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News and Issues Unions in the News

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Recent developments involving labor unions and their members, including the latest on contract negotiations, strikes, lawsuits, and workplace organizing.

March of Maytag to Mexico Draws Union Criticism

Source: David Pitt, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: August 11, 2003

First Maytag Corp. moved two parts plants to Mexico; now a refrigerator plant is headed there. The relocations

to Reynosa, Mexico, all announced in the last two years, have intensified fears that Maytag might export even

more jobs to countries with cheap labor. A company that grew from a small-town farm-equipment manufacturer to

the third-largest appliance manufacturer in North America, Maytag is drawing bitter criticism for moving jobs

outside the United States.

May Consider a Strike, Goodyear Union Says

Source: Bloomberg News, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: August 12, 2003

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s largest labor union said it may consider a strike if contract

negotiations this week with North America's largest tiremaker fail to reach a tentative agreement. The United

Steelworkers of America, in a newsletter published Monday on a union Web site, called the latest talks a

"final, last-ditch effort to win an acceptable contract." Without a settlement, the union said, it will likely

increase pressure on Goodyear through "alternative contingency plans."

Unions May Ask Verizon Customers to Try AT&T

Source: Matt Richtel, New York times

Union(s): A.F.L.-C.I.O.

Date: August 13, 2003

Raising

the stakes in the protracted contract negotiations between Verizon and its unions, labor officials planned to

announce a campaign today to collect the names of people who would be willing to switch their service to AT&T,

a competing provider of local, long-distance and wireless phone services. Union officials said that the

A.F.L.-C.I.O., which is coordinating the effort to appeal to millions of Verizon customers, would not yet urge

them to switch phone companies. But the threat is seen as an effort to increase the bargaining position of the

unions representing 78,000 Verizon technicians and operators who have worked without a contract for 10 days and

also a sign that there may be more rancor in the negotiations than had been indicated earlier. The move, aimed

at customers from Verizon in a time of intense competition in the industry, puts a digital-era twist on the

kind of consumer boycott C?sar Chavez pursued in the 1970's in his ultimately successful bid to organize farm

workers in the California grape industry.

Verizon, Union Resume Contract Talks

Source: Reuters, FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Communication Workers of America & International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Date: August 12, 2003

Verizon

Communications Inc., the largest U.S. telephone company, and two unions resumed contract talks on Tuesday to

slog through persisting disputes over job security and health care costs. After a three-day break, negotiations

restarted Tuesday afternoon, with bargainers meeting in separate groups in New York and Washington, both sides

said. The talks are expected to drag for several more days as the two sides comb through details in 26

contracts covering 80,000 technicians and telephone operators from Maine to Virginia.

Correction Officers' Union Wants Commissioner Fired

Source: Paul von Zielbauer, New York Times

Union(s): New York City Correction Officers' Benevolent Association,

Date: August 14, 2003

Prompted by recent layoffs and what it says is an increasingly dangerous work environment for its

members, the union that represents more than 8,400 officers at Rikers Island and other city jails has begun a

campaign to have the correction commissioner fired. The union's new effort to remove Martin F. Horn, Mayor

Michael R. Bloomberg's handpicked commissioner, is mostly an angry response to layoffs in May that claimed 315

correction officers' jobs. Other union and city officials said they did not give the campaign any chance of

succeeding.

Ford Plant Finds Efficiency Is No Protector

Source: Danny Hakin with Anne Berryman, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: August 19, 2003

The Ford Motor Company's assembly plant near Atlanta is one of the most productive car factories on

the continent, but a top union official there said today that its future was in doubt. Ford told union workers

at a meeting in June that no new product is scheduled for the plant in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville, which

employs 2,300 hourly workers and produces the aging Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans, according to Mitchell

Smith, the top United Automobile Workers official at the plant.

Contract at Hyundai Raises Sights of Korean Workers

Source: Don Kirk, New York Times

Union(s): Korean Confederation of Trade Unions

Date: August 19, 2003

The labor contract that ended an off-again-on-again strike at the Hyundai Motor Company here

may have changed things for more than just the workers covered by the agreement. The pact that emerged earlier

this month after a 47-day strike was, by Korean standards, groundbreaking. For the first time, a powerful

industrial company accepted a five-day workweek, a relative rarity in a country where most workers also put in

a half-day on Saturday. Workers will also have a labor-management panel to review their concerns, and they will

receive an 8.6 percent wage increase, a substantial raise in an economy that is slowing.

Labor Union Leaders Come Out Against Nonpartisan Elections

Source: Jonathan P. Hicks, New York Times

Union(s): multiple unions in New York City

Date: August 19, 2003

Another group of people seething over proposals to switch to nonpartisan city elections is

beginning to speak out: labor leaders. With details of the Charter Revision Commission's recommendations

emerging, union leaders are complaining about a provision that would ban donations to candidates from labor

unions. The provision would also end donations from political parties and political action committees. Unions

are major contributors to political campaigns and often assist candidates, providing everything from volunteers

to telephone banking operations. The leaders say the provision by the charter commission, appointed this year

by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, would strip the unions of their ability to influence politics in New York.

Bloomberg and City Unions Draw the Lines, Far Apart

Source: Eric Lipton and Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): municipal unions in New York City

Date: August 19, 2003

John V. Lindsay's tenure was defined by strikes, the first one hitting only

hours after he was sworn in. Edward I. Koch and Rudolph W. Giuliani started off talking tough, but ended up

awarding hefty raises to municipal workers that left the city in a bind when recessions hit. David N. Dinkins

squeezed some of the same unions that had helped elect him and then never got a chance to serve a second term.

The success or failure of a New York City mayor, or at least his reputation as a leader or wimp, hinges in part

on his finesse in handling labor negotiations. Now it is Michael R. Bloomberg's turn.

Hoffa: Fed Oversight Of Teamsters May End

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Teamsters

Date: August 19, 2003

The Teamsters union and federal authorities are in negotiations that could result in the end of government

supervision of the 1.4 million-member union, Teamsters president James P. Hoffa said. "This is a major

watershed," Hoffa told The Detroit News for Tuesday's editions. "It's not done yet. But we have a proposal

from the government. We are looking forward to negotiating in the near future a final exit of the government

from Teamsters affairs." Federal authorities have run much of the Teamsters' operations since 1989, when the

union signed a consent decree to settle a civil racketeering suit filed by Rudolph Giuliani, U.S. attorney in

New York at the time. The suit alleged the union was controlled by the mob.

As Talks Resume, Verizon Argues With a Union Over an Ad Phrase

Source: Matt Richtel, New York Times

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: August 20, 2003

While negotiators for Verizon Communications and its workers resumed bargaining yesterday over crucial

elements like health benefits and job security, the two sides also swapped accusations over the appropriate use

of the phrase, "Can you hear me now?" At the bargaining table, the negotiators, who took a break over the

weekend, discussed the central issues with a federal mediator in Washington yesterday, the 17th day without a

contract. But in court, a sideshow emerged, touched off by the use, or possible misuse, of a Verizon Wireless

advertising slogan.

Charter Panel Drops Opposition to Union Political Donations

Source: Jonathan P. Hicks, New York Times

Union(s): multiple unions based in New York City

Date: August 20, 2003

The Charter Revision Commission reversed itself yesterday and voted to eliminate a provision that

would ban donations to candidates from labor unions as well as political action committees. The provision had

previously been part of the commission's proposal on nonpartisan elections to be presented to New York City

voters in a referendum this November. Labor leaders reacted strongly to the provision, saying that it would

motivate them to join the fight to defeat the proposal for nonpartisan elections. Several union leaders said

they would become extremely active opponents to the move, led by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, to reduce the role

of political parties in New York City elections.

Labor Swiftly Deploys Anti-Recall Volunteers

Source: Megan Garvey, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Laborers International Union, Local 585 (CA)

Date: August 21, 2003

With 47 days until Californians vote up or down on the recall of Gov. Gray Davis

there is little time to spare on the phones at Laborers International Union, Local 585. Union organizers, who

opened the phone banks in Ventura last weekend, are focused on getting out the no-on-the-recall vote. The next

weeks will be a test of California's powerful unions and their ability to get out their voters.

Overtime Pay Faces Showdown in Congress

Source: Thomas Ferraro (Reuters), FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: August 20, 2003

American labor and business are gearing up for a Capitol Hill battle over whether to redefine who

in the American work force has the right to overtime pay. The AFL-CIO, the nation's biggest labor group, is

rallying its members to urge Congress to block a Bush administration proposal that critics say could end such

compensation for millions of workers by expanding overtime exemptions. Amid disagreements over who would be

affected, foes say firefighters, police officers, nurses, dental hygienists and truck dispatchers could be

among those stripped of overtime.

Read More:
href="http://www.workplacefairness.org/overtimepay.php">fair overtime pay

Verizon Makes Case to Senators: CEO Says Firm Offered Unions a Layoff Delay

Source: Yuki Noguchi, Washington Post

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: August 22, 2003

Verizon Communications Inc. proposed not to lay off workers before October 2004 and not to

relocate jobs for five years if its unions accept an increase in health care costs, the company's chief

executive told a dozen U.S. senators in a letter this week. The local phone giant, in the midst of contract

negotiations with two unions that represent 78,000 workers and about 60,000 retirees, said it has asked workers

to shoulder "modest increases" in some co-payments and deductibles, and offered not to increase health care

insurance premiums, according to the letter, which was signed by Verizon chief executive Ivan Seidenberg.

Challenger Ousts AFGE Leader

Source: Christopher Lee, Washington Post

Union(s): American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)

Date: August 22, 2003

The American Federation of Government Employees replaced two-term president Bobby L.

Harnage Sr. this week with a challenger who vowed to intensify the largest federal employee union's fight

against the Bush administration's labor initiatives. John Gage, president of AFGE Local 1923 in Baltimore,

defeated Harnage with 53 percent of the vote on the second ballot Wednesday at the union's annual convention

in Las Vegas.

Union Sues Over Moves to Discipline Prison Guards

Source: Michael Brick, New York Times

Union(s): New York City Correction Officers' Benevolent Association

Date: August 23, 2003

The

union representing more than 8,400 city correction officers announced yesterday that it had filed a federal

suit after some members were disciplined for failing to report to work during the blackout that crippled

transportation networks last week. The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in Manhattan, was the

latest sign of the conflict between the Department of Correction and the union, the New York City Correction

Officers' Benevolent Association, which has called for the resignation or ouster of Mayor Michael R.

Bloomberg's handpicked correction commissioner.

Miami Teachers Union Chief Pleads Guilty

Source: Catherine Wilson (AP), FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): United Teachers of Dade

Date: August 25, 2003

The longtime leader of the Miami-Dade County teachers union, accused of billing the union for hundreds

of thousands of dollars worth of luxuries, pleaded guilty to two counts Monday after reaching a deal with

federal prosecutors. Pat Tornillo, 78, on leave from the United Teachers of Dade, pleaded guilty to mail fraud

and filing a false tax return in exchange for a two-year prison sentence. A public corruption task force found

he fraudulently charged the organization for up to $650,000 in personal expenses. Court records showed he

billed the union for four Caribbean vacations complete with private villa, several cruises on the luxury

Seabourn line, a trip to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and other first-class travel expenses. Prosecutors tracked

the charges on union and personal credit cards for the past five years.

Verizon, Unions Near Deal For East Coast

Source: Leigh Strope (AP), FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Communications Workers of America; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Date: August 25, 2003

Verizon Communications and its unions are nearing an agreement as 78,000 East Coast telephone operators

and technicians begin a fourth week on the job without contracts. Negotiators had made significant progress at

the bargaining table over the past several days - enough that the end appeared within reach.

Yale Workers Plan Strike for the Opening of a New Semester

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: August 26, 2003

Thousands of Yale undergraduates are to arrive on campus tomorrow, only to be greeted by an

unwelcome but all-too-familiar sight: the ninth labor walkout at Yale in 35 years. The open-ended strike by

janitorial, dining hall and clerical workers is timed to maximize pressure on Yale officials, who insist that a

walkout is misguided because, they say, the university has made an unusually generous contract offer. Yale says

it has offered the university's largest union, representing 2,900 clerical workers, raises of 44 percent over

the life of a six-year agreement, including immediate raises of 14 percent. But the clerical union and the

union representing 1,100 janitorial, maintenance and dining-hall workers say that the university's offer would

leave wages well below those of Harvard's workers and would leave pensions so paltry that many retirees would

feel pressured to return to work.

UW Severs Its Contracts With Tyson

Source: Associated Press, Wisconsin State Journal

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Local 538

Date: August 23, 2003

UW-Madison won't serve Tyson products in its dormitory cafeterias and student

unions this fall, the latest boycott in response to a strike at the company's plant in Jefferson. Casey Nagy,

executive assistant to UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley, said the school made the decision to end its contracts

with Arkansas-based Tyson Foods after consulting with groups representing students, faculty and staff. Nagy

said the university's decision does not mean it has taken a position on the strike.

China Pressuring Wal-Mart to Form Unions

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): All-China Federation of Trade Unions

Date: August 26, 2003

China's government-controlled union body is pressuring Wal-Mart to establish trade unions for thousands of

its employees, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The All-China Federation of Trade Unions says Wal-Mart

Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, has not set up trade unions in any of its branches in China,

leaving workers without protection of their legal rights, Xinhua said. "The best way to protect workers'

rights is to sign group contracts with employers through trade unions, which can protect workers' rights

involving wage negotiation, vacations, and discharge regulations,'' Feng Lijun, a Beijing ACFTU official was

quoted as saying Sunday by Xinhua.

Leaders of California's Largest Union Vote to Raise Large Amounts to Defeat Davis Recall

Source: John M. Broder, New York Times

Union(s): California Labor Federation, A.F.L.-C.I.O.

Date: August 27, 2003

The leadership of California's most powerful labor union voted today to

oppose the recall of Gov. Gray Davis and promised to spend millions on an anti-recall campaign. Almost as an

afterthought, the union endorsed the fall-back candidacy of Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, the only well-known

Democrat on the long list of candidates to replace Mr. Davis should the recall succeed.

Nearly 4,000 Yale Workers Begin Strike

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Local 35.

Date: August 27, 2003

Nearly

4,000 Yale University workers went on strike over wages, pensions and job security early Wednesday, a walkout

that coincides with students' return to the Ivy League campus. Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said the university

planned to keep the campus running with managers and temporary workers, who were on hand to help students move

into dorms. No new contract talks were scheduled.

Workers' Strike Hinders Arrival of Yale Students

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: August 28, 2003

More than 2,500 of Yale University workers went on strike today as undergraduates began returning to campus,

solidifying Yale's reputation as having the most contentious labor relations of any university in the nation.

The walkout, the second at Yale this year and the ninth since 1968, was timed to maximize pressure on Yale's

administration. But the strike had another effect, alienating some arriving students who had to navigate around

the strikers and the police to move into the dorms.

President Limits Raises for Federal Workers

Source: Associated Press, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: August 28, 2003

Giving civilian federal workers a pay raise of more than 2 percent next year would

jeopardize the war on terrorism, President Bush said Wednesday. Citing a national emergency since the 2001

terrorist attacks, Bush said he was using his authority to change the civilian pay structure in times of

"national emergency or serious economic conditions" to limit raises to 2 percent.

Bus Workers In Honolulu Win Concession

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers Local 996

Date: August 28, 2003

Striking bus workers won a major concession when the city's transit company said it would no longer seek

benefit cutbacks. The breakthrough Wednesday led to the scheduling of contract talks Thursday by Oahu Transit

Services Inc. and Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers Local 996, which represents more than 1,300 workers who

went on strike early Tuesday. If a deal is reached, bus workers could be back on the job later Thursday or

Friday, Local 996 President Mel Kahele said.

City Opera Faces Possible Strike

Source: New York Times

Union(s): Local 764, NYC's theatrical wardrobe workers' union

Date: August 30, 2003

The members of the

theatrical wardrobe workers' union, Local 764, voted on Wednesday night to authorize a strike against the New

York City Opera two weeks before the scheduled beginning of its fall season.

Yale Freshmen Find Their Moving Day Slowed by Strikers

Source: Marc Santora, New York Times

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: August 30, 2003

As the new crop of freshman students arrived on campus at Yale University this morning, they were

greeted by hundreds of striking union workers, chanting slogans and blocking streets in demonstrations that led

to the arrest of 83 workers. Among those arrested was a national union president, John Wilhelm, head of the

Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union, the parent of the two unions on strike. "They

have never accepted the proposition that members of this community with the least status would come to them as

equals," Mr. Wilhelm said of university officials this afternoon, shortly after his release from jail. He said

that Yale had refused to negotiate in good faith.

Union Puts Caribbean-Style Fun Into Labor Day

Source: Erin Chan, New York Times

Union(s): Local 1199, S.E.I.U

Date: August 30, 2003

union of

health care workers rushed to complete its work this week as Labor Day approached ? not by painting picket

signs, but rather by preening plumes and stringing sequins. For the last four months, members of 1199/S.E.I.U.

climbed 19 steep steps each day to a rented space above Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill in East

Flatbush, Brooklyn, where they produced intricate costumes in firehouse red, shimmering gold and jungle green.

This year, union members decided that organized labor should have a more visible and festive presence in what

has become one of New York's largest spectator events, the West Indian American Day Carnival and Parade. More

commonly known as the Labor Day parade, the event has been held in Brooklyn for 35 years, often drawing more

than two million people.

Union Leaders Not Optimistic About Economy This Labor Day

Source: USA Today

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: August 29, 2003

Union

leaders say America's workers have little to celebrate this Labor Day.
New data Thursday indicated the

economy is improving, yet the gains are failing to reach the working-class, they said. "We do not see a reason

to be optimistic about the current economic situation," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.

Brother, Can You Spare a Day?

Source: Edward T. O'Donnell, New York Times

Union(s): Central Labor Union

Date: August 31, 2003

One hundred-twenty-one years ago Labor Day meant something more than a three-day weekend and

the unofficial end of summer. On Sept. 5, 1882, thousands of workers in New York risked being fired for taking

an unauthorized day off to participate in festivities honoring honest toil and the rights of labor. This first

commemoration of Labor Day testified to labor's rising power and unity in the Gilded Age and its sense that

both were necessary to withstand the growing power of capital. The Labor Day holiday originated with the

Central Labor Union, a local labor federation formed the previous January to promote the interests of workers

in the New York area.

Unions to Push to Make Organizing Easier

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: August 31, 2003

Labor Day, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. plans to announce a nationwide campaign that union leaders say is crucial to

assuring labor's future, a campaign that aims to change federal laws to make it easier for workers to join

unions. Disclosing details of this effort, the federation's president, John J. Sweeney, said in an interview

on Friday that American workers often faced huge obstacles to forming unions, saying they can rarely exercise

the right to unionize without facing employer intimidation. "The right of workers to make their own free choice

to join a union has been effectively canceled in a huge majority of unionization elections," Mr. Sweeney said.

"Employers engage in every tactic imaginable to block workers' freedom to form a union."

Jesse Jackson and 18 Others Are Arrested in Yale Protest

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Yale clerical, dining hall and maintenance workers unions

Date: September 2, 2003

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and 18 other people were arrested yesterday when they blocked traffic at

Yale University to show their support for striking clerical, dining hall and maintenance workers on campus.

Before his arrest at the intersection of Elm and College Streets in New Haven, Mr. Jackson led a rally on the

Yale campus that was attended by 3,000 to 5,000 strikers and their supporters, according to police estimates.

Mr. Jackson has led numerous rallies for the workers since they walked out last Wednesday, demanding job

security and higher wages and pensions. "This is the site of national Labor Day outrage," Mr. Jackson said.

"This is going to be for economic justice what Selma was for the right to vote."

Bush Defends Tax Cuts and Announces Jobs Post

Source: David E. Sanger, New York Times

Union(s): International Union of Operating Engineers

Date: September 2, 2003

Since the last time President Bush addressed a Labor Day picnic ? with carpenters in Pennsylvania

? the economy has lost 700,000 jobs, most of them in manufacturing. So by the time Mr. Bush arrived at a

rain-drenched field today to talk to highway construction workers, he faced what some of his supporters

acknowledge is a far more complex political task than he did a year ago: convincing layoff-weary voters in

crucial states like this one, which he carried by a mere three percentage points in 2000, that his tax cuts had

saved workers from a worse fate and that 14 months before the next presidential election he has a strategy to

bring back the kind of jobs that many economists say are leaving the United States for good.

Suburban Office Complex Is Latest Target of Union

Source: Josh Barbanel, New York Times

Union(s): Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union

Date: September 3, 2003

The

Carnegie Center is something of a suburban office nirvana, far from the bustle and frustrations of the city.

Swans glide through silent landscaped ponds. Crushed gravel crunches under foot in the pathways that meander

between the low-slung brick and granite campuses. Cars shimmer in the sun on vast parking lots. So Mitchell S.

Landis, who manages the 540-acre office park for Boston Properties, the real estate investment trust, seems a

bit perplexed over how the complex has become the latest front in an organizing drive by a union representing

building service employees in New York City. That organizing drive, union officials say, has rapidly swept

through much of the suburban office market in northern New Jersey.

Union Organizers to Air Complaints Against Yale

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Graduate Employees and Students Organization

Date: September 3, 2003

The group seeking to unionize graduate students at Yale announced yesterday that a former labor secretary and

a former general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board would serve on a committee investigating whether

Yale administrators or professors broke the law while fighting the unionization drive. The fact-finding

committee being formed by the union-organizing group will be headed by Fred Feinstein, who was the labor

board's chief counsel from 1994 to 1999, and its members will include Robert B. Reich, who was secretary of

labor in President Clinton's first term. Leaders of the Graduate Employees and Students Organization, which is

seeking to unionize 2,100 graduate students at Yale, claim that illegal intimidation by some Yale faculty

members contributed heavily to the pro-union forces' narrowly losing a unionization vote last April.

No New Postings in Today's News Headlines Until 9/12

Source: Workplace Fairness

Date: September 4, 2003

Due to staff vacation,

there will be no posting of new entries in Today's News Headlines until September 12, 2003. Our daily

listings of workplace-related news articles will resume at that time.

Sources: UAW, Automakers Appear Near Deal

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: September 11, 2003

The

United Auto Workers and Big Three automakers appeared close to simultaneous labor agreements Thursday, three

days before the current pacts expire, union and auto officials familiar with the talks said. The sources, who

spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said agreements between the UAW and General Motors

Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG could be announced as early as Friday but almost certainly before

Sunday's midnight deadline. The union and Big Three automakers have never reached simultaneous contract

agreements. The union typically chooses one carmaker as the lead negotiator and uses that pact as a model for

the other two. The union has been bargaining with all three automakers at once this year and has not publicly

named a lead company.

Huge Union Decides to Endorse No One Now

Source: Rachel L. Swarns, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Date: September 11, 2003

Torn between the longtime favorite and two fresh faces, the largest union in the A.F.L.-C.I.O. decided today

not to endorse any of the nine Democratic hopefuls for the presidency for now. Officials at the union, the

Service Employees International, said the 1,500 members at a convention here ranked former Gov. Howard Dean of

Vermont; Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, a longtime labor supporter; and Senator John Edwards

of North Carolina as the top three contenders. The decision reflected uncertainty about Mr. Gephardt, whom many

union members consider as having the best record on labor issues but who has struggled to raise campaign money.

It also reflects growing support for Dr. Dean, who was mobbed by enthusiastic union members.

Verizon and Unions Agree on Tentative 5-Year Contract

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Communications Workers of America & International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Date: September 5, 2003

Verizon Communications and its unions announced last night that they had reached agreement on a

tentative contract that includes a one-year wage freeze and retains strong job security protections that the

company had sought to weaken. Verizon's two main unions boasted that they had achieved major victories on job

security and health insurance, having beaten back Verizon's efforts to make its unionized workers pay

significantly more toward their health coverage. With the unions focusing on job security as their No. 1 issue,

Verizon failed in its push to ease or eliminate provisions that make it hard for Verizon, the nation's largest

telephone company, to lay off or involuntarily transfer any of its 78,000 current unionized workers in the

Northeast. In a concession to Verizon, the unions agreed that new hires would not be covered by the job

security provisions.

DaimlerChrysler, UAW Make a Deal

Source: Associated Press, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): United Auto Workers (UAW)

Date: September 15, 2003

The United Auto Workers said Monday that it reached a tentative, four-year contract

agreement with DaimlerChrysler AG and will continue to negotiate with General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

Details of the tentative agreement weren't released, but UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said the

DaimlerChrysler pact contains what the union hopes to see from the other contracts.

Union in Deal With Chrysler; Talks With 2 Makers Continue

Source: Danny Hakim, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers (UAW)

Date: September 15, 2003

The United Auto Workers union said early this morning that a tentative agreement had been reached with

the Chrysler Group on a new four-year contract. The union apparently fell short in its attempt to reach an

unusual three-way, simultaneous deal with all of the Big Three automakers. People familiar with the

negotiations said that the union had sought such a deal with General Motors, the Ford Motor Company and the

Chrysler Group unit of DaimlerChrysler.

Labor Leaders Arrested at Rally for Yale University Strikers

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: September 14, 2003

The A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s president and 120 other union leaders and members were arrested today for civil

disobedience as an estimated 5,000 people rallied to support workers on strike at Yale University. John J.

Sweeney, the head of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., was arrested on charges that he blocked traffic along with four of the

nation's most prominent labor leaders as union members sought to transform the Yale dispute into a showdown

between the university and all of organized labor, not just Yale's 2,000 striking employees.

Labor Pacts Reached at Ford and Chrysler

Source: Danny Hakim & Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: September 15, 2003

The Ford Motor Company and the auto parts giant Visteon said late this evening that they had reached

tentative agreement on four-year labor contracts with the United Automobile Workers union. The Ford deal was

the second announced today between the union and a Big Three automaker, an unusually swift resolution to the

talks that reflects union leaders' realization of the competitive difficulties faced by the Big Three, whose

domestic market share fell to a record monthly low in August.

Costs Mount for Yale and Union as Strike Drags On

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: September 11, 2003

With the strike at Yale University entering its third week and no end in sight, the showdown is starting to

exact sizable costs on both the university and the unionized workers. Indeed, if the strike drags on much

longer, some labor experts say, whatever the ultimate settlement includes will not compensate either side for

the losses suffered during the walkout. For Yale officials, the strike has been a public relations quagmire and

has set back the university's efforts to repair its history of lamentable town-gown relations. For the 2,000

striking clerical, dining hall and maintenance workers, the walkout has meant two weeks of missed paychecks,

fears of many more such weeks and worries about not being able to pay rent and utility bills.

Huge Union Decides to Endorse No One Now

Source: Rachel L. Swarns, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: September 11, 2003

Torn between the longtime favorite and two fresh faces, the largest union in the A.F.L.-C.I.O. decided

today not to endorse any of the nine Democratic hopefuls for the presidency for now. Officials at the union,

the Service Employees International, said the 1,500 members at a convention here ranked former Gov. Howard Dean

of Vermont; Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, a longtime labor supporter; and Senator John

Edwards of North Carolina as the top three contenders. The decision reflected uncertainty about Mr. Gephardt,

whom many union members consider as having the best record on labor issues but who has struggled to raise

campaign money. It also reflects growing support for Dr. Dean, who was mobbed by enthusiastic union members.

UAW Reaches Agreement with Ford; GM Still in Talks

Source: Associated Press, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: September 16, 2003

The United Auto Workers announced late Monday that it reached tentative contract agreements

with Ford Motor Co. and auto supplier Visteon Corp., leaving General Motors Corp. as the only Big Three

automaker still in labor talks with the union. Details of the tentative agreements with Chrysler and Ford

weren't being released. Union representatives earlier had told their members that they were close to new labor

agreements with Ford and GM but said difficult issues remained. The union and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler

Group announced early Monday that they had reached a tentative, four-year contract deal. The union has said

workers for GM will report to work as usual while negotiations continue.

Teachers Barter With Work Rules

Source: David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times

Union(s): United Federation of Teachers

Date: September 16, 2003

New York

City's teachers' union will propose a wide-ranging experiment to do away with the bulk of the work rules that

have long enraged city officials in exchange for getting teachers a greater say in how individual schools are

run, the union president, Randi Weingarten, said yesterday. The proposal, intended for perhaps 100 schools or

more, would discard rules that govern everything from the length of classes to the amount of teacher

preparation time. Principals could then negotiate pared-down work agreements with their staffs, which teachers

would approve.

Goodyear Reaches a Pact With Union

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: September 16, 2003

Workers at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, the nation's largest tire maker, ratified a three-year

contract that calls for wage freezes in exchange for unusually strong job protections, union and company

officials said yesterday. The workers approved the contract after five months of negotiations in which the

union, the United Steelworkers of America, consulted closely with Wall Street firms and industry experts on

what was needed to keep Goodyear afloat and retain jobs in the United States.

Amtrak Workers Plan Strike to Protest Lack of Financing

Source: Matthew L. Wald, New York Times

Union(s): Transport Workers Union & 5 other Amtrak unions

Date: September 17, 2003

Six Amtrak unions are to announce on Wednesday that they will stop work on Oct. 3, shutting the

railroad for the day, to protest Congress\'s failure to pass a $1.8 billion appropriation for the railroad

for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. If carried out, it would be the first time Amtrak workers have walked off

the job to protest Congressional policy. In the past, workers have struck over wages or other workplace issues.

A railroad official said Amtrak would probably seek an injunction to stop them, but union officials said they

believed that they were justified under the law and cited a 1982 Supreme Court ruling involving longshoremen

who protested the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by refusing to load fertilizer on ships going to the Soviet

Union.

Tough Times Force U.A.W. to Employ New Strategy

Source: Danny Hakim, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: September 17, 2003

The nearly

simultaneous deals the United Automobile Workers union announced Monday with the Ford Motor Company and the

Chrysler Group represent a sharp break with tradition and underscore how tough times are for the Big Three and

their suppliers. Terms of the four-year labor contracts keep the union workers' generous health care benefits

largely intact, but the union gave ground on other important issues, including scaling back wage increases and

selectively lifting a ban on plant closings, according to people with knowledge of the deals.

Couture Update: 3 Deals, 3 Looks for U.A.W.'s Chief

Source: Michelene Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: September 21, 2003

Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, made an industrial fashion

statement last week: he donned buttoned-down shirts with the union's logo to announce deals with Detroit's

Big Three.

Price of Labor Peace

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: September 20, 2003

To

end the 22-day strike that was embarrassing Yale and grating on its students, the university gave its two main

unions wage and pension increases that are generous by most any definition. Yale granted its largest union,

representing 2,900 clerical workers, raises of 44 percent over eight years and agreed to a richer pension

formula that will increase pensions for most future retirees by 80 percent or more.


No Sugarcoating From Mayor, Leaving a Labor Group Sour

Source: Michael Luo, New York Times

Union(s): Municipal Labor Committee

Date: September 20, 2003

With a day to absorb a tough speech by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a union retreat on Long Island, a

top city labor official said yesterday that she and her colleagues were insulted by his address.
"When a

guest comes into your house and is rude, it is a real sign of disrespect," said Randi Weingarten, the

chairwoman of the Municipal Labor Committee, which coordinates bargaining for the city's unions. Mayors are

routinely invited to the annual gathering but rarely accept. When Mr. Bloomberg agreed to show up and speak

during the two-day conference at the Hilton Huntington in Melville, Ms. Weingarten said she took it as a

hopeful sign. Most of the city's workers are working without a contract, and the unions' insistence for

salary increases have been met by demands from the city for productivity increases.

In Latest Contracts, Labor Uses New Strategy

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): various, including UAW and CWA

Date: September 20, 2003

Corporations have often complained that union demands are so outlandish that labor seems ready to drive them

out of business. Companies like Bethlehem Steel, Pan Am and Studebaker attributed their demises largely to

overambitious union demands. But this week, amid a burst of major contract agreements, even corporate

executives are acknowledging that labor's first concern has changed from demanding more and more to making

sure that companies and jobs survive. In reaching a settlement with General Motors on Thursday and in recent

agreements with several other industrial behemoths ? Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Goodyear and Verizon ? unions have

shown a new willingness to rein in their demands. Keeping their employers competitive, they have concluded, is

essential to keeping unionized jobs from being lost to nonunion, often lower-wage companies elsewhere in this

country or overseas.

Goodyear May Cut Jobs In 11 States

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: September 22, 2003

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is considering closing an Alabama tire plant and layoffs at plants in 10 other

states as well as other options to meet its goal of saving $1.1 billion over the next three years, company

officials said Monday. A three-year contract approved last week by Goodyear employees allows the Akron-based

company to close a Dunlop tire facility in Huntsville, Ala., which employs about 1,300 people.


Despite an End to Yale Strike, Hospital Workers' Issues Linger

Source: Stacey Stowe, New York Times

Union(s): 1199/S.E.I.U., Yale health care workers' union

Date: September 23, 2003

Despite a settlement last week after a 22-day strike against Yale, workers and labor leaders at the

university's teaching hospital rallied today to say Yale's labor problems are not over. Two university unions

reached a settlement last week and returned to work. But the members of a third union, dietary workers at

Yale-New Haven Hospital, returned to work without a contract. Today, with labor leaders and politicians

pledging support, the members vowed that while on the job, they would continue efforts for better wages,

pensions and health benefits.

Was Anyone Taken for a Ride in the U.A.W.-Big 3 Contract Talks?

Source: Danny Hakim, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: September 23, 2003

Last week, the United Automobile Workers offered more concessions to the Big Three than it has in the

last two decades of contract talks. Then again, concessions have not really been a feature of the last two

decades of contract talks in the American auto industry. While auto workers see a contract that extends a

lifeline to the struggling Big Three, Wall Street sees baby steps that amount to a glass half-full in some

minds and fully empty in others. \"Does this make the industry even a little bit more competitive? No,\" said

Maryann Keller, an auto analyst and former executive who ran Priceline.com\'s automotive division. \"This

contract does nothing to even make a slight dent in the fundamental problems,\" she added.

Firefighters Union Will Throw Support to Kerry, Officials Say

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Fire Fighters

Date: September 19, 2003

The International Association of Fire Fighters will endorse Senator John Kerry

for president next week, union officials said yesterday, making it the first union to endorse a Democratic

presidential candidate other than Representative Richard A. Gephardt. Harold Schaitberger, the firefighters'

president, declined to discuss his union's plans, but labor leaders who have talked with him said the union

would back Mr. Kerry because its leaders thought the senator was the most electable Democrat. The

firefighters' endorsement, which is expected to be announced on Wednesday in Washington, is bound to hurt Mr.

Gephardt's efforts to win the coveted endorsement of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., union leaders said.

Yale in Deal With 2 Unions, Ending Strike

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: September 19, 2003

Ending a three-week strike, Yale and its two main unions reached a tentative eight-year contract yesterday

that will give many workers raises of more than 40 percent over the life of the pact and provide the embattled

university with years of labor peace. Yale officials applauded the deal because the university, having faced

nine strikes since 1968, more than any other university, wanted a lengthy contract to have labor tranquillity

and to mend relations with its unions. The main issues in the dispute were the unions' demands for far higher

pensions and the clerical union's push for wage increases of 6 percent or more per year, which that union said

were necessary to catch up with workers at Harvard and the University of Connecticut.

G.M. Accord Finishes Talks for U.A.W.

Source: Danny Hakim & Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): United Automobile Workers

Date: September 19, 2003

The United Automobile Workers union concluded its contract negotiations with the Big Three and

two major suppliers today after granting its most significant concessions in two decades. The deals, which will

result in thousands of job cuts as roughly a dozen plants are closed or sold, reflect the broad competitive

struggles of domestic manufacturers, and the union's effort to balance the desires of its members with the

shrinking market share and profits of the automakers. This morning, the U.A.W. announced it had reached deals

with General Motors and Delphi, the world's largest auto parts company, which G.M. spun off in 1999.

Hospital's Residents Win OK for Union

Source: Bruce Japsen, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Physicians for Responsible Negotiation

Date: September 19, 2003

After three years of legal wrangling with the Chicago area's largest health-care system,

doctors-in-training at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge have won the right to belong to a

union. The National Labor Relations Board's ruling in favor of the doctors could assist medical residents

interested in forming a union to improve pay, benefits and working conditions at private hospitals nationwide.

"This ruling certainly opens up the ability for residents and fellows to organize in private institutions,"

said Dr. Mark Fox, president of Physicians for Responsible Negotiation, the union that sought to represent the

residents. "I am now sure there will be other hospitals and other residency programs that will be interested in

doing this."

Sweeney to Seek New 4-Year Term as Head of A.F.L.-C.I.O.

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: September 18, 2003

John J. Sweeney said today that he would seek another four-year term as president of the

A.F.L.-C.I.O., a move that if successful would keep him at labor's helm for a total of 14 years. Mr. Sweeney,

69, said he was making the announcement nearly two years before his term ended because he wanted the 64 unions

in the federation to focus next year not on a fight over his successor, but on defeating President Bush. "We

don't want to distract from what our main agenda is right now, and that's to win back the White House and the

Senate and the House," Mr. Sweeney said in an interview in his office. "Next year, 2004, is going to be a

crucial year for us, because people realize how antiunion this administration has been."

Labor Activists Picket Outsourcing Event

Source: Alorie Gilbert (CNET News), New York Times

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: September 18, 2003

A

two-day conference instructing companies on moving technology jobs and other work overseas drew picketers, in

one of the first San Francisco Bay Area protests over a growing trend that's shaking up the entire computer

industry. A group of about 50 labor organizers and out-of-work techies gathered at 8:30 a.m. PDT on Tuesday in

front of the Hyatt Regency hotel here, where conference organizer Brainstorm Group is holding its Nearshore and

Offshore Outsourcing Conference this week.

U.A.W. Reaches Tentative Pact With Last of Big 3 Automakers

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): United Automobile Workers

Date: September 18, 2003

The United Automobile Workers reached tentative agreements this morning with General Motors and

Delphi, wrapping up labor contracts in the American automobile industry with unprecedented speed. The

agreements, announced by officials of the union and the two companies, came just four days after contracts

covering more than 300,000 automobile and parts workers expired. The announcement also came just three days

after the U.A.W. reached tentative agreements at Ford Motor and the Chrysler Group, a unit of DaimlerChrysler

AG, as well as Visteon, the parts subsidiary spun off by Ford in 2000.

Biggest Union in 8-Year Pact With Times

Source: Jacques Steinberg, New York Times

Union(s): Newspaper Guild of New York

Date: September 24, 2003

The

New York Times and its largest union, the Newspaper Guild of New York, said yesterday that they had reached a

tentative agreement on an eight-year contract that would raise wages a total of 23 percent. The agreement calls

for increases of 3 percent in each of the first five years and 2 percent in each of the last three years.

Unlike the previous contract between the guild and The Times, the new deal does not include a no-layoff

guarantee for current employees.

Tight Election Looms in Largest Municipal Union

Source: Michael Luo, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: September 24, 2003

With a

vote still more than three months away, the president of New York's main union of social workers opened his

campaign yesterday to take charge of the city's largest municipal union, District Council 37, by announcing

his slate of running mates and a long list of local presidents who already support him. His announcement brings

the union's 123,000 members a step closer to what promises to be the closest election battle at any large New

York union since the 1980's. It also complicates negotiations between the city and the union, whose workers

have been without a contract for more than a year.

UAW May Lose Up to 50, 000 Jobs in 4 Years

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Automotive Workers

Date: September 24, 2003

The

United Auto Workers could lose up to 50,000 jobs at Detroit's Big Three automakers and two major suppliers

over the next four years, but analysts say the union is likely to make up some of the losses by organizing

nonunion suppliers. Analysts also note that the bulk of job losses will occur through attrition and early

retirement, not from layoffs at plants that will be closed or sold as part of tentative labor pacts reached

last week between the UAW and General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group and

suppliers Delphi Corp. and Visteon Corp. Most workers at plants targeted for sale or closure are expected to

find jobs elsewhere in their companies.

Start Teaching or Lose Semester?s Pay, C.W. Post Strikers Are Told

Source: Michael Brick, New York Times

Union(s): C.W. Post Collegial Federation

Date: September 25, 2003

The C. W. Post campus of Long Island University has ordered striking faculty members to return to

teaching by Monday or face cancellation of their classes and the losses of their jobs and pay for the fall

semester, officials said yesterday. Students may need to take weekend classes or make up for lost time in

abbreviated winter sessions or independent study, administrators at the campus said yesterday. The

university's negotiations with the campus's 340 full-time faculty members, 63 percent of whom have tenure,

have ended in a dispute over whether the university can dock the pay of the faculty members for the time that

they have spent on strike since classes began on Sept. 8.

School Custodians Object as City Hires Private Firms

Source: Elissa Gootman, New York Times

Union(s): Local 891

Date: September 26, 2003

The union representing New York City school custodial supervisors is complaining that the Department

of Education moved quietly over the summer to hire private contractors to clean as many as 133 city schools.

While the use of private companies in those schools is only temporary, it brings to more than 400 the number of

schools where outside contractors may replace staff custodians. The union's complaint is the latest round in a

dispute over who should clean, repair, heat, cool, and maintain the city's 1,200 schools now that they are

under mayoral control.

Pickets Say Prevailing Wages Keep Steel Workers Jobless

Source: Tom Watts, Macomb Daily (MI)

Union(s): Local Union 25

Date: September 26, 2003

Unemployed iron workers from Local Union 25, including Charles Nutting of

Detroit, were on the picket line Wednesday citing "prevailing wages" as the reason a Marlette fabricator was

the low bidder for work being done at L'Anse Creuse High School-North. Unskilled iron workers making

substandard wages are hired before unionized steel workers making prevailing wages, according to pickets

outside L'Anse Creuse High School-North on Wednesday. According to union pickets, the L'Anse Creuse Public

Schools board awarded an estimated $60,000 contract to Sanilac Steel of Marlette this year. But Jack O'Donnell

of Local Union 25, which represents bridge, structural, ornamental, rigging, machinery and reinforcing iron

workers, said "prevailing wages" are keeping nearly 1,000 of his steel workers unemployed.

Cincinnati Firefighters Union Sued For Race Discrimination

Source: John McQuiston, WCPO

Union(s): Union Local 48

Date: September 25, 2003

Some African

American Cincinnati firefighters say they're fighting openly for justice after claiming the union that

represents city firefighters is racist.
Members of the Cincinnati African-American Firefighters Association

says that they are subject to hostile working conditions and discrimination. They have filed charges with the

EEOC seeking changes in the union.

Missouri Official: Labor Deal Prevented Immediate Closure of Ford

Source: David Lieb (AP), Kansas City Star

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: September 26, 2003

The Ford Motor Co. assembly plant in Hazelwood could have begun closing down immediately had the

plant not been included in a new labor union agreement tentatively reached last week, Missouri's economic

development chief said Thursday. Ford had announced in January 2002 that it intended to close the suburban St.

Louis plant around "mid-decade," but the company never provided a specific date. Local and state officials

responded with an intensive lobbying effort and incentive package aimed at reversing the decision. They

rejoiced last week when Ford reversed course and decided to keep the plant open through at least 2007, the

expiration of a proposed contract with the United Auto Workers.

Miami University Workers Go on Strike

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 209

Date: September 26, 2003

Maintenance, grounds and cafeteria workers at Miami University went on strike Friday, marking the school's

first labor walkout. No new talks were scheduled between university and union negotiators at the main campus in

Oxford, about 30 miles northwest of Cincinnati. Union members rallied outside the student center as Miami's

board of trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting. The contract expired shortly after midnight

Friday.

Hormel Reaches Agreement with 3,000 Union Workers

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)

Date: September 26, 2003

United Food and

Commercial Workers (UFCW) said on Friday it reached a tentative contract agreement with Hormel Foods Inc., a

maker of Spam luncheon meat and Always Tender beef.

Lawmaker Questions Labor Transit Subsidy Dispute

Source: Tanya N. Ballard, Government Executive Magazine

Union(s): American Federation of Government Employees Local 12

Date: September 26, 2003

Rep.

James Moran, D-Va., has asked the General Accounting Office to look into a nearly two-year long tussle between

the Labor Department and a union over increasing the transit subsidy for some federal employees. A Clinton-era

executive order required agencies to offer transit subsidies to employees in the Washington metropolitan area

beginning in October 2000. When the order was first implemented, the maximum amount employees could receive was

$65 a month, but in January 2002 the ceiling was raised to $100 a month.

Miami University Suffers First Labor Strike

Source: Associated Press, CNN

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 209

Date: September 26, 2003

Maintenance,

grounds and cafeteria workers at Miami University went on strike Friday, marking the school's first labor

walkout. No new talks were scheduled between university and union negotiators at the main campus in Oxford,

about 30 miles northwest of Cincinnati. Union members rallied outside the student center as Miami's board of

trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting. The contract expired shortly after midnight Friday.

Union Proclaims Labor Laws Violated

Source: Fresno Bee

Union(s): Service Employees International Union Local 250

Date: September 27, 2003

A union Friday leveled

another charge of unfair labor practices against Fresno County in its contract negotiations with home-care

workers who assist the elderly and disabled. Service Employees International Union Local 250 accuses the county

of violating labor laws by "falsely declaring an impasse" in the negotiations.Home-care organizing director

Dana Simon said in a statement that a county official has told him the county will only listen to proposals to

cut wages to pay for health benefits for the workers.

GM Wants Saturn in General Labor Pact

Source: Joseph Szczesny, Oakland County Press (MI)

Union(s): United Automotive Workers

Date: September 26, 2003

One more labor contract that still needs to be wrapped up this

year is the United Auto Workers contract with General Motors/Saturn. The Saturn pact comes up for renewal this

year, and the union is under pressure from General Motors to place the Saturn bargaining units in Spring Hill,

Tenn., under the GM/UAW master labor contract on which the automaker's blue-collar employees are now voting.

GM spokesman Tom Wickham confirmed that GM and the UAW are tentatively scheduled to discuss the Saturn

agreement some time this fall. No date has been established since there is no formal expiration date. Senior GM

executives have suggested privately that the separate contract should be phased out and the Spring Hill plant

brought under the terms of the company's new contract with the UAW.

Union Workers Get out the Vote Against Recall

Source: Jessica Guynn, Contra Costa Times

Union(s): various California unions

Date: September 28, 2003

"I am a volunteer for

the Democratic party. Do you have a moment?" John May, a 40-year-old United Food and Commercial Workers Union

representative, asks Susan, a Democrat from Richmond. "We are looking for people to vote no on the recall, no

on Proposition 54 and yes on Cruz Bustamante." May knows the recall election will come down to one thing: "Who

gets out the vote." May is one of thousands of volunteers throughout the state who have placed 300,000 phone

calls since Labor Day to fire up fellow union members and Democrats, part of organized labor's massive, $5

million campaign to defeat the recall in an effort to salvage Gov. Gray Davis' political future, and its

own.

UAW Says Ratifies Deals with Ford, Visteon

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Automobile Worker

Date: September 30, 2003

The United Auto Workers

union said on Tuesday it had ratified new four-year contracts with Ford Motor Co. and Visteon Corp. The new

contracts cover over 72,000 workers at Ford and more than 21,000 workers at Visteon, as well as more than

77,000 retirees and 24,000 surviving spouses.

Supermarkets, Clerks Gird for Possible Strike

Source: Nancy Cleeland & Melinda Fulmer, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: September 29, 2003

Three major supermarket chains and 71,000 Southern California food clerks are

locked in high-stakes contract negotiations that both sides say could lead to a regionwide strike next month.

At stake are the wages and benefits won through decades of hard bargaining and strikes by the United Food and

Commercial Workers union. Cashiers earn as much as $17.90 hourly, are guaranteed a pension and pay no premiums

for family health insurance. The chains say they must lower labor costs to remain healthy ? citing slumping

sales, rising health-care costs and, above all, competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other nonunion

retailers that are moving into grocery sales. Stock analysts have hammered at the companies ? Safeway Inc.,

which owns Vons and Pavilions; Kroger Co., which owns Ralphs; and Albertson's Inc. ? to bring employee costs

down.

Unions Put Democratic Endorsement Plans on Hold

Source: Leigh Strope (AP), FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): multiple unions

Date: September 29, 2003

Organized labor has yet to organize when it comes to choosing a Democrat to challenge President Bush.

Late entrant Wesley Clark is shaking up the process even further, with some key unions delaying endorsement

plans to see if he energizes voters. Many unions had expected to endorse a 2004 choice this month or next, but

they became wary about getting tied to a loser in a volatile contest with a crowded field that has seen the

early front-runner trip and a once-afterthought soar. Enter Clark - and intrigue for several unions whose

rank-and-file have failed to coalesce around one candidate. Will the retired four-star general be the savior

leading Democrats back to the White House? Or will he flame out? Some unions are taking time to find out.




Labor Dispute Hindering Jewel's Wisconsin Expansion

Source: Associated Press, WBBM (IL)

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1444

Date: September 29, 2003

A

labor dispute between Illinois-based Jewel Food Stores and its 1,500 union employees in southeastern Wisconsin

has hurt the company's efforts to expand in the area, its president said. "This whole thing creates so much

uncertainty," Jewel President Pete Van Helden said, after union employees rejected Jewel's contract proposal

last week. The inability to reach an agreement ended Jewel's plans to buy 10 Kohl's Food Stores in the

Milwaukee area last summer, he said. Jewel-Osco needed to know wage and benefit expenses before buying the

stores.

AFL-CIO Not Ready to Make White House Endorsement

Source: John Whitesides (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: September 30, 2003

The nation's largest labor organization said Tuesday it was not ready to make an endorsement in

the Democratic presidential primary race, dealing a setback to Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt. AFL-CIO

President John Sweeney said he would not call a general board meeting for mid-October, where leaders of the

federation would have considered endorsing a candidate.

Mine Workers OK Reorganization Plan

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): United Mine Workers

Date: September 30, 2003

The United Mine Workers union approved a reorganization plan that cuts the number of elected officials and

puts districts under the control of the international union. Delegates to the union convention in Las Vegas

approved the plan Monday, said Doug Gibson, a union spokesman. The reorganization package was proposed by UMW

President Cecil Roberts in August. It makes UMW districts into divisions of the international union instead of

separate entities, and reduces from three to one the number of officers elected by members in each

district.

Gephardt Won?t Get Early Backing of Labor

Source: Steven Greenhouse & Rachel L. Swarns, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: October 1, 2003

The A.F.L.-C.I.O. announced yesterday that it would not endorse a Democratic

presidential candidate this month, dealing a sharp setback to the campaign of Representative Richard A.

Gephardt of Missouri. After meeting with other union leaders in Washington, John J. Sweeney, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.

president, said he was canceling an endorsement meeting planned for Oct. 14 because he could not muster the

two-thirds support Mr. Gephardt needed to obtain the federation's coveted backing. Nor was there a consensus

on anyone else in the crowded Democratic field. For years as House Democratic leader, Mr. Gephardt has been a

staunch ally of organized labor, and his aides hoped that an October endorsement would give him a lift going

into the winter primary season. It would have given him labor's imprimatur and provided hundreds of union

officials to work for him across the nation during the primaries and caucuses.

Hormel Union Workers Vote in Favor of Contract

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: October 1, 2003

Meat processor Hormel

Foods Inc.'s union workers voted late Tuesday in favor of a new four-year contract, a company spokeswoman told

Reuters Wednesday. Some 3,000 workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers had reached a

tentative agreement with the company last Friday after the two sides had entered into federal mediation.

Chicago Area Hit by Garbage Haulers Strike

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): Teamsters Union

Date: October 1, 2003

Unionized trash haulers

said on Wednesday they have gone on strike against private-sector garbage services in the Chicago area in an

action that will disrupt commercial trash service and some residential service.

A Labor House Divided

Source: Tom Robbins, Village Voice

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: September 30, 2003

Charles Ensley, the

veteran leader of the 20,000-member local representing the city's welfare workers, held an exuberant kickoff

rally last week for his campaign to unseat incumbent Lillian Roberts as executive director of District Council

37, the city's largest?and once most powerful?municipal workers' union. "We are embarking on a mission today

to return this union to its former glory," said Ensley, 62. Thirty of the council's 56 local

presidents?representing 70,000 of the council's 120,000 members?were present to support his candidacy, Ensley

said, and he had them raise their hands as the crowd of 100 cheered and shook blue signs proclaiming a "Unity

Slate." The rally was held on a plaza at the rear entrance of the council's huge headquarters at 125 Barclay

Street on the far west side of Lower Manhattan, offices purchased back in those glory years when anything the

council's then influential leaders said had impact at City Hall and in Albany. Those days are long gone,

however. Now the plaza is notable as the site where investigators for the Manhattan district attorney's office

hauled away truckloads of records in 1999, in a probe that resulted in criminal charges against some 20

officials of D.C. 37 and a seismic shake-up in what had always been perceived as a sedate and corruption-free

labor organization. The investigation opened a Pandora's box of long-hidden secrets, ranging from the blatant

rigging of contract votes and local elections to the theft of union treasuries and even hushed-up mob

associations. The plaza was also the place, union veterans knew, where the leader of a key local was savagely

beaten by goons dispatched by a mobster dissatisfied with the size of his tribute.

Office Site Center of Labor War

Source: Tony Hagen, Trenton Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ

Date: September 30, 2003

Mickey Landis, vice president and regional manager of Boston Properties, says his company looks after its

workers, so he is unhappy labor activists are using his office park, Carnegie Center, as a poster pinup for

worker exploitation allegations. "Boston Properties is entirely sympathetic to any worker's status, in any

position," Landis says. "Our company has a terrific record in treating its workers well. It is absurd to think

that our company doesn't care." In recent months, Boston Properties has been slammed by Service Employees

International Union Local 32BJ, which is working hard to unionize janitors and related building services

employees in Mercer County.

Deere Reaches Tentative Deal with Union

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: September 30, 2003

Deere & Co, the

world's largest farm equipment maker, said on Tuesday it had reached a tentative agreement with the United

Auto Workers union but terms of the proposal still needed to be approved.

St. C Teachers Not Alone In Labor Strife

Source: WTOV9.com (OH)

Union(s): Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) Local 549

Date: September 30, 2003

The labor situation involving St.

Clairsville-Richland City Schools is an increasingly complicated saga, of teachers who are not happy, service

workers even less happy, and a school district prepared to go forward without either of them. The Ohio

Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) Local 549 represents cafeteria workers, bus drivers, maintenance

and other service workers in St. C, and like the teachers those folks are working without a new labor

contract--the old deal expired in July. Tuesday night, the union is holding only its fourth negotiation with

the Board of Education since the contract ran out.

Chrysler, Union to Convene on Employment Costs

Source: John Porretto (AP), Miami Herald

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 1, 2003

DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group and the United Auto Workers will look at a variety of ways in the coming

months to reduce the automaker's employment costs, including buyouts, a Chrysler spokesman said Tuesday.

Chrysler and the UAW, who agreed on a new four-year labor pact in mid-September, will establish a task force by

Nov. 1 to discuss employment issues, Chrysler spokesman Dan Bodene said.

State Workers Trade Wages For Time Off

Source: Associated Press, Detroit News

Union(s): Michigan State Employees Association

Date: October 1, 2003

A union

representing 4,000 state employees gave approval Tuesday to a deal that would require state workers to defer

some of their wages and take 32 hours of unpaid time off. The Michigan State Employees Association is the first

of several unions to reach a tentative agreement on ways to save money on state workers, said David Fink,

director of the Office of the State Employer. John Denniston, president of the Michigan State Employees

Association, said the agreement would require members to work 40 hours a week but get paid for 38. The unpaid

hours would go into a bank of leave time and would be treated similar to vacation hours. If an employee leaves

a state job with hours still in the bank, the money for that time would go into the worker's 401(k) retirement

account.

Chicago Strike Leaves Garbage Piling Up

Source: Jo Napolitano, New York Times

Union(s): Teamsters Locals 731 and 301

Date: October 3, 2003

Less

than two days after 3,300 city and suburban trash haulers went on strike, garbage bins here are already

beginning to overflow, leaving residents and business owners struggling to keep their waste vermin-free. After

about three months of negotiations, contract talks between Teamsters Locals 731 and 301 and the Chicago Area

Refuse Haulers Association, which represents the 17 refuse companies, broke down about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday

in a dispute over wages and benefits. The negotiations resumed on Thursday morning.

