When I heard that President Obama told the AFL-CIO this morning that he would keep pushing for the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, my first reaction was to laugh uncontrollably for several minutes. Some kind of joke, right?
No, Obama said it with a straight face. He has the gall to straight up lie to union members – who just dedicated $53 million to keep Democrats in office – about their top priority.
On Thursday, July 29, Arizona’s “Show Me Your Papers” law, aka SB 1070, will go into effect in the state. To mark the beginning of this draconian measure, SEIU released a hard-hitting new web video that warns of similar measures spreading out from Arizona. Then SEIU’s video goes beyond Arizona, and evokes video and audio of both the construction of the Berlin Wall, and of WWII-era Japanese internment camps and news footage from the era. It’s a striking video and extremely well-done.
When the Democratic-led House of Representatives voted again to authorize billions for the failed war in Afghanistan last night, there was no relief for 300,000 teachers facing cuts as the House originally wanted. But there was apparently room for some money for working people: included in the bill was $22 million in mine safety funding. This money will help alleviate a “backlog of more than 17,000 cases involving mine operator appeals of safety and health violations,” according to the House Education and Labor Committee.
Last week the House passed the Oil Pollution Research and Development Program Reauthorization Act of 2010, a bill that amends the post-Exxon Valdez legislation in order to fund research on oil spills.
As part of this bill, Rep. Alan Grayson attached two amendments to, in his words, “expand research on the effects of these spills on the human beings assigned to clean them up.” Critically, the amendments target both oil and dispersants – ingredients in the toxic stew affecting BP Oil Disaster cleanup workers.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Internet’s first Blogger Strike.
PZ Myers, a biologist and proprietor of Pharyngula, a blog on biology on on ScienceBlogs.com, announced in a post yesterday afternoon that he was officially “on strike,” including in his demands to management increased communication, support, transparency, and trust from ScienceBlogs.com management.
Elana Schor, who’s been doing yeoman’s work on reporting about data in the BP oil disaster, published a new piece with Greenwire and the New York Times in which she reveals that OSHA and NIOSH have access to worker health data from BP and its coverup firm, CTEH, but are so far refusing to release the data.
I want to take a moment here to reflect on the focus of literally hundreds of thousands of people in the country on the health and safety of BP’s recovery workers. Firedoglake has been on this since early June, as was NRDC. We joined with American Rights at Work, and
Earlier this month, Rep. Carolyn Maloney – one of the members of Congress who fought to protect 9/11 cleanup workers, and who is continuing that advocacy for workers cleaning up BP’s oil disaster – called on OSHA to explain how it would enforce the government’s respirator guidelines. Maloney also pressed the agency in charge of worker health and safety for more details on how it’s protecting workers in the Gulf.
Thursday marks the start of the annual Netroots Nation gathering for online progressives, this year in Las Vegas, NV.
While there’s a number of labor-centric events happening at the conference, the highlight for labor activists has always been the Labor Caucus. This is the central gathering for everyone who’s interested in organized labor, working people, and related issues.
Sometime in the last month, the Department of Labor launched its official blog, which is a good idea; it’s always nice to see government agencies trying out new ways to deliver content that the agency puts out anyway.
Something stuck out to me though: the name seemed awfully familiar…