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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Friday, April 30, 2004 ::

    Canada gets clear victory over the U.S. in softwood duty ruling By Gordon Hamilton, Vancouver Sun
    But the American lumber industry says the Canadian win is only a setback and that even if it takes three, four or five attempts, they intend to keep fighting until they get an acceptable ruling.

    And the U.S. government has already indicated it intends to file an extraordinary challenge over allegations of conflict of interest raised by the U.S. lumber lobby against one of the three Americans on the five-member panel that delivered Thursday's ruling, further muddying the complex trade case.

    This latest ruling found -- for the second time -- that Canadian lumber imports pose no threat of injury to the U.S. sawmilling industry.

    The NAFTA panel stated that the U.S. International Trade Commission, which made the determination that Canadian imports pose a threat of injury, 'is not in accordance with the law and is not supported by substantial evidence.'
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    B.C. workers told to stay on picket lines By MARK HUME, Globe and Mail
    "I want to be perfectly clear what the union is instructing members to do. You are to respect the protest lines, until we decide that you should go back to work," Chris Allnutt, business manager of the HEU, told several hundred pickets gathered outside Vancouver General Hospital to hear the union's response to the government.

    His announcement was greeted by loud cheers and chants of, "General strike, general strike."

    Mr. Allnutt didn't issue a call for a general strike himself, but he alluded to it by asking other unions and members of the public to join the HEU protest lines.
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    Labour board orders workers back on the job Canadian Press
    VANCOUVER - After an all-night hearing, the British Columbia Labour Relations Board issued an order early Friday telling defiant union leaders to get their more than 43,000 health support workers back on the job.
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    Families bitter over light penalties, loss of kin By JOHN CURRAN, AP, Newsday.com
    'Thirty thousand dollars a man ain't (expletive),' said an angry Ed Wittland, 34, whose father died in the collapse. 'Thirty grand? Come on. It's ridiculous.'

    Earlier in the day, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials cited four contractors for their parts in the Oct. 30, 2003, collapse, imposing $119,500 in fines.

    Michael Wittland, 53, of Pleasantville, was a veteran ironworker who was helping install staircases in the 10-story structure when the top five stories collapsed, burying him.

    'The safest place an ironworker could be,' said Nancy Wittland, 55, his widow. 'He loved to do that. That was his thing. He loved to do stairs.'
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    B.C. forest union chief rejects NDP policies to run for federal Liberals Dirk Meissner, CP, VANCOUVER SUN
    Dave Haggard, Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers of Canada president, said Wednesday he tried for years to engineer policy changes from within the NDP, but failed to convince party brass strong social policies require a solid economic base.
    "I feel I've fought for many years to make changes from inside the NDP," he said in an interview from IWA-Canada headquarters in Vancouver.
    "I always use the cliche that it's important to have a sound economic base to enable us to pay for the social changes that we want," said Haggard. "Instead of creating social policy, and trying to figure out how to pay for it later."
    Haggard's confirmation that he intends to run in the suburban Vancouver riding of New Westminster-Coquitlam provoked a stern rebuke from the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union.
    "I'm deeply disappointed," said CEP president David Coles. "I think it's a bit of a betrayal of where their union has stood for years.
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    Martin aims to break softwood logjam By STEVEN CHASE, The Globe and Mail
    The NAFTA panel gave the U.S. International Trade Commission 100 days to justify itself and on Friday will render a second verdict.

    Few trade watchers believe that another win for Ottawa will force Washington to wave a white flag on softwood. The U.S. timber lobby is too powerful and there have been too many mixed decisions in the other legal challenges.
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    INVESTIGATION IN TOLEDO: Worker questions his union, then reports a threat By Sarah A. Webster, Detroit Free Press
    Federal and local authorities are investigating allegations from a Jeep employee who said a brick, five bullets and UAW stickers were thrown through the window of his family's home after he questioned the finances of UAW Local 12 in Toledo.
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    Quarter Million Outraged Parents, Teachers, Tell Bush to Fire Education Secretary U.S. Newswire
    Petition Delivered to White House, Ads Surround Education Department
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    Labour shortage hitting builders By James Rossiter, Evening Standard
    BRITAIN'S housebuilders may miss Government plans to almost double the number of homes constructed each year to 300,000, because of a chronic shortage of bricklayers and other skilled labourers, industry executives and expert advisers warn.
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    Organize From Below! by Richard Mellor and John Reimann, laborsmilitantvoice
    A Message to Young People Who Are Considering Taking a Job as a Union Staffer

    We urge young activists to get involved in the unions - but with a "rank and file" perspective. Get a union job and fight to make your union what it should and can be. Or get a non-union job and start to organize among your co-workers, help to build the union on the ground floor, become rooted in the rank and file as any serious struggle against the employers will inevitably bring you in to conflict with the Union leadership whose policies demand cooperation.  It is only the power of an organized membership that can challenge the failed policies of the Union leadership.
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    Workplace privacy gets day in court By WALLACE IMMEN, The Globe and Mail
    Cameras set up around Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.'s maintenance shop in Scarborough, Ont., make it impossible for the 200 workers in the facility to avoid having their movements tracked by an array of security cameras. And that, Mr. Eastmond says, 'makes us very uneasy.'

    So uneasy that Mr. Eastmond, a diesel engine electrician, lodged a complaint last year with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. It has led to a landmark federal court case over surveillance in the workplace that was argued before a justice last week.
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    :: Thursday, April 29, 2004 ::
    Feds cite contractors in Atlantic City casino garage collapse By JOHN CURRAN, AP
    MARLTON, N.J. -- The deadly collapse of a 10-story Atlantic City casino parking garage last fall was blamed Thursday on contractors and inspectors who didn't adequately secure floors to walls, ignored warnings about cracking concrete and failed what one official called 'Engineering 101.'

    The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited four contractors for safety violations leading to the accident, in which the top five stories of the Tropicana Casino and Resort garage collapsed Oct. 30 during a concrete pour. Four men died and 20 were injured.

    'This was a death trap and an accident waiting to happen,' said Robert J. Mongeluzzi, a Philadelphia attorney who represents two victims' families, after attending a briefing on the findings.

    Concrete subcontractor Fabi Construction Inc. received six citations totaling $98,500. It was faulted for failing to erect formwork capable of supporting the loads above it, a 'willful' violation that OSHA said reflected intentional disregard _ or indifference to _ safety regulations.
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    Hospital workers remain defiant CBC British Columbia, Canada
    Meanwhile, in the B.C. Interior there are calls by HEU members for the B.C. Federation of Labour to call a general strike in B.C. – unless the government backs off.
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    B.C. passes back-to-work legislation in bid to end health care strike DIRK MEISSNER, Canadian Press
    The labour minister said it was necessary to protect patients left hanging by the dispute, but union leaders were outraged, vowing before the bill was passed that picket lines would go back up in the morning.

    Bill 37 imposes a 15-per-cent wage rollback on 43,000 health-care workers, extends the work week by 1.5 hours and imposes no cap on the employer's ability to contract out union jobs to the private sector.

    Bill 37 was given third and final reading just before daybreak after a marathon debate in the legislature.
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    2 guilty in union-bribe probe By BARBARA ROSS, New York Daily News
    The president of the New York District Council of Carpenters and a business agent for one of its locals were convicted yesterday of taking a bribe from a mob-run firm to let it use nonunion workers.

    After a day of deliberations, a Manhattan jury convicted council boss Michael Forde and Local 608 agent Thomas Devereaux of accepting $10,000 in cash as part of a $50,000 promised bribe. The payment was made by a defunct construction company owned by Sean Richard in connection with renovations at the Park Central Hotel in midtown.

    Congressional Testimony Sept. 7, 2001 CDU archives (reference at bottom of page)
    "In this 36 page statement McCarron goes into detail about the need to restructure our union and eradicate corruption. McCarron uses New York in particular to emphasize how pervasive the corruption and organized crime influence is in New York. He goes on to make examples of all the different crime families that had a grip on union carpentry and the steps needed to cleanup the union. Much of McCarrons testimony is true. However, He handed over the New York City District Council to many of the same people that he claimed he needed to remove. McCarron fired honest people and kept the corrupt. He did this to further his own agenda knowing he couldn’t be stopped because the membership could not elect their own Business agents an organizing personnel. See related articles marked exhibit A-D. Getting back to the questionable appointments that I referred to earlier, I would like to start with Mike Forde. Forde was appointed Business Agent by McCarron despite McCarrons knowledge of his involvement with organized crime. McCarron refused to intervene even after Forde was indicted in September of 2000 on charges of enterprise corruption. Forde is currently the elected EST of the NYC District Council of Carpenters in NY and still awaiting trial."
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    A brief history of the workingman By Curt Andersen
    During the early 1900s my grandfather was a union organizer for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. This was a dangerous time for anyone to be a union organizer. The railroads also hired thugs and bullyboys to keep their workers 'in their place.' Someone stood up and got their head thumped so you could have a decent wage with decent hours and time off for sickness and vacation.
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    Defense attorney says Feds targeted union boss By Norb Franz, Macomb Daily
    The prosecution's case against three union officials, including a former Warren councilman, is part of a government 'witch hunt' targeting the head of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, a defense lawyer in the case said.
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    Retirees on Medicare May Lose Benefits LaborTalk by Harry Kelber
    Actually, there is no law that requires employers to provide a health plan for their workers. If premiums continue to escalate as they have in recent years, employers may say that the only way they can provide health insurance to their employees is if they sharply reduce or eliminate benefits to retirees. Unions may eventually have to deal with that problem.
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    U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao Announces New Enforcement Task Force U.S. Newswire
    "These workers will gain up to $375 million in additional earnings every year."