Hormel Contract Includes Higher Wages - and Health Care Costs

Source: Associated Press, Kansas City Star

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: October 2, 2003

The four-year contract ratified by workers at five Hormel Foods plants, including one in Atlanta,

includes annual wage increases averaging 2 percent, but employees will have to pay a greater share of their

health care costs, a union official said. The more than 3,000 workers at the five plants, - including Hormel's

flagship packinghouse in Austin - approved the contract by a margin of 65 percent to 35 percent, the United

Food and Commercial Workers announced Wednesday. The agreement was an improvement over a contract that was

overwhelmingly rejected by union members last month, said Denny LeBarron, a business agent for UFCW Local 9 in

Austin, which represents about 1,300 Hormel workers.

Employee Claims He Was Forced into Prayer

Source: Michelle Maitre, Oakland Tribune

Union(s): University Professional and Technical Employees

Date: October 6, 2003

Will Osuna said he was uncomfortable when, as a University of California employee, he felt pressured to

participate in what he considered religious rituals on company time.
In a typical instance, Osuna said

participants in conferences and student camps organized as part of a university outreach program that targets

American-Indian students would stand and gather in a circle. A speaker would invoke "the creator" or other

deity, including "God" or the "Almighty Father." At conferences and other gatherings of adult officials, Osuna

said attendees were expected to participate in Native American rituals including passing around burning sage

nestled in seashell. Participants were asked to pass the shell "around and about" their bodies.

Auto-Parts Giants Target Wages in UAW Talks

Source: Ted Evanoff, Indianapolis Star

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 5, 2003

Landing a

job in a Delphi Corp. or Visteon Corp. factory in Indiana has long been a sure way to middle-class income. But

the retrenching Detroit auto industry soon could cut the $26-an-hour base wage for new workers at Delphi and

Visteon auto parts plants in Indiana and the rest of the nation. A new round of negotiations, aimed at winning

landmark concessions from the United Auto Workers union, is expected to begin this month.

Gephardt's Labor Roots Run Deep

Source: Ed Tibbetts, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Union(s): various unions

Date: October 6, 2003

Now, with this likely to be his last stab at politics' biggest

prize, Richard Gephardt is melding his familiarity with the byways of America's politics with a hefty health

care plan to try to seize the party's presidential nomination. It's not easy. The field is crowded. A guy few

heard of a year ago --- Howard Dean --- is setting fire to the grass roots. Gephardt's second quarter

fund-raising totals were disappointing. But, the Missouri man who first won elected office as a St. Louis

alderman in 1970 by going door-to-door --- working one side of the street while his soon-to-be wife worked the

other --- is marching forward.

Unions See Politics in New Disclosure Rules

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: October 5, 2003

Labor leaders have sharply criticized new financial disclosure regulations that the Labor Department issued on

Friday, asserting that the Bush administration is intent on retaliating against unions. "These new rules are

blatantly political," said Jonathan Hiatt, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s general counsel, charging that the

administration wanted to punish labor for supporting many Democrats and battling the president on numerous

issues. "They aim to send a retaliatory message." But administration officials said the new rules were not

designed to punish labor, but to prevent union corruption and provide union members with more information about

their unions' operations and financial health.

UAW Ratifies Contract with GM, Delphi

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 6, 2003

The United Auto Workers

union said on Monday it had ratified new four-year contracts with General Motors Corp. and Delphi Corp. The new

contracts cover over 117,000 active workers at GM and more than 30,000 active workers at Delphi, as well as

more than 234,000 retirees and 63,000 surviving spouses.

Grocery Workers Complain to NLRB over Wages Offered to Temps

Source: Thomas Lee, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655

Date: October 3, 2003

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 filed an unfair labor-practices complaint Friday

against the three largest supermarket chains in St. Louis over their offers of higher wages to temporary

grocery workers. Schnuck Markets Inc., Dierbergs Markets Inc., and Shop 'n Save Warehouse Foods Inc. ran

advertisements Thursday and Friday seeking temporary workers to replace union members if the UFCW strikes next

week.

Labor Strike to Shake Up UCs

Source: Menaka Fernando, The UCLA Daily Bruin

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 3, 2003

Class

will be dismissed for hundreds of students today as many teaching assistants, readers and tutors throughout the

University of California participate in a one-day strike against what they call unfair labor practices. The

strike will be coordinated by the United Auto Workers local division that represents 10,000 workers at the

eight undergraduate UC campuses. The UAW filed 64 unfair labor practices against the university for bargaining

in bad faith. Some of these alleged practices include surface bargaining ? the practice of passing proposals

back and forth without making real changes ? and shifting justifications by the university, said Beth Rayfield,

a spokeswoman for UAW.

Labor Goes All Out to Get Vote Out for Davis

Source: James Sterngold, San Francisco Chronicle

Union(s): Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

Date: October 6, 2003

As the recall campaign roars toward the final showdown Tuesday, this unlikely race may boil down

to a final sprint between Gov. Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rudy Garcia. While Davis and

Schwarzenegger crisscross the state with their appeals to big crowds, Garcia is playing a potentially crucial

role by pressing voters to oppose the recall one at a time at a bustling telephone calling center run by the

Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, ground zero for one of the largest get-out-the-vote campaigns ever

mounted in the state.

Deere Says UAW Workers Ratify 6-Year Contract

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 6, 2003

Deere & Co., the

world's largest farm equipment maker, on Monday said workers represented by the United Auto Workers over the

weekend ratified a six-year contract that runs to Sept. 30, 2009. The agreement covers roughly 7,000 employees

and 17,000 retirees, Deere said. The Moline, Illinois-based company had reached a tentative agreement with the

workers on Sept. 30, and said union officials have notified it of the ratification.

US Airways Subcontracts Work, Inflames Mechanics

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): International Association of Machinists

Date: October 6, 2003

US Airways Group Inc.

said on Monday that it will outsource heavy maintenance on 10 of its airplanes to an Alabama company, which

prompted the airline's mechanics' union to file for a temporary restraining order that would prevent the

move. US Airways said 10 of its Airbus narrow body aircraft are due for their first round of mandatory heavy

maintenance checks this fall, but said it does not have the facilities or equipment to perform the work.

Teamsters, Haulers Set to Meet with Mediator

Source: Courtney Flynn and Liam Ford, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Teamsters Locals 731 and 301

Date: October 7, 2003

Striking garbage workers and private waste-hauling companies will sit down

with a federal mediator Tuesday morning as almost a week's worth of uncollected trash clutters alleys and

streets throughout northeastern Illinois. Representatives of Teamsters Locals 731 and 301 and the Chicago Area

Refuse Haulers Association have agreed to meet with a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation

Services, a federal agency with offices in Hinsdale.

Union Organizing Remains Muddled in Chrysler Pact

Source: Danny Hakim, New York Times

Union(s): United Automobile Workers

Date: October 7, 2003

The

Chrysler Group's new contract with the United Automobile Workers union, ratified by workers last month, fell

short of one of the union's top goals: persuading DaimlerChrysler to recognize what are known as card checks

to unionize American plants owned by the Mercedes division. The union has never successfully organized a plant

owned solely by a foreign automaker, but it had hoped it might have an opportunity at Mercedes because the 1998

acquisition of Chrysler by Daimler-Benz put Mercedes and Chrysler under the same corporate umbrella.

US Air and Union in Dispute on Overhauls

Source: Bloomberg News, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists

Date: October 7, 2003

The US Airways

Group, which emerged from bankruptcy protection this year, said yesterday that it had hired a Singapore unit of

Technologies Engineering to overhaul 10 aircraft. The airline's mechanics' union will seek to block the

action. US Airways, which is based in Arlington, Va., lacks the space and the equipment to work on Airbus SAS

A319 planes and will contract with ST Mobile Aerospace Engineering, which is based in Mobile, Ala., and is part

of Singapore Technologies, the airline said. The International Association of Machinists, which represents

mechanics, said it would seek a temporary restraining order in Federal District Court in Pittsburgh to block US

Airways' action.

Chicago Garbage Haulers Reach Tentative Contract

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): Teamsters

Date: October 9, 2003

Trash

haulers in the Chicago area who have been on strike for nine days against private garbage services have reached

a tentative contract agreement, the companies said Thursday. The strike against Allied Waste Industries Inc.,

Waste Management Inc., Republic Services Inc. and other members of the 16-company Chicagoland Refuse Haulers

Association idled 3,300 members of the Teamsters Union.

Delta to Meet With Pilots in Hopes of Restarting Salary Talks

Source: Edward Wong, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 9, 2003

The top executives of Delta Air Lines will meet with leaders of the union that represents its pilots

on Oct. 17 to talk about the airline's financial condition and possibly work out a way to restart negotiations

over wage cuts, Delta's president said yesterday. The executive, Frederick W. Reid, said in an interview in

Manhattan that he and other officials, including Leo F. Mullin, the chief executive, would meet with half a

dozen leaders of the Air Line Pilots Association. The union broke off talks on pay cuts late in July, saying

that it was not willing to allow the levels of wage cuts that Delta was seeking and that it wanted its current

contract extended. The contract was signed in 2001 and is valid until May 2005.

Verizon Union Workers Ratify Labor Contract

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: October 9, 2003

Union workers at Verizon

Communications Inc. on Wednesday ratified the five-year labor contract they had tentatively agreed to last

month, the Communications Workers of America said. The agreement covers 60,000 CWA workers from Maine to

Virginia. Another 18,000 workers are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical

Workers.

With Union Talks Nearing, N.H.L. Is Citing Big Losses

Source: Richard Sandomir, New York Times

Union(s): N.H.L. Players Association

Date: October 9, 2003

With its labor agreement expiring in 11 months, the National Hockey League now says it has lost

$1.5 billion over the last nine seasons largely because of spiraling player costs and the union's exploitation

of contract loopholes. Last season alone, the losses reached at least $296 million, said Ted Saskin, a union

official familiar with the league's figures. The dire tone of the league's financial assessment is

reminiscent of the disclosure of huge losses by Major League Baseball in late 2001, when baseball's labor

agreement was about to expire.

Labor Board Targets Congress Plaza Hotel

Source: Kelly Quigley, Crain's Chicago Business

Union(s): Hotel Employee & Restaurant Employees Union (HERE)

Date: October 8, 2003

The

Chicago office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed an unfair labor practices complaint

against the Congress Plaza hotel, saying hotel management has failed to bargain in good faith with union

workers who have been striking since June 15. In its complaint, the federal agency said Congress hotel at 520

S. Michigan Ave. violated labor laws by prematurely declaring an impasse in negotiations, refusing to provide

financial results to support a wage cut and threatening union members with disciplinary action if they didn?t

leave a public function at the hotel.

GM, UAW Sign New Labor Pact

Source: Associated Press, Miami Herald

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 8, 2003

United Auto

Workers President Ron Gettelfinger and General Motors Corp. Chairman Rick Wagoner on Wednesday signed the new

four-year labor contract covering GM employees. GM is the last of the Big Three to complete the bargaining

process. The signing ceremony took place at the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources, where GM and the union

negotiated. Gettelfinger and Wagoner smiled and shook hands, but neither spoke to reporters.

LV Union Watching Calif. Labor Dispute

Source: Alana Roberts, Las Vegas Sun

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 711

Date: October 8, 2003

Members of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 711, which represents 7,000 grocery

store workers in Nevada and Utah, still have a year ahead of them before their labor contracts

expire.

Yet, the outcome in the stalemate in negotiations between grocery stores in the Southern

California area and UFCW Local 770 in Los Angeles could set a precedent and affect future negotiations for

Local 711 in Southern Nevada.

Leaders of UFCW Local 711 in Las Vegas and UFCW Local 770 in Los Angeles

say members have been affected by the arrival of Wal-Mart grocery centers and other non-union grocery stores to

the Southern Nevada and Southern California areas.

New Contract Ends Trash Collectors? Strike

Source: Monica Davey, New York Times

Union(s): Teamsters

Date: October 10, 2003

The

region's nine-day garbage strike ended with a deal at dawn on Thursday, but the messier part, the tens of

thousands of tons of leftover trash, lay ahead. "We want to start hearing those trucks rolling as soon as

possible," said Sean T. Howard, a spokesman for the mayor of Harvey, a Chicago suburb where municipal workers

had gone so far as to start collecting some of the mounting trash on flatbed trucks. "We're ready for the

garbage trucks. We're begging for the trucks." After all-night negotiations, representatives for the Teamsters

union and the Chicago Area Refuse Haulers Association, an alliance of 17 private garbage companies, announced

that they had reached an agreement on wages, health benefits and pensions. Later in the day, union members

voted to approve the agreement.

Workers Protest Macy?s Pay Policy

Source: Carrie Mason-Draffen, Newsday

Union(s): Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

Date: October 10, 2003


Several hundred Macy's workers held a lunchtime rally outside the

retailer's flagship store in Manhattan's Herald Square yesterday to protest not being paid for days Macy's

closed during the massive blackout this summer. About 500 unionized workers participated in the 2 1/2-hour

rally, said Ken Bordieri, president of Local 1-S of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Bordieri

said some members, who include Macy's sales clerks and housekeeping and stockroom workers, missed as much as

two days' pay. Some who worked the night shift were told not to report after the blackout hit just after 4

p.m. on a Thursday, Bordieri said, and they were told not to come in the next day. The store reopened that

Saturday, the union said.

Talk Gets Tough Amid U.S. Auto Sector's Hard Times

Source: Tom Brown (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 9, 2003

Some tough talk, including a vow to "kick Toyota's ass," highlighted the increasingly combative nature of the

U.S. auto industry on Thursday. The bravado came as local politicians and top officials from the struggling

Chrysler unit of DaimlerChrysler gathered at an aging assembly plant in Newark, Delaware to rally more than

2,000 workers and celebrate their launch of an all-new Dodge Durango sport utility vehicle that goes on sale

next month. In a fiery speech, Sen. Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat, lamented the recent erosion of the U.S.

manufacturing sector. But he said there was hope yet for U.S. manufacturers if workers, like those on the

Newark assembly line, could succeed in "beating the living hell out of the Japanese and beating the living hell

out of the Europeans."

Kroger, Albertson's, Safeway Face Strike Threat

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers Union

Date: October 10, 2003

About 70,000 U.S.

supermarket workers, protesting planned health-care cuts, could authorize strike action as early as Friday

against Kroger Co., Albertsons Inc. and Safeway Inc., a union representative said. Ellen Anreder said workers

at the three leading Southern California grocers, spread across one of the country's key grocery markets,

spent the last two days voting on the proposed action after a deadlock in talks with their employers about a

week ago. Even though the official result of the workers' vote is only scheduled to be announced later on

Friday, Anreder told Reuters it would more likely call for a strike targeting more than 800 Southern California

supermarkets that operate under such names as Ralphs, Albertsons and Vons.

Labor Union Backs Gephardt for President

Source: Sam Hananel (AP), Newsday

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

Date: October 10, 2003

One of the nation's largest labor unions will back Dick Gephardt in the

Democratic presidential race, giving the candidate more foot soldiers in his White House bid. The United Food

and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents about 1 million workers in the United States,

plans to endorse Gephardt based on his broad plan for universal health care. Gephardt's proposal is "the best

plan for preserving the employer-based health care system in this country," union spokeswoman Jill Cashen said

Friday. The UFCW includes workers in the retail food, meatpacking, poultry and health care industries.

Labor Unable to Deliver Usual Clout in Recall Vote

Source: David Whelan and Jessica Guynn, Contra Costa Times

Union(s): various California unions

Date: October 10, 2003

Labor leaders spent millions of dollars and barnstormed the state to defeat the recall but then woke

up after election day to find that rank-and-file union members had defied them by supporting Arnold

Schwarzenegger in large numbers. The inability of labor to deliver a powerful pro-Gray Davis voting bloc was

attributed to the speed of the election and the governor's deep-seated unpopularity. But it also revealed a

lack of voting discipline on the part of union workers who benefited from pro-labor Davis policies.

Small Union Wages Big War on Privatization

Source: Brian Friel, National Journal , GovExec.com

Union(s): National Air Traffic Controllers Association

Date: October 10, 2003

In

1982, the year after President Reagan fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers for striking, the Federal

Aviation Administration hired private contractors to staff air traffic control towers that had been closed at

five small airports as a result of the mass termination. Over the next two decades, in large part as a

cost-saving effort, the FAA hired contractors to run another 214 control towers at small and midsize airports.

During the same period, the agency rebuilt its own controller workforce at 265 towers and other centers that

handle air traffic. In turn, the in-house FAA controllers organized into a new union, the National Air Traffic

Controllers Association. While the federal air traffic controllers were never happy with the

contracting-out?NATCA is in the ninth year of litigation challenging the FAA's authority to hire private

controllers?they more or less put up with it until the Bush administration took office. Now, the federal air

traffic controllers are fighting their biggest political battle since the 1981 strike. They are attempting to

block the administration's push for legislative authority to contract out additional control towers.

American To Recall 390 Flight Attendants

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Association of Professional Flight Attendants

Date: October 10, 2003

American Airlines Inc. is calling back to work 390 flight attendants who were furloughed in

cost-cutting moves to avoid bankruptcy, the first such recall at the world's largest air carrier since the

Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Fort Worth-based American, which signed a letter of agreement with the

Association of Professional Flight Attendants, said it will increase its flying schedule in coming months and

into the spring. The airline furloughed more than 6,000 flight attendants on July 1. Another 1,385 flight

attendants are on leaves of absence, but American officials said that the recalls will not come from that

group.


Forest Service Decides To Keep Jobs In-House: Agency Considered Private Contractors

Source: Christopher Lee, Washington Post

Union(s): Forest Service Council

Date: October 13, 2003

Employees at the U.S. Forest Service recently won the right to keep most maintenance

positions in-house, reducing fears that President Bush's "competitive sourcing" initiative would trigger an

exodus of jobs to the private sector. Of 969 full-time positions studied for possible takeover by private

contractors, all but 47 were determined to be performed better and more cheaply by the agency, Tom Mills, the

Forest Service's deputy chief for business operations, said last week. The agency also demonstrated that it

should retain 946 positions at the 18 Job Corps vocational training centers it helps operate, Mills said. The

agency has 34,700 employees. "We overwhelmingly retained them in-house," Mills said. "Our costs were better

than the comparable contract costs."

Steelmaker's Retirees May Lose Pensions

Source: HRNext

Union(s): Independent Steelworkers Union

Date: October 10, 2003

About 10,000 retirees and dependents

would lose their pension and health and life insurance under a bankrupt West Virginia steelmaker's plan to

return to financial solvency. Weirton Steel, the nation's fifth-largest integrated steelmaker, sought Chapter

11 protection in May after losing more than $700 million in five years, according to the Associated Press. At

the time, Weirton said more than half its $1.4 billion in debt was owed to retirees. Last year, the company

paid nearly $31 million in retiree benefits, and it expects to pay slightly more than that this year, according

to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wheeling, W. Va.

Gephardt Builds on Already Solid Ties to Labor

Source: Mike Glover (AP), San Francisco Chronicle

Union(s): Teamsters; UFCW

Date: October 11, 2003

Democratic presidential hopeful Dick Gephardt nurtured his already solid

ties to organized labor Saturday, building on a constituency that could make the difference in Iowa's leadoff

precinct caucuses. Gephardt rallied with Teamsters president James Hoffa, collected the endorsement of the

United Food and Commercial Workers Union and said his close ties with labor are crucial to Iowa's

organization-driven caucuses.


Top California Grocers Hobbled by Strike, Lockout

Source: Kevin Krolicki (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Union

Date: October 13, 2003

The

union representing some 70,000 Southern California grocery workers called a strike against Safeway Inc.'s Vons

and two rival supermarket chains responded Sunday by locking out union workers. Picket lines organized by the

United Food and Commercial Workers Union formed at Vons across from Los Angeles to San Diego, one of the

nation's most populous regions and a key market for the grocery chains. In response to the Vons strike,

Albertsons Inc. and Kroger Co.'s Ralphs, which are covered by the same master contract, locked out union

workers from the first shift on Sunday, a union spokeswoman said.

More Workers Strike Over Healthcare Benefits

Source: Daniel B. Wood, Christian Science Monitor

Union(s): various

Date: October 16, 2003

It's

not the first time that 450,000 L.A. commuters have found themselves thumbing rides or relying on taxis and car

pools. When employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) began striking Tuesday, clogged

freeways stood as still as broken conveyor belts, bringing back memories of a similar strike three years ago.

That one lasted over a month. But it's a concurrent strike by 859 supermarket grocery clerks in Southern

California that has compounded the frustration of carrying out even the simplest of daily chores in L.A.

Suddenly, the city seems like a model of Soviet inefficiency. Though coincidental in timing, the two strikes

aren't unrelated. Both unions are trying to renegotiate contracts that will boost medical benefits and cover

soaring health-insurance costs. The two high-profile strikes follow dozens of recent union disputes in

California and elsewhere over health benefits, an issue that may continue to plague contract negotiations

coast-to-coast until the larger issue of health costs is addressed.

Steelmaker Reaches Out to Labor, Environmentalists

Source: John Nolan, Buffalo News

Union(s): Armco Employees Independent Federation

Date: October 13, 2003

AK Steel Corp. is

embarking on a more conciliatory approach toward environmentalists and regulators after shaking up its

management ranks last month. At the urging of the company's board, interim chief executive James Wainscott

has begun a new era since his Sept. 18 promotion. He met with an environmentalist to help foster communication

and huddled with United Steelworkers union officials before they jointly announced an agreement to try to work

out disputes lingering from a bitter, 39-month worker lockout that ended last year at AK Steel's Mansfield

plant. The change has been noticed by union workers, industry analysts and business leaders in this southwest

Ohio city where the company is based and is the dominant employer.

California Supermarket Strike Deters Shoppers

Source: John M. Broder, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: October 14, 2003

Store

shelves appeared fully stocked but the aisles were largely empty of shoppers as a supermarket strike at the

three biggest grocery chains in Southern and Central California entered its third day on Monday evening. Picket

lines were set up outside hundreds of supermarkets starting Saturday night as members of the United Food and

Commercial Workers union walked off the job here for the first time in 25 years. The strike was called against

the Vons and Pavilions chains, which are operated by Safeway Inc. The owners of their chief competitors,

Albertson's and Ralphs, locked out U.F.C.W. workers as part of a joint negotiating strategy.

Locked Out, Queens Truck Drivers Are Angry

Source: Robert F. Worth, New York Times

Union(s): Local 813 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: October 15, 2003

It

was still pitch-dark outside the Star Corrugated Box manufacturing plant in Queens yesterday morning when

Dominick Jacino, a 59-year-old trucker, showed up for work. A supervisor had told him and the plant's other 20

drivers to arrive at 4 a.m. for a drug test, Mr. Jacino said. Instead, they found the gates locked, Mr. Jacino

said, and were told by a supervisor that they had all been replaced. The news did not come entirely out of the

blue. The truckers' union local had been negotiating over wages and benefits since August, when company

officials announced that they would contract out the trucking to a Chicago-based firm. The plant's parent

company, Norampac, did not respond yesterday to telephone calls or messages left in person. Many of the

truckers have worked at the plant for decades, and they said that they considered it a kind of family trust, so

the layoffs had been a painful and unexpected blow.

Los Angeles Transit Mechanics Strike

Source: Alex Veiga , FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Amalgamated Transit Union

Date: October 14, 2003

Mechanics for the nation's third-largest public transportation system went on strike Tuesday, shutting down

buses and trains that an estimated 500,000 daily riders count on to get around Los Angeles County. Metropolitan

Transportation Authority mechanics walked off the job after midnight, and union officials said bus drivers,

train operators and other workers would honor picket lines, halting some 1,900 buses, as well as light-rail and

subway lines. "The strike will continue indefinitely, until we get a contract," Neil Silver, president of the

Amalgamated Transit Union, said early Tuesday by telephone. He was speaking from a picket line where he had

joined about 50 members of the union, which represents some 2,200 MTA employees.

Transit, Grocery and Law Enforcement Labor Unrest Roils Southern California

Source: Alex Veiga (AP), San Diego Union Tribune

Union(s): various

Date: October 14, 2003

Metropolitan Transportation Authority mechanics walked off the

job just after midnight Tuesday, stranding hundreds of thousands of commuters across a region already hit by

striking grocery workers and sporadic sickouts by sheriff's deputies. The separate labor actions snarled

traffic, inconvenienced grocery shoppers and threatened to disrupt the operation of county jails and courts.

Grocers, Union Set For Prolonged Strike

Source: Kevin Krolicki (Reuters), FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Union

Date: October 14, 2003

The union representing striking Southern California grocery workers on Tuesday said it had filed a $600

million lawsuit against Albertsons Inc. and Kroger Co.'s Ralphs chain accusing them of staging an unlawful

lockout. The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court charges that the two chains violated state law

by locking out some 49,000 workers this week. That action came after the United Food and Commercial Workers

Union singled out Safeway Inc.'s Vons chain for a strike after contract talks with all three companies

deadlocked over health care costs over a week ago.

Labor Unrest Continues in SoCal

Source: Sacramento Business Journal

Union(s): various

Date: October 15, 2003

As the grocery strike enters its fourth day, the mass transit strike is paralyzing

commuters for the second day. An end to either labor dispute is unlikely in the near future. In all, thousands

of commuters and shoppers are being inconvenienced by striking Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers

and the nearly 70,000 grocery store clerks from Kroger Co.'s Ralphs, Albertson's and Safeway-owned Vons that

began striking Saturday. The estimated per-day cost of the MTA and grocery strikes could be as much as $10

million a day, adding even more injury to an already difficult situation.

Delta Selling Planes, Asking Pilots to Take Cuts in Wages

Source: Harry R. Weber (AP), Lakeland Ledger (FL)

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 15, 2003

Delta Air Lines, the nation's thirdlargest carrier, is selling

planes and urging pilots to agree to wage cuts amid signs its financial situation will continue to sputter in

the months ahead. The airline said Tuesday it is selling 11 planes and delaying the delivery of eight more as

it lost $168 million, or $1.36 a share, in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $330 million, or $2.67 a

share, for the same period a year ago. The loss includes $4 million paid out in dividends to preferred

shareholders. Delta executives again asked pilots to tighten their belts and agree to wage cuts. They warned

that the company expects to lose as much as $275 million in the fourth quarter.

Labor Denounces Asbestos Fund Offer From Business

Source: Susan Cornwell (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: October 17, 2003

Organized labor Thursday denounced a new offer from business and insurers to fund an asbestos victims' trust,

saying it was inadequate to cover the costs of expected claims from people sickened by the mineral. Labor's

condemnation, in a letter sent to all U.S. senators, was a blow to hopes in some quarters on Capitol Hill that

the offer would quickly revive legislation to end asbestos lawsuits and pay victims' claims out of a national

fund. Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist's office announced a proposal for a $114 billion fund on Wednesday

after weeks of bartering between asbestos companies and insurers. But AFL-CIO legislative director William

Samuel's letter on Thursday said the offer was a "major step backwards" from earlier legislative efforts and

said labor would oppose it.

Grocery Shares Hold Up on Union Concession Hopes

Source: Ellis Mnyandu (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: October 16, 2003

Even as

prospects of a prolonged strike confronts U.S. supermarket operators, their shares are holding up on growing

hopes that the stores will not budge in their bid to cut health care costs, analysts said. With the strike,

affecting about 70,000 Southern California workers, in its fifth full day Thursday, analysts said investors and

store bosses possibly viewed any short-term pain from the action as a small price to pay for the longer-term

benefit of squeezing out concessions from unions.

Klein Assails Job Protection for Teachers

Source: Elissa Gootman, New York Times

Union(s): United Federation of Teachers

Date: October 17, 2003

(New York City)

Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein lashed out at the core of the teachers union contract yesterday, saying that

fundamental changes were needed to improve the schools. Mr. Klein denounced seniority rights, tenure, and pay

scales that are blind to teachers' subject matter as "the three pillars of non-meritocracy." "Schools will

never work because they're governed by a 250-page contract and a 10,000-page book of regulations," the

chancellor said in a speech before the Citizens' Committee for Children of New York. In his remarks, Mr. Klein

appeared to be setting ambitious goals for contract negotiations with the union representing the city's 80,000

teachers, goals that many experts say will be difficult to reach, if not unattainable. Regardless, Mr. Klein

stands to benefit from focusing on the limitations imposed by the current contract: should his reform plans

falter, he could cite resistance from the union as a major factor.

Strikes Leave S. Calif. Residents in Bind

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): various

Date: October 16, 2003

With bus service stalled by a strike, Ginara Santay had no idea how she would get to the four housecleaning

jobs she relies on to support her family. And with grocery clerks also walking picket lines, she wasn't sure

where she would buy food for an elderly woman at one of those homes. "I have an 8-year-old son. I'm worried

about the rent. I can't afford to miss one day, and I don't know what I'm going to do,'' she said

Wednesday while waiting for a ride to a home in West Hollywood. The labor disputes have created a spate of

problems across the region: Hundreds of thousands of commuters are stranded. Freeways are clogged. Grocery

stores are scaling back hours. And the already ailing economy has taken another hit.

Clerks File Unfair Labor Practice Charges

Source: Jim Sams, The Desert Sun

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: October 16, 2003

Striking grocery clerks have filed nine unfair practices complaints since Oct. 7 against the three supermarket

chains involved in a labor dispute that started Sunday, records show. Most of the complaints filed by the

United Food and Commercial Workers charge that managers for Albertsons and Ralphs stores interfered with the

rights of employees by prohibiting them from wearing union badges and insignia and threatening termination or a

reduction in work hours if they picketed the stores. One complaint accuses all three supermarket chains of

failing to bargain in good faith.

Combination of Trends Fueling Labor Strife in LA

Source: Gordon Smith (Copley News Service), San Diego Union Tribune

Union(s): various

Date: October 16, 2003

With greater Los Angeles bedeviled by two major strikes and an ongoing

sickout by a law-enforcement union, many residents here have come down with a bad case of "Why us?" Commuters

are finding traffic snarled more than usual because of the mechanics strike at the Metropolitan Transportation

Authority, which has shut down a hefty portion of Los Angeles County's bus and rail service since Tuesday.

Grocery shoppers, like their counterparts in San Diego County and elsewhere in Southern California, have been

scrambling this week to find alternatives to big chains patrolled by lines of picketing employees. Thousands of

residents here might well be wondering how safe they are in light of rolling sickouts by Los Angeles County

sheriff's deputies that have affected staffing at courts, jails and sheriff's stations countywide since late

September. The labor actions are the first time in recent memory that Los Angeles has had major strife on three

fronts simultaneously. The swell of discontent is a result of trends that have combined to create a "perfect

storm" of labor conflict here.

Labor Problems Cause Havoc With Pharmacy Customers

Source: Mark Abramson, Lompoc Record

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: October 16, 2003

The Vons

strike has left some of its pharmacy customers feeling a little queasy about having a prescription filled

there, especially after the pharmacy had to be closed temporarily. Lompoc resident Elizabeth Lindsay said she

was appalled when she was greeted by a note at the Vons pharmacy on North H Street Sunday that indicated it was

closed. Her insurance company had already approved the transaction at Vons and would not approve it at another

pharmacy. "I still don't have the medication," Lindsay said Wednesday. "It's definitely unethical all the way

around, and I'm going to take my business elsewhere." Lindsay said she has used up a short-term supply of the

medication she bought with cash.

New Labor Alliance Looks to Help Gephardt

Source: Brian C. Mooney, Boston Globe

Union(s): various

Date: October 17, 2003

More than a dozen national labor unions supporting Representative

Richard A. Gephardt announced yesterday they are banding together to form a group that will promote his

candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. At a news conference in Washington, the labor leaders

said the new group, called the Alliance for Economic Justice, will seek special status under the Internal

Revenue Service code to spend union money to communicate with members and promote key labor issues and

political candidates. Donald J. Kaniewski, legislative and political director of the Laborers' International

Union, said later the group will support Gephardt's candidacy in the short term but also has a long-term

agenda of emphasizing job preservation, foreign trade safeguards, and affordable health care.

Pilots Union Sees Delta Asking to Open Talks Soon

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 17, 2003

The pilots union at

Delta Air Lines on Friday said it expected to get a formal request to reopen wage cut talks from the air

carrier soon. Pilots, the only major unionized group at Delta, have a contract that runs until 2005. They

started talks earlier in 2003 with Delta on its proposal to cut hourly pay rates by 22 percent and forgo 4.5

percent pay raises in 2003 and 2004. Talks between the Air Line Pilots Association's Delta unit and the

Atlanta-based airline broke off three months ago.

More Labor Conflicts Expected Over Health Care Costs

Source: Alex Veiga (AP), Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Union(s): various

Date: October 18, 2003

When West Coast longshoremen and shipping companies ended their labor

dispute in January, union officials boasted that the new contract would set a standard for organized labor.

Among its provisions was no-cost health insurance, prompting an AFL-CIO official to remark that longshoremen

"won a historic contract which sets a much-needed benchmark in health care, pensions and living standards." For

many of the country's workers that benchmark is already shifting, as employers face soaring health care costs

and ask workers to shoulder a greater share of the burden. Workers are resisting, giving rise to labor

conflicts in California and elsewhere.

Labor Conflict Clouded

Source: Frank Green, San Diego Union Tribune

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: October 20, 2003

Wal-Mart's plans to enter the state's crowded food industry continue to cloud the ongoing battle

between Southern California grocery workers and the three major supermarket chains in the region. Wal-Mart said

this week that it is stepping up openings of at least 40 hybrid grocery-general merchandise Supercenters in

California ? from the previously announced time range of four to six years, to within three to five years. The

news could push Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons to toughen their negotiating stance with the United Food and

Commercial Workers union as a strike and lockout involving the two sides enters a seventh day today.

Deputy Sickout, Want Higher Wages

Source: KABC

Union(s): Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs

Date: October 16, 2003

More than 150 deputies assigned

to Los Angeles County jails called in sick overnight in a continuing wildcat strike staged to press demands for

higher wages. For the eight-hour shift beginning at 10 last night, 61 of 225 deputies called in sick, and for

the shift beginning at 6 this morning, 94 of 440 deputies did the same, said sheriff's Sgt. Paul Patterson.

The deputies are assigned to six jails, including the Men's Central Jail, the Twin Towers Correctional

Facility and the Inmate Reception Center, Patterson said. On Tuesday, a Santa Ana judge extended an order aimed

at barring sickouts by deputies. Yesterday, Assistant Sheriff R. Doyle Campbell said the court order allows

sheriff's officials to crack down on absent deputies.

Calif. Religious Leader Urges Talks in Grocery Strike

Source: Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: October 19, 2003

Cardinal Roger

Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles, has urged labor and business leaders to return to contract talks and

settle their differences in an eight-day strike at nearly 900 California grocery stores. In a statement issued

late on Saturday, Cardinal Mahony called for "around the clock" talks between the United Food and Commercial

Workers Union and No. 3 U.S. grocer Safeway Inc. (nyse: SWY - news - people) to end the dispute over

health-care issues that led to the strike affecting some 70,000 southern California workers. "I urge all

parties to return to the bargaining table at once and to resume negotiations until a satisfactory agreement is

reached," Mahony said in the statement.

Wal-Mart, Driving Workers and Supermarkets Crazy

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: October 19, 2003

In February Wal-Mart will open its first grocery supercenter in California, offering everything from tires to

prime meats, and that could be a blessing for middle-class consumers. The reason is simple: Wal-Mart's prices

are 14 percent lower than its competitors', according to a study by the investment bank UBS Warburg. But not

everyone is rejoicing about Wal-Mart's five-year plan to open 40 supercenters in California, stores combining

general merchandise and groceries that are expected to gobble up $3.2 billion in sales. California's three

largest supermarket chains, Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons, are scared, and so are tens of thousands of

supermarket workers whose union contracts have put them solidly in the middle class. The three grocers' fears

of fierce competition from Wal-Mart and their related drive to cut costs are widely seen as the main reason

behind the week-old strike by 70,000 workers at 859 supermarkets in Southern California.

No Progress in Calif. Labor Strikes

Source: New York Times , Associated Press

Union(s): various

Date: October 20, 2003

An estimated half-million commuters faced another morning rush hour without city buses or trains as a transit

strike entered its sixth day. The labor protests in the nation's third-largest transit system have clogged

freeways and forced users to scramble for alternative ways to commute. The strike, coupled with a grocery

workers strike and lock out, has weakened Southern California's already troubled economy. Though negotiations

between mechanics and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have apparently stalled, talks with train

operators, bus drivers and the authority have gained momentum, said Bill Heard, spokesman for the Metropolitan

Transportation Authority.

Church and Dwight Workers Eye Union

Source: Jeff Gearino, Casper Star Tribune

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: October 20, 2003

For the second time in seven years, hourly workers at Church and Dwight

Corp.'s soda ash manufacturing plant in southwest Wyoming will whether they want union representation. The

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) approved the scheduling of a vote to allow the approximately 145 hourly

workers at the plant to decide if they want to be represented in collective bargaining by the United Steel

Workers of America (USWA). The vote is set for Nov. 14, according to union and company officials. "The folks

from Church and Dwight had finally had enough abuse from their management and they approached us this summer

about organizing," USWA Local 13214 Financial Secretary T.J. Kelso said. "Once they get this passed, then maybe

they'll get some things taken care of out there," Kelso said in an interview. Soda ash is produced at five

plants in Sweetwater County from trona ore extracted from the deep underground mines adjacent to the plants.

Church and Dwight is the smallest of the five producers operating in Sweetwater County. The plant has no mine,

but purchases soda ash for manufacturing from other Green River basin producers.

Judge Orders Wash. Teachers Back To Work

Source: Jim Cour (AP), FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Marysville Education Association

Date: October 20, 2003

On strike for a month and a half, Marysville (WA) teachers were ordered back to work by a judge Monday, but

the head of their union said she expects teachers to defy the ruling. Union members, whose teachers strike is

the longest in state history, were to vote Monday evening on whether to honor Snohomish County Superior Court

Judge Linda C. Krese's order to return to work by Wednesday. Krese faulted both sides for the continuing

strike, which began Sept. 2 on what was supposed to be the first day of school for 11,000 students in the

district about 30 miles north of Seattle.

Ruling May Aid Strikers

Source: Chris Stirewalt, Charleston Daily Mail

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: October 20, 2003

The state of

West Virginia may have a great deal to say about how long the current strike will keep local Kroger stores

closed. If the striking food workers and the company remain at an impasse for much longer, whether or not the

strikers are eligible for unemployment compensation could be a key to how long they can stay on the picket

lines. Hundreds of strikers around the Charleston area have already signed up, and this week promises to bring

hundreds more as the state Bureau of Employment Programs begins an outreach to get Kroger workers signed up en

masse at meetings.

Rising Health Care Costs at Heart of Labor Strife

Source: Andrew Maykuth (Philadelphia Inquirer), San Jose Mercury News

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: October 19, 2003

Major labor strikes that erupted last week against grocery stores and the public transit agency

here suggest that workers are increasingly willing to stop work over the spiraling cost of health care.

Negotiations broke down over employers' attempts to pass on part of the double-digit increases in

health-insurance premiums. And with costs showing no sign of retreating, more strife is expected across the

nation. "It is the single most vexatious bargaining issue now," said Peter J. Hurtgen, head of the Federal

Mediation and Conciliation Services. "Employers and unions can't control costs. They can only argue and push

back and forth about who absorbs those costs."

As Health Care Costs Rise, Workers Shoulder Burden

Source: Stephanie Armour and Julie Appleby, USA Today

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: October 21, 2003

In California, 70,000 supermarket workers are walking the picket lines to protest proposed health

benefit cuts. Thousands of commuters in Los Angeles have been stranded as public transit mechanics walked off

their jobs over changes to a health insurance trust fund. And in Chicago, garbage piled up for days this month

after trash haulers went on strike to prevent health insurance cost increases. On the picket lines and at the

bargaining table, health care has emerged as the top concern, replacing wages and job security. Though the

battles involve union members, they illustrate what many workers face: the ending of an era when large

employers covered most ? if not all ? of the cost of health care and the beginning of a future when workers

will increasingly be responsible for those costs.

PBGC to Take Over Weirton Steel Pensions

Source: Vicki Smith (AP), Miami Herald

Union(s): Independent Steelworkers Union

Date: October 22, 2003

The federal

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. plans to take over the pension plan of bankrupt Weirton Steel Corp., which the

agency said is underfunded by $825 million. The move announced Tuesday would affect 3,500 active employees and

some 10,000 retirees and their dependents. Only 39 percent of Weirton Steel's pension plan is currently

funded, with assets of $530 million and nearly $1.35 billion in liabilities, the PBGC said.

Striking S. Calif. Mechanics Resume Talks

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Amalgamated Transit Union

Date: October 22, 2003

Negotiators for both sides in Southern California's transit strike have agreed to meet again through a state

mediator after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority backed away from earlier demands to take over the

union's troubled health care fund. Representatives of striking mechanics have asked for more details on a

proposal by the MTA but have not yet offered a counterproposal, according to agency spokesman Ed

Scannell.

Union Trying to Block Federal Takeover of EVTAC Pensions

Source: Associated Press, Miami Herald

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: October 23, 2003

The United Steelworkers of America wants to keep the federal government from assuming the pension plans of

workers laid off by the shuttered EVTAC Mining Co., saying the takeover would affect benefits to workers. The

union wants to join litigation under which the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. would take control of the

Thunderbird Mining Co. pension plan. Thunderbird Mining administers the pension plan for bankrupt EVTAC Mining.

Steelworker attorneys contend the PBGC - a federal agency charged with assuming the pension plans of failed

companies - didn't need to terminate the pension plan and acted too early in setting a July 24, 2003,

takeover.

Calif. Grocery Workers Add New Claims to Lawsuit

Source: Gina Keating (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: October 23, 2003

The union

for striking supermarket workers amended its lawsuit against California's three largest supermarket chains on

Thursday to include complaints that the chains are withholding past-due pay. The United Food and Commercial

Workers, which represents 70,000 striking and locked out workers in central and southern California, sued

Kroger Co, the parent of Ralphs stores, and Albertsons Inc. for allegedly failing to follow protocol when they

locked out workers. The new complaint accuses the two chains of violating state laws that require "reporting

time pay" for locked-out employees who showed up for work as scheduled on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12.

Talks Resume on Calif. Transit, But Not at Grocers

Source: Gina Keating (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): Amalgamated Transit Union

Date: October 24, 2003

Negotiations to end the nine-day-old Los Angeles bus and train strike intensified on Wednesday leading

officials to hope that the walkout that has stranded 400,000 mostly poor commuters would soon be over.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief Roger Snoble said talks with 2,000 striking mechanics had resumed

on Tuesday with both sides negotiating through a state mediator. "At this point I think it is good that we are

talking," Snoble told reporters. "We are actually paying attention to the issues. There are actually agreements

being signed ... From the atmosphere standpoint that's a better position than we did have." At issue in the

transit strike is whether the Amalgamated Transit Union should continue to control a multimillion-dollar trust

fund used to pay the mechanics' health benefits.

Striking Calif. Grocery Workers Lose Pay, Hang On

Source: Gina Keating, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: October 23, 2003

As strikes go, the

walkout by California supermarket workers nearly two weeks ago was bound to be a long one. With a weak U.S.

economy and competition from non-union discounters like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. eating into profits, the 70,000

unionized workers at Safeway Inc.'s Vons stores, Albertsons Inc. and Kroger Co.'s Ralphs stores knew they'd

have a long battle to keep their free health plan when contract talks stalled on Oct. 11. On Friday, the

striking workers will lose their first paycheck for their principles -- a scene likely to be repeated in the

coming months as U.S. businesses grapple with a weak economy and skyrocketing health care costs.

Labor Wants ALRB Filled

Source: Ed Fletcher , Sacramento Bee

Union(s): Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

Date: October 23, 2003

Concerned that Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger could soon control the state board that oversees farm

workers' rights, labor leaders are pressing Gov. Gray Davis to fill two vacancies before he leaves office. To

do so, Senate President Pro Tem John Burton would have to call the Democratic-controlled Senate back into

session to confirm the appointees before Schwarzenegger is sworn in next month. While Burton would not say

whether that would happen, senators have been told to be prepared for a session Tuesday. Davis, a Democrat who

was recalled by voters in the Oct. 7 election, has expressed an interest in making appointments to the

Agricultural Labor Relations Board and other panels during his final days in office.

Workers, Supermarkets Agree to Meet in St. Louis Labor Dispute

Source: Associated Press, Jefferson City News Tribune

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655

Date: October 24, 2003

After intervention by a federal mediator and Gov. Bob Holden, supermarket representatives and

St. Louis grocery workers involved in a labor dispute plan to return to the bargaining table. "We have agreed

to meet and will meet," said Bob Kelley, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655. Officials

would not say when meetings would occur, citing a gag order requested from an independent, federal mediator.

Representatives of the union and supermarkets have not met since a contract proposal was voted down and a

strike was authorized Oct. 7 against Shop 'n Save Warehouse Foods Inc. The two other major supermarket chains,

Schnuck Markets Inc. and Dierbergs Markets Inc., responded to the strike by locking out workers. About 10,200

employees at nearly 100 stores are affected by the dispute.

Labor Strife Takes Toll on Nearby Businesses

Source: Rachel Laing, San Diego Union Tribune

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: October 25, 2003

Last week, jewelry store owner Sofia Shpigel did something unusual in her line of work: She made a

delivery. Shpigel said her shop, which is in a shopping center with a Vons in Pacific Beach, has been empty of

browsers since the start of the Southern California grocery strike two weeks ago. But she really started to

worry when she got calls from regular customers saying they didn't want to come into the store because they

felt uncomfortable passing pickets on their way in.

Kroger Employees Hope for Unemployment

Source: Scott Wartman, Huntington Herald Dispatch

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400

Date: October 25, 2003

The $100 check Robin and Diane Virgillo receive weekly from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400

to help sustain them through the Kroger strike doesn?t go far to pay the bills they are accumulating. The

Virgillos and 3,300 other Kroger employees on strike hope the union?s effort to qualify them for unemployment

will pan out. Robin Virgillo said unemployment benefits would help them sustain the strike easily for a year.

Even though the Virgillos rely solely on their income as employees of the Seventh Avenue Kroger, they both

remained adamant that the strike should not end if they don?t qualify for unemployment. "We are still here for

the long haul," Robin Virgillo said. Many of the Virgillos? co-workers agreed that going without pay and

shouldering the hardship during the strike may be necessary.

Never Mind the Harvard Game. The Rough Sport Here Is Yale vs. Unions.

Source: Richard Lezin Jones, New York Times

Union(s): Graduate Employees and Students Organization (GESO)

Date: October 26, 2003

Fran Balamuth's introduction to the bruising, no-holds-barred world of union

organizing came not on an assembly line or on the waterfront, but in perhaps one of the most unlikely places ?

amid the refined confines of Yale University. As Dr. Balamuth remembers it, she and a friend were handing out

leaflets with union information to passers-by outside Yale-New Haven Hospital. A security guard asked them to

stop. Dr. Balamuth persisted. The next thing she knew, she said, she was escorted to the police desk inside the

hospital and cited for first-degree criminal trespass, which can carry a yearlong jail term. "We worked in the

building," said Dr. Balamuth, 30, a Yale medical student, her voice rising in disbelief as she recalled the

encounter, which took place in September. "We just wanted to communicate with our colleagues. I kept saying,

`This is totally crazy.' I couldn't believe that this was happening at a place that's supposed to be a

bastion of free speech." The charges against Dr. Balamuth were later dismissed. But the campuswide debate over

the formation of a union for graduate student teaching assistants, which started long before Dr. Balamuth began

her leaflet campaign outside the hospital, remains. And what began as a labor dispute has evolved into a

skirmish over a core value of academic life ? freedom of expression.

Labor Unions Back Dean, Gephardt

Source: Jonathan Roos, Des Moines Register

Union(s): various

Date: October 28, 2003

Democratic presidential rivals Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt, who are competing for the support of organized

labor, announced endorsements from separate labor unions Monday. Dean, a former Vermont governor, received the

endorsement of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, which has 140,000 members. It is the

first international union to declare its support for Dean, who is vying with eight other candidates to become

the Democratic nominee for president. Gephardt, a Missouri congressman, was endorsed by 2,300-member Iowa Local

234 of the International Union of Operating Engineers. He reported that 20 international unions have given

their endorsements as well, giving him a total combined membership of over 54,000 members of unions that

support his candidacy. Last week, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry received the endorsement of the Utility Workers

Union of America, which represents about 50,000 members.

MTA Ends Talks With Mechanics

Source: Kurt Streeter, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Amalgamated Transit Union

Date: October 28, 2003

Two weeks into a strike that has sidelined most Los Angeles County buses and trains, Metropolitan

Transportation Authority officials broke off labor negotiations Monday and declared an impasse. "Virtually no

progress has been made on any substantial issues," said Roger Snoble, chief executive of the MTA, speaking of

tense bargaining that included marathon sessions at the County Hall of Administration last week. "We've been

trying to hurry this up in every possible way that we know of, and it simply has not moved ahead. For these

reasons," Snoble said, the MTA board of directors "has instructed me to declare an impasse on our negotiations

and to issue a last, best and final offer to" the mechanics union today.

As Contract Witching Hour Nears, Restaurant Workers Talk Strike

Source: Florence Fabricant, New York Times

Union(s): Local 100 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union

Date: October 29, 2003

About 250 waiters, cooks, busboys, bartenders and dishwashers marched across Midtown Manhattan

yesterday afternoon, calling for contract settlements that would avoid strikes at some of New York's top

restaurants. Contracts at 25 restaurants, including high-profile spots like the Four Seasons, the "21" Club,

Elaine's, La C?te Basque, La Caravelle, Caf? des Artistes and the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal expire

on Friday at midnight. Last Saturday, members of Local 100 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees

Union voted overwhelmingly to authorize their leaders to call a strike if agreements are not reached.

250 Officers Being Rehired in Department of Correction

Source: Paul von Zielbauer, New York Times

Union(s): Correction Officers Benevolent Association

Date: October 30, 2003

The city's Department of Correction plans to rehire 250 of the 315 officers it laid off as part

of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's $2.1 billion in budget cuts earlier this year, city officials said yesterday.

Martin F. Horn, the department's commissioner, said the decision was a response to two developments: overtime

costs in recent months that exceeded projections, largely because more officers retired or left the department

than had been expected; and a need for more officers to carry out Mr. Horn's new policy requiring constant

visual supervision for inmates on suicide watch.

Manhattan Restaurant Workers Protest Low Wages, Threaten Strike

Source: Associated Press, WNBC (NY)

Union(s): Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Union

Date: October 30, 2003

Nearly 200

restaurant workers protested outside some of Manhattan's swankest eateries on Tuesday, threatening to go on

strike if owners cut benefits and offer minimal pay increases. "They are trying to take our benefits down to

nothing and lower our wages," said Manuel Gonzales, a 17-year-employee of Gallagher's Steak House. "That's

not fair." The workers, members of the 800-strong Local 100 of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees

Union, last week authorized a strike if negotiations stall after their contract expires on Friday. Employees

said that they didn't want to walk off their jobs but added that they had little recourse if the owners

didn't budge from their position on rolling back pension and health care benefits.

AFGE Vows to Fight Against Planned EEOC 'Changes'

Source: US Newswire

Union(s): American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)

Date: October 29, 2003

The American

Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) says it will fight several proposals which could drastically alter

the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is considering changing how federal sector

discrimination complaints are processed as well as closing several EEOC field offices and the elimination of

hearing rights for millions of employees. "We are concerned with the effects of these proposed changes and its

impact on the future of federal and private sector employees. Not only would the proposed changes place federal

employees at a severe disadvantage with fewer civil rights, but soon thousands of workers, mostly women and

minorities, would be without a forum to protect their basic workplace rights," said Andrea Brooks, AFGE

national vice president of Women's and Fair Practices.

Chicago Teachers' Union Approve Strike

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Chicago Teachers Union

Date: October 30, 2003

Union delegates for Chicago's public school teachers approved a strike if negotiations fail, the first

step toward a job action that could keep nearly 440,000 children out of class. The Chicago Teachers Union's

House of Delegates voted 543-98 on Wednesday to authorize a strike beginning Dec. 4. Any walkout must also be

approved by the 33,000 union members, who are set to vote Nov. 18. The teachers' last contract expired June

30. The school board has offered a five-year plan that includes 4 percent raises each year, a plan rejected by

the union. Teachers argued that higher health insurance costs could consume those raises, and that a proposal

for a longer school day in exchange for a shorter year amounted to three extra work days without pay. The

strike would be the first in 16 years in the nation's third-largest school district.

Blow to Gephardt: Major Union May Endorse 'Dean or No One'

Source: Jill Lawrence, USA Today

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: October 30, 2003

The largest union in the AFL-CIO will endorse Democrat Howard Dean for president or no

one at all when its board meets Nov. 6. Either way, says Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees

International Union, "the passion of the members lies with Howard Dean." A formal endorsement for Dean would be

bad news for the rest of the Democratic field, especially Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt. A labor stalwart, he

is counting on unions to carry him to victory in important states such as Iowa, which starts the nomination

process with caucuses Jan. 19. Dean's campaign manager, Joe Trippi, cautioned in an e-mail that the SEIU

endorsement process is not complete. But he added that backing from the union "would be a tremendous

development for the Dean campaign."

St Louis Grocers Reach Pact, Calif Strike Drags On

Source: Ellis Mnyandu (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW)

Date: October 30, 2003

A union

representing striking U.S. grocery workers said on Thursday a strike involving 10,000 members in St. Louis

could end by as early as Friday, but the much larger southern California dispute could drag on longer. The St.

Louis workers, employed at more than 90 stores, have been on strike since Oct. 7 to protest health care cuts

sought by three local chains, including one owned by Supervalu Inc., a groceries distributor. Douglas Dority,

president of the 1.4-million-strong United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), said he expects the St.

Louis workers to ratify a renegotiated contract during a vote scheduled for early Friday.

Labor Pains Complicate Albertsons' Prognosis

Source: James F. Peltz, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: November 2, 2003

Two years ago, an ailing Albertsons Inc. tapped Lawrence

Johnston as its first chief executive from outside the company's ranks, and Johnston launched a massive

overhaul. The supermarket chain was struggling to digest its $9.5-billion purchase in 1999 of American Stores

Co., which gave Albertsons Lucky markets and Sav-on drugstores and a much stronger presence in Southern

California. Johnston, a former General Electric Co. executive with no experience in the grocery business,

rolled out several initiatives. Among them: a bold plan to slash $750 million from annual costs and more price

cutting to match rivals and maintain market share. But Albertsons still has a long way to go.

Relief Glimpsed in Calif. Transit, Grocery Strikes

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW); Amalgamated Transit Union

Date: October 31, 2003

Chinks of relief

appeared on Friday for California shoppers and Los Angeles commuters as pickets were pulled away from one major

supermarket chain and bus mechanics put forward a new proposal aimed at ending the three-week old bus and train

strike. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, which represents 70,000 striking and locked out

supermarket workers, said it was switching pickets away from Ralphs to focus instead on Vons and Albertsons

Inc. UFCW president Rick Icaza told a news conference the union wanted to reward shoppers, who have deserted

all three supermarkets in droves, and increase the pressure on Vons and Albertsons which it sees as the main

adversaries in the strike over health and pensions benefits. Meanwhile the Amalgamated Transit Union offered to

have 2,000 striking mechanics return to work if the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority agrees to

binding arbitration to resolve the dispute that has paralyzed bus and metro trains serving some 500,000 mostly

poor Angelenos.

National Labor Backs Grocery Workers

Source: Nancy Cleeland and Melinda Fulmer, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers; AFL-CIO

Date: October 31, 2003

National labor leaders threw their financial and strategic muscle behind striking and locked-out

supermarket workers in California and four other states Thursday, casting the dispute as a defining battle.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney announced the creation of a multi-union fund to back the United Food and

Commercial Workers, which has 85,000 members on picket lines, most in Southern and Central California. Sweeney

said he was just beginning to solicit contributions and would not put a dollar amount on the fund. But UFCW

President Doug Dority suggested it would be sizable.

