All eyes are trained on Wisconsin, but corporate-backed politicians are clearly gunning for working people in every state across the country.
In a brazen new low, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is on track to sign a new law under the guise of fiscal responsibility that will allow him to appoint emergency fiscal managers with powers so expansive they could "fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services - and even eliminate whole cities or school districts without any public input," according to CBS.
Over the past week, Republican governors and legislators in state after state have taken aim at their own constituents with increasingly blatant attacks on education, public services, and working people's voices.
• In Maine, Governor Paul LePage has exempted himself from a budget bill that requires teachers and other state employees to increase their pension contributions from 7.65 percent of their salary to 9.65 percent. Laws curtailing the rights and compensation of public service employees or calling for privatization of public services have been introduced in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin;
• On Thursday, the Florida House passed a bill, HB 7005, which would slash unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to a sliding scale of 12 to 20 weeks, and force unemployed workers to accept a minimum wage job after receiving 19 weeks of benefits;
• In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Corbett's budget would cut over 1500 jobs and slash funding for public universities in half. Public school teachers and employees face assaults in the form of thinly veiled attacks on public schools and teachers in Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania among others;
• So-called right-to-work bills have been introduced in over a dozen states, including Maine, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania,
Temp agencies, ‘raiteros’ exploit undocumented
Ty Inc. became one of the world's largest manufacturers of stuffed animals thanks to the Beanie Babies craze in the 1990s.
But it has stayed on top partly by using an underworld of labor brokers known as raiteros, who pick up workers from Chicago's street corners and shuttle them to Ty's ...
ASSET Bill: ‘People do believe in humanity’
Moments after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the ASSET bill at the Student Success Building on the Metropolitan State University Denver campus this week, a beaming President Stephen Jordan went to the microphone and put an exclamation point on an historic event.
“ASSET,” he proclaimed to ...
Citizenship must reflect more humane principles
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) finds the immigration bill introduced last week a modest start on reform, due to provisions that address family unification and workers’ rights and create a narrow path to citizenship for some immigrants. But much of the bill reproduces many of the ...
Communities of color face higher environmental risks
This week we celebrate Earth Day, an international campaign for environmental awareness and protection. While this is a time to celebrate our planet, we are also reminded of the great environmental risks facing communities of color and their resilience to protect both the planet and their ...