    Dems determined to derail overtime plan By David Espo, AP
    The AFL-CIO and other critics say their own initial analyses of the regulations indicated several provisions that could mean the loss of overtime protection for millions of workers.
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    Utah low in on-job safety By Lee Davidson, Deseret Morning News
    According to the AFL-CIO report, the safest states in which to work were Massachusetts (with a fatality rate of 1.4 per 100,000 workers), Rhode Island (1.7) and Connecticut (2.4).

    The deadliest states in which to work were Alaska (with a fatality rate of 14.6 per 100,000 workers), Wyoming (13.4) and Montana (13.1).

    The report said the total number of workplace injuries and illnesses reported in Utah in 2002 was 40,800 — or six for every 100 workers. That was worse than the national rate of 5.3 injuries per 100 workers. That also placed Utah in the bottom half of the states, ranking 26th of 42 states reporting such figures.

    The report said Utah has just more than 1 million workers employed at 70,331 different locations. But it said the state has only 19 safety inspectors to cover them, and it would take them an estimated 129 years to visit each place of business just once.
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    Navajo crew finishes frame By LENORE RUTHERFORD, Union Democrat, CA
    About 80 Navajo ironworkers are among the 180 employees of Top Flite Construction of Tempe, Ariz., and they travel all over the Southwest erecting the iron framework for large buildings.

    Their work includes all kinds of projects, but the company has been in demand to work on a lot of Native American casinos lately, said Project Manager Bobby Smith.

    Smith said ironworkers have the fifth most dangerous job in the United States, so special care is taken to prevent accidents.

    Workers are constantly being trained in safety procedures. They have at least two ropes attached to them at all times. And Smith and Foreman Victor Gomez watch closely to be sure workers are using safety precautions all the time.

    "We have been on this job since December," said Smith, "and we haven't even needed a Band-Aid."
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    Contractor fears bridge delay if crane use denied By DAVID PATCH, Toledo Blade
    More than two months after the accident that killed four workers and injured four others, contractor Fru-Con, Inc., of Ballwin, Mo., has told the Ohio Department of Transportation it would prefer to use the remaining crane when it resumes assembling the $220 million bridge, ODOT spokesman Joe Rutherford said.

    Whether Fru-Con will be allowed to use the crane, however, remains to be determined. The discussion will include ODOT, Fru-Con, local Ironworkers and other trade unions, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    "Everybody has to agree ... that it is absolutely safe to use that truss [crane]," Mr. Rutherford said. "If there's not a consensus among the groups we've discussed, cost is secondary to safety."
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    :: Wednesday, April 28, 2004 ::
    Workers Memorial Day Online Recruitment, UK
    Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London said:
    “I totally endorse union calls for zero tolerance of preventable workplace injuries and deaths in the workplace. London’s construction industry and transport projects are set to increase in future years and world-class employment practices and health and safety standards are necessary if London is to maintain a world-class workforce. I will continue to work with developers, the construction industry and trades unions to secure long term benefits for workers in the industry in terms of training, best employment practice and a safe working environment”

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    MOB-BRIBE JURY NAILS CARPENTERS By Laura Italiano, New York Post
    Two former officials of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 608 were convicted in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday of accepting a $10,000 bribe from a Luchese associate.

    The bribe - passed over beers at a Midtown Hooters restaurant - was given so the officials would look the other way as a mob-connected contractor employed non-union workers to rehab the 900-room Park Central Hotel in 1998.

    The local's former president, Michael Forde, 50, and ex-business agent, Martin Devereaux, 53, face up to 25 years.
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    Nine young workers among 170 who died in 2003 Canada NewsWire
    BURNABY, BC, On April 28, the labour movement's Day of Mourning, CUPE members will bow their heads for the 170 British Columbia workers killed on the job in 2003, nine of them young workers between the agesof 15-24.

    The Workers' Compensation Board accepted another 5,292 long-term disability claims. These numbers paint a bleak picture of the dangers of work in B.C. But they do not reveal the whole story.

    Many workplace injuries or illnesses are never reported or accepted by the WCB. Also, many occupational disease claims are not recognized as being work-related.

    On April 28 of each year, CUPE members remember the dead and injured workers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to earn a living by commemorating the day in different ways.

    'We ask that you join these activities by participating in a minute of silence at 11 a.m. on the morning of April 28,' said CUPE BC president Barry O'Neill. The Day of Mourning was established at a CUPE biennial health and safety conference held in Vancouver in the spring of 1986. Later, the Canadian Labour Congress declared an annual day of remembrance for workers killed and injured on the job.

    The aim of the 'Day of Mourning' is to publicly renew our commitment to 'fight for the living' as well as 'mourn for the dead'.

    The CUPE canary has been accepted world-wide as a symbol of the day and of workers' health and safety.

    April 28 is the 20th day of mourning anniversary National Union of Public and General Employees
    Workplace injuries and deaths among Canadian workers continue to occur in communities from coast to coast.  The most recent figures, from 2002 , indicate that 934 workers died on the job and nearly one million were injured in the workplace.
    "This does not reflect the number of workers who died or suffer from industrial diseases and cancers that have their origins in the workplace but not yet acknowledged as such," Clancy said.
    "All members, in fact all Canadians, can take a moment on the Day of Mourning to remember their sisters and brothers who have been killed or injured on the job."
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    Here's To OSHA: Protecting Employers From The Hazards Of Standards and Enforcement By Jordan Barab, Confined Space
    The original purpose of Workers Memorial Day was to bring national recognition to the price -- in preventable illness, injury and death-- that too many workers still pay just for going to work every day. The idea has clearly caught on. Although Workers Memorial Day was created by the labor movement, even OSHA has honored the day for the past decade. Of course, I remember the time when OSHA would actually do substantive things on Workers Memorial Day. In 1998, for example, OSHA issued its Workplace Violence Guidelines for Retail Workers. Even this Republican Administration has traditionally attempted to include some substance in its Worker Memorial Day Press Releases over the past two years. But not anymore. Read OSHA Director John Henshaw's Press Release. Better yet, don't waste your time. I'll give you the shorter version:

    Mourn their loss, cherish their memories. Pay tribute, reduce hazards, play nicely with stakeholders, and work harder.

    So how do we honor workers in 2004? Let me count the ways.
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    Workers Memorial Day: Honoring Workers Killed or Injured on the Job AFL-CIO
    Workers Memorial Day Around the World
    Since 1996, workers around the world have joined in celebrating April 28 as International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers. Unions of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions plan a range of actions in 90 nations to promote “Safe and Healthy Work for All” and emphasize employer responsibility for safe workplaces.
    The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates workplace accidents kill more people each year than wars. According to a new ILO report set for release April 28, 6,000 workers a day or more than 2 million a year die from work-related causes.

    20 Years Later - The Struggle Continues CLC, CNW Telbec
    Twenty years ago, the Canadian Labour Congress began a campaign to have April 28th recognized as a day of remembrance for Canadian workers killed or injured on the job. The date was chosen to coincide with passage of the country's first comprehensive Workers' Compensation Act (Ontario 1914).
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    Scaffold crash builders saved by tea break Cambridge Evening News, UK
    The workers with Cambridgebased York Construction were having a 10am break when the foreign lorry crashed into Cambridge Folk Museum yesterday.

    The driver, who was attempting a U-turn, brought scaffolding crashing down onto the pavement in the accident at the junction of Castle Street and Chesterton Road and Northampton Street.

    Philip Law, York Construction general manager, said: "We are very lucky that they were on that break at the time of the accident.
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    Drop in on-job injuries Winnipeg Sun
    Fewer Manitobans were injured on the job last year than in nearly 10 years, the Workers Compensation Board reports. In 2003, the rate of workers killed or unable to work due to an injury dropped from 5.8% (in 2000), to 4.8%, said Warren Preece, of the WCB. In 2001, the rate was 5.2% and was 5.0% in 2002.

