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

    :: Friday, October 31, 2003 ::

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    Union officials said up to 500 tradesmen, from pipefitters and ironworkers to masons and laborers, were at work in and around the garage when a long section of the top floor suddenly plummeted at about 10:40 a.m.

    Like dominoes falling, floors beneath the roof collapsed as thousands of tons of steel-reinforced concrete struck with the force of an explosion. In all, parts of the top five floors collapsed, and debris punched through the two floors below them.
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    Plywood costs nail contractors By Maria Papadopoulos
    Contractors, lumber retailers and home remodelers across the region and the nation are being nailed with skyrocketing plywood prices and limited supplies of the popular building material.
    A half-inch sheet of fir plywood that cost $12 two months ago now fetches close to $27 in Brockton-area stores.
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    Testimony: Ground Zero Poisoned Workers By Laurie Garrett
    John Graham, health and safety instructor for the Carpenters' Union, said he worked at Ground Zero for 262 straight days and is permanently disabled. He displayed a sack full of medications he now uses daily, including an anti-asthma drug, an antibiotic, an inhaler for asthma attacks, a sinus spray and assorted steroids. 'Today I am a chronically ill man who is anxious about my ability to support my family,' Graham said.
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    Wal-Mart Gets Greedy By Stan Cox, AlterNet
    It's an open secret that U.S. business has become hooked on the profits generated by illegal immigration. In its remorseless drive toward Always Low Prices, Wal-Mart, it appears, is no exception. It's hard for a company to resist the temptation offered by a large pool of workers willing to put in long hours for minimum or sub-minimum wage, with no overtime pay - workers whose fear of deportation ensures that they'll do whatever is asked of them.

    Wal-Mart's Hidden Costs By Steven Pearlstein
    According to supermarket giants Safeway, Albertson's and Kroger, the competitive threat from Wal-Mart makes it impossible for them to survive without cutting the pay and benefits of unionized employees.

    But to hear it from the 70,000 striking or locked-out members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, accepting anything less than they get now would set up an unwinnable race to the bottom with Wal-Mart's nonunion 'associates' who make as little as half of what they do.

    UFCW Vice Pres Manages Billion Dollar Wal-Mart Stocks UFCW - MfD OpenForum Discussion
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    PRWA PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS Submitted by Robert Blough of Jenner Area Joint Sewer Authority, Jennerstown PA.
    So you though your job was tough!!!!!  This is what Florida Power & Light found in Orlando while doing extensions to the Airport.
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    :: Thursday, October 30, 2003 ::
    Four Dead in N.J. Garage Collapse By JOHN CURRAN AP
    The top five stories of a parking garage under construction at a casino collapsed Thursday, sending concrete slabs and metal beams crashing down as workers ran for cover. Four people were killed, about 20 were injured and one was missing, officials said.
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    whtehouse.gov robots.txt (with WH update) weblogged by Atrios
    Why is whitehouse.gov (the official White House website) disallowing 'iraq' directories from search engine crawling?
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    AFL-CIO Union Poised to Endorse Dean By LEIGH STROPE AP Labor Writer
    Democrat Howard Dean is poised to capture a coveted endorsement from the largest union in the AFL-CIO - if the Service Employees International Union decides to back one of the nine presidential candidates next week.

    "It's Dean or no one,'' SEIU spokeswoman Sara Howard said Thursday, days before the union's 63-member executive board will decide at its Nov. 6 meeting.
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    IWA faces wrath of Canada’s biggest union CUPE
    Outgoing national CUPE president Judy Darcy called on the Canadian Labour Congress to “tell the IWA to get the hell out of those scuzzbag agreements.” Newly elected CUPE national president Paul Moist added that the IWA’s actions were “shameful."
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    IT Workers Latest Victims of "Global Economy" by Peter Ian Asen LaborNotes
    Though the fledgling IT unions do have the eventual goal of gaining collective bargaining agreements, they are realistic that the task of organizing an almost completely non-union industry will not happen overnight. As such, they see the internal issues-based organizing they are doing now as very important.

    'The work that we've been doing for the past seven or eight months,' WashTech organizer Marcus Courtney says about the union's anti-offshoring campaign, 'shows that unions cannot strictly rely on a collective bargaining strategy in order to grow their membership. We could be looking back at the work we're doing today, with the offshoring campaign, and say 'we are helping to lead a sea change in the attitudes of white collar professional workers in the labor movement.''
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    Who is keeping track of logging in B.C.? BCGEU
    “It appears to be no coincidence that record-high levels of raw logs are being exported from our province, at the same time as this government is cutting the jobs of the people who would normally ensure our resources are being managed in the best interests of all British Columbians,” said George Heyman, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union.
  • posted 6:31 AM :: reference link :: 0 comments ::
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    This site provides information to help identify risks and work safely in confined spaces.

    Occupational Health & Safety Regulation - Changes to the OHS Regulation
    * Amendments to Occupational Exposure Limits  
    TABLE 5-4: EXPOSURE LIMITS AND DESIGNATIONS has been repealed by B.C. Reg. 315/2003, effective October 29, 2003.
    Exposure limits and designations are now covered in the following documents:
    * ACGIH/WCB Table of Adopted Values TLVs
    * Policy R5.48-1 (PDF 121 KB)
    * New Guidelines for exposure limits and designations will be available online soon.
    [Amended by B.C. Reg. 315/2003; Effective: October 29, 2003]

    * Amendments to Reduce Duplication and Redundancy in Occupational Health and Safety Regulations  
    [Amended by B.C. Reg. 312/2003; Effective: October 29, 2003]
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    Suggest a book! LabourStart is assembling an online bookshelf for trade unionists -- a list of the books that every trade unionist should own.
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    Celebrating Native American Workers on the High Steel By David Sommerstein VOA
    For generations, Mohawk and other Native Americans have built America's most famous buildings and bridges, including the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center. They work the 'high steel', a dangerous profession practiced high above the ground. The skill and craft of ironworking took center stage last month near Syracuse, New York in a sort of Ironworker Olympics.
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    :: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 ::
    Dispute court a way to repair relations with U.S. Editorials - The Province
    Among the proposals to be studied: Setting up a permanent trade dispute court or other dispute-resolution mechanism, to prevent such trade battles as the softwood lumber war from dragging out for years.
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    Russian miners emerge from ordeal BBC NEWS
    The mine's director Vasily Avdeyev - who was on his first day in the job when the accident happened - was among the last 11 to be rescued from the mine.

    'When we saw the rescuers, it was like the appearance of Christ before the people,' he said. 'We had nothing to eat. I delivered a speech saying that a 20-day fast has not ever hurt anyone and it is good for the health.'
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    Slice the words, story's the same SEATTLE P-I EDITORIAL BOARD
    'So the story is better than we might be led to believe in the news. I'm indicting the news people. It's a bigger and better and more important story than losing a couple of soldiers every day, which, which, heaven forbid, is awful.'
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    Hartford Advocate: We Know Nothing by Alan Bisbort
    When asked about the latest in a string of White House deceptions so numerous the American people have begun to lose count and some are even losing patience, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, alleged to be a former professor at Stanford University, said, and I quote, 'I know nothing.'
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    Organized labor finances new strike fund By LEIGH STROPE AP LABOR WRITER
    The fund, called 'Hold the Line for America's Health Care,' will be used to aid workers facing emergency financial situations, such as evictions or defaulting on mortgages.

    The fund's creation coincides with reports of pharmacists crossing picket lines to return to work.
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    Union fund chiefs probed in stock deal By James G. Lakely - washingtontimes
    In August 2001, Global Crossing was rocked by accusations of accounting fraud, sending the stock price into a free fall. Mr. Georgine, according to both an independent Ullico investigation and the House committee, told executives to sell their Ullico shares before the stock bottomed out.

    Rank-and-file union members who owned stock weren't permitted to sell before the shares were nearly worthless.

    US House panel urges further probe of Ullico deals By Peter Szekely - Reuters
    In 2000, Ullico offered to buy back the shares at large profits as Global Crossing -- and Ullico's large investment in it -- plummeted. Union pension funds, were limited in how many shares they could sell back to Ullico.
    Ullico manages financial assets and sells insurance through its Union Labor Life Insurance Co. subsidiary.

    Committee on Education and the Workforce Press Release Committee Releases Final ULLICO Report; Calls on Labor Department to Fully Investigate Whether Sweetheart Stock Deals Violated Federal Labor and Pension Laws

    “At the very same time that union leaders were joining the chorus of well-deserved criticism of Enron and others for corporate misconduct, ULLICO set up a system of insider stock deals that made millions for the board at the expense of rank-and-file union members,” said Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), chairman of the Education & the Workforce Committee.  “Our Committee’s investigation has concluded that the union leaders who set up these sweetheart stock transactions may well have violated federal labor and pension laws.” 

