LaborLetter Representing one million workers and their families November/December 2003 Vol. 24, No. 7 Notes and Quotes Saving the State's Unemployment Insurance Fund Fundamental Changes in Illinois' Unemployment Insurance Program will Benefit Workers and Prevent Future Financial Troubles T here's not enough Illinois AFL-CIO Fights for Workers' Needs spin in Washington or SPRINGFIELD - In an attempt to restore Illinois' bankrupt eligibility guidelines. Beginning in 2004, workers who must leave enough dollars in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) fund to solvency status, labor their job because they are victims of domestic violence will be leaders, the Governor's staff, legislative caucus leaders and eligible for unemployment. Currently they are not. President's campaign representatives from business have been working diligently over "Studies show 25% to 50% of domestic violence victims lose coffers to cover up the the past months to create an improved plan that will overhaul the their jobs over the ongoing torment," said Blackshere. "Now structure of the fund and prevent future financial problems. workers who must leave their jobs and even their communities to failures of the Bush Recently an agreement was reached that will help struggling escape violent assaults can apply for unemployment assistance to Administration. workers, restore security to the program and ensure fairness to both help them get reestablished and back on their feet. We can help labor and business. them feel safe again. This is an important UI reform." - Sen. Dick Durbin The Illinois AFL-CIO and allied community groups demanded Workers will be asked to make a small sacrifice. The Cost Of several key reforms to the current system. Those changes include: Living (COL) increase will be reduced by a small percentage restoring the UI trust fund to financial health by changing the way beginning in 2004 and the yearly C.O.L. increase will not rise the the program is funded; counting workers' most recent earnings full amount. Rates for individuals and for workers with dependent when considering eligibility; and allowing workers to leave their spouses will decrease by 1.5 percent a year until 2007. Benefits jobs because of domestic violence. for those with dependent children will decrease by .3 percent a Would you like to see "We have made substantive changes to the program that will year. George Bush replenish and insure the viability of Illinois' Unemployment "We fought hard to keep as many dollars as we could in the elected to another Insurance fund," said Margaret Blackshere, president of the Illinois pockets of our unemployed workers," said Blackshere. "But term? AFL-CIO. "From the beginning of this agreed bill process, we because of our national economic crisis and shortcomings in the knew dramatic changes were necessary if the fund was to survive. system, our UI fund is in severe financial trouble and we must No 49% Labor's goal was to protect workers' benefit payments and to give restore it or thousands of working families will suffer. We felt the them easier access to the funds. We needed to modernize the small reduction in payments would help save the fund and still Yes 38% system to meet the challenges workers face today. I am proud to support our workers." No opinion 13% say we accomplished our objectives." The Unemployment Insurance reforms were approved by the Results based on a poll of 700 Illinois To rebuild the UI program, which the Department of state legislature. registered voters. Employment Security predicts will be $500 million in debt by Unemployment Insurance was established in 1935 to provide Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV Poll year's end, the tax rate and the taxable wage base that businesses weekly benefits to eligible workers who lose their jobs through no Published 10-26-03 pay will increase. For the past 15 years, employers have paid UI fault of their own. Illinois' program will aid nearly a half a million Source: Market Share Corp. taxes on only the first $9,000 of an employee's wages. Beginning new applicants in 2003, paying weekly benefits that average $280 in 2004, the amount of earnings subject to the UI tax will increase per worker. yearly. By 2009, the taxable wage will be $12,300. And the tax Organizations in alliance with the Illinois AFL-CIO on the key rate, which fluctuates due to economic conditions, will become UI reforms are the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago more sensitive to economic indicators and the balance of the trust Jobs Council, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, fund. Meaning, the rate will go up as unemployment rises and the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, National trust fund is depleted, and will go down when the unemployment Center on Poverty Law, National Council of Jewish Women, rate is lower and the trust fund rebounds. These revenue increases Voices for Illinois Children, Women Employed, and Work, Welfare should help restore the fund to solvency. & Families. The Illinois AFL-CIO also fought to reform antiquated Labor Supports Exelon's Acquisition of Illinois Power In an effort to protect over 6,000 union jobs up and down the state, the Illinois AFL- CIO threw its support behind the sale of Illinois Power Company to Exelon, the parent Take Back The company of Commonwealth Edison. Power Exelon offered to buy Decatur-based Illinois Power from its parent company Dynegy Inc. for about $2.2 million. In addition, Exelon sought to pass legislation that VOTE would speed up the process by which the Illinois Commerce Commission could approve the sale to nine months from eleven months, and the company asked for a single-digit rate increase that would be effective in 2007. The state's electrical rates were frozen in 1998 through 2006 due to deregulation. Illinois AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer "The rationale behind the Illinois AFL-CIO and our affiliate unions supporting this Michael Carrigan addresses the crowd during a press conference in Chicago sale and proposed legislation was two fold - maintaining good-paying jobs and assuring where Exelon announced their intent to the utilities' infrastructure," said Illinois AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Michael Carrigan. buy Illinois Power. Also pictured to the March 16 The legislation, SB 2200, passed the Senate during Veto