Union Raises Questions after Collapse of Garage Kills 4

Source: Eric Lipton, New York Times

Union(s): Laborers, Local 415

Date: November 1, 2003

As the investigation began into a parking garage collapse that killed four workers, union leaders

asked on Friday if one factor might have been pressure they said their members felt to speed up construction of

the $245 million Tropicana casino expansion. Even before the accident, one union leader said on Friday,

laborers complained that the concrete they were pouring as part of the fabrication of the parking garage floors

was not given enough time to harden before they removed temporary supports. "No one knows for sure what caused

this, but there is a lot of concern that they were being ordered to strip off the forms sooner than they should

have," said Jeff Foster, business manager for Laborers, Local 415. "That's all we keep hearing, is that the

concrete wasn't being given enough time to cure."

Grocers, Union Continue Labor Talks

Source: Nat Worden, Newsday

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 342

Date: November 1, 2003

Talks continued Friday between the region's six major grocery chains and the union

representing about 4,000 deli, meat and seafood workers from Long Island and parts of New York City. Members of

Local 342 of the United Food and Commercial Workers have been working without a contract for a week. The union

represents workers at 275 stores throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Some union

members have raised the possibility of a strike, but as of Friday night a walkout did not appear in the offing.

A sticking point in the negotiations remained the companies' demand that union employees begin paying for

their health insurance, Local 342 spokesman John Raymond said Friday. "Talks are continuing," Raymond said.

"And that's to the good."

Bush's Merit Pay Plan Is Stalled in Congress

Source: Christopher Lee, Washington Post

Union(s): American Federation of Government Employees

Date: November 3, 2003

It looks as though the White House has failed to get the job done this year in promoting

its proposed Human Capital Performance Fund. The fund, announced early this year as part of President Bush's

2004 budget plan, was supposed to provide $500 million that agencies could tap to award higher raises to their

best workers. Officials explained that the fund would help fix a "broken" compensation system in which most

federal pay raises are determined by longevity rather than performance.

MTA Union May Vote

Source: Kurt Streeter, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Amalgamated Transit Union

Date: November 3, 2003

As striking

drivers for a private company that contracts with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority agreed Sunday to go

back to work, the leader of the MTA's mechanics union softened his hard-line position and said he may allow

his workers to vote on the transit agency's latest proposal this week. "My board is reconsidering its

position," said Neil Silver, the MTA mechanics union president and leader of a worker walk-off that has forced

roughly 400,000 daily bus and train riders to look for transportation alternatives since mid-October. "We will

be meeting Monday to discuss offering this to the members. It looks like we will have a vote. If the membership

accepts the offer, we will return to work." But the union leader said he would like something from the MTA in

return.

Greenwich School Bus Drivers? Strike Ends Hours After It Began

Source: Alison Leigh Cowan, New York Times

Union(s): Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union

Date: November 4, 2003

Nearly 100 striking bus drivers agreed on Monday to cut short the strike they had begun just

hours earlier in an effort to obtain better health coverage, more paid vacation and something more than the $18

an hour they already get. The drivers, who are responsible for getting 6,200 public and private students to

school each day, agreed to return to work immediately, according to Roger Toussaint, president of Local 100 of

the Transport Workers Union. But he said they "reserve the right to renew their strike action at any time" if

they do not see progress at the bargaining table.

Bridgestone/Firestone Seeks Concessions: Union

Source: Karen Padley (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: November 3, 2003

Bridgestone Corp.'s Firestone unit has asked its largest union, the United Steelworkers of America, for major

wage and benefit concessions, according to a newsletter Monday on the union's Web site. In the letter, the

union also said the company last week indicated it "cannot and will not follow a pattern agreement" like the

one agreed to in August by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. About 6,000 workers at eight plants in Tennessee,

Ohio, Oklahoma, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Arkansas are covered under the contract, which expired April 23 but

has been extended on a day-to-day basis since then.

Strike Hits 2 of City?s Fanciest Restaurants

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Local 100 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: November 5, 2003

The

"21" Club and La Caravelle, two of Manhattan's most venerable restaurants, pride themselves on their sedate

atmosphere, but yesterday the scene outside those establishments was anything but sedate as their workers went

on strike, and shouted vehemently at anyone heading inside. Nearly 100 cooks, waiters, dishwashers and busboys

gathered in front of the "21" Club on West 52nd Street in the late morning, forcing the restaurant to close its

main dining room for lunch. The strikers bellowed chants that could be heard at the one private function being

held there at lunchtime. The main issue in the walkout, as with many other strikes across the nation, is the

restaurants' push to get their workers to pay more toward their health coverage. The restaurants want the

workers to begin paying at least part of their health insurance premiums, but the workers, knowing they are

employed by institutions that cater largely to the rich, insist that the restaurants owners can easily afford

any increase in health insurance costs.

2 Sides Seem Entrenched in Supermarket Dispute

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Union

Date: November 10, 2003

As 80 picketing workers bellowed chants outside the supermarket Thursday evening, Rosalyn

Colvard, a grocery stocker, said she would need help from welfare to make ends meet if Southern California's

three largest grocery chains won their four-week-old battle with 70,000 workers. For the cashiers and stockers

on the picket lines, the fight to fend off large-scale concessions is a struggle to avoid being thrown into one

of America's lowest castes, the working poor. But for the supermarkets, the confrontation, the biggest labor

dispute in the nation in recent years, is a painful investment to ensure that they can survive against Wal-Mart

and other low-cost rivals. "The stakes are enormous," said Ruth Milkman, chairwoman of the University of

California Institute for Labor and Employment. "If the employers succeed in their effort to extract large

concessions, they will turn these into low-wage jobs, and other employers across the nation will see this as a

green light to try to do the same thing."

Safeway's Burd Leads Hard Line in Labor Dispute

Source: Ellis Mnyandu (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)

Date: November 5, 2003

In the

midst of a bitter strike that has hobbled supermarkets across Southern California, one executive has emerged as

the man unions love to hate: Steve Burd, chief executive of Safeway Inc., the nation's third-largest grocer.

Known for playing hardball with unions, Burd, 53, has become a central figure in a bitter industry strike and

lockout, now in its fourth week. Union officials chose to call a strike against Safeway's Vons chain early

last month because Burd and his negotiators had taken the hardest line on health-care costs, the major issue

behind the dispute, affecting almost 900 stores. But in a further retaliation against Safeway, the United Food

and Commercial Workers (UFCW) -- which represents 70,000 striking and locked out workers -- on Friday began

shifting picketing away from Kroger Co.'s Ralphs chain as it sought to break the bosses' solidarity.

Seven City Restaurants Settle Labor Dispute

Source: Lisa Fickenscher, Crain's New York Business

Union(s): Local 100 of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union

Date: November 5, 2003

Early this

morning, '21' Club, Four Seasons and Le Perigord restaurants settled contract labor disputes over medical

benefits, wage and pension increases that its workers were seeking. A strike that began Tuesday at '21' Club

and La Caravelle, continues at the latter today. A spokesman for Local 100 or Hotel Employees and Restaurant

Employees Union says that four other restaurants it represents have also settled with their workers over the

same issues. He declined to identify the four. A strike that began Tuesday at '21' Club and La Caravelle,

continues at the latter today.

Fight Over Tips Prolongs Strike at La Caravelle

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Local 100 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: November 6, 2003

Striking workers at the "21" Club and La Caravelle, two top-drawer Manhattan restaurants, reached a tentative

labor contract yesterday, but there was one pesky issue that kept the workers out at La Caravelle: the

sommelier's share of the tips. What that meant was that dozens of striking cooks and waiters continued to

chant and picket outside La Caravelle on West 55th Street yesterday because management and labor could not

resolve the battle of the wine steward's tips.

Longtime Labor Friend Passed Over for Endorsements

Source: Chris Christoff, Detroit Free Press

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: November 8, 2003

Dick

Gephardt must feel like a faithful boyfriend watching his girl go to the prom with the new kid in school. No

presidential candidate has been more closely aligned with labor than the longtime congressman from Missouri.

He's been a stalwart on such causes as opposing unfair foreign trade and supporting broad health care for

everyone. So, what does Gephardt get in return? Thursday, the national Service Employees International Union

endorsed Democratic rival Howard Dean. Next week, Dean is expected to get the endorsement of the American

Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. So two of the nation's biggest unions are coming out for

Dean. And Friday, the UAW's international board voted to make no recommendation in the presidential race.

It's another national endorsement Gephardt banked on, but which slipped away.

School Unions Want to Cancel Labor Hearings, Official Says

Source: David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times

Union(s): various education unions in New York City

Date: November 11, 2003

Labor unions and elected officials are pressuring the City Council's Education Committee to

cancel four days of hearings on union work rules governing teachers, principals and custodians, the committee

chairwoman said yesterday. The chairwoman, Eva S. Moskowitz, also said that many potential witnesses were too

scared to testify, describing an atmosphere of fear that she said brought to mind Frank Serpico, the

whistle-blower on police corruption who testified for the Knapp Commission in the early 1970's. "I've been

given various explanations as to why we should cease and desist," Ms. Moskowitz said at a briefing for

reporters. "People feel their careers are on the line. I've got people on tape who will not reveal their name

or allow me to reveal the location of their school." But like Mr. Serpico, she said, some will tell their

stories. "There are a few brave souls who are willing to come forward and talk about their experiences," she

said.

EEOC to Experiment with Privatized Customer Service Center

Source: Amelia Gruber, Government Executive Magazine

Union(s): National Council of EEOC Locals No. 216, part of the American Federation of Government Employees

Date: November 10, 2003

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided last week to establish a national customer

service center run by a contractor, on a trial basis. On Nov. 5, EEOC commissioners unanimously authorized the

agency to solicit bids from private companies interested in operating the center over a two-year trial period.

The EEOC aims to award a contract by next summer and start the test in October 2004, an agency spokesman said.

Union, SoCal Supermarket Negotiators Talk

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: November 11, 2003

Union representatives and three supermarket chains held their first negotiations in nearly a month in an

attempt to break a stalemate that has idled 70,000 grocery clerks in Southern California. A federal mediator

joined in Monday's talks, said John Arnold, spokesman for the Washington-based Federal Mediation and

Conciliation Service.

Old Loyalist and New Face Divide Backing of Unions

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Date: November 12, 2003

Gerald W. McEntee, the president of the nation's largest public-sector union, has long been looking for a

Democratic presidential contender who can be a winner, and two months ago he was leaning toward the candidacy

of Gen. Wesley K. Clark. Mr. McEntee, whose 1.4 million union members are a formidable political force, even

asked Harold M. Ickes, the deputy White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, to run the Clark

campaign, several Democrats said. But over time Mr. McEntee soured on General Clark, and today he plans to

announce that his union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is endorsing Howard

Dean.

Big Labor: What Its Seal of Approval Means

Source: Liz Marlantes, Christian Science Monitor

Union(s): Service Employees International Union (SEIU), American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Date: November 12, 2003

Howard Dean's expected endorsement Wednesday by two large and politically influential unions - the Service

Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees

(AFSCME) - will give the former Vermont governor added organizational support and a more diverse look to his

campaign. More important, it lends the anti-establishment candidate his first significant stamp of approval

from the Democratic establishment - which could make it a pivotal moment in the race. Certainly, labor has

proven a decisive force in past Democratic primaries. The two times the AFL-CIO has endorsed a candidate, in

2000 and 1984, it helped Al Gore and Walter Mondale crush challenges from Bill Bradley and Gary Hart. In other

years, individual unions breaking from the pack have played kingmaker - as when AFSCME expressed early support

for Bill Clinton in 1992.

Labor Trends, History Work Against Unions

Source: Bill W. Hornaday, Indianapolis Star

Union(s): various

Date: November 12, 2003

Much of

the brinkmanship in labor talks such as Kroger's negotiations with the United Food & Commercial Workers

Union has become an increasingly rare art. That's because labor strikes -- a prime leverage tool for unions --

are becoming a workplace relic. Despite prominent walkouts at such companies as Kroger, United Parcel Service,

Caterpillar, Northwest Airlines and General Motors in recent years, the number of major job actions that

workers are willing to take has slid dramatically during the past two decades.

Unions Don't Take Comfort in Employment Gains

Source: Joel Dresang & Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: November 10, 2003

Signs of an improving economy offered little consolation to delegates at a national conference that

started Monday in Milwaukee. "Manufacturing has always been a cornerstone in the development of the middle

class in this country. And trade unions have always been right there with it," Bob Baugh, executive director of

the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council, said during a workshop Monday at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. The decline

of manufacturing and its relationship to communities and the labor movement were early themes at the

conference, which runs through Wednesday. Among those bemoaning the loss of manufacturing jobs was Gov. Jim

Doyle, who announced at lunch that he would make an early 2004 trip to Washington, D.C., to call attention to

the need for a national manufacturing strategy.

Steel Leaders, Labor Push to Keep Tariffs as WTO Ruling Approaches

Source: Christopher Davis, Pittsburgh Business Times

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: November 12, 2003

Prominent steel industry leaders rallied Friday to urge President Bush to

keep his three-year tariff plan in place for the remainder of its term, no matter how a World Trade

Organization appeals panel rules next week. Top officials from Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp.;

Cleveland-based International Steel Group Inc.; Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp.; and Pittsburgh-based United

Steelworkers of America, among others, held a media conference call organized by the American Iron and Steel

Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based association of North American companies involved in the iron and steel

industry. They laid out reasons why they say removing the tariffs would derail a current industrywide

consolidation effort -- one of the key reasons why the president implemented the tariffs in the first place.

Almost to a person, the leaders of those companies and labor threatened there would be significant political

ramifications if Mr. Bush backs down to pressure from the WTO and the European Union to repeal the tariffs

now.

Grocery Walkouts Have Broad Reach

Source: Stephen Franklin and Delroy Alexander, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: November 12, 2003

They are striking in Southern California, West Virginia and Kentucky. Strike

talk also is heating up in Chicago, Indiana and Arizona. The United Food and Commercial Workers union has faced

off against the nation's major grocers in recent weeks, putting nearly 75,000 workers on picket lines. Similar

clashes have roiled other sectors, from steel to airlines, as mature industries press to cut wages in the face

of new upstarts. In the grocery industry, the emerging threat is best characterized by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,

now the world's largest retailer. Union organizers say the food strikes, in particular, should be viewed as a

turning point for all service workers struggling to maintain their way of life.

Chicago Teachers Reach Tentative Deal

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Chicago Teachers Union

Date: November 12, 2003

The Chicago Teachers Union reached a tentative agreement with school officials on a new contract

Wednesday, the union said, potentially averting a walkout that would affect nearly 440,000 students. The

agreement was reached just before 5 a.m. after a 17-hour bargaining session, union spokesman Jay Rehak said.

Details of the pact will not be released until the union's members can evaluate it. Recent negotiations were

centered on contract length, health care costs and proposed changes to the length of the school day.

Union Sees Pink in Protest Over BT Jobs in India

Source: Ceri Radford (Reuters), Forbes.com

Union(s): Communication Workers Union (CWU)

Date: November 13, 2003

Rallying

around a life-size pink inflatable elephant, telecoms union activists protested in the centre of London on

Thursday against plans by former British telecoms monopoly BT Group to open call centres in India. BT will join

a host of other companies in setting up call centres on the subcontinent to cut costs, a trend that has

attracted widespread criticism in Britain and the United States. The Communication Workers Union (CWU), worried

about knock-on job losses, is taking its elephant on a British tour to warn against a "job stampede" to

developing countries.

Talks Between Union, Grocers in Calif. Adjourn

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: November 14, 2003

Talks aimed at ending a

month-long strike at grocery stores in southern California have adjourned indefinitely after mediators granted

employers and union negotiators time to reconsider their positions, officials said on Wednesday. John Arnold, a

spokesman for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service -- which on Monday had helped kick-start stalled

talks -- said there were a number of issues that the parties needed time to reflect upon before the talks

continued. "This is a recess. I can't predict how long it's going to last," he told Reuters.

Bridgestone's Firestone, Union Break Off Talks

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: November 13, 2003

Bridgestone Corp. of

Japan's Firestone unit and its largest union said Thursday they have broken off talks on a new labor contract,

raising the possibility of a strike. The tiremaker had asked the union for concessions, including pension and

health-care benefit cuts, late last month.

2 Labor Unions Endorse Dean

Source: Michael Tackett and Jeff Zeleny, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Date: November 13, 2003

Howard Dean took another step on his long walk from being the "who's he?"

candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination to becoming the choice of party insiders Wednesday when he

picked up the formal endorsement of two of the nation's most politically savvy and powerful labor unions. The

Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

joined forces to back Dean, arguing that he is best positioned--financially and organizationally--to defeat

President Bush in 2004. The choice reflected a union decision that was more pragmatic than sentimental. Dean

does not have the same history of supporting labor as one of his rivals for the nomination, Rep. Richard

Gephardt (D-Mo.), but union leadership became convinced that Dean's chances were far better than Gephardt's

to win the nomination.

Michigan Nurses Strike Hits One - Year Mark

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Teamsters

Date: November 14, 2003

For a

year now, through the autumn chill, the winter snows, the spring rain and the summer heat, hundreds of nurses

have been on strike at Northern Michigan Hospital in a dispute that illustrates what is ailing the nursing

profession. "I'm doing this for nursing. I gain nothing from this strike,'' said Patricia Beer, who had been

looking ahead to retirement after 44 years on the staff but is now picketing every morning. "We have to stand

up and make a difference, or there aren't going to be nurses to take care of people in the future.'' The

walkout by about half of the hospital's registered nurses hit the one-year mark Friday, with no end in sight.

No talks have been held since the work stoppage began, and none are planned. So polarized are the two sides,

they do not even agree on what issues are behind the strike.

Teachers May Give Ground on Grievances

Source: David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times

Union(s): United Federation of Teachers

Date: November 14, 2003

Randi

Weingarten, the president of the [New York City] teachers' union, yesterday proposed changing the teachers'

contract to speed up grievance procedures and disciplinary proceedings, areas that city officials have long

said pose an obstacle to firing bad teachers. Appearing as the final witness at an Education Committee hearing

intended to critique union work rules, Ms. Weingarten accused Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Councilwoman

Eva S. Moskowitz, the Education Committee chairwoman, of "demonizing" teachers. She said Ms. Moskowitz was

meddling in contract negotiations and upbraided Mr. Klein and the Bloomberg administration for not bringing the

city's demands to the bargaining table. But for all the theater, Ms. Weingarten expressed a willingness to

deal, offering to address one of the thorniest labor-management disputes in the school system. City officials

have long maintained that it is almost impossible to fire a tenured teacher for incompetence, and that building

a case can take principals years of bureaucratic wrangling and mountains of paperwork before charges are

brought.

Labor Group Targets Women

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

Date: November 14, 2003

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor is adapting what it does best ?

political organizing ? to the regionwide supermarket strike, which is about to enter its sixth week. Using

targeted mailings, recorded messages from union leaders and precinct walkers, the federation is appealing to

women to stay out of Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons stores leading up to the busy Thanksgiving shopping week.

"This is taking the strike into a boycott," said Miguel Contreras, the top executive of the federation, which

has pledged $150,000 to the effort. Women are the focus because they comprise the majority of grocery shoppers

as well as workers, Contreras said.

Gephardt Downplays Dean's Labor Coup

Source: Steve LeBlanc (AP), San Jose Mercury News

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union

Date: November 13, 2003

Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt vowed to defeat rival Howard Dean in Iowa and seize the

nomination despite Dean's recent endorsement by two major labor unions. "I don't see him as a runaway train.

He was ahead in Iowa and now he's behind. If this was a runaway train that couldn't be stopped, he wouldn't

have fallen back," Gephardt said Thursday. "He's a worthy and tough competitor, but I'm going to defeat him."

Gephardt made the comments during a swing through fellow candidate John Kerry's hometown to attend a

fundraiser. On Wednesday, Dean scored a political coup when the presidents of the American Federation of State,

County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union issued a joint statement endorsing

him.

Fair Labor Contracts Benefit All

Source: Daniel Hoffman, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Union(s): Fairbanks Police Department Employee's Association

Date: November 15, 2003

In the Nov. 8 issue of the News-Miner, it was reported that the Alaska Community Colleges'

Federation of Teachers had reached a tentative contract agreement with the University of Alaska. By reaching

this agreement, a strike was averted that would have brought the university's teaching function to a

standstill. Further, the new agreement will replace a contract that had expired over two whole months ago!

Hmmmm. It appears that the threat of a strike, with the accompanying disruption of a critical service, can be a

strong motivator in bringing two sides together--and in a timely fashion. While that may be the case, I will

never know. Why? Because I'm a Fairbanks police officer. The police officers and 911-dispatchers that I work

with provide essential, emergency services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As such, the state of Alaska

considers us as "class one" employees and prohibits our right to strike.

From Wages to Health Care

Source: Paul Wilson, Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: November 16, 2003

When their contract expired in fall 1974, nearly 2,000 union Kroger workers in the West Virginia area stayed

off the job for three weeks in a dispute over wages. That was the last strike of any real consequence for state

Kroger workers until 3,300 employees began picketing Oct. 13. In the current strike, which enters day 35 today,

the sides disagree on wages, but the primary issue, as it is in labor talks across the country, is who will pay

for surging health-care costs, which registered double-digit increases in each of the past four years. ?It is

the single most vexatious bargaining issue right now,? Peter J. Hurtgen, head of the Federal Mediation and

Conciliation Services told The Philadelphia Inquirer last month. ?Employers and unions can?t control costs.

They can only argue and push back and forth about who absorbs the costs.?

Ackerman Mobilizes Labor Unions to Put a Democrat in the White House

Source: Mary Leonard, Boston Globe

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: November 17, 2003

Labor-intensive. That's an apt description of the life and

work of Karen Ackerman, who for 30 years -- from her days as a student organizer at Temple University in her

native Philadephia to her current post as the AFL-CIO's political director -- has been passionate in bringing

about change through the labor movement. The stakes have never been higher nor has the responsibility been

greater, said Ackerman, commander of a 20-month, $35-million union campaign committed to setting the country on

a different course and replacing George W. Bush with a Democratic president in 2004. "We are very focused on

the presidential election," said Ackerman, 56, who has an unobstructed view of the White House from her

seventh-floor office at AFL-CIO headquarters near Lafayette Park. "This is the most antiworker, antiunion

administration we have ever seen, and workers' selfinterest depends on changing who is in the White House."

MTA, Union Leaders Meet on Arbitration

Source: Kurt Streeter, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1277

Date: November 17, 2003

Top Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials and leaders from the agency's striking mechanics union

met Sunday in a bid to end the five-week strike and get countywide bus and train service rolling again.

Negotiators, meeting in an otherwise closed Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in downtown Los Angeles, were

working on an agreement to begin nonbinding arbitration that would send the union's members back to their jobs

while a panel of outside experts drew up a proposal on health benefits, sources close to the talks said.

More Consumers Reach Out to Touch the Screen

Source: Amy Harmon, New York Times

Union(s): various

Date: November 17, 2003

Striding into the airport here one recent afternoon, Kimberly Ward did not so much as glance at the

two ticket agents waiting at the counter. Like most of her fellow travelers, she instead claimed an automated

check-in terminal, touched its screen a few times, and took the proferred boarding pass with a quick smile of

thanks. Ms. Ward, 37, pays for gas only at the pump. She shops at Marsh, a supermarket in her neighborhood that

has machines that let customers scan, bag and pay for groceries themselves. Her favorite bank teller is her

A.T.M. Dealing with humans in such situations "just slows you down," she says. "This is a lot more convenient."

A new generation of self-service machines is slipping into the daily lives of many Americans. Rejected for

decades as too complicated, the machines are being embraced by a public whose faith in technology has grown as

its satisfaction with more traditional forms of customer service has diminished. Faced with the alternative ?

live people ? it seems that many consumers now prefer the machines.

'Outsourced' Workers May Gain Appeal Rights

Source: Christopher Lee, Washington Post

Union(s): American Federation of Government Employees

Date: November 17, 2003

A provision in a spending bill that House and Senate negotiators agreed to last week could

cripple a White House initiative that requires thousands of federal workers to compete with private contractors

for their jobs, according to Bush administration allies. The government-wide provision, part of the fiscal 2004

spending bill for the Transportation and Treasury departments, would grant federal workers the right to appeal

to the General Accounting Office if they lose job competitions under President Bush's "competitive sourcing"

initiative.

L.A. Mechanics Reach Deal to End Strike

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Amalgamated Transit Union

Date: November 18, 2003

Buses and trains could be rumbling across the city at full strength by the end of the week after a tentative

deal was reached ending a transit strike that idled the nation's third-largest transportation system for more

than a month. A few scattered bus lines resumed service Monday night, but full bus and train service was not

expected to be restored until Thursday at the earliest, officials said. "It's going to be hit and miss,''

Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief executive Roger Snoble said Monday. "By weekend, by next week,

we'll be in top shape.'' Transit mechanics and the MTA, the agency in charge of most bus and rail service in

Los Angeles, brokered a deal over the weekend that settled all outstanding contract issues except the major

source of the labor dispute -- health care benefits. Both sides have agreed to resolve their differences on

that issue through nonbinding arbitration.

Labor Pact, Not Tariffs, Key to Steel's Strength

Source: James Flanagan, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: November 18, 2003

When President Bush imposed tariffs on foreign steel a year and a half ago,

things looked dire for one of America's most storied industries. A worldwide economic slowdown had reduced

demand for steel while increasing competition from low-cost imports; that left most U.S. producers hemorrhaging

red ink. Venerable Bethlehem Steel found itself mired in bankruptcy, along with many smaller companies. Since

that time, a lot has changed. Lazarus-like, Bethlehem has been raised from the dead. Along with LTV Corp. and

others, it has been folded into a new company called International Steel Group Inc. International Steel,

already the U.S. industry's second-largest player in terms of tonnage produced annually, was founded by Wall

Street financier Wilbur Ross shortly after the tariffs were imposed. Almost immediately, his enterprise turned

a profit. So does this prove that the tariffs ? which now threaten to start a global trade war ? have been just

the medicine U.S. steel producers needed to revive. Hardly.

MCP Strike Over Standards a Lesson for Labor

Source: Ronnie Polaneczky, Philadelphia Daily News

Union(s): Office & Professional Employees International Union

Date: November 18, 2003

There's something riveting about the nursing strike at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. This one ain't

just about money or benefits. It's about standards. Let me ask you: When's the last time a strike in this

city was about anything other than socking it to The Man, right in the wallet? Whether they're schoolteachers

who want better insurance or bus drivers hankering after a cushier retirement, organized labor nearly always

walks the picket line in blatant self interest. Nothing wrong with that. But it doesn't necessarily stir

public support beyond a general feeling of empathy. Who doesn't want a fatter paycheck and juicier benefits?

But the MCP nurses - still on the picket line over the weekend - are using their moral authority as front-line

caregivers to call attention to something we should all be worried about: There aren't enough of them to go

around. Their hospital is so understaffed, they say, they are constantly forced to work overtime.

School Contract? One of the 3 R?s Has to Be Regret

Source: Joyce Purnick, New York Times

Union(s): United Federation of Teachers

Date: November 20, 2003

Well,

it was a good try. But it was impossible to listen to days of recent testimony on school union contracts before

the City Council's Education Committee without thinking that the most potentially revealing witnesses were

missing: the mayors, chancellors and city and school negotiators of times past. They are the ones who gave New

York the contracts that tie the schools in knots, from the we-don't-do-rugs custodians' deal to the United

Federation of Teachers pact that grew from 42 pages in 1962 to 204 pages today (not counting 800 pages of side

contracts and links to state law). "There's no other contract like it in the city," said James F. Hanley,

commissioner of labor relations. He places the blame on the quasi-independent Board of Education, a bastion of

union power that has given way to a system of mayoral control led by a chancellor, Joel I. Klein, who is intent

on breaking with old patterns. But others were equally intent, including mayors who ran for office promising to

rein in the powerful union and did not.

Gephardt Secures 21st Labor Endorsement

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Union(s): Transport Workers Union of America

Date: November 20, 2003

Democratic presidential hopeful Dick Gephardt won the backing of his 21st international

labor union Thursday, bolstering his grass-roots support in two states that hold early primaries. The Transport

Workers Union of America, which represents about 125,000 workers, said it is supporting the Missouri

congressman because of the loyalty he has shown to the labor movement during nearly three decades in Congress.

The union, which represents workers in the mass transit, airline, railroad and utility industries, has about

9,000 members in Oklahoma -- more than any other union -- and 5,000 members in Arizona. Both states are among

those holding primaries Feb. 3.

Firm Faces Discrimination Complaints

Source: Michelle Meyers, Alameda Times Star

Union(s): Teamsters and the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE)

Date: November 21, 2003

An Oakland man is one of eight Cintas employees and former employees accus-ing the national uniform supplier

of racial discrimination as part of a larger class-action complaint with the federal Equal Employment

Opportunity Commission. The complaint, filed by the Teamsters and the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and

Textile Employees (UNITE), alleges that the Cincinnati-based company -- the largest uniform supplier in the

country -- has committed systematic discrimination against women and minorities by denying them promotions and

shunting them into lower-paying and less desirable jobs. "It's an outrage, it's illegal and it's got to

stop," said Teamsters Secretary/Treasurer Tom Keegel. Cintas is also the defendant in a local class-action

lawsuit in which two workers at the company's San Leandro laundry facility allege that Cintas violated

Hayward's living-wage law. The city of Hayward, also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, once contracted with Cintas

for its laundry services.

Mediator to Restart Calif. Grocery Strike Talks

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: November 20, 2003

Talks aimed at resolving

a crippling southern California supermarket strike will resume this Saturday following a 10-day recess for the

parties to reconsider their positions, a mediator said on Thursday. "This is a further effort at resolution of

the issues," said Peter Hurtgen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. He said his

organization was "working hard to bring the parties together" and the next round of talks would continue for

"as long as is appropriate." Hurtgen adjourned an earlier two-day round of talks on Nov. 12, citing the need to

give the negotiating parties more time to reflect upon various issues regarding the dispute. At the heart of

the labor dispute, which began on Oct. 11, are health care cuts sought by the three leading U.S. grocers,

Kroger Co., Albertson's Inc., and Safeway Inc.

2 Unions Oppose Energy Bill on Eve of Vote

Source: Dan Morgan, Washington Post

Union(s): United Auto Workers and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Date: November 21, 2003

Two major labor unions weighed in against the energy bill before the Senate, as opponents and

supporters worked feverishly to round up support before a showdown vote today on the far-reaching legislation.

In a letter to members of Congress, the United Auto Workers said the bill's proposed repeal of a 1935 law

limiting utility company mergers would "undermine the reliability and affordability of electric power for

working families." A similar message from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said a repeal

would "remove a bedrock consumer protection law," and it urged that the energy measure be defeated.

Laundry in Queens Agrees to Raise Pay After 9-Hour Strike

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Unite, formerly known as the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees

Date: November 29, 2003

A large industrial laundry in Queens, Jung Sun, agreed to a tentative contract yesterday, just

nine hours after more than 100 of its workers went on strike. Union leaders said the workers walked out after

Jung Sun insisted on a wage freeze and refused to accept a contract that was signed in recent days by 36 other

New York City laundries. But after workers spent much of the day picketing in front of Jung Sun's plant on

37-10 24th Street in Long Island City, the company accepted the same contract embraced by the other laundry

companies. Jung Sun cleans linens for hospitals, restaurants and hotels, including the Algonquin and Trump

International. The workers at Jung Sun, like those at New York's other unionized laundries, average about

$8.60 an hour. In negotiations with the union, Unite, Jung Sun signed the industrywide contract, which provides

for a raise of 30 cents in the first year, 20 cents in the second and 30 cents in the third, according to union

officials. That translates into a 9.3 percent raise over the three-year agreement.

Supermarkets, Union to Resume Contract Talks

Source: Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: December 1, 2003

Talks are

set to resume Tuesday between the union representing striking Southern California grocery workers and three big

U.S. supermarket chains. About 70,000 workers belonging to the United Food and Commercial Workers union have

been idle since Oct. 11, when members struck Vons and Pavilions. Ralphs and Albertsons locked out their union

workers the next day. Last Monday, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union ordered its 8,000 drivers

and workers at 10 warehouses in Southern and Central California to honor the UFCW picket lines at the

warehouses. A previous round of talks between the supermarkets and the UCFW broke off a week ago.

DeLay?s Cruise Ship Plan Infuriates New York Unions

Source: Michael Slackman, New York Times

Union(s): Building and Construction Trades Council & Hotel Trades Council

Date: December 2, 2003

Representative Tom DeLay's proposal to use a cruise ship as a hotel and entertainment center during

the Republican National Convention next summer has infuriated local labor unions and given gleeful New York

Democrats an issue to use against their adversaries. Democratic members of Congress said they planned to send a

letter today to Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican, asking him to lean on Representative DeLay, the House

majority leader, to kill the idea. On the labor front, at least one union leader said that if the ship is used,

his union might consider void an agreement with the Republicans not to strike during the convention. Mr. DeLay,

of Texas, has proposed chartering the 2,240-passenger luxury cruise liner for the convention, docking it in the

Hudson River, so that Republican members of Congress and their guests can all stay at one place. The deal has

not been sealed, but Mr. DeLay has given no indication that he plans to back down.

Labor Federation Sues to Block New Reporting Requirements

Source: Leigh Strope (AP), San Diego Union Tribune

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: December 1, 2003

The AFL-CIO is suing the Bush administration in an effort to block a new

regulation that requires the nation's largest labor unions to disclose financial details, such as how much

they spend on politics, gifts and management. The lawsuit against Labor Secretary Elaine Chao was filed last

week in federal court in Washington. It says Chao acted "arbitrary, capricious and in excess of her statutory

authority" in issuing the new regulation. It takes effect next year, but unions will not have to file a report

until March 2005. The labor federation wants the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to postpone

the rule from taking effect Jan. 1, and to permanently block its implementation. The rule will force national,

regional and local unions with an income of more than $250,000 to provide much more financial detail in the

annual forms they are required to file with the Labor Department. Expenses and receipts of more than $5,000

must be itemized. Unions also will be required for the first time to file a new form detailing the finances of

related trusts.

Democratic Race Sows Labor Disunion

Source: John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Steelworkers of American & American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Date: November 29, 2003

John Campbell is a blue-collar philosopher who routinely steps off the

factory floor at the Firestone tire plant here to marshal fellow foot soldiers in the United Steelworkers Union

on causes close to their hearts, minds and wallets. The 47-year-old high school dropout often joins forces with

Judy Lowe ? a no-nonsense single mother and an organizer for white-collar government workers ? to knock on

doors, dial telephones and stage cold-weather rallies to get out the vote for politicians sympathetic to

working families. For years, Iowa's industrial and service unions have generally acted as one clan, one

unified political force. But the effort to choose a Democratic candidate to oppose President Bush in the 2004

election has caused fissures in this traditionally ironclad solidarity.

Employees of AFL-CIO Giving Up 2 Days' Wages

Source: Associated Press, Arizona Business Gazette

Union(s): AFL-CIO & Newspaper Guild Local 32035

Date: November 29, 2003

The AFL-CIO has a budget shortfall so severe that its workers are taking two days of unpaid leave to avoid

layoffs, even as the labor federation attempts to mobilize its largest-ever political campaign. Dubbed

"solidarity days," the days off were agreed to over the summer in negotiations between managers and the union

representing about 200 workers at the AFL-CIO, an umbrella organization of 64 international unions. Managers

also have agreed to take the unpaid time. AFL-CIO spokeswoman Lane Windham said employees covered by Newspaper

Guild Local 32035 decided they would rather lose pay for two days than face layoffs caused by a "budget

crunch." Other belt-tightening measures are being taken in response to a dismal economy that slammed many

unions with layoffs, and to launch a "do-or-die" election effort next year to defeat a cash-flush President

Bush.

Flight Attendants' Union Set to Merge

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants & Communications Workers of America

Date: December 2, 2003

The nation's largest union of flight attendants, citing losses of more than 10,000 members in the past two

years, will merge with the Communications Workers of America on Dec. 31. The Association of Flight Attendants,

which represents more than 36,000 attendants at 26 carriers, approved the merger, with 57 percent voting in

favor.

Labor Board Backs Ruling Against Lincoln Center

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Local 100 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: December 4, 2003

Arts patrons going to Lincoln Center could soon face leafleting by union supporters. In a decision issued on

Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Lincoln Center had violated federal labor law when it

sought to have the police arrest union supporters distributing leaflets in front of the center, while it

permitted nonunion groups to do so. The board affirmed an administrative law judge's ruling that Lincoln

Center had illegally discriminated against speech by union supporters and had illegally issued a no-leafleting

policy that center officials acknowledged they often ignored.

Union Leaders Want Gephardt Aide Fired: Labor Chiefs Allege Retaliation Threats

Source: Dan Balz, Washington Post

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) & Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Date: December 4, 2003

The presidents of the nation's two largest unions angrily demanded that Rep. Richard A. Gephardt

(D-Mo.) dismiss one of his senior advisers yesterday, charging that she threatened to try to retaliate if their

unions campaigned for former Vermont governor Howard Dean in Missouri. Gerald McEntee, president of the

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and Andrew Stern, president of the

Service Employees International Union (SEIU), whose unions have endorsed Dean, charged that, at a meeting

Monday that included Missouri Gov. Bob Holden (D), Joyce Aboussie, the vice chair of Gephardt's presidential

campaign, issued an "ultimatum" to representatives of the two unions.

Gephardt Joins Pickets in Show of Worker Support

Source: Susannah Rosenblatt and Melinda Fulmer, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: December 4, 2003

Democratic presidential candidate Richard A. Gephardt joined striking grocery workers on

a West Hollywood picket line Wednesday, calling them heroes who were making sacrifices to protect their

families' rights. "These folks have been out here for two months, fighting for health care for their

families," Rep. Gephardt, of Missouri, said. "I believe that what they're fighting for is a moral issue."

Workers struck Safeway Inc.'s Vons and Pavilions stores Oct. 11 after talks on a new contract broke down,

largely over the issue of employee contributions to health insurance. Albertsons Inc. and Kroger Co.'s Ralphs,

which bargain jointly with Safeway, locked out their workers the next day. The labor dispute affects 70,000

union workers in Southern and Central California.

Teamsters' Pensions Gutted

Source: Jennifer Bjorhus (St. Paul Pioneer Press), Duluth News Tribune

Union(s): Teamsters

Date: December 6, 2003

At least 10,000 Minnesota workers will see their pension benefits slashed as

the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund -- the nation's second-largest union pension plan -- struggles to

manage heavy investment losses. Retirees are not affected by the federally administered pension fund's

reduction of future benefit payouts, but active workers were told recently to expect cuts in their anticipated

benefits when they retire. Fund officials said the reductions were court-mandated to meet the fund's

regulatory obligations, but the fund is not in danger of insolvency. Still, union officials say their members

are confused and concerned.

Wolverine, Union Escalate Labor Battle

Source: Julia Bauer, Grand Rapids Press

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: December 5, 2003

The latest salvos between Wolverine World Wide and its tannery union will either knock out the

union or jettison the company's replacement workers. Wolverine officials notified members of Local 600A,

United Food and Commercial Workers, of contract terms that would loosen the union's grip on hourly tannery

workers. At this point, an odd blend of 120 employees run the tannery. More than half are replacement workers

hired after the July strike began. A third are former strikers. Another handful, 14 employees, didn't strike

but still belong to the union.

Nearly 100 Workers Leave Oyster Bar for Picket Line Outside Grand Central

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Local 100 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: December 6, 2003

Nearly 100 workers at the famed Oyster Bar went on strike yesterday, but at

lunchtime it looked as if the walkout was hardly having an effect. The counters and tables of the famed

restaurant in Grand Central Terminal were packed with patrons happily eating bluepoint, belon and cherrystone

oysters. Meanwhile, many of the Oyster Bar's regular dishwashers, waiters and cooks picketed out front,

handing out leaflets saying that the restaurant wanted to undermine their pensions and health insurance. But

many union members asserted that the walkout was indeed hurting the restaurant, saying that the temporary

replacement workers staffing the kitchen and waiting on tables were doing an inferior job.

US Air Seeks Lower Costs to Fight Cut-Rate Rivals

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Communication Workers of America & The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: December 6, 2003

US

Airways, which emerged from bankruptcy protection this year, told employees yesterday that it must revise its

business plan to combat the threat from low-fare airlines, the clearest signal yet that it faces a new crisis.

Speaking on a telephone hot line recording, the chief executive, David N. Siegel, said yesterday that the

action was prompted by an announcement by Southwest Airlines last month that it would begin service next year

to Philadelphia, one of three main hubs for US Airways.

Albertsons Chairman Puts Blame on Labor Strife for Fiscal Erosion

Source: Press-Enterprise (CA)

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: December 5, 2003

Southern California's grocery strike drained roughly $132 million from Albertsons

Inc. in just the last 19 days of October, according to the Boise, Idaho-based retailer's third quarter report.

The nation's second largest food and drug retailer said it made $92 million, or 25 cents a share for the third

quarter, down 51 percent from $188 million, or 47 cents a share, for the comparable period in 2002. Sales rose

to $8.8 billion from $8.66 billion for the same period a year ago. Albertsons chairman Larry Johnston blamed

the strike and retaliatory lockout, well into its second month after beginning Oct. 11, for the financial

erosion. "While the labor disputes negatively impacted our overall results, we were pleased with the underlying

performance of our business," Johnston said in a statement.

Safeway's Labor Woes Hurt Profit Projection

Source: Reuters, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: December 5, 2003

Safeway Inc., the parent of Chicago-based Dominick's, on Thursday forecast 2004 profit

below most Wall Street estimates, as it grapples with a strike and competition fueled by discounting behemoth

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Safeway, along with rivals Kroger Co. and Albertson's Inc., is embroiled in a dispute

involving 70,000 striking or locked-out Southern California workers over planned health-care cuts. The dispute,

affecting nearly 900 of the three chains' stores, began Oct. 11. A federal mediator recently began attempts to

push the parties' stop-and-go talks forward. Safeway, which operates about 1,700 stores in the U.S. and

Canada, said in a regulatory filing that it expects 2004 earnings of $1.95 to $2.03 a share, without reflecting

the strike's impact, which it cannot gauge.

Steelworkers Rip Bush, Fret For Future

Source: Judy Lin (AP), FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: December 5, 2003

Steel workers and union leaders said President Bush's decision to lift tariffs would undermine efforts to

reshape the industry, but some executives said an improving world economy would limit the impact. The unions

said a proposed monitoring program to guard against a glut of foreign steel - a consolation from President Bush

who lifted the tariff under threat of a trade war - would not be enough for companies in Indiana, Pennsylvania,

Ohio and West Virginia to stay competitive. "They're basically being kicked right in the face now for all the

hard work they've done, and I think it's a disgrace," said Andy Miklos, 53, a heavy equipment operator and

Local 1557 president at U.S. Steel-owned Clairton Coke Works, south of Pittsburgh.

Picket Lines Expected To Expand

Source: San Diego Union Tribune

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: December 8, 2003

The supermarket

strike and lockout -- in its ninth week -- continued Monday with no end in sight, union officials and grocery

chain operators said. Negotiations broke off Sunday night between the United Food and Commercial Workers

International Union, which represents the grocery clerks, and the big three grocery chains, without a

settlement and with no new talks scheduled, according to separate statements issued by the union and the

companies. Representatives of the UFCW and Safeway-owned Vons and Pavilions and Ralphs and Albertsons

supermarkets talked for six days, but "the parties remain far apart on all the key issues involved in the

dispute, including maintaining affordable health care for working families," according to the union's

statement.

Kroger and Union Agree to a Contract

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400

Date: December 10, 2003

The Kroger

Company and a grocery labor union have tentatively agreed to a contract, setting up a Thursday vote for 3,300

workers in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky to decide whether to end a two-month strike. Labor troubles in

those three states, as well as in California and Indiana, have hurt the company, which reported on Tuesday that

third-quarter earnings fell 57 percent, primarily because of the labor disputes. Negotiators worked out an

agreement Sunday and Monday, said Jim Lowthers, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400. The

sides came together at a federal mediator's request.

Workers Often Face Hurdles Forming Unions

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: December 10, 2003

Wal-Mart employee Larry Lee says that since he started talking about forming a union a few months ago, he has

been assigned to work alone in areas of the store away from his co-workers and is monitored when he walks to

his car or goes to the bathroom. But he is continuing to try. "The worst thing you can do is not try,'' said

Lee, 42, who stocks shelves at night in a Houston store. "I'm dead serious about what I'm doing here. I'm

committed to what I'm doing here.'' The hurdles workers face when forming unions were being highlighted

Wednesday by the AFL-CIO as part of International Human Rights Day. Unions have organized more than 90 events

in 38 states.

Labor Rallies in Support of Bill to Back the Right to Join Unions

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO and others

Date: December 11, 2003

In demonstrations and marches in 70 cities, the labor movement seized on International Human

Rights Day yesterday to begin a campaign asserting that American corporations routinely violate an

internationally guaranteed right: the right to unionize. Organized labor has begun this campaign to help

persuade Congress to enact a law making it easier to unionize and to draw attention to thousands of instances

each year in which they say companies break the law to beat back unionization drives. The bill would increase

penalties on employers who fire workers for supporting unions and would allow workers to choose a union by

signing cards instead of holding an election.

A Strike That's Struck a Chord Nationwide

Source: Daniel B. Wood, Christian Science Monitor

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: December 11, 2003

Placard-toting demonstrators remain a common sight at supermarkets here as a strike and lockout of 70,000

southern California grocery workers begins its ninth week with no end in sight. Management and unions are still

hunkered down; negotiations could trickle into next year. And the fight has become emblematic of a larger

national anxiety over tradeoffs between consumer prices and decent-paying jobs. On one level, it's a tussle

between management - which says it must cut costs to compete with bulk discount houses - and workers who want

to preserve health benefits. But there's also a more universal question, analysts say: As manufacturing jobs

disappear here - and across the Midwest and South - what alternatives remain for the working middle class?

Kroger Employees Eager to Get Back on Job

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400

Date: December 12, 2003

After

nine long weeks on the picket line, striking Kroger employee Rick Robinson can't wait to return to his deli

counter. Robinson and some 3,300 union members from 44 stores in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia ratified a

contract Thursday to end their standoff with the Cincinnati supermarket chain over medical coverage. "We got

what we wanted,'' said Robinson, who works at a store in Weston. "The way I look at it is, it's time to go

back to work.'' The company agreed to increase its annual contribution toward union health benefits by 10.5

percent, or $12 million, an increase of $3 million over its pre-strike offer.

Workers, Labor Leaders Rally in Los Angeles for Union Rights

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): various

Date: December 11, 2003

Led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a host of political, religious

and community leaders, more than 1,000 workers marched to Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday

for a boisterous, labor-sponsored rally -- one of dozens of actions staged across the country to promote the

right to organize unions. Marchers ranged from private security guards to newspaper reporters. "It's very

difficult to overcome people's fear," said Richard Bergendahl, a security officer at a downtown high-rise who

has been trying to organize his co-workers under the Service Employees International Union. "The bosses

threaten to fire you, and if you're on marginal pay, you have to take that threat seriously."

Judge Rejects Amtrak Request On Walkout

Source: Laurence Arnold (AP), FindLaw Legal News

Union(s): Transportation Communications Union

Date: December 11, 2003

A federal judge rejected Amtrak's request to block a threatened one-day walkout by railroad unions to

protest what they say is chronic underfunding of passenger rail. Unions representing 8,000 of Amtrak's 21,000

employees had planned the work stoppage for Oct. 3 but agreed to postpone any action until the court ruled.

Though the unions can proceed, they have not said whether or when they will do so. The stalemate over federal

funding they hoped to address with their one-day protest has been broken, at least for this year.

Union vs. Union on Iowa Campaign Battleground

Source: Rachel L. Swarns, New York Times

Union(s): various

Date: December 14, 2003

It was 9 degrees, and the shivering, stomping union members were pressing political fliers into the

gloved hands of scores of steelworkers outside the Firestone plant here. "Support Dick Gephardt!" shouted John

Campbell, 47, this week as he mingled with the men starting their shift. But across the state, in the snowy

town of Glenwood, workers from a government employees union were promoting a different presidential candidate

and a different message. "Howard Dean is for working families," said Jenny Mitchell, 39, as she distributed

leaflets to her colleagues during lunch. In ordinary times, these two groups would be allies, but these days

they stand on opposite sides of a political divide. Ms. Mitchell's union is battling to send Howard Dean to

the White House; Mr. Campbell's union is trying to stop him from snaring an electoral victory here that might

start his steady march toward the Democratic nomination.

Labor Department Agrees Jobs Were Lost Through NAFTA

Source: Associated Press, WHAS 11.com (KY)

Union(s): United Auto Workers Local 2088

Date: December 13, 2003

About 500 former workers at a northern Indiana factory have been ruled eligible for federal aid

for job placement and training after the U.S. Labor Department found that their jobs were lost through the

North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico. When the Oxford Automotive plant closed in 2001, the equipment

that once occupied the building was sent to Mexico. But the Labor Department then contended the shift of

equipment was not the same as a shift in production to the United States' NAFTA partner. After almost three

years of petitions by the workers, the Labor Department two weeks ago agreed that the job losses resulted from

NAFTA, qualifying the former workers for assistance.

$81 Million in Back Pay on Its Way to Reagan-Era Special-Raters

Source: Stephen Barr, Washington Post

Union(s): National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)

Date: December 12, 2003

The check is in the mail. About 90,000 checks totaling $81 million have been mailed to

current and former federal employees covered by the special-rate back-pay settlement reached by the government

and the National Treasury Employees Union. "NTEU fought for this moment for 20 years," said Colleen M. Kelley,

the union's president. "It's not only gratifying to see these employees get the money they rightly deserve,

but having the first payments delivered in the midst of the holiday season is especially satisfying." Typical

payments range from $1,000 to $3,000, Kelley said. The payments have been eagerly awaited by many of the

covered employees, who watched the union and the government wrangle over a class-action lawsuit for years in

federal district and appeals courts. The union filed suit after the Reagan administration altered a policy that

affected employees receiving special-rate pay -- the higher pay provided workers in certain hard-to-fill

positions. The NTEU challenged the administration's decision, which had left some workers receiving little or

no pay increase in some years.

Saturn, UAW Ratify New Labor Agreement

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): UAW Local 1853 in Spring Hill

Date: December 15, 2003

United Auto Workers employed by General Motors Corp.'s Saturn division overwhelmingly approved a new labor

agreement Sunday that could eventually end the unique agreement the union has with the automaker. As part of

the agreement, workers will receive a $3,000 bonus before Christmas and agreed to negotiate a transition to the

national pact with GM that would allow the company to lay off employees for the first time in its history.

U.S., 5 Nations Work on Free Trade Pact

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees.

Date: December 16, 2003

The Bush

administration may have suffered a setback in its effort to forge a hemisphere-wide free trade agreement, but

it is pushing ahead with a smaller deal that would cover five Central American countries. Negotiators from

Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua have been meeting with U.S. officials for over a

week in Washington, trying to overcome the final obstacles to a Central American Free Trade Agreement, or

CAFTA. They say a deal is within reach and could be completed by next Tuesday. It would remove virtually all

trade barriers among the nations over the next decade. But the agreement is expected to face considerable

opposition in Congress from some politically potent groups including labor unions, textile makers and the sugar

industry.

Strike's Strategy Is On the Line

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: December 16, 2003

When labor leaders from across the country gather in Los Angeles today to discuss the supermarket strike,

they'll be looking for something that has so far proved elusive: a winning strategy. AFL-CIO President John

Sweeney and dozens of officials with the United Food and Commercial Workers union will assemble at the Century

Plaza Hotel for the meeting, which was called last week by UFCW President Doug Dority after contract talks

collapsed. The meeting is to be followed at noon by a march by thousands of strikers and their supporters from

the hotel to a Pavilions store in Beverly Hills. Though they publicly professed support for the seven UFCW

locals in Central and Southern California, some labor leaders have been privately critical of the union's

tactics, saying they lacked imagination and haven't been sufficiently militant.

Boycott Is Urged in Drive to Unionize Bakery

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: December 16, 2003

The

long-running labor dispute raging at a 170-employee bakery here has taken unusual turns in recent years,

including accusations of death threats, illegal firings and managers forcing workers to have sex with them. In

yet another unusual twist, the United Auto Workers, which has been trying for three years to unionize the

bakery, Chef Solutions, announced a boycott on Monday against the bakery's parent company, Lufthansa airline,

and one of its customers, Boston Market. The union is not calling for a boycott of the bakery itself.

Striking Workers Plan Safeway Boycotts

Source: Nick Madigan, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: December 17, 2003

A two-month-old strike in Southern California against four supermarket chains got a big show

of support on Tuesday: labor leaders from around the country marched with several thousand grocery workers

through the streets of this enclave of wealth and backed their call for one-day walkouts at other stores

nationally. "There's power in numbers," said Gina Savio, a produce clerk who has worked for 20 years at one of

the struck businesses, an Albertson's store in Simi Valley, north of Los Angeles. "We can't let them win."

The strike, largely over health care benefits, began on Oct. 11 and involves 70,000 workers.

Two Unions Criticize Ads for Attacks Against Dean

Source: Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers and the Laborers\' International Union of North America

Date: December 17, 2003

Two labor unions that provided financing for a shadowy Democratic political

group running tough commercials against former Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont criticized the advertising campaign

yesterday, and one said it might ask for its money back. Both unions, the International Association of

Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Laborers\' International Union of North America, have endorsed

Representative Richard A. Gephardt, who said yesterday that he knew nothing about the group running the

commercials. Rick Sloan, a spokesman for the machinists, said the union donated $50,000 to the group, Americans

for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values.

California Nurses' Union Ends Tenet Hospital Strike

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): California Nurses Association (CNA)

Date: December 17, 2003

The

California Nurses Association (CNA) on Tuesday ended a 13-month strike against Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s (nyse:

THC - news - people) Doctors Medical Center-San Pablo after reaching a contract agreement, the union and

hospital said. Doctors Medical Center said the agreement with the union, which represents the hospital's 450

nurses, resolves all issues in the action. The agreement allows nurses to return to work without loss of

seniority, and, in general, provides for wage increases of 30 percent through the three year term of the

contract, the hospital said.

Labor Talks to Resume Between Supermarket Chains, Grocery Clerks Union

Source: Associated Press, Miami Herald

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: December 15, 2003

Negotiations were scheduled to resume Friday between three supermarket operators and the union

representing about 70,000 Southern California grocery workers who have been on strike or locked out of the

stores for more than two months, a federal mediator said Monday. "Our goal in the mediation process is to build

understanding and to move the parties toward an agreement," Peter J. Hurtgen, director of the Federal Mediation

and Conciliation Service, said in a statement. "In this case, we are dealing with particularly difficult

issues." Negotiators for Albertsons Inc., Kroger Co. and Safeway Inc. last held labor talks with the United

Food and Commercial Workers union on Dec. 7.

Union Bosses Call on Nation to Boycott Safeway Stores

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: December 17, 2003

Several thousand striking and locked-out supermarket workers and their

supporters marched to a Pavilions store in Beverly Hills on Tuesday in the largest demonstration since the

regional walkout began Oct. 11. The march followed a meeting of United Food and Commercial Workers presidents

from about 150 union locals nationwide, who pledged several million dollars for the dwindling supermarket

strike funds here. The union also sought to portray its fight with Safeway Inc., Albertsons Inc. and Kroger Co.

-- parent of Ralphs -- as a pivotal moment for American labor. "If we lose here," said national UFCW President

Doug Dority, "it will set off a corporate tidal wave that will sweep away benefits in contracts in all

industries." Dority also announced there would be a national campaign to boycott Safeway, the parent company of

Vons and Pavilions and the union's top public target. "We want to empty those stores," he said.

Rally Illustrates Gulf Between Tiremaker, Labor

Source: Bush Bernard, The Tennessean

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: December 17, 2003

Factory workers from eight states marched up Elm Hill Pike to rally outside the

Bridgestone/Firestone headquarters yesterday. It's part of the United Steelworkers of America's ongoing

effort to pressure the company into offering a contract proposal that more closely follows an agreement the

union reached with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. this fall. ''The offer they currently have on the table

doesn't merit consideration,'' Steelworkers Executive Vice President John Sellers said before the rally.

