They said it; we posted it: interesting and noteworthy quotes about workplace issues and current events.
"[Blowing the whistle on your employer] is like being a skunk at a picnic. Win or lose, you've probably ruined your reputation, and perhaps even your health. "
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa)
"It hasn't been proven in the past that success goes hand in hand with workers' benefits. [about TeamX, a sweatshop-free apparel manufacturer that is currently struggling financially] "
Nancy Oshima, TeamX director of administration
"It's frustrating when you hear you're overqualified. What do you say? 'But sir, I need this job!' "
Carmen Polson, 49, unemployed since May 2002
"Logically, you'd come to the conclusion that you will see women in more positions of real power, and in this society that means in higher-paid jobs and higher political positions. [discussing the growing gender gap in educational institutions]"
Susan Weininger, director of the School of Liberal Studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago
"Effective participation by members of all racial and ethnic groups in the civic life of our Nation is essential if the dream of one Nation, indivisible, is to be realized."
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Michigan affirmative action opinion)
"Now you've come back as yourself."
President George W. Bush to a transgendered former classmate at a recent Yale reunion
"[Adding sexual orientation to our antidiscrimination policy is] the right thing to do for our employees. We want all of our associates to feel they are valued and treated with respect?no exceptions. And it's the right thing to do for our business."
Mona Williams, Wal-Mart vice president for communications
"It's kind of hard to ignore 29 people who are four-star generals or on a similar level. Nor should anyone ignore what they have to say."
Joe Reeder, author of the military amicus brief filed in the Michigan affirmative action cases.
"Our citizens are working longer hours than ever before ? longer than in any other industrial nation....Protecting the 40-hour workweek is vital to balancing work responsibilities and family needs."
Democratic senators opposing proposed changes to overtime regulations
"But bestiality? Is Justice Scalia truly stumped by the task of distinguishing between two men having consensual sex and an act of intercourse between a man and a sheep? Does the meaning of "consenting adult" cross the species barrier for Justice Scalia?"
Sherry Colb, commenting on Justice Scalia's dissent in the Texas sodomy law decision
"Overtime is not a luxury. It is a necessity for many of our American families."
Rep. George Miller (D-CA), during Congressional debate on changes to overtime regulations
"It really is a bit much if the job center assumes that the best thing is for you to try your luck in a whorehouse [after being referred by the German government's job center to a "massage parlor" that was actually a brothel]."
unidentified unemployed German woman
"We're closing firehouses and laying off policemen. It's difficult to hire a kid when you've fired his father."
Tim McCarthy, the director of the Boston Youth Fund, about hiring teenagers this summer
"One justice is 83-years-old, another has cancer and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire?"
Rev. Pat Robertson, about liberal U.S. Supreme Court justices
"It's the toughest time since the recession began to be out there looking for work. "
Steve Hine, acting research director for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
"The recession may be over for President Bush, but it's not over by a long shot for millions of unemployed workers. As we've seen with the war in Iraq, we may declare victory, but we will continue to suffer casualties from this recession. "
Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA)
"It's a workers paradox that the years we most need a real vacation are the years we feel least free to take them. "
Lisa Belkin, New York Times "Life's Work" columnist
"Hundreds of federal employees risk their careers to blow the whistle, only to find that no one is home to hear it. It's like dialing 911 and being put on hold. "
Jeff Ruch, president of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
"People are flogging their workers to get more out of them as a means to increase profits, coupled with the fact that there's more supply than demand for labor today."
Steven Gross, compensation consultant
"There is a ticking time bomb of concern among American people about the economy...Employers need to think about what are the consequences to not giving people a soft landing when they do have to cut back their workforce. "
Carl Van Horn, coauthor, The Disposable Worker
"The AFL-CIO is a block from the White House. It might as well be in Omaha, Neb., in terms of its access. Labor feels frozen out. Their agenda is not the agenda of this administration."
Harley Shaiken, professor of labor and politics, UC-Berkeley
"But it's really about employees looking out for themselves and employers looking out for their businesses. It's not the American workplace of my father's generation. It's not a lifelong relationship. We're not married anymore, we're dating. "
Carl E. Van Horn, Rutgers professor of public policy
"The most stressed commuters backbite, make cutting remarks, purposely don't return phone calls and do all kinds of passive-aggressive things that interfere with work. We're not saying they're lunatics, but they sure can throw a wrench into things..."
Dwight Hennessy of SUNY College-Buffalo
"Wal-Mart is vehemently anti-union. They spend more time and money screening for union sympathizers than any company I know because they don't want us there. They want to continue to treat people poorly. "
Jorge Ramirez, exec. dir. of UFCW Local 1546 (Chicago)
"If President Bush can head to the ranch for a month, why shouldn't the Fair Labor Standards Act be amended so that every American who has worked at a job for at least a year gets three weeks' vacation time annually, at minimum?"
Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor, The Nation
"[Delta CEO Leo Mullin] hemmed and hawed a little bit, and said, 'Well, the best way to protect your pension is to see that we stay out of bankruptcy.' I realized that I'd just lost my only hope. Now I feel like it's every man for himself. "
Retiring Delta pilot Capt. Dave Davis
"My company is laying people off right and left. If I want to keep my job, I need to prove myself. I work like a dog, but I don't see any other option."
Jennifer Richards, 27, a Boston lawyer
"There's no reason to pay someone else to do it if they can say to me, 'You've got to stay two or three extra hours to get it done.' "
Bob Adams, supermarket bakery manager, of proposed overtime changes
"This administration is just at war with federal employees. . . . Government jobs are just being given away to contractors. . . . we have to publicize. . . how these agencies are just being dismantled from the inside."
John Gage, newly-elected president of AFGE
"This civil rights demonstration is not confined to the Negro; nor is it confined to civil rights....We know that we have no future in which six million black and white people are unemployed, and millions more live in poverty."
A. Philip Randolph, 1963 March on Washington
"[N]o one needs that much money to motivate them to do a good job. The idea that anyone needs that much money for motivation is ludicrous. [referring to reports of NYSE head Dick Grasso's $139.5 million compensation package]"
George Washington University law professor Theresa Gabaldon
"I've got a college degree and I'm washing cars. I'm working, but I'd like a good job. If the idea is for business to employ as few people as possible and keep their pay as low as possible ? well, how's that good for me? Who speaks for me?"
Andy Fortuna, San Jose, CA
"The agony of the jobless deserves the fullest attention of the president and his eager rivals, and federal action more ambitious than the addition of employment for one happy undersecretary in the Commerce Department."
New York Times editorial (9/3/03)
"[W]hen you clock in, you must perform an honest day's work for an honest day's pay; but you need not have the company logo tattooed on your chest. If there were a taboo against taking a job you didn't love, half the country would be out of work..."
Randy Cohen, "The Ethicist"
"Despite [USERRA], which prohibits [military service] discrimination, we understand that when a dispute with an employer arises, the reservist always loses ? even if the employer is forced to take us back."
Lt. Col. Mark L. Kimmey, U.S. Army Reserve
"In any employment decision, there's discrimination. Universities hire smart people."
Jim Towey, director, White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives
"Very wealthy people who get tax breaks will invest that money wherever...they'll get a good return on investment. Maybe it's good for the global economy, but it doesn't help people in this country struggling to keep themselves above water... "
Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor
"Sweatshops are one of these things that is not improving the lives of anyone, but propagating exploitation and poverty. "
Camila Leiva, 16, of Guilderland High School (NY).
"[Workers] really rely on their overtime now not only to just buy the nice things they want for their families, but in some cases to actually make the payment on the house or to buy the insurance policy they need for the kids."
Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO), who joined Senate Democrats in opposing overtime reform
"[The ruling] transforms Congress' cautious and partial encouragement of arbitration into an unequivocal and all-encompassing invitation to employers to refuse to hire, and even to fire, workers who wish to exercise their jury trial rights."
the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt, dissent in mandatory arbitration decision
"The labor market showed a little bit of life. However, one month does not erase all of the pain we have seen. [referring to recent labor statistics]"
Drew T. Matus, economist, Lehman Brothers
"You have got to make things...I look down the road and see disintegration of every other kind of economic opportunity if we don't try to reverse this loss of manufacturing jobs. "
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, about the closing of the Carrier plant in Syracuse
"Guys are struggling on the floor, at risk all the time, to make $400,000. Who makes those salaries? Greed is not good, greed is a sin. [criticizing compensation of top stock exchange executives]"
Patrick Collins, a New York Stock Exchange seat holder
"Companies that engage in [age discrimination] are so blind; they are shooting themselves in the foot. Within a couple of years or so they will be fighting for many of these workers and have to pay a premium for them."
Paul Kaihla, senior writer, Business 2.0
"It's about all of us. You could say this is the bill for people with DNA. This is the bill for people with flawed DNA -- That's all of us too. [speaking of S. 1053, a bill that would outlaw genetic discrimination] "
Dr. Francis Collins, director, National Human Genome Research Institute
"[Health care] is the single most vexatious bargaining issue now. Employers and unions can't control costs. They can only argue and push back and forth about who absorbs those costs."
Peter J. Hurtgen, head of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services
"[American workers] have lost their seniority and their confidence that they can ride out succeeding waves of layoffs. And they see now that education does not protect them anymore....It shakes their faith in their capacity to control their lives."
Katherine Newman, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard sociologist
"If NAFTA has robbed us of 750,000 manufacturing jobs, can you imagine what adding 30 more countries will do? It will make FTAA the Incredible Hulk of job destruction."