    Workplace death, injury stats send mixed message Alberta Daily Herald Tribune
    The Alberta Workers' Compensation Board, which casts a wider net to include all employers it covers as well as injuries related to workplace illnesses, is also reporting more deaths this year.

    WCB spokeswoman Lorraine Lynch-Geisler said there have been 38 fatality claims accepted so far in 2004, compared to 31 in the same period last year, and only 23 in 2002.

    There were 127 fatalities for all of 2004, and 101 for 2003.

    Edmonton-based emergency room doctor and injury researcher Dr. Louis Francescutti told Sun Media the number of on-the-job deaths in Alberta is an 'epidemic.'
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    Blog-Tracking May Gain Ground Among U.S. Intelligence Officials By Doug Tsuruoka
    Some panel and conference participants, because of their profession, could not be identified. But another who could is Robert Steele, another blog booster. The former U.S. intelligence officer said "absolutely" that blogs are valid sources of intelligence and news, though he said authenticating the information in blogs "leaves a lot to be desired."
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    :: Tuesday, April 27, 2004 ::
    sometimes a typo is more than a misplaced decimal, especially on such a timely topic - compare the following article, run by dozens of newspapers today, with the article below it posted 02/25/2004:

    Families Lobby for Workplace Safety By Jeffrey McMurray, AP
    In an investigative series on workplace deaths, The New York Times last year found 1,242 cases between 1982 and 2002 in which OSHA concluded workers had died because of 'willful' safety violations by employers. OSHA sought prosecution on only 93 percent of those cases. There were only 11 convictions.

    Justice Dept. Drops Most Criminal OSHA Referrals occupationalhazards.com
    Critics in Congress and elsewhere have been hammering OSHA ever since a recent New York Times article revealed that over the past 20 years, the agency failed to seek criminal prosecution against 93 percent of the companies whose willful violations of safety rules caused workers to die.
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    Events commemorate thousands killed, injured on the job Workday Minnesota
    On Wednesday, April 28, the AFL-CIO, affiliated unions and labor organizations around the world will remember those who have suffered and died and will renew the fight for safe workplaces. April 28 is the anniversary of the passage of OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, in 1970.

    Thirty-four years later, U.S. unions are concerned the Bush administration is rolling back many safety protections.
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    Construction technology program added to Technical School offerings Today's Sunbeam, NJ
    'We're so pleased to have the involvement of the New Jersey Carpenters Union in the start-up of this program,' said Sheresa Clement, principal of the Career and Technical High School. 'They have been instrumental in developing curriculum and providing the necessary tools we need to ensure students will be well equipped entering this program.'

    The Carpenters Union is also providing carpentry textbooks and applied math workbooks, and tools for the program. Later on in the school year, students will have an opportunity to visit the union's facilities in Hammonton.
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    A Pattern of Discrimination at Boeing? BusinessWeek
    In 1998, investigators for the Labor Dept.'s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) also were telling Boeing officials that they had found discrimination at various Boeing plants. At Boeing's helicopter plant in Philadelphia, OFCCP investigators told the company that they believed they had a "prima facie case of systemic discrimination concerning compensation of females and minorities,"' according to Labor Dept. documents disclosed in the gender case.
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    Number of workplace related deaths surged to 81 last year By Kren Testa, AP, Boston.com
    Advocates for worker safety urged support for new legislation filed by U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., that would extend federal workplace protections to millions of public workers and create tougher penalties for companies who violate regulations. It would also make it a felony if an employer is killed or seriously injured through willful violations of safety and health laws and provide more protections for so-called whistleblowers.

    'Companies have an obligation to make the workplace safe,' said Rocio Saenz, president of SEIU local 615, which represents maintenance workers. 'We're here to say having a safe workplace is a right.'
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    51 workers killed in state in '02 Billings Gazette, MT
    Every April 28th since 1989, the unions of the AFL-CIO have observed Workers' Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered or died on the job.

    'As we remember those who have died in workplace catastrophes, suffered because of exposure to toxic substances or have been injured because of dangerous conditions, we rededicate ourselves to the fight for safe workplaces,' said Jerry Driscoll, executive secretary of Montana AFL-CIO. 'We cite an old Mother Jones saying as our anthem, 'Mourn for the dead, but fight like hell for the living.' '

    Driscoll said the state's small, seven-person staff of workplace inspectors is a 'joke' and said it would take them 107 years to inspect each job site just once.
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    Worker killed in building collapse, 2 injured By HERB MEEKER, Mattoon Journal, IL
    'We're still investigating the cause of the collapse,' Grafton said as efforts were getting under way to topple walls of the masonry structure. 'The workers were separating the structure to be torn down from the common wall of Gowin's. They wanted to avoid pulling a good wall down when they tore down the building.'
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    Hansen warns health union he won't tolerate patients becoming strike victims By DIRK MEISSNER, Canadian Press
    The B.C. government incensed HEU workers two years ago when it introduced legislation that opened the union's contract and allowed health facilities to contract out many jobs such as cleaning and cafeteria work.

    Last summer, the government and union leadership worked out a proposal that would see contract concessions in exchange for a rollback of the contracting out, but the union membership rejected it in a vote.

    Since then, thousands of HEU workers have lost their jobs, while other workers have signed deals with individual health authorities that include reduced wages.

    At the picket line outside Victoria's Royal Jubilee Hospital, striking workers said they were offered wage cuts and job losses while hospital administrators received bonuses.

    'I could make more money being the Wal-Mart greeter,' said one striking worker.

    BC Green Party Supports Hospital Employees Union greenparty.bc.ca
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    'One of a kind' steelworker forged memories The Express Times, PA
    'Iron Mike' was a steelworker. He lived and breathed the smoke and fire of Steel's Basic Oxygen Furnace, where he worked the 'teeming aisle,' helping to mix and pour molten steel into ingots for the rolling mills.

    And that's where Mike was killed on July 25, 1995.

    His was among the 718 names of Lehigh Valley area workers killed on the job that were solemnly read during the annual Workers Memorial Day ceremony Sunday at the Bethlehem Rose Garden."

    United Steelworkers applaud recommendations of coroner's jury Canada NewsWire
    TORONTO - United Steelworkers' Ontario/Atlantic Canada Director Wayne Fraser says last week's recommendations of the coroner's jury in the death of Patrick Shand reflect what Canada's largest security union has been saying for years in a long-term campaign to ensure mandatory licensing and better training for all private security officers.
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    Changing of the guard By ROBERT KIRKHAM/Buffalo News
    Two powerful union leaders are leaving their posts, bringing new blood - though not exactly a new generation - to some of the area's largest labor organizations.

    Louis J. Thomas, director of the United Steelworkers of America District 4 in Buffalo, retires this week, clearing the way for assistant director William Pienta to take over.

    And Thomas W. Dziedzic, president of Teamsters Joint Council 46, has turned over that job to successor Ronald G. Lucas, along with the presidency of his 5,000-member union, Teamsters Local 264. The joint council includes 14,000 Teamsters at five local units in Western New York and Rochester.
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    Paleontology exhibit readied for kids at zoo Pocatello Idaho State Journal:
    All three new children's exhibits will be funded by a $20,000 Success by Six grant. Interpretive panels for the two-story tree house, which will explain life in the trees, will be funded by a $5,000 Idaho Fish and Game Foundation grant. Carpenters and Millwrights Union Local 808 donated labor to build the tree house.
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    On The Road: The Kitchen & Bath Show 2004 Fine Homebuilding
    Take a shower, get a tan
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    :: Monday, April 26, 2004 ::
    Millions 'March for Women's Lives' by Jessica Azulay, The NewStandard, NY
    "This march is a call to action for all of us," said Dolores Huerta, Co-founder and First Vice President Emeritus of the United Farmworkers’ Union. "In the Farmworkers’ Union we have a phrase that says ‘every worker is an organizer.’ Today I want to say that every feminist is an organizer."
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    Workers at Heavy Equipment Giant Caterpillar Reject Company Contact Offer but Stay on the Job By Jan Dennis, AP
    PEORIA, Ill. Some 8,000 Caterpillar Inc. workers rejected a six-year contract that the heavy equipment giant has called its final offer, but employees remained on the job, company and union officials said.

    The United Auto Workers told employees to report to work Monday even though an extension of their current contract expired Sunday night.
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    B.C. tug and barge strike ends Today's Trucking
    A deal was reached between the Council of Marine Carriers and the Canadian Merchant Service Guild representing 800 striking tug and barge workers.

    Day Two: Health care workers on the line Hospital Employees' Union
    Full scale pickets up across the province.
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    Job site thefts a growing problem By Kim Smith, East Valley Tribune, AZ
    Ross Taylor, chief of operations for the company, said the cost of plywood and two-by-fours have significantly increased recently — making theft a tempting option.