    “We are hopeful that the Department of Labor sheds light on these unanswered questions because American workers deserve to know whether ULLICO directors violated the law and made millions at the expense of the rank-and-file union members they represent,” added Boehner.  “The Committee will continue to exercise its oversight authority to ensure that these labor and pension laws are effective in protecting the rights of American workers, and if they are not, in considering legislative solutions to guard against similar future abuses.” 

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    Combs' Clothing Line Accused of Sweatshop Conditions AP
    Rap music mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' clothing line, Sean John, has been accused by a workers' rights advocate of using a Honduran supplier that subjects its laborers to sweatshop conditions.

    "We should be paid what we're owed. We make so little that it's not enough to have a dignified life," said Lydda Gonzalez, 19, who was fired after she tried to organize a union.
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    :: Tuesday, October 28, 2003 ::
    Doctors: Most 9-11 workers still ailing By AMY WESTFELDT AP
    NEW YORK -- Most ground zero workers still suffer from health problems two years after Sept. 11 and many do not have health insurance or job security, doctors told a congressional panel Tuesday.

    Several of the workers testified at a Manhattan hospital before the committee, saying they had trouble breathing, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and no longer had the strength to do their old jobs.

    'I can't tell you how hard it is living like this,' said David Rapp, a construction worker who spent five months at the World Trade Center site and now always carries an oxygen tank and uses three inhalers. 'The fear of not being able to take my next breath is unbearable.'
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    House panel questions union firm's trades By LEIGH STROPE AP LABOR WRITER
    'Millions of workers deserve to know whether Ullico directors violated the law and made millions at the expense of rank-and-file union members they represent,' said Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the committee's chairman.

    Ongoing investigations by the Labor and Justice departments, the Securities and Exchange Commission, a federal grand jury and Maryland's insurance commission also should determine if current laws are adequate to protect union members and workers, and suggest changes that Congress should consider, the report said.
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    B.C. Carpenters Union: Members to finally get affiliation ballot by Dave Flynn
    McCarron has said that restructuring is necessary to make the union more accountable. Where his views differ from ours is that he believes the membership should be more accountable to the leadership — we believe the leaders should be accountable to the membership. Affiliating with a Canadian Union may be the only means left available to us to prevent the International from taking away those vested rights that the membership in BC have had for over one hundred years. Protect your right to vote by exercising that right when you receive your ballot in the mail.
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    Local 183 Denounces International Union's Response to Complaint of Interference Canada NewsWire
    US Headquarters refuses to recognize Canadian Code of Ethics; rejects call for an independent, Canadian Mediator

    'By blatantly refusing to suspend their internal US based hearing, LIUNA and its executive are further demonstrating their disregard, not only for the OLRB's jurisdiction to grant the relief requested, but also for the interests of Local 183 and its 30,000 members,' said Keith Cooper, spokesperson for Local 183. 'Through its actions, LIUNA is clearly determined to ignore the due process of the OLRB in an attempt to prevent these proceedings from being truly independent.'

    Local 183 Expresses Gratitude to Employer Groups for Intervening in Dispute with International Union Canada NewsWire
    12 Organizations Employing 20,000 Construction Workers Express Support for Local's Stand Against US Headquarters
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    Free speech kept off U.S. streets By DAVID LINDORFF
    When retired Pittsburgh steelworker Bill Neel learned that President George W. Bush was coming to town last year, he decided he would be on hand to protest the president's economic policies.

    Neel and his sister made a hand-lettered sign — The Bush family must surely love the poor! They have made so many of us! — and headed for a road where the motorcade would pass.

    But he never got to display his sign for Bush to see.

    The New Unity Partnership, A Manifest Destiny for Labor By JoAnn Wypijewski
    This section bears the hoofprint of the Carpenters' McCarron, who pulled out of the AFL in 2001and has feted George W. at two Labor Day picnics. A cheap date, he got a visit on Air Force One. Along with the Teamsters' president, James Hoffa, whom the NUPsters are heavily courting, he is the Republicans' favorite labor leader. At a recent fundraising dinner for the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, McCarron and Hoffa both purchased tables.

    [Iww-news] Bush's Labor Day Picnic posted by steve zeltzer
    Fri, 06 Sep 2002
    From: matejka@
    Subject: Bush in Pittsburgh -- the real story

    A retired asbestos worker from Pittsburgh, Bill Yund, recently sent his 'analysis' on Bush's Labor Day visit to Pittsburgh... interesting...
    Mike Matejka

    For those who may have heard via the national media that Dubya was in Pittsburgh getting 'Union' support, we pass on the real skinny:

    Dubya was invited to a Carpenters Labor Day 'Picnic' downriver from Pittsburgh by McCarron (Carpenters union president, who has taken the union out of the AFL-CIO) and cronies. The photo-op had nothing to do with the Allegheny County Labor Day Parade.(word has it the Labor Council is censuring the carpenters, for whatever thats worth) The Photo-op was by invite only, excluding anyone who might disagree with having the most anti-labor Prez in memory at a union hall. Some protesters did appear, but were herded into a fenced-in area out of presidential camera-range. One 65 year old man with a sign saying 'the Bushes must love poor people because they created so many of them' was arrested when he peacefully protested the denial of his constitutional right to free expression. He pointed out that 'free' is inconsistent with being secured behind a fence. People with pro-Bush signs were allowed to roam free, of course. Meanwhile in Pgh, an estimated 40,000 REAL working people, uninvited to the photo-op, marched in the Parade and many later picnicked at a local union brewery (Iron City). Pro-Bush signs or sentiments were nowhere to be found. Carpenters in the parade expressed disappointment (to put it mildly) in the romance of their leadership with the Bush crowd. Obviously, it's unlikely that McCarron would survive an honest democratic election. His pal Dubya has had the same problem.
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    This Man Is Building a $1 Billion Construction Empire by James Burnett
    In the beginning, the business plan Fish created for Suffolk was straightforward: the builder as wrecking ball. “When we encountered a brick wall, instead of trying to get around it, we’d just go right through it,” Fish says. He undercut rival firms by as much as 15 percent, making up the difference by squeezing it out of the carpenters, masons, and assorted specialists he hired to execute the blueprints. “He was the kind of guy who used to go after jobs and beat up subcontractors,” says Andris Silins, secretary -- treasurer of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, who scrapped with Fish when he headed the organization’s local affiliate. “Over time, he realized he couldn’t operate like that. But John probably put a few guys out of business during those years.” Still, for every HVAC installer hauling him into court, there were several clients signing on as regular customers.
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    Robotic harvesting of citrus may solve labor shortage By GLENN C. WRIGHT, FARM VOICE
    The fruiting branches are easily shaken by the 4- to 5-foot-long nylon or tubular steel spikes that form the shaking drum. At a travel speed of 1.2 mph, this system can harvest at least 500 trees per hour and 1,200 field boxes per hour, and 12 highway trucks of fruit in an eight-hour workday.

    Worker productivity can increase by over 15 times and harvesting cost may decrease by 75 percent.

    Taking a back seat By Khalil Abdullah
    Auto shop enrollment dwindles as mechanic demand rises

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a shortage of 60,000 mechanics nationwide has led to the demand for technicians and boosted salaries.

    Boomer retirement may spawn glut of jobs By Meg Richards AP
    Experts say that in the not-so-distant future, America will have more jobs than it can fill. The baby boom generation, born between 1946 and 1965, reshaped the U.S. economy with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of highly educated workers. But their children are not numerous enough to replace them and researchers say a serious labor shortage lies ahead.

    Fewer pick career path for dealing with death BY SARA OLKON
    The funeral industry is bracing for a shortage of qualified funeral directors. That's not surprising, since the job has long hours and mediocre pay and can turn off potential dates.
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    :: Monday, October 27, 2003 ::
    CIA-Leak Scapegoat Still At Large The Onion
    'We're doing everything we can,' Attorney General John Ashcroft said. 'I have assured the president that I will let him know the second we find either the leak or a decent scapegoat. It will happen. He's out there somewhere.'
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    Unions rip WTC health registry By MAGGIE HABERMAN
    Leaders of several major city unions are blasting the Bloomberg administration's World Trade Center health registry as a waste of money that won't help their sick members.

    'I'm requesting that the information on the registry be taken off our [union] Web site,' said Lee Clarke, health and safety officer for District Council 37, thecity's largest municipal union,which has offices a block from Ground Zero.

    'My members did not sign up to be a guinea pig or a statistic, and that's exactly what the intent of this is,' Clarke said of the $20 million study.