Session, 39 to 10, but failed to pass out of the House Rules Committee with changes. The buy-out seems to be a no- left of the podium are Dominic Rivara, Business Manager for IBEW Local 51 Register by February 17 go, but local leaders hold out hope another agreement can be reached . and Bob Joyce, president of IBEW Local 15. The bill’s sponsor was Sen. Clayborne (D-Belleville). LaborLetter 2 November/December 2003 100 Years…Now That's an Achievement! Laborers Honored at Hall of Fame Dinner The Illinois Labor History Society celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Laborers' International Union (LIUNA) during their annual Hall of Honor dinner on October 19 at the IUOE Local 150 Hall in Chicago. On hand to accept the award was Terry O’Sullivan, LIUNA International Paying tribute to the century-old Laborer's president. union are: (l to r)Margaret Blackshere, In April of 1903, 25 delegates, president, Illinois AFL-CIO; Ed Smith, from 23 local unions in 17 cities, manager Midwest Region, LIUNA; Terence O'Sullivan, International representing 8,000 construction president, LIUNA; Terrence Healy, workers gathered in Washington D.C. manager, Great Lakes Region LIUNA; and established the International Hod and Tim Leahy, secretary-treasurer, Carriers and Building Laborers' Chicago Federation of Labor. Union. Shortly thereafter, the American Federation of Labor granted exclusive jurisdictions to the new union covering construction duties - wrecking of INTERNATIONAL HUMAN buildings, excavation, digging of trenches, piers, foundations and holes, pouring concrete for buildings - foundations and floors, mixing and handling of all RIGHTS DAY materials used by masons, clearing of debris from buildings, shoring, underpinning and raising of buildings, drying of plastering and handling of dimension stones. DEC. 10TH Since that time, the union has expanded its membership in numbers and range and in 1965 changed its official name to Laborers' International Union of “ Employees shall have the right to… form… North America. LIUNA membership is now over 800,000. labor organizations… to bargain collectively… At the Labor History Society dinner, two prominent LIUNA members were posthumously inducted into the Labor Hall of Honor. The inductees were Hermon (and employers may not) interfere with… Lilien, the founding president of the International Hod Carriers and Building the exercise of …this right.” Laborers Union, who served from 1903 though 1905, and Peter Fosco, who was elected president of LIUNA in 1968 and became known as one of the most National Labor Relations Act - 1935 progressive leaders the union has known. Fosco served as his local's president, as U.S. laws supposedly guarantee the right of America's workers to choose for LIUNA Regional Manager of the Chicago Region, and as General Secretary - themselves whether to have a union - but in reality, the laws, eroded and poorly Treasurer of the International Union. He is credited with establishing LIUNA's enforced, no longer protect workers. Employers routinely violate the rights of workers national apprenticeship program. trying to form unions by lying to them, intimidating them, spying on them and even firing them. Labor's New Assistant Director Human Rights Watch, an internationally recognized organization that monitors Promises Action and Support basic human rights, calls these violations of workers' rights in the United States a fundamental human rights issue. Esther Lopez, the assistant director at It is a huge problem in America, where 42 million workers say they would join a the Illinois Department of Labor met with union tomorrow if given the chance. America's workers want to improve their job labor lobbyists on the first day of Veto safety, gain health care, ensure job security and have a say in their working Session. She told the group to "expect conditions. Unions strengthen families, communities, our social support networks and quick, expedient enforcement of labor our economy. laws." When employers violate the right of workers to form unions, everyone suffers. “There will be changes in the Labor On December 10th, International Human Rights Day, tens of thousands of Department from what it has been under American workers, their allies and elected officials will speak out together, calling for previous administrations," said Lopez. "We restoration of the freedom to form unions. In rallies, marches, meetings with elected have the momentum. We have the support. Esther Lopez, assistant director of officials, and education workshops, workers will demand that their right to choose a And we have the ability to really make this the Illinois Department of Labor, union be respected by employers and by government. department work for union members in with Jeremy Smith, Illinois AFL- December 10th is the 55th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Illinois. There'll be no more status quo. No CIO legislative director, speaks to Human Rights. The declaration protects such important human rights as freedom of Labor Lobbyists at the Illinois AFL- speech, assembly and religion. It also states unequivocally "everyone has the right to more lengthy investigations. Expect to see CIO on November 4. form and to join trade unions for protections of his or her interests." action." Lopez is assuming director duties until a permanent replacement is found for In Illinois, events are planned around the state. Check the Illinois AFL-CIO web site Michael Fenger the previous department chief. for a list of activities. Lopez, a Chicago resident and former Steelworker, most recently worked for the AFL-CIO in the Field Mobilization Department. Lopez introduced George Sisk, the chief legal counsel for the department and Progressive Workers' Rights Bill Passes in Illinois Stephanie Noble, the department's director of legislative affairs. Sisk previously In Illinois, Card Check legislation passed this year that allows state employees to served as assistant general counsel for Secretary of State Jesse White. Noble was form a union if a majority of the workers sign authorization cards. And the Illinois legislative director for AFSCME. They can both be reached at the department's AFL-CIO is working to pass Senate Bill 461 disallowing state vendors who receive tax Springfield offices at One West Old State Capitol Plaza, 217-782-1704. Lopez dollars from using any state money to influence a union organizing