January 23, 2003
IAM Pickets Face Riot
Police, Gun Barrels
“The presence of riot police with sniper rifles on nearby rooftops gives you an idea what kind of management mentality these health care workers are facing,” said Buffenbarger.
The 45 therapists, who provide specialty care for critically sick and injured children at the Voorhees Pediatric Facility (VPF) are seeking wages in line with the national average and sufficient staffing to meet the hospital's own minimum care requirements.
Meanwhile, state health department officials announced plans to investigate the death of a 6-year old patient at the facility. “We don’t know how the child died,” said Dan Chmelko, District 1 Directing Business Representative, who said workers inside the facility complained of short staffing and a delay in responding to a distress alarm from the boy’s room.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) cited the hospital in May for intimidation, coercion and failure to bargain collectively. The therapists have been seeking a first contract since joining the IAM in October of 2000.
Help Save Amtrak Jobs
Members are urged to take action and help save 23,000 jobs by contacting your representatives immediately and urging support for the $1.2 billion appropriation for fiscal 2003.
To send an e-mail message telling
Congress to provide the desperately needed funds to keep the Amtrak
alive, go to:
U.S. Mayors Demand Jobs Policy
The report identified 82,300 jobs lost in New York City during 2002, a six-fold increase over job loss in 2001. In Chicago, 56,000 jobs were lost in 2002, up three fold from 2001. Atlanta posted 51,800 jobs lost in 2001, more than five times the number lost the previous year.
“These numbers are not just statistics,” said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “They represent real people – family breadwinners suddenly out of work.”
Nationally, the number of U.S. workers making new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 18,000 to 381,000 in the week ending January 18. The government’s tally of Americans claiming unemployment benefits for two weeks or more rose 87,000 to 3.4 million as of January 11, the latest date for which figures are available.
Bush Policies Slash Jobs
In fact, the recession deepened. Over the past two years, nearly two million jobs disappeared. The jobless numbers climbed to 6 percent. When he took office, Bush inherited a booming economy, a balanced budget and a record surplus, allegedly earmarked to strengthen Social Security, and a jobless rate of 3.9 percent—a 40-year low.
In his upcoming State of the Union address, Bush is expected to outline his newest “economic stimulus” package; the featured centerpiece is another huge tax cut for the wealthiest taxpayers and for the corporate sector.
It’s the latest installment of his “Leave No Millionaire Behind” strategy, noted Sen. Tom Daschle, D-SD, in a caustic assessment. Other critics point out that the $236 billion surplus outgoing President Bill Clinton left behind turned into a $157 deficit last year. That deficit is projected to reach as much as $350 billion by fiscal year 2004. If so, that deficit would easily eclipse the previous deficit record of $290.4 billion set by the first President Bush in 1992.
Super Bowl Pizzas: Hold the
Pizza Hut is one of the largest buyers of mushrooms from the facility, despite Pictsweet’s lengthy record of labor law violations. Super Bowl Sunday is one of the year’s biggest pizza purchase days.
You can help make a difference for these workers by refusing to use Pictsweet mushrooms on your pizza.
Tell Pizza Hut to hold the mushrooms and give these struggling workers a hand. E-mail the big cheeses at Pizza Hut and make your voices heard. You can send your message by clicking on http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/NoPictsweetMushrooms.
Social Security Under Fire
The report was released at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in Washington, DC. The full report is available at www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-o3-310.
Ontario Machinists Refuse Fleet