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    When techies consider unions By Aliza Earnshaw
    One local employer agreed that techies’ efforts to organize are a natural response to overseas outsourcing and the presence of visa-holding workers in the marketplace. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see some form of organizing soon, unless, of course, Congress does something to correct the current outflow of jobs” from the United States, said Rick Creson, president of Meridian Technology Group.
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    Dean Picks Up First Union Endorsement By Kay Henderson
    DES MOINES, Iowa - Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean picked up his first union endorsement Monday, winning the backing of the 140,000-member painters' union.
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    Soaring labour costs to send new home prices skyward By Gillian Shaw Vancouver Sun
    Wayne Peppard, executive director of the B.C. Building Trades Council, which represents 35,000 tradespeople in the province, concurred that a 50-per-cent increase is possible. He said with apprenticeship training programs being changed so that apprentices don't have to spend the time getting their full qualifications, those that do will be able to command a premium

    'People with papers will be valuable and they could be demanding those types of prices, there is no doubt about it,' he said. 'Whether we can negotiate that in agreements is a whole other story.'

    Canadian oilpatch braces for massive labour shortage Today's Trucking
    The president of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors says the record pace of drilling will be hampered by labour shortages next year.

    Coming soon: America's next labor shortage By Analisa Nazareno
    In the labor market of the future, employers still will want to keep labor costs down. So they will likely pay their unskilled workers less in real wages, and on the other end will likely search for cheaper high-skill labor overseas.
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    BCGEU fights back hard against the Campbell Liberals It's an anti-worker government, eh? It's an anti-union government, yes? It's an anti-community government, and I say it's an anti-family government as well,' Clancy told delegates at the BCGEU policy convention.
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    EPA warning on asbestos is under attack BY ANDREW SCHNEIDER
    The lawyers took their action under an obscure law passed in 2001 called the Data Quality Act. It demands that government agencies work with the White House's Office of Management and Budget to establish a process that permits 'affected persons' to challenge information gathered and disseminated by the government.
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    National Electrical Code® By Mike Holt
    Knowledge and the practical application of the National Electrical Code® is an essential part of all electrical installations. If it's important for you to understand the National Electrical Code®, then look no further.
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    :: Sunday, October 26, 2003 ::
    New York Post Online Edition: UP IN THE AIR By ASHLEY CROSS
    It's probably the most famous picture of a lunch break in New York history - and it seems hundreds of people know someone who was there.

    Or do they?

    Last month, The Post showed the iconic photograph of 11 ironworkers taking a break on a steel beam 800 feet above the ground during construction of the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center.

    The photograph has been copied on countless posters, postcards and other souvenir items.

    We asked, "Have you seen these men?"


    union organizing posters by dave2300
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    Canadian Building Trades Launch Regulatory Compliance Campaign on Labor Ready AFL-CIO Canada NewsWire
    The Canadian arm of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, announced the launch today (Oct 17) of a concerted campaign focused on potential violations of Canadian law by North America's largest blue-collar temporary employment agency, Washington State-based Labor Ready, Inc., according to Edward Sullivan, president of the Department.
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    Lansing State Journal:Women at work By Steve Johnson
    Nationally, women hold only about 897,000 - or 9.2 percent - of the 9.7 million construction-related jobs, mostly in clerical or administrative positions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the Lansing area, women hold 7.1 percent of the region's 4,944 'craft worker jobs.' The designation includes carpenters, plumbers and electricians.

    Similarly, women own about 8 percent of the nation's 2.6 million or so construction companies, though their numbers appear to be increasing, some researchers say.

    Worker error cited in fatality at factory when pregnant woman crushed; baby lives By KIM BATES and ERICA BLAKE
    According to Dick Tracy, assistant area director of OSHA’s Toledo area office, it is a company’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment for its employees. Included in that requirement is ensuring that devices are in place to shut machines down when employees are put in dangerous situations. Often this involves a device placed on the operating controls that prevents the machine from accidentally being turned on.
    This requirement, referred to as "lock out, tag out," means that each employee controls the power to the machine they are working on.
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    Virginia Tech Researchers Work To Help Prevent Balcony And Deck Collapses Source: Virginia Tech release
    While there are numerous code requirements for decks and balconies, Woeste and his associates are primarily concerned about the attachment to the house and the openings in the railings and stairs. The 40 psf load requirement produces a heavy shear type loading in a typical deck-ledger to house-band connection. Some deck and balcony ledgers are only nailed to the house band joist, and this approach may not be adequate depending upon the span of the deck joists. If proper flashing is not installed, the wall sheathing and band joist can rot, destroying the original capacity of the nail connection.

    The Sunday Mail QLD: Dream home a horror By PAUL WESTON
    'Those beams holding up the house, there's a 40cm bow in there. I've tried to talk them into leaving because it will come down and they won't have a hope,' said Mr Brayshaw.

    'Blind Freddy can see it's bending like a banana. There's no one more patriotic than me, but I'm disgusted to call myself an Australian because of this.

    'The house will come down like a pack of cards. I'm bloody ashamed of what's happened to this family.'
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    Cleaner at Wal-Mart Tells of Few Breaks and Low Pay By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
    Wal-Mart officials said that the raid surprised them, and that they had no idea the company's cleaning contractors used illegal immigrants.

    They acknowledged yesterday that 10 immigrants arrested on Thursday in Arizona and Kentucky were employed directly by Wal-Mart. Company officials said they had brought these workers in-house after certain stores phased out the use of the contractors for whom the immigrants had worked.
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    :: Saturday, October 25, 2003 ::
    BC Carpenters to vote on autonomy in November October 2003 On the Level
    This is a copy of the ballot that BC Carpenters Union members will use to finally determine the direction the organization will take for the future —This is the vote that counts. When it comes in the mail mark it YES for Canadian democracy and membership rights...

    British Columbia Provincial Council of Carpenters
    Do you wish to transfer the affiliation of the British Columbia Provincial Council of Carpenters and its affiliated Local Unions from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America to a Canadian union?
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    Googlism for: mccarron: "mccarron is being used by the bush administration to drive a wedge into organized labor"

    Googlism for: douglas mccarron: "douglas mccarron is now under investigation by the department of labor"
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    Arrest of Korean Trade Union Officers and Organisers International Federation of Building and Wood Workers
    The International Federation of Building and Wood Workers has been informed by its affiliate the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Unions (KFCITU) of the arrest of eight union officers and organisers in Daejeon and Chunahn.

    Act NOW! [LabourStart] Korea: Free 8 jailed construction union officials
    "We are particularly concerned about the imprisonment of Lee Sung Woo, President of the Daejeon local union. In 1995 he lost both his legs and his arm due to a tragic work-site accident at one of the construction sites. Since the prosecution has declared President Lee to be a flight risk, he is to be incarcerated until the end of his trial, which will has yet to be set. Due to his physical challenges, we are concerned about his health if he is not released immediately."
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    Union to be out beating the Bushies By Juan Gonzalez
    They're calling it Bush Bucks.

    More than 3,000 leaders and members of New York's powerful health care workers union, 1199/SEIU, held an unusual meeting in Baltimore this past weekend to lay plans for an unprecedented $35 million campaign to drive George W. Bush out of the White House next year.
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    :: Friday, October 24, 2003 ::
    U.S. and Canada weigh chances of new lumber trade talks By Richard Cowan, Reuters
    American and Canadian officials next week will try to gauge whether the two countries should launch another round of lumber negotiations to end a fight over US$6 billion worth of wood trade, a U.S. lumber industry source said Thursday.
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    Banking on Google (TechNews.com) By Cynthia L. Webb
    It's been the Holy Grail of the stock markets for more than a year -- the quest to discover when, just when, search-engine king Google would finally go public.
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    Carpenters union picket subcontractors for benefits By Homa Zaryouni
    It looks and sounds like a union-organized strike, except for two sentences on the bottom of every flyer that employees of Nevada Carpenters' Union hand out: 'We are not urging any worker to refuse to work. We are not urging any supplier to refuse to deliver goods.'
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    New Unity Partnership Published by: Workers Action
    So when the New Unity Partnership (NUP) formed as a mini union federation to challenge the policies of the AFL-CIO, they played this role to the hilt. Consisting of union presidents Douglas McCarron (Brotherhood of Carpenters), Andrew Stern (Service Employees International Union), Bruce Raynor (UNITE- Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees), Terence O’Sullivan (Laborers' International Union of North America), and John Wilhelm (HERE-Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees), these officials have banded together apparently to reverse the unions decline. To show that they mean business, they have already began to hire staff.