Richard L. Trumka, AFL-CIO national secretary-treasurer
"[With] temporary employment, lower wages and decreased benefits, more Americans are taking on dual jobs to support their families...bringing more stress to the workplace and...home. Americans have become workaholics and that behavior leads to rage."
Dr. David M. Boje, New Mexico State University management professor
"When you skimp on trust and wellness and harmony, and you overwork your staff, as soon as the economy shifts, you're going to take hits... people won't want to work for that company in the future, when they do have a choice again."
Alice Buckner, a human resources and organization development specialist
"The workplace sucks. Humor is absolutely, incontrovertibly necessary for all businesses that choose success....It's the single most important ingredient in the workplace."
Ann Fry, author, "Laughing Matters: The Value of Humor in the Workplace."
"One of the current favorite tricks of companies is to say, 'We're laying off you, and you, and you. Now you, you get to keep your job, but you have to go to India or teach a bunch of Indians your job.' "
Tim Rowledge, unemployed software engineer, California
"[T]here's just one question I'd like to ask all those titans of industry who are laying people off and outsourcing all those jobs overseas: 'Who do you think you're going to be able to sell your products and services to here in the U.S.?'"
Pam Shira Fleetman, unemployed technical writer (Acton, MA)
"There is no question that company managers are trying to squeeze every ounce they can from their existing employees before they give in to hiring."
Nariman Bahravesh, chief economist at Global Insight
"If a perfectly healthy grocery management succeeds in eliminating the health plans and other benefits of 70,000, it is a very dangerous sign for the middle class in cities across America. [referring to the SoCal grocery workers strike] "
Kent Wong, analyst at the UCLA Labor Center
"People are putting in 40 and 50 hours a week, and there's not enough time for anything. There is an alternative. "
Gretchen Burger, Take Back Your Time
"A company official who willfully and recklessly violates federal OSHA laws stands a greater chance of winning a state lottery than being criminally charged."
1988 Congressional report on OSHA
"I'm trying not to cry, but it really scares me....I was afraid I wouldn't have an income, and you don't know what that's like until you face it. [about Congress' failure to authorize extended unemployment benefits] "
Sharon Walker, unemployed North Carolina worker
""[W]ith the limitations that we citizens impose on our government -- limitations on both expenditures and on perceptions -- government has a very hard time getting the pay-for-performance details even close to right."
Robert D. Behn, Harvard lecturer and author
"At no other point in this nation's last five recovery periods have so many people been employed as independent contractors, as temporarily self-employed, or paid under the table. "
Andrew M. Sum, Northeastern University labor economist
"All we're asking is that the shareholders be allowed to vote on the compensation. And if the C.E.O. is going to be paid more than 100 times the average worker, we want to know why."
Daniel J. Steininger, chairman, Catholic Funds
"Certainly if you're at the low end of the wage scale, you'll be asking yourself, where's the recovery, because you wouldn't have shared in it."
Nigel Gault, director of U.S. economic research at Global Insight
"We want people to realize that the 10 cents they may save on a jar of pickles could mean paying another $5 in taxes for all the extra visits to local emergency rooms."
Los Angeles councilman Eric Garcetti, in opposition to Wal-Mart's expansion in L.A.
"George Bush says the economy is creating jobs. But let me tell you, China is one long commute. "
Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), Senate minority leader
"Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade. More things are tradable than were tradable in the past. And that's a good thing. "
N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisors
"They're watching soap operas and drinking beer. It's living hell. The discouraged worker is beaten down by the weight of rejection. Their money is running out, their self-esteem is at an all-time low."
Damian Birkel, career counselor and founder of Professionals in Transition Support Group
"For those of you looking for work out there, take advantage of the opportunities available to embetter yourself."
President George W. Bush, speaking to workers in Harrisburg, PA
"Even if [outsourcing] is better for the country in the long run, you've got to do something for the people who get run over by the truck on the way."
David Wyss, chief economist for Standard and Poor's
"There aren't any new middle-class 'postindustrial' or information-age jobs for displaced information-age workers. There are no opportunities to 'move up the food chain' or 'leverage our experience' into higher value-added jobs. "
John Pardon, information technology worker, Dayton, Ohio
"We don't have the social safety net we need to soften economic dislocation engendered by trade and changes in technology. We have to drive fear out of the workplace with...benefits: portable pensions, health care and money for retraining and education."
Bill Center, president, Washington Council on International Trade
"Consumers began the year on a high note, but their optimism has quickly given way to caution. Consumers remain disheartened with current economic conditions, and at the core of their disenchantment is the labor market."
Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center
"The Social Security retirement blanket will soon resemble a handkerchief. We're less certain that the Social Security and pension promises of yesterday will continue. Gen-Xers have been raised on broken promises."
M. Scott Boys, 33-year-old marketing manager from Ohio
"The bottom line is that pay in corporate America is like manure in agriculture. Spread it around, and it does a lot of good. But pile it up in one place, and it stinks. "
Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times columnist
"All employees have a need for time off. Depending on what the company provides, it either facilitates the abuse of sick leave or minimizes it. "
Clayton Osborne, vice president of human resources at Bausch & Lomb Inc.
"I've always been told to get a high school diploma so you can get a better job -- but there are no jobs out there. You can easily get depressed. But you have to fight it. "
Sadie Howell, unemployed textile mill worker from South Carolina
"If you do the same quantity of work, the same quality of work and have the same qualifications as another employee you should expect to receive the same privileges and compensation as that employee. You should be treated as an equal with that employee."
"People can't change, change, change. People aren't machines. It's going to get worse before it gets better -- this focus on speed at any cost, this focus on short-term results. The human machine is going to break."
Mitchell Marks, a San Francisco organizational psychologist
"The store managers [are] being paid $20,000, $30,000. They're in management. They get medical. They have no job security at all, and they want to keep their toehold in the lower middle class, and they'll often do whatever is necessary to do it."
William Rutzick, a lawyer who settled for $1.5 million with Taco Bell last year after managers were found guilty of erasing time and requiring off-the-clock work
"We shouldn't have to train foreign workers in our own country to take our jobs. I have nothing against these people who want to better themselves. But that shouldn't be at the expense of Americans."
Michael Emmons, former software developer for Siemens
"[A] rising GDP doesn't mean much to average working people unless it gets translated into more and better jobs. If most of the [GDP rise] finds its way into the paychecks of top executives and into the stock market, most Americans won't [benefit.]"
Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary and visiting professor at UC Berkeley
"Baseball bats, cans of gasoline, explosives, there's all kinds of stuff you can get in trouble with. I think handguns are just a tool."
Glenn Kestler, a director of the National Rifle Association's Ohio affiliate, on workplace shootings.
"It's not Disneyland. The average temperature is 120 degrees. Plumbing is not the first thing we put in when we build a base camp. Dust will get in your eyes and find places you didn't know you had. There are camel spiders, ticks, and scorpions."
Chris Ward, recruiter for Halliburton subsidiary KBR, to applicants for civilian jobs in Iraq
"We had almost 6,000 applications for 325 positions, so I think that speaks volumes for our wages and benefits."
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Christi Gallagher on opening of store in St. Paul, Minnesota
"I feel like I'm in a nightmare. And I can't wake up."
Edward Plesniak, former union janitor replaced by non-union labor, on working as part-time floor waxer for $6 an hour with no benefits.
"Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the world and it is also the largest discriminator in the world. Think of every possible civil and human rights law on the books, and chances are Wal-Mart has broken it."
Dorian T. Warren, African-American studies fellow at Notre Dame, on company's efforts to build stores in black communities in Chicago
"This is a free country, and we look for low prices."
Alderman Emma Mitts, on support of Wal-Mart store in her economically depressed neighborhood in Chicago
"It's not good for the country. I've occasionally thought they should reopen the House Un-American Activities Committee and bring all the CEOs up to Congress."
Cliff Cotterill, laid-off computer professional, on outsourcing of U.S. jobs to foreign workers.
"While we're pleased the country has begun to experience job growth, we're still far from where working families need this country to be."
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, on Labor Department employment figures
"We have always shared the view with 1199 that this is a work force that should be better compensated. There is a fundamental agreement around the principle. It is a matter of designing an economic package that will make it possible."
Lyle Churchill, official of home care agency whose workers were among those on strike in New York City
"To have a billionaire as mayor is a very unusual situation, and I think there have been some efforts to get at the mayor on this populist ground."
Josh Freeman, Queens College labor history professor, on union strategy against mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City
"When you're talking about public policy cases, you simply cannot allow the defendant to mandate confidentiality."
Cliff Palefsky, commenting on a now-unsealed arbitration award in a sexual harassment case
"If they had respected me and my customers, if they had given me a lunch and a gold watch, there wouldn't have been a lawsuit. "
Earl Strei, who successfully sued for age discrimination when fired after nearly 20 years on the job
"This problem is huge, and it's growing. It is truly an enormous epidemic."
Ron Pollack, executive director of health care advocacy group Families USA, on new report on uninsured Americans
"Wal-Mart is second only to our current President in unpopularity around the world."
Andy Stern, SEIU president, on need for international cooperation to unionize retail behemoth.
"George Bush wants to say to people 'Isn't it terrific, aren't things rosy.' But our economy is not working for the average American. I believe we can do better"
John Kerry, Democratic presidential candidate, on proposal to raise minimum wage.
"Sometimes their employees now take up only half the space, and that's pretty scary. It must contribute to their feeling, 'Am I next?' "
Daniel Montroy, New York corporate architect, of offices where there have been mass layoffs
"This decision means instead of facing six individual women with claims, Wal-Mart faces the claims of 1.6 million women. It changes the world."
