state's budget deficit to a projected $2 billion. Meanwhile, Dayton has boosted the minimum wage, invested in public education and supported workers' rights. (And Minnesota has the most union members of any state in the Midwest.)

Trickle-down economics doesn't work and frankly, it never has. If we want to restore a healthy middle class, we need a different approach.

And Walker? He has slashed funding to public schools, and is dismantling the state's public university system. On March 9, he signed a bill that makes Wisconsin the 25th so-called right to work state, which, research shows, contrary to the hype, drives down wages and destroys good jobs. Why? All in an effort to eviscerate Wisconsin's labor unions.

There's a moral to this story. As my high school students taught me, "You've got to walk the walk, not just talk the talk." If you want a strong middle class, then you can't take out the unions that built it. If you want good jobs with higher wages, then workers need a voice.

Trickle-down economics doesn't work, and frankly, it never has. If we want to restore a healthy middle class, we need a different approach, a virtuous cycle that begins with a high-quality public education that gives students the skills they need to get good jobs with fair wages, helping each generation climb the ladder of opportunity. Another crucial step is to enable more workers to form and join unions.

As Hillary Clinton recently noted, "The American middle class was built, in part, by the right for people to organize and bargain." She's right. When unions were at their peak, more workers -- upwards of 50 percent -- were in the middle class. Conversely, a decline in union membership - spurred on by trickle-down economics, ideological attacks and globalization -- is directly linked to the rise in income inequality.

At a time when only the wealthiest 10 percent have reaped the benefits of any gains in productivity, workers once again need a voice on the job. Collective bargaining can lift all boats, even those boats that aren't carrying a union card.

Look at wages. In the heyday of the American labor movement, non-managerial workers' wages went up 75 percent. As unions have been on the decline, these workers have only seen a four percent bump. Still, even today, union workers earn 28 percent more than nonunion workers. When two-thirds of our economic activity is driven by consumer spending, it's critical that working families have more money in their pockets to spend. Broadly shared prosperity will remain elusive as long as workers' buying power is limited.

And then there is retirement security. Eighty-six percent of Americans believe our nation faces a retirement security crisis. Unions bargain a secure retirement on behalf of workers, often in the form of pensions. Pensions both ensure that workers can retire with financial dignity and are important investors in our economy. For every dollar paid in pension benefits, there's $2.37 in economic output. Plus, long-term capital funds create hundreds of thousands of jobs in asset classes like infrastructure, venture capital and real estate.

Collective bargaining has a multiplier effect. So do laws meant to take collective bargaining away.

Workers in so-called right-to-work states make about $1,500 less per year. When wages are lower, workers leave the state, depressing job creation, and there's a sizable economic loss to the state. Marquette University economist Abdur Chowdhury estimates the impact of right-to-work on Wisconsin will be "a net loss of direct and indirect income of at least $5.8 billion annually."

Governors and state policymakers have a clear choice. They can push ideological policies to break the backs of unions and further disempower workers, have their deficit grow, workers' wages sink and their state ranked at the bottom for business and economic climate, as Walker's Wisconsin is. Or they can -- like Minnesota, which is ranked in the top ten in the nation for its business and economic climate -- strengthen unions and workers' rights, invest in public education and infrastructure, and create more good jobs.

It's a clear choice, and if we care about working families accessing the American dream -- it's not a hard one.

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Topics: Labor Unions, AFL-CIO, Union Advantage, Union Labor

Pro-Worker Legislators Aim to Out-Organize ALEC

Posted by on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 @ 17:03 PM

 

by Olivia Sandbothe  |  March 18, 2015

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Topics: Labor Unions, AFL-CIO, legislation, Union Advantage, Union Labor

Political Donations Allowing Associated Builders & Contractors to Buy Anti-Worker Bills in FL

Posted by on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 @ 13:03 PM

 


 

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Topics: Labor Unions, Construction Jobs, legislation, Construction, Union Labor

Building Trades Pres: Businesses in “Right-to-Work” Wisconsin “May Not Be Able to Find Any Skilled Workers”

Posted by on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 @ 13:03 PM

 


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Topics: Labor Unions, Construction Jobs, Union Advantage, Construction, Union Labor

To fix inequality, Democrats are pushing unions

Posted by on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 @ 10:03 AM
At a time when GOP is gaining ground in very public attacks on labor, the left is coming to the defense of collective bargaining
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Topics: Labor Unions, AFL-CIO, Construction Jobs, Union Advantage, Union Labor

Senate votes to kill NLRB rule that speeded votes on union representation

Posted by on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 @ 13:03 PM
March 4
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Topics: Labor Unions, AFL-CIO, Construction Jobs, Union Labor

Laws that decimate unions may be inevitable. Here’s how labor can survive.

Posted by on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

An ironworker holds his helmet in Madison, WIsconsin, where those union stickers might not be worth much soon. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, M.P. King)

Sometime later this week, a right-to-work bill appears certain to land on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s desk. Despite the protests of thousands in Madison, he’ll sign it, dealing another blow to labor unions already crippled by laws passed during the Republican’s last term in office.

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Topics: Labor Unions, AFL-CIO, Construction Jobs, Union Advantage, Construction

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