    They have aimed some accurate shots at the AFL-CIO regarding its weak-kneed organizing efforts. Then again, to miss this would be like missing a stuffed mammoth from a yard away. The question is whether the formation of the NUP presents a possible solution to the crisis of Labor, or is it a symptom?
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    Justice e-censorship gaffe sparks controversy By Kevin Poulsen, SecurityFocus
    It turns out the report began its life as a Microsoft Word document, and whoever was in charge of sanitizing it for public release did so by using Word's highlight tool, with the highlight color set to black, according to an analysis by Tim Sullivan, CEO of activePDF, a maker of server-side PDF tools. The simple and convenient technique would have been perfectly effective had the end product been a printed document, but it was all but useless for an electronic one. 'Using Acrobat, I'm actually able to move the black boxes around,' says Sullivan. 'The text is still there.'
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    Union local back in business as other officials shake heads By L.M. SIXEL
    Teamsters Local 988 reopened its union hall Tuesday and tried to resume normal operations, a day after being taken over by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

    Teamsters President Supports Detroit Casino Council Negotiators, Workers PRNewswire
    The Detroit Casino Council, consisting of five unions, Teamsters Local 372, UAW 7777, Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 24, Operating Engineers Local 547 and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, is currently negotiating with three Detroit casinos, MGM, Motorcity and Greektown.
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    S.F. Labor urges AFL-CIO to speak out on Iraq Fred Gaboury People's Weekly World
     A resolution adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council calls upon the “House of Labor” to oppose “the foreign policy disasters led by the most right-wing president in memory.” The resolution also calls for end to the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the return of our troops, and relinquishing U.S. power to the United Nations.
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    :: Thursday, October 23, 2003 ::
    Ringed by backers, Rocky says he has stood up to City Council By Heather May
    "This looks like Salt Lake City," added Latino activist Lee Martinez, noting Anderson's supporters include Persians, Asians, American Indians and Latinos. Other endorsers include: Sierra Club; Mountain West Regional Council of Carpenters; Amalgamated Transit Union; Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers Local Union 222; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1004; Salt Lake City Fire Fighters; Young Democrats of Utah; Utah Stonewall Democrats; Utah Wind Power Coalition; and Millcreek Friends Interested in Dogs and Open Space.
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    Feds Arrests 300 Wal-Mart Workers By James Vicini - Reuters
    Wal-Mart already faces dozens of lawsuits alleging discrimination and violations of wage-and-hour rules. The company has drawn fire from labor groups, who say the company has an anti-union stance.
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    Wisconsin: Demonstrators urge use of local labor By Roger Pitt
    TOWN OF KAUKAUNA — More than 200 construction trades union members lined the frontage road entering the Fox Energy Center site Wednesday to support the use of local labor.
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    The Village Voice: The Energy Bill
    Flash animation By Mark Fiore
    Industry Good...Citizens Bad
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    Bypass overpass rises again By JOSHUA WOLFSON
    In the days following the collapse, Caltrans officials said the investigation would be coordinated by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The incident was reported to Cal OSHA, but the agency did not pursue it, said Dean Fryer, Cal OSHA spokesman.

    'We never did anything on this because there were not employee injuries,' he said.

    Extraordinary Circumstances Led To Mississippi Overpass Collapse
    All the normal construction practices were followed in this project, said Kenny Gunn, project manager for Harper Construction, the prime contractor on the project.

    "This was just an accident. It was not supposed to happen,'' he said.

    Gunn said for now the company has no plans to do anything differently.

    "You don't want to deviate too much from the normal construction practices,'' he said. "These practices have been proven time and time again.
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    Union support key to Gephardt's political future By Matt Stearns/Knight Ridder
    Standing in Gephardt's way: some of the AFL-CIO's largest affiliates, including the Service Employees' International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. They haven't joined his bandwagon, not least because they're not sure he can win.

    'There's been a more independent strain of thinking and acting going on among union leaders than there has been in recent presidential elections,' said Robin Gerber, a former political director for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. 'They will never believe he can win if he can't raise the money, and right now he's not raising the money.'
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    If It Ain't Broke, Break It TOMPAINE.com
    When it comes to sheer nerve, you’ve got to hand it to George W. Bush. Air pollution is called "clear skies." Wilderness logging is "healthy forests."

    The newest Bush attack on the environment doesn’t have an Orwellian name yet, but it could be the most insidious of all—a dismembering of the regulatory process itself.

    Groups fire away at forest thinning bill, criticize Baucus By BUDDY SMITH
    “Some of the thinning will probably fall in the wildland-urban interface, but we think all of it should,” he said. “Any logging not in that area will not protect communities from fire, and if they’re going to have commercial logging projects that far away from communities, then call it a timber sale.”
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    Coca Cola's Killers By Lucas Rivera
    The headline reads: "Colombian Coke Float" and shows three Colombian union workers floating in a giant, old-fashioned Coke glass. In bold letters: "Unthinkable! Undrinkable!"
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    NEWS.com.au | Industry to halt for dead teen By Kylie Walker
    FURIOUS construction workers lamenting the death of a 16-year-old labourer will stop work on Monday to march on NSW Parliament and demand jail sentences for bosses who are slack on safety.
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    :: Wednesday, October 22, 2003 ::
    'DUDE, WHERE'S MY COUNTRY?' By Michael Moore
    "Answers please, Mr Bush" Michael Moore poses some tough questions for the US president.
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    PittsburghLIVE.com - Worker rescues woman By Michael Hasch
    "I was in the right place at the right time," said Siebert, a pile driver who belongs to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Millwrights Local 2235.
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    On A Rock In Rural Iowa Thank You Veterans (submitted by Bill, IBEW)
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    What a Week - October 2003 Solidarity by Roger Kerson
    UAW wins five agreements in five days
    In a whirlwind of bargaining never before seen in the U.S. auto industry, the UAW reached new tentative agreements at all five firms within days of their common expiration date. The four-year pact with DaimlerChrysler was reached just before the previous contract expired Sept. 14.
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    UAW and USWA Sue Secretary of Labor Chao To Set OSHA Clean Air Standards in U.S. Factories PRNewswire
    The United Auto Workers (UAW) and the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) filed suit today against U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, seeking to compel the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to set clean air standards in U.S. factories

    U.S. labor groups sue for clean air in factories Reuters
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    OSHA Offers New Resources on Chemical Reactivity Safety; Book on Managing Chemical Reactivity Hazards Offered Free Online
    An important resource to help companies reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities during chemical manufacturing and operations goes online today as OSHA unveils its newest safety and health information web page, Chemical Reactivity Safety.
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    Frist asks labor counter-offer on asbestos By Susan Cornwell
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist Tuesday urged organized labor, which has blasted his asbestos litigation reform plan as too meager by billions of dollars, to make a counter-proposal, saying he had not given up on passing legislation this year.
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    Labor system eyed for security agency Washington Times
    Administration officials and labor union representatives embarked yesterday on the ticklish and potentially difficult process of agreeing on a unified personnel system for the new Department of Homeland Security.
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    Government report downplays health threat from arsenic-treated wood By January 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not allow the production of CCA-treated lumber for any residential use. However, dealers will be allowed to deplete their inventories.
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    :: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 ::
    Claims of fraud prompt Teamsters takeover here By L.M. SIXEL Houston Chronicle
    The panel's report said Crawley hired Espinosa in 2000 and that she submitted inflated invoices for beer and soda she bought with union funds for the grand opening of the hall, which was built with non-union labor because Local 988 officials believed union workers were too expensive.
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    TOMPAINE.com - Sex And Politics By Richard Blow
    You have to love spokespeople—even at newspapers they twist the truth. Because this flimsy rationale doesn't hold up under even the mildest scrutiny. Since when do newspapers fact-check their comics?

    Putting 'The Boondocks' in the Dock (washingtonpost.com) By Michael Getler
    Followers of the comic strip 'The Boondocks' were first puzzled and then angry last week. Sometimes this edgy, irreverent and controversial strip, drawn and written by a 29-year-old African American artist, Aaron McGruder, makes some readers mad, and they let the paper know.

    The Boondocks Oct 15 by Aaron McGruder
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    1/3 of uninsured workers at large firms By Leigh Strope
    A third of the nation's workers without health insurance are employed by large companies, a study says.

    Thirty-two percent of all uninsured workers in 2001 were employed by big companies, up from 25 percent in 1987, according to the report released Tuesday by The Commonwealth Fund.

    Researchers cited as factors soaring health care costs, declines in manufacturing and union jobs and the changing structure of large corporations -- those with more than 500 employees -- and the benefits they offer.
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    Fight Against Workplace Deaths Press Release: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
    Collective Bargaining Vital in Fight Against Workplace Deaths

    Strengthening workers’ ability to bargain collectively will reduce workplace fatalities and improve this country’s dismal health and safety record, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
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    Man who fell from bridge identified By REID MAGNEY (Oct 7)
    Construction of the arch section of the new Mississippi River bridge will remain shut down today in deference to the family of Anthony J. Poterala, who died in a fall Monday.

