"Occupy movement turning to shareholder meetings" -- Chicago Tribune
Looking to build on the Occupy Wall Street movement, activists say they're turning to corporate shareholder meetings this spring to vent their anger over economic disparity in the United States and to promote an assortment of other causes.
A group called 99% Power -- a reference to those not among the top 1 percent of earners -- says it plans actions at 36 shareholder meetings, with the first big push coming at Tuesday's Wells Fargo & Co gathering in San Francisco.
"Steel talks remain at standstill" -- Yamhill Valley News-Register
Cascade Steel Rolling Mills and United Steelworkers Local 8378 have yet to come to terms on a new contract, and talks have been recessed until Thursday at the direction of a federal mediator, drawing a protest from the mill.
According to another public statement emanating from management, talks resumed Monday, after being recessed over the weekend. Then they were recessed again until Thursday.
"Workers of the World Divide" -- Huffington Post
Since the middle of the last century, the American labor movement has been in steady decline. In the early 1950s, around one-third of the United States' total labor force was unionized. Today, just one-tenth remains so. Unionization of the private sector is even lower, at ﬁve percent. Over the last few decades, unions' inﬂuence has waned and workers' collective voice in the political process has weakened. As a result, wages have stagnated, income inequality has increased, and the American political conversation has narrowed.
The decline of American unions was not preordained. In the ﬁrst decades of the postwar period, the organizing effort simply could not keep pace with the frenetic rate of job growth in the economy as a whole. Even if the labor market had simply continued expanding with no broader changes in the economy or politics, organized labor would have struggled to sustain its inﬂuence.
"Obama’s vs. Unions" -- National Review
The fruits of President Obama’s UAW Bailout of GM and Chrysler were on loud display in Metro Detroit Tuesday night as UAW President Bob King and 1,000 Astroturf union protestors launched a $70 million, dues-funded, “99 Percent Spring” protest outside a Michigan Republican fundraiser for embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Obama and his party are heavily dependent on Big Labor dues to stay in power, and saving the UAW was a crucial piece of the 2009 federal takeover of the Detroit auto industry. (So is recalling governors like Walker and Michigan’s Rick Snyder whose public employee pay reforms also threaten the dues take of labor leaders and their Democratic puppets.)
But look outside union strongholds like the upper Midwest, and Obama’s claimed support of the working man is highly selective. Indeed, Obama’s ideological war on the oil and coal industries is breeding angry union enemies as Obama’s green theology gets the better of his blue-collar empathy.
"Virginia, airports board still at odds over Dulles Rail project" -- Washington Examiner
Loudoun County is threatening to pull out of the project that would extend Metro to Washington Dulles International Airport even though it could mean more than $300 million in economic development for the county. Virginia also is balking at supporting the project even though the Silver Line is generally seen as critical to the health of Northern Virginia's economy.
State and local officials have two beefs with the project. Its cost, which now stands at more than $2 billion for the second phase alone, and the use of union labor to build it, which they said not only violates the spirit of the state's right-to-work law, but would drive up costs even further.