Traditionally, the union works out an agreement with one of the three major tiremakers in the United States,

and that agreement serves as a blueprint for deals with the other two.

America West, Pilots Union Reach Tentative Labor Pact

Source: Dow Jones & Company, Quicken

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: December 17, 2003

America West Airlines reached a new tentative

labor agreement with its pilots union just two weeks after pilots narrowly rejected a previous pact. The

airline, operating under government constraints that require it to keep labor costs in check, didn't put any

additional money on the table for the new contract. Instead, pilots agreed to boost the average number of

block-hours they'll be obligated to fly each month, effectively using their added productivity to fund

additional contract compensation. "They came up with some ideas that were creative and we agreed," said a

spokeswoman for America West, a unit of Tempe, Ariz.-based America West Holdings Corp. The three-year

agreement, reached Tuesday, maintains most of the economic terms set forth in the previous pact, including a

14% pay raise over the life of the contract and signing bonuses. But it adjusts terms such as long-term

disability and retirement compensation.

Labor Unions to Fight Free Trade Deal

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: December 19, 2003

The Bush

administration is hailing its new free trade agreement with Central America as an important milestone toward

the even bigger prize of achieving a hemisphere-wide free trade area. But labor unions are vowing an all-out

effort to defeat the measure in Congress. Judging from the initial reaction from unions and such politically

sensitive sectors of the economy as textile makers and sugar growers, President Bush could be facing a major

trade battle on Capitol Hill in the midst of next year's presidential campaign.

Veteran Strike Breaker Helps Keep Ralphs Supplied

Source: Nancy Cleeland and Melinda Fulmer, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers; Teamsters

Date: December 19, 2003

To keep its warehouses stocked and its delivery trucks

running without the Teamsters union, Ralphs Grocery Co. has turned to a convicted felon with a history of legal

woes. Clifford L. Nuckols, a veteran of the strikebreaking business, has hired hundreds of people and brought

them from around the country to the Los Angeles area, where the supermarket strike and lockout are in their

tenth week. Booked two to a room at hotels in Burbank and Compton, the replacement workers are packed every day

into rented vans and driven past pickets from the United Food and Commercial Workers union and knots of jeering

Teamsters at Ralphs warehouses in Glendale and Compton.

Deal Saves City $100 Million a Year in Health Costs

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): New York City municipal unions

Date: December 19, 2003

The Bloomberg administration reached its most important labor agreement

to date yesterday, signing an accord on health benefits that achieves $100 million in annual savings through

numerous steps, including higher co-payments for doctor visits. Soaring health care costs have hurt local

governments across the nation, and in yesterday's deal, the city persuaded its unions to help bear the burden.

The Bloomberg administration hailed the accord, the first reached in the new bargaining round, saying it was

consistent with Mr. Bloomberg's objective of not paying for increased wages and benefits unless unions agreed

to offsetting savings. The city will use these savings to increase its contributions to employee benefit funds

and to sustain a nearly bankrupt fund for cancer, asthma and psychiatric drugs for all 500,000 city workers and

retirees.

Hotel Del Has New Owners - - And Labor Troubles

Source: NBCSandiego.com

Union(s): Hotel Employees, Restaurant Employees Local 30

Date: December 18, 2003

The Hotel Del has new

owners, and, along with a landmark hotel, they've bought themselves some labor trouble. The local union says

the hotel's changing of hands has led to the firing of more than 100 workers. Some of them were picketing in

front of the Del on Thursday morning, and they planned to hit the sidewalks again in the afternoon. The Hotel

Employees, Restaurant Employees Local 30 is accusing the new owners, KSL Resorts, of firing longtime workers

and disregarding a union contract that they contend is still in force.

Boeing: Putting Out The Labor Fires

Source: Stanley Holmes, BusinessWeek

Union(s): International Association of Machinists

Date: December 29, 2003

On Dec. 16, Boeing's new CEO, Harry C. Stonecipher, stood up in a Seattle convention center and announced

that the company would go ahead with its 7e7 jetliner and build it in nearby Everett, Wash. "The 7e7 is a real

game-changer," he declared as commercial-plane division chief Allan Mulally looked on approvingly. "Now let's

go sell it." What Stonecipher didn't tell the assembled 3,000 Boeing Co. employees was that 10 days earlier,

he had quietly approached the chief of the company's biggest and feistiest union, the International

Association of Machinists, to offer an olive branch. At that meeting, Stonecipher not only told Machinists

President R. Thomas Buffenbarger that Boeing would build the plane in Everett, he went much further -- offering

to work hand in hand with the unions to end decades of bitter labor relations that have sunk employee morale to

an all-time low. Why would Stonecipher, long considered a foe of organized labor, have such a radical change of

heart? Company insiders say it's because he realizes that Boeing's future rests in part on its ability to

deliver the 7e7 cheaper and faster than it has any previous jetliner. An angry Machinists union could disrupt

those plans.

Union Sues Ralphs for Hiring Back Workers

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Union

Date: January 4, 2004

The union representing

striking Southern California grocery workers is suing the Ralphs supermarket chain, alleging it has been

secretly hiring back selected workers under false names and Social Security numbers, the union said on Sunday.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday,

said union spokeswomen Ellen Anreder and Barbara Maynard. They said the union had evidence from 50 to 100

striking workers who had secretly been hired back and then told to use fictitious names and Social Security

numbers or those of their minor children.

Union Hopes Billboard Sends Message About Salary

Source: William K. Rashbaum, New York Times

Union(s): Patrolmen's Benevolent Association

Date: January 6, 2004

Most billboards in and around Times Square are designed to attract the attention

of tourists and New Yorkers and get them to buy something, be it designer underwear, blue jeans or tickets to a

Broadway show. But a large new sign formally unveiled there yesterday is intended to draw attention to

something New Yorkers already have -- a Police Department that has logged record declines in crime. The

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the union that represents the city's roughly 23,000 rank-and-file police

officers and paid $75,000 for the sign, hopes the New Yorkers who see it will urge Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

to give the officers a raise. The union's president, Patrick J. Lynch, said the sign was meant to underscore

the disparity between the city's crime-fighting achievements and what he says is the officers' meager pay

when compared with that of other departments around the country.

Grocery Union Files Racketeering Suit

Source: James F. Peltz, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: January 7, 2004

The

grocery workers' union filed a second lawsuit alleging that Ralphs hired back union workers under false names

and Social Security numbers despite an official lockout, this time saying the company broke federal

racketeering laws. The case mirrored a suit filed Friday in state Superior Court, in which the United Food and

Commercial Workers union first made the allegations. The new suit was brought under the federal Racketeer

Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, which provides for triple damage awards if the claims are proved.

US Airways Delays Employee Meetings

Source: Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants and Communications Workers of America

Date: January 8, 2004

US Airways' top executive postponed a series of employee meetings to outline further cost reductions after

sharp resistance from workers and union leaders. David N. Siegel, president and chief executive of the

Arlington-based airline, said in a weekly telephone recording for workers that "while I still want to go out on

these road shows, the timing is up in the air." Sources close to the airline said Siegel had planned to meet

with employees by late January or early February. US Airways labor leaders have repeatedly objected to any

further cost cuts, saying they have already contributed more than $1.2 billion in concessions during the

airline's bankruptcy restructuring.

Cuts in Funds Wear on Pickets

Source: Melinda Fulmer and Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: January 9, 2004

Dwindling strike funds and expired health benefits are putting California's idle

supermarket workers under increasing strain as the labor dispute heads into its fourth month. Six of the seven

union locals in the strike have in recent weeks slashed picketing workers' pay, in some cases by as much as

half. The pay cuts, and the loss of health coverage on Jan. 1, have forced increasing numbers of striking and

locked-out workers to look for other jobs, which has eroded the number of pickets at Vons, Pavilions and

Albertsons markets in Southern and Central California.

Pilots' Strike Looms at Mesaba Airlines

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: January 9, 2004

Mesaba

Airlines pilots are threatening a strike if negotiations don't produce a new contract by Friday night. A

30-day cooling-off period ends at 12:01 a.m. EST on Saturday, and pilots have said they will strike then if a

deal isn't reached. Talks continued Friday, with the regional airline saying it won't try to fly any of its

routes if pilots strike.

Strike by Operations Staff Looms at Indian Pt. Nuclear Plant

Source: Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times

Union(s): Utility Workers Union of America

Date: January 10, 2004

Maintenance and operations workers at the Indian Point nuclear power plant were making preparations for a

possible strike in the event that negotiations between their union and Entergy Nuclear Northeast, the plant's

owner, do not yield a new contract within eight days. While Entergy expressed confidence that a walkout would

be averted, a spokesman for Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America said the two sides were far apart

on basic issues like salaries and health benefits. Last month, workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a

walkout, and this week union members were signing up for picket duty. "Given the status of the talks, I would

say they are on a collision course with a strike," said Steve Mangione, a spokesman for Local 1-2. "They are

miles apart on the key issues and still very far apart on issues that are usually settled by now."

For Labor, a Day to Ask What Went Wrong

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): various

Date: January 21, 2004

The

labor unions that backed Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri and Howard Dean, the former Vermont

governor, were embarrassed yesterday and searching for answers why their candidates -- and the unions

themselves -- fared so poorly in the Iowa caucuses. Officials from the unions that supported Dr. Dean, who

placed third, and Mr. Gephardt, who dropped out of the presidential race after placing fourth, said the pair

had been weakened by the flurry of negative charges they directed at each other. They said this helped Senator

John Kerry of Massachusetts, who won the caucuses, and Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who came in

second, pick up support because they ran more positive campaigns. Strategists from the two major unions that

backed Dr. Dean -- the service employees and the state, county and municipal employees -- said they would

redouble their efforts to lift him to victory in next Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire.

No End in Sight for California Grocery Workers' Strike

Source: Kimberly Edds, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: January 20, 2004

For more than three months, the cluster of a dozen or so striking clerks and baggers have

maintained a vigil on the broken sidewalk outside the Vons supermarket on Santa Monica Boulevard. For the first

couple of days, it was almost fun. Supporters drove by and honked. Some brought food. Almost everyone was

pleasant. But no one expected it to go on this long. The Southern California grocery workers' strike, which

has 70,000 workers on the street, continues to drag on with seemingly no end in sight. Four days of secret

talks between the two sides broke up Jan. 11 with only "limited progress" being made, according to the United

Food and Commercial Workers union's Web site. As the strike lengthens, it has become an important battle for

organized labor, which is struggling to remain relevant in one of the few remaining industries in which workers

with limited education can earn a respectable living with medical benefits.

Unions Back Suit Against Cintas

Source: Mike Boyer, Cincinnati Enquirer

Union(s): UNITE, Teamsters

Date: January 22, 2004

Two

unions attempting to represent Cintas Corp. workers are backing a class-action lawsuit filed in a California

federal court. It accuses the Mason uniform supplier of discriminating against minorities. The suit, filed

Tuesday in San Francisco, accuses Cintas of discriminating against African-Americans and Latinos in hiring, pay

and promotion and disproportionately hiring minorities for lower-paying, less desirable jobs. The 44-page

lawsuit includes some of the same plaintiffs and allegations in a complaint filed in November with the U.S.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing Cintas of a "massive pattern of discrimination.'' The new

lawsuit allows Cintas workers to seek remedies outside federal regulatory actions, according to the unions.

Labor Among Iowa's Big Losers

Source: Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post

Union(s): various

Date: January 22, 2004

Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) was not the only loser in the Iowa caucuses. Organized

labor, especially the nation's manufacturing and industrial unions, which poured huge resources into Iowa to

support their longtime ally, suffered an equally embarrassing defeat. In addition, the public-sector unions

that broke ranks and supported former Vermont governor Howard Dean saw their candidate finish behind Sens. John

F. Kerry (Mass.) and John Edwards (N.C.), who had little official union support. Labor organizations backing

Gephardt and Dean brought hundreds of organizers into Iowa, where about 50,000 union members are registered

Democrats eligible to vote in the caucuses. Despite that effort, a plurality of union members, 29 percent,

backed Kerry. Dean and Edwards tied for second place with 22 percent each, and Gephardt got only 19 percent,

according to surveys of caucus-goers.

Union Sues Fannie May Over plant closure

Source: Associated Press, Miami Herald

Union(s): Local 781, Teamsters Union

Date: January 21, 2004

A

union group representing workers at the Archibald Candy Corp. factory where Fannie May candy is made accuses

the company in a lawsuit of violating federal labor law with its abrupt shutdown of the plant. Local 781 of the

Teamsters Union said in the suit filed in U.S. District Court that Archibald failed to give workers 60 days'

notice as required when it disclosed plans Jan. 5 to shutter the 70-year-old Chicago plant. The plant is

expected to close by the end of this month. The suit contends that the company has not complied with terms of

the union contract which allow laid-off workers three months of health coverage, vacation pay and severance

equal to a week's pay for each year worked.

Janitors' Labor Movement Wins Converts

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: January 23, 2004

The labor protest outside a downtown building had all the markings of a traditional picket line, yet when

police arrived to make arrests, they clapped the handcuffs on clergy members and not workers. The picketing and

the arrests on Thursday had the indelible stamp of the Justice for Janitors, a campaign within the Service

Employees International Union that began in Pittsburgh during a bitter janitors' strike in 1985. The campaign

has become one of the most active labor movements today, labor experts say, because of its success in linking

the plight of those doing some of the country's dirtiest work with a wider social malaise. Churches and social

organizations have backed the union in its plight.

Seeking an Opening at the Oyster Bar

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: January 26, 2004

Wearing a

black beret and using her boombox voice, Janine Boivin shouted to the couple approaching: "Please don't eat at

the Oyster Bar. Seventy-two families have been on strike for eight weeks." It was lunchtime on Friday, and some

shellfish lovers walked blithely past and entered the restaurant deep inside Grand Central Terminal. But others

stopped to talk with Ms. Boivin, an Oyster Bar waitress, and then headed elsewhere for lunch. "I was thinking

this would last maybe two, three days," said Ms. Boivin, whose lunch hours are usually spent carrying

cherrystones and chowders to rushed customers. "I never expected it would last eight weeks." The strike began

on Dec. 5 after the restaurant's owners demanded to cut waiters' wages, to reduce salaries for newly hired

dishwashers to $7 an hour from $8 and to eliminate health insurance for part-time workers like Ms. Boivin.

Unions Aim to Share in the Success of Reality TV

Source: Jim Rendon, New York Times

Union(s): International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees

Date: January 25, 2004

Reality

television shows like "Fear Factor," "Big Brother" and "The Bachelor" have crossed over from sideshow

entertainment to network television's main event. But their success has caught the attention of more than

advertisers and disgusted critics. Hollywood's unions are showing an interest, too. The International Alliance

of Theatrical Stage Employees, which includes the International Cinematographers Guild and the Motion Picture

Editors Guild, is trying to unionize reality shows that are shown by the networks, as well as gritty

documentary-style cable shows like "Trauma: Life in the ER." Arguing that those who work on unscripted programs

should receive health insurance, pensions, overtime pay and other benefits, the alliance has unionized "Big

Brother," which is produced by Endemol USA, a unit of Telef?nica S.A, and is in negotiations with "Blind Date"

and "Fifth Wheel," produced by Renegade 83. Reality shows, many of which originated in Europe and on cable

channels in the United States, have traditionally been made by nonunion production companies. Now that reality

shows are broadcast on the big networks, unions say their workers should get the same pay and benefits that go

to unionized workers of other network shows.

Striking Grocery Workers Feeling Pinch

Source: Associated Press, CNN.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: January 26, 2004

The

picket lines began thinning after Christmas, when union strike pay for the grocery workers was cut in half, and

every day since there have been fewer people holding picket signs with Vicky Cooper outside a Vons supermarket.

"The team is falling apart," the 25-year-old checker said. "Everybody said 'Forget it, we're not coming

back."' The strike and lockout affecting 70,000 Southern California grocery workers at three supermarket

chains is in its third month. Cooper said many of her fellow co-workers have had to take other work or cross

picket lines to return to their old jobs, unable to make ends meet on the $20 to $25 a day they get for walking

the picket lines. Others lost their health care benefits at the start of the year and had to pay $365 to extend

them through March.

Chancellor Urges Broad Changes in Way Teachers Are Paid

Source: David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times

Union(s): United Federation of Teachers

Date: January 28, 2004

Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein called yesterday for sweeping changes in the way teachers are paid in

New York City, advocating bonuses based on student achievement and higher salaries for teachers who agree to

work in troubled schools and for those in fields where there are staff shortages, like math and science. Mr.

Klein gently praised the teachers' union for offering to try a streamlined contract, in a limited number of

schools, that would do away with most work rules. He also applauded a proposal by the union president, Randi

Weingarten, to speed the disciplining and dismissal of incompetent teachers. Addressing a breakfast forum

sponsored by Crain's New York Business, Mr. Klein was unrelenting in his demands for a complete overhaul of

the way teachers are compensated. "We have to change the culture of our schools," Mr. Klein said. "We don't

have a culture of excellence." Contract talks with the union, the United Federation of Teachers, are to resume

next week.

California Controller Urges Safeway to End Strike

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: January 27, 2004

California State

Controller Steve Westly said on Tuesday he has urged the Safeway Inc. supermarket chain to end a grocery

workers' strike, echoing a similar effort by a fellow member of the board of Calpers, the largest U.S. public

pension fund. Westly said he sent a letter on Tuesday to Safeway's board, urging a resolution of the strike in

Southern California, which was sparked by a dispute over health-care benefits. Westly said Safeway was risking

its brand and financial standing by following the example of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest

retailer and an increasingly popular political target in California. "Safeway claims that health benefit cuts

are required to compete with large retailers, such as Wal-Mart, which provide nominal health care benefits,"

Westly wrote. "The lowest common denominator should not be the standard for an established member of the

corporate community, and I'm surprised Safeway, given its strong reputation with millions of California

consumers, would treat its employees in this manner," Westly said.

Union Spends $1.6 Million to Help Dean

Source: Associated Press, CNN.com

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Date: January 27, 2004

A government employees union is spending at least $1.6 million to try to get nonunion members out

to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in several of the nation's early primaries. Most of

that -- $1.3 million -- has been spent by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees'

political action committee over the past few weeks on ads, polling, phone banks, mailings and other primary

activities. Activities of the AFSCME's People Qualified PAC so far have focused on Iowa, which held its

presidential caucuses last week; South Carolina, New Mexico and Arizona, which vote February 3; Michigan, which

has its primary February 7; and Wisconsin, which votes February 17. The PAC is spending the money independently

of Dean's campaign, which means it can spend as much as it wants to recruit Dean voters.

Re-Elected Labor Leader Criticized by Loser

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: January 29, 2004

Lillian

Roberts, executive director of District Council 37, New York City's largest municipal union, called yesterday

for members of her badly divided union to close ranks, a day after she eked out victory in a hard-fought

election to retain her position. But the union leader she narrowly defeated, Charles Ensley, went on the

offensive yesterday, asserting that her campaign used improper and divisive tactics to win. "She ran one of the

most mean-spirited campaigns to smear people,'' said Mr. Ensley, president of the local representing 15,000

social workers, one of the 56 union locals in District Council 37. "To smear people personally in a union

campaign, I find that offensive. Her divisive tactics, her use of race and gender, it has no place in the labor

movement." Asked about Mr. Ensley's criticisms, Ms. Roberts responded in a written statement: "The campaign is

over, and it's time for all of us to go forward, to close ranks, and to work together for a fair contract."

Picketers Return to Local Ralphs

Source: Robert Chacon, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Union

Date: January 30, 2004

Supermarket strikers have reestablished picket lines at a Ralphs in Glendale, intent on

keeping their cause fresh in the minds of shoppers. Ralphs employees were locked out Oct. 12 by parent company

Kroger Co. in a show of solidarity with its competitors after members of the United Food and Commercial Workers

Union began striking against Vons and Pavilions. Workers at Ralphs began picketing at Vons and Pavilion stores

Oct. 31. "We're basically out here to remind people that we're continuing to struggle for our health and

pension benefits," picketer Gary Field said.

Tyson Workers at Wis. Plant Accept Deal

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: January 30, 2004

Workers

on strike against Tyson Foods for nearly a year accepted a contract Thursday that will save their union and

their jobs, but includes many of the wage and benefit concessions that led to their walkout. The contract was

approved 293-70, said Mike Rice, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 538. He had recommended

approval of the deal as the only way to keep the union in the Tyson meat processing plant in Jefferson, about

45 miles west of Milwaukee. Under federal labor law, the replacement workers Tyson hired could have voted to

decertify the union once the strikers had been out for a full year. The union, representing 470 workers, walked

out Feb. 28. Many striking workers said they reluctantly voted "yes.'' "We're not getting really what we

wanted, but we need to keep the union,'' said Bill Schmieder, 30, a Tyson worker for six years. "We're going

to take our fight inside the plant.''

Grocers Face Calif. Lawsuit

Source: Reuters, CNN/Money

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: January 30, 2004

California's

attorney general said he would file a lawsuit on Monday suing three major grocery chains engaged in a costly

labor dispute. "We are filing Monday," a spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer told Reuters on Saturday,

noting they were not able to get an extra document accompanying the complaint to the court in time to meet a

Friday deadline. The lawsuit charges that a controversial profit-sharing plan between the companies violates

antitrust law and asks a federal court in Los Angeles to block Albertsons Inc., Kroger Co., and Safeway Inc.

from implementing their so-called mutual-aid agreement. Lockyer accuses the stores of engaging in an illegal

pact that in part requires Kroger to share any windfall reaped by the absence of picket lines in front of its

Ralphs stores in a strike and lock-out that has affected some 70,000 Southern California supermarket workers.

Strike Shuts Down Nickel Producer

Source: Reuters, CNN/Money

Union(s): Canadian Auto Workers

Date: February 1, 2004

Falconbridge Ltd. shut down mining and milling operations at its Sudbury, Ontario, site Sunday as

workers at the facility producing 5 percent of the world's nickel went on strike after rejecting a new labor

contract. "The picket lines are up. The company told us to get off their property," said Rick Grylls, president

of the local unit of the Canadian Auto Workers, which represents 1,080 production and maintenance workers at

the northern Ontario site. At a time of a serious global shortage of nickel, the world's third-biggest

producer said it had begun halting production at the Sudbury complex's four mines and mill after a three-year

labor deal expired at midnight Saturday with no consensus on wages, pensions and the use of contract workers.

Governor Willing to Intervene in Strike

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: February 3, 2004

Can Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger end the nearly 4-month-old supermarket strike? In a KNX-AM radio interview

Monday, the governor said he needed an invitation to try. "If they call me and ask me to intervene and to be an

intermediary, I'm more than happy to do that, because I think that we need to have everyone go back to work

and normalize the situation," he said. That was news to Miguel Contreras, secretary-treasurer of the Los

Angeles County Federation of Labor, who said he had been working for weeks behind the scenes with state

Democrats and national labor leaders to try to pull the governor into the stalled talks. Contreras spent about

$100,000 of the federation's budget to gather signatures on petitions asking the governor to weigh in. He said

the petitions were mailed nearly two months ago to Schwarzenegger's office but they elicited no response.

Dean's Labor Backers Concerned

Source: Phil Hirschkorn, CNN.com

Union(s): various

Date: February 3, 2004

Howard Dean has some explaining to do to the labor unions that have spent millions supporting a

seemingly unstoppable presidential campaign that is now struggling. At the same time, nearly two dozen other

unions that backed Dick Gephardt before he dropped out are shopping around for another candidate. Dean, who

doesn't expect to win any of Tuesday's contests, will explain his strategy for staying in the race during

meetings later this week with his three labor backers: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal

Employees, the Service Employees International Union and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

"I expect frank, honest discussion" about Dean's troubled campaign, "and determining the best course of action

going forward," said Sean McGarvey, political director of the painters union. Whether that means shifting or

pulling back resources remains to be seen, he said.

Judge Dismisses Teamsters' Suit Against Carey

Source: Anthony Lin, New York Law Journal

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)

Date: February 4, 2004

A federal judge

in Manhattan has thrown out a suit by the Teamsters union against former boss Ronald Carey and several others,

ruling that the defendants' embezzlement of union funds did not constitute a "pattern of racketeering

activity" under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Southern District Judge Laura Taylor

Swain wrote in a decision dated Jan. 30 that the embezzlement and other fraudulent activities at issue were all

designed to benefit Carey's 1996 campaign to be re-elected president of the International Brotherhood of

Teamsters (IBT), and were not "inherently unlawful" in a manner that posed a threat of future criminal

activity. The defendants undertook their actions for "purposes of self enrichment, protection of ongoing

relationships with the Plaintiff, and depriving IBT and its members of money, the honest services of its

officers and employees and the right to have elections conducted fairly," Swain wrote in IBT v. Carey, 2952-00.

Supermarkets Reject Union Bid for Binding Arbitration

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: February 5, 2004

A proposal by union leaders to end the supermarket strike and submit their contract dispute to

binding arbitration fell flat Wednesday when grocery companies rejected the offer, crushing the hopes of many

striking and locked-out workers. In a joint statement, the companies said the offer was "just another effort to

shift the focus away from the United Food and Commercial Workers' apparent inability to find a negotiated

settlement to this labor dispute." They said they wanted to continue talks with the help of federal mediator

Peter J. Hurtgen. The arbitration offer was intended to put public pressure on the supermarkets to settle the

nearly 4-month-old dispute. Some national and local labor leaders were opposed to the tactic, thinking it could

telegraph a sense of defeat on the UFCW's part.

US Airways To Meet With Unions on Concessions

Source: Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post

Union(s): various US Airways employee unions

Date: February 5, 2004

US Airways executives hope to secure steep concessions from employees at a meeting with union leaders tomorrow

in a last-ditch effort to head off the sale of several key assets, sources close to the carrier said yesterday.

Executives of the Arlington-based airline expect to outline a revised business plan at the meeting, scheduled

after the carrier releases its fourth-quarter financial results. At a board meeting yesterday, executives

indicated that the airline's most immediate threat was meeting the financial covenant set by the federal

government in exchange for guarantees on loans of $900 million. As part of US Airways' agreement with the Air

Transportation Stabilization Board, the airline must maintain $1 billion in cash through June.

Union Targets Multiple Fronts with Political Savvy

Source: Sarah Anne Wright, Seattle Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union (SEIU),

Date: February 5, 2004

With jobs dear and unemployment high, it's hardly time to make demands on employers. But

tell that to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which runs the Justice for Janitors campaigns in

Seattle and nationally. In July, the union helped 2,500 local janitors keep employer-paid medical benefits.

"Despite the downturn in the building sector, a lot of vacancies and failed businesses, we were still able to

keep the 100 percent employer-paid medical and dental coverage for our janitors and their families," said

Debbie Foley, secretary-treasurer for SEIU Local 6. The Justice for Janitors campaign has become one of the

most active labor movements today, labor experts say, because of its success in linking the plight of those

doing some of the country's dirtiest work with a wider social malaise.

Major Union Plans to Pull Its Support for Dean

Source: Jodi Wilgoren, New York Times

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Date: February 8, 2004

The

largest of three international unions that had endorsed Howard Dean's bid for the Democratic presidential

nomination plans to withdraw its support, union officials and Dean aides said Saturday. Gerald W. McEntee, the

president of the union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, spent an hour meeting

over lunch here on Saturday with Dr. Dean and his new campaign chief, Roy Neel. Aides to Dr. Dean, who spoke on

condition of anonymity, said that at the meeting Mr. McEntee expressed concern about Dr. Dean's viability and

the prospect that continuing his campaign could weaken the eventual Democratic nominee.

US Airways Outlines Case for Additional Concessions

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): various US Airway unions

Date: February 7, 2004

Officials at US Airways, which is struggling to meet the conditions of federal loans that lifted it out of

bankruptcy last year, began making the case for more wage and benefit cuts yesterday to skeptical union leaders

who have already publicly declared that "the concessions stand is closed." US Airways has been working on a

strategy since December, when its chief executive, David N. Siegel, said that unexpectedly heated competition

from low-fare carriers was forcing it to revise the business plan used as the basis for its emergence from

bankruptcy last spring. Executives at US Airways, which is based in Arlington, Va., outlined the company's

financial situation to its labor advisory council, which includes unions representing the pilots, flight

attendants, mechanics, ground personnel and other employees.

Labor Raises Pressure on California Supermarkets

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: February 10, 2004

Four months into one of the biggest labor disputes in decades, the union

representing 70,000 striking or locked-out Southern California supermarket workers is waging an increasingly

confrontational -- some say desperate -- campaign to fend off cuts in members' health care benefits. A hundred

union supporters shut down a Safeway in Santa Cruz for an hour and a half recently, dancing and chanting in a

conga line through the store. Others disrupted a golf tournament in Pebble Beach on Friday, shouting slogans at

two supermarket board members who were about to tee off. Labor leaders are threatening to harass supermarket

executives wherever they vacation, be it on beaches or ski slopes.

Skepticism Greets Promised Talks

Source: Alicia Robinson, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: February 10, 2004

New talks in the grocery store labor dispute are scheduled to begin Wednesday, possibly ending

the stalemate as it reaches the four-month mark. But local workers said they're not getting their hopes too

high. Federal mediator Peter J. Hurtgen announced Monday that negotiations would resume Wednesday between the

United Food and Commercial Workers union and grocery chains Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway. John Arnold, a

spokesman for Hurtgen's office, declined to say when or where talks will be held. "Everybody's agreed to come

back, and it's a pretty positive sign from our perspective," Arnold said.

With Gephardt Gone, Kerry Is Lining Up Labor Backing

Source: David M. Halbfinger, New York Times

Union(s): various

Date: February 10, 2004

Senator John Kerry is poised to win a string of crucial labor endorsements

before the Wisconsin primary next Tuesday, labor officials say. The Building and Construction Trades Department

of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. is likely to throw its weight behind Mr. Kerry after a meeting on Tuesday, labor and

campaign officials said. The Alliance for Economic Justice, a coalition of 18 unions that had endorsed

Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, is to hold a conference call on Wednesday and could endorse Mr.

Kerry as early as this weekend.

Employees to Protest Pentagon Labor Plan

Source: Christopher Lee, American Federation of Government Employees

Union(s): American Federation of Government Employees

Date: February 10, 2004

Hundreds of federal employees are expected on Capitol Hill

today to protest a new personnel plan for the Defense Department that union leaders say would strip unions of

any meaningful role in protecting the workers' rights and welfare. Members of the American Federation of

Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, plan to visit key lawmakers this week and urge them

to limit Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's plans to overhaul the department's labor relations system.

Rumsfeld won authority from Congress last year to rewrite personnel rules affecting nearly 750,000 civilian

employees. He argued that managers needed more freedom to rearrange money, workers and weapons in the war on

terrorism. Union leaders, who opposed the legislation last year, said yesterday that new labor relations

"concepts" released in a 13-page memo last week by the DOD go too far.

Missteps Hurt Union in Supermarket Strike

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: February 11, 2004

Hoisting

banners and American flags, hundreds of AFL-CIO members rallied on Wall Street last week in a show of support

for the 4-month-old California supermarket strike. Stock analysts hardly noticed. They were more interested in

the message delivered the day before, when three grocery companies flatly rejected a United Food and Commercial

Workers union proposal that the contract dispute be submitted to binding arbitration. That episode revealed

"increasing weakness in position" on the part of the UFCW, Lisa Cartwright of brokerage Smith Barney wrote to

clients as the union activists, bundled up against the cold, assembled near the New York Stock Exchange. She

didn't mention them. The Wall Street fumble was the latest misstep in a strike that has been criticized as

lacking a clear, consistent and forceful strategy.

Union Board Cuts Salaries of 2 Winners of Close Vote

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: February 12, 2004

The executive board of District Council 37, the city's largest municipal union, cut the salaries of its two

top officials by more than 20 percent yesterday, two weeks after those officials narrowly won a bitter election

battle. Board members said they approved the pay cut for Lillian Roberts, the executive director, and Maf

Misbah Uddin, the newly elected treasurer, partly because those officials' campaigns had repeatedly denounced

the previous treasurer for earning too much. The vote was 17 to 8 to cut Ms. Roberts's salary to $175,000 from

$250,000 and Mr. Uddin's to $140,000 from $180,000. Mr. Uddin said his pay would also include his $47,000 city

salary as an actuary. Ms. Roberts and Mr. Uddin voted against the resolution. Their campaign had sent out many

fliers attacking the former treasurer, Mark Rosenthal, because his multiple union salaries totaled more than

$200,000. Their mailings asserted that Mr. Rosenthal wanted to be elected to remain on the union "gravy

train."

UFCW Revises Number of Workers in Labor Dispute

Source: Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: February 13, 2004

The United Food

and Commercial Workers Union, which had stated repeatedly that 70,000 workers are involved in the supermarket

labor dispute in Central and Southern California, said on Thursday that the number of people on strike or

locked out is 59,000. A union spokeswoman, Barbara Maynard, said that 70,000 UFCW members were, in fact,

covered by the labor contract with supermarkets that expired last year. But 11,000 of them work for Stater

Bros. Holdings Inc., Arden Group Inc.'s Gelson's and other regional grocery companies and are still on the

job. Maynard said union officials had been "making it clear" all along that 11,000 of the number were employed

by the regional grocery companies.

A.F.L. Backing of Kerry Is Called Near

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: February 14, 2004

After labor unions have skirmished for months over which Democratic candidate to support for president, the

A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s executive board will vote next Thursday to endorse Senator John Kerry, several union leaders

said Friday. This will give Mr. Kerry, of Massachusetts, the backing of a federation that has 13 million

members and what is often called the nation's most effective get-out-the-vote operation. Several union leaders

said John J. Sweeney, the federation's president, decided to call Thursday's meeting as soon as he saw that a

labor consensus was forming behind Mr. Kerry. "Everyone is ready to be unified around a candidate that they are

confident can defeat President Bush," said Karen Ackerman, the federation's political director. Mr. Sweeney's

letter inviting union leaders to the meeting said he was recommending they endorse Mr. Kerry. Mr. Sweeney wrote

in bold letters that Mr. Kerry would speak to the board at the end of the vote. This, several union leaders

said, signaled that the endorsement was a done deal.

Union Chief Asks Bloomberg Not to Aid His Re-election Bid

Source: Winnie Hu, New York Times

Union(s): Uniformed Firefighters Association

Date: February 14, 2004

For a

moment, it seemed as if Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the president of the firefighters' union had put their

differences behind them during a joint appearance yesterday on the mayor's radio program to announce increased

staffing for engine companies. Mayor Bloomberg declared that the agreement with the Uniformed Firefighters

Association showed how people could work together in this city and pointed out that both he and the union

leader, Stephen J. Cassidy, were still in their first terms in their respective positions. "Both of us are

going to get re-elected, I trust," Mayor Bloomberg said on his weekly program on WABC-AM. "I mean, I hope

you'll work for my re-election. Would you like me to work for yours?" But Mr. Cassidy quickly replied, "Uh no,

Mr. Mayor. I don't want you to work for mine." Both men laughed, and in the end, the mayor seemed not to take

offense.

AFL-CIO to Endorse Kerry

Source: CNN.com

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: February 13, 2004

Sen. John Kerry has

won the backing of the AFL-CIO, a spokesman for the nation's biggest labor group told CNN Friday. Kerry will

be endorsed by the organization, which encompasses 13 million people in 64 member unions, at a meeting of the

general board Thursday, the spokesman said. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney scheduled the meeting in a memo to

leaders of the member unions.

At 2 Airlines, Management and Unions Focus on Cuts

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): various United and US Airways unions

Date: February 17, 2004

Unions and

management at two troubled airlines are facing off over cuts that executives say are critical to their

companies' survival. At United Airlines, the battle is over reductions in health care benefits for 35,000

retired workers. Executives say the savings are necessary for the airline, the nation's second largest behind

American Airlines, to secure federal loan guarantees and emerge from bankruptcy protection as planned later

this year. Meanwhile, US Airways, the country's seventh-largest carrier, wants a third round of concessions

from its unions, on top of two granted while it was in bankruptcy. It sees the wage and benefit cuts as a major

component in its drive to reduce its costs to the level of low-fare carriers. The airlines are not being

specific about how much they want from the unions, but both have drawn the ire of labor groups.

The Health Of Grocers, Workers

Source: Michael Barbaro and Neil Irwin, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: February 17, 2004

In a conference room in Ocean City, Md., almost two years ago, the heads of the

nation's four largest grocery chains delivered a stern message to officials of the biggest food workers'

union. Grocery workers will have to sacrifice some of their generous wages and health benefits, the executives

said, if their employers -- Royal Ahold NV, Safeway Inc., Kroger Co. and Albertson's Inc. -- are to have any

hope of competing with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other low-cost rivals. "The message was that things had to

change," said the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, C. James Lowthers, who

attended the meeting. "They said they have to keep costs down." But the executives' approach is playing out in

very different ways at the negotiating table.

Hopes Are Raised as Talks Go On

Source: James F. Peltz and Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: February 19, 2004

Negotiators in the supermarket strike talks spent more than eight hours at the

bargaining table Wednesday and will meet again today, swelling hopes on the picket lines. With pressure to

settle mounting on both sides, the talks -- heading into their ninth straight day -- were described by people

close to negotiators as the most serious since the strike began four months ago. The United Food and Commercial

Workers union and the three supermarket companies involved had gone nearly two months without formal sessions

before this series began under the direction of federal mediator Peter Hurtgen at an undisclosed location.

"We're definitely hopeful," said Jeannie McGrew, a 28-year grocery store veteran who worked as a scan

coordinator at a Vons in Pacific Palisades before the strike. "Every day on the line, the first half-hour of

talk is about the negotiations. If they are not talking, there is no hope."

A.F.L.-C.I.O., Calling for Unity, Gives Backing to Kerry

Source: David M. Halbfinger and Rick Lyman, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: February 20, 2004

Senator John Kerry won the endorsement of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. on Thursday as Senator

John Edwards called trade and job losses a "moral issue" and repeatedly pressed for debates with Mr. Kerry. The

leaders of the federation of 13 million labor union members endorsed Mr. Kerry as the Democratic primary

struggle largely narrowed to a two-man race and focused on the economy and trade. "We've had four years to see

who George Bush fights for in this country," Mr. Kerry said in front of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. headquarters, two

blocks from the White House. "And we're here to say to working people across this country, 'In November,

it's going to be your turn.' " Mr. Kerry's strategists hope that the endorsement will further establish him

as the likely presidential nominee and extinguish the spark that Mr. Edwards's campaign received from a

surprisingly strong second-place finish on Tuesday in the Wisconsin primary. Outside the headquarters of the

federation, its president, John J. Sweeney, made clear labor's view that the time for contested primaries was

over.

Labor Supporter Says Dean Ignored His Entreaties to Quit

Source: Adam Nagourney, New York Times

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Date: February 20, 2004

One of Howard Dean's most powerful labor supporters, Gerald W. McEntee, said on Thursday that he had

decided that Dr. Dean was "nuts" shortly before he withdrew his support for Dr. Dean's candidacy and begged

him to quit the race to avoid a humiliating defeat. Mr. McEntee, the president of the American Federation of

State, County and Municipal Employees, defended his decision to abandon the campaign, saying he told Dr. Dean

that he did not want to spend another $1 million of his union's money "in order to get him a couple of extra

points in Wisconsin." "I have to vent," Mr. McEntee, the often blunt leader of the nation's largest public

service union, said in a leisurely interview in his office here. "I think he's nuts." Mr. McEntee said he

reached his assessment of Dr. Dean after watching what he described as a series of halting appearances in Iowa,

leading up to his shouted concession speech. He said that he did not believe Dr. Dean, the former governor of

Vermont, understood how substantial his decline was after that, and that he was stunned when Dr. Dean did not

bow to pressure from labor unions to pull out earlier this month.

Canadian Rail Workers Go on Strike

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Canadian Auto Workers

Date: February 20, 2004

About 5,000 workers at CN Rail went on strike at midnight Thursday after last-minute talks with the railway

ended without an agreement, union officials said. The Canadian Auto Workers announced the strike plans in a

news release issued from Toronto, saying talks that have intensified since Tuesday concluded with "no agreement

in sight." CN's shopcraft, intermodal and clerical workers were walking off the job at midnight local times,

the union said. The CAW, Canada's largest private-sector union, said it was willing to resume talks at any

time.

Major City Union May Offer to Give Ground on Pensions

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: February 21, 2004

Contract talks between the Bloomberg administration and District Council 37, New York City's largest

municipal union, accelerated this week after the union's leaders said they might agree to a less generous

pension plan for future city workers, union officials said. One of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's main

negotiating goals is to create a lower pension tier for all future city workers, and he says it could save the

city nearly $10 billion over the next two decades. One District Council 37 leader said the union hoped that by

accepting a less generous pension plan for future workers, it would persuade the mayor to grant pay raises for

current workers. Mr. Bloomberg has repeatedly said he would not grant raises to municipal workers unless labor

leaders agreed to offsetting savings. Two of District Council 37's leaders said that largely because of the

promising discussions on pensions, the negotiations had gathered so much momentum that an overall agreement was

possible over the next few weeks. But other officials warned that snags could easily develop on pensions or

other matters and delay an accord.

United's Unions Assail Plan to Cut Retiree Benefits

Source: Associated Press, USA Today

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: February 20, 2004

United Airlines' unions stepped up the pressure on the carrier Friday over its plan to cut retiree

health care benefits, with machinists announcing a new campaign of airport demonstrations and public protests.

The machinists also organized picketing by retirees outside United's headquarters in suburban Elk Grove

Village and the airline's monthly bankruptcy court hearing in Chicago, where flight attendants were seeking

the appointment of an outside examiner to look into the plan. The International Association of Machinists and

Aerospace Workers said it had delivered letters to all U.S. senators, urging them to demand that United CEO

Glenn Tilton keep its commitment to United retirees.

Union Makes Progress At Hotel

Source: Krissah Williams, Washington Post

Union(s): Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union Local 25

Date: February 23, 2004

Union organizer Miguel Granillo-Cordova was skeptical when employees at the State Plaza

Hotel in downtown Washington called him last spring. They were some of the people who walked away from a union

election nine years ago after management promised them raises. "The whole drive failed," said Granillo-Cordova,

lead organizer for Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union Local 25. Now the union is back at the State Plaza,

having won a representation election there in its decades-long, nationwide attempt to sign up the people who

prepare meals, clean rooms and wash dishes at hotels -- people who these days are increasingly Hispanic. At the

State Plaza, 90 percent of the 68 cooks and cleaners are from Central America. They have mixed feelings about

unions, union officials said, because in Central America unions are sometimes corrupt or violent or radical.

City Union Still Reeling From Effects of a Bitter Vote

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: February 23, 2004

Nowadays, District Council 37, New York City's giant municipal union, often seems less like a labor

organization than a dysfunctional family. Things are such a mess, many labor experts say, that the union hardly

resembles its former self - it was once the most respected, most dynamic and fastest-growing public employees'

union in the nation. But that was long before the current wackiness. In last month's election campaign, the

union's executive director, Lillian Roberts, denounced the union's treasurer, Mark Rosenthal - who was her

running mate two years earlier - by accusing him of wanting to fix the election and remain on the union "gravy

train." She also attacked his $200,000-plus salary as exorbitant even though she earned more than he did. On

Thursday, in an unusual move that showed just how much union solidarity has crumbled, Mr. Rosenthal sued Ms.

Roberts for libel. "Her campaign was vicious and full of lies,'' said Mr. Rosenthal, who lost his race for

re-election when Ms. Roberts and her candidate for treasurer eked out a victory.

Union Urges Bush to Replace Education Chief Over Remark

Source: Sam Dillon and Diana Jean Schemo, New York Times

Union(s): National Education Association

Date: February 25, 2004

A day after Education Secretary Rod Paige compared the nation's largest teachers union to a

"terrorist organization" because of its criticism of President Bush's centerpiece education law, the union

brushed aside his apologies and called for his dismissal. "Our members are the N.E.A., and on behalf of them, I

ask President Bush to express his regret to the nation's educators and demand that Secretary Paige step down,"

said the union's president, Reg Weaver. And in the House, Representative Betty McCollum, Democrat of

Minnesota, called on Dr. Paige to resign. She characterized his remarks as "neo-McCarthyism at its worst." The

reactions made public an often bitter struggle between the Bush administration and the National Education

Association, which has 2.7 million members and frequently supports the Democrats at election time.

Paige Calls NEA a 'Terrorist' Group

Source: Amy Goldstein, Washington Post

Union(s): National Education Association

Date: February 24, 2004

Education Secretary Roderick R. Paige yesterday told the nation's governors that the

largest teachers union in the United States is a "terrorist organization" -- a remark that prompted a torrent

of criticism and an apology by the end of the day. Paige made the comment about the 2.7 million-member National

Education Association in a private meeting at the White House with the National Governors Association, less

than a week after he announced the administration was relaxing testing requirements under the No Child Left

Behind law. The landmark education law has come under mounting opposition, and the NEA has been among its

strongest detractors. Sources familiar with the incident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Paige's

remark was in response to a question about his opinion of the NEA toward the end of a two-hour panel discussion

that included five other Cabinet members. The sources said Paige drew a distinction between his disdain for the

union and his admiration for classroom teachers, whom he called "the real soldiers of democracy." Democrats and

leaders of labor groups and other liberal organizations immediately condemned the terrorist analogy.

2 Key Unions Vote to Accept Plan to Merge

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Unite, formerly the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees and Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: February 26, 2004

The

nation's leading apparel workers' union and the leading union for hotel and restaurant workers have voted to

merge, union officials said yesterday. The merger will bring together two unions that are among the most

aggressive in organizing nonunion workers, especially immigrants. Unite, formerly the Union of Needletrades,

Industrial and Textile Employees, has 180,000 members, while the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees

International Union, or HERE, has 250,000 members. By voting to approve the merger yesterday at a meeting in

Los Angeles, the board of the hotel employees' union moved to create a larger organization whose members range

from seamstresses in New York's Chinatown to hotel housekeepers in San Francisco.

Settlement Near in Grocery Strike

Source: James F. Peltz and Melinda Fulmer, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): UFCW

Date: February 26, 2004

Grocery store and union negotiators neared a deal Wednesday to end the California supermarket strike

and lockout, according to people familiar with the talks. A settlement could be reached as early as today, they

said, although they cautioned that negotiators continued to struggle with certain aspects of the contract they

were sketching out under the supervision of a federal mediator. The deal on the table would trim supermarket

employees' health benefits and create a second tier of new workers who would earn less than those hired before

the dispute began, according to sources who know the rough details of the proposed contract.

Two Unions Plan Merger of 440,000 Members

Source: Leigh Strope (AP), MLive.com (MI)

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees and Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees

Date: February 26, 2004

Two unions representing hotel and restaurant employees and retail, textile and

laundry workers are merging to create a single labor organization with 440,000 members. The Hotel Employees and

Restaurant Employees, called HERE, and the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, known as

UNITE, announced the merger Thursday. "This merger substantially increases our ability to fight for the rights

of our members and the tens of thousands of new members that we will represent in the future, and to make sure

that America's working families share in the success of the world's richest nation," said UNITE President

Bruce Raynor. The partnership pairs two similar unions that represent a large number of minority and immigrant

workers in the growing service sector. It also spells opportunity: UNITE's organizing focus on laundry and

retail distribution workers fits nicely with HERE's hotels and restaurants and their need for linens and

uniforms.

Supermarkets, Union Reach Tentative Pact

Source: Charlie LeDuff and Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Union

Date: February 27, 2004

Supermarket executives and union leaders involved in a four-and-a-half month-old labor dispute in

Southern California reached a tentative agreement last night after 16 days of intense bargaining, union leaders

said. Officials with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and with California's three largest grocery

chains reached the deal which is expected to end a dispute involving 59,000 striking or locked-out workers at

852 supermarkets. Greg Denier, a spokesman for the union, declined to disclose details about the settlement.

The dispute, which is one of the largest labor disputes in the nation in years, has inconvenienced millions of

shoppers, created great financial pain for union members and caused the three supermarket chains to lose more

than $2 billion in sales.

Supermarket Strike Settled

Source: Reuters, CNN/Money

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Union

Date: February 27, 2004

Three major

supermarket chains and the union representing some 60,000 striking and locked out grocery workers reached a

tentative deal to end the nearly five-month labor dispute, representatives for both sides said. The agreement,

reached late Thursday, was expected to create a second tier of employees who would be paid less than their

veteran counterparts. The pact still needs to be ratified by members of the United Food and Commercial Workers

Union. A vote could come as early as Friday or Saturday. It was not immediately clear when unionized clerks

would be back on the job. The labor dispute centered largely on health care costs, with supermarket chains

saying they could no longer afford to pay for the benefits without contributions from the workers in the face

of competition from non-union megastores like Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Grocery Strike Ends

Source: Reuters, CNN/Money

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 1, 2004

Striking

California grocery workers ratified a new contract Sunday that puts an end to the longest-running grocery

strike in U.S. history, the workers' union said. The contract covering some 70,000 members of the United Food

and Commercial Workers Union at three major supermarket chains -- Kroger Co., Albertsons Inc. and Safeway Inc.

-- was approved by an 86 percent margin, a spokeswoman for the union said. Almost 900 stores were affected by

the strike and lock-out, estimated to have cost the supermarkets more than $1 billion in lost sales. The

20-week-long labor dispute centered largely on health care costs, with supermarket chains saying they could no

longer afford to pay for the benefits without contributions from workers in the face of competition from

non-union rivals like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Union leaders and the supermarkets reached a tentative agreement on

Thursday following 15 days of intense talks.

Striking Grocery Workers Approve Agreement

Source: Associated Press, USA Today

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 1, 2004

Southern California grocery workers voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract with supermarket operators,

ending a strike that inconvenienced millions of customers and cost three major grocery chains hundreds of

millions of dollars in lost sales. After a two-day vote, 86% of grocery workers who cast ballots approved the

contract negotiated by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, the union said Sunday in a statement. The

contract covers 70,000 workers, a majority of them employed by Albertsons Inc., Kroger Co. -- which operates

Ralphs stores -- and Safeway Inc., which operates Vons and Pavilions. It requires employees to pay for health

benefits for the first time and includes two one-time bonuses for hours already worked. The contract offers no

raises.

Workers OK Grocery Pact to End Strike

Source: John O'Dell, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 1, 2004

Grocery

workers, hungry to return to their jobs, overwhelmingly approved a new three-year contract this weekend, ending

a nearly five-month strike and lockout that cost the supermarket chains almost $1.5 billion in lost sales and

disrupted the shopping patterns of millions of consumers throughout Southern California. Officials of the

United Food and Commercial Workers union declared the strike a victory in announcing Sunday evening that the

pact was approved by 86% of the voting membership. But support for the contract from many union members was

grudging at best. "It was take it, or there's the door," said Ralphs cashier Carlos Beltran, 25, who voted

"yes" at Local 770's polling place in Hollywood. "They are all thieves, the companies and the unions. They're

just sticking it to us." Still, not everyone was unhappy. "I'm glad we're going back to work, and I supported

the strike," union member Andrea Gonzales said after hearing the results Sunday night.

GAO: Jobs Plan Process-Oriented

Source: Christopher Lee, Washington Post

Union(s): American Federation of Government Employees

Date: March 2, 2004

Federal agencies are focused more on process than on saving money and improving performance

as they follow a White House directive to force government employees to compete with the private contractors

for their jobs, a new study has found. The 47-page General Accounting Office report also found that agencies

say they lack enough staff and funding to carry out President Bush's "competitive sourcing" initiative. Bush

announced the government-wide initiative as a key part of his management agenda after he took office in 2001.

He said requiring hundreds of thousands of federal workers to prove they can do their jobs better and more

cheaply than the private sector will promote government efficiency, even if the jobs ultimately stay in-house.

Critics, including federal employee unions, have derided the policy as little more than an effort to reward

Bush's business allies.

Retiree Benefit Cutbacks Threaten United Recovery

Source: Melissa Allison, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: March 3, 2004

At the same time United Airlines is trumpeting to Wall Street that employee morale has never been

better, workers say the move by management to curtail retiree benefits has ruined their trust in the company.

"We're concerned about United Airlines and its future business if management doesn't make good on promises,"

said Sara Dela Cruz, a spokeswoman for United's flight attendants. More than 2,500 flight attendants retired

in the first half of 2003 after the airline said workers retiring after July 1 would receive reduced medical

benefits, Dela Cruz said.

New York in Tentative Deal With Largest Union

Source: Michael Cooper, New York Times

Union(s): Civil Service Employees Association

Date: March 6, 2004

The Pataki

administration and the state's largest public employees union said yesterday that they had agreed on a

tentative contract that would raise the salaries of 70,000 state workers by what union officials said was 11

percent over the next four years. The tentative agreement with the union, the Civil Service Employees

Association, which has been without a contract since April, would cost the state $352 million over the course

of the contract, a state official said. The governor and the State Legislature are negotiating a plan to close

a $5.1 billion shortfall in next year's budget. The proposed settlement would give workers an $800 one-time

payment upon ratifying the contract, followed by raises of between 2.5 percent and 3 percent a year over the

next three years. On the last day of the contract in March 2007, workers would get an $800 increase on their

base salary.

Mass. Teacher Snubs Paige Honors Over Union Remark

Source: Associated Press, Washington Post

Union(s): National Education Association

Date: March 8, 2004

The Massachusetts teacher of the year refused to attend an event in Washington honoring the

nation's top educators because U.S. Education Secretary Roderick R. Paige called the nation's largest

teachers union a "terrorist organization." Jeffrey R. Ryan, a history teacher at Reading Memorial High School

who lost a friend in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, said he could not accept Paige's apology for his Feb. 23

comments about the 2.7 million-member National Education Association. Ryan has taught for 25 years. Paige said

the remark was a "bad joke." But Ryan said: "Nazi death camps aren't funny. Lynching people isn't funny. . .

. And terrorism isn't funny. I just couldn't show up and shake that man's hand after he made those remarks."

Forty-four teachers of the year attended last Monday's conference, which the department had arranged weeks

before Paige's comment. Paige had made the comment in a private meeting with governors. He later apologized

for his choice of words, but maintained that the union uses "obstructionist scare tactics." "I can assure you,

I have nothing but the highest esteem for teachers and the teaching profession," he told the teachers last

week.

Labor Is Forced to Reassess as Union Leaders Convene

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): various

Date: March 9, 2004

As the nation's labor leaders gathered at a luxury seaside hotel here, they were struggling on Monday

to find ways to keep the union movement from sinking further after it suffered several recent setbacks. In the

biggest confrontation in years, a 138-day dispute involving 59,000 California supermarket workers, the

companies trounced the union, obtaining a two-tier contract that means lower wages and fewer health benefits

for new employees. Organized labor also appeared badly disorganized as unions split over endorsing

Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri or Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor, for the Democratic

presidential nomination and then appeared woefully ineffective when both of the preferred candidates flopped.

And labor was embarrassed by a January government report showing that union membership fell by nearly 400,000

last year and that the percentage of workers belonging to unions dropped to 12.9 percent, down from 35 percent

in the 1950's. "Labor is in a huge crisis," said Ruth Milkman, president of the University of California

Institute for Labor and Employment. "In this climate, business as usual will mean a slow death."

Strike Eats into Albertsons Profit

Source: Reuters, CNN

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 9, 2004

Albertsons Inc.,

the No. 2 U.S. grocer, said Tuesday that quarterly earnings fell 37 percent as the recent Southern California

labor dispute dented its sales and pushed up costs. The Boise, Idaho-based retailer said profit for the fourth

quarter ended Jan. 29 slid to $130 million, or 35 cents per share, from $205 million, or 54 cents, a year

earlier. The company had withdrawn its earnings forecasts last fall as it grappled with uncertainty from the

strike. Analysts, on average, had forecast earnings of 20 cents, according to Reuters Research. The grocer said

it estimates that the Southern California labor dispute -- which also affected rivals Kroger Co. and Safeway

Inc. -- cut quarterly earnings by about $90 million, or 24 cents a share.