    Poterala was an apprentice ironworker employed by Hi-Boom Erecting Inc. of Black River Falls, a subcontractor on the $40 million bridge project.
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    MEDIA ADVISORY - Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada Sawmill Workers' Bargaining Conference in Montreal on October 29th and 30th at the Sheraton Centre Hotel.
    Of note is the fact that the visitors from the U.S. are unilingual English but CEP will provide a translator if so desired.

    The Union solution to Softwood dispute
    Below is the text of the agreement reached among the unions:

    - The current softwood lumber duties and the previous softwood lumber
    quota agreement do not provide a satisfactory long-term solution for
    workers on either side of the border;

    - The workers, consumers and the communities dependent on these jobs,
    have a strong interest in reaching a mutually agreeable long-term

    - The undersigned unions from the U.S. and Canada, whose members' jobs
    are being lost due to this trade dispute, propose that the respective
    governments negotiate an agreement based on the following measures:
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    End of big job in sight AP
    Now, as construction on the largest and most complex highway project in U.S. history passes its 20-year mark and begins to wind down, construction workers like McPhail are looking to life after the Big Dig. For many, it will mean heading back to the union hall to look for the next job.
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    Students, Nuns and Sailor-Mongers Beware By Jonathan Turley LATimes
    It has lain dormant in the darkest recesses of American law for 125 years, but this month Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft introduced critics of the administration to his latest weapon in law enforcement.

      In a Miami federal court, the attorney general charged the environmental group Greenpeace under an obscure 1872 law originally intended to end the practice of "sailor-mongering," or the luring of sailors with liquor and prostitutes from their ships. Ashcroft plucked the law from obscurity to punish Greenpeace for boarding a vessel near port in Miami.
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    Labor denounces asbestos fund offer from business By Susan Cornwell
    Organized labor Thursday denounced a new offer from business and insurers to fund an asbestos victims' trust, saying it was inadequate to cover the costs of expected claims from people sickened by the mineral.

    Statement by AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney on Asbestos Defendants' and Insurers' Funding "Agreement"
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    Detroit's Bitter Labor Battles Not Repeated in '03 By Mark Fitzgerald
    After 2,500 union workers walked off their jobs at the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News on July 13, 1995, it took 1,982 days before members ratified new contracts to end the bitter and occasionally violent dispute.

    Last week, the four unions (representing a workforce that has shrunk to 1,500) overwhelmingly ratified new contracts with the dailies nearly three months before the old pacts would have expired. The contracts with Detroit Newspapers, the joint operating agency for Knight Ridder's Free Press and Gannett's News, were approved by margins of about three to one.
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    :: Monday, October 20, 2003 ::
    Canadian Envisions New Role for Nation By CLIFFORD KRAUSS NY Times
    'There is a free trade agreement between the two countries and I think the spirit of that trade agreement ought to be honored,' said Mr. Martin, who represents a district in Montreal in the House of Commons. 'And it is not honored when on things like softwood lumber you end up with constant, constant harassment.'

    U.S. weighs easing Canada geese protections By Judith Graham Chicago Tribune
    There is an irony in the government's plan, and substantial political risk. The government is worried that the more annoying geese become, the more at risk they are of being seen as 'flying rats,' a term used by some critics. To preserve their value as wildlife, 'we need to reduce the population,' Fish and Wildlife spokesman Nicholas Throckmorton said.
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    FBI Investigates Cadmium Poisoning Mystery Wpxi.com
    The FBI is looking into a cadmium poisoning mystery in Indiana County. Eleven people have died from high levels of cadmium, but no one knows if the cases are related.

    Cadmium Found in 10 More Bodies By CHAUNCEY ROSS
    A poisonous heavy metal has turned up in a spiraling number of postmortem examinations performed by the Indiana County Coroner's Office in recent months, officials said Friday.
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    Bush Backs Down on Plan to Ship Toxic Ships Overseas; Administration Will Study Threats Posed by Ships and Reconsider Plan In April - U.S. Newswire
    The Bush administration has agreed to halt the export of old toxin-laden Navy ships to England for disposal until it assesses the environmental risks involved. The Sierra Club and the Basel Action Network, represented by Earthustice attorney Martin Wagner, had sued to stop the ships from sailing, but a judge allowed the first four-the Caloosahatchee, Canisteo, Compass Island, and Canopus-to be towed out of the James River in mid-October. The remaining nine vessels will stay where they are at least until April 2004, when the environmental analysis will be completed. The plaintiffs argued that the export plan violates the Toxic Substances Control Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, that the facility in England is not equipped to handle such contaminated ships, and that there are ship-breaking facilities in the US that are equipped to do the job. The ships together contain more than 350 tons of PCBs, 620 tons of asbestos, and 470 tons of old fuel oil.
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    The 10 most dangerous jobs in America By Kim Khan MSN
    Loggers and fishermen faced the most daunting odds of dying at work in 2002, but the highways remained the most dangerous place for American workers.
    On-the-job accidents and homicides claimed the lives of 5,524 Americans last year, down 6.6% from 2001. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the workplace death rate is the lowest it has seen since recordkeeping began in 1992.
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    Michigan AFL-CIO President Comments On ‘One Delegate, One Vote’ Proposal LaborTalk By Harry Kelber
    Mark Gaffney, president of the Michigan State AFL-CIO, which has 650,000 members and 350,000 retirees, is quite content to have only one vote at AFL-CIO conventions, even though many international unions have hundreds of thousands of votes. Here is the text of an e-mail that Brother Gaffney sent me:

    "Mr. Kelber, you are simply wrong in your "LaborTalk" of 10-15-03. The State Federations and CLC's should not have voting power equal to affiliated unions at the National AFL-CIO. Simply put, the affiliated unions pay millions of dollars in per capita, we pay none. The Executive Council, General Board and especially the convention are rightfully the place where per capita strength should be exercised. We in the AFL-CIO work for and provide service for the affiliates. This is one State that respects the principle of per capita strength." Mark T. Gaffney, president, Michigan State AFL-CIO.
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    Labor boss gets 34 months in prison By Denise Lavoie
    Before the sentencing, Cashman apologized to his family and to the Teamsters, saying he had made some 'selfish,' 'stupid,' and 'well-meaning' mistakes.

    'I tried to do my best for the working men and women of Local 25,' he said. 'I can't un-ring the bell and take away the wrong things I did. But I wish more than anything that I could.'

    Cashman was to begin serving his sentence immediately. He was also fined $30,000.

    Cashman, 54, a trucker from Revere, was elected president of the Teamsters local in 1991, promising to clean up corruption within the union. He became a force in state politics through his support of Republican Govs. William Weld and Paul Cellucci.
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    :: Sunday, October 19, 2003 ::
    Youngsters send message against union-busting Workday Minnesota
    They wore signs, tied on sandwich-board style, that read, “Union-busting attorneys Seaton Beck Peters Bowen & Feuss are trying to take away my dad’s benefits.”

    The Edina law firm represents JT Electric Service, Inc., an Albany, Minn., contractor that is trying to back out as a signatory with Local 292, organizer Robbie Crofoot said. The contract with JT Electric went into effect May 1, but the company is refusing to pay into the health insurance, pension and other benefit plans, he said.
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    Irony in deal with Pepsi is hard to miss By Mike Langberg Mercury News
    One afternoon in March 1983, Steve Jobs, the brash 28-year-old founder of Apple Computer, stood on a Manhattan rooftop terrace overlooking the Hudson River. He faced John Sculley, the 44-year-old president of Pepsi, whom he very much wanted to recruit and uttered a line that's become a Silicon Valley legend:

    "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?'' Sculley later recalled in his autobiography.

    Twenty years later, it turns out changing the world occasionally includes selling sugar water.
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    Doonesbury Oct 18, 2003
    The following rant is a public service message to an incredible 69% of Americans.
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    Theft, vandalism costing building firms millions By Gerry Bellett Vancouver Sun
    One of the big targets for thieves are four-by-eight tongue- and-groove plywood sheets, the price of which has risen 50 to 75 per cent recently thanks to the U.S. government buying them up following the war in Iraqi.

    'It's a case of supply and demand. Ten sheets of plywood are worth $1,000,' said Keenan.

    'They'll come after the plywood has been delivered to be used for roofing. The thieves could be trades working on the site -- which makes it cannibalism -- or someone who has cased it out beforehand,' he said.

    The thieves invariably use white panel trucks whose rear or side doors make loading contraband relatively simple.