Brad Seligman, lead counsel for original plaintiffs, on federal judge's class-action certification of sex discrimination lawsuit against retail giant
"People are realizing that labor unions are the best-kept secret in America."
Andy Banks, union organizer, on high-tech workers' response to offshoring
"No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country."
"There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore. We have to compete for jobs."
Carly Fiorina, chief executive of Hewlett-Packard
"There may be some people mistakenly trying to figure out 'where are the jobs that can't be moved overseas?' But then they run into the fact that those jobs are also subject to job loss. Our environment today no longer offers lifetime employment."
John Challenger, CEO of a job placement firm
"What is required is a new compact between firms, workers and government. If you work, you shouldn't be poor."
Bruce Katz, vice president of Brookings Institution think tank, on cycle of poverty imposed on low-wage workers
"This was the greatest period of malfeasance since the 1930s."
Charles Geisst, Manhattan College business historian, on indictments and convictions of high-profile corporate executives
"If it hadn't been for what happened in Southern California I think we would be in a world of hurt."
Jack Loveall, UFCW Local president, on how successful grocery workers strike helps negotiations in rest of country.
"The consent decree is a watershed in safeguarding and protecting the rights of women on Wall Street."
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman, after approving $54 million settlement of EEOC sex-discrimination lawsuit against Morgan Stanley
"It's not rocket science to figure out that we have not reached nirvana."
Judith Lichtman, past president of National Partnership for Women & Families, on persistance of workplace sex discrimination despite settlement of EEOC lawsuit against Morgan Stanley.
"If members of the NLRB can't recognize a worker when they see one, they shouldn't be on a national labor board."
Edward J. McElroy, secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Teachers, on National Labor Relations Board ruling that graduate teaching and research assistants are not workers and thus do not have right to unionize.
"Joe Six-Pack is under a lot of pressure. He got a lousy raise; he's paying more for gasoline and milk. But proprietors' income is up. Profits are up. Home values are up. Middle-income and upper-income people are looking pretty good."
Ethan Harris, chief economist at Lehman Brothers, on income distribution.
"I think that the effective increase in the concentration of incomes is not desirable in a democratic society."
Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Chairman, on growing U.S. income inequality
"This will devastate the nursing profession. I don't think people in this country realize what's going to happen."
Cathy Stoddart, registered nurse, on overtime rules that take effect next month
"It's the worst rollback in employee rights in 57 years. This rule is an abomination."
Ross Eisenbrey, Economic Policy Institute economist, on new federal overtime regulations that take effect next month.
"Adults who had bad high school experiences come back and end up being much smarter than they think."
Mildred Lee, assistant director of professional and continuing studies at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, on growing trade school enrolment by workers changing careers.
"We?re not going to be in an era of lots of workers for a long period of time. People are going to remember how they were treated when times were tougher....They?re going to remember the organizations that operated as if people were important."
Dan Dunn, Comerica vice-president
"This administration has launched an all-out assault on overtime."
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton
"People aren't getting rich on salary increases."
Steven Gross, of Mercer Human Resource Consulting, on forecasts of slim salary increases for 2005.
William Cobb, president of consulting firm for corporate attorneys, on class-action sex discrimination case against Wal-Mart
"The trouble is that the leaders of their unions are afraid to go back and even discuss it with them because these are unions that have a history of throwing out their leaders, you know, with monotonous regularity."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, on negotiations with New York's police and fire unions.
"This book will help you take advantage of your company, rather than the other way around. It will explain why it's in your interest to work as little as possible and how to screw the system from within without anyone noticing."
Corinne Maier, author of book which promotes professional idleness and which is an underground sensation in France.
"It's not a good feeling when you keep knocking and the door doesn't get answered."
Shirley "Rae" Ellis, plaintiff in sex-discrimination lawsuit against Costco, on her lack of success getting a promotion.
"To sit in a room with an employer who doesn't hate us, I'd call that a new day."
Sal Luciano, of AFSCME, on cautious optimism among union representatives for better relationship with new Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell than with predecessor John G. Rowland, who resigned amid ethics investigation.
"[This was like] crossing the Rubicon with a drawbridge, getting to the other side, raising the bridge and then waving to us, saying, 'Let's cooperate.'"
Robert S. Clayman, lawyer for Association of Flight Attendants, on United Airlines leaving unions out of reorganization plans.
"The political climate is such that extending worker rights is not on any elected official's plate."
Gary Namie, co-founder of Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute, on trying to introduce antibullying legislation in California and Washington
"To afford the $600-a-month premium with a $2,500 deductible, I guess you would have to become a hooker at night or something. Or I suppose I could live in my car."
Valerie Boope, uninsured woman in Illinois
"The data isn't there for the Labor Department to say 1.3 million workers will gain eligibility. By my analysis, under the new regulations, 3, 4 or 5 million Americans could easily lose overtime coverage."
John R. Fraser, head of Labor Department's Wage and Hour Administration under Bush and Clinton, on new overtime rules.
"I can barely survive, and it's because of jobs going oversees."
Jerry Nowadzky, worker from Iowa who has lost two jobs to outsourcing, taking part in symbolic unemployment line stretching from Wall Street to site of Republican convention in New York.
"We like to have an environment where people feel they don't need to go through anybody else to get what they need and want. If we fail at that, we get what we deserve."
Vincent Stabile, JetBlue's vice president for human resources, on the airline's attitude toward unions.
"What really teed us off was these companies go into bankruptcy and shed their pension obligations and shed their medical obligations and they continue to operate under a different name."
Bob Holmbeck, retired steelworker from Minnesota
"This is political noise."
Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), on House vote to block Labor Department's new overtime rules.
"I've gone from dock to dock, plant to plant and door to door. I've talked with thousands of workers. I've seen the fear in their eyes."
James P. Hoffa, Teamsters President, calling for national health plan.
"Haymarket represents the beginning of labor rights in this country. It's really about our most important right, which is freedom of speech, freedom to protest. If you don't have that, you're going to be oppressed."
Dennis Gannon, president of Chicago Federation of Labor, on dedication of memorial to bombing at labor rally in 1886.
"This is not the 1950s. [Women] need to be recognized as being intelligent, smart individuals who can run an organization."
Claudia Renati, former Wal-Mart worker.
"I want to ... make every California job more secure."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on his veto of bill to raise state's minimum wage.
"The relationship between money and happiness is pretty darned small."
Peter Ubel, professor of medicine at University of Michigan.
"The number of people who were uninsured at some point in 2003-2004 exceeds the combined population of 32 states. This is an epidemic that requires immediate attention."
Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, on his organization's new report on runaway health care costs.
"The Dutch way is to take care of people who have less. This government wants everybody to take care of themselves. Only the rich can do that."
Gerard Admiraal, worker participating in anti-government protests in The Netherlands.
"As more women move into the work force, I hope they don't have to become more like men. I don't think the workplace should be a dehumanized environment where cursing, swearing and yelling are approved, but a few tears is a godawful thing."
William H. Frey, tear researcher, on crying by women in the workplace.
"That's a pathetic pace of job creation by corporate America."
Stephen S. Roach, chief economist at Morgan Stanley, on jobless recovery.
"We're seeing the shredding of the social contract. People worked for these benefits for decades, but they are being eviscerated wholesale. Their lives are being ruined."
David L. Gregory, labor law professor, on drastic reductions in pay, benefits, and pensions by major airlines.
"There is a possibility of a looming train wreck that could cost the taxpayers of America untold billions of dollars."
John McCain, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman, on the long-term solvency of the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
"Airlines have not escaped the Wal-Martization of everything in America."
Neil Swindells, United Airlines pilot, on the struggles of the airline industry.
"As far as I'm concerned, you're even. Now let's all grow up and get back to work."
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, demanding that hotels end lockout that has lasted two weeks beyond original two-week strike by workers.
"We are still not growing jobs like we should, given the recovery that we are in."
Brian Taylor, of Manufacturers and Traders Bank in Buffalo, New York, on rise in number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits.
"From the very beginning of time, the founders here felt you have to pay a living wage and provide benefits."
Richard Galanti, CFO of Costco, on his company's resistance to increasing its employees' share of health care premiums.
"Socially, we're engaged in a race to the bottom. Do we want to allow competition based on exploitation of the work force?"
Craig Cole, chief executive of supermarket chain Brown & Cole Stores that pays for insurance coverage for 95% of its employees, on competing against Wal-Mart.
"We can't do that when the whole world is angry with us."
John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm, on whether US can improve relationships around the world to sell more of its products.
"I can't handle someone who makes $400,000 telling me to take a 21% pay cut."
US Airways flight attendant who made about $24,000 last year and now lives paycheck to paycheck.
"We have a hollowing out of the job structure, and so these jobs that were once middle class are now low-skilled or disappear."
Arne Kalleberg, sociology professor who studies labor issues at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"We should not buy our city uniforms, our desk chairs, our computers or our work boots from companies that exploit their workers, that pay poverty wages and scoff at the rule of law."
Councilman Eric Garcetti, on Los Angeles City Council approval of ordinance that requires garment-makers who are city contractors to pay living wage.
"Polls by some organizations suggest that young people believe in flying saucers more than in Social Security."
Martis J. Davis, AARP spokesman, on organization's support of incentives for personal retirement accounts to supplement, but not replace, Social Security.
"These are the people who do the hardest work imaginable and don't want a handout."
Greg Schell, Florida Legal Services' attorney, on his advocacy for migrant farm workers' rights.