drive. can be reached in Chicago at 312-793-1809. On the federal level, Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) and Rep. Miller (D-CA) recently The Department of Labor enforces state laws on workers' rights, wages, introduced the "Employee Free Choice Act" that would ensure when a majority of working conditions and safety. There are four divisions within the department - employees in a workplace decide to form a union, they can do so without threats and Fair Labor Standards, Conciliation and Mediation, and Public Safety and obstacles from their employer. The legislation would also ensure that a contract would Administration - that monitor issues from child labor laws to equal pay. The be negotiated in a timely manner after workers succeed in forming a union. department has a budget of $6 million and 90 employees. LaborLetter 3 November/December 2003 Italian American Labor Council Honors Stan Karczynski Stanley Karczynski, a long-time Chicago-area labor leader was named Person of the Year by the Italian American Labor Council of Greater Chicago during a ceremony on October 17. Karczynski has been president and business manager of the largest Sheet Metal Workers Local union in the United States and Canada for the past ten years. He started his rise to the top in 1985 when he was elected business representative of SMWIA Local 73. He served in that job until 1994 when he was elected for the first of four terms as president of the Local. In 1999, Karczynski was elected General Vice-President of the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association and now sits on the Executive Council. Stan Karczynski, president of Sheet Metal Karczynski is also chairman of Local 73's Pension and Welfare Funds, the Annuity Fund, the Joint Arbitration Board and Workers Local 73 (center) was named the the Joint Apprenticeship Committee. He serves on the Board of Directors of Amalgamated Bank of Chicago and the IALC's Person of the Year for 2003. With him Executive Board of the Chicago Federation of Labor. are (left) IALC President Joe Serpico and Illinois AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Michael Carrigan. Senate Committee Hearing on Big Box Stores CHICAGO - In response to Wal-Mart's recent announcement that they plan to Club, Citizen Action of Illinois, build a store in the South Austin neighborhood of Chicago, Ron Powell, president of Chicago Jobs for Justice, the Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) testified on South Austin Coalition, and the October 27 before the Illinois Senate Labor and Commerce Committee on the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant harmful effects that big box stores like Wal-Mart Supercenters have on workers, and Refugee Rights. small business owners and entire communities. Sen. Carol Ronen, chair of the Powell testified that big box stores devastate communities by actually destroying Senate Labor and Commerce more jobs than they create and the jobs they do create have lower wages and few, if Committee, said she was any, benefits. Only 42% of Wal-Mart employees are covered by company health pleased by the turnout and the care - according to an AFL-CIO report. In comparison, 80% of UFCW members are diversity of those testifying. covered by virtually no-cost comprehensive health care plans. "This hearing was an Testifying before the Senate Committee on In testifying to the Committee, Powell said that, "Once a big box store moves into a opportunity for the Committee October 27 are (l to r) Ron Powell, president community, growth is stifled in the areas of tax revenue, employment, and business members to hear both sides of Local 881 UFCW; Bob Vondrasek, South Austin ownership. Unable to compete with the predatory pricing of big box retailers, the debate on the economic Coalition Community Council Executive family-owned and smaller, regional business owners are often forced to close. impact of big box stores," said Director; and Tim Drea, Local 881 UFCW Consumers are left with few choices for shopping and of what products are Ronen. "The Committee heard Legislative Director. available. If big box stores are permitted in the City of Chicago, we believe that we over three hours of testimony from labor, business, community groups and units of will see the same devastation occur in our neighborhoods." local government. I would like to thank Mr. Powell and the UFCW for bringing this In addition to Powell's statement, the committee heard opposing testimony from far-reaching issue to my attention." business groups, including the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and the Although representatives from Wal-Mart attended the hearing, they did not Illinois Food Retailers Association, and from community groups, including the Sierra testify. 10 Change Richter Scale 8 Illinois is a 7.3 on the "Economic Richter Scale," Reading Unemployment 6 Has the 5th Worst Record in Nation Change in unemployment rate Up 2.2 percent 2.2 January 2001-September 2003 4 New Report Measures Illinois' Economy for Working Jobs 2 Families Change in number of jobs, Short 4.9 percent 4.9 January 2001-September 2003 0 Poverty SPRINGFIELD - Illinois' economy measures 7.5 on the "Economic Richter In Change in poverty rate, 2000-2002 Up 2.1 percent 2.1 Scale," according to a new report released in November that examines objective Illinois, the Health Care Coverage criteria of how working families in Illinois are faring. The "Economic Richter Scale" ranks of those Change in share of residents with Down 0.6 0.6 health coverage, 2000-2002 percentage points ranked Illinois 45 among all 50 states. The rankings were based on each state's without health Household Income unemployment rate, job growth, health insurance coverage, household income, poverty insurance rose Change in median household Down 5.7 percent 5.7 rate and personal bankruptcy filings. The data, based on official government statistics, from 13.5 income, 2000-2002 was compiled by the AFL-CIO. percent to Personal Bankruptcies "With an Economic Richter Scale rating for Illinois of 7.5, it is clear that current 14.1 percent Change in filing, 2000-2002 Up 35.4 percent 0.2 national economic policies have been disastrous for Illinois' working families," said between 2000 Personal Bankruptcies Change in filing, 2000-2002 Up 35.4 percent 0.2 Margaret Blackshere, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. "Good jobs are