    Thieves prey on construction sites By MELANIE LAGESCHULTE Des Moines Register
    Arnie Porath, public information officer for the Ankeny Police Department, said officials have received at least three reports of plywood stolen from job sites since early September.

    Sgt. Dave Disney, spokesman for the Urbandale Police Department, said construction-site thefts in his city have recently shifted from tools to materials.

    Salem said plywood may seem like an unlikely target, but its price has jumped from $5 to $20 or higher per sheet in the past year, giving a 50-count pallet of plywood a retail value of $1,000 or more.

    'The theft is in the plywood because it's the item with the biggest markup,' Salem said, adding that suppliers have told him several hurricanes and the rebuilding of Iraq are to blame for price increase.

    Plywood prices hit new highs this year - Wet weather plays a role in shortage By Tracy Meadowcroft
    Debbie Tingley, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Builders Association, said she's never seen such an acute shortage of plywood during her 20 years with the association.

    "There's no indiction at this time as to when supplies will go back up," Tingley added.

    She added it's been many years since the last price increase, which was caused by a tax on Canadian lumber.
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    Apprentice tile finisher breaks workplace gender barriers By L.A. JOHNSON
    She's a rare breed. Only seven of the local union's 1,800 active members are women, and only 1 to 2 percent of the international union's 100,000 members are women.
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    More labor conflicts expected over health care costs By Alex Veiga
    LOS ANGELES -- When West Coast longshoremen and shipping companies ended their labor dispute in January, union officials boasted that the new contract would set a standard for organized labor.

    Among its provisions was no-cost health insurance, prompting an AFL-CIO official to remark that longshoremen 'won a historic contract which sets a much-needed benchmark in health care, pensions and living standards.'

    For many of the country's workers that benchmark is already shifting, as employers face soaring health care costs and ask workers to shoulder a greater share of the burden. Workers are resisting, giving rise to labor conflicts in California and elsewhere.
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    Worker's fall leads to OSHA inquiry By Andrew Dys
    N.C. man survived plunge from Catawba River bridge
    OSHA is mandated to investigate only workplace fatalities or incidents in which three or more workers require overnight hospitalization.
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    Australia: Anger at preventable workplace death By Amy Lawson
    The Labour Council of NSW is pushing for the State Government to implement what could become known as 'Joel's Law' - a criminal charge of industrial manslaughter, which would carry a maximum fine of $5 million and up to 25 years' jail.

    Labour Council secretary John Robertson said Joel's death 'reinforces the need to do something as quickly as possible'.

    'His life was stolen away largely because of inaction on behalf of his employer in looking after his wellbeing and safety,' he said.
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    :: Saturday, October 18, 2003 ::
    U.S. softwood import duties back before NAFTA panel Canadian Press
    The United States hasn't relented on the issue of anti-dumping duties assessed on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, but the matter is back before a free-trade panel.

    The Canadian government expressed disappointment, but said it will continue to fight the duties.
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    New labor alliance looks to help Gephardt By Brian C. Mooney
    At a news conference in Washington, the labor leaders said the new group, called the Alliance for Economic Justice, will seek special status under the Internal Revenue Service code to spend union money to communicate with members and promote key labor issues and political candidates.
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    Citizens strike back in intelligence war New Scientist
    With the recent demise of the Bush administration's controversial Terrorist Information Awareness (TIA) programme to monitor everyone in the US, citizens now have a chance to get their own back. A website to be launched later in 2003 will allow people to post information about the activities of government organisations, officials and the judiciary.

    Open Government Information Awareness
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    No log exports from TFL 38 By John French
    The number of raw logs leaving B.C. for processing is up significantly — but there are no raw logs leaving Squamish’s working forest.

    Labour leaders are unhappy with the practice of exporting raw logs because it means that jobs are being taken away from mill workers in B.C.
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    Kennedy Graphics Stock Design Stickers Union Made In The USA

    UNION RAGS Union T-Shirts

    Tigereye Design Union made promotional items

    No Sweat Union-Made Casual Apparel
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    Daschle, labor nix U.S. asbestos fund proposal By Susan Cornwell (Reuters)
    Democrats and labor said on Friday that a proposed $114 billion fund for asbestos victims was too small and had no chance in the Senate, darkening prospects for an asbestos deal passing Congress this year.

    'It won't be passed if this is the final offer,' Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle said of the asbestos fund agreed to by insurers and asbestos companies and announced earlier this week by Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist.
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    :: Friday, October 17, 2003 ::
    1 UNION "MAID" MADE OLD BEER BOTTLE CAP eBay item 3247219936 (Ends Oct-18-03 13:13:55 PDT)
    1863 UNION TOKEN: UNITED WE STAND eBay item 3052760482 (Ends Oct-18-03 15:05:01 PDT)
    Old Union Badge: educate organize control eBay item 3247217285 (Ends Oct-18-03 12:56:10 PDT)
    UNION STICKER "PROUD TO BE UNION" eBay item 3631413296 (Ends Oct-18-03 12:49:33 PDT)
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    Unions' Strange War on Options The Intelligencer
    For months the AFL-CIO has been agitating for publicly held companies to get rid of stock options as a component of employee compensation, claiming that options themselves act as a 'powerful incentive for executives to manipulate earnings and engage in accounting fraud.'

    Instead, the enormous labor union - today, it should be noted in this context, dominated by government employees - suggests grants of 'restricted stock,' which is given at current prices but typically not vested for several years.

    It never has been clear why such a switch would be good for rank-and-file workers. A new survey by Mellon Financial Corp. shows that restricting the use of options probably would harm the rank-and-file.
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    Canadian survey on youth health and safety in the workplace Canada NewsWire
    'With 57 deaths and over 62,000 injuries among young Canadian workers in 2001, health and safety is a major issue which deserves heightened awareness and real action within this particular age group', says Ms. Ann Marie Hann, President of the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC). 'The young workers surveyed consistently showed a definite lack of training in the workplace. This has to change, and rapidly'.
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    Commander George's Traveling Road Show! flash animation by Mark Fiore
    Amazing Oddities! Baffling Policies! Only $87 Billion!

    Keeping dissent invisible How the Secret Service and the White House keep protesters safely out of Bush's sight -- and off TV.
    By Dave Lindorff
    PHILADELPHIA -- When Bill Neel learned that President George W. Bush was making a Labor Day campaign visit to Pittsburgh last year to support local congressional candidates, the retired Pittsburgh steelworker decided that he would be on hand to protest the president's economic policies. Neel and his sister made a hand-lettered sign reading 'The Bushes must love the poor -- they've made so many of us,' and headed for a road where the motorcade would pass on the way from the airport to a Carpenters' Union training center.
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    Forest industry group recommends rejecting union contract bid as too costly By STEVE MERTL
    A strike would affect more than two dozen mills and associated logging operations. Many IWA members are already idle because of mill shutdowns due to market conditions and the impact of the 27 per cent U.S. tariff on softwood lumber.

    British Columbia's economic growth lagging: RBC Economics Canada NewsWire
    'B.C.'s economic growth has been hampered by several factors, particularly U.S. countervailing duties on softwood lumber exports, weak U.S. demand for manufactured products, a stronger Canadian dollar, sharply lower migration and depressed tourism,' said Derek Holt, assistant chief economist, RBC. 'On an optimistic note, the province's growth prospects could likely improve if the outcome of the U.S. International Trade Commission's ruling on B.C.'s softwood lumber industry is in its favour.'

    First Nations Offer Alternative to Softwood Lumber Tariff Stalemate 'Canada's policies regarding the non-recognition of aboriginal and treaty rights does not only violate the constitution and the direction of the Supreme Court of Canada, it also violates international trade law. A long-term solution to the softwood lumber dispute has to involve Indian tribes.'

    Weyerhaeuser downgraded to junk status By Gordon Hamilton
    Fitch says the softwood lumber duties -- draining $25 million US to $27 million US a quarter in revenues that could otherwise be used to pay down debt -- were a factor in the decision to downgrade the company.
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    :: Thursday, October 16, 2003 ::
    related links re: leaked 13 page NUP memo
    New Unity Partnership document 200 dpi scans

    NUP01.jpg 625x528 pixels page 1 - reduced file size
    7. Politics
    - meet with Karl Rove

    NUP02.jpg 606x745 pixels page 2 - reduced file size
    American union members and leaders face a choice:
    . Make history by fundamentally changing their unions to respond to today's employers, or
    . Continue current practices and preside over organized labor's continued decline.