"It is imperative that Congress act expeditiously so that the problem doesn't spiral out of control."
Bradley D. Belt, Executive Director of federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., on agency's increasing deficit.
"These groups are only motivated by politics. I never see them compromise on these issues."
Katherine Lugar, a vice president of the National Retail Federation, on organized labor and raising the minimum wage.
"While general inflation is 2%, medical inflation continues to be 10+%. We still have a significant problem to deal with."
Barry Schilmeister, health care consultant for Mercer Human Resource Consulting.
"They did the thing American industry is world-class at--taking it out on the employees."
Stephen Lester, head of Chicago Symphony's musicians' committee, on management's responsibility for financial problems at orchestras around the country.
"This is a group of people who don't believe that any of the rules really apply. They are utterly irresponsible."
Paul Krugman, Princeton economics professor, on Bush administration's fiscal policies.
"A guy in Hyderabad [India] can't deliver your pizza."
Greg Saltzman, Albion College professor, on how unionization of pizza delivery drivers is invulnerable to threats of moving jobs elsewhere.
"This is one of the most irresponsible pieces of legislation I've ever heard of."
Paul Viollis, president of company that assesses security threats for other companies, on Oklahoma law allowing employees to keep firearms in locked vehicles at work.
"Economic growth is not expanding at a pace that can engender stellar job growth, and I think you have to get used to these kinds of numbers."
Richard Yamarone, chief economist at economic research firm Argus Research, on weak job growth.
"Either everyone has to go to college or everyone has to have very low-paying jobs. I'm not sure that's a great balance."
Richard Schwinn, the last member of his family to run the bankrupt bicycle company that bears his name, on how our economy has become less forgiving of workers who lack higher education or specialized skills.
"If we were men, there would have been a strike a long time ago. Women are easier to bully, but we have hearts of steel."
Worker on strike at factory in China that makes cellphones for Wal-Mart.
"Companies look to see what their competitors are doing. All companies are watching, and watching very closely."
Lynn Dudley, vice president and senior counsel with the American Benefits Council, about IBM's plan to scrap its cash balance pension program in favor of a 401k.
"Undoubtedly, the Salvation Army will make more productive use of the money than would be the case if I returned it to the government."
Prosperous businessman who didn't feel entitled to Social Security payments and donated them to charity instead.
"The stars and the moon have to align when they say they do, or the plan will not work."
Robert Roach, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers official, on United Airlines' plan for post-bankruptcy financing.
"We are so short staffed, if there is spit on the runway in Philadelphia, it causes a fiasco."
Teddy Xidas, Association of Flight Attendants official, on US Airways' nightmarish holiday travel weekend.
"They plant themselves right in the middle of Poorville."
Betty Dukes, lead plaintiff in landmark sex-discrimination case against Wal-Mart, on fact that company operates primarily in poor and working-class communities.
"Which is worse--that half the mechanics lose their jobs or that all of the mechanics lose their jobs?"
Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge Stephen S. Mitchell on decision to cancel US Airways' contract with International Association of Machinists
"We planned our whole lives according to what we were promised. I guess that's a good lesson for people working now: don't plan your lives on promises."
Jerry Fallos, retired steelworker, on struggling with reduced pension taken over by federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. from failed company.
"It's not a partisan issue, it's a fact. The labor market is worse than in the typical recovery."
Kevin A. Hassett, economic director at conservative American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, on job creation.
"The obsession with education has become a mantra to avoid tough political choices."
Harley Shaiken, University of California, Berkeley labor economist, on leveling off of payoff from college education.
"I refer to [the traditional pension] as a dinosaur, and we're near the end of the paleontological period. Their number is coming up."
Stephen Skonieczny, a partner in the employee-benefits group of New York law firm Dechert LLP
"We are dead set against carving private accounts out of Social Security taxes. We can fix Social Security without dismantling it, which is what private accounts carved out of Social Security do."
William Novelli, head of AARP, announcing his organization's opposition to private investment accounts.
"Every country has its horrors, and this industry is one of the horrors in the United States."
Jamie Fellner, director of United States programs for Human Rights Watch, on working conditions in the meat packing industry.
"It is unnatural that so much danger should be normal in someone's life."
Lance Compa, Cornell University labor law expert and author of report on working conditions in meat and poultry industries.
"We look at these figures and we wonder why people aren't doing anything about it. Do you know that some employers still allow workers to carry guns in the workplace?"
Diane Hurns, American Society of Safety Engineers spokeswoman, on 10% rise in workplace homicides in 2003.
"Every time the company gets sued, its statement of ethics gets longer."
Brad Seligman, lead counsel in class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart, on company's new 26-page ethics policy.
"The pension safety net is badly frayed."
Bradley D. Belt, executive director of federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, on taking over retirement plans of 51,000 current and former US Airways employees.
"It's all very disappointing. While the job market has improved, it's still soft. There is a sizable pool of disenfranchised workers who have been shut out of the job market altogether."
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com, on lowest labor force participation rate since 1988.
"We tell ourselves that if we had organized Florida 15 years ago, George Bush would never have won this state."
Stephen Lerner, SEIU official, on increasing organizing efforts in the South
"Cheating thousands of people just a little is still cheating. Class actions allow the little guys to band together."
"Trial lawyers are lazy."
Senator Patrick Leahy and Chamber of Commerce official Stan Anderson, respectively, offer different opinions as Senate debates Class Action Fairness Act
"Union people get creamed. Workers are going to lose rights and privileges they now have."
Greg Junemann, International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers president, on Defense Department's new personnel rules
"It's simply not acceptable for over 45 million Americans to be without health care coverage."
G. Richard Wagoner Jr., General Motors chairman, on threat of rising health care costs to U.S. businesses and need for national catastrophic reinsurance program.
"This bill is one of the most unfair, anticonsumer proposals to come before the Senate in years. It slams the courthouse doors on a wide range of injured plaintiffs. It turns federalism upside down by preventing state courts from hearing state law claims. "
Senator Harry Reid, on Class Action Fairness Act
"Wal-Mart's closure of its first unionized store is economic terrorism. What is the government going to do to protect Canadian workers from corporate bullies like Wal-Mart?"
David Christopherson, Member of Parliament, on Wal-Mart's plan to close store in Quebec rather than deal with union
"It's frustrating, to be at a big company for three years, and you're still struggling all the time. By the time they take out the health insurance [premium], you can't even pay rent. I have a full-time job, and I had to move back in with my parents."
Joshua Noble, 21-year-old Wal-Mart worker, on why he started a campaign to unionize his workplace
"This is such a huge company, I don't think any union could fight them. So why should I pay dues to get nothing?"
Alicia Silva, 30-year-old Wal-Mart worker, on how company's anti-union campaign has persuaded her to vote no in upcoming union election.
"It's just a bunch of brainwashing, but it kind of worked."
Cody Fields, Wal-Mart worker in Colorado who voted against unionization, on company's anti-union videos
"Most of the new positions are still going to white men."
Rose K. Murphy, senior research analyst at Graduate Employees and Students Organization at Yale, on group's study on hiring of minority and women faculty in Ivy League
"Unless we change the anti-worker policies that are destroying good jobs and stop the forces--from the National Labor Relations Board to state governments--that are rolling back workers' rights, we can't win gains for workers."
John Sweeney, AFL-CIO President, on approval of proposal to nearly double spending on political and legislative activity by federation's executive committee
"The legacy carriers' workforces are now so shell-shocked, angry, and demoralized that it's showing. We're entering a new phase."
Kevin Mitchell, of Business Traveler's Coalition, on job and pay cuts in airline industry
"We don't want business ethics to degenerate into a sort of ethical McCarthyism."
W. Michael Hoffman, of Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College, on increasing scrutiny of executives in light of Boeing CEO fired for consensual affair with female colleague
"Since 1997, the last time we raised the minimum wage, members of Congress have raised their own pay seven times, by $28,500. Think about that: we vote to raise our pay seven times in eight years by $28,500, but for minimum-wage workers earning $10,700 a year, we can't vote to raise their minimum wage. Shame on the Senate."
Senator Tom Harkin
"It is shameful that in America today, the richest nation on Earth, nearly one-fifth of all children go to bed hungry because their parents are working full time at the minimum wage and still cannot make ends meet."
Senator Ted Kennedy
"The numbers we're talking about are really quite large."
Henry T. Hu, corporate and securities law professor, on executive bonuses based on incorrect earnings reports which should be paid back under Sarbanes-Oxley Act
"Instead of terminating pensions, maybe we should explore terminating the employment of United's top management, who have mired the company in bankruptcy for more than two years."
Robert Roach Jr., general vice president of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, on move by federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. to take over pensions of United Airlines' 36,000 mechanics and baggage handlers
"If we have learned one thing in the past year, it is that every benefit and condition of employment can be taken away at the whim of any new management if we don't have a union to represent us and the guarantees of a union contract."
Jim Paterson, president of association representing British embassy and consulate employees in US, on efforts to unionize
"Today we are acknowledging that our compliance program did not include all the procedures necessary to identify independent floor cleaning contractors who did not comply with federal immigration laws."
Tom Mars, Wal-Mart general counsel, on $11 million settlement in federal investigation of illegal workers hired by company's cleaning contractors.
"The 401(k) is a lot more unequal than the defined-benefit system. The continuing transformation of the pension system will exacerbate the trend."
Edward Wolff, New York University economist, on study showing median wealth of workers, including pensions, declined between 1983 and 2001 despite strong stock market during same period
"It's unconscionable. Collective bargaining is how we built the middle class in this country."