being and 2002, the Total Points 15.7 eliminated and the quality of life has deteriorated for families in Illinois as the ranks of poverty rate ECONOMIC RICHTER SCALE RATING: 7.5 the unemployed and uninsured continue to increase." climbed 2.1 "It is now two years since the national recession ended and the so-called economic percentage points, personal bankruptcy filings increased 35.4% and median household recovery began," said Blackshere, but we still have a lot of recovering to do here in income declined by 5.7%, according to the report. Illinois." "This is the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression," said The new report shows that the unemployment rate in Illinois has grown from 4.9 Blackshere. "Instead of investing in our communities, the Bush administration has percent to 7.1 percent between January 2001 and September 2003, and the state has given tax breaks to the wealthy and implemented policies that caused the loss of good lost nearly 200,000 jobs since President Bush took office. Since January 2001, the paying, middle-class jobs for our residents." state lost 114,200 manufacturing jobs - an erosion of America's middle class. Illinois The AFL-CIO and its allies are launching a national mobilization to draw attention has also lost 8,900 jobs from the state's much smaller information sector. to the need for good jobs and steps that must be taken to build a strong economy. In "Our nation is hurting for good jobs, and Illinois is no exception," said Blackshere, order to create jobs and improve conditions for working families, the administration pointing out that the Bush administration promised that starting in June of this year its and Congress must invest in our nation's infrastructure, provide financial assistance to economic program would create 306,000 new jobs nationally each month. But as of the states, extend the federal emergency unemployment insurance compensation today, Bush is nearly 1 million jobs short of his promise, she said. program, address the nation's health care crisis and raise the minimum wage. LaborLetter 4 November/December 2003 Labor & Politics October 27, Navy Pier, Chicago $5,000 Sponsors HERE -Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union • IBEW Local 134 0 - International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers • IBEW Local 176 IBT Joint Council 25 - International Brotherhood of Teamsters • IFT - Illinois Federation of Teachers • USWA District 7 - United Steelworkers of America • The Law Office of James Ridge, PC $2,500 Sponsors AFSCME Council 31 • ATU Local 241 • Boilermakers Local 1 • Carpenters’ Chicago and Northeastern Illinois District Council • Chicago Building Trades Council • IBEW Local 9 • IBEW Local 150 • IUOE Local 399 - International Union of Operating Engineers • LIUNA District Council of Chicago and Vicinity - Laborers' International Union of North America • NALC - National Association of Letter Carriers • Northeastern Illinois Federation of Labor • Painters’ District Council 14 • Sprinkler Fitters 281 • UA Local 130 - Chicago Journeymen Plumbers • UAW Region 4 - United Auto Workers • UFCW Local 1546 - United Food and Commercial Workers • Rider Dickerson Inc. Printing Can Medicare Survive? On Tuesday, November 25, the Senate approved the In a searing statement released just after the vote, VOTING WRONG: Senator Fitzgerald and Bush Medicare drug plan 54-44 with 2 not voting. The AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said, "Congress has Representatives Biggert, Crane, Hastert, Hyde, Johnson, House approved the report 220-215 in the pre-dawn fundamentally undermined the security of the Medicare Kirk, LaHood, Manzullo, Shimkus, Weller. Call and/or hours on the previous Saturday, after an unprecedented program with a drug plan that provides giveaways to write these members of congress to tell them you're three hours of voting (rules called for the voting to be private insurers and opens the door to privatization of disappointed they sold out Medicare, seniors and people open for only 15 minutes). The next stop for the the entire program. In addition, nearly three million with disabilities. Medicare Prescription Drug Deal is President Bush's retirees are expected to lose their employer-sponsored The Presidential candidates vote: desk. prescription drug benefits." VOTING RIGHT: Senator Edwards and The AFL-CIO has opposed the Republican-backed The Illinois Congressional delegation vote: Representatives Gephardt and Kucinich. plan on the basis that it pushes people into the very VOTING RIGHT: Senator Durbin and Representatives NOT VOTING: Senators Kerry and Lieberman. HMOs that contribute heavily to Republican lawmakers Costello, Davis, Emanuel, Evans, Gutierrez, Jackson, and bars the government from negotiating for lower Sure to Vote the WRONG WAY with his pen: President Lipinski, Rush, Schakowsky. Call and/or write these drug prices. Bush. members of congress to thank them for standing up for Medicare, seniors and people with disabilities. Voting information from the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans LaborLetter 5 November/December 2003 Live in Dignity and Good Health Anti - FTAA Peoria Retirees’ Council Health Fair Rally at Brach's John Hidden - UAW Vilas Belsey - IBEW #974 gets his #34 enjoying a cholesterol pressure point checked. massage. Ron Powell, president Local 881 UFCW; Margaret Blackshere, president IL AFL-CIO; Tim Drea, legislative director Local 881 UFCW; and Steve Powell, secretary- treasurer Local 881 UFCW join the rally against FTAA. A rally Nov. 1 against job losses and low wages outside of the Brach's Candy Plant in Chicago brought out hundreds of union Mr. and Mrs. Jim Allen - Teamsters members who voiced opposition to the Federal Trade Areas of #627 - he’s not enjoying getting a flu the Americas (FTAA). shot. The Brach's plant recently announced it is closing down and 2003 was the eighth year in a row the Union Retirees' Council of West Central Illinois has moving operations to Mexico and Argentina. More than a held their comprehensive health fair for all union retirees in the area. thousand union workers will lose their jobs and $35 million in The Council actually organized two fairs this year: one on October 30 at the Teamsters 627 tax revenues will disappear. Hall in Peoria and another on November 13 at the UAW Local 974 Hall in East Peoria. Speaking to the crowd, Margaret