    Taylor said he remembers an employee coming across a thief who had loaded down his hatchback with 30 sheets of plywood, valued at more than $1,000. "He had stacked his roof so high with the sheets that his roof had started to cave in," he said.
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    In Big Projects, Where Do The Jobs Go? By Hilary Russ, Gotham Gazette
    Development projects spawn temporary construction jobs as well as permanent positions. Rebuilding Lower Manhattan, for example, is expected to generate 10,000 construction jobs each year for the next 13 years. World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein has pledged to make sure that construction contracts go to minority- and women-owned businesses, which have long been underrepresented in their contracts with the city.

    But not everyone takes special steps to ensure that those who need jobs wind up getting them. National chains often bring in outside workers for construction jobs and some management positions, says Perry Winston, architectural director at Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development. 'National firms have national constituencies, or regional firms have regional constituencies, for hiring retail as well as construction. It's hard for them to come in and determine who is a good local contractor,' explains Winston.
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    April 28 International Day of Mourning events BCGEU
    The International Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job was established 20 years ago.

    Since then, gains have been made in workplace protection, but we have lost ground as well, especially in B.C. where the Campbell government has been gutting occupational health and safety rules.
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    The best hope for working poor By ROBYN E. BLUMNER, St. Petersburg Times, FL
    'The man who washes cars does not own one. The clerk who files cancelled checks at the bank has $2.02 in her own account. The woman who copy-edits medical textbooks has not been to a dentist in a decade.'

    'This is the forgotten America,' David Shipler reminds us in his impressive new book, The Working Poor.

    Tens of millions of Americans like these live at the very edge of destitution. They work 40 hours or more a week, sometimes in two or three jobs, but cannot make enough to lift themselves onto a stable rung of the economic ladder.
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    National Chavez Center honoring labor leader opens to public AP, San Luis Obispo Tribune
    TEHACHAPI -- More than 1,000 people gathered Saturday for the dedication of the National Chavez Center, a museum and contemplative garden devoted to labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.

    The center is located on a 187-acre parcel known locally as La Paz, about 10 miles northeast of Tehachapi. The La Paz site is also the headquarters of the United Farm Workers labor union, which Chavez co-founded.

    Chavez is buried at the site, which is maintained by the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting and preserving Chavez's values.
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    Study calls for better treatment of workers By Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times
    About one-third of all U.S. workers earn less than $15,000 a year and an additional 20 percent make between that and $25,000, the study said.

    Many of those workers lack healthcare, paid sick days and other benefits that higher-wage workers take for granted. In that world, a relatively minor setback, such as a flat tire or sick child, can set off a financial crisis from which a family might not recover for months.
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    BC Rail Contract Keeps on Leaking By Paul Ramsey, TheTyee.ca
    The leak that contained the most spectacular numbers was actually the least significant. Government had announced that the term of its "partnership" agreement with CN was 60 years, with an option for CN to renew it for another thirty. Government denied that a 90-year deal amounted to privatization. That was hard enough to swallow.

    But now we know that, unless the B.C. government wants to buy back BC Rail in 2094, the deal will be renewed for another sixty years, and then for another sixty years, and another sixty years… The total length of the "partnership" could reach 990 years. Even the Roman Empire didn't last that long!
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    Shadowy firm gets light deal By Diane Bukowski, The Michigan Citizen
    DETROIT – Genesis Energy Solutions, which recently won a controversial $1.8 million Public Lighting Department (PLD) contract, largely on the strength of its Black ownership and Detroit headquarters, has subcontracted the work to a white-owned, Pennsylvania-based global corporation.

    Dean Bradley, assistant business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 17, which represents both PLD and Asplundh workers, said Genesis subcontracted the street-lighting repair work to Asplundh and American Lighting and Signalization (ALS). ALS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asplundh.
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    Extra-pay guidelines confusing By Marilyn Geewax, The Salt Lake Tribune
    This week, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao will go to Capitol Hill to tell lawmakers how the nation's new overtime pay rules will work.

    Good luck.

    Attorneys and labor law experts say the new guidelines do make it somewhat clearer which jobs qualify for time-and-a-half pay after 40 hours, but they warn that workers should not expect bright lines. Determining which workers will end up winners and losers could still take years of court battles.
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    :: Sunday, April 25, 2004 ::
    How two women, one photo stirred national debate By Hal Bernton and Ray Rivera, Seattle Times
    Silicio decided she wanted to see the image in print. And she hoped that a respectful presentation of the photo and story would minimize the risk to a job she very much wanted to keep.

    'The picture is about them, not me, about how they served their country, paid the price for our freedom, and the respect they receive on their way home from our military personnel at our air terminal,' she wrote in an April 16 e-mail to The Times.

    The Times ran her photo under the headline, 'The somber task of honoring the fallen,' accompanied by a story in which Silicio describes the care demonstrated by military and civilian workers in bringing home the war dead. The Times did not pay Silicio for the photo.
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    Sweeney comes out swinging / Labor leader criticizes efforts to solve America's job crisis By George Raine, SF Chronicle
    AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in a speech Friday in San Francisco assailed President Bush's response to the American job crisis, one in which 15 million unemployed and underemployed Americans are competing for good jobs that are rapidly moving overseas.

    'What are we doing to help workers who've been folded, spindled and mutilated by the 'new global economy?' ' he asked in a speech before the Commonwealth Club of California. 'What are we doing to make sure our returning troops have good jobs? To make sure our children have good jobs? The answer is, 'Not much,' ' said Sweeney.
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    Tropicana evidence at risk? By JOHN CURRAN, AP
    In a letter to Superior Court Judge William Todd on Thursday, Fabi attorney Kenneth Levin said complaints to general contractor Keating Building Corp. about evidence destruction could not be resolved despite a pair of meetings between the two companies and their forensic engineering consultants.

    ' . . . Keating and the demolition contractor continue to insist on a method of demolition, via hammer, hydraulic excavator and Dumpster that seems destined, by their own acknowledgment, to result in the destruction of or significant damage to nearly all artifacts designated for preservation under the protocol,' Levin's letter said.

    Fabi submitted photographs of the demolition that were taken April 5 and show filigree beams and concrete slabs being broken up by excavating equipment.
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    28th APRIL 2004 International Workers Memorial Day UK construction event
    Strong unions Tough safety laws = Better Safety

    We should not forget those workers killed abroad, the construction of the Athens Olympic facilities has already claimed the lives of 10 construction workers. They are being built with non-union labour - we want this carnage to be stopped.

    At least 59 killed on UK construction sites this year and the year is not over.

    In 2003 the average fine for killing construction workers was less than $30,000 and no construction employer went to prison.

    Far from reforming the law on involuntary manslaughter and introducing a new offence of corporate killing, as promised in the New Labour 1997 and 2001 manifestos, they are again about to consult on this legislation and have made it clear their proposals do not involve directors being sent to prison - we want employers who kill workers jailed.
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    Border Bickering: When a Canadian Insults Fox News, Them's [Expletive] Fighting Words! By CLIFFORD KRAUSS, The New York Times
    TORONTO — American-Canadian relations have seen better days. Canada opposed the war in Iraq, and got a stern public lecture from the United States ambassador, Paul Cellucci, in return. The Bush administration does not like Canada's liberal drug policies. Trade disputes involving beef and softwood lumber continue to fester. But such frictions rarely get much television coverage at a time when Washington has a barrage of international problems to worry about.

    That may be changing.
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    Revisiting Love Canal By Glenn Scherer, TOMPAINE.com
    Finally, travel to Love Canal on Newark Bay, to a derelict factory in the Portuguese working-class section of Newark, on a Passaic River bend. Here in the '60s, Diamond Alkali Company (renamed Diamond Shamrock) made Agent Orange, the herbicide that disabled thousands of U.S. GIs, (some compensated by the Pentagon), plus many more Vietnamese peasants (never compensated).

    In 1992, investigators revealed that Diamond's Newark plant knowingly contaminated its personnel with dioxin, the deadliest of synthetic chemicals. Workers were disfigured. Others sickened and died. Though more responsible chemical corporations eliminated dioxin from their manufacturing waste, Diamond did not, since that would have slowed production.

    Instead the company in a sense 'launched' Agent Orange as a weapon against the citizens of Newark. A deadly dioxin cocktail formed a perpetual slippery film on the factory floor. 'Every other week or so' workers were ordered to hose the floors with sulfuric acid. The poison flowed into trenches, into the Passaic River, and eventually to Newark Bay and beyond.