    The New Unity Partnership, A Manifest Destiny for Labor By JOANN WYPIJEWSKI

    Gang of Five’ Union Leaders Plot Radical Takeover of AFL-CIO LaborTalk (September 17, 2003) By Harry Kelber
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    2003 Mid-Term Conference Canadian Labour Congress Mid-Term Conference
    October 17 - 19, 2003 Ottawa Marriot Hotel
    Activists and leaders from Canadian unions and the International Labour Movement can take advantage of this opportunity to exchange ideas, share their experience as it relates to the growth of jobs in the high-tech and service sectors, using the Internet and new communication technologies to attract new members, and new forms of union membership and new union services that are working.
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    Busted By Jonathan Tasini
    Far from the headlines and with little fanfare, corporations spend huge sums of money and resources to attack workers and frustrate their desire to exercise basic democratic rights at work. Corporate America has created a multi-billion dollar industry of anti-union lawyers and consultants who abuse Americans every day by twisting or breaking the law, which, in theory, gives people the right to democratically vote for a union. This union-busting industry, operating outside the public eye, has become the tool that has successfully made a shambles of a national policy that declared collective bargaining a social good and, as the Wagner Act declared in 1935, recognized the right of workers to "self-organization, to form, to join or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through the representatives of their choosing.
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    Accord Reached On Asbestos Fund (washingtonpost.com) By Albert B. Crenshaw
    Negotiators for asbestos manufacturers and their insurers, under pressure from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), have reached agreement on funding for a national trust fund that is being proposed to pay the claims of people made ill by exposure to the fibrous mineral, parties to the dispute said yesterday.

    But labor union and trial-lawyer groups, which weren't involved in the Frist talks, called the funding inadequate.
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    Australia - Government out of control: ACTU A plan to remove nurses, teachers and university staff's right to strike was a sign the federal government was out of control, ACTU boss Sharan Burrow said.

    Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews has indicated legislation to broaden the powers of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to suspend industrial action where it was 'inappropriate' would be introduced soon.
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    :: Wednesday, October 15, 2003 ::
    Detroit Symphony Plays Concert to Thank Workforce That Built Its Music Hall By Mark Stryker
    No audience will ever look at the new Max M. Fisher Music Center the way the men and women who built the place did as they showed up for a special concert in their honor Friday night.

    These weren't the wealthy donors who paid for the Max. These were the men and women from 23 unions who laid foundations, raised walls and, and among their final touches, bolted into place the heavy plaques honoring the donors.
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    Australia: Union calls for tougher laws after teen's death By Brad Norington, Industrial Editor
    Unions want a specific crime of industrial manslaughter with hefty penalties in cases of workplace accidents resulting in death where the employer is found at fault.

    The CFMEU wants a special offence of industrial manslaughter because it says existing penalties such as fines or shutting down a workplace are not sufficient.
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    OSHA Issues Safety and Heath Information Bulletin on Mold U.S. Newswire
    A new Safety and Health Information Bulletin issued by OSHA today gives recommendations on how to prevent mold growth and how to protect workers involved in the prevention and cleanup of mold. Indoor exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks in some individuals.
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    Unions covering fewer of Canada's workers By VIRGINIA GALT, Labour Reporter
    Canadian unions are struggling to regain lost ground as a growing proportion of the work force is employed in non-union operations.

    The Canadian labour movement needs to organize between 150,000 and 200,000 new members a year to stem further declines in union density, the Canadian Labour Congress says in a frank assessment of its slippage.
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    Indiana: Builder files wage schedules for IPFW work, company president says By Linda Lipp
    Local project superintendent Tony Bruscino previously has blamed the controversy on organizers with the carpenters union who were unhappy they did not get work on the $16.3 million project.
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    :: Tuesday, October 14, 2003 ::
    Victory for union democracy: Carpenters win right to elect regional council officers by Carl Biers
    In a major victory for union democracy, New England carpenters have won the right to directly elect the officers of their regional council. On October 8, federal judge Richard Stearns in Massachusetts directed the U.S. Department of Labor to order the New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERC) to hold officer elections. The NERC represents 27,000 carpenters in 26 locals from Connecticut to Maine.
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    63 International Presidents Are Asked If They Will Support Fair Union Elections LaborTalk By Harry Kelber
    The following letter (marked "confidential") has been sent to the presidents of the AFL-CIO's 63 international unions, asking their help to ensure that there will be free and fair elections at the federation's 2005 convention.

    October 6, 2003
    Dear President ______:
    We are asking you and the other 62 AFL-CIO international union presidents, who together represent 13 million union members, to rectify a grossly discriminatory practice that is damaging labor's public image and helping anti-union employers to defeat organizing campaigns.
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    Workers look to future projects as Big Dig nears end By STEVE LEBLANC
    The unprecedented scope and duration of the $14.6 billion highway project has given workers like McPhail something others might take for granted: a dependable job and regular paycheck.

    At its peak - from 1997-2002 - the Big Dig employed about 4,600 workers from various construction trades, including ironworkers and a battery of carpenters, laborers, pipefitters and electrical workers.
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    Buffalo News - Steelmaker reaches out to labor, environmentalists By JOHN NOLAN
    MIDDLETOWN, Ohio - AK Steel Corp. is embarking on a more conciliatory approach toward environmentalists and regulators after shaking up its management ranks last month.

    At the urging of the company's board, interim chief executive James Wainscott has begun a new era since his Sept. 18 promotion. He met with an environmentalist to help foster communication and huddled with United Steelworkers union officials before they jointly announced an agreement to try to work out disputes lingering from a bitter, 39-month worker lockout that ended last year at AK Steel's Mansfield plant.
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    :: Monday, October 13, 2003 ::
    A nasty splinter: Home builders deal with skyrocketing lumber costs By ALAN J. HEAVENS
    Unless you and your family are loggers, the price of lumber isn't usually a topic of dinner table discussion.

    But it is definitely a talking point among builders and U.S. and Canadian officials and the logging industries there.
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    CBC News: Vancouver 'squeegee kids' band together Those who have joined the Industrial Workers of the World's, Vancouver chapter, don't pay union dues, and they haven't negotiated a contract with any employer.

    But they vote for their leadership and hold workshops about educating members on their rights.
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    Canadian Thanksgiving By Steve Holland
    "A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed...to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October."

    Who invented Thanksgiving? American settlers and colonists? No, they did not create Thanksgiving. Actually, the first "thanksgiving" was held in Canada 43 years before the pilgrims gave thanks in 1621.

    When Europeans arrived in North America they brought their traditions and practices with them. In Europe farmers celebrated their harvest times to acknowledge their thanks for good seasons and harvests. They would fill cornucopias, usually a curved goat's horn, with fruits and grains. When Europeans arrived in Canada it is thought they brought this practice with them and it became part of the Canadian Thanksgiving tradition.

    The first Thanksgiving was observed around 1578. Martin Frobisher, an English navigator who was searching for the Spice Islands, landed on Baffin Island. He established a settlement and held the first ceremony of thanksgiving in what is now Newfoundland. The celebration was to give thanks for surviving the long sea journey. As other settlers arrived, they continued these thanksgiving celebrations.
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    U.S. May Expand Access To Endangered Species (washingtonpost.com) By Shankar Vedantam
    The Bush administration is proposing far-reaching changes to conservation policies that would allow hunters, circuses and the pet industry to kill, capture and import animals on the brink of extinction in other countries.
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    :: Sunday, October 12, 2003 ::
    $87,000,000,000.00 A Little Perspective on $87 billion.
    "A billion here, a billion there. Pretty soon it starts to add up to some real money."
    But $87 billion is an impossibly high number for anyone to visualize. Let's have a look....
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    Gephardt gets food workers' endorsement By Brian C. Mooney
    Representative Richard A. Gephardt today will bag another big labor endorsement, this one from the United Food and Commercial Workers union, with well over 1 million members nationwide.

    The UFCW is the 17th of the 64 AFL-CIO unions to back the Missourian's candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. It is the fourth-largest union in the labor federation.
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    A moment with ... Linda Chavez-Thompson, AFL-CIO executive vice president
    Linda Chavez-Thompson joined the work force at 10, weeding cotton fields in South Texas for 30 cents an hour.

    Nearly 50 years later, she stands as perhaps the most powerful woman in the U.S. labor movement -- the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO.

    After leaving school at 16, Chavez-Thompson worked her way up the ranks of organized labor, starting in 1967 as a bilingual secretary in a local union hall.

    The Seattle Post-Intelligencer spent some time with Chavez-Thompson on the eve of her visit to Seattle for the Biennial Convention for the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
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    :: Saturday, October 11, 2003 ::
    BC Federation of Labour: Do The Right Thing, Ban Log Exports
    Federation calls on BC Liberals to stop shipping jobs south
    Vancouver - "What’s wrong with this picture? Unemployment is way up and log export volumes are about to set a new record high," asked Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour.