Worker Disputes Cost Kroger $156M

Source: Reuters, CNN/Money

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 9, 2004

Kroger Co.,

the nation's biggest supermarket chain, reported a quarterly loss Tuesday due to the recent labor dispute in

southern California and hefty charges from its Smith's division. Kroger, based in Cincinnati, said its net

loss in the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 31 was $337.4 million, or 45 cents a share, compared with net

earnings of $381 million, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier. Earlier Tuesday, Kroger rival Albertsons Inc.,

the industry No. 2, said its quarterly profit fell 37 percent, also hurt by the California labor dispute.



Labor Pains, Continued

Source: John Mercurio, CNN.com

Union(s): various

Date: March 9, 2004

There are four

Southern primaries today, two with juicy political implications. But the story we're watching most closely

today is the awkward reunion of organized labor, which gathers in south Florida to make sense out of a

particularly clumsy primary roadshow that left them divided, dispirited and, in some cases, doubting their

ability to defeat President Bush. If one head should roll at the Sheraton Bal Harbour Beach Resort, sources say

it could be that of Gerald McEntee, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal

Employees, who may face a challenge as chair of the AFL-CIO's political education committee after the way he

handled his union's endorsement -- and abandonment -- of Howard Dean. Criticism of McEntee, who as chairman of

the committee controls labor's multimillion-dollar voter-turnout operation, comes strongest from unions that

had backed Dick Gephardt. "There's not a lot of love here for [McEntee]," a chief political strategist for a

major Gephardt union told the Grind. "There are some general presidents openly talking about removing him as

chairman, several of them think he defaulted on his role during the primary, bouncing all over the place.

President Sweeney has to make a decision about how to handle it."

Unions Put Early Kerry Backer on Strategy Panel

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): various

Date: March 10, 2004

The A.F.L.-C.I.O. rewarded the president of the first union to endorse Senator

John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, by naming him on Tuesday as vice chairman of a new

campaign strategy committee. Top officials of the labor federation named the union leader, Harold A.

Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, as a committee vice chairman to give

him a major role in helping shape labor's efforts to elect Mr. Kerry. The federation endorsed Mr. Kerry two

weeks ago; the firefighters endorsed him last fall. Mr. Schaitberger was chosen for the position as several

union presidents here pushed unsuccessfully to oust Gerald W. McEntee, president of the American Federation of

State, County and Municipal Employees, from his post as chairman of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s political committee.

Several union leaders attending the labor federation's midwinter meeting here said the new campaign strategy

committee was set up in part to dilute Mr. McEntee's power and to help put Mr. Schaitberger in the spotlight.

Mr. McEntee has come under fire for political vacillation -- he first leaned toward Mr. Kerry and then to Gen.

Wesley K. Clark before his union endorsed Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor.

Grocers Want Pay Cuts for New Workers

Source: Michael Barbaro, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400

Date: March 10, 2004

Giant Food LLC and Safeway Inc., which have begun renegotiating a four-year contract with

the union representing their 18,000 local workers, are calling for cuts in pay and in vacation for new

employees, according to a copy of the companies' proposal. The two chains, which dominate the region's

grocery business with a combined 48 percent share of the market, and the United Food and Commercial Workers

Local 400 began talks on Friday as they race to reach an agreement before their contract expires March 27.

Under the proposals, new employees would get less pay for working Sundays and holidays and fewer vacation days.

Safeway and Giant have not yet disclosed their plan on the more contentious issues of health care, pensions and

overall wage levels.

Organized Labor Fights for Survival

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): various

Date: March 10, 2004

Organized

labor is in the fight of its life to remain relevant to workers as it struggles to rebound from setbacks in

organizing and politics. Labor leaders meeting this week at a luxury seaside resort are revving up for the

largest multimillion dollar effort to mobilize their members to defeat President Bush. John Kerry, the

Democrats' presumptive nominee, addressed the AFL-CIO meeting by satellite Wednesday. "George Bush is running

on the same-old Republican tactics of fear -- and they're already getting tired,'' Kerry said. "But we have

something better than attacks. We have the facts. And here they are: under George Bush's policies, middle

class families are paying more. America's middle class can't afford a tax increase. That's why were going to

give the middle class a tax cut.'' The Massachusetts senator won the labor federation's endorsement last

month and hopes to use labor's organizational muscle and money to boost his campaign.

Union Leadership Changes Address City Contract Talks

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: March 19, 2004

The leadership changes announced at District Council 37, the city's largest municipal union, will in some

ways complicate and in other ways ease Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's efforts to negotiate a contract with the

council, union leaders and labor experts said yesterday. Alarmed that political divisions were paralyzing the

council, the president of its parent union created a seven-member committee on Wednesday that will work closely

with Lillian Roberts, the executive director, in running the council and negotiating a new contract with the

city. The contracts reached by District Council 37, which represents 121,000 workers in 56 union locals, have

often set a pattern for all of the city's unions, and the council's last contract expired June 30, 2002.

Leader of Large City Union Is Stripped of Many Powers

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: March 18, 2004

The president of District Council 37's parent union stripped the council's executive director, Lillian

Roberts, of many of her powers yesterday, saying that the city's largest municipal workers' union had become

paralyzed by political divisions. Gerald W. McEntee, the president of the parent union, announced that he was

creating a seven-person committee that would handle much of the power normally exercised by the union's

executive director. Mr. McEntee, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal

Employees, further warned that if Ms. Roberts and her opponents failed to find a way to cooperate, he would

send deputies from union headquarters to help run District Council 37.

Union Movement Hits the Road Over U.S. Job Losses

Source: Peter Szekely (Reuters), Forbes

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: March 23, 2004

With

jobs looming as a presidential campaign issue, the American labor movement Wednesday launched a Rust Belt bus

tour to highlight the plight of workers who have been passed over by the economic recovery. The tour will bus

workers from each of 50 states and Washington, D.C., on a roundabout route from St. Louis to the nation's

capital to deliver the message that the economy cannot be well if the job market is not well, organizers said.

"We want to change the debate about what constitutes a healthy economy," said Karen Nussbaum, director of

Working America, which is co-sponsoring the tour with the AFL-CIO.

Stores to Close Tuesday While Workers Vote

Source: Michael Barbaro, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400

Date: March 29, 2004

The [Washington DC] region's two biggest grocery chains, Giant Food LLC and Safeway Inc., will close their

stores for eight hours on Tuesday to allow employees time to vote on a proposed labor contract. All 350 of the

chains' Washington area stores will shut their doors from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., when workers are scheduled to meet

at the D.C. Armory, company spokesmen said yesterday. The chains are jointly negotiating a four-year contract

with the union representing 18,000 Washington area workers. The contract expires at midnight Tuesday. If

workers reject the companies' final offer, they may vote to strike, potentially disrupting grocery business

across the region.

Grocery Workers Try to Keep the Good Life

Source: Michael Barbaro, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 29, 2004

Six months after graduating from the District's Mackin High School in 1969, Glennis T. Mitchiner took a

part-time job at a Safeway store in Northwest, bagging groceries to help pay his college bills. Mitchiner

realized that his full-time colleagues at Safeway were earning as much as many of the graduates at his college.

So he quit school to work full time at Safeway, a job that provided the middle-class life a college degree had

promised. He and his wife, who works at a Virginia computer software company, each earn about $45,000 a year,

own a two-bedroom house, two Toyota sedans and send their daughter to a $3,000-a-year parochial school. "I

realized it from the get-go," Mitchiner said of his job. "This was a good deal." But what Mitchiner, now 53 and

a cashier, views as a good deal, Safeway and unionized grocery stores across the country regard as a financial

burden.

Workers, Passengers Stretch Airlines Too Thin

Source: Marilyn Adams and Dan Reed, USA Today

Union(s): various

Date: March 29, 2004

Across the street from United Airlines' bright, glass headquarters near Chicago stands a symbol of an

ugly war. "Retiree health care matters," blares an orange-lettered billboard sponsored by United's flight

attendants union. Angry union leaders say the airline tricked 2,100 workers into retiring early with promises

of affordable health insurance -- then used the bankruptcy process to increase the cost. United management says

it didn't commit fraud, and a court-appointed expert has agreed. Convinced it was misled, the Association of

Flight Attendants (AFA) is expanding its campaign of attack ads in United's hometown of Chicago, as well as in

Denver and San Francisco, where the No. 2 airline operates huge hubs. The clash is just one battle in the most

pervasive, bitter labor-management struggle since the post-deregulation days of the early 1980s.

Union Labor Tries to Stem Decline

Source: David Schepp, The Journal News (NY)

Union(s): various

Date: March 28, 2004

The long, slow decline of American manufacturing has led, not surprisingly, to an equally drawn out and

persistent fall in the nation's number of unionized workers. From a high of about 20.1 percent of the

nation's total number of salary and hourly workers in 1983, the first year for which comparable figures are

available, union-membership rates fell last year to 12.9 percent, down slightly from 13.3 percent in 2002,

according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Subtracting state and federal workers, the vast majority of

whom are unionized, the number of union workers shrinks even further, falling to 8.2 percent of workers in the

private sector, from 8.6 percent in 2002. The continued slide in union enrollment is "not particularly good

news for the labor movement," said Paul Clark, labor expert at the University of Pennsylvania in University

Park.

Giant, Safeway Workers To Vote On Contract

Source: Brian Witte (Associated Press), Boston Globe

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 29, 2004

Voting was scheduled Tuesday on a labor contract covering about 26,000

employees of Giant Food and Safeway stores in the Baltimore-Washington area. If the workers reject the offer,

they could vote to authorize a strike. Both chains have prepared for a potential strike by advertising in

newspapers for temporary workers. A union representative declined Monday to release details of the proposed

agreement, which was reached Sunday. Management and union officials have previously identified wages, pensions

and health benefits as key issues.

Grocers, Union Reach Tentative Agreement

Source: Michael Barbaro and Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 30, 2004

Negotiators for Giant Food LLC, Safeway Inc. and the union representing their 18,000

Washington area workers have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that, if accepted by the rank and

file, would avert a strike at the region's two largest grocery chains, people familiar with the talks said

yesterday. Health care costs were some of the most contentious issues in the negotiations. Under the proposal,

current workers will pay more for prescriptions and their annual deductible will increase from $100 to $200.

New employees will pay a larger share of their health care costs. They will also receive less generous pay on

Sundays and holidays, according to a copy of the proposal obtained by The Washington Post.

Paid on a Curve

Source: Adelle Waldman, Christian Science Monitor

Union(s): Denver Classroom Teachers Association

Date: March 30, 2004

Hard

work will be rewarded. Bright young teachers will be empowered. Hanging on to a job for years will no longer be

the fastest way to advance up the pay scale. Such were the optimistic assessments of the vote taken earlier

this month in Denver, when schoolteachers there broke rank with national teachers' unions to approve one of

the nation's first compensation packages linking their pay to student performance - a concept the public may

love, but teachers' unions have generally resisted. Of course the decision is not without controversy. Even

some who embrace pay for performance criticize this plan for not going far enough. But there are others who

predict that Denver's ability to get its teachers on board will spur other school districts nationwide to move

in the same direction.

Supermarkets Make a Deal

Source: Neil Irwin and Michael Barbaro, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 31, 2004

The deal that led to a new contract for Washington area grocery workers was hammered out in

a hotel on Maryland's Eastern Shore, but it owes its outcome partly to Southern California. Out west, similar

negotiations led to a bitter strike that ended only a month ago, costing supermarket chains hundreds of

millions of dollars in lost profits and costing 59,000 workers five months of wages. All of which made

representatives of Giant Food LLC, Safeway Inc. and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 quick to

compromise and avoid the same misery here. Safeway was particularly burned by the California strike and Giant,

while not involved in California, could ill afford such a cash drain with its parent company, Royal Ahold NV,

still recovering from a financial scandal. "I think California certainly has had an impact on both sides," C.

James Lowthers, president of the UFCW local, told reporters yesterday between votes to ratify the contract.

Workers, he said, "saw what took place in California. They don't want to go on strike unless they have to."

Grocery Workers Approve New Contract

Source: Michael Barbaro and Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 31, 2004

Giant Food LLC and Safeway Inc. store employees overwhelmingly ratified a new labor

contract yesterday in back-to-back meetings punctuated by loud cheers, avoiding a strike that had threatened to

disrupt business at the region's two biggest supermarket chains. Thousands of employees, many wearing Giant

and Safeway sweatshirts, streamed out of the D.C. Armory after the vote, exchanging hugs and high-fives.

Workers expressed relief that they had averted the kind of bitter strike that put grocery workers in Southern

California out of work for nearly five months. "California really put the scare in you," said Larry Bagby, 61,

a meat cutter who has worked at Safeway for 41 years. "Everybody is ecstatic," said Jan Latney, a 52-year-old

Safeway cashier in Arlington who had begun preparing for a strike. "We have our jobs." Union officials called

the contract a victory for members, saying it left their generous health care benefits and retirement plans

largely untouched while winning hourly wage increases for the next four years. Several grocery industry

analysts agreed, citing the companies' decision not to substantially cut existing workers' health care

benefits.

Non-Equity Tours the Issue for Actors

Source: Jesse McKinley, New York Times

Union(s): Actors Equity

Date: March 31, 2004

The last time Broadway producers faced off with a major labor union -- the musicians union

in March 2003 -- the results were disastrous. Talks broke down at the 11th hour, resulting in a four-day strike

on Broadway that shut down 17 musicals and cost the industry $5 million. Starting tomorrow Actors' Equity, the

actors' and stage managers' union, will sit down opposite the League of American Theaters and Producers. Both

sides agree that to avoid another strike they will have to come to terms with the knotty problem of non-Equity

tours of Broadway shows. Last year's central issue was clear: the producers wanted fewer musicians in the

orchestra pits. But the issue of non-Equity tours is a murky one with the potential to strain unity on both

sides. Will New York actors strike to protect Equity jobs on the road? And will some New York producers, whose

main concern is a Broadway contract, risk shutting down theaters to protect the interests of companies that

make their money on national tours in other cities?

Teamsters Seek Probe of Costco Signature Campaign

Source: Reuters, Forbes.com

Union(s): Teamsters

Date: March 31, 2004

California's attorney

general is considering a labor union's request to look into Costco Wholesale Corp.'s efforts to put a measure

to a statewide vote that would overhaul workers' compensation rules, an official said Tuesday. "We're

evaluating the request," said Tom Dresslar, spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer. One day earlier, the

International Brotherhood of Teamsters sent a letter to Lockyer accusing Costco of requiring employees to

engage in political activity on the company's behalf. Costco, a warehouse-type discount grocer and retailer

based in Issaquah, Washington, is backing a measure that would dramatically alter the state's worker's

compensation insurance system by making it harder to collect claims.

Laundry Workers Get Hahn's Help in Living Wage Suit

Source: Noam N. Levey, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE)

Date: April 2, 2004

Lining up beside organized labor, Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn and three City Council

members Thursday announced their support for laundry workers suing the nation's largest uniform supply company

for allegedly violating Los Angeles' living wage ordinance. Employees of Cincinnati-based Cintas Corp., backed

by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, or UNITE, allege in a lawsuit filed last month

that Cintas did not pay its workers the mandated wage. They are seeking years of back pay. Cintas, which

employs more than 27,000 people at 365 facilities nationwide, held a $2.77-million contract until last year to

provide laundry services to the city Department of Water and Power. But a group of 10 workers at Cintas'

Whittier plant who worked on the DWP contract allege that they were paid in some cases more than a dollar less

per hour than the $8.53 hourly wage mandated by the city's 1997 living wage ordinance. The ordinance requires

some city contractors to pay their employees more per hour than the state's minimum wage, which is currently

$6.75 an hour.

Wal-Mart Canada Employees Reject Union

Source: Associated Press, Mercury News

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: April 5, 2004

Wal-Mart Canada employees in Jonquiere, Quebec, rejected unionization by the United Food and Commercial

Workers Union late Friday. According to the UFCW Canada Web site, the vote against union representation at the

Jonquiere store was 74 to 65. Wal-Mart said Monday "its associates chose, once again, to deal directly with

their company instead of opting for third-party representation.'' But the union vowed to continue its

organizing efforts. "We're not going away,'' said Michael J. Fraser, UFCW Canada's national director. "The

Jonquiere workers who want a union can make a new application here in a few months.''

Forged With Decades Of Trust

Source: Michael Barbaro, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400

Date: April 5, 2004

On

the surface, they could hardly be more different -- the attorney for the grocery chains and the president of

the food workers union. Harry W. Burton, the attorney, grew up in Philadelphia, went to Princeton and is a

partner at the law firm Morgan Lewis. C. James Lowthers, the union leader, grew up in Boston, went to Northern

Virginia Community College and leads a union representing meat cutters, cashiers and deli clerks. But in the

end, they say their ability to avoid a strike and reach a labor accord that has been embraced by both sides can

be traced, in part, to a remarkably amicable relationship forged over more than two decades. "When negotiations

get hard, it's a matter of trust," Lowthers said. "Harry and I have worked together enough so that there is a

certain level of trust."

Justice Department Urged to Make 'Term' Appointments Permanent

Source: Stephen Barr, Washington Post

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Date: April 5, 2004

The rules of federal employment can be vexing for government workers, and especially

for employees who do not hold permanent, career status. That seems to be the case for a group of secretaries at

the Justice Department who will likely lose their jobs in coming months when their "term appointments" expire.

Even though they were hired for a limited, specified period, some of the secretaries believed that their jobs

were de facto permanent, according to union officials who have launched a grass-roots campaign to let them keep

their jobs. The case also has drawn the interest of seven members of Congress, who have written the attorney

general asking that he hold up any terminations until the issue of their employment status is clarified.

United Attendants Push for New Union

Source: Melissa Allison, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): United Flight Attendant Union

Date: April 6, 2004

Concerned that their voice has been diminished, some United Airlines flight attendants began

collecting signatures on Monday to replace their union. If the newly formed United Flight Attendant Union

succeeds, it would be the second time during the airline's bankruptcy that thousands of workers have switched

unions. Last year, more than 8,000 mechanics and related United workers left the International Association of

Machinists and Aerospace Workers to become members of the growing Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association.

Tyson Officials Accused of Coercing Workers to Vote Down Union

Source: Associated Press, KGW.com

Union(s): Teamsters

Date: April 7, 2004

The union representing beef plant workers at Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. has accused the company of

coercing workers to vote this week against keeping their union. Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson denied the

charges, saying company managers and supervisors have acted legally to educate workers on the benefits of a

"union-free" workplace. Teamsters union Local 556 filed an unfair labor practice charge Tuesday with the

National Labor Relations Board, which will oversee the decertification election at the plant on Thursday and

Friday. The union said Tyson management interrogated workers about their voting plans, offered workers

promotions or raises to oppose the union, changed shifts and reduced work hours to prevent workers from meeting

one another.

Workers at Indian Casino in Desert Protest for Workplace Rights

Source: Greg Risling (AP), Mercury News (CA)

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: April 8, 2004

Police arrested 25 people Thursday after they locked hands and

blocked a street while demanding workplace rights and union talks at a downtown casino owned by the wealthy

Agua Caliente tribe. Police said the protesters would be booked on charges of unlawful assembly after ignoring

an order to disperse. Nearly 200 protesters gathered in a downtown church before marching to the Spa Resort

Casino. With them was Dolores Huerta, who helped found the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez. She and two

priests were among those arrested. Union officials trying to organize workers at the casino accused management

of a range of discrimination, including sexual harassment, age bias and favoritism.

Unions Take Note of Kerry's Vow On Deficit

Source: Christopher Lee, Washington Post

Union(s): various

Date: April 9, 2004

Sen. John F. Kerry's campaign pledge this week to deflate the ballooning federal budget deficit contains

several provisions that could affect the federal workforce. The presumptive Democratic nominee said he would

cut 100,000 federal contractor jobs, cap federal travel budgets, and streamline federal agencies and

commissions to rein in administrative costs by 5 percent, among other moves. "And when we're done, the federal

government will be smaller, but smarter, more effective and less expensive," Kerry said Wednesday in a speech

at Georgetown University. Jason Furman, Kerry's economic policy director, said yesterday that the government

could save $60 billion over 10 years by cutting contractors and freezing the federal travel budget at $8

billion annually.

Union and Theater Agree on Use of Virtual Orchestra

Source: Jesse McKinley, New York Times

Union(s): American Federation of Musicians

Date: April 14, 2004

Hours before a planned protest outside one of the largest Off Broadway theaters, the musicians' union

reached an agreement yesterday with the theater's owner to allow the use of a so-called virtual orchestra

machine, a controversial new synthesizer that was at the heart of last year's Broadway strike. David Lennon,

the president of Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, announced the deal in an impromptu news

conference in front of the Variety Arts Theater, on Third Avenue in the East Village, where a crowd of about

100 musicians had gathered for a planned protest. The theater is currently home to a new musical, "The Joys of

Sex," which had its first performance - using a virtual orchestra machine - last night.

Graduate Students Walk Out at Columbia

Source: Karen W. Arenson, New York Times

Union(s): Local 2110 of the United Automobile Workers

Date: April 20, 2004

With two

weeks of classes left in the semester, many Columbia University graduate teaching assistants boycotted classes

yesterday and picketed noisily at the university's main gate to try to pressure Columbia into recognizing

their right to unionize. Some classes were canceled, although neither the university nor the protest organizers

could say how many. Some demonstrators said they would not return to class until Columbia acknowledged their

right to unionize, while others said they might skip just one class.

Mayor Reaches Accord With Largest City Union

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: April 21, 2004

The Bloomberg

administration and the city's largest municipal union reached a tentative contract last night that would

increase the wages of 121,000 city workers by roughly 5 percent over three years while requiring newly hired

workers to accept lower starting salaries. The unusual agreement came as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

acknowledged that he had not achieved productivity increases he had sought to pay for the first two years of

the contract, but he said proudly that all raises in the third year would be financed by improved productivity

from workers. At a City Hall news conference, Mr. Bloomberg said he had achieved a significant precedent with

an important cost-saving step: newly hired workers will be paid 15 percent less than other union members for

the first two years of their employment; after that, their pay will climb to the same level as their more

experienced colleagues. City officials hailed the deal reached with the union, District Council 37, saying they

hoped it would set a pattern for bargaining with other city workers, including the teachers.

Bloomberg Had to Retreat on Pay, Productivity

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: April 21, 2004

The

three-year deal that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg reached yesterday with the city's largest municipal union,

District Council 37, fell far short of giving him everything he had sought, but it did give him one important

victory. Taking a tough stance from Day 1 in the labor talks, Mr. Bloomberg repeatedly declared that city

workers would receive no raises unless their unions paid for those raises by agreeing to productivity

increases. So last night in the City Hall Blue Room, facing the television cameras, Mr. Bloomberg acknowledged

that he had given a substantial amount of money to District Council 37 in the contract's first two years

without any offsetting productivity increases to finance them. He also acknowledged, with unusual candor, that

he had retreated from another pledge - his promise not to give city workers retroactive pay increases. The

contract for District Council 37 and its 121,000 workers had expired 21 months earlier. But as soon as Mr.

Bloomberg admitted those compromises, even setbacks, he rushed to declare that he had achieved an important,

precedent-setting victory. District Council 37, the traditional trendsetter for all the city's municipal

unions, had agreed that all the raises in the contract's third year would be financed by productivity

increases.

US Airways Said to Be Seeking More Concessions

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): various US Airways unions

Date: April 21, 2004

A day after

the resignation of the chief executive of US Airways, the airline's board approved a framework yesterday for a

streamlining program that includes labor concessions, people briefed on the board's action said. In an e-mail

message to employees, Bruce Lakefield, the new chief executive, stressed that "fundamental changes" would be

needed in the way US Airways does business. He added that they would have to participate in restructuring the

airline, the nation's seventh largest, so that it could compete with low-fare carriers. People who had been

briefed on the plan said it was essentially the same program advocated by the former chief executive, David N.

Siegel. Mr. Siegel left the airline on Monday, reportedly at the request of its chairman, David G. Bronner,

after sparring with its unions over his bid to reduce the airline's overall costs by roughly 25 percent.

Prudential Agents Vote to Unionize

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 153

Date: April 21, 2004

Nearly 1,000 Prudential Financial Inc. agents across the country are now members of a white-collar union

following a vote tallied Tuesday. The New York-based Office and Professional Employees International Union,

Local 153, won the right to represent agents in 34 states who work directly for Prudential, but not agents who

are independent contractors. "This is a large unit of insurance agents, a group primarily commission-based and

not traditionally thought of as the type of workers that are unionized,'' OPEIU International President

Michael Goodwin said in a news release. Mail-in ballot results counted at the National Labor Relations Board's

Newark, N.J., regional office had 64 percent of agents voting in favor of union representation.

Mayor Gets Labor-Pact Savings That Eluded His Predecessors

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: April 22, 2004

The three-year deal that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg reached Tuesday night with the city's biggest municipal

union, District Council 37, achieved a goal that has repeatedly eluded mayors over the last two decades: broad

labor savings to help balance their budgets. Mr. Bloomberg not only persuaded District Council 37 to agree to

lower starting salaries and benefits for newly hired workers -- important savings in themselves -- but also got

the union to pledge to work closely with the administration to find additional workplace savings in the future.

While Rudolph W. Giuliani and other mayors occasionally persuaded labor leaders to agree to savings, Mr.

Bloomberg's predecessors did not make them a centerpiece of their administrations the way he has. Nor did

those previous mayors achieve the wide-ranging labor savings that he obtained in the tentative contract with

District Council 37, which has historically set the pattern for other city unions.

Vandalized Door Reflects Rift in Union

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): District Council 37

Date: April 25, 2004

District

Council 37, the city's largest municipal union, is in an uproar over what happened late one January night to a

door on the fourth floor of its headquarters. Not only did a union official attack the wooden door with a golf

club, putting big dents in it, but someone scratched into the door what some union officials say is a swastika.

The golf club attack came after several union officials were drinking to celebrate an election victory. After

months of turmoil over the incident, the New York City Human Rights Commission is investigating the damage as a

possible hate crime, with one group of District Council 37 officials saying that the union's executive

director, Lillian Roberts, has been sluggish in responding to the damage. But her supporters say her opponents

are highlighting the damage to undercut Ms. Roberts politically and see their names in headlines. If nothing

else, both sides agree that the damage to the door represents the simmering tensions at the badly fractured

union, which represents 121,000 city workers.

Southwest Flies Into Labor Turbulence

Source: James F. Peltz, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Local 556 of the Transport Workers Union

Date: April 26, 2004

There's a little less love in the air at Southwest Airlines Co. these days. The king of low-fare

airlines has perhaps the best labor relations in the industry. Employees call the chairman by his first name.

They pride themselves on the cheerful, fun-loving esprit de corps highlighted on the unscripted

cable-television show "Airline," filmed at Los Angeles International Airport and Chicago's Midway Airport. But

these days, Southwest's 7,300 flight attendants and their union are increasingly unhappy with contract talks

that are bogged down, mainly over wages. Workers and management remain deadlocked despite two years of

bargaining and a federal mediator's help.

Child Caretakers Push for Better Wages, Benefits

Source: Luchina Fisher, Women's E-News

Union(s): Family Child Care Educators Association Inc.; United Child Care Union

Date: May 3, 2004

After taking other

people's children into her home for over 20 years, Nancy Wyatt, a family-care provider in California's San

Fernando Valley, says she has no money set aside for retirement. She also pays high premiums for health

insurance. Wyatt is part of a small but growing number of child-care workers who have joined unions within the

last five years to try to boost wages, benefits and job security for one of the country's lowest paying

occupations. The unions are forming amid growing child-care demand. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 65

percent of women with children under age 5 were in the work force. "We need to have a much bigger and powerful

voice than we've had on our own," says Wyatt.

Seeking Better Wages for Difficult Work

Source: Richard Perez-Pena, New York Times

Union(s): 1199/S.E.I.U

Date: May 3, 2004

Cleotilde

Alvarez earns $7 an hour, with no health insurance, no paid vacations, no raise in five years, and no higher

pay for overtime. Getting sick or visiting her children in the Dominican Republic means forfeiting a paycheck.

This month, she shelled out $400 for medicines. Ms. Alvarez is a home health aide, a job title that barely

hints at all she does for Mildred and Barbara Unterman, a mother and daughter who share a tiny one-bedroom

apartment in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens. "She cooks, she cleans, she shops, she gets our meds and makes sure we

take them," said Barbara Unterman, 61, the daughter. "We owe our lives to Cleo. Without her we would be in a

nursing home." About 30,000 health aides like Ms. Alvarez work in New York City, and a much larger number of

people like the Untermans rely on them. For three years, 1199/S.E.I.U., the health workers' union, has tried

and failed to persuade the companies that employ the aides to sign contracts guaranteeing them higher wages and

benefits. In the last few weeks, the union began an advertising campaign to sway public sentiment and get the

attention of lawmakers in Albany, and the workers voted to authorize a strike later this month.

Baby Bell, Union Far Apart Amid Strike Talk

Source: James S. Granelli, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Communication Workers of America

Date: May 4, 2004

With a Friday strike deadline looming, SBC Communications Inc. and the union for 100,000 of the

telephone company's workers -- including 30,000 in California -- resume formal contract talks today still far

apart on nagging issues of healthcare benefits and job security. Negotiators for SBC and the Communications

Workers of America are scheduled to meet with a federal mediator in Washington after a week's break. The two

sides earlier reached a key agreement on healthcare benefits for retirees. Retiree benefits are not mandatory

bargaining subjects, but the issue had been a roadblock to working out remaining matters in the core union

contract covering CWA members in SBC's 13-state region, which includes California.

Part-Timers at N.Y.U. Win Contract, Their First

Source: Karen W. Arenson, New York Times

Union(s): A.C.T.-U.A.W. Local 7902

Date: May 8, 2004

In its first

contract with its unionized part-time faculty members, New York University has agreed to provide health

benefits, pension contributions and some job security, as well as wage increases, according to a contract

outline released yesterday by the union. About 2,300 part-time instructors, or adjuncts, would be covered by

the contract. The union, A.C.T.-U.A.W. Local 7902, was formed in 2002, in affiliation with the United Auto

Workers, and says it is the largest adjunct-only union at a private university. Scott Sommer, a U.A.W.

organizer who helped negotiate the contract, said yesterday that providing health insurance and pension

benefits "are major steps forward for adjuncts" and that pay rates compare favorably with those at other

universities. University officials said they believed that salary increases and benefits would make N.Y.U. a

top choice for adjuncts.

Health Union to Give Up Part of Raise

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): 1199/SEIU

Date: May 10, 2004

New York

City's largest health care union and an association representing 94 hospitals and nursing homes reached a

tentative contract yesterday in which the union will forgo part of a promised raise to help the hospitals pay

the soaring cost of health insurance for their workers. By taking the unusual step of accepting a lower raise

than planned, the union, 1199/SEIU, will save $200 million over four years for the hospitals, which say that

health insurance costs for employees are rising by 13 percent a year. As part of the four-year deal, the union

agreed to give back one percentage point of a 4 percent raise for this year and to contribute that money to the

health insurance plan for the 71,500 workers covered by the deal. The return of part of the raise also applies

to nursing homes. The union granted the financial relief after several hospitals that were losing money

announced they would close, and after private hospitals in the city had fallen $125 million behind on payments

to pension and health funds.

Struggling to Cut Its Costs, Delta Weighs Bankruptcy Filing

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: May 11, 2004

Delta Air Lines, battling with its pilots' union over its effort to cut labor costs, said yesterday that it

might have to seek bankruptcy protection unless it can obtain contract concessions. The disclosure, which sent

Delta's stock tumbling, came three days after a similar warning by US Airways. Delta's disclosure, made in a

filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, was its first acknowledgment that it might face a Chapter

11 filing. Last month, the airline's chief executive, Gerald Grinstein, insisted that Delta could get through

a lingering financial crisis without seeking bankruptcy protection.

Panel Charges a Top Teamster in New York Abused Power

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: May 11, 2004

A federal oversight board has accused the New York area's top

Teamsters union official of extensive misdeeds, among them using business agents to install a roof, deck and

skylights at his second home and to take his daughters shopping and to a guru. The charges, filed last week by

the oversight board's chief investigator, could lead to the expulsion of the official, Anthony Rumore,

president of Teamsters Joint Council 16, the umbrella group for more than 100,000 area Teamsters. The chief

investigator, Charles M. Carberry, said Mr. Rumore had improperly used two union business agents to pick up his

two daughters at their Manhattan high schools in the 90's and, later, to take one shopping for flowers, rings,

dresses and a photographer for her wedding. The board also accused him of using officials to move his

belongings to a new home, to take his family's clothes to the cleaners and to take his daughters to yoga

classes. In addition to his post as head of the Joint Council 16 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters,

Mr. Rumore is president of Local 812, a beverage drivers' local with 3,855 members based in Scarsdale, in

Westchester County. His salary is $198,000 a year. His wife, Elizabeth, received a salary of $202,500 as

director of Local 812's retirement fund; she resigned last January. Her main responsibility had been

overseeing the mailing of pension checks.

Some Critics of Wal-Mart Joining Forces to Change It

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: May 12, 2004

Union leaders, academics and community activists plan to hold an unusual meeting in Washington today to begin

mapping out a strategy to check Wal-Mart's growing power and to press the company to improve its wages and

benefits. The meeting was organized largely because union leaders fear that Wal-Mart Stores, the nation's

largest company, is pushing down wages and benefits, not just among retailers but throughout the economy.

Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, convened the meeting, which will bring

together union leaders, professors who have studied Wal-Mart and leaders of Acorn and other community groups.

Organizers also said that Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of "Nickel and Dimed," an account of making a living

as a blue-collar worker, would attend. The meeting, several participants said, will not focus on developing

strategies to unionize Wal-Mart but rather on assessing Wal-Mart's influence on the nation and on strategies

to check Wal-Mart's downward pull on wages.

Alta Bates Summit Labor Talks Stalled

Source: Rebecca Vesely, Oakland Tribune

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: May 11, 2004

A

labor contract for 1,200 workers at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center that expired April 30 appears no closer to

resolution -- with the hospital and union deeply divided on numerous issues. Hospital officials said they

presented a wage and benefits proposal nearly two months ago, but Service Employees International Union Local

250 -- the union representing workers -- hasn't responded. In turn, Local 250 said the hospital is refusing to

negotiate on several proposals on improving workplace conditions and patient care. While no strike is expected

soon, the last time Alta Bates Summit workers' contract was up -- in 2000 -- it took 14 months to reach a new

agreement and workers went on multiple strikes.

Air Canada Seen Pushing Cara on Costs

Source: John Partridge, The Globe And Mail

Union(s): Teamsters Canada

Date: May 12, 2004

Airline caterer Cara Operations Ltd. is under pressure from Air Canada to

slash costs and is asking its unionized employees to make major concessions, union officials say. Air Canada

has told Cara that an offshore-based competitor could handle the airline's in-flight food and commissary needs

for $20-million a year less, said Gerald Cadeau, president of Teamsters Canada Local 647, which represents more

than 900 workers at Cara's airline services unit.

Vote Muddies Darigold Dispute

Source: Levi J. Long, Seattle Times

Union(s): Teamsters

Date: May 14, 2004

WestFarm Foods isn't ready to agree to terms in either of two contract proposals ratified by

locked-out Teamsters union members Wednesday and it questions the union's "tactics" in efforts to end the long

labor dispute. Both proposals include revised terms submitted this week by the union representing 200 local

dairy employees locked out of the Seattle and Issaquah WestFarm plants, which makes Darigold milk and ice

cream. The two sides have been at odds for the past nine months over wages, benefits and the possibility of

outsourcing.

Standing together: Northwest Airlines workers rally

Source: Gwen Swanson, Daily Tribune [Minnesota]

Union(s): International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

Date: May 14, 2004

Jobs are worth fighting for. Whether fighting as union members or at the voting

booth, those who attended the third annual International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Day

of Action rally [in Chisholm, Minnesota] were urged to do their part. Workers from Northwest Airlines are

represented by the IAMAW and conducted the day to call for an overdue contract with fair wages and benefits and

good-faith contract negotiations. Many also called for workers to protest Bush administration policies that

have led to loss of jobs and job security, decreased benefits and wages, and prolonged negotiations for workers

in the air and rail industries.

Janitors pressure Intel

Source: Timothy Roberts, San Jose Business Journal, Business Journal [Portland, Oregon]

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: May 19, 2004

When Intel Corp. gathers Wednesday for its

annual meeting in Santa Clara, Calif., the stockholders in attendance will include Intel janitors. Members of

the Service Employees International Union, whose pension fund owns Intel stock, plan to call on the chipmaker

to employ cleaning companies that offer health insurance, higher wages and good working conditions to their

employees.

Union plans four-day strike against SBC beginning Friday

Source: Vikas Bajaj, Associated Press, Dallas Morning News

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: May 19, 2004

The Communications Workers of America called a four-day

strike against SBC Communications Inc. beginning Friday morning and ending Tuesday after negotiations failed to

result in a new contract. Union workers in 13 states will start walking out at 12:01 a.m. local time Friday and

return at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. CWA said Wednesday afternoon it would now negotiate with San Antonio-based SBC at

four regional tables, abandoning national bargaining under the auspices of federal mediators.

SBC workers in 13 states begin strike

Source: Eric Gay, Associated Press, USA Today

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: May 21, 2004

100,000 unionized SBC Communications workers began a four-day strike early Friday to protest the

local-phone giant's latest contract offer. Contract talks between SBC and the Communications Workers of

America bogged down over health care and job security issues. But turning the tables on the union, the company

notified the union leadership Thursday night that SBC would drop its most recent proposal and start from

scratch unless the union accepts it by 11:59 p.m. Monday -- two minutes before strike is scheduled to end.

SBC, union prepare for midnight strike as contract talks stall

Source: Associated Press, Advocate [Stamford, Connecticut]

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: May 20, 2004

The last time Connecticut

telephone workers went on strike was in 1998, when Texas-based SBC was preparing to take over Southern New

England Telephone. The changes brought by the SBC takeover are a major reason why 5,500 Connecticut workers

planned to walk off the job at midnight Thursday for a four-day strike, along with 100,000 SBC workers

nationwide. About 250 union members and their supporters from other unions held a noisy rally on the New Haven

green Thursday evening and marched to SBC's Connecticut headquarters, where they taunted managers who worked

late preparing to step into their jobs while the strike is on.

Workers agree to 3-year pact with Boeing

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: May 24, 2004

Machinists

and aerospace workers for the Boeing Company's defense unit [in St. Louis] approved a new contract Sunday,

hours before the existing contract was to expire. The three-year deal, which takes effect Monday, was approved

1,221 to 808 by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers' District 837, a union

spokesman, Thomas Pinski, said. Boeing, which is one of the St. Louis area's largest employers. The average

union worker earns about $55,600 a year.

After 4-day strike, SBC reaches deal with employees

Source: Kenneth N. Gilpin, New York Times

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: May 25, 2004

A tentative agreement on a new five-year contract was reached early this morning between SBC

Communications Inc. and the Communications Workers of America, following a four-day strike that had kept about

100,000 SBC employees idle. The settlement, which covers workers in 13 states, calls for a 12 percent increase

in wages over the period and protects health care benefits and job security.

Janitors may strike over living wage issue

Source: Meredith Pierce, City News Service, Pasadena Star News [California]

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: May 25, 2004

Janitors who work in county health facilities may strike sometime

after June 5 unless their demands for a higher "living wage" are addressed, a union official said Tuesday.

"This is an urgent matter for these janitors,' Mike Garcia of the Service Employees International Union, Local

1877, told the county Board of Supervisors.

SBC reaches tentative deal with union

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: May 25, 2004

After a

four-day, 13-state strike, SBC and the Communications Workers of America settled Tuesday on a tentative

contract far more generous than the company previously said it could afford. The five-year agreement increases

wages and pensions, guarantees work for more than 100,000 union employees and could reduce the outsourcing of

jobs. A ratification vote by CWA members is expected in June. The settlement came hours after the telephone

operators, linemen, service technicians and others returned to their jobs following a four-day walkout.

Brightening union blues

Source: Josh Mahan, Missoula Independent [Montana]

Union(s): United Brotherhood of Carpenters, United Healthcare Workers

Date: May 27, 2004

Two Missoula

unions walked away from negotiating tables recently with one thing in common: satisfaction with their new

contracts. "It's fair and a good agreement," said Dennis Daneke of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. "I

credit our contractors for sitting down and doing business with us in a fair and open way." United Healthcare

Workers Local #427 also put the pen to a contract with Hillside Health Care Center and Hillside Place in

Missoula after a mere two days of talks.

WestFarm calling back employees after dairy workers OK pact

Source: Levi J. Long, Seattle Times

Union(s): Teamsters

Date: May 28, 2004

WestFarm Foods yesterday said it will be calling its employees throughout the Memorial

Day weekend about returning to work, ending one of the longest labor disputes in Seattle. Members of Teamsters

Local 66 voted 101-43 to accept a new three-year contract that cut wages and gave the maker of Darigold milk,

butter and ice cream the ability to hire nonunion workers. The vote Wednesday came nine months after the more

than 200 workers were locked out of processing plants in Seattle and Issaquah. The company and workers argued

over wages and benefits, including changes in medical benefits and pensions.

Local 226, 'the Culinary,' makes Las Vegas the land of the living wage

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees

Date: June 3, 2004

Ask people here why Las Vegas is the nation's fastest-growing city, and they point to the

thriving casino industry and to its ever-growing appetite for workers. But there is another, little understood

force contributing to the allure of Las Vegas, a force often viewed as the casino industry's archnemesis. It

is Culinary Local 226, also called the Culinary, the city's largest labor union, an unusual -- and unusually

successful -- union that has done a spectacular job catapulting thousands of dishwashers, hotel maids and other

unskilled workers into the middle class. In most other cities, these workers live near the poverty line. But

thanks in large part to the Culinary, in Las Vegas these workers often own homes and have Rolls-Royce health

coverage, a solid pension plan and three weeks of vacation a year.

Striking health care union announces deal

Source: Karen Matthews, Associated Press, MSNBC.com

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: June 7, 2004

The union president

representing 23,000 home health care aides told strikers on Monday that a tentative pact for $10 an hour had

been reached with one agency, and that several more agreements were expected by the end of the day. Dennis

Rivera, president of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, arrived late to a rally near

Times Square because he had been negotiating until the last minute. He said a tentative pact had been reached

with the Visiting Nurses Association, and asserted "that by the end of the day 15,000 of us will have a

contract for $10 an hour." The health care aides, who make it possible for thousands of sick or frail patients

to remain in their homes, went on strike Monday.

Thousands of home aides begin a strike

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): 1199/S.E.I.U.

Date: June 8, 2004

Thousands

of home health care aides went on strike yesterday in New York City, leaving many sick and elderly patients

without care for at least part of the day. Home care agencies scrambled to send nurses or other aides to care

for the patients as the city's largest health care union, 1199/S.E.I.U., called a three-day strike. The union

is seeking raises of 43 percent, hoping to increase the wages of 23,000 aides to $10 an hour from the current

$7. Union leaders asserted that the strike was highly effective, saying that 12,000 home care aides -- nearly

all black and Hispanic women -- demonstrated yesterday at a Midtown rally.

Northrop, union reach tentative shipyard deal

Source: Bloomberg News, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: June 8, 2004

Northrop Grumman Corp., the world's largest military shipbuilder, said

Monday that it had averted a strike at the only shipyard that builds nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the

U.S. Navy by reaching a tentative agreement with the local union. Northrop said it would raise wages of workers

at the Newport News shipyard in Virginia by more than 15% over the four-year life of the contract and set up a

company-matching 401(k) retirement plan for hourly workers under the accord. The labor agreement with United

Steelworkers of America Local 8888 is the first negotiated with the union since Northrop acquired Newport News

for $2.6 billion in 2002. The union is the largest local in the U.S., with 5,800 members, or 68% of the

shipyard's 8,500 hourly workers.

Unlikely partners in a protest for pay raises

Source: Winnie Hu, Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Uniformed Firefighters Association, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, United Federation of Teachers

Date: June 9, 2004

In a spirited showing of labor strength, thousands of teachers, police officers and firefighters packed

several blocks of Broadway near City Hall yesterday, chanting and waving signs and at times booing Mayor

Michael R. Bloomberg in a demonstration of their demands for raises and new labor contracts. The hourlong

program featured dozens of labor leaders and city Democratic politicians pledging their support. They were

joined by a handful of celebrities, including the New York Knicks player Stephon Marbury and the actors Alec

Baldwin and Steve Buscemi, a former New York City firefighter.

Million worker march set for October

Source: Workers World

Union(s): International Longshore and Warehouse Union

Date: June 10, 2004

On Feb. 26, Local 10 of the

International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) in San Francisco proposed a bold initiative: a Million

Worker March on Washington. This plucky union is well-known nationally for its leading role in class warfare

and in struggles against U.S. imperialist wars. The leaders have educated, organized and defended their rank

and file in a period of unprecedented hostility from Washington and Wall Street. At a kickoff rally on May 22,

they set the date for the march: Oct. 16. This call comes at a most opportune time.

Home aides end strike; union vows more pressure

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): 1199/S.E.I.U.

Date: June 10, 2004

With the

three-day strike by home health aides ending yesterday, leaders of 1199/S.E.I.U., New York's largest

health-care union, said they planned to hold sporadic strikes this summer against agencies that fail to reach

contracts with the union. Having reached settlements this week with four home-care agencies employing 12,000

home health aides, union leaders said they were disappointed yesterday to have made little progress in

negotiations with seven other agencies employing about 10,000 workers. The four agencies that signed tentative

contracts have agreed to raise wages for most aides to $10 an hour in 2007 from the current $7 an hour. The

union wants the seven other agencies to sign similar contracts.

Rebel barista with a cause (make that a venti)

Source: Robin Finn, New York Times

Union(s): International Workers of the World

Date: June 11, 2004

In the cozy

corporate lingo of Starbucks, the java-servers in company baseball caps and green aprons are so far evolved

from folks who, in quainter, less caffeinated and less linguistically sensitive times, were dubbed soda jerks,

that the coffee chain graces them with a special name: baristas. The moniker conveys a Euro-cachet, implies a

certain skill set and is the entry-level niche at a $15 billion behemoth with a hot - in more ways than one -

product and a rung on the Fortune 100 best-places-to-work list. Baristas like Daniel E. Gross who pour enough

coffee fast enough, and with affable competence, can command $8.09 per hour after a year on the job, up from a

starting wage of $7.75. Scalding stuff, according to Mr. Gross, with or without meager tips. And without a

defined workload: no barista is guaranteed a 40-hour week. Good luck trying to save enough to buy

company-sponsored health care or incubate a 401(k) nest egg, he says. Not with rents on bare-bones railroad

flats like his in Bushwick, Brooklyn, pushing $1,000 a month.

1-year hotel strike drags on

Source: Stephen Franklin, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees

Date: June 14, 2004

As it nears its first anniversary this week, the 130-worker strike against the

Chicago [Plaza H]otel has become a rarity in an era when strikes are almost nonexistent. It is also a reminder

of the difficulty of settling labor disputes once they linger for months and sometimes years. Local 1 of the

Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union has charged the hotel's owner with violating labor law by

unfairly imposing its contract last June before talks were at a standstill. In return, the hotel has accused

the local's pickets of harassing and intimidating its customers. There were 14 major strikes (i.e. involving

at least 1,000 workers) last year in the U.S., the fewest since the government began keeping track in 1947.

Grocery workers plan community lobbying

Source: Blanca Torres, Seattle Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: June 17, 2004

The union representing 17,000 grocery workers in the Seattle area calls the companies' latest

proposal unacceptable and says it will start lobbying the community today to support workers. Members of the

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1105 plan to ask consumers to sign pledges not to shop at the

grocery stores involved in the contract dispute if the chains refuse to provide affordable health-care

coverage. The outcome of this contract dispute could influence talks for 10,000 to 15,000 other grocery workers

in Western Washington whose contracts are up later this year.

Unions Set to Offer New Strategy

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): multiple unions

Date: June 21, 2004

Presidents of several of the nation's largest and fastest-growing unions are expected to lay out plans at

conventions this week and in July for fundamental changes in the structure and direction of the labor movement,

changes that could result in a massive union consolidation and an overhaul of the AFL-CIO. Heading

organizations that represent janitors, hotel maids, carpenters, laundry workers and others, the five presidents

have been quietly meeting for nearly a year to discuss what they call the New Unity Partnership. They envision

a massive consolidation of unions in the U.S. -- from about 65 to 15 -- and a more national and global approach

to organizing and bargaining.

Outsourcing firms focus of unions

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union; Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees; Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

Date: June 22, 2004

The Service Employees International Union, which built itself into the nation's largest union by aggressively

organizing janitors and home-care workers, plans to take on three fast-growing outsourcing companies in its

biggest campaign ever. Speaking at his union's quadrennial convention in San Francisco on Monday, SEIU

President Andrew Stern said the companies--France's Sodexho Inc., Britain's Compass Group and

Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp.--are growing at the expense of union workers, whose jobs are being contracted

out. The organizing effort is being undertaken jointly with the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile

Employees and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union. It will be a high-profile test

of plans by the three unions to work more closely on large strategic campaigns.

Union leader urges AFL-CIO reform

Source: Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: June 22, 2004

The AFL-CIO has failed to keep up with the changing workplace and must be radically reinvigorated--or

replaced--if the labor movement is to survive, the president of the nation's largest union said yesterday. A

loose federation of 13 million union workers, the AFL-CIO wields little control over the 65 individual unions

that are its members and has not been effective at creating a single, powerful voice for American organized

labor, Andrew L. Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), told a national

convention of his union in San Francisco.

Major union takes organizing drive to web

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: June 23, 2004

One

of the country's largest unions is taking its organizing drive to the Internet, creating a new, virtual labor

organization that isn't tied to a work site or dependent on employer recognition. The Service Employees

International Union's new affiliate, called PurpleOcean.org, was disclosed Tuesday at the union's convention

in San Francisco. The union's trademark color is purple. The labor movement needs "to draw strength from the

new forms of community that are developing because of the Internet, which is connecting millions of people who

want to take action and get involved,'' [SEIU president Andy] Stern said. "We need those people to be part of

our movement.'' The virtual union idea [has] a goal of 1 million people to support SEIU's campaigns.

Northwest Airlines threatens picketers

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, Professional Flight Attendants Association

Date: June 24, 2004

Northwest Airlines is threatening to discipline union employees if they proceed with picketing that questions

the safety and security of Northwest flights. The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association and the Professional

Flight Attendants Association had planned to conduct informational picketing on July 2 at the Minneapolis-St.

Paul International Airport to raise awareness of the company's practice of having overseas and third-party

repair stations do maintenance on Northwest aircraft. They say maintenance performed in other countries poses a

security risk. Major U.S. airlines outsourced anywhere from 33 percent to 79 percent of their maintenance in

2002, according to a report from the Department of Transportation.

Southwest Air, union reach tentative deal

Source: Reuters, Washington Post

Union(s): Transport Workers Union

Date: June 25, 2004

Southwest

Airlines and the union that represent its flight attendants have reached a tentative agreement for a new

contract after two years of talks, the union said on Friday. The union was the last major labor group at

Southwest without a new contract and the main stumbling block in the talks had been wages. "Our goal was to

reach an agreement that is good for our flight attendants, good for our company, and good for our customers,"

said Thom McDaniel, the head of the Transport Workers Union Local 556 that represents the airline's 7,400

flight attendants.

Hoffa statement on resigning from the president's Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations

Source: James P. Hoffa, PRNewswire

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: June 24, 2004

The following is a statement by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

General President, James P. Hoffa: Today I tendered my resignation from the President's Advisory Committee on

Trade Policy and Negotiations. During the 2000 Presidential Election campaign, President Bush pledged to bring

a new level of respect and bipartisan comity to the nation's capital. Along with many other leaders in the

labor community, I took him at his word and endeavored to forge a mutually respectful, productive relationship

with both the President and his administration. However, in recent months I have become increasingly

uncomfortable with that association. The administration has clearly decided to wage a full- fledged attack on

workers' rights, social justice and economic common sense.

Tyson's moral anchor

Source: Eric Schlosser, The Nation

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: June 24, 2004

One of

America's finest union leaders [is] under assault by one of the nation's meanest, toughest corporations. For

years Maria Martinez, head of Teamsters Local 556 in Walla Walla, Washington, has been battling IBP, the

meatpacking giant now owned by Tyson Foods. She has fought not only for higher wages and better working

conditions but also for food safety and animal welfare. With support from Teamsters for a Democratic Union,

Martinez energized Local 556, reaching out to immigrant workers and linking them with college students,

consumer activists and animal rights groups. In response, Tyson Foods has worked hard to get her kicked out of

the plant. The type of immigrant/activist coalition that Martinez has built is crucial to the future success of

the US labor movement--and that is one of the reasons Tyson is so eager to crush it.

Tentative agreement reached in Con Ed talks

Source: Associated Press, wnbc.com

Union(s): Utility Workers Union

Date: June 26, 2004

A strike that would have

affected more than 3 million electricity customers [in New York] was averted early Sunday when Consolidated

Edison and 8,600 union workers agreed on a tentative contract after extending a midnight deadline twice. The

four-year deal would increase wages and improve pensions and medical benefits, said Steve Mangione, spokesman

for Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union. Con Ed said the deal was fair. The affected Con Ed workers include

clerical staff, field splicers, mechanics, wiring technicians, meter readers and customer service

representatives. The average annual salary of a Con Ed utility worker is $53,000, the union said.

SBC, union find accord on contract

Source: Jon Van, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Date: June 28, 2004

SBC Communications reached a tentative agreement Sunday morning with the International Brotherhood

of Electrical Workers, just hours after the current contract had expired. The agreement, covering more than

11,000 SBC employees in Illinois and northwest Indiana, will result in a new five-year contract if it is

ratified by union members. Local 21 President Ron Kastner said the deal provides job security and health

benefits the union sought as well as pay raises.

Union offers US Airways alternatives

Source: Tom Belden, Philadelphia Inquirer

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: June 29, 2004

The machinists union

at US Airways has given the airline's chief executive officer a list of ideas for saving the company money

that will not require the hundreds of millions of dollars in wage or benefit concessions the airline says it

needs to survive, union officials said yesterday. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace

Workers, which represents almost 9,400 US Airways mechanics, baggage handlers, and other airport workers,

reiterated in a letter sent last week to airline president and chief executive Bruce R. Lakefield that it would

not discuss any cuts in wages, benefits or work rules.

UMW rallies in Benton: union fights proposed health cuts

Source: Jim Muir, The Southern Illinoisan

Union(s): United Mine Workers International

Date: June 29, 2004

Speaking with the fervor of a tent revival evangelist, United Mine Workers International

President Cecil Roberts vowed Tuesday to try to stop a bankruptcy judge from stripping health benefits from

more than 2,500 union miners and retirees. Roberts told an enthusiastic crowd of about 250 union members at the

Benton Civic Center that a bankruptcy action being proposed by Horizon Natural Resources is a violation of the

union contract and federal laws designed to protect the health benefits of miners.

A different kind Of Kerrey

Source: Jonathan Tasini, TomPaine.com

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: June 30, 2004

Bob

Kerrey's biography lists many roles. Democratic senator from Nebraska. Vietnam War hero. Dated actress Debra

Winger. Now he has added another line to his resume: attempted union-buster. In February, the adjunct faculty

at the New School in New York City voted to unionize, choosing the United Auto Workers as its representative by

a vote of 530 to 466. Kerrey is the president of the institution, which was founded as a place to pursue a more

socially progressive education. How Kerrey has behaved during the union organizing efforts is a sobering lesson

about the political landscape facing workers who try to exercise their right to form a union in America.

EEOC union hits plan to privatize

Source: Diane E. Lewis, Boston Globe

Union(s): American Federation of Government Employees

Date: July 2, 2004

A Bush administration proposal to hire a private vendor to run a national "contact" center to

take calls from employees with possible workplace bias claims has raised the ire of a national union. Hundreds

of union members employed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are expected to protest the proposal

outside the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., today at noon. Attorney Gabrielle Martin, president of

Local 216 of the American Federation of Government Employees, said the administration's plan could jeopardize

the rights of workers who turn to the agency for help because the center's staff would be low paid and not as

highly trained.