Blackshere, Illinois AFL-CIO Hundreds of union retirees participated in the fairs where thirty-four public and private agencies president said, "We have to start protecting American workers provided various services including flu shots, cholesterol screenings, blood pressure checks, and their families. We cannot continue to allow American jobs to trigger point massages and other services and vital health information to help ensure the future relocate to foreign countries that do not enforce workers' rights, well being of members. living wages, environmental protections or safe working All of the services were provided free of charge to union members. conditions. Our federal trade policies and this administration are gutting the middle class of America. It's time for a radical change in our trade policies and in our federal administration." Governor's Quad City Economic Plan Unveiled Manufacturing is a Top Priority EAST MOLINE - Governor Blagojevich unveiled the second of 10 new major The Northwest Region, which includes Jo Davies, Carroll, Whiteside, Rock Island, economic initiatives that should help spur growth in Northwestern Illinois. The Mercer, Henry, Bureau, Lee, Putnam and La Salle counties has many strengths, Governor's plan, Opportunity Returns, is a result of fact-finding meetings held including manufacturing and existing infrastructure - like the Rock Island Arsenal, with local labor and business leaders, and government officials. but like most regions it has suffered from the recent economic downturn. Opportunity Returns includes five components specifically targeted to meet the Since 1998, the United States has lost 2.4 million manufacturing jobs. In Illinois, economic and workforce development needs of the Northwest Region including; 60,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost and in the Quad Cities area expanding manufacturing, developing and marketing regional assets, assisting manufacturing jobs have dropped from 50,000 to less than 25,000 in the past two entrepreneurs, strengthening education and job training and improving local decades. infrastructure. The Northwest Region Economic plan includes several major initiatives such as: • Supporting development around the Global III Intermodal Facility in Rochelle • Providing $13 million to develop the Galena Bypass which will benefit the region through improved access for tourists and hopefully expand opportunities for commercial and retail development • Creating a revolving loan fund, with an initial investment of $25 million, to help manufacturing companies retool and upgrade their equipment • Assisting manufacturers in reducing their energy costs through the Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Program • Maximizing the potential of the Rock Island Arsenal through improved marketing with $200,000 • Speeding up efforts to complete the West Rock River Bridge project which will provide access to the Quad Cities Airport. • Earmarking $65,000 for marketing the Quad Cities Airport • Committing $300,000 to open a new Entrepreneurship Center to coordinate small businesses and programs available throughout the region “We will work together day and night to put people back to work, to create opportunity and economic security," said Governor Blagojevich. "And when we do - we will make the great dream of building a better life as real and alive as it was meant to be.” LaborLetter 6 November/December 2003 NATIONAL NEWS Iraq Deals Linked to Bush Campaign Fund The Associated Press reports that companies awarded $8 billion in contracts to rebuild Iraq and S TATE N EWS Afganistan have been major campaign donors to President Bush, and their executives have had Home Healthcare the UMWA District Council 12 important political and military connections. According to a study released October 30, an and Letitia Taylor, a former investigation of more than 70 U.S. companies and individual contractors who have received Workers Sign First director for AFSCME, were also govern-ment contracts, turned up more that $500,000 in donations to the president's 2000 State Contract named to the state panel. Their campaign. On Thursday, October 23, 21,000 terms expire in 2004 and 2006 SEIU Local 880 home healthcare respectively. Grocery Workers Win for All of Us! workers signed their first contract Ed Sadlowski, a former director MISSOURI - UFCW Local 655 grocery clerks returned to work this with the state. with the Steelworkers District week after a historic 24-day strike and lock-out that resulted in an In March, Governor Blagojevich Council 7 was named to the local unprecedented show of union solidarity and community support that signed an executive order labor panel. He was appointed by ultimately brought the area’s largest three supermarkets back to the allowing home care workers Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. bargaining table. employed by agencies doing Local 655 President Bob Kelley announced that the clerks voted 4,174 business with the state to join a Maytag Layoffs Begin to 945 to accept a second 47-month contract offer by Schnucks, union. Nearly 400 workers were laid off Dierbergs and Shop ‘n Save. In a joint statement, Helen at the end of September at the Spending 25 days on the picket lines, the clerks won what many are calling a watershed strike for Miller, president of Local 880 Maytag plant in Galesburg. The the entire St. Louis area labor movement. “Had the companies been able to beat down Local 655, and Keith Kelleher, the unions' large appliance manufacturer, the largest single union in Missouri, it would have sent a dangerous message to employers head organizer, said, "Winning which had employed over 2,000 throughout the state that they can say ‘take it or leave it’ with impunity,” said Bob Soutier, the first union contract with the workers, now has a force of CEO/Secretary-Treasurer of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council. “The fact that Local 655 stood state is an important step in both approximately 1,600. They have up for their principles is a victory for all of us.” improving wages and said they will move the jobs to After announcing the results, Kelley said, “We are forever grateful to the public and the rest of the recognizing and valuing the Mexico. The Illinois AFL-CIO labor movement for their outstanding, if not heroic, support of our members during this very importance of Illinois care Member Assistance Program