    So much toxic waste went through the plant's industrial sewer that it formed a reef in the river. Employees were directed to surreptitiously wade in, and with shovels 'chop up' the toxic deposits so the reef wouldn't attract attention.
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    Chicago Carpenters Local 1 Ranknfile newsletter in pdf format:

    "Bad news for the brotherhood" page 1 pdf and page 2 pdf
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    Building futures The Journal News.com, NY
    PEEKSKILL — More than 500 hundred students from high schools in Westchester and Putnam counties had the chance yesterday for hands-on lessons on how to solder pipes, build a brick wall and use steel rods to reinforce concrete flooring.

    These were just some of the demonstrations at the fourth annual Construction Career Day program at the National Guard Armory in Peekskill. The event featured union representatives from more than 15 trades, including plumbers, steam fitters, roofers, sheet metal workers and electricians.

    All were were eager to recruit young people who graduate for their apprentice programs.
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    Owners Love To Hate Contractors by Lew Sichelman, Realty Times, TX
    There also was a recurring pet peeve that workers failed to clean up after themselves. Mess and dust were everywhere, people complained, suggesting overwhelmingly that workers should wear gloves, shoe mitts and disposable overalls, and provide their own clean-up products.

    Now most contractors use drop clothes, but the folks taking part in this survey said it would be good if workers also provided pre-moistened hand wipes and disposable towels that remove dirt, dust and paint.

    Trying to turn a big, burly construction worker into a clean freak may be stretching it a bit. But then again, the survey was done on behalf of Kimberly-Clark's SCOTT Rags in a Box, so that's probably why respondents were even asked if they spend all their time cleaning up after the workers leave for the day.
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    :: Saturday, April 24, 2004 ::
    Changes in Design Preceded Collapse of Casino Garage By ERIC LIPTON, New York Times
    What remains unclear to all the engineers involved is how the construction could have moved ahead with such obvious flaws, regardless of whether they had been based on a troubled design or just poor execution of the revised design.

    "Everywhere along the line, the checks and balances failed," said an engineer for one of the contractors, who asked that he not be named because of the ongoing investigation.

    The laborers and carpenters at the site, in interviews, said they did raise objections about a condition they thought was hazardous: the insufficient shoring that was being used to hold up the not-yet-dry concrete floors. Workers said they noticed that some of the shores - essentially temporary steel or wooden pogo sticks that go from the ceiling to the floor - were under such stress that they were bending or bowing. Laborers also reported troublesome-looking cracks in the concrete. But George Tolson, one of the Fabi laborers who noticed this condition, said he was told to keep working.

    "All they wanted," said David R. Hand, 33, a laborer for Fabi who was pouring the concrete "is to go faster, faster, faster. Time is money. That was it."
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    Photo flap: Bush's take AP, Newsday.com
    The photographs were released to First Amendment activist Russ Kick, who posted on his Web site hundreds of photographs from the nation's largest military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base. The move prompted the Pentagon on Thursday to bar further release of the photographs to media outlets. The photos can be seen at www.thememoryhole.org
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    Carpenters union audit completed By BENNETT HALL, Corvallis Gazette-Times
    The investigation of possible embezzlement in the Corvallis office of the Carpenters union has entered a new phase.

    Following the completion of an audit, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America this week handed its findings over to the U.S. Department of Labor.
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    Some Newspapers Pull Doonesbury Cartoon By ELIZABETH McKINLEY, AP
    A few newspapers around the country edited Friday's "Doonesbury'' comic strip to remove an expletive used by a character injured while fighting in Iraq, and at least two newspapers pulled the strip altogether.
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    Country Joe Band, 2004 By Norman Solomon, counterpunch
    Their new song 'Cakewalk to Baghdad' is in sync with Country Joe McDonald's compositions that stretch back to the escalating years of the Vietnam War. With the post-'victory' occupation of Iraq in its thirteenth month bringing death to many people including children, his old song 'An Untitled Protest' remains unfailingly current.
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    UFCW, USA: Good jobs, safe jobs, protect workers now--Workers Memorial Day, April 28, 2004 Union Network International
    On April 28, let's remember that millions of U.S. workers continue to work in pain and lose their livelihoods because of these injuries. It is time President Bush and members of Congress take action to protect workers.
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    We need tough legislation - and tougher enforcement - to prevent workplace deaths and injuries By Paul Moist, CNW Telbec
    Commentary for use on April 28 International Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job

    Three Canadian workers will be killed today in the peaceful pursuit of a living. Thousands more will be made sick, disabled or diseased by their work. Each year, a thousand workers are killed and one million more are injured. That's according to conservative estimates by provincial and territorial Workplace Compensation Boards.

    It is a tragedy that these deaths and injuries happen at all. Occupational health and safety legislation has been in place since the early 70s, but it has failed to check Canada's dismal record of injuring and killing workers.

    As many workers have died at work since the first occupational health and safety legislation was passed in Canada in 1972 as the number of Canadians who fought and died during World War II. Is it any wonder workers are asking why the current health and safety system is failing them?
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    One of first hired, one of last to leave By TOM CHARD, Press Herald, ME
    Editor's Note: This week, we recall the experiences of workers at the South Portland shipyards who built Liberty cargo ships for the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II.

    Q: Was it dangerous work?

    A: It could be, but not so much for me. It was way before OSHA, so there weren't a lot of safety precautions. The only safety precaution that I was told to take was to wear steel-toe shoes so that if a piece of steel fell on my feet, it wouldn't cut my toes off. Back then, there were no hardhats or earplugs. A lot of my friends at the shipyard died years later from asbestos inhalation. The years working there with all the noise affected my hearing later on.
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    Support for Aliant Workers Canada NewsWire
    Our members at Aliant need to know that their Union and all of our 150,000 members from coast to coast are totally behind them in this struggle for an agreement," said Brian Payne from CEP national headquarters in Ottawa.

    "As long as it take, the CEP and other unions across the country will back Aliant strikers," Mr. Payne added.
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    Workers to Call for End to Bush Rollbacks on Job Safety PRNewswire
    Worker's Memorial Day, Wednesday, April 28, 2004, Pennsylvania Events Schedule
    In 1989 the AFL-CIO designated April 28th as Worker's Memorial Day to mourn for the people who were killed or hurt on the job and focus on the need for safer jobs. The theme of this year's Worker's Memorial Day is 'Good Jobs, Safe Jobs, Protect Workers Now.'

    'On Worker's Memorial Day we publicly renew our support for good jobs and safe working and living conditions for all workers,' Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President William M. George said.
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    Back on the Bus by Tom Matzzie, tompaine.com
    Every day in America, 85,444 workers lose their jobs. 14.7 million people are jobless, underemployed or have given up looking for work. 43.6 million people have no health insurance. 4,227 people file for personal bankruptcy. 12,878 workers are injured or made ill by their jobs. 6.8 million people are in the workforce but are still poor. 11 million children attend broken-down schools.

    These are the almost-numbing statistics about the state of America's working families. They are among the most important parts of the case against George W. Bush. How could somebody do so little while so many hurt?
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    Lumber jobs are down, while construction grows By BOB ANEZ, AP
    While wood products work languishes, those in highway construction, commercial and home builders and specialty trades such as plumbers and electricians, have plenty of work.

    ''We've managed to be busy in most all of our divisions and certainly look for that trend to continue,'' said Crennan, whose Billings-based JTL Group specializes in highway construction and commercial building site preparation.

    But being busy has made finding skilled workers difficult, he said. With an aging work force and seemingly dwindling interest in the construction training among younger workers, companies are having to train their own new hires, Crennan explained.
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    Logging deaths perplexing AP, Coos Bay World, OR
    In 2002, Oregon's fatality rate for loggers was 92 deaths per 100,000 workers. By comparison, the fatality rate for all occupations was 3.3 deaths per 100,000 workers.

    Oregon officials Wednesday said they were at a loss to explain why logging fatalities continued to rise despite the drop in overall deaths. Industry and workplace safety experts say part of the rise might come from the combination of an aging work force and difficulties luring new workers into the field.

    "It's a shrinking labor market," said Gary Rischitelli, assistant scientist at Oregon Health & Science University Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, which is studying workplace fatalities for federal officials.
    "It's harder and harder for contractors to find well-trained and experienced, reliable workers."
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    Canadian Tire voluntarily recalls Mastercraft axes Canada NewsWire
    It has been determined that due to manufacturing inconsistencies, some of the units may develop loose heads, possibly causing the head to detach from the handle.
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    :: Friday, April 23, 2004 ::
    Free Workers Memorial Day Web Art blog posted by Confined Space
    Workers Memorial Day is next Wednesday and cartoonists Huck and Konopacki are offering free webart on their website for union publications.
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    Pawtucket iron worker dies after 40-foot fall ABC6.com
    Police say the incident appears accidental. Hopkins may not have taken proper safety precautions. He was wearing a safety harness, but it may not have been locked onto a cable, police say.