Unions seek strength in merger

Source: Stephen Franklin, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees; Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees

Date: July 7, 2004

As delegates from [the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees] gather in Chicago

this week to vote on a proposed merger with the hotel workers union, there is much talk about the combined

power and matching philosophies of unions made up largely of women, minorities and immigrants. Leaders of the

180,000-member textile union and the 260,000-member Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees expect 1,500 union

delegates on Thursday to approve the merger. Their new union faces a heap of challenges ranging from garment

and textile companies devastated by imports, to hotels suffering from slumping tourism, to companies determined

to stay union free.

Boeing union ratifies contract

Source: Molly McMillin, Wichita Eagle

Union(s): Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace

Date: July 8, 2004

After rejecting two

previous offers, Boeing Wichita technical and professional workers Wednesday overwhelmingly accepted the

company's third offer of a labor contract. Rejection would have meant a strike. A walkout was scheduled to

begin at 10 a.m. today. Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace officials told members that

they did not think Boeing would improve the offer without a work stoppage. Eighty-five percent of members voted

to accept the four-year contract, which included some minor improvements from Boeing's first two offers.

Labor federation looks beyond unions

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): A.F.L.-C.I.O.

Date: July 11, 2004

Natasha

Skorupa, by the end of one recent evening, had persuaded more than a dozen people to sign up for a new arm of

the labor movement. These people will not be part of a traditional union that negotiates contracts covering

wages and working conditions. Rather, they will be part of a fast-growing, newfangled advocacy group that will

campaign alongside labor unions on many issues, like raising the minimum wage and fighting new rules that cut

back on overtime pay. "We are trying to get nonunion people and union people to work together, and we're

seeing that there are a lot of issues they have in common," said Ms. Skorupa. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. quietly began

this effort last year. The aim is to enlist one million nonunion people to join the labor federation's new

community affiliate, Working America.

Close call on Broadway had its roots on the road

Source: Jesse McKinley, New York Times

Union(s): Actor's Equity

Date: July 15, 2004

Broadway almost went on strike this week over an issue that had almost nothing to do with Broadway. The issue

at the heart of the dispute between actors and producers was "the road," that collection of 65 or so theaters

around the country that feature touring versions of Broadway shows and bring in hundreds of millions of dollars

for the tours' producers. Traditionally, major touring shows have been sanctioned by Actor's Equity,

featuring professionally accredited--and professionally paid--actors. But in the last decade, as costs have

risen, and the number of bankable blockbusters has fallen, some road presenters have been increasingly reliant

on booking cheaper, non-Equity tours that cut deeply into the employment opportunities for union actors.

Labor board: graduate teaching assistants at private schools have no right to form unions

Source: Leigh Strope, Associated Press, SFGate.com

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: July 15, 2004

Graduate teaching assistants at private universities do not have the

right to form unions, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled, reversing its 2000 landmark decision that

resulted in thousands of new union members. The board, led by three Republicans appointed by President Bush,

ruled that about 450 graduate teaching and research assistants at Brown University in Providence, R.I., could

not be represented by the United Auto Workers because they were students, not employees. It is one of several

recent blows the GOP-dominated board has delivered to organized labor.

U. of I., grad assistants reach deal

Source: Jim Paul, Associated Press, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Graduate Employees Organization, Illinois Federation of Teachers-American Federation of Teachers

Date: July 15, 2004

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduate assistants

on the campus ended more than a decade of wrangling Thursday by agreeing to a tentative contract that will

cover nearly 6,200 graduate-student employees. The deal would be the first contract for graduate teaching

assistants and other graduate students who assist professors at UIUC. Dissatisfied with their pay and working

conditions, the students voted in December 2002 to unionize after years of organizing efforts that included a

two-day work stoppage that canceled 240 classes.

Unions plan to picket site of Republican convention

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Uniformed Firefighters Association, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association

Date: July 17, 2004

Three of New York City's most prominent unions--the police, the firefighters and the teachers--plan to begin

round-the-clock picketing at Madison Square Garden on Monday to protest their lack of a contract. The three

unions have decided to picket the Garden, the site of the Republican National Convention next month, to

pressure Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg into improving his wage offer and to bring attention to their cause. The

picketing is scheduled to last 10 days, but union officials said it might continue until the convention ends on

Sept. 2. Labor leaders said the unions would engage in informational picketing and would not ask New Yorkers to

honor the picket line.

Police plan picket despite arbitrator's award

Source: Rick Klein, Boston Globe

Union(s): Police Patrolmen's Association

Date: July 23, 2004

A state-appointed arbitrator yesterday awarded Boston's police union 14.5

percent raises over four years, roughly splitting the difference between the amount union leaders were

demanding and the best offer from Mayor Thomas M. Menino. The judgment settles a two-year dispute between

Menino and the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association. But it will not bring Menino labor peace during next

week's Democratic National Convention, union leaders vowed. The patrolmen's association is still planning to

protest at the parties Menino will hold to welcome convention delegates on Sunday night and at other

convention-week events. The union has backed off threats earlier this week to picket at the FleetCenter.

Labor leader says labor movement in crisis

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: July 27, 2004

The head of the largest union in the AFL-CIO says the labor movement is in crisis and might be more motivated

to change if Democrat John Kerry is not elected president--even though he doesn't want to chance it by keeping

George W. Bush in the White House. Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, with 1.6

million members, said in an interview Monday with The Washington Post that the effort he is leading to

restructure organized labor would lose momentum under a Democratic president. "I don't know if it would

survive with a Democratic president,'' Stern told the newspaper, saying labor leaders would become partners

in the new establishment.

SEIU chief says the Democrats lack fresh ideas

Source: David S. Broder, Washington Post

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: July 27, 2004

Breaking

sharply with the enforced harmony of the Democratic National Convention, the president of the largest AFL-CIO

union said Monday that both organized labor and the Democratic Party might be better off in the long run if

Sen. John F. Kerry loses the election. Andrew L. Stern, the head of the 1.6 million-member Service Employees

International Union (SEIU), said that both the party and its longtime ally, the labor movement, are "in deep

crisis," devoid of new ideas and working with archaic structures. Stern argued that Kerry's election might

stifle needed reform within the party and the labor movement. He said he still believes that Kerry overall

would make a better president than President Bush, and his union has poured huge resources into that effort.

But he contends that Kerry's election would have the effect of slowing the "evolution" of the dialogue within

the party.

Minnesota iron town braces for labor battle

Source: James P. Miller, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: July 27, 2004

At the mammoth Thunderbird Mine on the north end of this Iron Range town [Eveleth, Minnesota], the

lines have been drawn. The story of how people in this town of fewer than 4,000 are preparing to walk off of

jobs that they were only recently praying might come back says a lot about the long-ailing steel industry's

recent upsurge. It says a lot, as well, about the union's continued strength in this remote and job-hungry

area. One of the many ways that the tough-minded region differs from the rest of the nation is that it remains

a union stronghold at a time when labor unions seem irrelevant or on the run in many industries.

BellSouth union OKs possible strike

Source: Harry R. Weber, Associated Press, Washington Post

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: August 4, 2004

The roughly 47,000 union-covered employees at BellSouth Corp. have authorized a strike if

they can't reach a fair contract with management, officials said Wednesday. Key sticking points include health

care costs and job security at the Atlanta-based company. The three-year contract between BellSouth and the

Communications Workers of America expires at midnight Saturday. While a strike has been approved, no deadline

or date has been set, said CWA spokeswoman Candice Johnson. Ninety-seven percent of members supported the

strike vote.

Union bid approved for Canadian Wal-Mart

Source: Neil Buckley, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: August 3, 2004

A Wal-Mart superstore in Quebec may become the retailer's first unionised store in North America after the

provincial labour relations board said workers were entitled to union recognition. The Quebec Labour Relations

Board approved a bid by the United Food and Commercial Workers union to represent 180 employees at a Wal-Mart

in Jonquiere. The approval does not guarantee that a collective agreement will be reached in the store, and the

world's largest retailer may appeal against the decision. But it is only the second time a Canadian Wal-Mart

has obtained union certification, and may lead the UFCW to intensify efforts to organise stores in Canada and

the US.

In Minnesota's Iron Range, a rare victory for labor

Source: Stephen Kinzer, New York Times

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: August 6, 2004

The prospect of a labor strike against Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. hung over Chisholm [Minnesota] for much of the

spring and early summer. But in a rare victory for workers in the shrinking steel industry, labor and

management reached agreement in late July on a contract the union regarded as favorable. It covers about 2,000

workers in four mines, two on the Iron Range and two in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. As the Aug. 1 contract

deadline approached, Cleveland-Cliffs did something no mining company here had done for many years. It placed

an advertisement in the local paper announcing that it would hire replacement workers. Union members were

pleasantly surprised when management compromised with the United Steelworkers of America a few days before the

deadline.

Pilots at United promise to fight pension change

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: August 10, 2004

Pilots at

United Airlines, angered at the prospect of seeing their pension plans replaced with less generous versions,

vowed yesterday to use all legal means available to fight such a move. But United, which filed for bankruptcy

protection in December 2002 and is trying to obtain billions of dollars in financing so that it can reorganize,

replied that "nothing has been or will be immune" as it re-examines its costs. Yesterday, the Air Line Pilots

Association, which represents the airline's 8,800 pilots, warned that terminating pension plans "has the

potential to destroy the career of every pilot, and potentially plunge labor relations at United into years of

hostility and chaos."

L.A. hotels request a labor mediator

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): UNITE/HERE

Date: August 11, 2004

Nine major Los Angeles hotels, facing a determined union and a protracted contract fight, suggested Tuesday

that a federal mediator step in. The move came as the dispute appeared likely to spread to San Francisco, where

hotel labor contracts expire Saturday, and Washington, where they run out in mid-September. Officials with the

union, called Unite Here, said they were skeptical of the proposal for a mediator because the hotels had

refused to negotiate on many union issues. The two sides are at loggerheads over the length of a contract, with

the union calling for a two-year deal and the hotels insisting on five years. The union wants a two-year pact

to gain national bargaining clout by lining up contracts in 10 U.S. cities to expire simultaneously in 2006.

Union leaders vow all-out effort on Kerry's behalf

Source: Stephen Franklin, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): AFL-CIO, SEIU, AFSCME

Date: August 11, 2004

Despite dwindling ranks, the nation's union leaders predicted Tuesday that

organized labor will put on a stunning show of muscle come Election Day. AFL-CIO and other union leaders, who

are plotting their strategy this week in Chicago on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, said

this year's effort will be different. They promised stepped-up spending, greater mobilization of union members

and more attention to the nuts and bolts of getting out the vote.

Union calls for ouster at United

Source: Marilyn Adams, USA Today

Union(s): International Association of Machinists

Date: August 12, 2004

Alleging "gross

mismanagement," United Airlines' biggest labor union has asked a judge to strip control of the USA's No. 2

airline from its current officers. The International Association of Machinists, which represents more than a

third of United workers, asked the Chicago federal judge overseeing the airline's bankruptcy case to appoint

an outside trustee to run the company. Union employees have given up $2.5 billion a year in pay and benefits

during bankruptcy. United has been in bankruptcy reorganization for 20 months, and management is considering

terminating or reducing its pension plans. The unions' actions, on the eve of today's United board meeting,

represent a new low in labor relations in the bankruptcy case.

Come together right now: labor unions reconfigure to battle huge multinationals

Source: David Moberg, In These Times

Union(s): UNITE, HERE, SEIU, AFL-CIO

Date: August 12, 2004

Since last fall, organized labor has urgently focused on defeating George Bush--described by AFL-CIO

president John Sweeney as "the worst president we've had to deal with." Even if Kerry should win, the labor

movement faces a wrenching debate over its future starting the day after the election. Despite Sweeney's

reform victory nearly a decade ago, the labor movement has made progress mainly in its political work, not in

the crucial task of organizing in a globalized economy where many workers' jobs are moved out of the country

and U.S. workers increasingly face powerful multinational corporations. The debate after the election will

focus on what kinds of changes labor must make to expand its ranks and its power.

US Airways could fail next month

Source: Sara Kehaulani Goo, Washington Post

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: August 13, 2004

US Airways faces a possible second bankruptcy filing next month and even liquidation if it fails to reach a

new agreement with its unions, according to a report by a consultancy firm that advised the airline's pilots

union. The report said the carrier will "fail within the immediately foreseeable future" and set out the few

choices left for the company's employees as they face an additional $800 million in cuts the company is

seeking. Pilots must either agree to a lower compensation package or be prepared to accept possibly worse terms

imposed by a bankruptcy judge or, more likely, the company's liquidation. A spokesman for the Air Line Pilots

Association said the union agreed "in principle" with its consultants' conclusions. A US Airways spokesman

said the company also concurs with the report's findings.

UAW rejects Caterpillar's final contract offer

Source: Stephen Franklin, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: August 16, 2004

As expected, members of the United Auto Workers union on Sunday rejected a final

contract offer from Caterpillar Inc., furthering the bargaining standoff. "Our members have once again spoken,"

UAW Vice President Cal Rapson said in a statement Sunday night after results were tallied from union locals in

Illinois, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Tennessee. Expecting their rank and file to turn down the latest offer,

UAW officials last week said work would go on as normal. UAW officials from the union's Detroit headquarters

and Caterpillar locals will meet Monday in the Chicago area to consider their next steps, union officials said.

After vowing not to budge, the company recently sweetened its offer but warned that its proposal was its "last,

best and final" one.

Supermarket contract approved in Seattle

Source: Associated Press, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: August 16, 2004

Grocery workers in the metropolitan [Seattle] area have approved

three-year contracts with four supermarket chains, accepting health care payments but avoiding a two-tier pay

plan sought by employers. Meeting late Sunday at Key Arena, members of four United Food and Commercial Workers

locals voted by a combined 83 percent to ratify all 10 contracts as recommended by the union, said Sharon

McCann, president of Local 1105. "This agreement does exactly what we set out to do--protect affordable health

care benefits,'' McCann said in a statement. Employers have said the deal, which runs through 2007 and covers

about 12,000 employees, also should be a model for negotiations covering 11,000 other grocery workers around

Western Washington.

US Airways' talks with pilots union break down

Source: Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: August 24, 2004

US Airways' pilots union announced that negotiations on pay and benefit cuts broke down yesterday, prompting

the carrier's executives to ask that their latest proposal be taken directly to the union's leadership for a

vote. The collapse in talks underscores the friction between management and workers as US Airways Group Inc.

seeks to secure $800 million in cuts by the end of September to stave off its second bankruptcy filing in two

years. "Since the beginning of these talks, we have witnessed a disturbing trend by the company to seemingly

dismiss several significant proposals from our pilot negotiators," said Jack Stephan, a spokesman for the Air

Line Pilots Association.

Binding arbitration ordered in police negotiations

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Patrolmen's Benevolent Association

Date: August 24, 2004

The New

York State Public Employment Relations Board has ordered that the contract dispute between New York City and

its main police union go to binding arbitration, city and union officials said yesterday. Under state law, the

two sides will name the three members of an arbitration panel, which will then hear arguments from the city and

the union and determine the wages and other terms of a new contract. Despite the move toward binding

arbitration, a spokesman for the union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said the union would still

demonstrate at the Republican National Convention next week to criticize Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's wage

offer. The union also seeks to put pressure on the mayor to make a proposal that could still settle the dispute

without arbitration.

US Airways pilots' union decides to resume talks

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: August 28, 2004

The US Airways

pilots' union said last night that it would resume talks with the struggling airline, which is urging its

unions to grant $800 million in cuts to save it from another bankruptcy filing. Negotiations broke off last

Sunday between the union and the airline, which has refused to budge from demands that the pilots grant $295

million in annual wage and benefit concessions. People who have been briefed on both sides' offers said the

pilots were willing to accept cuts of only $180 million to $195 million, along with some work rule changes.

US Air locked in down-to-wire talks on cuts with its pilots

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: August 31, 2004

US Airways was locked in tumultuous bargaining yesterday on wage and benefit cuts with its pilots' union,

whose backing is critical if the airline is to avoid another bankruptcy filing. US Airways, which wants to

reposition itself to compete with low-fare airlines, is asking its major labor unions for contract concessions

worth $800 million as the crucial component of that plan. The concessions would be the third round granted in

the last two years by the airline's four major unions.

US Airways sets talks with pilots on further cuts to pension plan

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: September 1, 2004

US Airways and its pilots' union were set to meet last night, amid resistance within the pilots'

ranks to the airline's bid to shrink their already diminished pension plan, a casualty of the airline's

previous bankruptcy filing. Negotiations were to resume during the evening between negotiators for US Airways

and the Air Line Pilots Association. The union was waiting for the company's response to its latest offer,

made on Monday. US Airways is pushing its pilots to grant $295 million in wage and benefit cuts, the largest

share of $800 million in concessions it is seeking from its 28,000 employees.

US Airways pilots hint deal is near on cuts

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: September 2, 2004

The pilots'

union at US Airways said yesterday that it might be close to reaching an agreement on wage and benefit cuts

that the struggling airline contends are necessary to avoid another bankruptcy filing. But US Airways and the

machinists' union traded angry words after the company dismissed a proposal that the union said would save the

airline $115 million a year. US Airways is pushing its unions for $800 million in concessions, on top of two

rounds they granted while the airline was in bankruptcy. US Airways wants the cuts by Sept. 15.

Silence speaks volumes at unemployment rally

Source: Ellie Spielberg, United Federation of Teachers

Union(s): United Federation of Teachers

Date: September 8, 2004

No bullhorns, whistles, rally cries. Just silence, and a long line of people holding up shocking pink flyers

that said, "The next pink slip might be yours." The protest against unemployment "is powerful, one of the most

poignent protests in [New York] this week--because it is so quiet," said Randi Weingarten, president of the

United Federation of Teachers. Stretching up Broadway from Wall Street to the doorstep of the Republican

National Convention at Madison Square Garden, it was reminiscent of the bread lines of yesteryear, a reminder

to the people rushing to work that no one is immune to getting axed in the current so-called "jobless

recovery."

Janitors want building owners to close deficit in health fund

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: September 10, 2004

The health fund covering 55,000 New York City janitors is nearing insolvency, and janitors' union officials

yesterday threatened a strike against more than 1,000 office buildings in October if the real estate industry

does not come up with money to close the fund's $175 million operating deficit. The two sides announced

yesterday that they would begin contract talks on Tuesday. The fund is running a large deficit because the

workers' health care costs have soared by nearly 50 percent over the past three years, reflecting a trend that

has hurt companies and industries across the nation.

Hotel workers in 3 cities ready to strike

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): UNITE/HERE

Date: September 14, 2004

Thousands of hotel workers in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and San Francisco are prepared to strike in a

concerted attempt to pressure employers into signing contracts that could significantly boost union clout. In

Los Angeles, housekeepers, bellmen and other workers at nine prominent hotels voted to authorize a strike. In

Washington, about 94 percent of 2,100 workers voted Monday to authorize a strike. In San Francisco, about 4,000

hotel workers were expected to vote Tuesday in favor of authorizing a strike.

Hoffa: U.S. health system is needed

Source: John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: September 14, 2004

Teamsters

President James P. Hoffa added his voice Monday to a chorus calling for a government-run health-care system to

save American companies and jobs. "Rising health-care costs are causing a loss of jobs and making America less

competitive," Hoffa said in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club. "We need a national health-care system, and

we need it now," Hoffa said, calling for a joint effort by management and labor to come up with policy

prescriptions.

Los Angeles, Washington hotel workers authorize strikes

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): UNITE/HERE

Date: September 14, 2004

The threat of a strike by bellmen, housekeepers and other Southern California hotel employees loomed

larger Tuesday, as an overwhelming majority of the workers gave their leaders a green light to call a walkout.

No date was set for a walkout. The strategy--part of an effort to pressure employers into signing contracts

that could significantly boost union clout--was emulated by hotel workers in Washington, D.C., who also voted

to authorize a strike, and in San Francisco, where workers were voting Tuesday.

Volkswagen begins talks with union

Source: Mark Landler, New York Times

Union(s): IG Metall

Date: September 16, 2004

Representatives of Volkswagen and its labor union faced off across a table on Wednesday, opening a round of

negotiations that will be closely watched as a test of how long German workers can preserve their privileged

place in the global auto industry. The union, IG Metall, presented its demand for a 4 percent wage increase, as

well as guarantees of job security for the 103,000 assembly-line workers covered by a contract set to expire

soon. Volkswagen reiterated its insistence on a two-year wage freeze and other cutbacks. Looming behind the

negotiations is the specter that Germany, with its skilled but expensive labor force, will lose manufacturing

jobs to lower-cost countries.

Hotels, union end talks, prepare for strike

Source: Neil Irwin, Washington Post

Union(s): UNITE/HERE

Date: September 16, 2004

Negotiators for 14 major District hotels walked out of contract talks with the union that represents

3,800 employees yesterday afternoon, raising the prospect of a work stoppage as early as today at the city's

largest hotels. Labor and management have been facing off for weeks over working conditions and other issues at

the hotels. The tense negotiations in Washington are part of an escalating national battle between Unite Here

and major hotel chains. Union hotel workers in Los Angeles and San Francisco were also threatening yesterday to

strike if they cannot reach a deal.

N.H.L. to lock out players on Thursday

Source: Joe Lapointe, New York Times

Union(s): National Hockey League Players Association

Date: September 15, 2004

In some

ways, a labor lockout in the National Hockey League is like overtime in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It could end

quickly and decisively. Then again, it might grind on indefinitely, leaving both sides exhausted and

diminished, with even the winners feeling beaten down and worn out. Another lockout, 10 years after the first

one, was announced today by Commissioner Gary Bettman, who cited $1.8 billion in owners' losses over the last

decade and criticized the union for not negotiating to solve the problems.

Unions step up outsourcing fight

Source: Matthew Kelly, Hearst Newspapers, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: September 17, 2004

The AFL-CIO on Thursday cranked up its campaign to stop the export of U.S.

jobs by launching a new database designed to track companies that outsource jobs overseas. The union said it

hopes American workers will use the information to press elected officials to take steps to discourage job

loss. Visitors to the Web site (www.workingamerica.org) are urged

to write President Bush and their senators and [representatives] to tell them to stop the export of jobs

overseas. For publicly traded companies, the site also provides links to the chief executive's pay.

Growers' group signs the first union contract for guest workers

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Farm Labor Organizing Committee

Date: September 17, 2004

The North Carolina Growers Association, which represents 1,000 farmers, signed a union contract yesterday

covering 8,500 guest workers from Mexico--a move that the association and union said was the first union

contract in the nation for guest workers. The agreement with the North Carolina growers is unusual because it

is the first union contract ever signed by farmers in the state, which has a history of hostility to unions,

and because the contract provides for a union hiring hall in Mexico to help supply guest workers.

Union, D.C. hotels prepare for strike

Source: Neil Irwin, Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post

Union(s): UNITE/HERE

Date: September 17, 2004

Major Washington hotels and the union that represents their employees are making detailed preparations

for a strike, which both sides warned could come at any time. Union members yesterday made picket signs and

worked out strike procedures, while hotel managers discussed how managers and replacement workers could staff

their establishments. Union officials said yesterday that a strike was imminent, but they would not say when it

might begin or how many hotels might be affected. They are coordinating their actions with hotel unions in Los

Angeles and San Francisco that are also threatening to strike.

Old labor tactics resurface in new union

Source: Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): UNITE/HERE

Date: September 17, 2004

Labor

experts say Unite Here, the newly merged union that is representing the D.C. hotel workers in their current

contract dispute, is one of the most outspoken and toughest unions under the AFL-CIO umbrella. Besides finding

resourceful ways to get members' issues heard, Unite Here is adept at involving college students and recent

graduates--an enthusiastic population rarely tapped by the union world--who are eager to help organize

immigrant and low-wage workers. "They remind [me] of the kind of full-throttle organizing that was in the '30s

and '40s," said Robert A. Bruno, associate professor of labor and industrial relations at the University of

Illinois.

Hotels, union to resume negotiations

Source: Neil Irwin, Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): UNITE/HERE

Date: September 21, 2004

Washington hotels and the union representing their employees plan to meet this morning for the first

negotiations in six days over a new contract covering 3,800 D.C. hotel workers. Officials on both sides said

they hope to avert a strike but that the prospects will hinge on whether the other side will yield on the most

intractable issue on the table: the length of a contract. Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union Local 25 insists

on a two-year contract, seeking to gain negotiating leverage by having it expire the same year as contracts in

New York, Chicago and other major cities.

Grocery workers in Bay Area hope to avoid strike

Source: Melinda Fulmer, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: September 23, 2004

The biggest lesson learned from the labor unrest in Southern and Central California may be this: The

best thing for union members and management alike would be to find a way to avoid a walkout. The last Bay Area

contract between the United Food and Commercial Workers union and the major supermarket chains--Safeway, Kroger

and Albertsons--expired Sept. 11, and the two sides are continuing to talk. The pact covers about 30,000

workers at the 382 stores. The companies certainly have good reason not to let things get so contentious this

time around. Although the supermarkets won huge concessions in Southern California, the strike and lockout that

ended Feb. 29 were economically devastating for them.

Office building janitors back a strike over health plan cost

Source: Steven Greenhouse , New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: September 24, 2004

Unable to resolve a contract dispute over health insurance, thousands of janitors and doormen voted

yesterday to authorize a strike beginning next Friday at 1,000 New York City office buildings. [Leaders] of the

janitors' union, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, had asked for a strike authorization

vote because a significant gap remained in negotiations. The union and the group representing building owners,

the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, are involved in intense talks that focus on how to close a $175

million annual deficit in the union's health insurance fund. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement,

25,000 building service workers could go on strike at 12:01 a.m. next Friday.

Directors agree on contract with Hollywood producers

Source: Sharon Waxman, New York Times

Union(s): Directors Guild of America

Date: September 24, 2004

Negotiators for Hollywood producers agreed to increase health care payments for directors but did not

raise payments for DVD sales and rentals in a new three-year contract reached Thursday. The Directors Guild of

America is the first of three Hollywood labor unions to reach a new contract. The agreement, which is subject

to approval by guild members, was expected to set the tone for negotiations with writers and actors. For the

studios, the agreement reduced the prospect of a strike with the other two guilds in the coming months. The

prospect of nearly concurrent negotiations with three major guilds was a motivating factor in reaching a deal,

the studios said.

Union, D.C. hotels recess negotiations

Source: Neil Irwin, Washington Post

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: September 28, 2004

Negotiations over a new contract for D.C. hotel workers broke off early yesterday as the union and

representatives of 14 major hotels reported little progress in resolving the impasse between them. Bruce S.

Raynor, president of the national Unite Here union, acted as lead negotiator for Local 25 yesterday,

demonstrating the degree to which the union views the negotiations in Washington as part of a national battle

to increase labor's leverage against nationwide hotel chains. Similar battles are underway in Los Angeles and

San Francisco, and Unite Here is coordinating action in the three cities. The Washington negotiations are now

on hold for a week with a strike still threatened.

Corrections officers stage rally for 12% annual pay raises

Source: Jessica Bruder, New York Times

Union(s): Fraternal Order of Police

Date: September 28, 2004

[New Jersey] law enforcement officers rallied in Trenton on Monday for a new contract that would include 12

percent annual pay raises and continued out-of-network medical benefits. As part of the protest, more than

1,000 corrections officers called in sick to attend the rally, according to state and labor officials. The

6,811-member union that represents New Jersey's corrections and parole officers and park rangers has been

without a contract since July 2003.

Workers at 4 hotels in S.F. go on strike

Source: Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: September 30, 2004

Union workers walked off the job at four prominent San Francisco hotels early Wednesday morning, but the move

did not trigger a multi-city strike as union locals in Los Angeles and Washington said they had no immediate

plans to join the action. The strike by 1,400 union members was the most aggressive step taken yet by the Unite

Here union in this year's protracted contract disputes. Its members have authorized strikes in all three

cities. The key stumbling block between labor and management is the union's demand for a two-year pact in all

three cities. That would align contract expirations in nine cities and Hawaii, giving the union greater

bargaining clout.

San Francisco workers strike

Source: Neil Irwin, Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: September 30, 2004

Unionized workers at four large San Francisco hotels went on strike yesterday morning over issues

similar to those causing an impasse between hotels and their workers at several large hotels in Washington.

Unite Here, the national hotel union, is also involved in contract disputes here and in Los Angeles. In all

three cities, the union seeks better working conditions, protection of health benefits, and a contract that

will expire the same year as hotel workers' pacts in New York and elsewhere. Union officials said the strike

will last for two weeks, barring resolution. There was no work stoppage at the other 10 hotels involved in the

negotiations there.

US Airways, pilots agree on new contract

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 1, 2004

US

Airways and its pilots union agreed early Friday on a new labor contract a week after the company asked a

bankruptcy judge to impose pay cuts, a company official said. In a release, the airline said the tentative deal

would save the struggling carrier $300 million annually. US Airways warned in a bankruptcy court filing on

Sept. 24 that it may have to liquidate by February if the court did not impose a temporary 23 percent pay cut

on union workers. An Oct. 7 hearing is scheduled on the issue.

BellSouth workers ratify five-year deals

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw

Union(s): Communication Workers of America

Date: September 29, 2004

BellSouth

employees have ratified five-year labor contracts that cover 42,360 workers in nine Southeastern states. The

six contracts, ratified Tuesday, include a 10.5 percent increase in base wages over the five years for the

members of the Communications Workers of America. Workers and retirees still won't pay monthly premiums for

health care, but certain co-pays and deductibles will be higher. The agreements were reached hours before the

previous contract was to expire. The union had authorized a strike if an agreement had not been reached.

Tentative contract with janitors reached

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: October 1, 2004

The union

representing 25,000 building-service workers at more than 1,000 New York City office buildings announced a

tentative contract early this morning, thus avoiding a strike threatened for 12:01 a.m. today. Real estate

industry and union officials taking part in the intense negotiations at the Hilton New York said that

substantial progress had been made on how to close a $175 million operating deficit in the union's health

fund. The agreement calls for employers to contribute a total of $78 more each week for health coverage by the

end of the contract. In the settlement, the workers will receive a total raise of 5 percent over three years.

US Airways and pilots union reach tentative deal

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 1, 2004

US Airways

and its pilots union reached a tentative agreement today on $300 million in wage and benefit cuts, after weeks

of debate inside the union over whether to grant the cuts to the bankrupt airline. The deal is said to include

annual pay cuts of about 19.5 percent, reductions in the company's contribution to pilots' retirement

benefits and changes in retired pilots' health care benefits. However, the agreement still faces a significant

hurdle among the pilots' leadership, which is set to vote this afternoon on whether to present the deal to

members for approval.

Union workers strike in Atlantic City

Source: John Curran, Associated Press, Washington Post

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: October 1, 2004

Front-office executives served drinks, lawyers flipped hamburgers and accountants

made beds Friday after about 10,000 union workers went on strike at seven of Atlantic City's casinos. Cocktail

waitresses, housekeepers, bellhops and other members of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees union walked off the

job and hit the picket lines around daybreak, some in the middle of their shifts. The striking workers have

been without a contract since their five-year deal expired Sept. 15. They are demanding a three-year contract,

protection against the use of nonunion restaurant workers, and casino-funded health care.

10 hotels expected to lock out workers

Source: Jenny Strasburg, George Raine, San Francisco Chronicle

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: October 1, 2004

Ten of San Francisco's largest hotels are expected to lock out an

estimated 2,600 workers this morning, escalating an already tense labor dispute that triggered a strike against

four hotels earlier this week. All told, 4,000 union workers in San Francisco have a stake in the contract

dispute, which centers on the length of the next contract as well as differences over wages, health benefits

and pensions. The union said the strike was intended to last for two weeks and called it a measured, tactical

labor action but not so far-reaching as to damage the regional economy.

Union debate in wine country

Source: Associated Press, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Farm Workers

Date: October 4, 2004

Workers at Gallo of Sonoma voted a decade ago to join the UFW, but it's been a

rocky relationship. It took six years for workers to get a contract, which expired last November, and there has

been little progress on reaching a new agreement. The union was challenged with a decertification vote 18

months ago, but the result has been tied up in legal proceedings because of UFW charges of Gallo misconduct.

The dispute is being closely watched in wine country, where unions have struggled to gain a foothold.

Partisan Politics at Work Criticized

Source: Christopher Lee, Washington Post

Union(s): American Federation of Government Employees

Date: October 5, 2004

Military and civilian employees at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque received an unusual e-mail inviting

them to attend an Aug. 26 campaign rally for President Bush. "The White House has extended an invitation to

TEAM KIRTLAND to attend President Bush's speech downtown at the Convention Center," read the message, sent by

Deborah Mercurio, the director of public affairs for the 377th Air Base Wing. To federal employee unions, [the

e-mail] represented the latest attempt by the Bush administration and its supporters to transform what is

supposed to be a politically neutral federal bureaucracy into an arm of the president's reelection campaign.

US Airways union sends contract for vote

Source: Charles Sheehan (AP), FindLaw

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 6, 2004

The

union representing US Airways pilots voted Tuesday to send out a concessionary contract to its 3,200 pilots

that is meant to save the troubled airline $300 million a year. The tentative agreement, reached after a

sometimes contentious union meeting that lasted for about 11 hours, calls for a five-year pay cut of 18

percent, slashed vacation time and cuts to benefits that will save the airline $1.8 billion through 2009,

according to the Air Line Pilots Association. However, US Airways said it still intends to ask a bankruptcy

court judge Thursday to make temporary cuts of 23 percent on all union workers--including pilots, flight

attendants, mechanics, ramp workers and customs agents.

80 casino strikers are arrested for blocking road into Atlantic City

Source: Iver Peterson, New York Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: October 9, 2004

In an escalation of their tactics, striking casino service workers blocked the main access road to

Atlantic City for about 20 minutes Friday evening just as the busy Columbus Day weekend traffic began flooding

into town. The Atlantic City police said that about 80 demonstrators were arrested and given tickets for

disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic. Union officials were on hand at police headquarters to pay the

tickets. About 10,000 members of Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union

who work at seven casinos here have been on strike since Oct. 1.

Kroger employees reject contract offer

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers Union

Date: October 14, 2004

Kroger Co. employees from stores in three states rejected the company's latest contract offer and authorized

their union to call a strike if necessary. About 8,500 cashiers, grocery baggers and clerks in meat, produce

and delicatessen departments at 70 Kroger stores in southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana

could go on strike when their current contract expires at 10 p.m. EDT Friday. Ninety-seven percent of the

5,000-plus workers who voted rejected the contract offer and authorized a strike.

No progress reported in hotel negotiations

Source: Neil Irwin, Washington Post

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: October 15, 2004

Negotiators for several major Washington hotels and the union that represents their employees discussed health

insurance costs yesterday in a day-long bargaining session that made no apparent progress toward a new

contract. The two sides have been at an impasse, which has included union threats of a strike, since the

previous contract expired Sept. 15. The union wants better working conditions, protection of health and other

benefits and a contract that will expire the same year as contracts in New York and other major cities.

Pilots union agrees to cuts at Northwest

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 15, 2004

Northwest

Airlines and its pilots union reached tentative agreement yesterday on a deal that would save the airline $300

million in labor costs. Leaders of the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents pilots at Northwest, will

now decide whether to submit the two-year agreement to members for a vote. The tentative settlement includes

$265 million in cuts, the first granted to the airline by any of its labor groups. Northwest sought $950

million in concessions from its unions in the spring of 2003, with a warning that [it] might file for Chapter

11 bankruptcy protection if it could not cut its costs. Analysts were skeptical that Northwest was in such dire

need.

Wal-Mart finds union at its back door

Source: Adam Geller, Associated Press, AZ Central

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: October 18, 2004

The low-slung gray and blue Wal-Mart store off highway 70 could be almost any one of the retail

Goliath's nearly 5,000 discount emporiums in the United States and eight other countries. And that's what

worries executives at the Arkansas headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. While still not a certainty, the 165

retirees, single moms, students and other hourly workers at this store 2 1/2 hours north of Quebec City

[Canada] could soon become the first anywhere to extract what the world's largest private employer insists its

1.5 million "associates" around the world neither want nor need--a union contract. A government agency has

certified the workers as a union and told the two sides to negotiate.

Can both worker rights and civil rights win in hotel talks?

Source: David Bacon, San Francisco Chronicle

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: October 19, 2004

For a decade, San Francisco's Unite Here Local 2 and Local 11 in

Los Angeles have proposed and won language in their contracts protecting members from discrimination and firing

because of immigration status. In San Francisco, as in many other big U.S. cities, immigrants make up a

majority of the hotel workforce. This year, Locals 2 and 11 added new language to their existing contract

proposals on immigrant rights, and the hotels agreed. But the Multi-Employer Group, the hotel owners'

bargaining collective, didn't accept a related proposal asking the hotels to set up a diversity committee and

hire an ombudsman to begin increasing the percentage of African-American workers.

US Airways pilots' union OKs labor deal

Source: Matthew Barakat, Associated Press, FindLaw

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 21, 2004

US Airways' pilots' union ratified a new labor contract Thursday that will cut their base pay by

18 percent and save the airline $300 million a year. The bankrupt airline has been hopeful that a ratified deal

with the pilots will give it momentum as it seeks cost cuts from its three other major unions, representing

machinists, flight attendants and passenger service workers. US Airways says it needs about $950 million in

annual cost cuts from all its unions to have any chance at survival.

Union set to begin boycott of L.A. hotels

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: October 21, 2004

The union representing hotel housekeepers, bellmen, waiters and other hourly workers is moving toward an

official boycott of nine upscale Los Angeles-area hotels, after six months of negotiations have failed to move

either side on key contract issues. Leaders of the union, Unite Here Local 11, are set to announce today that

they are gathering signatures from rank-and-file members to approve a boycott. The central contract issue is

the expiration date. National leaders of Unite Here want to line up local contracts across the country so that

they all expire in 2006, giving each local more power at the bargaining table.

Union, Kroger reach agreement on pension

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: October 21, 2004

The

Kroger Co. and a labor union representing about 8,500 employees in 70 supermarkets in three states have reached

tentative agreements on health care and pensions but still have not reached a deal on a new contract, a union

spokesman said Thursday. The two sides negotiated for 20 consecutive hours through Thursday morning and were

unable to reach consensus on wage increases, said John Marrone, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial

Workers Union Local 1099. Cashiers, grocery baggers and clerks in meat, produce and delicatessen departments at

stores in the Cincinnati area, northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana are covered by the contract.

US Airways pilots approve 18% pay cut

Source: Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 22, 2004

US Airways pilots yesterday approved a five-year, cost-cutting contract that will reduce their pay about 18

percent and save the airline about $1.8 billion over five years, the union said. The union's ratification

means the pilots are exempt from the 21 percent, across-the-board employee pay cut that a bankruptcy court

judge last week imposed through February. The agreement reduces retirement benefits, increases work hours

largely by trimming vacation and sick days, and eliminates retiree medical coverage. The contract is a major

boost to US Airways, which is trying to cut its labor costs by $950 million a year to transform itself into a

profitable low-cost, low-fare airline.

World's big two aim at getting bigger

Source: John Vandaele, Inter Press Service

Union(s): International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, World Confederation of Labour

Date: October 26, 2004

In a

historic move, WCL has decided to start negotiations with ICFTU for setting up a new international labour

organisation. The long awaited initiative is intended to protect labour rights in the face of globalisation and

counter the growing clout of multilateral corporations. WCL, the World Confederation of Labour, comprises of

144 autonomous and democratic trade unions from 116 countries around the globe, with more than 26 million

members, mainly from Third World countries. ICFTU, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions,

represents 148 million workers worldwide and is by far the biggest confederation consisting of 234 affiliated

organisations in 152 countries and territories.

With prospect of Chapter 11 looming, Delta and Pilots bargain

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 26, 2004

Delta Air Lines and its pilots union continued bargaining today on the airline's demand for $1

billion in contract concessions, with the prospect of a Chapter 11 filing as soon as Wednesday hanging over the

discussions. Delta, the third-largest airline behind American and United, has warned repeatedly that it will

have to seek court protection unless it reaches a deal with its pilots on $1 billion in wage and benefit cuts,

and achieves agreements with its debt holders. Delta's pilots, who are the highest paid in the industry, have

proposed cuts worth up to $705 million. A Chapter 11 filing by Delta would mean half the industry's

traditional airlines were under court protection.

Newsom joins picket line, vows boycott of hotels

Source: George Raine, San Francisco Chronicle

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: October 27, 2004

Mayor Gavin Newsom made good on his promise to join locked-out union members on the picket line

Tuesday after a group of San Francisco hotels rejected his proposed 90-day cooling off period, extending a

bitter labor dispute that has left 4,000 workers locked out of their jobs. The dispute, caused by an impasse in

the negotiation of a new contract, began Sept. 29 with a two-week strike at four hotels and grew to become a

lockout by employers at 14 of the city's largest hotels on Oct. 13. The union accepted Newsom's proposal for

a three-month cooling off period, but the hotels rejected it Tuesday and Newsom hit the picket line.

Kroger employees ratify new contract

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: October 28, 2004

Members of the union representing Kroger Co. employees in three states ratified a three-year contract. "Kroger

should not kid itself about the results of today's vote," Lennie Wyatt, president of United Food and

Commercial Workers Union Local 1099, said in a statement late Wednesday after all-day voting. "This contract

was ratified for one reason and one reason only--there simply was no workable alternative at this time. In a

down economy and during a national health care crisis, a strike seemed a worse alternative." About 8,500

cashiers, grocery baggers and clerks in meat, produce and delicatessen departments at 70 stores in the

Cincinnati area, northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana are covered by the contract.

Delta reaches deal with pilots' union

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: October 28, 2004

Delta Air

Lines reached a tentative agreement with its pilots' union last night on long-sought wage and benefit cuts,

averting a threatened bankruptcy filing, at least for now. Terms of the deal were not available. Agreement came

after an intense day of negotiations, during which Delta made its final offer in its bid for $1 billion in

contract concessions. If pilots had not agreed to the tentative deal, Delta was prepared to file for Chapter 11

bankruptcy protection today. Leaders of the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents Delta's 6,900

pilots, must approve the deal before ratification can begin.

Talks between D.C. hotels, union still in deadlock

Source: Neil Irwin, Washington Post

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: October 28, 2004

Fourteen major D.C. hotels and the union that represents their employees met yesterday for another round of

talks on a new contract, but they made little progress in a session both sides described as contentious. Since

their contract expired Sept. 15, the two sides have faced off at bargaining sessions about once every week or

two, but have reported little progress toward an agreement. The union seeks improved working conditions, higher

wages and protection of benefits, and a two-year contract that would expire the same year as contracts in New

York and other cities. Both sides said that they may take further action if the impasse continues, but neither

would specify what that might be, or when it might happen.

Volkswagen, German union resume wage talks

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): IG Metall

Date: November 1, 2004

Volkswagen AG and Germany's biggest industrial union resumed pay negotiations Monday with both sides hopeful

of bridging their differences--even as thousands of auto workers staged brief stoppages to underline their

demand for wage increases and job guarantees. Volkswagen, which wants a two-year wage freeze, says it must cut

costs to meet competition from lower-cost rivals. In addition to the freeze, it wants more flexible scheduling

to avoid overtime and programs that would allow new workers to be paid less. The union has demanded annual

increases of 2.2 percent and 2.7 percent in a 26-month deal, along with job guarantees.

Lockout at top hotels mars tourism in San Francisco

Source: Carolyn Marshall, New York Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: November 2, 2004

The drumbeats and chanted slogans begin at dawn and echo through downtown streets well after dark, as

bellhops, barkeeps, maids and cooks--locked out of their jobs by 14 of this city's most prominent

hotels--picket to protest stalled contract talks that have set this popular tourist destination on edge. Now in

its fifth week, this labor dispute threatens to tarnish San Francisco's self-described reputation as

"Everyone's Favorite City." Workers are at odds with their managers, and city leaders are at odds with hotel

owners. And caught in the cross-fire are the city's treasured tourists.

Volkswagen may be close to settling its wage talks

Source: Mark Landler, New York Times

Union(s): IG Metall

Date: November 2, 2004

Volkswagen and its workers entered a critical week in their wage negotiations on Monday, with signs that a

compromise was taking shape even as protests flared at factories across Germany. The showdown is being closely

watched, and not just because it pits Germany's most powerful union against its most prominent carmaker. The

talks are viewed as a litmus test of whether German auto workers can preserve their privileges in the fiercely

competitive global car industry. In a sign of how high the stakes are, the union has threatened large-scale

strikes against Volkswagen if the talks do not produce an agreement this week. They would be the first in the

company's history.

A tentative contract is reached to end Atlantic City casino strike

Source: Michelle O'Donnell, New York Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: November 2, 2004

A month-long strike against seven of the 12 Atlantic City casinos, which left gamblers eating

with plastic utensils and office workers serving them breakfast, appeared to be over last night as the union

representing the striking workers reached a tentative agreement with management. Members of Local 54 of the

Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union accepted the five-year contract, which includes

some increases in pay and benefits, but is not the ambitious three-year contract that the union had sought

earlier. Over the five-year contract, the workers will receive a 28.3 percent increase in wages, health care

benefits and pension contributions, the union said.

UAW workers walk out at four CNH plants

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: November 4, 2004

More than

600 workers at four CNH Global NV plants in the Midwest walked off their jobs Wednesday over the failure to

negotiate a new six-year contract with the maker of farm and construction equipment. The strike shut down

tractor production at the Racine manufacturing operation and three other plants. The main impact was reported

to be in Racine and Burlington, Iowa, where backhoe loaders are made. Cal Rapson, a UAW vice president who

directs the national union's Agricultural Implement Department, issued a statement saying the job action was

needed to reach a fair labor agreement. "The company's contract demands, particularly in the area of health

care, simply do not reflect the value our members contribute to CNH," he said.

Volkswagen averts strike by German workers

Source: Mark Landler, New York Times

Union(s): IG Metall

Date: November 4, 2004

Volkswagen averted the first full-scale strike in its history on Wednesday, offering its factory workers a

seven-year job guarantee in return for a 28-month freeze in wages. Volkswagen's union, IG Metall, had staged

warning strikes at several factories to press for a pay increase of 4 percent. But even as it threatened

broader disruption, the union later gave up this demand--accepting a face-saving compromise that it must now

try to sell to its members. Volkswagen's face-off with the union was closely watched here as a test of whether

German auto workers--and VW employees in particular--could maintain their privileged position as the best-paid,

best-treated workers in an increasingly competitive global industry.

Disney, union reach tentative pact

Source: Sean Mussenden, Orlando Sentinel

Union(s): Service Trades Council

Date: November 5, 2004

Walt Disney World and its largest union reached a tentative deal on a new three-year

contract late Thursday. The agreement between Disney and the Service Trades Council, which covers more than 40

percent of Disney World's work force, came after nearly eight months of talks on wage hikes, health and

retirement benefits, and other issues. The council, which represents more than 20,000 theme park and hotel

workers, is made up of six smaller unions. Leaders of four of the six agreed late Thursday to the tentative

deal. But the heads of two others said they were not invited to the final negotiating session, had not seen the

deal, and could not support it. One of those unions said it was considering legal action against the council

and Disney.

Lucent Technologies and unions reach deal

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Communications Workers of America; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Date: November 9, 2004

Lucent

Technologies Inc. reached a tentative agreement early Tuesday with two labor unions that cover about 3,250

employees nationwide, a company spokeswoman said. Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward did not reveal details of the

agreement, but said the company and the unions had bargained over issues like whether retirees should

contribute to the cost of their health insurance. Most of the 3,250 workers are represented by the

Communications Workers of America; about 250 are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical

Workers.

Largest union issues call for major changes

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: November 10, 2004

As the

nation's union leaders gather today in Washington the labor movement is in turmoil, with the president of the

AFL-CIO's largest union hinting that it might pull out of the labor federation. In a sign of the jockeying and

soul-searching, Andrew L. Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, the AFL-CIO's largest

union, called yesterday in a letter for far-reaching changes in labor designed to increase its membership,

proposing a $25-million-a-year campaign to unionize Wal-Mart and a near doubling in the amount spent annually

on organizing. The meeting comes as long-simmering differences in the AFL-CIO have been intensified by

President Bush's re-election, with many union leaders fearing retaliation because organized labor spent more

than $150 million to try to defeat him.

Nigerian court blocks upcoming strike

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Nigeria Labor Congress

Date: November 11, 2004

A Nigerian high court on Thursday blocked an upcoming general strike meant to shut down oil exports in the

world's seventh largest exporter. Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer and the fifth-largest source of

U.S. oil imports. Nigeria's unions, including blue- and white-collar oil worker guilds, had called the strike

for Tuesday, and said this one--unlike other recent strikes--would target oil production and exports. Unions

are unhappy over a 23 percent increase in domestic fuel prices, raised by the government in September.

Labor vows to consider change, but rebel voices discontent

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: November 11, 2004

The president of the AFL-CIO announced Wednesday that organized labor, facing the second term of an

administration it fought hard to beat in last week's election, would take up recommendations to reverse the

movement's long decline. The federation's president, John Sweeney, said the proposals would be put forth by a

Committee of Change. But immediately after the nation's union leaders had created the committee, the president

of the federation's largest union escalated his threat to break away unless substantial change was adopted to

strengthen the movement. "We need to either change the AFL-CIO or build something stronger that could really

change workers' lives," said Andrew Stern of the 1.6-million-member Service Employees International Union.

Disney workers reject contract

Source: Sean Mussenden, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Service Trades Council

Date: November 12, 2004

Thousands of unionized Walt Disney World workers voted down a new three-year

labor contract Thursday, giving union negotiators the authority to call a strike. The surprise rejection sends

negotiators with the Service Trades Council union group and Disney back to the bargaining table today. Union

leaders said they were unlikely to call for a work stoppage, at least in the near future. They hope to convince

Disney to improve its offer, saying the proposed wage increases are too small and the increases in health-care

premiums are too high.

Delta pilots vote to accept 32.5% pay cut

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: November 12, 2004

Pilots at

Delta Air Lines overwhelmingly approved a new five-year contract yesterday with $1 billion in annual

concessions sought by the airline, which had threatened to file for bankruptcy if the pilots did not acquiesce.

The deal, which cuts pay by 32.5 percent, would reduce the salary of the highest-paid Delta pilot by more than

$90,000, to about $185,000 a year. It ends an era of luxurious pilot pay in the airline industry, but does not

end Delta's problems.

Flight attendants union wants strike vote

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants

Date: November 16, 2004

The

president of the United States' largest flight attendants union urged authorization of a nationwide strike and

criticized the airline industry for using the bankruptcy process to obliterate collective bargaining rights.

Patricia Friend, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents 46,000 members, said that

efforts at airlines like United and US Airways to use the bankruptcy process to cancel union contracts and

impose deep pay cuts are threatening flight attendants' careers across the nation. She also noted that the

bankruptcy process is being used to terminate pension plans and eliminate health coverage for retirees.

Flight attendants threaten to strike

Source: Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants

Date: November 17, 2004

The nation's largest flight attendants union said Tuesday it would hold

strike-authorization votes at four major airlines, accusing the industry of using the bankruptcy process to cut

workers' pay and other benefits. The strike votes should be tallied by the end of December. After that, union

officials plan to await the outcome of the airlines' bankruptcy proceedings before weighing whether to walk

off the job. The union has 46,000 members employed by 26 airlines, but the four immediately at issue are

United, US Airways, ATA and Hawaiian.

Kaiser to help S.F. hotel workers

Source: Associated Press, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: November 17, 2004

Healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente stepped into San Francisco's bitter hotel labor dispute Tuesday by

agreeing to provide two months of medical coverage to 3,500 locked-out workers who were at risk of losing their

benefits. The Oakland-based health plan's decision allows the workers, whose employer-sponsored health

insurance with Kaiser is due to expire Dec. 1, to stay out on picket lines while their union holds out for its

contract demands. A spokesman for Kaiser said the nonprofit company was not taking sides in the hotel dispute

but merely looking out for the well-being of its clients. In the past, Kaiser has done the same for other union

members engaged in work stoppages, including Southern California grocery store workers last year.

Unions insulted by Bush minimum wage

Source: Elizabeth Fulk, The Hill

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: November 18, 2004

Despite Democratic losses

across the board in the elections, organized labor is refusing to embrace President Bush's offer to raise the

minimum wage by $1.10 an hour. "It's insufficient, and it's too little, too late," said Bill Samuel, director

of legislation for the AFL-CIO. "This is an insult to workers whose wages have fallen so far behind that they

can't even afford the bare necessities." Samuel said his organization would protest any wage increase less

than the one Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) proposed, which would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7 an

hour.

Pizza drivers seek national union

Source: Matt Gouras, Associated Press, FindLaw

Union(s): Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers

Date: November 18, 2004

A fledgling national union for pizza drivers is demanding better wages and training, saying the

large chains have been taking advantage of them for years. It's an effort that has attracted the attention of

the Teamsters union, but the Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers has yet to organize its first shop. A vote

at a Domino's franchise in Lincoln, Neb., failed Tuesday night on a tie. But organizers expect a better result

next week when Pizza Hut drivers vote at a store near Columbus, Ohio. About 600 drivers nationwide have signed

up for the free union, and momentum [is] gathering for more unionization votes.

Unions resume debate over merging and power

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: November 18, 2004

Andrew Stern

has ignited a debate throughout the labor movement by arguing that labor needs a sweeping overhaul, including

the merger of many unions and a vast increase in organizing, to reverse its long decline. Last week, Mr. Stern,

president of the Service Employees International Union, called on the AFL-CIO to adopt a 10-point plan, and the

debate he began could lead to the most far-reaching changes in the labor movement in a half-century. Mr. Stern

complained that unions were doing far too little to help American workers because they were organizing too few

workers and were often undercutting one another in negotiations. He also complained that many unions were too

small to contend with giant companies.

U.S. labor chiefs press El Salvador for killers of Teamsters organizer

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: November 21, 2004

Gilberto Soto, a union organizer in New Jersey, was so upset by the wages and

working conditions of truck drivers in Central America that when he went home to visit his mother in El

Salvador and celebrate his 50th birthday this month, he added a week to his vacation to go to ports to see

about unionizing them. On the eve of his birthday, he stepped outside of his family's longtime home in

Usulutan to talk on his cellphone. "We suddenly heard three shots," recalled his sister Areli, who was inside.

The killing, on Nov. 5, has deeply unsettled American labor leaders, who called for an investigation. They

suspect that Mr. Soto, an organizer for the Teamsters, was gunned down as part of a systematic effort to

suppress union activity in El Salvador.

San Francisco hotel workers to return

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: November 22, 2004

Unionized

workers have reached an agreement with a group representing 14 luxury hotels to end an eight-week lockout,

allowing about 4,000 maids, bellhops, cooks and other hourly employers to return to their jobs on Tuesday. The

workers went on strike at four hotels on Sept. 29 and were locked out at 10 others two days later. They agreed

to end their strike last month, but the hotels said the lockout would continue until agreement was reached on a

new contract. Mayor Gavin Newsom said negative publicity and the union's ability to extend health coverage

while workers remained locked out were major factors in the hotel operators' change of heart.

Pennsylvania turnpike workers go on strike

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: November 24, 2004

Toll collectors on the Pennsylvania Turnpike went on strike Wednesday, just as Americans were hitting the road

for Thanksgiving. The strike was announced by union leaders. Anticipating a walkout, the Pennsylvania Turnpike

Commission decided to waive tolls on Wednesday and have nonunion employees staff tollbooths Thursday, charging

a flat fee instead of regular tolls. Negotiations have been rocky between turnpike officials and unions

representing toll collectors, maintenance workers and office employees.

UPS dismisses pilots' threat to halt flights

Source: Andrew Ward, Financial Times

Union(s): Independent Pilots Association

Date: November 24, 2004

Pilots

of United Parcel Service yesterday threatened to stop work in sympathy with striking workers in Canada--a move

that could cripple the package delivery company during the peak Christmas season. UPS dismissed the pilots'

threat as scaremongering and said it was confident the strike would not spread beyond Canada. Nearly 4,000 UPS

workers have been on strike there since Monday over a pay dispute. The Independent Pilots Association, which

represents 2,500 UPS crew members, has ordered members to halt flights to and from Canada in support of the

stoppage and threatened more widespread action if the company attempts to break the strike.

