Passenger Rage Survey
In addition to the online survey, a copy of the questions can
also downloaded and printed from
Democrats Pick Union
Carriers for Convention
“We applaud the DNCC for this decision,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “The past few years have been difficult for workers in the airline industry. Our IAM members, and all union brothers and sisters at these two airlines set standards of excellence in safety, service and security for the traveling public.
“The DNCC sent a
strong message to the public by selecting these two carriers where a
majority of workers fight for better jobs and benefits through their
unions,” Buffenbarger said.
Alerted to Body Clock Disruptions
The study, which measured variations in the sleep regulating hormone melatonin, compared 45 flight attendants with 26 teachers who were similar in age, lifestyle and reproductive history. Overall, the flight attendants were found to have much greater day-to-day variations in melatonin production than the teachers. The greatest variation in melatonin production was found in flight attendants with schedules that took them across multiple time zones.
“As a rule, disruptions in the body clock can affect the balance of hormones in the body, and this may have implications for reproductive health,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Given the complexity of those processes, we do not yet know whether the disruptions seen in this study would affect the body in ways that would inhibit or impair reproductive health.”
The full text of the
study was published in the October 2003 issue of the
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment
and Health. Additional information is available on the NIOSH
Racketeering, Conspiracy Charges
The workers’ lawsuit also charges Wal-Mart conspired with contractors to deny workers’ civil rights and seeks class action status for thousands of immigrants hired by contractors around the world and transported to the U.S. to clean the retail outlets.
According to the
lawsuit, Wal-Mart violated the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act (RICO), a statute normally reserved for prosecuting
organized crime, by
workers of minimum wage, workers' compensation and social security
protection. Additionally, the suit charges Wal-Mart with wire fraud, mail
fraud, failure to withhold federal payroll taxes and allegedly engaging in
a “pattern of racketeering activity” to prevent officials from enforcing
wage and immigration laws. “This really is the big fish eating the little
fish,” said James Linsey, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “It’s the most
powerful and richest company in the world taking advantage of the poorest
and most vulnerable people in the world.” Linsey described working
conditions at Wal-Mart as “one step away from slavery.”
Fight Brewing Over
To date, only four of Bush’s 171 nominees have been blocked; including Alabama Attorney General William Pryor, Texas judge Priscilla Owen, Mississippi judge Charles Pickering and lawyer Miguel Estrada. Senate Democrats say their ‘advise and consent’ role under the U.S. Constitution requires close scrutiny of judicial nominees and Bush’s picks are part of a political agenda designed to roll back long-standing social programs.
Joining Democrats in opposition to the nominees are the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, women’s rights groups, environmental organizations and numerous labor unions.
Senate Democrats said
they plan to use their time during the debate to call attention to the
failure of the administration’s economic policies. “The Republicans are
consumed by those four jobs and ignore the 3 million jobs that we’ve lost
over the course of the last three years under this administration’s
economic policies,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle.
Seniors set Strategies
for Looming Election
Buffenbarger stunned his audience, and a pair of talk radio hosts, when he declared: “I love President Bush’s economic program. He supports universal health care: he wants to rebuild roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals. He wants a new power grid so that power blackouts never happen again. It’s a wonderful plan.
Of course, he wants all of this for Iraq!” he added wryly.
The punch line drew laughter, applause and a collective sigh of relief from the delegation. Buffenbarger and other speakers applauded the delegates for their commitment to working family issues and the grassroots action plan they hammered out during the conference.
The Bush administration’s prescription drug plan came under blistering attack with Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-IL, picking up on the Buffenbarger lead. “Are you ready for regime change here at home,” she asked. The blunt-spoken Democrat complained that under the Bush plan, which is locked in a House-Senate conference committee debate, “4 million seniors would lose employer-provided drug benefits, 12 million would pay more for drugs, 33 million face higher doctor bills and 1.7 million would pay more for home care.”
delegates to contact their senators and tell them to vote “NO” on the
measure, or to mount a filibuster against it should the GOP try to force a
vote. “No bill is better than a bad bill,” she warned, “and failure is not