    Hopkins was an iron worker for J.F. Stern's Steel of Hingham. He was a member of the local number 37 Iron Workers Union of America based in East Providence.
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    Like the jingle, union label fades away By Gregory Cancelada and Jack Naudi, STLtoday
    'First of all, union-made in the USA is No. 1. If you can't find union-made, at least buy American-made,' said Charles E. Mercer, president of the AFL-CIO's Union Label and Service Trades Department. 'We say it in the same breath, the same sentence.'

    The AFL-CIO admits that a tough task confronts consumers when they search for union-made goods and service, so it uses the annual Union-Industries Show to highlight such products. The event, which started in 1938, is being held this weekend in St. Louis.

    'Do you know that Midas mufflers are union-made? Do you know that Colgate toothpaste is union-made?' Mercer said.
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    Manous pleads guilty to taking bribes BY BILL DOLAN, Northwest Indiana News
    HAMMOND -- Union carpenters had counted on him to protect their life's savings.

    The late Gov. Frank O'Bannon once placed the future of Indiana's Democratic party in his hands.

    Peter Manous admitted Thursday he betrayed a lot of trust. He pleaded guilty to eight felony counts that he took part in a conspiracy to accept and pay bribes to win union financing of the controversial Coffee Creek land development.
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    Unions Should Plan on Organizing Banks LaborTalk by Harry Kelber
    Until now, the AFL-CIO has made only a half-hearted effort to organize banks and other financial institutions, one of the nation's least unionized industries. If unions are looking for new fields to conquer, the banks, with tens of thousands of employees, are as good a prospect as any.
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    New Safety Precautions Launched at Hanford Facility Occupational Hazards CH2M Hill Hanford, the contractor responsible for cleanup of the Department of Energy's Hanford nuclear weapons processing facility in Hanford, Wash., announced plans last month to conduct an exhaustive review of its health and safety practices following employee complaints of exposures to fumes and toxic materials.
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    Roger Warren, killer of 9 in NWT mine blast, tells court he's not credible
    CP National News
    Lyle Kanee, lawyer for the Canadian Auto Workers union, said Warren has told his story 50 times over 12 years.

    'On many of those occasions you told blatant lies,' said Kanee.

    'That's true,' said Warren.

    Warren explains actions leading to explosion CBC North
    YELLOWKNIFE - Roger Warren is blaming the company, the union and poor security for provoking him into setting the deadly explosion that killed nine men at Giant mine in 1992.
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    Spiderman scaffold worker robs 100 high-rise offices Mainichi Shimbun, Japan
    A former scaffold worker arrested for theft has told investigators he targeted company offices on the upper levels of buildings because many of them were unlocked, Tokyo police said Thursday.
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    3 dead, 17 hurt in work site mishap INSIDE JoongAng Daily
    An investigation by police there showed that heavy granite tiles removed from the outer walls of the building had been stored on the scaffolding instead of being carted away.

    An official at the Bucheon Labor Office said that the workers did not remove the tiles using an elevator installed on the scaffolding for that purpose, and had piled up the tiles until the scaffolding gave way under their weight.

    'They violated the safety rules by piling up material on the framework,' the labor office official said. He added that an investigation is under way to determine whether the scaffolding was installed incorrectly.
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    A PIPE fitter at Drax Power Station was scalded by burning water and then plunged off the edge of a 90ft high scaffold in his bid to escape, Selby magistrates heard on April 15.
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    Labour shortage bites in Bay By GRAHAM SKELLERN, MyTown Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
    The lack of skilled tradespeople was confirmed in the manufacturing and engineering, and construction sectors. Thirty per cent of the employers surveyed in manufacturing and engineering had 62 vacancies, with qualified fitters and turners, welders, machinists, engineers, sheetmetal workers and cabinet makers being hard to find.
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    :: Thursday, April 22, 2004 ::
    Woman loses her job over coffins photo By Hal Bernton, Seattle Times
    A military contractor has fired Tami Silicio, a Kuwait-based cargo worker whose photograph of flag-draped coffins of fallen U.S. soldiers was published in Sunday's edition of The Seattle Times.

    Seattle Times photo
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    High Times At 30, Getting Its Head Together By Peter Carlson, Washington Post
    Enders, a freelancer from Michigan, covers more than just the dope scene in Baghdad. He also writes about U.S. soldiers and the nutty do-gooders who've swarmed into Iraq and about Hamid, 'a 26-year-old translator/bodyguard/heavy-metal fan.' Hamid was an Iraqi soldier until he deliberately shot himself in the leg to avoid fighting the Americans and now smokes weed and writes protest lyrics set to the tune of 'The Wall' by Pink Floyd: 'We don't need no occupation, We don't need no CPA. . . . '

    'The desire to leave,' Enders concludes, 'is the only thing US soldiers and Iraqis have in common.'
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    The Dalai Lama will be greeted by Canadian labour Canada NewsWire
    On Friday, April 23, in Ottawa, the Canadian Labour Congress will host a lunch for His Holiness and the Committee of Advisors, before proceeding to discussions about the challenges facing the Tibetan people. 'I intend to ask questions about the conditions of workers in Tibet and inquire about ways the Canadian Labour Congress could help workers' organizations in Tibet,' says Georgetti.
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    Compensability: Driving "To and From" by Lynch Ryan, Workers Comp Insider
    In most states, an individual in the normal commute to and from work is not considered 'in course and scope' of employment. If employees have accidents on the way to or from work, they are usually on their own and will not have access to benefits under workers compensation. However, there are a number of circumstances when employees may be covered during the commute.
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    Steelworkers: We need more in '04 By Peter Dujardin, Hampton Roads Daily Press, VA
    A sea of Steelworkers, most of whom were wearing blue T-shirts that read, 'I need more in '04,' lined up on either side of Washington Avenue, with a podium set up near the tugboat Dorothy, the shipyard's first boat that was built in 1891.
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    Labor dispute spawns Simon's Rock rally By Derek Gentile, Berkshire Eagle
    Jon Avery, a labor representative from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, said the real victims are the workers, 'who came up here on trust. And then they are paid wages that no one else will work for.'

    Avery said that while the workers in some cases gave fictitious names because they were illegal aliens, he has the name and address of their crew chief. If the money is eventually paid back, he said, 'we'll find them. If I have to fly out there myself, I'll do it.'
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    Quebecor facing charges at labour board By BERTRAND MAROTTE, The Globe and Mail
    "Workers from Quebecor World's Olive Branch, Miss., Corinth, Miss., and Covington, Tenn., facilities allege the company unlawfully disciplined and fired workers in retaliation for participating in pro-union activities, threatened job loss for union supporters, engaged in surveillance of union activity, forced workers to campaign against forming a union, discriminated against union activists, and prevented the distribution of union literature," according to a news release from a union-backed workers' rights group called Justice@Quebecor.

    Workers Allege Quebecor World Violated U.S. Labor Laws to Stifle Workers' Freedom to Form a Union PR Newswire
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    Lumber sector thrives despite trade war By PETER KENNEDY, Globe and Mail
    'Canadians are in a position to hang tough.' Any move to reach a settlement appears to be on hold until a North American free-trade agreement panel issues a ruling on whether the United States has proved that Canadian lumber threatens to injure American forest companies.

    If the panel rules in Canada's favour, duties averaging 27.2 per cent on U.S.-bound Canadian softwood lumber may have to be withdrawn.

    As a result, Ottawa is waiting anxiously for the ruling -- expected April 30 -- before making a counteroffer to the U.S.'s most recent proposal to settle the dispute.
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    Theme Park Criticized for 'Ihatework' Web Site Oddly Enough - Reuters
    A British theme park has been criticized by businesses for launching a promotional 'ihatework.co.uk' Web site which they say will encourage people to skip work.
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    'Salt of the Earth' featured film at May Day event Bend.com - Press Release
    'Salt of the Earth,' the historic pro-union, feature-length film that was blacklisted during the McCarthy period, will be shown for free at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 1, at Bend's Community Center, 1036 NE Fifth Street.

    Working people, union members, friends, and family will celebrate worker history and culture at the event, which is sponsored by the Central Oregon Labor Council, Central Oregon Jobs with Justice, and the Central Oregon Building Trades Council.
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    no mention of the workers...
    U.S., China Agree on Safety Measures cpsc.gov, AP
    The United States and China have agreed to work to improve safety precautions on products exchanged between the countries.
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    :: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 ::
    A big inflatable rat - which labor unions usually trot out in the midst of bitter strikes - is expected to make an appearance at a rally today outside the Dow Jones annual shareholders' meeting as disgruntled workers clamor for a better health package and a new pay hike.
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    OUT TO DRY: Wiseguys under arrest yesterday for mobbing up the drywall industry.