Andy Levin, of AFL-CIO, on elimination of collective bargaining rights of state employees by governors of Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri
"It's a shame that people have to get killed and hurt trying to make a dollar in these plants, but that's part of reality."
Wenceslado de la Cerda, retired firefighter, on fatal explosion at PB oil refinery in Texas
"This decision is a slam-dunk victory for everyone who cares about equal opportunity."
Marcia D. Greenberger, co-president of National Women's Law Center, which represented plaintiff, on Supreme Court ruling that Title IX prohibits school officials from retaliating against those who bring sex discrimination complaints.
"Today's theatrics once again reveal that many labor unions are more concerned with partisan politics than the interests of their own members. Recent activities to intimidate organizations that support the president's Social Security efforts amount to thuggery and do nothing to encourage public discourse."
Tracey Schmitt, Republican National Committee press secretary, on protests by unions against Social Security privatization
"Maybe we should start getting used to disappointing job numbers."
Drew Matus, senior economist at Lehman Brothers, on Labor Department unemployment report.
"I had a fool for a client."
Roderick Jackson, plaintiff in Supreme Court Title IX whistleblower decision, on representing himself in appellate and district courts
"This is reverse Robin Hood. We're taking money from the middle class and giving it to the super-rich."
Nancy Pelosi, Representative from California, on House vote to repeal estate tax
"This is America. Your personal time should be your own."
Virg Bernero, Michigan state Senator, on his bill to prevent employers from not hiring or discriminating against workers for legal conduct outside of work
"It is obvious that the Department of Labor's assignment of 48 new staff to audit unions, starting with the AFL-CIO, is pure political payback for the labor movement's opposition to the president's antiworker policies."
John J. Sweeney, AFL-CIO president, on Labor Department's rapid expansion of audits of labor unions
"If no one is watching the children, it doesn't matter how many different jobs are created because people will not be able to work."
Jen Wohl, of National Economic Development and Law Center, on MIT study showing that child care is economic driver not merely support service for other industries.
"I told them I was going to give them something to be afraid of Christians about."
Ken Hutcherson, pastor of evangelical church located near Microsoft headquarters, on threats in meetings with company officials to organize national boycott of Microsoft products over company's support of gay rights bill in Washington State
""It's rage. It's helpless rage." [describing United flight attendants' reaction to the airline's settlement with the U.S. government to terminate four employee pension plans.]"
Jody Weant, United Association of Flight Attendants' local council president
"[A]n expression of personal opinion does not constitute political activity merely because it is disseminated to two dozen individuals with one or several computer keystrokes."
Judge Arthur J. Amchan of the Merit Systems Protection Board, ruling that government employees who sent presidential candidate-related e-mails to colleagues did not violate the Hatch Act
"[About the workplace]: Don't assume that you are perfectly free to say and do whatever you want. Nine to five is not the same as five to nine. It's naive to think you work in a democracy."
Harold J. Leavitt of Pasadena, Calif., a retired professor of organizational behavior
"I never did worry. They stood by me through the whole thing. Whenever I was able to work, all I had to do was call and tell them I could come. I told them I could win a million-dollar lottery and I'd still come to work."
cancer survivor Walter Youngblood, speaking of his employer, the Lakeland (Miss.) Courthouse & Racquet Club
"Male executives who won't assign a high-maintenance client to a woman with kids think they are empathetic, when they are just being patronizing."
Dr. Candida G. Brush, the director of the Council for Women's Entrepreneurship and Leadership at Boston University
"Henry Ford made sure he paid his workers enough so that they could afford to buy his cars. Wal-Mart is doing the polar opposite of Henry Ford. Wal-Mart brags about how its low prices help poor Americans, but its low wages are helping increase the number of Americans in poverty."
William McDonough, executive vice president of United Food and Commercial Workers, on company's obligation to treat its employees better.
"In America, we just don't have enough time off, period."
Jodi Grant, director of Work & Family Programs at National Partnership for Women & Families.
"If the initiative goes on the ballot and public employee unions have to fight for their right to participate in politics in California, that's going to be nuclear war."
Jim Hard, SEIU Local 1000 president, on measure that would require unions to annually obtain written permission from each member to use their dues for political donations.
"In today's global economy, employees are seeing longer working hours, greater job insecurity due to job exporting and fewer rewards and opportunity. I'm worried that the stress levels of employees continues to rise and we are seeing a further eroding of the 50-hour work week."
Marcus Courtney, president of WashTech (Seattle-based branch of Communication Workers of America), on how offshoring results in increased work and irregular hours for tech workers.
"The economy is growing and real output is up. But the distribution of income, in terms of how much is going to workers--well, very little has gone to the typical worker."
Andrew Sum, director of Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, on employment, income distribution, and standard of living of young workers.
"If we didn't respect the unions and the labor standards, we would be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs."
Cham Prasith, Minister of Commerce, on how improved labor standards help Cambodia rise above turmoil in global textile industry.
"If economic mobility continues to shut down, not only will we be losing the talent and leadership we need, but we will face a risk of a society of alienation and unhappiness. Even the most privileged among us will suffer the consequences of people not believing in the American dream."
Anthony W. Marx, president of Amherst
"The American people have to understand where we are and where we're headed. No republic in the history of the world lasted more than 300 years. Eventually, the crunch comes."
David M. Walker, Comptroller General, on U.S. budget "nightmare"
"You should take your passport when you go to work because all your rights as an American citizen disappear the second you walk through the office door."
Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute, on lack of rights in workplace
"It singles a company out in a way that is discriminatory."
Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart executive, commenting on Maryland bill setting minimum health care expenditures for large corporations while attending veto ceremony with Republican governor
"Wal-Mart is the biggest threat to our members' way of life."
C. James Lowthers, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, on standing up to Wal-Mart in Washington, DC area.
"This crisis has now grown so large that it's no longer just a health issue. It's a major economic issue affecting the deficit, jobs, and our global competitiveness."
Henry Simmons, president of National Coalition on Health Care, on need for nationalized healthcare.
"The federal government is not living up to its responsibility, so the states are acting."
Steve Sweeney, New Jersey state senator, on efforts to raise minimum wage in many states.
"The simple principle these cases stand for is one that goes to the fabric of our community, the fabric of what New York City, New York State, hopefully the whole nation, stands for. Race, ethnicity, cannot, should not and will not be a legitimate basis for determining who is hired, who is referred, who is fired."
Eliot Spitzer, New York attorney general, on discrimination among employment agencies in New York City.
"This is a blue-collar trade that nobody thinks about. There's too many Gen-Xers that want to stay home in their underwear and be Internet millionaires."
David Rangel, founder of Modoc Railroad Academy, on 80,000 railroad jobs that will need to be filled in next several years.
"New York is like the wild, wild West. The violations are on such a scale that nobody can monitor all of them."
Annette Bernhardt, senior policy analyst at Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, on wage and hour violations among discount stores in immigrant neighborhoods.
"I call it legalized crime. I lost almost all my United stock value in the bankruptcy, and here's another part of the retirement I was promised that is gone. And now my Social Security is at risk. Where does it all end? You feel brutalized by the system."
Klaus Meyer, United pilot, on airline's pension default.
"How many more jobs are we going to lose? It's breathtaking the number of jobs we've lost yet nothing has come of the promises to get trade right."
Olympia J. Snowe, Republican Senator, explaining opposition to CAFTA.
"This is pretty disgusting. They saw a way to get out of having the union, and they took it. They are as disgusting as Wal-Mart."
Philip A. Wheeler, United Automobile Workers official, on New York University's move to disband graduate students union.
"It shows that when you work at Wal-Mart, you can neither afford a decent standard of life or even have a life."
Chris Kofinis, communications adviser for Wake Up Wal-Mart, on West Virginia Wal-Mart store's threat to fire any employee unavailable to work any shift at any time.
"If everybody with HIV who works in the food service industry didn't show up for work tomorrow, America would starve."
Ann Fisher, director of AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, who estimates that there are 100,000 U.S. food service workers with the illness.
"The cuts are not necessarily an indication of economic weakness, but rather the by-product of numerous trends, including changing consumer demand, outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions, automation and consolidation. We are also starting to see job cuts resulting from higher health care costs as well as higher oil and natural gas prices."
John A. Challenger, CEO of employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, on surprisingly high number of job cuts in June.
"Basically you do what you have to do...I'm getting good benefits."
William Spolec, 62, of Chicago, former bank vice president and HR executive who now makes $7.50/hour at Starbucks.
"Employers are free to be unfair. Other than some protected classes, there isn't a great deal employees can do about it. We saw it first on the playground, when the popular people who were the leaders chose other people like them as friends."
Bill O'Brien, employment lawyer, on appearance-based discrimination in the workplace.
"The largest setback for players that I've seen in collective bargaining."
Jeffrey Kessler, labor lawyer who has worked with NFL and NBA unions, on resolution to National Hockey League lockout.
"[Employees can no longer be] treated as second-class citizens because they're not putting out."
Phil Horowitz, chairman of California Employment Lawyers Association, on California Supreme Court ruling allowing workers to sue when colleague who is sleeping with boss gets repeated preferential treatment.
"Maybe all they're doing is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."
Randel Johnson, vice president for labor, immigration and employee benefits at U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on split from AFL-CIO by SEIU and Teamsters.
"Employers are gloating about this."
John Sweeney, AFL-CIO president, on SEIU and Teamsters leaving federation.
"If you are going to criminalize me for wanting a better life for my children, for wanting a roof over my head and food on the table, then go ahead and criminalize me. We believe in the American dream more than most people who've been here their whole life."