    "I’ll tell you what’s wrong. We got a government in Victoria that thinks this is okay and they are prepared to sit on their hands while our high quality logs head south and our mills sit idle," said Sinclair.
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    Raw B.C. logs go into U.S. duty-free By Gordon Hamilton
    Federation of Labour wants B.C. log exports and softwood dispute linked

    The B.C. Federation of Labour called for a complete ban on provincial log exports Friday, saying that Victoria must act to end the record volumes of logs heading out of the country.
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    Forbes.com: Union wants B.C. lumber firms to vote on offer 'We believe that the individual member companies represented by the employers' bargaining association should have a chance to vote on this offer before they are led headlong into a dispute by FIR and a few of the big companies,' IWA president Dave Haggard said.
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    Record log exports raise alarm By Gordon Hamilton
    British Columbia exported a record number of logs last year -- almost one in every four sawlogs harvested on the coast -- raising alarms from both workers and manufacturing companies that too much raw timber is leaving the province.
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    :: Friday, October 10, 2003 ::
    So, What's With the Price of Plywood? By David Lombino
    Plywood, a bread-and-butter commodity of the area's strong construction industry, has more than doubled in price in the last three months, and is currently selling at its all-time high.
    Distributors blame the spike on an untimely combination of factors that include an increase in demand, a decrease in supply and a large government purchase of plywood for the reconstruction effort in Iraq. Some area builders, who fear that the increase will rob them of profits, claim price-gouging.
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    OSHA Accused Of Neglecting Employees' Health By Brian Faler
    A regional administrator for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency charged with protecting the public from hazards in the workplace, has accused the office of neglecting the health of its own employees.
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    A woman's place is on the job By Kevin Zimmerman
    Donata Wolterding, a journeywoman carpenter with Local 111, has spent the last 14 years in this male-dominated profession. She's been working on the Route 3 project since November and expects to stay until the job is finished next spring.

    'It's not really a gender thing,' said Wolterding. 'The jobs are hard anyway. You just really need to apply yourself.'
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    Actor Tommy Chong Reports to Prison (washingtonpost.com) PITTSBURGH - Actor-comedian Tommy Chong reported to a privately run federal prison to serve his nine-month sentence for conspiring to sell bongs and other drug paraphernalia over the Internet even as his attorneys prepared to argue for his release pending appeal.
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    Carpenters protest use of non-union labor By Mary Ford
    The carpenters, who marched up Route 53 from the Weymouth Elks playing patriotic music, waving the American flag, and carrying posters saying 'justice for workers' and 'local jobs for local people,' staged their protest to coincide with last Friday's ceremonial groundbreaking for the complex, dubbed Linden Ponds.

    New Mexico firm denies misconduct By Ellen G. Lahr
    GREAT BARRINGTON -- A New Mexico carpentry firm fired back yesterday, a day after being accused of making sporadic, inaccurate payments to carpenters at the Simon's Rock College arts center project.
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    Women put the boots to ads CP
    WINDSOR -- Women in workboots declared victory yesterday when a footwear company succumbed to public pressure and announced it would take down about 600 sexually suggestive billboards across Canada. 'I'm glad that they've listened to consumers,' said Sandra Dominato, chairperson of Canadian Auto Workers Local 444's women's committee. 'This is a big victory for women in our workplaces.'
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    :: Thursday, October 09, 2003 ::
    Canadian Members of North America's Largest Construction Union Local Object to Interference by U.S. Headquarters Canada NewsWire
    Universal Workers Union Local 183 says interference is damaging Local's reputation and standing in Canadian communities
    Universal Workers Union Local 183 has announced action to challenge its relationship with the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA), stating that continued affiliation may not be in the best interests of its' 30,000 members, if the current treatment continues.
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    Sexist Billboards Dropped After CAW Campaign Canada NewsWire
    The Terra Footwear Company is dropping a national billboard advertising campaign that features scantily clad women in suggestive poses after the ads prompted an angry response from CAW members and a growing public backlash.

    'Nice boots' campaign draws unions' ire CBC News:
    WINNIPEG - Anger over a national billboard campaign has prompted the Manitoba Federation of Labour to call for a boycott of Terra Footwear, which sells protective boots.
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    60-foot fatal plunge investigated: Roofer's safety harness not on By Shelly Whitehead
    'But he didn't have his safety harness on -- it was rigged up, but he didn't have it on. So I've notified OSHA (the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration) about this because -- you have to have something like that on when you're on that high of an area.

    'So someone should take responsibility. My point is, if you don't wear that (harness), you don't get paid. That's a burning image there today.'
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    All eyes turn to DEP over contamination By Brian McCready
    MILFORD — Confronted Tuesday with news of further chemical contamination found in the city, residents and officials lashed out at the state, saying the Department of Environmental Protection should have dealt with the issue years ago.

    Carpenters Local 210 counsel Matthew Capece, who represents 25 carpenters who returned to the power plant site Monday, said the contamination at Caswell Cove validates the concerns of workers.
    'It just goes to confirm the problem workers face on the job site and that they are not alone,' Capece said.
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    :: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 ::
    Gephardt gets backing of 16th labor union By SAM HANANEL
    The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, which represents 120,000 workers, said it would back the Missouri congressman because of his commitment to American workers.
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    Canadians exempt from strict new rules at U.S. border 'until further notice' By STEVE ERWIN
    Tom Ridge said that 'until further notice,' Canadians, as well as Americans returning home from trips north of the border, won't be subject to the congressionally mandated US-VISIT entry-exit program.
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    We report, you get it wrong By Jim Lobe
    WASHINGTON - The more commercial television news you watch, the more wrong you are likely to be about key elements of the Iraq War and its aftermath, according to a major new study released in Washington on Thursday.
    And the more you watch the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News channel, in particular, the more likely it is that your perceptions about the war are wrong, adds the report by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA).
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    Colombian labor activist speaks out against Coca-Cola and U.S. military aid Workday Minnesota
    MINNEAPOLIS — Colombian trade unionist Luis Adolfo Cardona will be in the Twin Cities Oct. 14 to speak out against the brutal repression of union organizers at a Coca-Cola plant that has resulted in the death of six workers.
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    Lumps of Labor By PAUL KRUGMAN
    Economists call it the "lump of labor fallacy." It's the idea that there is a fixed amount of work to be done in the world, so any increase in the amount each worker can produce reduces the number of available jobs. (A famous example: those dire warnings in the 1950's that automation would lead to mass unemployment.) As the derisive name suggests, it's an idea economists view with contempt, yet the fallacy makes a comeback whenever the economy is sluggish.
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    Ironworker shaped Bay Area history By Corey Lyons
    BENICIA - Bill Katich is an old-school ironworker. He attacked bridges and buildings with a pair of callused hands, shaping history with a hard hat and an even harder head.

    The working poor aren't invited to the recovery By MARY JO MELONE
    Even though the heights unnerved him, he could live with being so far above the ground. He was an ironworker. It was his job to erect the big metal frame of new buildings.

    Cables come to Carquinez / First suspension bridge built in U.S. in 39 years spans strait
    By Michael Cabanatuan
    The committee also helped Caltrans choose the official name for the new span -- the Al Zampa Memorial Bridge -- in honor of the renowned ironworker who survived a fall from the Golden Gate Bridge while he was working on it, and helped build the two existing Carquinez Bridge cantilever spans -- in 1927 and 1958.
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    :: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 ::
    The New Unity Partnership, A Manifest Destiny for Labor By JOANN WYPIJEWSKI
    Since unions are supposed to be organizations of workers, we at CounterPunch thought the members might like the opportunity to review a document cobbled up by five union presidents outlining big plans to spend the workers' money, consolidate their unions and revamp institutional labor -- whether by breaking with the AFL-CIO or destroying it and remaking it in the image of this particular gang of five is not entirely clear. Members aren't likely to get this opportunity through any formal union channels. Published here with an assist from Carpenters for a Democratic Union, the draft program of the New Unity Partnership, or, less alluringly, NUP, is long on the language of management theory ("growth", "density", "market share") and short on such fuddy-duddy concepts as "class", "worker participation", "social movements" or "democracy".

    That is hardly unusual for union bureaucrats. The twist here is that the NUP project is trading on the progressive credentials of SEIU's Andy Stern, HERE's John Wilhelm , UNITE's Bruce Raynor and, to a lesser extent, the Laborers' Terry O'Sullivan to present itself as the vanguard of militant unionism, holding aloft the banner "Organize or Die!", a rather ugly slogan formulated by their rather ugly partner, the right-wing president of the Carpenters union, Doug McCarron.
    This section bears the hoofprint of the Carpenters' McCarron, who pulled out of the AFL in 2001 and has feted George W. at two Labor Day picnics. A cheap date, he got a visit on Air Force One.
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