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  • WIN Week In Review: December 30, 2016
    Print Icon Dec 30, 2016

    The nation’s largest nurses’ union is calling on the Senate to reject the nomination of Representative Tom Price, Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    JoAnne Powers reports. National Nurses United Spokesperson Charles Idelson:

    [Charles Idelson]: “Our union represents registered nurses.  They are that canaries in the Coal Mine…the ones who see the effects of the horrific priorities of this nation.  They see people all the time who are continuing to suffer from the ongoing consequences of a health care system that’s based on ability to pay and profiteering and not on patient need.  The Price nomination will make that crisis for so many people far worse .“


    Two million dollars a day.

    That's how much Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to fine AFSCME.

    Angry that AFSCME Council 31 went to the state courts to block him from imposing labor terms on state workers, Rauner filed an unfair labor practice charge against AFSCME.

    A temporary restraining order was issued by an Illinois circuit court judge blocking Rauner from forcing his labor terms on state workers. The temporary restraining order against Rauner requires the state of Ilinois to keep the current contract terms extended until a new hearing.

    Rauner wants to demolish collective bargaining and force cuts on state workers. He's refused to sign a state budget for two years because the state legislature and the unions won't let him trample worker rights.

    AFSCME says not only is Rauner's unfair labor charge frivolous, but the $2 million a day that he claims AFSCME's legal action is costing taxpayers is "total fiction."


    The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint alleging that over a thousand truckers at 280 Menards’ stores in 14 states have been misclassified as independent contractors, instead of employees.

      Seth Goldstein, Senior Business Representative with Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 153 in New York.

    [Seth Goldstein]: “Well, this is the first time that I’m aware of that the NLRB has decided that misclassifying employees constitutes a deprivation of union rights, and is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act. 

    In a sense it constitutes a more activist role by the NLRB, the board, as far as making sure that all employees are included under the National Labor Relations Act.  I think that it moves our ability to organize a step further than we had it previously."


    With an incoming U.S. federal government likely to be hostile to organized labor, states like California could play a greater role in trying to advance labor rights.

    Los Angeles, for example, has adopted a $15 an hour minimum wage. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says workers still have allies in states and cities across the country who are not giving up the fight to improve workers' lives, whether they are in unions or not.

    [Mayor Eric Garcetti]: "In Los Angeles there were 600,000 people who got a raise - and most of them are not union members yet. So we know we are doing this for our brothers and sisters who don't have the luxury yet of a union - don't have that voice behind them."

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