United's pilots are offered 2 ways to cut their wages

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: November 24, 2004

United Airlines is giving its pilots' union two options. They can accept 18 percent wage cuts or they can

agree to smaller cuts but also accept significant changes in work rules. With either option, the airline, which

has been in bankruptcy for almost two years, told its pilots that it wants to be able to impose additional wage

cuts after it leaves Chapter 11, if it needs to do so. The demands are part of United's bid for another round

of $725 million in wage and benefit cuts from its unions. Labor specialists said they could not remember

another instance where a company tried to reserve the right to seek more cuts even if it completed an

overhaul.

Stagehands reach deal on contract

Source: Jesse McKinley, New York Times

Union(s): International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees

Date: November 24, 2004

After an

all-night negotiating session, Broadway's stagehands and producers reached an agreement early yesterday on a

new three-year contract. The deal is the latest between producers and the theater industry's three major

unions, effectively assuring labor peace on Broadway at least through the spring of 2007. The contract includes

annual 3 percent pay increases, as well as increases in benefit contributions, said Alan Cohen, a spokesman for

the League of American Theaters and Producers.

Labor issues, changes simmer

Source: Stephen Franklin, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: November 29, 2004

Come July, organized labor will gather in Chicago for a meeting that is quickly shaping up to be

both monumental and stormy. The convention spotlights the re-election bid of AFL-CIO President John Sweeney,

70, who is likely to face a challenge for his job heading the umbrella labor organization. Also at issue will

be a controversial drive to restructure the way unions get their work done. Sweeney recently signaled union

leaders his expectations about what might come up at the meeting organized labor holds every four years. In a

letter to labor leaders, Sweeney said "we are still not the movement we need to be" and called for a massive

discussion from the bottom up about "extremely hard decisions" on organized labor's future.

Transit union campaigns against computer-run trains

Source: Sewell Chan, New York Times

Union(s): Transport Workers Union of America

Date: December 2, 2004

New York City's transit union began a campaign yesterday to mobilize riders against a plan to replace train

conductors with a computer-controlled subway system. Members of the union, Local 100 of the Transport Workers

Union of America, handed out leaflets at stations along the L train route in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where New

York City Transit officials hope to begin introducing the fully automated trains by the middle of 2005.

Union sends strike ballots to 21,000 United attendants

Source: Associated Press, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants

Date: December 3, 2004

The nation's largest flight attendants union on Thursday mailed strike authorization

ballots to 21,000 United Airlines flight attendants, seeking their approval for nationwide walkouts if United

or US Airways breaks its labor contracts in bankruptcy. The board of the Association of Flight Attendants

authorized a strike last month if collective bargaining contracts are abrogated by either carrier. Both have

put the process in place while negotiating new terms as part of continuing restructurings in bankruptcy.

Union may try to avoid strike against hotels

Source: Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: December 6, 2004

Hotel workers in Los Angeles and two other cities intent on a key contract goal are taking an unusual approach

to reach it: not going on strike. Unite Here locals in L.A., San Francisco and Washington want two-year

contracts that would expire at the same time as those in several other cities around the country, giving the

union nationwide bargaining clout against giant hotel chains. Instead of striking if they don't get two-year

deals, union members may simply work without contracts until 2006--getting what they want, they hope, by

default.

Between union leader and his protege, debate over direction of labor

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: December 5, 2004

Twenty years ago, John J. Sweeney, then the president of the Service Employees International Union,

was so impressed by the drive and intelligence of a little-known union official from Pennsylvania that he asked

him to move to Washington and become his organizing director. The official was Andrew L. Stern, who, quite

predictably, succeeded Mr. Sweeney as the union's president. But rather unpredictably, he has called into

question the whole structure of the house of labor, which Mr. Sweeney has headed for the past nine years.

Teamsters offer plan to reshape labor future

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)

Date: December 9, 2004

The

Teamsters union heated up the debate over reshaping the labor movement yesterday by proposing to slash the

A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s budget and finance a four-year campaign of political and union organizing in swing states to

help elect a pro-labor president. Worried about the steady decline of organized labor, the Teamsters, one of

the nation's largest unions, recommended withholding half of the $90 million that individual unions give the

labor federation each year and using it to recruit more members.

Unions plan big drive for better pay at nonunion Wal-Mart

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: December 11, 2004

The AFL-CIO and more than a half dozen unions are planning an unusual--and unusually

expensive--campaign intended to pressure Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, to improve its wages and

benefits. The campaign will be highly unusual because it will not, at least at first, focus on unionizing

Wal-Mart workers, but will instead focus on telling Americans that Wal-Mart--with wages averaging between $9

and $10 an hour--is pulling down wages and benefits at companies across the nation. The unions are talking of

spending $25 million a year on the effort, more than has ever been spent before in a union campaign against a

single company.

Report says N.H.L. will reject proposal

Source: Jason Diamos, New York Times

Union(s): N.H.L. Players Association

Date: December 14, 2004

The

National Hockey League appears poised to reject a proposal made Thursday by the players union. The proposal

included a 24 percent reduction in pay and other concessions but not a hard salary cap. Bill Daly, executive

vice president of the N.H.L., wrote that the union's proposal offered short-term financial relief, but fell

"well short of providing the fundamental systemic changes that are required to ensure that overall league

economics remain in synch on a going-forward basis." The league is certain to ask for a greater measure of what

it calls cost certainty, which many players say is a euphemism for a hard salary cap.

Airline financing proposal is faulted by union leader

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers and the Laborers\' International Union of North America

Date: December 22, 2004

The business plan that United Airlines is using to line up postbankruptcy financing is unworkable, a

labor union leader said yesterday, even though the plan was called "feasible" by an independent financial

consultant. The union leader, Robert Roach Jr., vice president for transportation at the International

Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said the business plan assumed the termination of United's four employee

pension plans, a step he vowed the machinists would not take voluntarily. Further, said Mr. Roach, a $150

million miscalculation by United would offset the assumptions in the plan, the fifth by the airline in two

years.

United Air creditors oppose deal with pilots

Source: Micheline Maynard, Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: January 5, 2005

In a bitter split, United Airlines' creditors, along with some banks and unions, have joined the

federal government in opposing a deal in which United would terminate its pilots' pension plan and offer the

pilots equity in the airline and other sweeteners in exchange. The United situation has riveted the airline

industry, in part because of a decision last week by the federal agency, the Pension Guaranty Benefit

Corporation, to seize the pilots' pension plan, rather than see its unfunded burden increase. It also has

implications for unions at other airlines, which could seek similar cuts if United is successful.

US Airways workers OK new labor contract

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants

Date: January 6, 2005

Flight attendants at bankrupt US Airways approved a new labor contract Wednesday that cuts their pay by nearly

10 percent, leaving only one union that has refused to accept the cost cuts the carrier says are needed to

avoid liquidation. The Association of Flight Attendants, which represents more than 5,000 workers at the

airline, approved the contract with 64 percent of the vote, according to a union spokeswoman. The new contract

cuts pay immediately by 8.4 to 9 percent, with pay raises of 1 percent to 2 percent beginning in 2007 and

extending through 2011. Tougher work rules will also be implemented.

United pilots ratify new cost-cutting pact

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: January 6, 2005

United

Airlines' pilots have overwhelmingly ratified a new cost-cutting contract, giving the carrier an important

victory as it worked to secure agreements from all its unions on the eve of a self-imposed deadline. The

announcement Thursday by the Air Line Pilots Association came as some unions, creditors and banks gathered in

bankruptcy court to oppose the five-year deal, in which pilots agreed to wage cuts and the company's

elimination of traditional pensions but received future financial considerations. The groups have denounced the

contract as an effort to short-circuit the pension deliberation process.

Judge throws out United's new deal with pilots

Source: Associated Press, USA Today

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: January 7, 2005

A

federal bankruptcy judge threw out a disputed new five-year contract between United Airlines and its pilots

Friday, dealing the bankrupt carrier a significant setback in its efforts to lock in lower labor costs without

a court order. The contract, which called for 15% pay cuts, drew opposition from labor groups and others who

complained that it would pave the way for United to eliminate traditional pension plans. Bankruptcy Judge

Eugene Wedoff said several aspects of the proposed agreement would "unduly tilt the bankruptcy process,"

including the requirement that other unions' pension plans also be terminated.

Hotel union threatens to strike before inauguration

Source: Neil Irwin, Washington Post

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: January 7, 2005

Officials of the local hotel union said yesterday that they may call a strike at 14 major D.C. hotels

if they do not reach accord with management on a new contract by Jan. 15. That raises the possibility of a work

stoppage during the presidential inauguration, a period when tens of thousands of visitors flock to town and

hotels are generally the busiest they are during any four-year span. The threat, by Unite Here Local 25, came

at the same time participants reported progress in contract talks.

Judge lets airline toss contract

Source: Keith L. Alexander, Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

Date: January 7, 2005

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge yesterday granted US Airways' request to throw out its

machinists' contract as part of the airline's effort to cut costs and emerge from bankruptcy protection. But

Judge Stephen S. Mitchell delayed enforcement of the ruling at least until Jan. 22, when union members are

scheduled to vote on US Airways' latest contract proposal. If the union rejects the cost-cutting proposal, the

existing contract will be nullified and the airline permitted to replace it with a cheaper one. In siding with

US Airways, Mitchell said the mechanics should consider which would be worse: half of them losing their jobs,

or all of them losing their jobs should the airline be forced to liquidate.

Courts side with United and US Airways on labor contracts

Source: Eric Dash, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

Date: January 7, 2005

In

separate bankruptcy proceedings yesterday, US Airways received approval to cancel contracts with its mechanics

and baggage handlers and United Airlines won pay cuts it had sought for a similar group. The rulings were

victories for both airlines, which are struggling for survival, but defeats for their unions. The rulings

should provide both airlines a little more breathing room and, in the case of US Airways, permit it to stave

off liquidation for now.

A pension plan's broken promise

Source: H.J. Cummins, Star Tribune

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: January 9, 2005

While many workers

assume there's a government guarantee protecting them from a failed pension plan, that guarantee is more akin

to catastrophic health coverage--deliberately limited. Economists worry more than ever about the [Pension

Benefit Guaranty Corp.]'s prospects, with some even predicting a savings-and-loan-style bailout. In just four

years, the PBGC has fallen from a $9.7 billion surplus to a $23 billion shortfall, thanks to the steel-industry

collapse, recession-driven company failures, the aging of America and--some say--Congress' unwillingness to

tighten rules requiring companies to kick in money to the PBGC. The next big concern: underfunded airline

pensions.

Judge rejects United's contract with pilots

Source: Micheline Maynard, Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: January 8, 2005

A federal bankruptcy judge rejected a contract between United Airlines and its pilots' union on

Friday, saying the agreement unfairly forced other unions to join the pilots in letting United terminate their

pension plans. The pilots' contract, which members of the Air Line Pilots Association approved on Thursday,

drew unusual opposition from a federal pension agency, United's creditors committee, some of its banks, its

other unions and its retired pilots. The uncommon action by Judge Eugene R. Wedoff was the latest setback for

United, which filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2002 and has yet to present a reorganization plan.

Steelworkers, PACE merge into union

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America, PACE International Union

Date: January 11, 2005

The

United Steelworkers of America and PACE International Union announced a merger Tuesday that will create the

nation's largest industrial labor union. The combined force will have more political clout and broader

coverage of workers in the industrial sector, union officials said. While the most recent filings with the U.S.

Department of Labor show the combined union would have about 776,000 members, union officials say those 2003

labor figures are outdated and put the actual figure closer to 850,000. Even using conservative estimates, the

new union would exceed membership of other large industrial unions such as the United Autoworkers of America

and the International Association of Machinists.

Hotels, union negotiators break off talks after 3 hours

Source: Neil Irwin, Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: January 13, 2005

Contract talks between the local hotel union and 14 large D.C. hotels ended abruptly last

night as negotiators for the hotels refused to increase their pay and benefits offer, complicating efforts to

avoid a strike before the presidential inauguration next week. Unite Here Local 25 officials have said they

will take action, possibly including a strike, if there is no new contract by Saturday. The two sides have

reached agreement on some minor issues involving working conditions but reached no accord on the union's

access to workplaces or on future pay and benefits for hotel workers.

Labor Presses Case Against Privatizing Social Security

Source: Ben White, Washington Post

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: January 19, 2005

The AFL-CIO on Tuesday stepped up its opposition to private Social Security accounts, accusing Wall

Street's main trade group, the Securities Industry Association, of campaigning in favor of policy changes that

would put workers' retirement at risk while showering billions of dollars in fees on SIA members. "Support for

privatizing Social Security creates a conflict of interest for the member firms of the SIA like those which led

to the financial industry scandals of recent years," AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney wrote in a letter to SIA

Chairman Daniel J. Ludeman. The labor federation began to take a more aggressive stand on corporate governance

issues after scandals at Enron Corp., WorldCom Inc. and other companies.

D.C. hotel workers ratify 3-year pact, end strike threat

Source: Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: January 19, 2005

Workers from the District's major hotels overwhelmingly approved a new three-year contract, ending a

five-month struggle that threatened a strike during the presidential inauguration. The contract gives 3,500

hotel workers raises over three years and guarantees that they will not pay health insurance premiums. The 14

hotels involved in the negotiations backed off from earlier demands that newly hired employees pay part of

their premiums, which would have created a two-tier health care system strongly opposed by the union. The major

victory for hotels was a three-year contract, rather than the two-year deal sought by the union, which wanted

to bargain for the next hotel contracts in three major cities at the same time.

Actors, studios agree on contract

Source: James Bates, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Screen Actors Guild; American Federation of Television & Radio Artists

Date: January 21, 2005

Actors

and Hollywood's major entertainment companies reached agreement on a three-year contract late Thursday,

averting a production slowdown that could have started as early as this month. Under the $200-million pact,

actors' pay is increased across the board, but they do not gain a bigger share of studio DVD revenue. The

centerpiece of the agreement gained by the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television &

Radio Artists is a 9% raise over three years for 140,000 performers, from film and TV actors to dancers.

Grocers, union in Bay Area reach deal

Source: Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): United Food & Commercial Workers

Date: January 25, 2005

Three major supermarket chains and the union representing 30,000 grocery workers in the Bay Area have reached

a tentative agreement on a new contract that may have been influenced by the crippling supermarket strike in

Central and Southern California a year ago. The contract doesn't include a two-tier wage system. Union members

will vote on the proposed deal over the next three weeks. They may owe their comparatively better deal to the

sacrifices of their Central and Southern California counterparts. "Supermarket workers across the country have

benefited from the Los Angeles experience," said Kent Wong, director of UCLA's Center for Labor Research and

Education.

United union rejects tentative contract

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: January 28, 2005

United

Airlines' mechanics union announced Friday that its members rejected a tentative contract agreement, dealing

the carrier a setback in its efforts to cut labor costs without alienating its workers. Members of the Aircraft

Mechanics Fraternal Association also voted to authorize a strike if United succeeds in its efforts to get a

federal bankruptcy judge to impose its own terms, union spokesman Richard Turk said. United pilots and flight

attendants are conducting similar contract ratification votes, with the results to be announced Monday.

The New Boss

Source: Matt Bai, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: January 30, 2005

The S.E.I.U. is a

different kind of union, rooted in the new service economy. Its members aren't truck drivers or assembly-line

workers but janitors and nurses and home health care aides, roughly a third of whom are black, Asian or Latino.

While the old-line industrial unions have been shrinking every year, [Andrew] Stern's union has been

organizing low-wage workers, many of whom have never belonged to a union, at a torrid pace, to the point where

the S.E.I.U. is now the largest and fastest-growing trade union in North America. Once a movement of rust brown

and steel gray, Big Labor is increasingly represented, at rallies and political conventions, by a rising sea of

purple. All of this makes Andy Stern -- a charismatic 54-year-old former social-service worker -- a very

powerful man in labor, and also in Democratic politics.

First labor union at Wal-Mart?

Source: CNN.com

Union(s): UFCW

Date: January 31, 2005

Employees at a Colorado Wal-Mart

tire and auto maintenance shop have been granted approval to hold a union election that could create the first

ever organized labor group at the country's biggest retailer. Workers at the Loveland, Colo., Wal-Mart Tire

& Lube Express are expected to vote in February on representation by the United Food and Commercial Workers

Union. A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) spokesman said that the automotive service workers were found to

have a "distinct and sufficient interest" in collective bargaining that distinguishes them from other store

employees.

United gains a labor reprieve

Source: Mark Skertic, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: February 1, 2005

United Airlines won labor peace Monday, though it may last only a few months, when two of its

largest unions agreed to millions of dollars in concessions, and a bankruptcy judge imposed a short-term

contract on a third. Judge Eugene Wedoff ordered a temporary 10 percent pay cut for workers in the mechanics

union after United's attorney argued the financially ailing carrier needed the reduction immediately. The

airline's pilots and flight attendants agreed to new contracts that cut pay and changed work rules.

Labor tries organizing in the union-wary South

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: February 6, 2005

The

Service Employees International Union is undertaking one of the largest private-sector organizing drives in the

South in decades, seeking to represent 7,000 condominium workers, mostly immigrants, in the Miami area. [SEIU]

president Andrew Stern is leading a campaign to remake the labor movement, and his aides assert that if unions

are serious about reversing their decline and helping low-wage workers nationwide, they need to expand below

the Mason-Dixon line. Union officials also acknowledge a secondary motive: to try to transform the politics of

the region and the nation by creating conditions in which labor-friendly candidates can be elected here. If the

service employees gain a foothold, they could embolden other unions, many labor experts say. While 12.5 percent

of workers are in unions nationwide, in Florida just 6 percent are.

Wal-Mart to close store in Canada with a union

Source: Ian Austen, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers Canada

Date: February 10, 2005

Wal-Mart Canada said Wednesday that it [will] close a store in Quebec where unionized workers are attempting

to negotiate the first collective agreement in North America with the company. The union [will] appeal the

closing to Quebec's labor relations board. But a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling affirmed the right of

employers to close for any reason. The situation may repeat itself in other cities and towns in Canada. A union

bargaining unit was recently certified at another Wal-Mart store, in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec. The store's

closing might provoke a reaction against Wal-Mart in Quebec, an area where unions enjoy unusual strength.

Pentagon's personnel system faces suit

Source: Christopher Lee, Washington Post

Union(s): American Federation of Government Employees, Association of Civilian Technicians, Laborers' International Union, National Association of Government Employees, National Federation of Federal Employees

Date: February 11, 2005

Five federal-employee unions announced yesterday that they will file a lawsuit next week in U.S. District

Court challenging parts of the Defense Department's new personnel system. The unions contend that Pentagon

officials went against federal law by refusing to adequately consult with employees' representatives in

developing the sections on labor-management issues. They also say that the National Security Personnel System

would gut collective bargaining in violation of federal law. The American Federation of Government Employees,

the Association of Civilian Technicians, the Laborers' International Union, the National Association of

Government Employees, and the National Federation of Federal Employees have about 250,000 members among the

750,000 civilian workers at the Defense Department.

Is labor out in front on health care?

Source: Matt Miller, New York Times

Union(s): Communications Workers of America, Service Employees International Union

Date: February 13, 2005

It's no

secret that surging health costs have become a C.E.O.-level issue. When a company like General Motors looks

more each year like a giant health plan that operates a nice little nonprofit car business on the side, who

wouldn't sound the alarm? But to many business leaders, their union counterparts' view of soaring health

costs remains a mystery. Recent conversations with Morton Bahr of the Communications Workers of America and

Andrew Stern of the Service Employees International Union suggest that at least some union leaders think about

the health system in ways more sophisticated and businesslike than many chief executives do--and that they are

eager to be partners in a national reform dialogue that's overdue.

Labour rules out Wal-Mart boycott

Source: CBC News

Union(s): Quebec Federation of Labour

Date: February 14, 2005

Organized labour in

Quebec has announced a series of moves to fight Wal-Mart's closure of its first unionized store in the

province, but those moves, for now at least, stop short of a boycott. The Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ)

said a boycott could backfire, pointing out that several unionization drives are underway at other Wal-Marts in

Canada. FTQ president Henri Masse said Wal-Mart might accuse his group of working against its own people.

Instead, the labour movement will focus its Wal-Mart strategy on the Quebec government and will fight the

closure through labour tribunals.

AFL-CIO chief to seek 3rd term as labor ponders future

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: February 25, 2005

Amid a deepening sense of crisis in the U.S. labor movement, AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney

said Thursday he would propose comprehensive reforms for the labor federation and seek reelection to a third

term. Elected on a reform slate, Sweeney had promised to make labor bigger, stronger and more vibrant. But

despite notable successes in politics and organizing, union membership continued to decline and now stands at

8% of the private-sector workforce, its lowest level in decades. Few blame Sweeney for the setbacks. But

several labor activists have privately said that new, energized leaders are needed to push reforms. Sweeney's

decision to seek reelection in June--which was expected--makes it more awkward for his rivals, though others

are expected to seek his job anyway.

AFL-CIO leaders to debate major reforms at meeting

Source: Nigel Hunt, Reuters

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: February 24, 2005

The AFL-CIO executive council will attempt

to hammer out a reform program when it meets in Las Vegas next week as the U.S. labor federation seeks to

regain political clout, calm internal dissent and reverse declining membership, President John Sweeney said.

Sweeney said the AFL-CIO would seek to encourage union mergers and provide financial incentives for unions to

organize in workplaces where they are currently not active. The number of U.S. union members has fallen by 1.28

million to 15.47 million since Sweeney took the helm of the AFL-CIO in 1995 and the percentage of union members

had dipped to 12.5 percent of workers from 15.5 percent. Sweeney said the Bush administration was the "most

hostile to working people we've ever seen" and said that the union movement also faced employer resistance to

workers trying to form unions.

Wal-Mart, union vie for tiny shop

Source: T.R. Reid, Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: February 25, 2005

In the 35 months he has worked for one of the world's richest corporations, Joshua Noble has received

several commendations, he says, and three raises. But that still leaves him with an annual wage below $20,000

and a grand total of one week of vacation per year. "It's frustrating, to be at a big company for three years,

and you're still struggling all the time," says the 21-year-old. That frustration has turned Noble into a foot

soldier in what seems likely to be one of the major union-management battlegrounds of the next decade: the

fight to unionize Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart seems likely to face repeated union battles at its 4,800 outlets. The

retailer recently has had to confront unions at its stores in this country and elsewhere.

AFL-CIO leader backs shifting money to member unions' organizing efforts

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: February 25, 2005

With several unions threatening to bolt the AFL-CIO, John J. Sweeney,

the federation's president, said that he would support cutting individual unions' contributions to the

federation to make more money available to organize workers. Mr. Sweeney gave broad support to proposals made

by several labor leaders who assert that labor needs to devote far more money to organizing to stop labor's

longtime slide. As an unusual debate swirls within labor about what changes are needed, Mr. Sweeney said unions

should have their contributions to the AFL-CIO reduced only if they pledged to invest heavily in organizing.

The debate over change and reducing unions' payments to the AFL-CIO could gather steam next week when the

nation's labor leaders hold their winter meeting at Bally's Hotel in Las Vegas.

At a small shop in Colorado, Wal-Mart beats a union once more

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: February 28, 2005

Joshua Noble jolted Wal-Mart last November when he got a majority of employees at the Wal-Mart

tire-and-lube shop where he worked to sign statements saying they wanted to vote on bringing in a labor union.

The unionization drive begun by Mr. Noble created a storm in this onetime ranching town at the foot of the

Rockies and became a closely watched test of labor's efforts to unionize the world's largest retailer. But on

Friday the workers at the Wal-Mart Tire & Lube Express abandoned Mr. Noble, voting 17 to 1 against

unionizing, another setback for organized labor at the very moment when its leaders are mapping a campaign to

pressure the company to improve wages and benefits.

Labor pains: eight simple rules

Source: Jonathan Tasini, TomPaine.com

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: February 28, 2005

Perhaps it's fitting that the AFL-CIO Executive Council, at which the roiling debate over the future of labor

will be played out, is being held in the land of fantasy: Las Vegas. Don't get me wrong: the fact that there

even is a debate--and a sharp one at that--is a great thing. But, count me as one who doubts that the current

debate will lead to the changes needed. These rules will help you understand what is happening in Sin City this

week and how to tell whether anything really will change.

Teachers refuse to give homework

Source: Associated Press, FindLaw

Union(s): Berkeley Federation of Teachers

Date: March 1, 2005

Berkeley [California] students aren't getting written homework assignments because teachers are refusing to

grade work on their own time after two years with no pay raise. So far, a black history event had to be

canceled and parents had to staff a middle-school science fair because teachers are sticking strictly to the

hours they're contracted to work. Teachers say they don't want to stop volunteering their time. "It's hard,"

said high school math teacher Judith Bodenhauser. "I have stacks of papers I haven't graded. Parents want to

talk to me; I don't call them back." The action was organized by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, which

wants a cost-of-living increase next year.

Labor leaders reject rival plan to shift more money to organizing

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: March 3, 2005

In a vote likely to create deeper tensions inside the labor movement, the leaders of the AFL-CIO

rejected a proposal to cut in half individual unions' contributions to the federation to free up more money

for organizing. The proposal put forward by five large unions came during the federation's winter meeting,

which was taking place under a threat by the AFL-CIO's largest union, the Service Employees International

Union, to leave the organization. The five unions argued that a 50 percent cut in contributions was important

to get unions to invest more in organizing, to shake up the AFL-CIO's bureaucracy and to demonstrate a

commitment to far-reaching change.

Labor leaders debate 'dramatic changes' for AFL-CIO

Source: Bryant Stamford, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: March 3, 2005

There's little doubt, say leaders of the nation's unions meeting [in Las Vegas], that

organized labor badly needs a fix for its woes. But divisions in their ranks mean that major questions about

the future of the AFL-CIO will probably not be resolved until the group's three-day convention in Chicago in

July, union officials said Tuesday. In a gathering that AFL-CIO President John Sweeney described as "one of the

most important" in labor's history, the AFL-CIO's Executive Council meeting is largely focused on ways to

re-energize the 50-year-old organization.

AFL-CIO's Sweeney defeats challenge from dissidents

Source: Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: March 3, 2005

AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney turned back a strong challenge to his control from

dissident unions and then won a major increase in spending on labor political activities during a federation

meeting Wednesday. Sweeney's forces defeated an effort to shift $35 million of union funds into union

organizing. The dissident unions had challenged federation policies under Sweeney and discussed the possibility

of running a candidate against Sweeney. Sweeney also won approval of a proposal to nearly double spending on

political and legislative activity to $90 million every two years. On the organizing front, labor continues to

collapse. The percentage of workers who are in unions has fallen from 15.8 percent in 1994 to 12.5 percent last

year, while private sector unionization rates have fallen from 10.8 percent to 7.9 percent in the same

period.

Wal-Mart workers sign union cards

Source: Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 3, 2005

Five years after the first unionized Wal-Mart store in Canada was decertified without

winning a contract, union organizers say they've signed enough workers at the same store to hold a new vote.

The United Food and Commercial Workers is asking provincial labor officials to hold a vote next week at a store

in Windsor, Ont. The union said Wednesday that more than 40 percent of workers at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s east

Windsor location have signed union cards--the minimum required to hold a certification vote. Wal-Mart, the

world's largest retailer with more than 4,000 stores worldwide, has been facing increasing pressure to accept

unionized stores, but has so far resisted. The only two unionized Wal-Mart stores in North America are in

Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., and Jonquiere, Que.

2 unions feud over Illinois workers

Source: Stephen Franklin, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Service Employees International Union

Date: March 4, 2005

An angry spat erupted Thursday between two of the nation's largest unions over who should represent

49,000 child-care workers in Illinois. The feud pits the Service Employees International Union against the

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees over the workers, whom Gov. Rod Blagojevich

recently said could bargain with the state though a union. The workers are not state employees, but they care

for about 200,000 children from low- and moderate-income families in Illinois through state grants. Such

workers are coveted as unions hunt for new members; the two unions also have bumped heads in other states.

Furious over what he described as an effort by AFSCME to undercut his union's long-term organizing effort

among Illinois' child-care workers, SEIU President Andy Stern asked AFL-CIO President John Sweeney to

intervene.

Bush-named NLRB majority further weakens workers rights

Source: Mark Gruenberg, International Labor Communications Association

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: March 4, 2005

The Bush-named GOP majority on the

National Labor Relations board has produced a clear trend over the last four years to further reduce already

weak labor law protections for U.S. workers, the AFL-CIO's top lawyer says. And the worst may be yet to come.

In a press conference on March 1 during the AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting in Las Vegas, federation General

Counsel Jon Hiatt pointed to "0 to 45" rulings by the 3-member NLRB majority that cumulatively weaken worker

protections. But real bad damage would come if that same majority abolishes--in fact if not in name--the

ability of unions to represent workers through "card check," otherwise known as voluntary recognnition

agreements (VRAs).

Wal-Mart workers reject union in Canada

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: March 9, 2005

Workers at a Wal-Mart store in Windsor have voted against being unionized by the United Food and Commercial

Workers Union. Wal-Mart said store associates in the union's proposed bargaining unit voted 167 to 59 on

Tuesday against joining the union, representing a 74 percent vote against certification. The UFCW said it has

asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to consider a second certification vote at the Windsor Wal-Mart store

because of "charges Wal-Mart conducted a campaign of intimidation leading up to a certification vote held at

the store on Tuesday." The organizing campaign was the second attempt at the Windsor store. Employees at the

store voted in the 1990s against joining the United Steelworkers of America. But the Ontario labor board ruled

in 1997 that the company engaged in a pattern of misconduct, and automatically certified the employees.

U.S. moves to take over a United Air pension plan

Source: Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: March 12, 2005

The

government moved to take over the pension fund for the ground employees and mechanics of United Airlines,

saying that the fund was almost $3 billion short of the amount needed and growing weaker with every month that

United kept control of it. It was the second time in three months that the government has sought to take

control of a United pension plan. In both cases, the government said it had to act to keep United from

improperly exploiting the federal pension insurance program, which is itself in trouble. The Pension Benefit

Guaranty Corporation, which insures pensions, said United had already acknowledged that [the] plan was doomed,

but was delaying shutting it down to get more insurance coverage. If the government does take over [the] plan,

some of its 36,000 participants will lose [some] of their benefits.

British Labor Party? Embassy staff in U.S. see lack of solidarity

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers

Date: March 17, 2005

Workers at the British Embassy in Washington and at British consulates

throughout the United States are seeking to join an American labor union, but Britain's government has

resisted recognizing the union. In January, shortly after the British Embassy announced cutbacks in sick leave

and some other benefits, a majority of the 630 nondiplomatic employees at the embassy, consulates and United

Nations mission signed statements saying they favored joining the International Federation of Professional and

Technical Engineers, based in Silver Spring, Md. Embassy officials asserted that American law did not require

them to recognize the union, so the employees asked Britain's main labor federation, the Trade Union Congress,

to lobby Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

Big Three workers give an inch on health care

Source: Danny Hakim, Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: March 22, 2005

With the decline of the domestic auto industry accelerating, the United Auto Workers union has agreed to a

baby-step rollback of its vaunted health care coverage. Under the coverage, workers at GM, Ford and Chrysler

pay no deductibles or monthly premiums. But the union agreed to let Chrysler start imposing deductibles for

workers or retirees who use preferred provider organizations. While Chrysler will reap only modest savings from

the step, and while auto workers still have coverage that is the envy of many white-collar workers, the move is

deeply symbolic and a sign of the union's acknowledgment of the competitive pressures from foreign-based

competitors. Considering that Chrysler is the healthiest of the Big Three at the moment, and that similar

provisions are in all of the Big Three contracts, such arrangements are expected to follow for GM and Ford.

Workers vote to end strike at walnut plant

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: March 23, 2005

Workers at the world's largest walnut processing plant voted Tuesday night to end their more than

13-year-long strike. Members of Teamsters Local 601 ratified the new five-year contract 180-61, clearing the

way for striking workers to return to work Monday at Diamond of California. Most of the 600 strikers who walked

out Sept. 4, 1991, have since found jobs elsewhere and aren't expected to return. Workers took a 30 percent

pay cut in 1985 during tough times, and say they expected to be repaid as the cooperative's finances improved.

The union's leadership ordered the walkout when Diamond offered a dime-an-hour raise and a bonus package in

1991.

Unions team up to take on Wal-Mart

Source: Anne Howland, Ottawa Sun

Union(s): National Union of Public and General Employees, United Food and Commercial Workers Canada

Date: March 23, 2005

Two of Canada's largest unions are taking direct aim at Wal-Mart as they prepare to release a study tomorrow

on the "abuse" of the right to freedom of association. Freedom of association includes the right to join a

union, bargain collectively and withhold services by going on strike. The study, by [the National Union of

Public and General Employees] and [the United Food and Commercial Workers] Canada, cites 170 pieces of

legislation that have undermined freedom of association rights since 1982. Because Canadian governments have

neglected to uphold the basic right, the labour leaders said in a release, "employers in Canada have developed

a culture of impunity and routinely engage in the wholesale denial of workers rights." The two unions have

signed a "formal organizing protocol" to support organizing Wal-Mart workers in Canada.

3 Continental unions agree to take pay and benefit cuts

Source: Bloomberg News, New York Times

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Transport Workers Union

Date: March 31, 2005

Pilots, dispatchers and mechanics at Continental Airlines voted to accept pay and benefit cuts, contributing

to a company goal to reduce annual costs by $500 million. The new contracts hinge on flight attendants'

agreeing to the concessions. Continental said earlier this month that it could be forced to cut jobs, cancel

plane orders and seek more concessions from workers if the contracts were not approved. Continental promised

workers that it would not cut jobs under the new contracts, which run through 2008. The airline also agreed to

provide profit sharing and 10 million stock options to employees.

Union for child-care workers

Source: Barbara Rose, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: April 8, 2005

Thousands of Illinois child-care providers have voted to join a union, ending a nearly decade-long

organizing campaign. They handed a significant victory to the Service Employees International Union, an

organization with growing political clout. The election results, announced Thursday by SEIU's Local 880,

extend collective bargaining rights to nearly 50,000 mostly female workers who offer government-subsidized

child care in their homes. The workers, many of whom earn as little as $9.48 per child per day, care for about

200,000 children from low- and moderate-income families under a state-run program funded by state and federal

grants.

Union seeks Wal-Mart files about payments

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: April 9, 2005

The United

Food and Commercial Workers Union called on Wal-Mart Stores to release all documents connected with accusations

that its former vice chairman, Tom Coughlin, had obtained improper expense account reimbursements to finance

secret anti-union activities. The union voiced dismay over a report in The Wall Street Journal that

cited several Wal-Mart employees who said that Mr. Coughlin diverted thousands of dollars in expense account

reimbursements as part of a plan to make secret payment to union staff members so they would tell Wal-Mart

officials the names of pro-union employees at stores.

Union files labor complaint against Wal-Mart

Source: Reuters, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: April 13, 2005

The

largest U.S. grocery union has filed a complaint against Wal-Mart, asking the National Labor Relations Board to

investigate whether the retailer "bribed" employees to block union activities. The United Food and Commercial

Workers' complaint comes after The Wall Street Journal reported last week that former Wal-Mart Vice

Chairman Tom Coughlin may have used undocumented expense payments to fund anti-union activities, including

paying union staffers to tell him of pro-union workers in stores. The union wants the NLRB to subpoena any

documents from Wal-Mart that might substantiate those charges. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the union was filing

wild charges in hopes that they would get attention.

1-day strike hits UC facilities

Source: Stuart Silverstein, Natasha Lee, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Date: April 15, 2005

Cooks, janitors, groundskeepers and other service workers staged a one-day

strike Thursday at University of California campuses and hospitals, protesting their job conditions and stalled

union contract negotiations. Union activists with Local 3299 of the American Federation of State, County and

Municipal Employees, which represents 7,300 UC service workers, called rallies and protests at 12 university

sites throughout the state. UC officials said the strike was "presumptively illegal" because negotiations with

the union have not reached a dead end. Union officials disagreed, saying that employees have worked without a

contract since Jan. 31 and have not received a raise in two years.

Union won't reopen GM labor pact

Source: Chicago Tribune

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: April 15, 2005

United

Auto Workers officials indicated Thursday that they would be unwilling to reopen the union's 2-year-old labor

contract with General Motors to negotiate lower health-care costs. Already battered shares of the world's

largest automaker tumbled to lows not seen in more than a decade. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said after an

annual meeting between GM and the union that the automaker has not asked the union to reopen the contract. He

said the UAW believes it can work with GM to lower costs within the current contract. Gettelfinger repeated his

call for a national health-care system, which he said would be the best thing for employers as well as the

millions of Americans without medical coverage.

Union cries foul in Wal-Mart sign fight

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: April 19, 2005

The image

planned for the anti-Wal-Mart billboard was unusual--a fire-breathing Godzilla standing next to the

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge--and the language was strong: "The Wal-Monster will destroy Staten Island businesses

and devastate our quality of life." But New Yorkers may never see the billboard, which was supposed to go up on

the island, because Clear Channel, the giant radio network that also runs an outdoor advertising company, has

rejected it, saying its image and language are too inflammatory. Officials of the labor union that was planning

the message to help fight a Wal-Mart proposed for Staten Island accused Clear Channel of improper censorship.

Laundry workers prepare to strike

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: May 3, 2005

Workers who clean the linens of half the hospitals in Southern California are planning to

strike Thursday, part of a national campaign against laundry contractor Angelica Corp. that could disrupt

services to healthcare facilities across the country. Union leaders said Monday a majority of workers are set

to walk off the job at 15 Angelica plants. They also said union truck drivers and healthcare workers will

cooperate by refusing to handle linens delivered by striker replacements. The union backing the planned strike,

Unite Here, wants Angelica to agree to health and safety improvements, a slower work pace and family healthcare

benefits.

US warns AFL-CIO on protests about Social Security

Source: Edmund L. Andrews, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: May 5, 2005

The Bush

administration has warned the nation's biggest labor federation that union-run pension funds may be breaking

the law in opposing President Bush's Social Security proposals. In a letter to the AFL-CIO, the Department of

Labor said it was "very concerned" that pension plans might be spending workers' money to "advocate a

particular result in the current Social Security debate." The Labor Department also warned the federation that

pension plans could be violating their fiduciary responsibilities by suggesting that they might take their

investment business away from Wall Street firms that support Mr. Bush's plans.

Unions war over tribal casinos in California

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Communications Workers of America; Unite Here

Date: May 4, 2005

The main

union of hotel and restaurant workers has sued another union, accusing it of violating a promise by pressing a

rival campaign to organize workers at tribal casinos in California. The hotel workers' union, Unite Here,

points out that it was granted exclusive jurisdiction by the AFL-CIO in 2001 to organize employees in

California's fast-growing casino industry. But the other union, the Communications Workers of America, defends

the legitimacy of its campaign, noting that it already represents employees at two casinos as a result of

contracts that were signed before the labor federation conferred that jurisdiction.

United maps novel legal strategy in labor fight

Source: Mark Skertic, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: May 6, 2005

United Airlines could be flying into uncharted legal territory next week when it asks a bankruptcy

judge to throw out the contracts of more than 41,000 flight attendants, mechanics and machinists. The airline

will use federal bankruptcy laws when asking the court to void the contracts of three unions. If successful,

the carrier has vowed to invoke another law, the Railway Labor Act, to force workers to stay on the job. In

short, United hopes to use the power of the courts to compel workers to accept new pay and benefit terms the

company would dictate.

AFL-CIO lays off 105, but discord grows louder

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: May 8, 2005

Already

facing upheaval and dissent from several union presidents, the AFL-CIO saw its problems escalate last week when

the federation laid off about a fourth of its staff and the chairman of its public relations committee resigned

in a fit of pique. Not only that, but four of the nation's largest unions demanded that the AFL-CIO remove

their members' names from its master political list of 13 million workers because of a feud over sharing

information. The AFL-CIO, a federation of 57 unions, has been in tumult for more than six months, ever since

the federation's largest union, the Service Employees International Union, threatened to quit, complaining

that the organization was doing far too little to reverse labor's decline.

CBC stands by Wal-Mart

Source: Hans Nichols, The Hill

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: May 10, 2005

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has flatly rejected a major labor union's call to cut ties to Wal-Mart

lobbyists and executives who have been canvassing the Capitol in search of new friends and allies. Black

lawmakers say they will continue to listen to Wal-Mart--as they would any other group interested in building a

relationship--and will not be bullied by what they regard as the Service Employees International Union's

(SEIU) inappropriate attempt to "put the CBC in its place" with instructions to shun the world's largest

employer. This SEIU-CBC dispute comes at a time when Wal-Mart is significantly boosting its political

contributions to Democrats.

AFL-CIO is urged to oust its leader

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: May 17, 2005

The

president of the largest union in the AFL-CIO yesterday called on other labor leaders to help him oust John

Sweeney, the federation's president, and warned that his union would quit the federation if Mr. Sweeney was

re-elected. Asserting that sweeping change was needed to revive the labor movement, Andrew Stern, president of

the Service Employees International Union, said Mr. Sweeney was not the person to bring about bold change. Mr.

Stern joined the leaders of four other major unions--the Teamsters, the laborers, the food and commercial

workers, and Unite Here--in endorsing a platform that calls for overhauling the AFL-CIO. Yesterday's

developments show that the challenge to Mr. Sweeney has reached new heights.

Hotels break ranks on union contract

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: May 20, 2005

A coalition of prominent Los Angeles hotels has suffered a double blow in its yearlong power struggle with the

hotel workers' union, as two of nine original members publicly broke ranks on the crucial issue of the

contract expiration date. The Unite Here union is demanding that the contract end in 2006 as part of a campaign

to line up expiration dates across the country. That could allow the union to call a national strike as it goes

up against national chains, leaders said. The expiration date has been the key point of contention between the

two sides, with the Los Angeles Hotel Employer's Council pushing for a longer deal.

Putting on the brakes

Source: Michael Barbaro, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: May 23, 2005

Behind [a] hodgepodge of figures is a very specific goal: Keeping out Wal-Mart. As the

discount giant shifts its focus from the Washington region's fast-growing fringes to its dense urban center,

it has become locked in a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle with the local unionized grocery industry, which is

scrambling to erect legislative barriers to the chain's growth. The fight is taking on national significance.

Wal-Mart, which has conquered rural America with more than 3,000 stores, desperately needs to break into the

urban market to maintain its phenomenal growth. So far, it has been rebuffed in Chicago, New York and Los

Angeles, and the retailer views Washington as an important frontier for expansion.

Chrysler and union face crucial talks in Canada

Source: Danny Hakim, New York Times

Union(s): Canadian Auto Workers

Date: May 27, 2005

The

stakes are high for Chrysler in summer contract talks with the Canadian Auto Workers union. Executives of

Chrysler contend that their Canadian workers are fast becoming uncompetitive in the global economy. While

Canada's nationalized health care helps Chrysler undercut labor costs at its plants in the United States,

Canadian workers have in the last three years become more expensive than workers at nonunionized plants in the

United States run by Toyota, Honda and other Asian automakers. Chrysler executives say a series of generous

contracts granted to Canadian workers have offset the roughly $4-an-hour advantage over the United States

resulting from Canada's health care system.

Ruling expected in United Airlines labor contract case

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: May 31, 2005

A federal bankruptcy court judge is expected to rule today on a request by United Airlines to

terminate the contract covering its 20,000 baggage handlers and ground workers, a move their union maintains

would lead to an immediate strike. Negotiators for United and the International Association of Machinists and

Aerospace Workers met Monday night to discuss United's request for $176 million in wage and benefit cuts in a

bid to reach an agreement before a court hearing. United is seeking cuts as part of $700 million in annual

employee cutbacks in its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy protection. Workers granted United an initial round

of $1.5 billion in annual cuts shortly after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2002.

A summer of discontent for labor focuses on its leader's fitness for his job

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: May 31, 2005

After nearly half a century in the union movement and after a decade leading the nation's

main labor federation, John Sweeney is facing his toughest time ever. The percentage of American workers

belonging to unions continues to fall, President Bush is seeking to weaken collective bargaining rights for

700,000 federal workers, and many unionized companies are cutting back once-unassailable benefits, like health

insurance and pensions. But for Mr. Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, the biggest battle may be a nasty

internal struggle--the federation's largest union, the Service Employees International Union, is threatening

to secede if, as many expect, Mr. Sweeney wins a new four-year term this summer.

Logging on with a new campaign

Source: Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: May 31, 2005

After years of failed attempts to help Wal-Mart workers organize a union, leaders of the

United Food and Commercial Workers are trying an Internet-oriented approach developed in recent failed

presidential campaigns. When Joseph T. Hansen became president last year, he decided to switch from approaching

employees inside the stores to putting on a wider campaign designed to win over the company's customers and

general public. His hope is that public reaction and negative publicity will force the company's executives to

change some practices. The effort [is called] Wake-Up Wal-Mart, and it tries to use tools developed in

political campaigns.

Unions struggle as communications industry shifts

Source: Matt Richtel, New York Times

Union(s): Communication Workers of America

Date: June 1, 2005

Even as unions

struggle nationwide, with just 12.5 percent of the total work force unionized in 2004 compared with 22 percent

in 1980, they face a particularly bleak future in the telecommunications industry. The industry was once a

labor stronghold after the Bell monopolies became unionized in the late 1930's. But mergers, deregulation and

technological change have reduced the number of jobs at the traditional phone companies while creating hundreds

of thousands of jobs in cable and wireless companies, which are largely union-free. To slow the rapid decline,

unions are fighting to organize workers at cable and wireless companies. They have had little success, outside

a big victory in 2000 when they organized workers at Cingular Wireless.

Agreements reached with United, averting a strike

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: June 1, 2005

United

Airlines dodged the possibility of walkouts by two unions yesterday, in a reflection of the reality of

bargaining with a company under bankruptcy protection. Members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

approved a contract that would reduce their pay by 3.9 percent, as part of $96 million in annual cuts. United

reached [an] agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers after a burst of

last-minute bargaining that began Monday. In a statement, the union said that the agreement covered a variety

of terms and included a new pension plan. It did not offer specifics.

Teamsters unit rejects Coke accord

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: June 3, 2005

Four

locals of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing about 1,650 workers, have been jointly

negotiating with [Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.] for several months. They launched a coordinated strike May 23,

mainly over healthcare benefits. A settlement reached early Wednesday was expected to end the strike. Union

negotiators unanimously recommended ratification, and members of three locals did just that. But the bottlers,

in Local 896, voted to reject it. If members of Local 896 resume picket lines today, as they said they would,

members of the other three locals will honor them and not return to work.

Hyatt workers go on strike

Source: Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: June 10, 2005

Employees at the Hyatt West Hollywood, a legendary rock 'n' roll hotel on the Sunset Strip, went on strike

Thursday as contract negotiations between workers and owners at seven prominent Los Angeles hotels faltered.

Most of the 120 union members at the Hyatt hotel and restaurant, including bellhops, front desk clerks,

housekeepers and telephone operators, are honoring the picket line, said Tom Walsh, secretary-treasurer of

Unite Here Local 11. He expects the strike to last two weeks. Hotel owners voted Thursday to lock out union

employees at the six other hotels at an unspecified date in response to the strike. Those hotels may also be

subject to strikes, Walsh said.

Union, hotels avert strike, lockout

Source: John O'Dell, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: June 12, 2005

In a deal brokered by Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa, hotel operators and union leaders tentatively agreed

on a new contract Saturday, narrowly averting a lockout of union workers at seven major Los Angeles hotels. The

agreement to end a 14-month dispute between Unite Here Local 11 and the Los Angeles Hotel Employer's Council

was signed five minutes before 2,500 union workers were to be locked out of their jobs in retaliation for a

strike called Thursday against one of the council's hotels. Villaraigosa, in his first major effort at

managing the city he will head beginning July 1, was credited by both sides for bringing the long-standing

dispute to a close.

G.M. board wants cut in benefits

Source: Danny Hakim, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: June 15, 2005

The board of

General Motors has given the United Automobile Workers until the end of the month to agree to cuts in its

members' health care benefits. Many local union leaders have said they were willing to make concessions, but

not to the extent that G.M. was seeking. If the union and the company cannot agree by the end of the month,

G.M. is threatening to make the cuts on its own. Such a step could lead to a breakdown in G.M.'s relations

with the union and possible strikes. Shares of G.M. rose 4 percent on Tuesday after a report on the deadline

appeared in The Detroit News. G.M. covers 1.1 million Americans, including workers, retirees and family

members, making it the nation's largest private provider of medical benefits.

Fraying house of labor

Source: Harold Meyerson, Washington Post

Union(s): AFL-CIO; Change to Win Coalition

Date: June 15, 2005

The dissident unions of the AFL-CIO are meeting today to announce that they are building a

halfway house. The Change to Win Coalition will begin life neither entirely within nor without the AFL-CIO. The

founders have each made noises about decamping from the federation unless more money is devoted to organizing

and incumbent President John Sweeney is replaced. But Sweeney and his allies command a clear majority of the

federation's unions, and they insist that all the dissidents except SEIU are bluffing. In a sense, the leaders

of American labor are engaging one another in a massive game of chicken. But such games can take on a life of

their own, with all manner of unforeseen consequences.

Five top unions join forces, raising threat of labor rift

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO; Change to Win Coalition

Date: June 16, 2005

The likelihood of a schism in organized labor increased yesterday when five major unions formed a

growth-oriented coalition and the presidents of four of the unions hinted strongly that they might quit the

A.F.L.-C.I.O. The presidents of the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and Unite Here yesterday

joined an earlier threat by the Service Employees International Union to end their affiliations because they

are so unhappy with the labor federation. The four unions represent nearly one-third of the members of the

A.F.L.-C.I.O., a federation of 57 unions and 13 million workers, and if they quit it would greatly weaken the

federation, hurt its budget and cause fighting within labor.

No pact changes with G.M. yet, union chief says

Source: Danny Hakim, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: June 16, 2005

Setting up a

potential conflict with General Motors, the president of the United Automobile Workers union said Wednesday

that he would not agree to change G.M.'s labor contract before it expires in 2007 or to roll back health

benefits for G.M. hourly workers to match the lesser benefits of the company's salaried employees. In an

extended interview the union's leader, Ron Gettelfinger, said that while he was willing to make concessions to

help General Motors within the terms of their existing contract, the two sides were not yet close to reaching

an agreement. G.M., he said, had not presented him with enough information to convince him of the severity of

the financial situation.

N.Y.U. moves to disband graduate students union

Source: Karen W. Arenson, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: June 17, 2005

New York

University is moving to close down its graduate students union, the labor movement's only toehold among

graduate students at private universities. Union officials quickly attacked N.Y.U. 's plan and vowed to fight

the university in any way they could. N.Y.U. became the only private university with unionized graduate

students five years ago, when the National Labor Relations Board reversed its longstanding position that

graduate student workers were essentially students, not employees. Last year, in a case involving Brown

University, the board, whose composition had changed since the N.Y.U. decision, reversed the position it took

four years earlier, giving N.Y.U. an opportunity to back away from collective bargaining.

UAW raises possibility of strike over GM health care

Source: Sharon Silke Carty, USA Today

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: June 15, 2005

As talks heat up between General Motors and the United Auto Workers over possible health care concessions,

local union leaders are buzzing about the possibility of a strike if workers are forced into a plan they don't

like. Two issues in particular are riling union members: retiree benefits and GM's attempt at a deadline. GM

has asked the union to agree to trim retiree health care benefits, and to do so by June 30. The union balked at

the deadline but said it is trying to find ways to help GM cut its health benefit costs without reopening the

contract. GM says that health care costs add nearly $1,500 to the cost of every car it builds. The company

provides health care for 1.1 million retirees, active workers and their families.

Coalition's strategy builds on union efforts in state

Source: Nancy Cleeland, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Change to Win Coalition

Date: June 20, 2005

A group of dissident union leaders last week vowed to reinvigorate the slumping U.S. labor

movement by launching a series of big, strategic organizing campaigns. Elements of what they have in mind have

already been road-tested in California, a hot spot for union activism for more than a decade. And they seem to

be working. The individual unions' innovative campaigns, aimed at some of the state's lowest-paid workers,

have brought tens of thousands of new members under the union umbrella in the last decade and raised pay and

benefits for most, even as wages have stagnated nationally and organized labor's overall share of the

workforce has declined.

Reality show writers seek representation

Source: Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Writers Guild of America, West

Date: June 21, 2005

The guild representing Hollywood writers disclosed Monday that more than 75% of the scribes on TV reality

shows have signed cards asking to be represented by the union. Organizing writers on reality TV shows brings to

light what has been one of the proliferating genre's open secrets: that so-called unscripted shows often are

scripted after all. Because writers are deeply involved in the dozens of reality shows, union leaders argue,

they should get similar pay and benefits as writers on conventional programs. The guild, which began organizing

the writers a year ago, said it went public with its campaign after major production companies ignored its

demand for recognition.

Union Plans to File Suit for Reality TV Workers

Source: Sharon Waxman, New York Times

Union(s): Writers Guild of America, West

Date: June 29, 2005

While the

reality genre has matured, creating shows that commonly compete in the ratings with scripted entertainment,

conditions for those who work on the shows have worsened, not improved, those workers say. Although the most

popular reality shows compete with scripted entertainment, the genre remains a seat-of-the-pants culture, with

some shows taking only weeks, rather than months, to be bought, produced and appear on the air. This has made

for intense competition among reality-show producers. Budgets and shooting schedules are being squeezed by the

networks, producers say. And the burden, say those who work on the shows, is falling on them. "It's the

Wal-Mart model," Mr. Sharp said. "The networks offer a low amount of money, and if one production company

can't do it, they'll go to another production company. And it's all coming down on us."

Never-ending United pension saga continutes; flight attendants may strike

Source: Times Wireless Services, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Assn. of Flight Attendants

Date: July 1, 2005

The U.S. government Thursday took over United Airlines'

pension plans covering flight attendants and other workers, prompting the union representing the flight

attendants to threaten a job action -- one that could happen as soon as today. The action by the Pension

Benefit Guaranty Corp. moves the bankrupt No. 2 U.S. airline closer to securing the labor savings it needs to

exit Chapter 11 protection. But the Assn. of Flight Attendants said the decision to shift the pension plan to

the pension agency altered the union contract without workers' consent and thus gave the union the right to

strike immediately.

Local 880: labor's new up-and-comer

Source: Barbara Rose, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: July 5, 2005

There was a time not so long ago when old-line industrial unions derided the SEIU--they called it

"SEI-Who?"--for organizing low-income workers who get little recognition and even less respect. Now the 1.8

million-member union, the country's fastest growing, is a powerful force within a deeply divided labor

movement. SEIU is part of a coalition pressing for new AFL-CIO leadership and a stronger commitment to

organizing. Nowhere are the fruits of that commitment more evident than at Local 880, whose innovative drives

are examples of what labor is doing right in the struggle to halt its long, slow decline in membership.

U.S. suit, claiming mob control, seeks takeover of dock union

Source: William K. Rashbaum, New York Times

Union(s): International Longshoremen's Association

Date: July 7, 2005

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn filed a civil racketeering suit against the International

Longshoremen's Association yesterday in an effort to take over the union, which they said has been controlled

by two New York mob families for roughly 50 years. The lawsuit [is] based on recent criminal prosecutions and

decades of evidence of corruption and mob influence in the union and waterfront businesses. The lawsuit said

the union "continues to be a vehicle for organized crime influence in the nation's ports." A union statement

said the lawsuit would have "devastating consequences" on the union and the industry.

Reality show writers claim exploitation

Source: Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Writers Guild of America, West

Date: July 8, 2005

Stepping up its organizing campaign against reality TV producers, the union representing Hollywood writers

Thursday unveiled a lawsuit filed by a dozen scribes who alleged that they were denied overtime and meal breaks

and ordered to falsify time cards. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks class-action

status. It is the latest effort by the Writers Guild of America, West, to keep up the pressure on production

companies and networks involved in the burgeoning reality TV arena.