    "For over 25 years, the drywall industry has been a cash cow for the Genovese family, a free-flowing stream of money."

    Moscatiello and the other alleged mobsters, including his brother in law, John Campanella, and his son, Louis Jr., were named in an 83-count indictment that detailed extortion, fraud and conspiracy charges.

    The Genoveses used Local 530 as well as their ties to another union with a mob past, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, said U.S. Attorney David Kelley.

    "The net result was huge payoffs to the mob," Kelley said, calling the local "a puppet for the mob."

    The federal indictment - first reported on the front page of yesterday's Post - said the Genoveses found a number of ways to convert their union juice into cash.

    The Newly Unsealed 83-Count Federal Indictment Against Alleged Members Of The Genovese Organized Crime Family, Accusing Them Of Racketeering, Conspiracy, And Extortion For The Criminal Control New York City's Dry Wall Contracting Industry Projects [PDF]

    225 page indictment in pdf format:
    (copy and paste url in browser to download)
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    Prosecutors: Mob infiltrated construction trade BY PATRICIA HURTADO, New York Newsday
    Kelley said Moscatiello even went so far as to found his own union local, Local 530 of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons Union, and served as its president between 1978 and 1991. That local eventually forced out another legitimate local, he said.

    Even after Moscatiello went to prison in 1991 on state charges of bribing a labor official, he maintained control of Local 530 through hand-picked associates, Kelley said.

    Moscatiello was also indicted last year on federal racketeering, extortion and fraud charges related to the Genovese family's control of Locals 14 and 15 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Kelley said. That case is still pending.
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    In the state probe, NYPD investigators and prosecutors at the office of Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau have been eyeing labor kickbacks, bidding irregularities and no-show jobs involving the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers.

    Johnny Barbato, 69, a reputed Genovese captain who was the chauffeur and 'right-hand man' to the family's underboss, Benny 'Benny Eggs' Mangano, is suspected of being the point man in these activities, collecting money for the family.
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    Carpenters to expand S. Side training center BY FRANCINE KNOWLES, Chicago Sun Times
    The Chicago and Northeast Illinois District Council of Carp-enters' center at Cermak and Union opened five years ago with the goal of ensuring that inner-city and minority Chicago area residents had access to training in the skilled building trades. The center graduates 250 pre-apprentices each year, half of them minorities, union representatives said.
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    CUPE BC gears up for 41st convention Canada NewsWire
    Frustrated and angered by three years of Liberal slashes and worker bashing, the largest union in British Columbia meets here this week to plan a year of action leading up to the provincial election next May.

    Georgetti in St. John's in Solidarity with Public Sector Workers on Strike Canada NewsWire
    Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, the country's largest organization of workers, is in St. John's, to show the solidarity of Canadian workers from coast to coast with the Newfoundland and Labrador's public sector workers who have been on strike for three weeks.

    Stelco Inc.: Stand up for workers and retirees Canada NewsWire
    National leaders of the United Steelworkers are urging as many people as possible to attend an all-important rally at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum on Saturday, May 1st, as a community gesture of solidarity with active Stelco employees and retirees, who are committed to preserving their pensions and benefits in the wake of the restructuring of Stelco Inc.

    United Steelworkers National Policy Conference - Our Union Our Voice CNW Telbec
    Among the special guests at the United Steelworkers National Policy Conference this week in Vancouver (April 21 to 24) is Dave Haggard, national president of the Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers of Canada (IWA), currently involved in merger discussions with the Steelworkers.

    The IWA's National Executive Board voted in late February to enter into negotiations to merge the two unions. Haggard will be at the Steelworker conference during its opening on Wednesday afternoon.
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    B.C. Rail deal could last 990 years By Dirk Meissner, Canadian Press
    Unions representing railway workers demanded full disclosure on the deal immediately.

    'The privatization of B.C. Rail is the biggest giveaway B.C. has ever seen,' said Bob Sharpe, chairman of the Council of Trade Unions on B.C. Rail. 'CN Rail will pay off the deal with B.C. Rail profits in the first 10 years and make billions and billions of dollars for almost 1,000 years to come.'

    First Nations voice opposition to B.C. Rail deal CBC British Columbia
    VICTORIA - A group of B.C. First Nations says the B.C. Rail lease agreement with CN Rail infringes on aboriginal rights, and should be scrapped.

    The demand by the Title and Rights Alliance comes after new information on the privatization was leaked to the media.
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    The James Bay Crees and Hydro-Quebec resolve their past differences by signing an historical agreement Canada NewsWire
    The "Agreement concerning a New Relationship between Hydro-Québec/SEBJ and the Crees of Eeyou Istchee" states that the parties have agreed to maintain a relationship based on mutual respect, good faith, reconciliation, partnership, meaningful participation and mutually beneficial economic and social arrangements. In particular, Hydro-Québec and SEBJ have agreed to facilitate the participation of the James Bay Crees in hydroelectric development through partnership, employment and contracts.
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    Old-growth logging nearing a standstill in dramatic shift BY CRAIG WELCH, The Seattle Times
    When timber harvests ticked upward under President Reagan, environmentalists grasped this new science and fought back with lawyers and tree spikes. In 1991, U.S. District Court Judge William Dwyer halted most timber sales in the Northwest to protect habitat crucial for the owl and other species.

    Loggers and carpenters wrangled a promise in 1992 out of a campaigning Bill Clinton to hold a summit if elected to protect the forests and get the timber machine rolling. A year later, the new administration did, and scientists began the most exhaustive environmental analyses in history.

    The Clinton administration projected it could provide loggers about 1 billion board feet of timber each year - 20 percent of the region's cut in the 1980s. Most would come from old-growth in Oregon and in Washington's Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It never happened.

    Despite the projections, 'the deal highly favored people who wanted less timber harvested,' said Mark Rey, a Department of Agriculture undersecretary for Bush who oversees the Forest Service.
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    :: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 ::
    22 indicted in N.Y.C. drywall trade By LARRY NEUMEISTER, AP
    NEW YORK -- Twenty-two contractors, union officials and mobsters have been indicted in an attempt by prosecutors to break the Genovese crime family's hold on two unions that handle much of New York City's drywall work, authorities said Tuesday.

    State and federal agents have been investigating alleged kickbacks and bidding irregularities at the Operative Plasterers and Masons Union and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.

    Prosecutors alleged the Genovese family infiltrated the two unions and allowed contractors to hire nonunion workers and evade taxes by paying workers off the books. In return, the mob allegedly collected kickbacks from contractors.
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    A Mob Soprano Sings by Tom Robbins, Village Voice
    Richard, 39, is a former crown prince in the gang that inspired Tony Soprano's crew. He is the ex-husband of the daughter of John Riggi, the imprisoned boss of the DeCavalcante crime family, the bumbling New Jersey-based gang that is a Class B auxiliary for New York's five Cosa Nostra families. Richard was in court to tell about how he allegedly bribed Michael Forde, the man who heads New York's carpenters' union, offering him and a top aide $50,000 to look the other way so that Richard's construction firm could more profitably employ non-union labor in the multimillion-dollar renovation of the Park Central Hotel on Seventh Avenue.

    Richard's allegations, made more than four years ago, are a dagger to the heart of the carpenters' union leadership. Forde was elected head of the 25,000-member New York District Council of Carpenters in 1999 after his predecessor was convicted on his own corruption charges. Forde has vigorously denied that he took a bribe and says he has pressed reforms in the union and won significant contract raises. If convicted, he will have to give up his post.
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    A Rank and File Perspective on the NUP By John H. Hovis, General President United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)
    One obvious fault with the strategy being put forward by the leaders of NUP is the lack of importance they place on membership involvement in the mass movement they hope to create and the lack of democratic principles within the organizations they hope to build. If democracy is a sound enough method of governance for our country, it ought to be acceptable for governing labor unions as well. I've never believed that union members need to be protected from themselves by their leaders, union professionals or other experts.
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    Wal-Mart, a Nation Unto Itself By STEVEN GREENHOUSE, New York Times
    We already know that Wal-Mart is the biggest retailer. (If it were an independent nation, it would be China's eighth-largest trading partner.) We also know that it is maniacal about low prices. (Some economists say it has single-handedly cut inflation by 1 percent in recent years, saving consumers billions of dollars annually.) We know that its labor practices have come under attack. (It charges its workers so much for health insurance that about one-third of them do not have it.)
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    Construction boom is magnet for workers By Kristen Schorsch, Iowa City Press-Citizen
    'There just aren't as many young people going into construction as what it used to be,' he said, adding that he thinks young people are more interested in computer technology.

    But if the projects are staggered - allowing laborers from the same trades to work on projects at different stages - there will be enough workers to go around, Hahn said.

