AFL-CIO Blog: Lots To Say


As many of us go into a holiday weekend, it’s a good time to sit back and take a look at some of the great input we get every day at AFL-CIO Now. We’ll run more comments tomorrow.

Remember, if you have news or comments, send it to us at:

Last week, the AFL-CIO released a new report, UNCHECKED: How Wal-Mart Uses Its Might to Block Port Security. We received lots of good feedback on it and plenty of coverage in the mainstream media. UNCHECKED also was part of the discussion on Al Franken’s Air America radio talk show and has received coverage by numerous blogs such as Think Progress, Patriot Daily and, yes, even the Drudge Report.

UNCHECKED examines how Wal-Mart and its Washington, D.C., lobbyist, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), have systematically undermined America’s security by working to defeat or weaken new rules to make America’s seaports and supply chains safe from terrorist attacks.

From Janesville, Wis., Julian Schmidt writes that he disagrees with our report:

I believe “security” should not impede free trade. Articles such as this are written only to slander for political reasons. I am a union steward for IAM Local 1916. One may wonder upon the notion that the US of A has become blatantly fascist.

On other topics….

Thomas Hopper, communications director for Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 21 in Downers Grove, Ill., reports a tentative contract agreement with Comcast.

[A]fter years of hard-fought contract negotiations and just before the midnight hour 4/8/2006, IBEW Local Union 21 reached a tentative three-year collective bargaining agreement with Comcast for members working in what has become to be known as the former Jones bargaining unit.

The agreement includes:

Wage increases in each of the three years, $1,000 signing bonus plus a $200 gift card, and much more.

Good luck to Brother Hopper and IBEW members in their vote on whether to ratify the agreement.

From Mastic Beach, N.Y., Susan Steinmann raises the question:

Don’t working families care about the war?

My county’s share of the war cost is already $3 billion, not to mention the cost in lives of both Americans and Iraqis.

At the AFL-CIO Convention last year, delegates approved a resolution on the war in Iraq, which begins:

Our soldiers—the men and women risking their lives in Iraq—come from America’s working families. They are our sons and daughters, our sisters and brothers, our husbands and wives. They deserve to be properly equipped with protective body gear and up-armored vehicles. And they deserve leadership that fully values their courage and sacrifice. Most importantly, they deserve a commitment from our country’s leaders to bring them home rapidly. An unending military presence will waste lives and resources, undermine our nation’s security and weaken our military.

We encourage everyone to read the full resolution to see where the AFL-CIO union movement stands on this painful issue.

Gusti Bogok, a grassroots volunteer from New York City, writes to tell us about a conference on energy depletion in that city sponsored by Peak Oil NYC.

The April 27–29 conference, “Rising Energy Costs & Fuel Depletion,” will feature more than 50 national and local experts to discuss how consumers can prepare for higher energy prices and transition to a low-energy, sustainable society.

As Bogok writes:

Responses to the global energy crisis already unfolding will start with local solutions.