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Media Matters – Fox’s War On Unions Rages On

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

From Media Matters:

Fox’s War On Unions Rages On

http://mediamatters.org/research/201012130019

Fox & Friends hosted Gov. Tim Pawlenty in a segment attacking public employee unions by using misleading data on public sector compensation and by blaming unions for states like California’s budget problems. In fact, experts have attributed California’s budget shortfalls to the state tax system and the economic downturn, and the claim that public sector employees make twice that of private sector employees is based on a discredited apples-to-oranges comparison.

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James Parks – Study: Half of Seniors at Risk for Poverty

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

From the AFL-CIO Now Blog:

Study: Half of Seniors at Risk for Poverty

by James Parks, Dec 8, 2010

Photo credit: Alliance for Retired Americans

Here’s one big reason congressional Republicans and the deficit hawks are dead wrong about cutting Social Security benefits: According to a new study, nearly half (47.4 percent) of all Americans between the ages of 60 and 90 will experience at least one year of poverty or near poverty and seniors of color are twice as likely to be affected.

The study by Mark Rank, a professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis, shows that 58 percent of seniors between 60 and 84 will, at some point, not have enough liquid assets to allow them to weather an unanticipated expense or downturn in income.

But if you are a senior who is black or unmarried or have less than a high school education, the likelihood that you will be poor at some point increases dramatically. Rank found that although 32.7 percent of white older Americans will experience at least one year below the official poverty line, the percentage for black older Americans was nearly double at 64.6 percent.

For unmarried seniors, the percentage experiencing poverty was 51.2 percent compared with 24.9 percent for married older Americans. Likewise, for those with fewer than 12 years of education, the percentage experiencing poverty was 48.4 percent compared with 20.5 percent for those with 12 or more years of education.

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Labor Notes – Video: Are Public Sector Workers Overpaid?

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

From Labor Notes:

Video: Are Public Sector Workers Overpaid?

by Jane Slaughter | Wed, 10/27/2010 – 3:07pm

Public employees are the “welfare queens” of the 2010s. Just as 30 years ago everyone had an anecdote to tell about poor women getting rich on public assistance (our tax dollars), today the attack is on public workers—some of whom have the gall to still accrue pensions. Or, if they’re not on furlough, a decent wage.

As Bruce Boccardy, a Service Employees local president in Massachusetts, argues on this site, public sector unions are vilified everywhere as the cause of budget shortfalls and “the economic immiseration of all working people.” You expect this from corporate-funded think tanks that want business taxes cut even further, but it’s depressing when you hear it from other working people.

There’s a bad case of crabs in the bucket going around, each pulling another down. If I don’t have a decent job, they say, why should anyone else?

Two points: First, public employees aren’t living very high off the hog.

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Labor Notes – Convenient Scapegoats: Teachers, Firefighters, Parks Workers—All Public Workers

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

From Labor Notes:

Convenient Scapegoats: Teachers, Firefighters, Parks Workers—All Public Workers


SEIU members rallied earlier this year to protest the corporate tilt in Washington’s handling of the recession. They say the cities’ budget crises are propelled by tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. Photo: David Sachs | SEIU.

Bruce T. Boccardy | October 27, 2010

For the last 40 years anti-union business organizations and media bloviators have undermined or virtually decimated private sector unions. They are now determined to destroy unions in the public sector.

Breathtaking misinformation is peddled to the public. Public sector unions are portrayed as responsible for the economic immiseration of all working people. Never mentioned is a tax structure that unfairly burdens middle and low-income taxpayers. The distinction between public sector union employees and management is conspicuously omitted.

Public sector union members are not living lavish lifestyles. Like all working people, they are struggling to pay unfair tax burdens for high-quality public services: police and fire protection, schools, childcare, libraries, public works, parks and recreational facilities, roads, bridges, veterans homes, hospitals, community health centers, and city and town halls.

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Labor Notes – ‘Not Really a Worker’: Home-based Unions Challenged in Court

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment

From Labor Notes:


‘Not Really a Worker’: Home-based Unions Challenged in Court

Homecare Unions Under Attack

Home health workers and childcare workers will lose their unions if the Right to Work foundation has its way in court. This long-time foe of unionization denies their status as workers. The suits, however, identify an Achilles heel of the organizing model established by SEIU and copied by other unions. Deals at the top are vulnerable. Read more.

This Week on the Troublemaker Blog

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