Reality TV workers sue producers and networks

Source: Sharon Waxman, New York Times

Union(s): Writers Guild of America, West

Date: July 11, 2005

A lawsuit

filed last week against producers and broadcasters of reality television shows accused those companies of

planning to falsify payroll records of employees to avoid paying wages for overtime. The lawsuit seeks

class-action status and is part of a broader effort by the Writers Guild of America, West, to organize nearly

1,000 workers who edit and produce the reality programs. The union says the workers toil lengthy schedules for

dismal wages with no health or pension benefits, unlike counterparts on scripted television shows. The lawsuit

charges breach of California overtime law, failure to provide itemized wage statements, nonpayment of wages,

denial of meal periods and record-keeping violations.

Some United attendants are rehired

Source: Associated Press, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants

Date: July 11, 2005

United Airlines has called back 600 flight attendants who took voluntary layoffs, and company executives said

they would invite 851 more to return to work by late fall. Although the Assn. of Flight Attendants welcomed the

recall, the union said the action was needed to fill vacancies left by workers who were quitting in response to

pay and benefit cuts implemented by the carrier as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy protection. United's

flight attendants are threatening to strike after the carrier formally turned over their pension plan to the

federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

Dissidents threaten labor convention boycott

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 20, 2005

Leaders of

several dissident unions warned yesterday that they might shun next week's AFL-CIO convention in Chicago

unless the labor federation's president, John Sweeney, agreed to some of their demands. The possibility that

those unions--the service employees, Teamsters, food and commercial workers and Unite Here--would boycott the

convention signals that the four might carry out their threat to quit the federation, labor leaders said. The

dissident unions, which include about one-third of the federation's members, are unhappy that Mr. Sweeney

seems certain to win a new four-year term at the convention.

Northwest at an impasse in talks with mechanics

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: July 21, 2005

The clock is

officially ticking on a 30-day cooling-off period in the labor dispute between Northwest Airlines and its

mechanics' union. After that, the union could strike or the airline could impose the $176 million in cuts that

it wants--but neither is certain. The countdown began yesterday, when the National Mediation Board declared an

impasse in bitter negotiations it had tried to resolve between Northwest and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal

Association. The nation's fifth-largest airline, Northwest has spent more than two years trying to persuade

its workers to grant cuts so that it can reduce labor costs to the rates paid by rivals like American, Delta,

United and US Airways, which have all obtained union concessions in the last few years.

NHL players overwhelmingly approve labor deal

Source: Rick Westhead, New York Times

Union(s): N.H.L. Players Association

Date: July 22, 2005

National

Hockey League players voted Thursday to ratify a six-year collective bargaining agreement, which included a

salary cap for the first time. The 301-day lockout caused the first season lost to a labor dispute in North

American major league sports. The new contract guarantees that players will receive 54 percent of the league's

revenue. In the past, they have received closer to 75 percent. Several members of the players' executive

committee said they had been resigned to losing the protracted labor battle. Jeffrey Kessler, a labor lawyer in

New York who has worked for the NFL and the NBA unions, called the NHL deal "the largest setback for players

that I've seen in collective bargaining."

Among dissident union leaders, the backgrounds may vary but the vision is the same

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 22, 2005

The band of union presidents who are threatening to create the biggest schism

in organized labor in 70 years are a varied lot: a former meat cutter, a former social worker, the son of the

last century's most controversial labor leader and the organizer who led the heralded unionization campaign at

J. P. Stevens. Whatever their differences, they agree on a fundamental point: the AFL-CIO has utterly failed to

reverse labor's slide even as workers struggle to cope with stagnant wages and shrinking benefits. They argue

that the federation needs to embrace far-reaching changes to save organized labor from oblivion. Failing that,

the leaders of the dissident unions--which represent more than one-third of the federation's members--are

warning they will secede from the federation.

4 major unions plan to boycott AFL-CIO event

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 25, 2005

Leaders of

four of the country's largest labor unions announced on Sunday that they would boycott this week's AFL-CIO

convention, and officials from two of those unions said the action was a prelude to their full withdrawal from

the federation on Monday. The schism is the culmination of a rancorous debate within the union movement that

also threatens to hurt labor's efforts in lobbying and in political campaigns. Leaders of the service

employees union, the food and commercial workers union, the Teamsters and Unite Here said they were shunning

the convention because the federation under the leadership of its president, John Sweeney, has been ineffective

in halting the decades-long slide of organized labor.

AFL-CIO president blasts heads of unions

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 25, 2005

AFL-CIO

President John Sweeney, anticipating plans by the Teamsters and the service-workers affiliate he used to head

to bolt, charged Monday that such a move would be a "grievous insult" to working people and their unions. "At a

time when our corporate and conservative adversaries have created the most powerful anti-worker political

machine in the history of our country, a divided movement hurts the hopes of working families for a better

life," Sweeney said in his keynote address to an AFL-CIO convention marred by division and boycott. The

Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union intended to announce Monday they are leaving the

federation after failing to reform it.

Teamsters, SEIU bolt AFL-CIO federation

Source: Ron Fournier, Associated Press, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Service Employees International Union

Date: July 25, 2005

The Teamsters and a major service employees union on Monday bolted from the AFL-CIO, a

stinging exodus for an embattled movement struggling to stop membership losses and adjust to a rapidly changing

working environment. In a decision that AFL-CIO President John Sweeney labeled a "grievous insult" to labor's

rank-and-file, the Teamsters union and the Service Employees International Union, two major federation

affiliates, said they decided to leave. They said they were forming a competing labor coalition designed to

reverse labor's long decline in union membership. The joint announcement, the largest schism in labor's ranks

since 1930, came as no surprise since weeks of publicly-aired dissension within the ranks preceded it.

Labor's big split: pain before gain

Source: Harold Meyerson, Washington Post

Union(s): Service Employees International Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: July 26, 2005

Yesterday's announcement by the Service Employees International Union and the

International Brotherhood of Teamsters that they were quitting the AFL-CIO was no less stunning for its absence

of theatricals. What we know is that the split--which is likely to grow as several other unions announce their

own disaffiliations over the next couple of weeks--sunders a union movement that is already weaker than it has

been since the 1920s. What we don't know is whether the new organization that the SEIU, the Teamsters and

their allies will form in the coming months can and will do anything to bolster the power of America's

indispensable, if enfeebled, labor movement. For now, it's a lot easier to see the damage than it is to

foresee the gain.

Two top unions split from AFL-CIO

Source: Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 26, 2005

Two of the nation's largest and most powerful unions resigned from the AFL-CIO on Monday,

fracturing the 50-year-old federation as the labor movement struggles to stem decades of decline and lost

influence in both the workplace and the political arena. The leaders of the breakaway faction said they are

taking flight because of distress over what they described as the AFL-CIO's ineffectiveness in stopping the

long-term decline in union membership and making labor more relevant to the challenges of the modern workplace.

There is general agreement that splintering the national labor federation has large implications for

employer-employee relations and the strength of the Democratic Party.

Labor debates the future of a fractured movement

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 27, 2005

The two

giant unions that quit the AFL-CIO say their exodus will help revive the labor movement. Officials from the two

dissident unions--the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters--say that breaking away will give

their unions new energy and focus that will spur growth. In announcing the rupture on Sunday, Anna Burger, the

service employees' secretary-treasurer, said, "Today will be remembered as the rebirth of union strength in

America." But amid the banners and labor memorabilia at the [AFL-CIO] convention, the most frequent refrain is:

how can division help revive a movement whose watchword has long been solidarity?

Breakaway groups crumble labor's once-solid foundation

Source: Stephanie Armour, USA Today

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 25, 2005

Since its creation, the AFL-CIO has been the most visible and powerful labor organization in the

nation, campaigning for pro-labor political candidates and lobbying for issues affecting the lives of ordinary

workers such as overtime regulations and health care. But now its very future is up for grabs. Two

union[s]--the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union--left the AFL-CIO on Monday. Discord

between the unions has been mounting for some time due to clashes over leadership and direction. The splinter

groups have argued that the AFL-CIO's emphasis on lobbying and backing political candidates was coming at the

expense of organizing efforts.

Analysis: ambitions are fueling union split

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union

Date: July 26, 2005

The huge

split in organized labor has been fueled by stagnant living standards for many workers, by the ascendancy of

the service sector and by labor's lack of success in politics and unionizing workers. But as much as anything,

the schism reflects the conflicting ambitions of two titans of labor, John Sweeney, the president of the

AFL-CIO, and his onetime protege, Andrew Stern, the president of the Service Employees International Union,

until now the largest union in the labor federation. Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Stern both say their overarching goal

is to lift American workers, but they have different visions on how to get there.

AFL-CIO chief re-elected as 2 unions exit

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 28, 2005

The

delegates who re-elected AFL-CIO President John Sweeney to a fourth term wore T-shirts that said "One Strong

Voice for Worker's Rights"--but the labor group's unity remained in doubt after the defection of two key

unions. The Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union had sought Sweeney's ouster and dropped

out earlier this week when they didn't get it. Sweeney said he felt it was important to run for another term

because of the important challenges facing the labor movement. [He] talked Wednesday about an "ambitious

blueprint" for the AFL-CIO that includes several reforms enacted at this week's convention, some similar to

demands that had been made by the dissident unions.

Union leaders seek local unity despite schism

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 29, 2005

The AFL-CIO

suffered a major blow on Monday when two of its biggest unions, the Service Employees International Union and

the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, quit the federation, saying it was doing too little to reverse

labor's slide. This schism has worried Democrats in New York and around the country because they fear that it

will undermine labor's clout in elections. Because the departing unions represent such a high percentage of

union members in many cities, officials from more than a dozen central labor councils voiced alarm that the

schism would hobble their operations and budgets.

AFL-CIO leader says split hurts labor

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 29, 2005

John

Sweeney, the president of the AFL-CIO, has long been known as a steady-as-you-go consensus builder, but this

week, when two giant unions bolted the labor federation, he got his Irish up. In an interview minutes after the

labor federation's 50th anniversary convention ended on Thursday, Mr. Sweeney was burning with a quiet anger.

"Some of our good brothers were trying to make a power grab, and I think that it failed," he said. "They

didn't have the support of the majority, so they picked up their marbles and they left." Now, Mr. Sweeney says

he has to pick up the mess left by [the] departure[s].

A tale of two union men

Source: Matt Kempner, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Union(s): AFL-CIO, Unite Here

Date: July 29, 2005

They were close friends in a hostile environment, trying to spread unions in the South.

Bruce Raynor was the regional director of a textiles union. Stewart Acuff launched the Georgia State Employees

Union and became president of the Atlanta Labor Council. Together, Raynor and Acuff operated side by side as

two of the most prominent labor leaders in Georgia over the past two decades. But now the two 50-something guys

hold crucial national posts on opposite sides of the biggest split the U.S. labor movement has faced in

decades, one that may help determine whether unions become a historical afterthought or a reignited power in

the American workplace.

Third union is leaving AFL-CIO

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): United Food and Commercial Workers

Date: July 30, 2005

The United

Food and Commercial Workers, one of the nation's five largest labor unions, quit the AFL-CIO yesterday,

becoming the third big union to leave the nation's main federation this week. Joe Hansen, president of the

union, which has 1.3 million members, said his union was committing itself to a new coalition that includes the

two other unions that pulled out, the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union. Members of the

new group say the AFL-CIO has not moved aggressively to stop the decline of organized labor. The insurgents,

the Change to Win Coalition, intend to foster a resurgence.

Shock waves of union split cross oceans

Source: Thomas Fuller, International Herald Tribune

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: August 2, 2005

From the vantage point of Europe or Asia, the United States often seems like a giant island,

powerful enough to sustain itself and preoccupied with its own matters, whether domestic politics or national

sports teams. And so it seemed last week when a large faction of the AFL-CIO, the trade union federation, split

away. The move raised questions about the future of organized labor in America, but the damage appeared largely

domestic. And yet a closer look shows that the shock waves of the split did manage to cross the oceans and

could have significant consequences for unions in countries both rich and poor.

Gods and mortals

Source: David Moberg, In These Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: July 31, 2005

The decision by the

SEIU and the Teamsters to leave the AFL-CIO--and the resultant loss of 2.6 million members and $18 million in

dues--overshadowed the convention of the AFL. Yet despite the potential impact of these large unions'

departure on national politics and the federation itself, one of the main repercussions of the split involves

an oft-neglected, even little-known part of the labor movement: its state and local organizations. They've

become political powerhouses, important players in economic development, and centers for building real

solidarity among local unions and their members across union lines. Now, many of these groups will be hard-hit,

not only losing much of their limited financing, but disrupting their newly forged solidarity.

Union gap

Source: Tom Robbins, Village Voice

Union(s): AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union

Date: August 2, 2005

On the same hot

summer day last month that the AFL-CIO was splintering apart in Chicago, a pair of men trying to organize a

non-union demolition firm received a vicious beating in a Queens equipment yard. These days, organizers are

more likely to get fired for their efforts than beaten, but the incident is a dramatic reminder of what unions

are up against, even in labor-friendly places like New York.

NYU ends negotiations with union for students

Source: Alan Finder, New York Times

Union(s): United Automobile Workers

Date: August 6, 2005

New York University

formally notified the union representing its graduate students yesterday that it would no longer bargain with

it. In June, the university said it was moving toward severing its relationship with the five-year-old union

when its contract expires on Aug. 31. In a memorandum distributed to students and faculty and in a letter to

the union, university officials said they decided not to negotiate a new contract. In 2000, NYU became the only

private university in the country to have a union representing graduate students.

Labor leader offers locals 'solidarity'

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: August 11, 2005

AFL-CIO

president John Sweeney moved yesterday to minimize the damage that the schism within organized labor would do

to city and state labor federations. When [the Teamsters, SEIU, and UFCW]withdrew, Mr. Sweeney sternly noted

that under the AFL-CIO's constitution, locals in those unions no longer belonged to city and state labor

federations. Many union leaders said they feared that as a result, labor's effectiveness at the city and state

level--in politics, lobbying and collective bargaining--would be undermined. After being urged by local labor

leaders, Mr. Sweeney proposed allowing union locals in the departing unions to rejoin state and city labor

bodies as special affiliates if they signed a new "solidarity charter."

New homeland security work rules blocked

Source: Stephen Barr, Washington Post

Union(s): National Treasury Employees Union

Date: August 15, 2005

The Department of Homeland Security, after more than two years of work on new workplace

rules, may have to scrap the plan after a federal judge questioned whether it protects union and employee

rights. The rules were scheduled to begin today but were blocked by U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer in

a ruling released Friday night. The workplace rules would have dramatically reduced the clout of unions in the

department, which has about 160,000 employees. Bush administration officials see the proposed rules as a key to

moving forward--and sidestepping union objections--to more ambitious changes that would affect how employees

are paid, promoted and disciplined.

Deal to organize janitors gives union a stronger foothold here

Source: L.M. Sixel, Houston Chronicle

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: August 12, 2005

Five companies that employ the bulk of Houston's janitors have agreed to allow the service workers union to

try to organize their employees without any fight. The deal comes on the heels of a four-month battle waged by

the Service Employees International Union to unionize 8,000 janitors and it could give the organization a

stronger platform to go after its next likely target--Houston's health care workers. Unlike other unions that

put their efforts into organizing the rank-and-file, the SEIU starts at the top and meets with company

leadership, seeking its neutrality in the union's efforts. If the employer is reluctant, union officials lay

out the various economic pressures they can bring to bear.

Qwest reaches pact with union, averting strike

Source: Associated Press, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: August 17, 2005

Qwest Communications International's largest union said it had reached a contract agreement with the company

late Tuesday, removing the threat of a strike by 25,000 telephone workers in 13 states. The agreement includes

a 7.5% wage increase over three years, changes to healthcare coverage to reduce overall costs for many

employees, and an eight-hour cap on mandatory overtime, [a Communications Workers of America] spokeswoman said.

Denver-based Qwest is the primary local telephone service provider in 14 states. The contract covers Colorado,

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, South Dakota, North Dakota, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa

and Utah.

Circling a decision

Source: Micheline Maynard, Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: August 18, 2005

Northwest Airlines and its mechanics' union are bracing for a street fight over wage and benefit cuts

that many in the battered industry thought would have come long before now. While other airlines and their

unions have sparred over reduced pay, elimination of benefits and job cuts, none of the disputes have come to

the point of a strike like the one Northwest could face at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. The expected showdown is the

culmination of three years of unsuccessful efforts by Northwest to persuade employees to accept wage and

benefit cuts to get its costs in line with competitors that have already reduced their labor rates.

Well-laid plan kept Northwest flying in strike

Source: Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: August 22, 2005

As

Northwest Airlines rode out a full weekend with its mechanics' union on strike, it was enjoying the fruits of

an elaborate plan that was meant to not only keep its planes flying, but also to overhaul the way its workers

do their jobs. Northwest's plan to use temporary workers in place of striking members of the Aircraft

Mechanics Fraternal Association took 18 months to create. It also required the cooperation of other unions and

the federal government--and even consultation with the White House. One labor expert said Northwest's ability

to switch to new work routines and keep operating, at least at the outset, sends an important signal to unions

that strikes may have lost their power as tools to fight job losses and other cuts.

Mechanics face doubt, uncertainty on picket line

Source: Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: August 23, 2005

The striking [Northwest Airlines] mechanics and maintenance workers at National [Airport]

make up a tiny portion of the 4,400 union members who walked out Saturday morning after negotiations failed to

achieve a compromise on jobs and wage cuts sought by the airline. But the mechanics here, like their

counterparts in larger contingents in Minneapolis, Detroit and elsewhere, are wondering what the future holds

and how they will endure if the strike is prolonged. Northwest has replaced the union workers with mechanics

laid off from other airlines, and it is unclear whether the strikers will lose their jobs permanently. The

airline says it hopes to return to the negotiating table.

Northwest employees get little support

Source: Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: August 23, 2005

In a world known for solidarity, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association stands almost

alone, even as 4,400 of its members walk the picket line. The Northwest Airlines mechanics and cleaners are the

first workers at a major U.S. airline to [strike] in seven years. But, despite major upheaval in the industry

where many pilots, flight attendants and other workers have had to make concessions in pay and benefits, the

striking workers are finding little support from other unions. AMFA, which grew by winning members away from

other unions, is an outsider in the labor movement. But what happens to AMFA and its Northwest mechanics could

have a broad impact on organized labor, according to labor experts.

The replacement mechanics

Source: Jeremy W. Peters, Micheline Maynard, New York Times

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: August 24, 2005

These men and women are at the center of the airline industry's most significant labor dispute in

more than a decade. And they may be taking part in another historic moment of a different kind: busting unions,

21st century style. They are among the 1,900 replacement workers deployed by Northwest to assume the duties of

4,430 members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association. The union struck the airline on Saturday over

demand[s] for $176 million in pay and benefit cuts. The replacements spent the last three months training under

a $107 million contingency plan the airline crafted in anticipation of a strike. Not since a strike in 1989 at

Eastern Airlines, which eventually contributed to the airline's demise, has an airline tried to rely so

heavily on replacements to keep its planes aloft.

Alliance aims to organize Wal-Mart workers

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Union Network International

Date: August 23, 2005

An

alliance of unions plans to step up organizing efforts at Wal-Mart beyond its U.S. base, focusing first on the

mega-retailer's employees in South Korea. Union Network International, a federation of unions in 150

countries, plans to launch organizing efforts by year's end in South Korea and is also looking to target

Wal-Mart in countries including Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. UNI has already been working with labor groups in

India and Russia to lay the groundwork for organizing if Wal-Mart enters those countries. UNI also eventually

plans multi-nation campaigns to organize employees of express mail company DHL, News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and

furniture retailer Ikea.

A maverick union chief now in search of unity

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: August 25, 2005

As president

of the union representing mechanics at Northwest Airlines, O. V. Delle-Femine has repeatedly urged, almost

begged, the rest of organized labor to show solidarity with his union's walkout. But other unions have largely

shunned his call, and that is hardly surprising considering that Mr. Delle-Femine has long been viewed within

the labor movement as Mr. Antisolidarity. Ever since he founded the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association 43

years ago, Mr. Delle-Femine has been something of a labor pariah, enraging the machinists and other unions by

repeatedly seeking to steal their members.

Today's flights to put NWA to test

Source: John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: August 22, 2005

Northwest [is] able to keep its planes in the air because its other unions--representing pilots, flight

attendants, ticket agents and baggage handlers--allowed members to cross the mechanics' picket lines and keep

working. Northwest's non-striking unions, while declining to call sympathy strikes, appear to be giving the

replacements the cold shoulder. In an industry awash with layoffs, many of the replacement mechanics formerly

worked at major carriers. Labor experts say the use of replacement workers in strikes is growing. "Their

feeling is, 'This is my only chance to get a job in this industry again, and I'm taking the job of a worker

who miscalculated and walked off the job,'" Gary Chaison, professor of industrial relations, said.

Northwest Airlines threatens to replace strikers permanently

Source: Micheline Maynard, Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: August 26, 2005

Northwest Airlines [is] considering giving permanent jobs to the 1,500 substitute

workers it hired to replace striking mechanics. Northwest said union members could still have their jobs back

if they wanted to cross picket lines. The airline says it is willing to negotiate with the union, although no

talks have been held and none are scheduled. Declaring the replacement workers to be permanent employees would

have tremendous implications for both Northwest and the mechanics' union, as well as the airline industry and

perhaps the entire labor movement, industry experts said. Northwest has the right under federal law to lock out

the strikers.

Airlines' woes may erode unions' clout

Source: James F. Peltz, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: August 26, 2005

When Northwest [Airlines] brought in replacement workers for members of the striking Aircraft Mechanics

Fraternal Assn., other unionized employees--pilots, flight attendants and other ground workers--reported for

work. The lack of labor solidarity partly reflected the go-it-alone stance of [the AMFA], which has alienated

much of organized labor by plucking members from other unions. But it also showed that airline unions were

thinking twice about using their most potent bargaining tactic against a company that is already on the brink

of bankruptcy. A strike now, analysts say, might ultimately mean no airline and no job.

Unions: sell Wal-Mart stock

Source: Kip Chipman, Bloomberg News, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Union(s): Union Network International

Date: August 26, 2005

Labor leaders from around the world are calling on funds that manage union

pension investments to sell shares of Wal-Mart. Investors instead should put their money in "socially

responsible" companies, according to a resolution by members of Union Network International, a federation

representing more than 15 million workers in 120 countries. The unions are working on plans for a global

campaign against Wal-Mart. They claim the retailer violates child labor and discrimination laws, offers poor

wages and benefits and doesn't give most of its 1.6 million employees the freedom to unionize. Wal-Mart

rejects the unions' claims and considers itself a "premier employer" in all the countries in which it

operates.

NLRB weighs Lowe's actions

Source: Jack Katzanek, Press-Enterprise

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: August 25, 2005

Federal investigators say Lowe's might have broken labor laws during the union organizing drive at its Perris

[California] distribution center, although the government has not issued a formal complaint. A National Labor

Relations Board spokeswoman said there is enough evidence to follow up on three of the accusations filed by the

Teamsters covering Lowe's actions leading up to late June, when workers voted by a almost 2 to 1 against

becoming the chain's first employees to join a union. The charges labor board investigators are pursuing

accuse Lowe's of harassing and coercing employees who had pro-union leanings [and] threatening to close the

facility if workers voted for the Teamsters.

Northwest strikers showing signs of dissent

Source: Micheline Maynard, Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: August 29, 2005

Ten days into a strike against Northwest Airlines, signs of dissent are beginning to bubble up among

mechanics' union members on picket lines at airports around the country. In a union known for lively debate,

some members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association are questioning the union leaders' decision to

call a strike without a vote on the airline's final offer. Other workers are voicing adamant support for the

walkout. But even some of them are looking for other jobs, saying they cannot afford to be out of work. The

lively debate among AMFA members over the strike is not unusual at a union known for controversy.

Steel unions take worldly view toward expansion

Source: M.R. Kropko, Associated Press, Indianapolis Star

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: August 29, 2005

When steelmaking was king in this city [Cleveland] and others across the nation,

labor unions were as strong as the metal their members made. With hundreds of thousands of members, the United

Steelworkers of America and the Independent Steelworkers Union were powerful forces that held their own against

the multimillion-dollar companies with whom the unions often squared off. Today, when organized labor is

shrinking with the steel industry, union workers are trying to figure out how they can remain influential in

the U.S. and become a force internationally. Steel has emerged from tough times by consolidating, and

businesses that survived are increasingly tied to foreign firms.

Going toe-to-toe

Source: Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post

Union(s): American Guild of Musical Artists

Date: August 31, 2005

For the past two years [Nikkia Parish] was a member of the Washington Ballet. The American

Guild of Musical Artists, the union that has represented the company's dancers since last winter, has charged

that Parish and another dancer were unlawfully discriminated against in retaliation for their union activities.

As organized labor has become more and more disorganized--witness the recent split in the AFL-CIO, reflecting

unions' loss of influence and falling membership nationwide--it may come as a surprise that a dancers' guild

is trying to throw its weight around. Other unions may be losing might, but men (and women) in tights are

organizing.

Boeing, machinists brace for strike

Source: Reuters, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: August 31, 2005

Boeing

and the workers who assemble its planes are bracing for a strike as the machinists' union told members to

reject the company's latest contract offer. The 18,500 members of the International Association of Machinists

and Aerospace Workers covered by the Boeing contract are set to vote on the latest offer on Thursday, hours

before the current contract expires. Strong demand for Boeing's jets--such as its single-aisle 737, favored by

low-cost carriers from Dallas to New Delhi--gives the union an unusually strong hand in the talks this time

around, industry-watchers say. That is in sharp contrast to striking mechanics at Northwest Airlines, who are

at risk of losing their jobs permanently to replacement workers.

76 arrested protesting NYU cutoff of student union

Source: Karen W. Arenson, New York Times

Union(s): Graduate Student Organizing Committee

Date: September 1, 2005

The president

of the AFL-CIO, the secretary-treasurer of the United Auto Workers and a state senator were among nearly 80

people who were arrested yesterday during a protest of New York University's decision to end dealings with a

union of graduate student teaching and research assistants. The National Labor Relations Board gave the

students the right to unionize in late 2000, making NYU the first private university to have a graduate student

employee union. But after a revamped national labor board reversed that position last year, the university

decided not to renew its contract with the union. For many in the labor movement, NYU has become a symbol of

organized labor's determination to expand its presence in academe.

More than 18,000 Boeing machinists strike over new contract

Source: Gene Johnson, Associated Press, Washington Post

Union(s): International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

Date: September 2, 2005

Machinists at Boeing walked out Friday, forcing the aerospace

company to halt production of commercial airplanes after the two sides could not agree on a new labor contract.

The strike affects about 18,400 Machinists in the Seattle area, Wichita, Kan., and Gresham, Ore. The Machinists

voted overwhelmingly Thursday to strike, rejecting a three-year contract proposal their leaders called

"insulting." Union leaders said the contract offer fell woefully short on top issues including pension payments

and increased health care costs.

Union tries very old (new) tactic to organize Dick's Sporting Goods workers

Source: Jim McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Union(s): United Steelworkers of America

Date: September 4, 2005

A Dick's Sporting Goods distribution center in [Pennsylvania] is developing into a test case

for a novel approach by the United Steelworkers union to organize new members without going through a

winner-take-all election campaign. The idea, seen by the labor movement as a potential new way to revitalize

declining membership, is to establish a members-only union at the warehouse among workers that choose to join.

The approach, if it survives expected legal challenges, would upend decades of conventional wisdom holding that

employers have no duty to bargain with any union that has not been certified as an exclusive employee

bargaining agent by the National Labor Relations Board.

Mechanics cool to latest NWA offer

Source: Elizabeth Dunbar, Associated Press, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association

Date: September 8, 2005

Northwest Airlines and its mechanics union got together for talks Thursday, but

several strikers on the picket lines here scoffed at the airline's latest offer. The airline was demanding

even steeper cuts than the ones that prompted mechanics to walk out. The airline said rising fuel prices have

forced it to ask for even more labor savings. Northwest's 4,427 mechanics, cleaners and custodians walked out

on Aug. 20 rather than accept 25% pay cuts and layoffs of some 2,000 workers. The airline has told the union

that it would begin hiring permanent replacements by Sept. 13 if they didn't make a deal.

CAW union picks Ford as target in talks

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Canadian Auto Workers

Date: September 8, 2005

The Canadian Auto Workers union said Thursday it will try to negotiate a master contract with Ford by next

week and then ask other U.S. automakers to match those terms. CAW president Buzz Hargrove said the union picked

Ford because it has always had a good relationship with the company. The talks will be a good measure of

what's to come in 2007, when the United Auto Workers union negotiates its new contracts with the Big Three.

The union says Canadian workers are among the most productive and that U.S. automakers save on costs because of

Canada's national health care system.

Day 11 of strike by Boeing machinists with no end in sight

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: September 13, 2005

With no negotiations scheduled in the strike by 18,300 machinists at Boeing, the two sides are showing

little inclination for compromise, raising fears that the walkout could last a month or more. The machinists

walked the picket line for the 11th day yesterday in what is shaping up as one of the biggest labor showdowns

in years. Boeing appears to have dug in since the walkout began, saying its rebuffed offer reflects its need to

control costs when health spending is soaring and competition with Airbus remains fierce. For their part, the

machinists are angry that Boeing has demanded concessions even as its profits have rebounded strongly.

Ford labor pact in Canada calls for 1,100 job cuts

Source: Danny Hakim, Ian Austen, New York Times

Union(s): Canadian Auto Workers

Date: September 13, 2005

Ford

will cut 1,100 jobs in Canada by 2008, or about 9% of its hourly work force in that country, as part of a

tentative agreement reached Monday with the Canadian Auto Workers union. The agreement comes as the company

faces billions of dollars in losses in its North American automotive operations and is close to announcing what

is likely to be a revamping plan that will bring a wave of job cuts in the United States. The Ford agreement is

the first reached by the Canadian union in its 2005 negotiations. The first deal will be used as a framework

for agreements that will be negotiated later this month with General Motors and DaimlerChrysler.

Unite Here leaves AFL-CIO over dispute

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Unite Here

Date: September 14, 2005

Unite

Here, a union of 450,000 workers in the apparel and hospitality industry, is leaving the AFL-CIO to join a

group of dissident unions that want the organized labor movement to spend more time and money recruiting new

members. Unite Here is joining the Service Employees International Union, the Teamsters, the United Food and

Commercial Workers and the Carpenters in forming a dissident labor federation that has been calling itself the

Change To Win Coalition. The Laborers International Union of North America and the United Farm Workers are also

part of the new federation, but have not left the AFL-CIO. The new federation represents about 6 million

workers.

Ford Canada workers accept deal

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Canadian Auto Workers

Date: September 18, 2005

Ford Canada workers have overwhelmingly accepted a new labor deal, even though it offers some of the lowest

wage gains in their union's history and allows for hundreds of layoffs. The Canadian Auto Workers union said

Sunday that 95% of Ford union workers accepted the three-year deal, which had been tentatively reached by

negotiators last week.

Strike is about more than pay and benefits

Source: Evelyn Iritani, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: September 18, 2005

For members of the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers who voted to go on strike two weeks

ago, the global economy is an increasingly powerful presence at the negotiating table. At issue in this

contract dispute is more than just pensions and healthcare. Boeing workers, union leaders and their supporters

now wonder whether even the most sophisticated U.S. manufacturing jobs can survive in an increasingly brutal

global economy--and what, if anything, can be done to protect what remains.

Two large unions reach agreement to end feud

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Service Employees International Union

Date: September 20, 2005

Two of the

nation's largest unions--the service employees and the state, county and municipal employees--agreed to end a

long-running feud by pledging not to raid each other's memberships. The two unions had devoted hundreds of

workers and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last six months to a fight over which should represent

child care employees in Illinois and home health care workers in California. The battle had raised concerns

within organized labor that the service employees, the leader among four unions that broke away from the

AFL-CIO, would start a venomous and expensive war of raids and retaliation between rebel factions and those

loyal to the federation.

Flight attendants: union sues U.S. over workplace safety

Source: Bloomberg News, Chicago Tribune

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants

Date: September 20, 2005

A union for flight attendants sued the Federal Aviation Administration and Labor Secretary

Elaine Chao, claiming they failed to ensure the health and safety of workers at airlines. The suit, filed by

the Association of Flight Attendants, says airline crews are subject to hazards such as turbulence, sudden

changes in cabin air pressure, unwieldy service carts, exposure to toxic chemicals, unruly and sick passengers,

and threats of terrorism.

Auto workers and Chrysler reach deal in Canada

Source: Ian Austen, New York Times

Union(s): Canadian Auto Workers

Date: September 21, 2005

Reflecting the struggling state of North American automakers, the Canadian Auto Workers reached a tentative

agreement with DaimlerChrysler that eliminates about 1,600 jobs and offers only limited wage and benefit gains.

As in the contract reached between the union and Ford last week, the job reductions will be helped along by an

increase in early retirement payments. Both contracts are the most modest ever signed by the CAW, which has

been known for aggressive bargaining. The CAW now must negotiate an agreement with General Motors, the

country's largest automotive employer. G.M. has already said that it would not accept the terms of the Ford

contract.

Union accuses BellSouth of violation

Source: Mike Drummond, Charlotte Observer

Union(s): Communications Workers of America

Date: September 21, 2005

An

anti-union organization accused BellSouth Wednesday of allegedly continuing to force most employees to wear a

union logo. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation filed a complaint with the National Labor

Relations Board to compel BellSouth to kill the policy. The filing echoes a Charlotte case where a federal

court earlier this year shot down the practice.

Machinists reach tentative accord with Boeing

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Date: September 26, 2005

Boeing has

reached a tentative agreement with its machinists' union, whose more than 18,000 members have been on strike

for 24 days. A ratification vote is scheduled for Thursday, and the strikers are not scheduled to return to

work before then. The strike has stopped almost all production at Boeing, the nation's largest commercial

airplane manufacturer. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers posted details of the

settlement on its Web site, boasting, "No takeaways, no sellouts," and saying the deal gave it much of what it

was seeking.

Anna Burger to head breakaway labor group

Source: Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post

Union(s): Change to Win Coalition

Date: September 27, 2005

In 1972, the year Anna Burger started a wildcat strike of Philadelphia social workers,

organized labor did not look like a promising career for a liberal, antiwar feminist. Today, Burger will be

formally chosen to run the newly created Change to Win Coalition--a milestone that shows how far the labor

movement has come. A tough-minded organizer and political strategist, Burger was handpicked by the leaders of

insurgent unions who earlier this year took flight from the AFL-CIO and hope to create a new labor empire

capable of reversing the political and bargaining setbacks workers have suffered in recent decades.

Breakaway unions meet to form federation

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Change to Win Coalition

Date: September 27, 2005

Leaders from unions that broke away from the AFL-CIO pledged Tuesday to organize Wal-Mart workers and

reach out to those who lost their jobs due to Hurricane Katrina. The Change to Win Coalition met for its

founding convention in St. Louis, where the atmosphere was like a rally. Organizers hope the new coalition will

revitalize the nation's labor movement. The Change to Win Coalition planned to establish procedures--such as

adopting a constitution and formally recognizing its leadership--while raising a rallying cry that more can be

done to organize workers.

Breakaway unions start new federation

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Change to Win Coalition

Date: September 28, 2005

Seven unions

founded a new labor federation Tuesday, creating a rival to the AFL-CIO that promised to unionize hundreds of

thousands of workers and to pressure the Democratic Party to pay far more heed to workers' concerns. Most

unions in the new group, the Change to Win [Coalition], have left the federation, saying American workers need

a new grouping that will be far more aggressive about unionizing workers to help improve living standards. If

the convention had one theme, it was that unions, for all their problems, are the best tool to improve wages

and benefits, not just for low-wage workers, but for all workers.

Delphi demands 63% pay cut from UAW

Source: Michael Ellis, Detroit Free Press

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 7, 2005

Delphi has

demanded such drastic cuts in wages and benefits for workers that, according to one UAW local , its members

would no longer be able to afford the cars they help build. The company is asking for wage cuts of as much as

63%, to $10 an hour, and for workers to pay 27% of their health care costs versus 7% currently. Union members

say they are not going to agree to such a severe change in their livelihood, even if it means that the company

will end up declaring bankruptcy. But if Delphi goes bankrupt, plants could be closed, thousands of workers

could lose their jobs and companies that depend on Delphi, including General Motors, could face costly

disruptions.

For chairwoman of breakaway labor coalition, deep roots in the movement

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Change to Win Coalition

Date: October 10, 2005

Anna Burger has come a long way since [a] rollicking 1995 victory party in which John J. Sweeney,

just elected president of the AFL-CIO, presented her with a leather whip. Mr. Sweeney was thanking her for

being his efficient campaign manager and whip, but now she has become his chief rival, having recently been

elected chairwoman of a breakaway labor alliance, the Change to Win [Coalition]. That has made Ms. Burger the

highest-ranking woman in the history of the American labor movement. Ms. Burger said the four dissident unions

needed to leave the AFL-CIO because the federation had done far too little to stop labor from sinking into

oblivion.

Labor gears up for pivotal battle

Source: Sholnn Freeman, Ben White, Washington Post

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 12, 2005

Auto-parts giant Delphi said in the first day of its bankruptcy hearings that it

wanted to renegotiate agreements with its unions to "fundamentally transform the company." The company's

ambition for a fundamental transformation could mark a turning point in the relationship between the auto

industry and organized labor, union officials and labor experts say. Companies in the steel industry and in

airlines have already gone before bankruptcy court judges to wrest concessions in pay, benefits and job

protections from unions. Auto giants have historically negotiated with the unions for cuts during difficult

periods in the industry.

NLRB investigates claim of illegal boycott of Anheuser-Busch

Source: Christopher Leonard, Associated Press, Belleville News-Democrat

Union(s): International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Date: October 13, 2005

The National Labor Relations Board is expected to rule by next

week on claims that the Teamsters union is illegally boycotting Anheuser-Busch products over the union's

dispute with a local [St. Louis] beer distributor. Unionized truckers working for Lohr Distributing have been

on strike since May. Union members are asking bars and other businesses to boycott all Anheuser-Busch products

within city limits because Lohr exclusively distributes the brewer's drinks. Anheuser-Busch filed five charges

with the NLRB Tuesday alleging the boycott is illegal because the company is not directly involved with the

labor dispute.

GM, union move toward agreement

Source: Sholnn Freeman, Amy Joyce, Washington Post

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 17, 2005

General Motors moved closer this weekend to winning an agreement with the United

Auto Workers to cut health care costs. GM pays the health care costs for 1.1 million workers, retirees and

family members, making it the nation's largest single provider of health care. Hourly workers at GM pay about

7% of their health care costs; the national average is about 34%. GM has complained that rising health care and

pension costs weigh on the company's bottom line. In European countries and in Japan, workers are covered by

publicly funded health care programs. The UAW has failed to organize those workers. The UAW has repeatedly

called for national health care.

General Motors and union reach agreement on health care costs

Source: Danny Hakim, New York Times

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: October 17, 2005

General Motors said today that it had reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers union

to cut $1 billion worth of annual health care benefits for hundreds of thousands of American retirees. The deal

marks the biggest strategy shift by the union since the early 1980's, when it made a wave of concessions to

stave off a bankruptcy filing by Chrysler. This time, with the future of the entire domestic auto industry at

risk, union leaders agreed to a deal broad enough to require the vote of GM workers for approval. It shows how

labor leaders in a range of industries, from airlines to steelmakers, have become increasingly hard-pressed to

hold on to previously won benefits in the face of global competition and the threat of bankruptcy.

The lay of labor's new land

Source: David Moberg, In These Times

Union(s): Change to Win Coalition

Date: October 26, 2005

After a year of

turbulent debate and division at the top, America's unions are adjusting to a new organizational landscape

while still grappling with the same old challenge: how to grow and gain power. With the founding of the Change

to Win [Coalition] in late September, the summer split of the AFL-CIO took firmer shape, but its ultimate

impact is still up in the air. Despite the schism, there is pressure on leaders from both sides to cooperate.

CTW is a new, not a rival, federation, insists Laborers' union president Terry O'Sullivan. But there is also

a new edge to the competition to organize between the non-rivals.

Philly commuters find own way to work

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

Date: October 31, 2005

Commuters who rely on the city's buses, subways and trolleys were forced to walk, hitch rides and take taxis

to work Monday after thousands of city transit workers went on strike. In a city where one in three households

lacks a car, about 920,000 trips are taken on a typical weekday along the Southeastern Pennsylvania

Transportation Authority lines shut down by the strike. Members of Transport Workers Union Local 234 have not

had a raise since December 2003. SEPTA is the fifth-largest transit agency in the country but workers' wages

rank 20th. Negotiations broke off around midnight Sunday. The two sides couldn't reach agreement on health

care, pension issues and disciplinary rules.

N.Y.U. graduate students say they'll strike to unionize

Source: Karen W. Arenson, New York Times

Union(s): United Automobile Workers

Date: November 1, 2005

New York University is facing a strike next week by its graduate student teaching assistants, who lost their

union representation in August and are trying to win it back. The students said yesterday that they would begin

a strike on Nov. 9. In 2000, as other universities and union organizers watched closely, the national labor

board--controlled at the time by Clinton appointees--directed N.Y.U. to allow graduate student workers to

unionize, making it the first private university to recognize a graduate student employees union. The

Bush-controlled board took the opposite stand last year, giving N.Y.U. the right to pull back.

NLRB hits firings at Blue Diamond

Source: Rachel Osterman, Sacramento Bee

Union(s): International Longshore & Warehouse Union

Date: November 1, 2005

Blue Diamond Growers has illegally threatened, interrogated and fired workers seeking to organize a union at

the cooperative's almond processing plant, according to a complaint by the National Labor Relations Board. The

complaint, which follows a nearly four-month investigation, comes after pro-union packers, mechanics and other

workers filed charges contending that their efforts to bring in Local 17 of the International Longshore &

Warehouse Union were met with company intimidation. Blue Diamond, which produces roughly a third of

California's billion-dollar almond crop, has remained union-free for 94 years.

Court nixes appeal from United attendants

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Association of Flight Attendants

Date: November 2, 2005

A

federal court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from United Airlines' flight attendants challenging a ruling that

allowed the company to terminate its pension plan. A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

said it found "no reason" to reverse a bankruptcy judge's approval for United to transfer its plans to the

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. The Association of Flight Attendants argued the termination violated its labor

contract. United's five other unions also saw their plans turned over to the PBGC as of result of that May

ruling in bankruptcy court. Transferring pension obligations to the government is estimated to save the airline

about $645 million annually.

Labor's political push

Source: Jane M. Von Bergen, Philadelphia Inquirer

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: November 7, 2005

60 union

members [are] running for office this year in New Jersey in a program that is among the biggest and most

comprehensive in the nation. "We apprentice our rank-and-file members in the field of politics," said Charles

Wowkanech, president of the New Jersey state AFL-CIO. This emphasis on politics comes at a crucial time for the

AFL-CIO. This summer, on its 50th anniversary, the AFL-CIO split into two camps, partly over the issue of

politics. The dissident group, which includes such political heavy hitters as the SEIU and the Teamsters, said

the AFL-CIO was spending too much time and energy on politics and not enough on traditional union-building.

Wowkanech couldn't agree less. He's unapologetic about his organization's focus on politics.

NYU graduate assistants strike

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): Graduate Student Organizing Committee

Date: November 9, 2005

About 1,000 graduate assistants started striking against New York University on Wednesday over its refusal to

bargain with or recognize their union. The Graduate Students Organizing Committee said its members would stay

on strike until the university decides to bargain with them "in good faith." The assistants will not teach,

grade, advise students or do research while on strike. The graduate assistants had been represented by the

United Automobile Workers from 2000 until August of this year. NYU said then it would no longer recognize the

union based on a policy reversal by the National Labor Relations Board on private universities allowing

graduate student workers to unionize.

Hollywood unions object to product placement on TV

Source: Sharon Waxman, New York Times

Union(s): Writers Guild of America, West; Writers Guild of America, East; Screen Actors Guild

Date: November 14, 2005

A group of show

business unions are denouncing the creeping practice of "stealth advertising," the integration of commercial

products into the story lines of television shows, which they say deceives audiences and forces writers and

actors to do jobs they were not hired for. The Writers Guild of America, West, and the Writers Guild of

America, East, with the support of the Screen Actors Guild, will hold a news conference Monday calling for a

code of conduct to govern this latest twist in the world of advertising, in which product placement has become

increasingly central to plotlines.

Guilds' actions foster strike plans at studios

Source: Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Screen Actors Guild; Writers Guild of America, West

Date: November 12, 2005

Unnerved by mounting anger within the unions representing actors and writers, Hollywood

studios are already girding for potential strikes two years before the first contract even expires. Relations

have become so frayed in the last two months with the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America,

West, that studios recently began drafting strike contingency plans that could be finalized by early next year.

Both guilds elected slates that vowed to take a more confrontational stance with studios in trying to get them

to budge on long-festering issues. Both unions then jarred Hollywood by abruptly firing their top negotiators,

both of whom were criticized for being too accommodating.

Rally seeks to unionize guards and push for raises

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: November 15, 2005

It was

billed as a rally to unionize tens of thousands of security guards, but it had more of the air of a civil

rights gathering. Hazel Dukes, the president of the New York State NAACP, was there, and so was David N.

Dinkins, the former mayor. Joined by other black leaders and members of the clergy, they threw their weight

behind a campaign to unionize New York City's security guards. Noting that many guards are black and earn less

than $18,000 a year, these leaders said unionization would further the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. to lift

blacks out of poverty. The union behind the organizing drive, the Service Employees International Union, sought

to show the real estate industry that there was strong community support for improving the guards' wages and

benefits.

Delta pilots' union wants judge removed

Source: Michael J. Martinez, Madlen Read; Associated Press, Washington Post

Union(s): Air Line Pilots Association

Date: November 16, 2005

A lawyer for Delta's pilots' union on Wednesday asked the

judge presiding over the company's bankruptcy case to remove herself from consideration of Delta's request to

impose deep wage cuts on the pilots, saying her comments in court showed her to biased. [The] attorney for the

Air Line Pilots Association said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Prudence Carter Beatty had made a number of comments in

open court that cast doubt on her ability to be impartial. [He] quoted Beatty as saying in a Sept. 15 hearing

that pilots' wages were "hideously high," and [said] that a transcript of a hearing showed Beatty said: "Oh,

you know that's really weird is why anybody agreed to pay them as much money to begin with. They get paid a

lot of money."

Janitors' drive in Texas gives hope to unions

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: November 28, 2005

Union

organizers have obtained majority support in one of the biggest unionization drives in the South in decades,

collecting the signatures of thousands of Houston janitors. In an era when unions typically face frustration

and failure in attracting workers in the private sector, the Service Employees International Union is bringing

in 5,000 janitors from several companies at once. With work force experts saying that unions face a slow death

unless they can figure out how to organize private-sector workers in big bunches, labor leaders are looking to

the Houston campaign as a model. The service employees' success comes as the percentage of private-sector

workers in unions has dropped to 7.9%, the lowest rate in more than a century.

Union steps up drive to organize Starbucks

Source: Anthony Ramirez, New York Times

Union(s): Industrial Workers of the World

Date: November 26, 2005

The

conflict between the Starbucks coffee chain and workers wanting to form a citywide union played out on two

fronts yesterday: organizers formed a picket line in front of a local Starbucks, and a hearing was announced

for next year before the National Labor Relations Board. So far, the union, the Industrial Workers of the

World, has organized three Starbucks coffee shops in New York City. Starbucks has more than 200 outlets within

10 miles of downtown Manhattan, and nearly 6,900 in the United States. The starting wage for Starbucks in New

York City is $8.50 an hour.

Delphi extends unions' deadline for talks on cuts

Source: Sholnn Freeman, Washington Post

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: November 29, 2005

Delphi, the nation's largest auto parts maker, postponed a showdown with labor yesterday

by saying it would give the unions another month to negotiate wage and benefit cuts before asking a judge to

impose them. Delphi, which is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, said it will not consider

asking the bankruptcy court judge to throw out the labor contracts until Jan. 20, giving the company and unions

time to hammer out a deal and avoid a strike. Delphi has proposed cutting wages to as little as $9.50 per hour

from $28 per hour. Reductions also could include cutbacks to vacation days and benefits, as well as to the

company's payments in pensions and health care for retirees. Delphi is also seeking to slash its workforce as

part of the reorganization.

FAA calls for mediation in talks with controllers

Source: Matthew L. Wald, New York Times

Union(s): National Air Traffic Controllers Association

Date: November 29, 2005

Seeking

concessions like those that airlines got from pilots, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration called

for mediation in talks with unionized air traffic controllers, saying contract discussions were near an

impasse. The controllers' union responded by saying good progress was being made, and charged that the agency

was trying to throw the task of resolving the differences to a Republican-controlled Congress unfriendly to

organized labor. The union, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, is the successor to the

Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, whose strike in 1981 brought mass firing of controllers by

President Ronald Reagan.

Union's latest idea: organize a contest

Source: Molly Selvin, Los Angeles Times

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: December 2, 2005

More than 15,000 [people] around the country have entered an unusual contest launched by a labor union to find

"common sense" solutions to the nation's most pressing problems. Along the way, the Service Employees

International Union has found a clever way to promote itself. A bipartisan panel of judges will award prizes of

as much as $100,000 for the best ideas. The union also has pledged to back the winning idea with a campaign

that could include supporting legislative change. Some suggestions are--to put it charitably--wacky. But the

deluge of entries suggests that Americans are especially worried about taxes, jobs and affordable healthcare.

Boeing engineers ratify 3-year labor agreement boosting wages

Source: James Gunsalus, Bloomberg

Union(s): Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace

Date: December 2, 2005

Boeing's engineers' union voted to accept a new labor agreement that boosts pay and preserves

health-care benefits, helping the company avoid a strike and keep its aircraft program on schedule. Members of

the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace voted 89.5% in favor of the contract. Wages

increase 17% for engineers and 15% for technical workers. Salaries will be reviewed in 2007 and 2008 to make

sure they are competitive with the industry. In 2000, Boeing engineers staged one of the largest white-collar

walkouts in U.S. history. The 40-day strike led to a drop of as much as 32% in Boeing's stock.

AFL-CIO plans worldwide labor rallies

Source: Associated Press, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: December 6, 2005

[35%] of

American workers were union members in the mid-1950s, and that number is now 13%. Only 8% of those in private

industry now are union members. The AFL-CIO and dozens of allied organizations are putting together a

mobilizing campaign with more than 100 rallies around this country and a dozen overseas. Veterans of the labor

movement say it has been under siege for almost a quarter-century, since President Reagan fired federal air

traffic controllers in 1981 during a prolonged strike. The steady loss of manufacturing jobs overseas,

corporate hostility to unions and government policies that make organizing new unions a slow and difficult

process have all contributed to labor's problems.

Labor to press for workers' right to join unions

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: December 9, 2005

The AFL-CIO

has organized 100 demonstrations nationwide this week to assert that the right of American workers to form

unions is being systematically violated. Eleven Nobel Peace Prize winners, including the Dalai Lama, are

backing the protest against violations of the right to unionize in the United States and other nations. Union

membership [is] slipping even though surveys show that more than half of American workers would join a union if

they could. Labor leaders say that companies often violate workers' rights in an effort to cripple organizing

drives, pointing to a new study showing that nearly one-third of companies facing unionization campaigns fire

union supporters and that one-half threaten to close work sites.

Union supporters picket White House

Source: Juan-Carlos Rodriguez, Associated Press, Washington Post

Union(s): AFL-CIO

Date: December 8, 2005

Hundreds of union members picketed the White House Thursday but did not

succeed in delivering a petition addressed to President Bush urging him to protect workers' rights and pass

labor-friendly legislation. The demonstration was the latest in a series of events around the country designed

to coincide with International Human Rights Week and bring attention to the labor movement. Demonstrators

gathered at a boisterous rally at the AFL-CIO national headquarters and marched to the White House, where they

formed the large picket line and shouted anti-Bush slogans. Speakers encouraged Congress to pass the Employee

Free Choice Act to secure workers' rights.

Ford, UAW sign tentative health care pact that trims benefits

Source: Sholnn Freeman, Washington Post

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: December 11, 2005

Ford and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative agreement to reduce

health care benefits after a similar deal made with General Motors in October. The Ford deal follows the basic

framework of the GM agreement, which requires workers and retirees to pay more for their health care.

Autoworkers represented by the UAW pay little in out-of-pocket costs for health care benefits. Health care and

other benefits were won over decades of collective bargaining agreements between the union and Detroit

automakers. UAW's deal with GM was regarded by labor scholars as a major setback for the UAW, which has been

called one of the last unions in the country with significant clout.

House GOP reaches deal with UAW on pension reform

Source: Associated Press, USA Today

Union(s): United Auto Workers

Date: December 13, 2005

Two House Republican leaders said Tuesday they had reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers on major

pension reform legislation, clearing the way for the House to vote on the bill before it adjourns for the year.

The Senate last month passed its version of the legislation that attempts to tighten rules for companies that

underfund their pension funds while protecting the promised benefits of workers and retirees and shoring up the

financial status of the federal agency that insures defined-benefit plans.

Union ads aim to pressure House members

Source: Will Lester, Associated Press, Washington Post

Union(s): American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employess; Service Employees International Union; AFL-CIO

Date: December 12, 2005

One of the nation's largest unions is [running television ads] critical

of proposed federal budget cuts in social programs for the middle-class and poor--aiming the ads at seven GOP

House members. The AFSCME ad shows images of families in the background as a voice criticiz[es] Republicans'

stance on the budget. Meanwhile, the SEIU is [running] newspaper ads targeting a number of Republican

lawmakers. In a separate effort, the AFL-CIO is organizing campaigns in 10 states to pressure members of

Congress to take positions "favoring working families" on key issues.

New York City sets plan in case of transit strike on Friday

Source: Steven Greenhouse, Thomas J. Lueck, New York Times

Union(s): Transport Workers Union

Date: December 13, 2005

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said he hoped that a walkout would be averted and urged transit

workers to follow the example of many municipal unions by exchanging productivity increases for bigger raises.

The Bloomberg administration estimated that the city's businesses would lose $440 million to $660 million per

day in business activity. [The] president of Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union, representing 33,700

subway and bus workers, said the mayor should not interfere in his union's talks with the Metropolitan

Transportation Authority, a state-controlled agency. Local 100 has threatened to shut down the transit system

if the two sides fail to reach a settlement by 12:01 a.m. Friday.

City seeks stiff fines for workers and transit union if they strike

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Union(s): Transport Workers Union

Date: December 14, 2005

With three days to go before a threatened transit shutdown, the Bloomberg

administration stepped into the middle of the fray yesterday, asking a judge to fine the transit workers'

union $1 million and each striker $25,000 on the first day of a strike and to double the fines successively

each day after that. The union has been negotiating with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a state

agency, whose initial wage offers have been forcefully rejected. The contract is set to expire at 12:01 a.m.

Friday. By filing the suit, the city put itself squarely in the fight.

Janitors win jobs back in NLRB ruling

Source: Jaci Smith, NorthJersey.com

Union(s): Service Employees International Union

Date: December 14, 2005

Ten janitors who lost their jobs in a labor dispute with

a cleaning company won them back in a ruling issued Tuesday by the National Labor Relations Board. The ruling

found that Janitorial Environmental Services fired the janitors because they were unionized. The ruling

requires that the company immediately rehire the workers at their contract pay of $7.75 an hour, pay them for

their time off work and renegotiate a new contract. The members of the Service Employees International Union

Local 32BJ were fired in December 2004.

NYC could face transit strike Friday

Source: Sara Kugler, Associated Press, Washington Post

Union(s): Transport Workers Union

Date: December 14, 2005

Here's what it could look like: bicyclists darting through never-ending

traffic jams. Swarms of commuters trudging over the Brooklyn Bridge in their sneakers in the freezing cold.

Tourists stranded during the height of the Christmas season. Broadway shows with half-empty theaters. New York

could be hit on Friday with its first subway and bus strike in more than 25 years, a walkout that could shut

down a system used by an estimated 7 million riders a day. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is locked

in round-the-clock negotiations with the Transport Workers Union on a new contract for more than 33,000

members. The old contract e