    'So far we haven't seen a shortage that's affected anything we're doing,' he said.

    Hughes, now recording secretary of the Carpenter Local 1260, said he does not expect a shortage.

    'We've got excess capacity just within locals in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area that would absorb a lot of that work,' Hughes said, adding that workers in Waterloo, Des Moines and the Quad Cities could drive to the Iowa City area for jobs.
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    Trades Shortage Looms CEP Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
    Delegates from CEP and B.C. Carpenters Locals heard a bleak forecast for our economy at a conference on apprenticeship organized by CEP.

    The looming shortage of skilled workers across Canada is due to the anticipated retirement of approximately 40% of CEP members who work in trades. Despite the loss of tradespeople, employers and governments have failed to allocate the money and resources required to train replacements.

    Western Region Vice President Dave Coles told the Richmond, B.C. conference that no plan or process is in place to train new workers. As a result, CEP is now being forced to bargaining training provisions into collective agreements with these same employers.”

    Coles said the trades shortage, “needs to be recognized as a threat to our economy.” He said, “ we can’t run industries without skilled workers and we will lose our competitive advantage – you can’t de-skill the workforce and still have an efficient economy.”
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    Roger Warren, killer of 9 in Giant mine blast, testifies in NWT civil case canadaeast, CP
    Warren told a civil hearing into the case that it was so simple for him to slip past security and into the mine shaft that "I could practically hear (game show host) Bob Barker say 'Come on down!'" "Once I got in there, I said (to myself) 'There's nobody guarding anything here.' "

    Warren is serving a life sentence in Manitoba's Stony Mountain prison for nine convictions of second-degree murder.
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    New musical drama tells true story of 1930s workplace murder By Barb Kucera, Workday Minnesota
    The work, titled “Forgotten: The Murder at the Ford Rouge Plant,” was written by Bradford’s great-nephew Steve Jones, a Washington, D.C., composer, pianist and labor activist. The St. Paul performances, scheduled April 29 at the United Auto Workers Local 879 hall and April 30 at Macalester’s Concert Hall, mark only the third time the new drama has been performed.
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    Price of lumber has more than doubled in the past year Kenneth LaFave, Arizona Republic
    Prices for plywood and OSB - "oriented-strand board," a plywood substitute made by pressing wood strips together with adhesive - have more than doubled since last year.

    "To take a common item, a 15/32s OSB is $20-plus for one sheet right now, while in February of last year it was under $10," Heldt said.

    it was actually lifts of OSB...
    Tip leads to massive drug bust By DARSHAN LINDSAY kamloopsthisweek
    The size of the loot, and the nature of the shipment, was possibly a first for Kamloops RCMP, at least in recent memory.

    Police surprised and arrested five men in the Valleyview compound, and seized nine lifts of plywood.

    Every cavity in the hollowed-out lifts was stuffed with two to three over-sized duffel bags filled with vacuum-sealed baggies of marijuana.
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    Fat Wreck Chords to Release 'Rock Against Bush' CD/DVD on April 20 U.S. Newswire
    26 Bands Join to Speak out in Solidarity against Bush Administration

    'This compilation is not about who's a sellout or who's more punk; it's about uniting against a common enemy,' states Fat Mike of punk band NOFX.
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    Warning: People are as dumb as you think By Sonny Garrett, baxterbulletin
    As I read through them and wondered why people needed to be told these things, I remembered the words of Jeff Foxworthy who, in one of his comedy routines, said we have these warnings because at some point someone tried to do these things.

    * A warning on an electric router made for carpenters: 'This product not intended for use as a dental drill.'
    * A warning label found on a baby stroller cautions the user to 'Remove child before folding'
    * A sticker on a 13-inch wheel on a wheelbarrow warns: 'Not intended for highway use' "
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    :: Monday, April 19, 2004 ::
    GOP Pushes Trust Fund for Asbestos Victims By JESSE J. HOLLAND, AP
    Republicans want to set up a trust fund that could reach as much as $124 billion. The fund would be financed by businesses and insurance companies and speed money to people with asbestos-related diseases. In exchange, victims could not take asbestos makers to court.

    "Asbestos related litigation has clogged the courts, depriving those with injuries of a meaningful remedy and resulting in the bankruptcy if at least 60 companies and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs," the White House said in a statement. "This legislation will protect the rights of those with asbestos-related injuries and preserve American jobs."
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    Don't Forget Workers Memorial Day, April 28 By Jordan Barab, Confined Space
    ...and The Weekly Toll: PACE Members Killed On The Job
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    How to keep your safety committee from going off kilter BY Gary A. Higbee, Canadian Occupational Safety
    Suddenly, I saw the man thrust his hand into the machine to pull out a bag that had jammed. He was actually timing his reach between the rapid sweeping motions of the blade.

    I have to admit I was shocked. I approached the worker and explained that he could easily lose his hand if he made even the smallest error in timing. 'I'm very fast and coordinated,' he said, and didn't seem to understand the danger he was in. He said the only alternative would be to turn the machine off, and that would mean a long re-start process and 20 to 30 scrapped bags.

    I asked who had taught him to remove bags that way. He answered, 'Fred, the set-up man.'

    So I set out to find Fred. When I found him, guess what? Fred had no right hand. He had lost it in the machine next to the one I had just observed.
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    State finds 'willful' neglect in fire BY FRAN SPIELMAN, DAVE MCKINNEY AND ROSALIND ROSSI, Chicago Sun Times
    The most serious citation issued by the Labor Department accuses Cook County Board President John Stroger's administration of ignoring earlier employee concerns over locked stairwells at 69 W. Washington, where six people died last October after being trapped in smoke-filled stairwells.

    'The employer failed to provide reasonable protection for all of its employees by neglecting to address employee's [sic] safety concerns over locked stairwell exits brought up during safety meetings,' the agency wrote in its citation against the county, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times late Friday through a Freedom of Information request.
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    Cat subcontractor worker has deja vu all over again By Terry Bibo, PJStar
    "My first instinct was to turn around and go home. I did a lot of mental gymnastics out in the parking lot," Ray says. "But … I needed a job. I hadn't had an income. Me, personally, I felt like a scab."

    But even the die-hard union guys in the plant told him, "Those jobs were gone long before you got here."

    Laid-off Boeing workers carve out different lives By KRISTEN GELINEAU
    Editor's note: Southern textile workers. Silicon Valley programmers. Rust Belt machinists. Over the past three years, their jobs - and those of millions of other Americans like them - have vanished. This is the first installment in 'Help Wanted,' an ongoing series by The Associated Press examining how people are struggling to return to work when many jobs simply aren't coming back.
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    Apprenticeships improve job hunt By TONYA ZELINSKY, The Calgary Sun
    The search for employment and experience can be a difficult task, but thanks to new trades programs popping up across the province, the job hunt is getting easier every day. Whether it's laying carpet, bricks or shingles, home construction is covering the bases from top to bottom.

    Huge demand for skilled labour By PAUL WELLS, The Calgary Sun
    Much like the province itself, job demand for skilled labour in the construction and trades vocations is booming. Over the next two decades, 40% of all new jobs will be in skilled trades and emerging occupations.

    The demand for tradespeople is growing and many sectors are experiencing serious shortages.

    'The opportunities for young people in the trades is very diverse,' explains Jerry Heck, vice-president of the Careers: The Next Generation program, a non-profit entity funded by both government and industry.

    Alberta works itself to death By DAVID SANDS, The Calgary Sun
    Work is killing Albertans at an alarming rate. 'There is a great deal of concern around this issue,' said labour minister Clint Dunford yesterday, asked about a rocketing number of workplace deaths even as the workplace injury rate plummets. 'I don't know how to explain it.'

    This year, Occupational Health and Safety has opened more than a dozen investigations into workplace deaths.
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    Businesses warned Bendigo Advertiser, Australia
    BENDIGO businesses caught flouting occupational health and safety laws could face union wrath and hefty fines, a leading city union representative has claimed.

    Trades Hall Council secretary Karen Kyle said in some cases employees were forced to work in substandard conditions she said were more reminiscent of Dickensian England. Ms Kyle said she was aware of female shop assistants who used a bucket at the back of the shop instead of going to the trouble of bringing in displays and shutting up shop to go the toilet.

    "They pee in a bucket at the back of the shop, and this is a really glamourous, glittery shop too," Ms Kyle said.

    Australia a leader in growth of casual work By Meaghan Shaw, Canberra
    The report, to be released today when Labor outlines its casual work policy, found many casual jobs were unstable in terms of predictability of earnings, working time, skill, representation, vulnerability to occupational health and safety hazards, and work type.

    Too many hurt on job: report By RACHEL WILLIAMS, examiner.com.au
    Twenty Tasmanian workers were hurt every day last month and 10,000 injuries were reported last year.
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