Pablo Alvarado, National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
"If job cuts in the auto industry continue and we start to see consistently high job-cut numbers from the top three job cutters, it should set off some relatively loud alarm bells about the state of the job market and economy."
John Challenger, CEO of Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., on unusually high levels of planned layoffs.
"If hard-working men and women need to march on the street to let the public know about a labor dispute, they should be able to do so without interference. Our nation is built on democracy and liberties, and one of the greatest liberties we have is the freedom of speech. That?s why I?m proud to sign legislation that secures our workers? fundamental right to picket."
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, on legislation that broadens picketing rights for workers involved in labor disputes in Illinois.
"We can never insure 100% of the population against 100% of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, on signing Social Security Act into law on August 14, 1935.
"It's not about Wal-Mart--it's about the rest of the labor market. If the labor market was strong, you wouldn't have 11,000 people applying for 400 jobs."
Stephen Levy, economist for Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, on volume of interest in jobs at new Wal-Mart in Oakland
"Frankly, we're hoping for a strike."
Jamie Baker, at J. P. Morgan, on rise in price of shares in Northwest Airlines with possibility of strike by mechanics' union.
"Every study has shown that, at least where heavy manual labor is not involved, older workers outperform younger workers as a class, with far less absenteeism, far less hopping from job to job, better work ethic. [But] not everybody's gotten that message."
Paul Boymel, EEOC attorney, on age discrimination in employment.
"It looks like the gains from the recovery haven't really filtered down. The gains have gone to owners of capital and not to workers."
Phillip L. Swagel, of American Enterprise Institute, on Census Bureau report on economy.
"We are here today to express our anger and our disgust. Union busting is for corporate criminals who have no values, not for an educational institution."
AFL-CIO president John Sweeney before being arrested with nearly 80 people during protest of New York University's decision to end dealings with union of graduate student teaching and research assistants.
"We sacrificed during the bad times. Now it's the good times and it seems we are getting cut out of that."
Dorsey Scott, striking machinist at Boeing, on rejecting contract proposal union leaders called "insulting."
"When you read the polls about worker anxiety, and you put that together with rising gasoline prices and declining wages and all the other things that are out there, if we didn't have unions, we'd have to invent them this Labor Day."
Harley Shaiken, University of California, Berkeley professor, expressing hope for labor movement.
"I hope they go into bankruptcy--I've got nothing to lose. I'd rather deal with a bankruptcy judge."
Dave Kowalkowski, Northwest Airlines mechanic, on company's latest offer, which demands even steeper cuts than those that prompted the mechanics to strike in the first place.
"Employers need to step up and recognize that the office place is the new disco."
John Challenger, chief executive of outplacement firm, on need for nepotism policies.
"The good news, if there is any good news, is the rate of increase is lower, and the bad news is that that's the only good news."
Drew E. Altman, president of Kaiser Family Foundation, on 9.2% increase this year in cost of health insurance for working Americans.
"There's too much loose money. The world's kind of awash in capital right now."
University of California, Berkeley economist Richard Walker on how high-wage earners increase income inequality because they have so much disposable income that they pull up prices for everyone.
"It takes an already depressed area and takes it down. I'd urge Congress to put a ceiling on these extreme profits. Price caps. I support basic Republican ideas, but I've always been of the opinion that you must control the corporations. If the corporations control you, you're in big trouble."
Lyle Sauget, business owner in rural Yreka, California, on high gas prices.
"It wasn?t competitive."
Spokesperson for auto parts giant Delphi on company's decision to increase severance pay for top executives. Company is simultaneously demanding drastic pay and benefits cuts from union employees.
"I don't know how many African Americans are left in the city, but it's not that many. There is not enough labor to rebuild the city, and filling the vacuum are the Hispanics."
Lawrence Powell, historian at Tulane University, on possibility of "population swap" in New Orleans.
"It has nothing to do with your employment, how good your contributions are, how good of a team member you are, so making a policy statement in this case is the right thing to do."
Harriet Pearson, chief privacy officer at IBM, on company's pledge not to use genetic data to screen employees and applicants.
"The data collection issue is more relevant to glass walls than glass ceilings."
Vicky Lovell, from Institute for Women's Policy Research, on disappointment with Bureau of Labor Statistics decision to discontinue women worker employment series in current employment statistics payroll survey.
"How do U.S. firms compete in the global economy? If the only way to compete is with $10 wages, we have a problem that is much larger than just Delphi. We're looking at a society where people exit rather than enter the middle class."
Harley Shaiken, University of California-Berkeley economist, on effects of globalization on US workers and economy.
"The factories in China are going to be held to the same standards as the factories in the U.S. There will be a day of reckoning for retailers. If somebody wakes up and finds out that children down the river from that factory where you save three cents a foot [on] garden hose are developing cancers at significant rates so that the American public can save three cents a foot, those things won't be tolerated, and they shouldn't be tolerated."
Wal-Mart Chief Executive Lee Scott, announcing that company will start holding foreign suppliers more accountable for environmental and social standards.
"[They] always go after the small stuff when times get tough, because they don't have control over the big stuff, either."
Ken Pool, worker at Ford plant in Michigan, on management's intention to track time workers spend on bathroom breaks.
"I cannot describe how depressing this has been for me. All your life, you hear about the American dream, and you come here and work hard, and you're 40 and an executive with a company making a good salary, and you've paid all your dues, but you're too old."
Freelance reporter Marina Kolbe on her age-discrimination lawsuit against CNN.
"This isn't pop-the-champagne-cork time. His views need to be explored."
David Smith, of Human Rights Campaign, on report written by Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito in college calling for end to discrimination against homosexuals in hiring.
"We might be concerned if this group was offering solutions to some of the issues working people face each day, but that is not the case."
Wal-Mart spokesperson on new national association for company's workers.
"Wal-Mart's not a bad apple--it's the very symbol of a rotten system."
Andy Levin, director of AFL-CIO's Voices@Work campaign, on organizing rights in US.
"Big people, you know, we're people. We have feelings. I didn't do anything wrong, but they did stuff wrong and I would like to go back to work."
John McDuffy, 550-pound truck driver suspended by company for obesity, on winning discrimination lawsuit.
"Employees are these precious commodities right now."
John Kallenborn, president of New Orleans region for J. P. Morgan Chase, on scarcity of workers in Gulf area after Katrina and Rita.
"Security guards are often the first line of defense, even before the NYPD and Fire Department. But we start at $7.50 an hour on my job site. I don't know how my co-workers can make it on that."
Shelia Frazier, security guard in New York City, at rally in support of union organizing campaign.
"To call upon taxpayers--most of whom don't have defined-benefit pensions--to pay for the benefits of those who do would be fundamentally unfair."
Bradley Belt, director of federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., on possibility of savings-and-loan style bailout as more private corporations use bankruptcy to dump pensions on government.
"The days when blue-collar work could be passed on down the family line, those days are over. Where you did have automobile plants, it was always looked at as an elite job. It was hard work, but good, steady work, with wonderful benefits and good solid pay, and you were in the upper middle class. "
Gary N. Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass
"The search for solutions to national problems has nothing to do with Democrats and Republicans and left and right, but rather with what Americans think is right and wrong."
Andrew Stern, Service Employees International Union president, on union's contest to solicit "common sense" solutions to nation's problems from working people.
"This economy is in good shape. We're not going to rest until every American who wants a job can find one."
George W. Bush, President of the United States, on latest job creation and unemployment figures.
"More than likely they?re going to be shooting from a great distance so they?re gonna probably miss."
Dale, applicant at job fair for Halliburton subsidiary KBR, which has 10-year contract with US military for work in Iraq, on risk of snipers.
"A strike would not be good for the city, a strike would not be good for the union. There will be a lot of people who would lose their jobs during a strike."
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg on possible strike by Transport Workers Union.
"When a company tries to take away a worker's right to the American dream, the worker will struggle and fight for what is his."
Kevin Brown, SEIU official in New Jersey, on NLRB ruling requiring cleaning company to rehire janitors fired for unionizing.
"It is not minor; it really is a lot of pain these people are suffering. Nobody should be working in conditions like that."
Dr. Niklas Krause, on study of injury rates among hotel housekeepers.
"We're talking about benefits and retirement. If you don't have them, you may as well be on welfare."
Carol Dean Edwards, bus driver in New York City, on why transit workers went on strike.
"We will go to binding arbitration only over the dead bodies of our leadership. Nobody decides the contract for transit workers except transit workers."
Roger Toussaint, leader of Transport Workers Union, Local 100, on possibilities for resolution of transit workers strike in New York City.
"We wanted to send a very clear message that in California, even really big companies need to follow the law. I personally was hoping that our decision would send a message beyond Wal-Mart. We were ruling on the Wal-Mart case, but I hope other businesses in California are paying attention."
Juror in class-action wage-and-hour lawsuit against Wal-Mart.
"Today's verdict affirms that time-theft labor abuses are a chronic and systemic problem for Wal-Mart and its dangerous business model. At Wal-Mart, not only is there no such thing as a free lunch for employees but, in this sad case, there is no lunch at all."
Andrew Grossman, executive director of Wal-Mart Watch, on class-action wage-and-hour lawsuit against Wal-Mart.
"It's a clear pattern that Wal-Mart has: managers of the individual stores have a labor budget which is so tight that the store can't function without shaving the law, cutting corners and engaging in this practice of super-exploiting the workers. Wal-Mart just can't get out from under their public relations problem."