staff trying time for everyone. We realize this was a hardship, not only for our members, but for the providers as a key element to the has been working with union public as well. That our customers stood with us will never be forgotten by anyone in this union.” state's workforce and economy. members at the plant to make UFCW International Vice President Shaun Barclay told members that because of the new contract, This victory would not have been sure they receive benefits “St. Louis will have the best (UFCW) health insurance program in the country, the only one with possible without all of our available under the Trade zero deductibles for health care.” brothers and sisters at the SEIU Adjustment Assistance Act. The Sonji Caule and Ruthye Harris, both 26-year members of the union who work at Schnucks City State Council, the SEIU majority of workers at the plant Plaza, emphasized: “We had to do what had to be done. The other unions supported us and our International Union, the IL AFL- are represented by the Machinists customers showed their respect by staying away. We love them and we’re looking forward to CIO and the entire labor and the Teamsters. A recent getting back to work.” movement; ongoing support from economic impact study shows the Highlights of the new contract include: community groups, our allies in Maytag plant as the top industry • The companies continue to pay 100 percent of health care premiums. the state House and Senate, and in the nine county area • The union won two new paid sick days. the Governor and his staff for surrounding Galesburg. By • An increase of 40-hour full-time jobs from 50 to 55 percent. bargaining in good faith." shutting down the plant, the total • A larger ratification bonus that more than doubled, from 20 cents to 45 cents output for the region will an hour on all hours worked last year. Labor Relations Board decrease by approximately $540 • Baggers will receive a 10-cent an-hour raise; up from 5-cent raises proposed earlier. Appointments million. The study also shows • Total elimination of deductibles on medical benefits. Governor Blagojevich has that the total employment loss • Improvements in the pension plan. appointed several veteran labor (direct, indirect, and induced) At a press conference after the vote, Kelley emphasized the importance of rising health care costs, leaders to the state's newly generated by the plant closing which he said “are running out of control!” The strike and work stoppage illustrates why it is organized Labor Relations Board. will be approximately 4,166. necessary for the country to address solutions to the health care crisis, he said, and called on The Board is comprised of two corporations to join unions in developing a national health care program for everyone. panels, the state five-member Chicago Teachers panel and a local three-member Approve Contract Wal-Mart: Cracks in the Armor? panel. Arne Duncan, Chicago Schools MINNESOTA - Judge certifies Wal-Mart class action suit Jackie Gallagher was named as a CEO, finally came to the The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that more than 64,000 former and current employees of Wal- member and to chair both the negotiating table with a viable Mart and Sam's Club stores in Minnesota will be eligible to join a class action lawsuit against the five-member state board and the proposal and a tentative company. The lawsuit claims employees were forced to work overtime without pay. The paper three-member local labor panel. agreement was reached on estimates the case could cost the company more than $200 million based on the number of She will serve until 2007. November 12 between the potential claimants. There are 37 similar class action suits against Wal-Mart across the nation. Gallagher has been with the Chicago Teachers Union and the ARKANSAS - Wal-Mart Violates Immigration Laws Chicago Teachers Union for 12 Board. The determination of Department of Homeland Security officials raided 61 Wal-Mart stores across the U.S. suspected years. Previously she worked for union teachers resulted in the of immigration-law violations on October 23. Federal officials arrested illegal immigrants Speaker of the House Michael Board agreeing to a proposal that working on cleaning crews at stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Madigan. addresses the union's concerns Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Michael Hade, former field about health insurance, length of New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West services director for the Illinois contract and school day/school Virginia. Files were also seized from the retailers' corporate office in Bentonville, Arkansas. The Federation of Teachers was year, as well as improvements in government alleges Wal-Mart knowingly hired the undocumented workers. The grand jury named to the five-person state working conditions. Copies of hearing into the charges is expected to begin in December. board for a two-year term. the summary of the gains were Hade served for 12 years as the delivered to members on CALIFORNIA - Oakland's Big Box Store Ban president of the Springfield and Thursday, November 14. On On October 21, the Oakland, California City Council voted 7-1 to limit the size of "big-box" Central Illinois Trades and Labor November 19, the four-year grocery stores allowed in their city. The ordinance bars discount retail stores with full-service Council before retiring in March contract was ratified by a vote of supermarkets that exceed 100,000 square feet, or about 2.5 acres. The ordinance targets Wal-Mart 2000. 