After working as a Business Rep for the members of Local 1584 for almost 14 years, and a machinist at Amot Controls for 27 years before that, Chris Rasmussen retired as of January 31, 2014. “I may be retiring, but I will definitely stay active with Local 1584 doing legislative and organizing work,” he says. Rasmussen adds that after being very active with the union for almost 30 years—before becoming a rep, he was Amot’s chief shop steward for more than 15 years— it’s hard to think about moving on. “I’ve definitely got second thoughts, but it’s a done deal now.”
When asked what was best about being a Rep, Rasmussen had several answers. “From servicing the membership to making sure that the employers followed the contract, and being in negotiations to make the contract better, I really enjoyed it all. I liked helping people and making sure that they knew the union was there to step up to help them out.”
Rasmussen says he was lucky to have been trained by the best—Herman Howell and Jesse Baptista. “I’ll miss the daily routine, but I plan to remain busy with the union,” Rasmussen says. “I just have to say, ‘Thank god for the pension’” he adds proudly.
[Originally Printed in the Sparkplug, Feb-March 2014]
Soon, government-issued uniforms for federal workers may no longer don clothing tags imprinted with the words “Made in China.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced a bill that would require the federal government to only buy apparel that is 100 percent made in America.
Brown says the Wear American Act is imperative for a number of reasons. First, shifting production back to the U.S. would boost manufacturing and prevent the nation’s trade deficit from expanding.
Second, it’s an economic stimulus. The federal government currently spends approximately $1.5 billion a year on federal employee uniforms made overseas.
It’s also about worker rights and safety, says the Senator, who explains that the bill allows for waivers in such cases where the items cannot be domestically-sourced, but the government will only be allowed to do business with contractors in compliance with labor, safety and child labor laws.
“It’s bad enough it’s not made by American workers,” said Brown. “It’s five times worse if it’s made by workers who often are children and not treated well. That’s shameful, and that’s the first thing we fix.”
Under current law, 51 percent of federal workers’ apparel must come from U.S. manufacturers. There has been serious concern by the labor movement about the failure and the lack of oversight of the federal government in reaching that benchmark.
Brown says under the bill, federal contractors will be required to disclose the locations of their factories and working conditions to the General Services Administration.
Source: Machinist News Network
Newly-proposed NLRB regulations would go a long way towards ensuring fair union elections for workers across the U.S. [ Article originally published by IMail ]
Thu. February 06, 2014
The unfair, tedious and costly process for workers to exercise their right to organize could be getting some reprieve if recently-proposed labor regulations take effect.The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has put forth new rules that would allow unions to hold quicker elections by simplifying procedures and disallowing tactics that have permitted retailers like Wal-Mart and Target to postpone union elections and bully workers.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called the rules “an important step in the right direction.”
“The current NLRB election process is riddled with delay and provides too many opportunities for employers to manipulate and drag out the process through costly and unnecessary litigation and deny workers a vote,” Trumka said.
The board approved similar rules two years ago, but corporate lawyers stymied the new regulations before they could help working Americans.The NLRB is accepting comments on the proposed rule changes until April 7, 2014.
Click here to tell the NLRB that you support new rules that help even the playing field with Corporate America and promote free, fair and open union elections.