Nelson Lichtenstein, University of California - Santa Barbara history professor, on verdict for employees in class-action wage-and-hour lawsuit against Wal-Mart.
"It's not just one Nurse Ratchett in one plant. It's a systemic problem over their 70 or so plants around the country."
Bruce Carraway, attorney for poultry industry workers, on inadequate treatment of repetitive motion injuries at Tyson Foods company clinics.
"It was a year of big bonuses and hefty raises for highly skilled professionals and executives, but slim pickings for the ordinary working Joe. Such tepid wage growth is particularly disappointing given the strong productivity advances posted by the private business sector over the last year."
Peter Morici, University of Maryland business professor, on Labor Department data on job and wage growth for 2005.
"The mine should have simply been closed. The fines were absolutely absurd, but that's all the inspectors can do. The only other option they have is a closure order, and the managers in Washington won't let them close a mine."
Jack Spadaro, retired Mine Safety and Health Administration inspector in West Virginia, on agency's failure to shut down Sago mine despite 273 citations in last 2 years.
"Every person in management needs to clearly understand that it is absolute insanity to pay out seven-figure bonuses at a time when the company is suffering nine-figure losses, mired in eleven-figure debt and seeking further help from its employees to survive for the long term."
Ralph Hunter, head of pilots union, on bonuses for executives and managers at American Airlines despite airline's continued losses and major concessions from its union workers.
"We see this as an individual problem, and then we look to the individual for the solution. The fact is, these are national problems, and they require a national solution. But this is just not on the radar of politicians. It's not an issue with which they concern themselves. But it's the issue the American family is concerned with."
Deborah Thorne, Ohio University sociologist, on economic realities preventing workers in their 20s and 30s from living the American Dream.
"We don't want to kill this giant. We want this giant to behave itself. We want this giant not to be a bully."
Anne Healey, delegate in Maryland General Assembly, on override of governor's veto of bill that will require Wal-Mart to increase it's expenditures on employee health care.
"There's a growing disparity between the working class and the wealthy in Maryland. We're just looking for some fairness for the little guy here."
Michael E. Busch, House Speaker of Maryland General Assembly, on overriding governor's veto of bill to raise state's minimum wage to $6.15 an hour.
"Ford's always been good to me. Working for them I've put two daughters through college, afforded me a place up north, the whole nine yards. But things have changed."
Dick Holland, worker for 40 years at plant in Michigan that Ford will close along with up to 13 others, resulting in up to 30,000 job cuts.
"In the immediate future, unions will carry on shriveling in the private sector."
Richard Freeman, Harvard economics professor, on decline in union membership of American workforce.
"The glory days of surging productivity that kept labor costs down look to be behind us."
Economist Joel Naroff on Labor Department report that productivity slowed while labor costs rose in 2005.
"Walt Disney World has a gun-free policy. Mickey Mouse would become a felon in Florida."
Brian J. Siebel, an attorney with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, on a Florida bill that would make it a felony for companies to ban guns in the workplace.
"Our trade policy is an unbelievable failure that is selling out American jobs and weakening our economy."
U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan, North Dakota, on record $725.8 billion trade deficit in 2005, up 17.5% from previous record of $617.6 billion in 2004.
"This idea that wages are a signal of coming inflation is a bad habit. Business has control over labor costs more than ever in this global economy, as so many workers unfortunately are finding out."
James Glassman, senior domestic economist at J. P. Morgan Chase, on assumption that low unemployment and rising wages lead to higher inflation.
"Can we still really call America the land of opportunity when hotel workers who work full time for profitable hotel companies cannot afford to make ends meet? This is not just unjust. It is immoral, and we need to do something about it."
Former vice presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards, speaking at hotel workers rally
"You just take it day by day. I just hope my benefits last longer than I do."
John Lollar, General Motors retiree, on diminishing benefits.
"This time the talent crunch is for real, and it's going to last for decades."
Jeffrey Joerres, CEO of staffing firm Manpower, on survey showing 40% of companies worldwide can't find qualified job candidates.
"The last three years have been a period of impressive productivity growth and depressive changes in the living standards for most families."
Jared Bernstein, Economic Policy Institute economist, on Federal Reserve Board's latest "Survey of Consumer Finances".
"We know our benefits at Wal-Mart stores are not perfect."
Lee Scott, Wal-Mart CEO, asking National Governors Association for help making health care more affordable and accessible for retail giant's 1.3 million U.S. employees.
"Most fines are so small that they are seen not as deterrents but as the cost of doing business."
Wes Addington, lawyer with Appalachian Citizens Law Center, which handles mine safety cases, on decreased fines and collection efforts by federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
"If you kick out 11.5 million to 12 million people, it will bring this economy to a screeching halt."
R. Bruce Josten, senior executive with U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on country's dependence on undocumented workers.
"These numbers are just so much worse than I would have thought."
Financial planner Peter Speros on lack of household savings revealed by Federal Reserve Board's "Survey of Consumer Finances".
"Some contractors are paying people. But for every worker who is being treated well, there are 25 who are not. It?s like the Wild West."
Tomas Aguilar, on exploitation of immigrant workers in Gulf Coast post-Katrina.
"The credibility of the United States, which takes a strong international stand on human rights issues, is severely damaged by the lack of protection for working people within its own borders."
Guy Ryder, Secretary-General of International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, on his organization's new report on labor rights abuses in US.
"This is the worst case of discrimination I've ever seen."
Rudy L. Sustaita, EEOC lawyer for black worker in Texas who won $1 million settlement from former employer because white co-workers subjected him to racial epithets and choked him with hangman's noose.
"It may be that "sick building syndrome" should really be termed "sick job syndrome.""
Mai Stafford, PhD, on research suggesting that job stress is more likely cause of cluster "sick building syndrome" than physical environment.
"Corporate America can move across the world to find people to work in its factories. But there are some things that you can't outsource."
Hubert Williams, president of law enforcement advocacy group the Police Foundation, on troubles police departments around country have finding qualified applicants.
"What this is is another P.R. stunt in a litany of P.R. stunts."
Chris Kofinis, spokesman for Wake-Up Wal-Mart, on retailer's announcement of program to help local businesses it displaces in urban areas.
"Nothing I have heard out of Washington works."
Judith Ingalls, vice president of carpet manufacturer, on immigration plan in Senate.
"In this dispute she's clearly been an enemy of the working poor."
University of Miami chaplain Frank Corbishley on university president (and Health and Human Services Secretary under Clinton) Donna Shalala's role in efforts by janitors to form union.
"I don?t know about you, but I don?t want to live in an America where we have a few rich people and everyone else."
Former Sen. John Edwards, speaking to 2,000 hotel workers in Chicago at opening rally for Unite Here union's "Hotel Workers Rising" campaign.
"Everybody should be discussing it: why isn't the richest country in the world the healthiest country in the world?"
Dr. Michael Marmot, epidemiologist at University College London in England, on new study that shows that Americans are less healthy than British.
"It's the equivalent of the four-minute mile. Once somebody has done it, the psychological barrier is lower for other companies."
Harley Shaiken, University of California at Berkley labor professor, on potential for snowball effect in industry where one company is permitted to dissolve union contracts in bankruptcy court.
"The average American family is walking a high wire and hoping there won't be a high wind."
Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor, on new study showing 33% rise in debt of typical American family.
"It's remarkable what gets unleashed when people share in the wealth they help create."
Cecil Ursprung, chief executive of Reflexite Corporation, on benefits of employee ownership.
"There is no section of the state that is not affected by these potentially catastrophic facilities."
Jane Nogaki, of New Jersey Environmental Federation, on report that millions in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania at risk from terrorist attack or accident at chemical plants in Garden State.
"This is such sex stereotyping of 30 years ago that it's surprising it would still persist in a corporate culture of such a big company."
Joan Ehrlich, EEOC district director, on agency's filing of sex-discrimination lawsuit against tire retailer Les Schwab.
"This jury was so shocked and offended they determined that Federal Express needed to be rocked out of its denial."
Christopher Dolan, attorney for plaintiffs, on $61 million jury award in racial harassment lawsuit by two employees of Lebanese descent.
"In the old days, you'd see co-workers dying and you'd see raw exploitation, so you wanted a union to protect you."
Nancy B. Johnson, professor of management at University of Kentucky, on tolerance for "minor injustices" and diminished interest in unions among service sector workers.
"Most companies in this industry take the view that it is not their job to be the immigration service."
Michael Mahdesian, chairman of office building cleaning contractor, on hiring of illegal immigrants.
"It's getting so you can't survive in this country."
Keisha Walker, office assistant earning $6.25 an hour, on need for Congress to raise minimum wage.
"No employee should be forced to choose between making a living and increasing the risk of heart disease and lung disease."
Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, on new report from U.S. surgeon general on "massive and conclusive scientific evidence" of "alarming" public health threat posed by secondhand smoke.
"This administration has been more antithetical to the rights of workers than any since [that of] Herbert Hoover."
Stewart Acuff, AFL-CIO, on possibility that Bush-appointed NLRB will allow employers to reclassify millions of union workers as "supervisors" inelligible for union membership.
"Pandemic influenza is going to happen. It's like earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis."
Michael Osterholm, director of Center for Infectious Disease and Research Policy at University of Minnesota, on likelihood of bird flu outbreak that United Nations estimates could kill 150 million people worldwide.
"This attempt at political blackmail is not going to work."
Harry M. Reid, Senate Minority Leader, on Republican efforts to couple minimum wage increase to estate tax reduction.
"Amid this country's strong economic expansion, many Americans simply aren't feeling the benefits."
