Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

McJobs: the web site

02.22.10

McJobs ## we all know what those are.

One online source defines a McJob as “a low-paying, low-prestige job that requires few skills and offers very little chance of intracompany advancement”.

McDonald’s was never very happy about the use of this term.

In fact, the company bought the domain name “mcjobs.com” just to make sure that no one could use it.

But they forget to acquire “mcjobs.org” ## and the global union federation for food workers, the IUF, together with LabourStart, bought the name and today are pleased to announce the public launch of McJobs.org, the website for McDonald’s workers around the world.

If you work in McDonald’s, or know anyone who does, or are just curious, please do check it out:

http://www.mcjobs.org

Eric Lee

Labour Start

Reid Pulls Rabbit Out Of His Hat

02.22.10

Reid Pulls Rabbit Out Of His Hat
by David Kurtz

Talking Points Memo link

It looked for a time like even Harry Reid’s stripped-down jobs bill might stall with less than the required 60 votes, but at least two Republicans ## Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Olympia Snowe of Maine ## have joined with the Democrats, which should be enough to advance the bill through this key procedural vote.

Late Update: The final vote was 62-30. The Dems lost Ben Nelson (D-NE), who voted against the bill; and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is undergoing cancer treatment and did not vote. So that knocked the Dems from 59 votes down to 57, but they picked up five Republicans, Brown and Snowe, as I mention above, plus Susan Collins (R-ME), Kit Bond (R-MO) and George Voinovich (R-OH).

AFGE applauds proposed budget increase in Veteran care

02.22.10

FEBRUARY 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

AFGE applauds proposed budget increase in Veteran care

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, February 4th- The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Union and its National Veteran’s Affairs Council applauded the Obama Administration’s proposed funding increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The White House’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget provides $57 billion in increases for the Veterans Administration.

AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

The union represents workers of two of the biggest employers in Northeastern Pennsylvania including workers of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Wilkes-Barre Township in Luzerne County and the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Monroe County. AFGE Local 1647 represents Tobyhanna Army Deport employees.

AGFE Local 1699 President Yolanda Riggsbee complained for years about funding cuts for Veterans Affairs during the Bush Administration. Local 1699 represents workers employed at the Veterans Hospital.

For more than two decades, AFGE, which represents 180,000 employees in the Veterans Administration, has joined veterans’ groups in calling for funding of veterans’ services.

The union believes the release of this year’s budget is an especially momentous occasion for veterans and its dedicated workforce. The Fiscal Year 2011 budget marks the first two-year funding cycle for the Veteran’s Administration health care system.

In October 2009 AFGE officials stood with veterans’ groups at the White House signing of Public Law 111-81, funding reform legislation that ensures more predictable, adequate funding for the Veteran’s Administration health care by authorizing the United States Congress to provide health care dollars one year ahead of time through advance appropriations. For the first time in the history of the Veteran Administration’s budget, this year, President Obama’s budget request includes health care funds for two years.

“We applaud President Obama for standing by his commitment to veterans’ health care needs. Veteran Administration hospitals, clinics and long term care facilities can finally count on getting the dollars they need for timely hiring, equipment purchases and construction. Funding reform, which was supported by the president when he was a Senator, will put an end to yearly shortfalls and supplemental funding bills,” said David Cox, AFGE Union Secretary Treasurer.

“AFGE is alo very pleased the administration has dedicated a substantial amount of resources towards the unique needs of women veterans, we well as, dedicating $800 million towards tackling homelessness among veterans. For our military has been strengthened by the contributions of female members of the armed services. We are especially pleased that the administration has recognized that the 21st Century Veterans Administration must be responsive to their needs. Likewise, in a nation as rich and grateful as ours, no veteran should ever be condemned to homelessness. This budget reflects those commitments and we commend the President for it,” added Mr. Cox.

According to the union, AFGE and its National Veterans Administration Council have been longtime advocates for mandatory funding of the Veterans Administration, an approach they say is widely supported by the veterans’ community. AFGE with the nine veteran’s groups comprising the Partnership for Veterans Health Care Budget Reform endorsed advanced appropriations as an alternative funding approach that is achievable in the short term. “Yearly funding delays were driving up costs by requiring the Veterans Administratrion to turn more and more contract care from providers not specializing in veterans’ health care needs,” Mr. Cox said.

UFCW and IBT request union members buy Wise products

02.22.10

FEBRUARY 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

UFCW and IBT request union members buy Wise products

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, January 28th- The two unions that represent workers employed at the Wise Foods plant in Berwick, Columbia County, are requesting union members patronize the company and buy Wise chips and snacks.

Michele Kessler, Secretary-Treasurer of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 1776, Route 315 in Pittston, stated by purchasing Wise Snacks products, union members would be supporting “fellow union brothers and sisters.”

“Purchase Wise snacks and eat union made products and help our members,” said Ms. Kessler.

Local 1776 represents approximately 25,000 workers throughout Northeastern, Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania. The union represents workers employed in supermarkets; drug stores, including Rite Aid; food processing plants; government services, including workers employed by the Borough of Dunmore; manufacturing plants, including Wise Snacks; nursing homes, including Valley Crest Nursing Home; and the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits Shoppes.

Ms. Kessler stated Wise employs approximately 600 union workers at their manufacturing plant in Berwick including around 540 UFCW members. The union represents production workers.

Local 1776 members are currently working under the terms and conditions of the previous contract agreement that expired on February 1st, 2009. In August 2009 the membership rejected the company’s three-year contract proposal that contained a pension freeze and because of rises in health insurance costs would wipe out wage increases.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union Local 401, South Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre, represents around 60 Wise Foods workers including truck drivers and warehouse employees.

According to James Murphy, Business Representative of Local 401, the contract between the IBT and Wise Foods does not expire for another year and a half.

“They are tough employers, but they are a good employer as well,” said Mr. Murphy.

Ms. Kessler said the company is one of the largest employers in the area that employs union workers.