15,104 to 12,599. Supercenters that average 187,000 square feet. Currently there are no Wal-Mart Super-centers in Rex Piper, secretary-treasurer for California, but the company says they plan to open 40 in the state over the next four years. LaborLetter 7 November/December 2003 Your Vote is Your Voice ROAR IN 2004 Dates to remember: Candidate filing deadline: December 15, 2003 Illinois AFL-CIO COPE Endorsement session: January 8, 2004 Voter Registration deadline (for primary election): February 17, 2004 Primary Election: March 16, 2004 Changes to campaign financing in SB 428 http://www.elections.state.il.us/CDS/Pages/SB428Changes.htm Federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) text http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107 cong public laws&docid=f:publ252.107 President Bush’s Anti - Union Record ALL • Proposed take $11 billions from State Children's Health • Signed Exec Order opening door to privatization of Air • Denies airport screeners freedom to choose a union (1/03) Insurance Program as part of economic stimulus program Traffic Controllers jobs (6/02) (10/01) • Fired all members of key federal workers' dispute • Proposes repeal of family friendly unemployment compensation rule; failed to extend UI benefits to 800,000 • Delayed patient protection rules for Medicaid resolution panel (1/02) working families suffering under Bush recession (12/02) beneficiaries in HMOs (8/01) • Revoked union representation for hundreds of workers in • Bush Social Security Commission issued report with five Department of Justice divisions (1/02) • Proposes new rules to deny Earned Income Tax Credit to working poor (4/03) errors and misleading claims (7/01) • Bush's labor secretary rejected a proposal for accurate BUILDING TRADES • Threatens to veto Labor Appropriations bill if it includes reporting and recordkeeping of workplace injuries (7/01) • Closed nomination process for NACOSH (1/03) ban on eliminating overtime (7/03) • Nominated a longtime labor opponent to be the DOL's top • Threatened 380,000 jobs with infrastructure funding cuts • Bush's OSHA No longer requires employers to keep track lawyer (7/01) in proposed budget (2/02) of such injuries as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (7/03) • Sought to limit legal rights of workers with repetitive • Following pressure from Building Trades unions and some • Backs employer efforts to use taxpayer money for anti- motion injuries (6/01) members of Congress, abandoned plans to weaken a union campaigns (8/03) • Forced elimination of $359 million in help for dislocated critical workers' compensation program. (04/01) • Halted OSHA efforts to protect workers from TB workers and adult job training (6/01) • After pressure from construction unions, modified his ban exposure (5/03) • Delayed help to California working families during state's on PLAs (4/01) • Proposes DOL rule to end overtime protection for millions energy crisis (6/01) of workers (3/03) INDUSTRIAL • Seeks to thwart Medicare appeals when benefits are • Signed tax cut bill that favors the wealthy while giving • Negotiated Fast Track trade agreements weaker than denied (3/03) working families no immediate relief (6/01) existing treaties on workers' rights (3/03) • Proposed new accounts that weaken 401-K plans (3/03) • Bush Treasury Secretary called for abolition of corporate • Keeps labor, environmental and consumer reps off trade taxes and radical Social Security changes (5/01) • Proposed privatized prescription drug plan for seniors that board (12/02) following a lawsuit filed by the AFL-CIO, forces seniors into HMOs (3/03) • Packed new Social Security Commission with privatizers the Bush Administration named labor reps to board (5/01) • Submitted budget loaded with tax breaks for the wealthy • Eliminates report on mass layoffs and plant closings and short on relief for working families (2/03) • Rescinded strict reporting requirements for union-busting (12/02) consultants and attorneys (4/01) • Offered plan to allow states to restrict Medicaid (2/03) • Reneges on steel tariffs to protect steel workers' jobs and • Cancelled OSHA grants for 19 workplace health and American manufacturing (8/02) • Attempted to restrict emergency room visits for poor safety programs (4/01) (since abandoned) (1/03) • Urged Congress not to require workers' rights and • Proposed cutting federal health care programs for the environmental protections in trade agreements (6/01) • Chose wealthy over working families with economic uninsured by 86% (4/01) stimulus package (1/03) • Supported a draft of the FTAA that would extend NAFTA • Suspended and moved to repeal contractor responsibility throughout the western hemisphere (4/01) • Proposed new, costly ($1 billion) and burdensome rules (4/01) reporting regulations on unions (12/02) • Supported mining industry's effort to delay rules helping • Terminated the White House office for Women's workers with Black Lung (3/01) • Shuts workers and unions out of most safety studies Initiatives and Outreach (3/01) (12/02) • Sides with drug companies against state legislation • Vowed to veto bipartisan Patients' Bill of Rights (3/01) TRANSPORTATION helping seniors get lower prices for prescription drugs • Repealed OSHA ergonomic standard (3/01) • Denies airline workers due process in security assessments (9/02) • Called for Paycheck Deception to silence working (3/03) • Following his push for repeal of tough OSHA ergonomic families as part of campaign finance reform (3/01) • Delays new and stronger aircraft maintenance and repair standards, Bush offered "voluntary" standards for • Proposed raiding the Medicare Trust Fund, taking 15 rules (3/03) employers (4/02) years off the fund's solvency (3/01) • Used Taft-Hartley to intervene in West Coast dock lockout; • Proposed sub-minimum wage for "workfare" workers • Repealed worker protection and labor-management also considers using troops to keep ports open (11/02) (3/02) relations rules (2/01) • Banned mechanics at United Airlines from exercising their • Proposed radical changes to states' Unemployment • Blocked responsible contractor regulation (1/01) right to strike (12/01) Insurance system, including massive tax cuts for • Nominated anti-labor Linda Chavez as DOL head (1/01) • Announced plans to intervene a second time in aircraft corporations and less federal oversight (2/02) contract negotiations (6/01) • Proposes budget that raids Social Security Trust Fund to PUBLIC EMPLOYEES • Using NAFTA, Bush opened the U.S. border and the pay for tax cuts primarily geared toward the wealthy • Slashes congressionally approved pay raise for federal nation's roads to unregulated trucks from Mexico (6/01) (2/02) workers (8/03) • Banned mechanics at NW Airlines from exercising their • Sought to slash job training funding for workers that lose • Establishes system to privatize 850,000 federal jobs; right to strike (3/01) their jobs (2/02) demanded and won legislation to unilaterally cancel the • Proposed cutting 80 jobs full-time safety and health jobs collective bargaining rights of 170,000 workers (5/03) EDUCATION/CHILDREN and $9 million from OSHA funds (2/02) • Proposed elimination of Civil Service protections for • Backed cutting $270 million and 84,000 from college • Bypassed Congress to appoint Labor Solicitor opposed to DOD workers (4/03) grant program (8/03) worker safety measures (1/02) • Terminated the collective bargaining rights of 1,300 • Proposed school vouchers, undercutting public education • Begin groundwork on privatizing Social Security (12/01) workers at the National Imagery and Mapping Agency by shifting taxpayer dollars to private schools (3/03) (2/03) • Proposed rules that cut children's access to school lunches • Repealed federal responsible contractor rule that scrutinized corporate lawbreakers during competition for • Appoints postal service privatization commission (12/02) (3/03) government contracts (12/01) • Asked fire fighter to resign from Valor Commission • Included school vouchers in education proposal and failed • Stopped DOL action on almost 30 job safety initiatives because of union affiliation (11/02) to fund school repair and modernization (2/01) (12/01) • Opposes grants for fire fighters (10/02) “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” – Mother Jones ILLINOIS STATE FEDERATION OF LABOR AND CONGRESS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS 534 South Second St C A L E N D A R Springfield, IL 62701-1705 Phone-217/544-4014 • Fax-217/544-0225 Dec. 8 IL AFL-CIO Executive Board Meeting 55 West Wacker Dr., Ste 716 10:30 am Hyatt Oak Brook Chicago, IL 60601-1609 Dec. 10 Human Rights Day of Action Phone-312/251-1414 • Fax-312/251-1420 www.ilafl-cio.org Dec. 11 LM Training - 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Springfield, IL AFL-CIO Office Margaret Blackshere, President Dec. 24-25 Christmas Holiday - IL AFL-CIO Offices Closed Michael T. Carrigan, Secretary-Treasurer Beth Spencer, Editor Jan. 7 COPE Training Session - Chicago - Details to come Vice Presidents Jan. 7 Reception - Hyatt O'Hare, Rosemont - 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Ronald Powell . . . . . . . . . . . . .UFCW Jan. 8 COPE Endorsement Session - Hyatt O'Hare, Rosemont Elwood Flowers . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ATU 8:30 registration, 9:30 endorsement meeting - Noon lunch Joseph Angleton . . . . . . . . . . .UMWA Executive Board meeting immediately following lunch Paul Tucker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .UA David Foreman . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IAFF Feb. 3-5 Organizing Conference - Pheasant Run Resort Terrence Healy . . . . . . . . . . . . .LIUNA 4051 E. Main St, St. Charles, Illinois Robert Barnes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IBT Richard Catalano . . . . . . . . . . . .GCIU Aug. 31 2004 IL AFL-CIO Convention/Officer Election David Barger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IBEW Sept. 1 - 2 Hyatt O'Hare, Rosemont - Details to come Tom Beranek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .AFM Albin Brenkus . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IATSE Ed Christensen . . . . . . . . . . . . .IUEC Jethro Head . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BCTGM Mike Whalen . . . . .IRON WORKERS James Allen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BAC Geraldine McPartlin . . . . . . . . .HERE John Norris, Jr. . . . . . . . . . . . .SMWIA Robert Paddock . . . . . . . . . . . .IUOE Teri Pluta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CWA BUY eUNION for th Holidays John Skermont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IBB Christine Boardman . . . . . . . . . .SEIU Lisa Lewis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .AFTRA Buy union-made products from the Union Mall at www.nosweatshop.com Dennis Williams . . . . . . . . . . . . .UAW The Union Mall is a single (secure) website offering links Joe Costigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . .UNITE Dianna Rushing . . . . . . . . . . . . . .AFA to many certified suppliers of union- and American-made Herbert Elam . . . . . . . . . . . .IAM&AW items, including clothing for women, men and children. Frank Cavarretta . . . . . . . . . . . .USWA Terry Fitzmaurice . . . . . . . . . . .IUPAT Deborah Redd . . . . . . . . . . . . .APWU Robert White . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PACE Dorothy James . . . . . . . . . . . . .AFGE . . Neal Tisdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .NALC F O R T H E R E C O R D James Dougherty . . . . . . . . . . . . .IFT Changes to the LEGISLATIVE 2003-2004 DIRECTORY - (93RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY) HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PG 32 - 49 ILLINOIS SENATE PG 67 - 73 88 BRADY, Dan (R) 54 JONES, John O. (R) (309) 827-8303 • (309) 827-8263 Fax (618) 242-9511 • (618) 242-9516 Fax Illinois State AFL-CIO 2416 E. Washington St., Ste G P.O. Box 1787 • Mt. Vernon 62864 Non Profit Bloomington 61704 103D SH • Cindy Rechner • (217) 782-0471 534 South Second, Organization 200-8N SB • Linda Brown • (217) 782-1118 Springfield, IL 62701-1705 U.S. POSTAGE 31 GEO-KARIS, Adeline (R) 48 MEYER, Jim (R) (847) 872-7500 • (847) 872-3131 Fax PAID (Address Service Requested) (630) 759-3465 • (630) 759-3554 Fax 2613 Sheridan Rd. • Zion 60099 AFL-CIO 1112 S. Washington St., Ste 10 309C SH • Linda Hinton • (217) 782-7353 Naperville 60540 13 OBAMA, Barack (D) 634 SH • Diane Havice • (217) 782-8028 (773) 363-1996 • (773) 363-5099 Fax Replaces Gary Forby 1013 E. 53rd St. • Chicago 60615-4311 117 BRADLEY, John (D) M114 SH • Beverly Helm • (217) 782-5338 (618) 997-9697 • (618) 997-9807 Fax Health & Human Services; Judiciary; 501 W. DeYoung, Ste. 5 • Marion 62959 Local Government. 257-S SB • Susan Shankland Replaces James "Pate" Philip (217) 782-1051 23 SODEN, Ray (R) 80 SCULLY, George, Jr. (D) (630) 941-0288 • (630) 694-9895 Fax (708) 503-9350 • (708) 503-9611 Fax 311 N. Walnut Ave., Ste. 220 222 Vollmer Rd. Ste, 2B Wood Dale 60191 Chicago Heights 60411 413 SH • Nancy Beaty • (217) 782-8194 237-E SB • Polly Magee • (217) 782-1719 Revenue. Replaces (blank position) Chuck Harke Replaces Larry Woolard 108 GRUNLOH, William (D) 59 FORBY, Gary (D) (217) 342-2353 • (217) 347-3305 Fax (618) 439-2504 • (618) 438-3704 Fax 1901 S. 4th St., Ste 15 • Effingham 62401 P.O. Box 1000 • Benton 62812 258-W SB • Maribeth Klaman M-115 SH • Bobbi D (217) 782-2087 Agriculture & Conservation; Approp- Elementary & Secondary Educ; Commerce & Business Development; Local Government; Veterans' Affairs.
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