Henry Paulson, Treasury secretary, announcing that income inequality is one of four prominent, long-term economic challenges facing US.
"The public has a pretty good nose for tricks and games. And they?re smelling it."
Senator Charles E. Schumer on defeat of Republican bill that tied minimum wage increase to estate tax decrease.
"The simple fact is workers are under attack by the most antiworker president and Congress in our history."
Gerald W. McEntee, chairman of the AFL-CIO's political committee speaking about a new campaign by AFSCME for universal health care and unionization
"If we're to preserve the middle class in this country, we need to step in and do what we can as government officials."
Chicago Alderman Joe Moore, sponsor of a new bill that sets a "living wage" of $10 an hour plus $3 an hour in benefits or additional wages by 2010 for stores of more than 90,000 square feet with at least $1 billion a year in corporate sales.
"Don?t be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash."
From "101 ways to save money," part of a 165 page packet by Northwest Airlines and given to their employees facing layoffs to help them save money.
"After three years of denying Californians the minimum wage increase they deserve, Governor Schwarzenegger is now trying to save his own job by giving minimum support to the minimum wage."
Phil Angelides, Democratic candidate for governor in California, on Schwarzenegger's approval of bill to raise state's minimum wage.
"I'm concerned that for many working families, this is as good as it gets."
Jared Bernstein, of Economic Policy Institute, on latest income gap figures indicating "unusually uneven economic recovery."
"Too many American families have lost ground in the Bush economy and are working harder than ever just to keep up with rising living expenses."
Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee.
"You have big corporations opposing basically modest reforms. This flies in the face of the idea that globalization and corporations will raise standards around the world."
Tim Costello, an official of the group Global Labor Strategies and a longtime labor union advocate in reference to American business' opposition to China's plan to adopt a new law that seeks to crack down on sweatshops and protect workers? rights.
"High schools, universities, parents, and employers are beginning to realize that to be competitive, our educational system needs more than academic theory [...] there needs to be more relevance to the workplace, to what students are interested in and to what the changing economy needs."
Jan Bray, executive director of the Association for Career and Technical Education while refering to greater interest in vocational skills.
"I understand Wal-Mart has to find a way to grow earnings and increase shareholder value, but I don't believe they should do it on the backs of their long-term employees."
Ron Galloway an advocate with Wal-Mart's Working Families for Wal-Mart group, speaking about the reason why he recently quit the Working Families for Wal-Mart board. This came after Wal-Mart instituted a maximum salary for its employees.
"This verdict will re-energize the plaintiffs' bar in going after Wal-Mart on these issues."
Frank Azar, lawyer for Pennsylvania Wal-Mart employees awarded $78 million in class-action wage and hour lawsuit.
"Wal-Mart's war on [those] who [ask] them to pay a better wage, provide affordable health care, and treat its employees with dignity and respect is a disgrace."
Paul Blank, campaign director for WakeUpWalMart.com.
"If only Wal-Mart would spend as much money trying to improve the working conditions for employees...as they do on self congratulatory P.R. advisers."
Robert Greenwald, the director of Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.
"I think it's quite clear to people that their paychecks are being squeezed when they try to meet their family budgets."
Jared Bernstein, the chief economist for the liberal Economic Policy Institute in Washington.
"We're a clearly discriminatory society, but no one wants to accept it"
Wilma Ramirez Santiago, deputy director of the complaints unit of the [Mexican] National Council to Prevent Discrimination.
"It seems like getting a full-time job with benefits that also pays a living wage is like a pipe dream here these days."
Patrick Cahalan, 26, a fourth-generation New Yorker who is ready to chuck freelance work at stagnant wages to chase the kind of opportunity his distant Irish ancestors once sought in America.
"Individuals are not seeing their real income go up because employers are spending more on healthcare...and [they] themselves are spending more [too]."
Dallas L. Salisbury, president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
"We think legal is going to be our biggest market going forward."
Liam Brown, the president and CEO of Integreon Managed Solutions, an outsourcing firm.
"[When] a new system comes along...television or cable, video or cell phones, there's going to be a fight over who gets to stick their spoon into the money stream."
David Prindle, University of Texas professor regarding writers and actors seeking pay for downloads of their work.
"The strong tradition of solidarity will continue."
Guy Ryder, head of new International Trade Union Confederation.
"After a year of adopting anti-family policy after anti-family policy, Wal- Mart adds further insult to injury."
Chris Kofinis, a spokesman at WakeUpWalmart.com on Wal-Mart's new revised attendance policy.
"It's not like I have to get dressed up and go to work or anything."
Chuck Freiman, a paralegal who spends two or three hours a week on mturk.com, making extra money.
"This is what unemployment looks like in New York City. I wanted to cry."
Tamika Jones, 28, a Brooklyn mother of three school-age children who waited online with thousands of people for 200 jobs offered by Mars-the makers of M&M's.
"In a world where health insurance is such a huge deal and becoming more expensive, this is something that employers have to get a handle on."
Frank Kenna III, CEO of a workplace publishing firm on the proliferation of cakes and cookies in the office.
"Nobody ain't doing nothing for us."
Steven Thompson, who for six months in 2004 drove a supply truck in Iraq for Halliburton subsidiary KBR, the largest corporate contractor in Iraq.
"Really the best position is what you get in a La-Z-Boy, although that wouldn't work well for someone using a computer."
Dr. Waseem Amir Bashir, who led a study regarding ergonomic seating positions.
"The whole rail industry is an early precursor of the retirement wave baby boomers will cause in many segments of the U.S. economy."
Steven Forsberg, railway company spokesman, on hiring frenzy in booming rail industry.
"Employers should be greatly concerned about how employees perform their jobs...but how employees want to lead their private lives is their own business."
Lawyer Harvey A. Schwartz, who represents an ex-employee who got fired for being a smoker.
"There's something in our culture right now which really admires over-the-top pressure, over-the-top performance, over-the-top pay packages."
Sylvia Ann Hewlett, president of the Center for Work-Life Policy in New York, speaking on 'extreme' jobs.
"The chaplains do absolutely nothing to challenge those laws and stand with workers--and they can't because they work for the employers."
Kim Bobo, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, an advocacy group for low-wage workers, on the increasing presence of chaplains in the workplace.
"Employees are injecting their own values and faith and principles much more into the workplace."
Paula Brantner, program director of Workplace Fairness speaking on religion in the workplace.
"This is not a systematic way to address the deep problems plaguing the immigration system."
United Food and Commercial Workers spokeswoman Jill Cashen, on the raids of undocument immigrant workers in the meatpacking industry on the basis of 'Identity theft'.
"Employer-based coverage is melting away like a Popsicle on the sidewalk in August."
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden who offered a plan he said would provide affordable, private health care coverage for all Americans, except those covered through Medicare or the military.
"I should work less, life is fragile."
Attorney Andrew Maxwell speaking on the recent shootings at a Chicago law office.
"The pendulum of economic power might well begin to shift from capital back to labor."
Stephen S. Roach, chief global economist at Morgan Stanley.
"We need to appreciate from a progressive perspective that Americans don't relate to class conflict."
SEIU president Andy Stern on ideals and motivations of American workers.
"People come to work sometimes in their pajamas, some in their tuxedos."
Milton Moskowitz, co-founder of San Francisco's Great Place to Work Institute, which has produced the Fortune list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, since 1998
"Employers seem to be assuming that somebody with a poor credit history is more likely to steal."
Dianna Johnston, assistant legal counsel with the EEOC.
"If your health holds up, and you have not saved enough, working can be a safety valve."
Vanguard research director Steve Utkus.
"We want to ensure that law-abiding citizens have the opportunity to protect themselves, whether they're leaving work or out shopping."
State Rep. Tom Graves, author of a bill that would allow workers to keep registered guns in their cars, while at work.
"These workers are the backbone for so many industries vital to our nation's economy, yet these same workers are not afforded simple job protections or a social safety net."
Sarah Horowitz, a former labor lawyer who started the Freelancers Union for web designers, video editors, writers, dancers and graphic artists. The organization has 40,000 members in NY.
"My American dream has just been seriously downsized."
A woman who was looking at a small two-bedroom house that was going for a little over $1.3 million dollars.
"Mostly it's a sense that the way the system is now, if you can call it a system, is not sustainable."
Maria Ghazal, public-policy director for a healthcare task force at the Business Roundtable, a group of large employers based in Washington.
"There is always the potential that people will get too close in the workplace, that things will get romantic and go awry."
Tom Rath, global practice leader for the workplace with the Gallup Organization.
"I think if they could do this business without us, they would, and so making our task as mechanical and simple and low-paying and unartistic as possible."
Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America West
"Our government could come up with a more intelligent, far-reaching industrial and foreign trade policy that protects employers who protect people and workers and the environment."
John Bowe, author of Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy.
"The bottom line is that employees have the right to go to work and have safe workplace practices - state and federal law require that - and to have full disclosure about the chemical hazards involved in the process"
Rita Smith, former employee of Searles Valley Minerals
"People are more agitated, anxious and angry. ? You wouldn't believe how much the economy is talked about in therapy these days."
Priscilla Marotta, therapist in Plantation, Florida
"I am not a stupid person. They were telling me how to vote."
A Wal-Mart customer service representative from Missouri, regarding mandatory meetings with Wal-Mart management regarding the upcoming elections.
"It's a huge, incomprehensible sum of money. If [departing CEOs are] asking for money, we're asking for structural reform that will prevent abuses in the future."
Richard Ferlauto, head of corporate governance and pension investment at AFSCME