Living Wage Victory on Long Island
By Neal Tepel
August 1, 2010
On Monday July 26, 2010, every member of the Nassau County Legislature voted to protect a $1 Living Wage increase for thousands of low-income Long Island workers. That means that starting August 1st, workers in industries like home health care -- who earn an average of just $22,000 a year -- will finally get a Living Wage of $12.50 per hour.
Thomson Reuters Corp has illegally cut the pay of all of its 420 U.S. union members and walked away from negotiations with the Newspaper Guild of New York, CWA Local 31003. In addition the company has not used its 12-year-old tax breaks to create jobs for New Yorkers.For more information, call the CWA at 212.344.2515.
D.A. Rice has made workers' rights and labor issues the centerpiece of her tenure as Nassau's top prosecutor. In 2008 she took on the world's largest corporation, Walmart, for its handling of a fatal Black Friday stampede. District Attorney Rice's investigation eventually forced the retail giant to agree to a series of unprecedented and sweeping safety reforms. Her efforts forced Walmart to set up a $1.5 million victims' compensation fund. The reforms have since been adopted by the corporation on a nationwide level,affecting millions of Americans every day.
Experts from transit systems on four continents will participate July 27-29 in a conference on the health of urban transit workers. The conference, jointly organized by the CUNY Center for the Biology of Natural Systems and the 38,000-member TWU Local 100, will consider health studies of mass transit workers, technology changes in mass transportation systems, and the experience of workers’ compensation, disability, health benefits and pensions of transit workers.
The conference agenda is being coordinated by TWU Local 100 Safety and Health Technical Director Frank Goldsmith, under the direction of the Union's Director of Safety and Health Earl Phillips.It will be held at the Union's Hall at 80 West End Avenue, off 64th Street in Manhattan. Dr. Goldsmith can be reached at the TWU's main number, 212-873-6000.
What does the Early Retiree Reinsurance Subsidy mean to Taft-Hartley Funds and other employers?
The Early Retiree Reinsurance Subsidy provides $5 billion to Taft-Hartley Funds and other employers to help them maintain health coverage for early retirees ages 55-64, their spouses, surviving spouses and dependents. Applications are be available from the Department of Health and Human Services and will be processed on first-come, first-served basis.
High Level Program Requirements:
The key elements of the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program are:
- The program regulations became effective June 1, 2010.
By law, the program will expire on January 1, 2014, or when the $5 billion Congress allocated through the legislation is exhausted.
The program applies to fully insured and self-insured groups
providing early retiree coverage. All groups (except federal governmental plans) are eligible, regardless of size.
Along with Winsten, Lillian Roberts, Veronica Montgomery-Costa, Patricia Smith, and James McCarthy were honored with Lemlich awards at the dinner for their dedication to labor issues.
The awards are named after the young woman whose fiery speech to garment workers in November 1910 led to a strike for better wages and working conditions. Ironically, the owners of the Triangle Company did not sign the industry agreement. On March 25, 1911 the horrific fire at the building caused the deaths of 146 young men and women mostly immigrants.
By 1914, New York’s Constitution was amended to authorize creation of a Workers’ Compensation statute. In addition, the 1911 fire spawned many workplace safety regulations including protection of child labor.
STATEMENT BY JACK AHERN, PRESIDENT OF THE NEW YORK CITY CENTRAL LABOR COUNCIL, AFL-CIO
RE: 2010 LABOR DAY PARADE
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE NEW YORK CITY CENTRAL LABOR COUNCIL HAS AGREED TO SUSPEND THIS YEAR’S LABOR DAY PARADE DUE TO THE COINCIDING OF THE SEPTEMBER 11TH MEMORIAL ANNIVERSARY DATE. TRADITIONALLY, THE NEW YORK CITY LABOR DAY PARADE IS HELD THE SATURDAY AFTER THE LABOR DAY HOLIDAY, AND THIS YEAR THE DATE FALLS ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2010. IN FULL RESPECT AND COMPLETE REMEMBRANCE OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES, AND THOSE WHO SO BRAVELY LOST THEIR LIVES, ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, THE LEADERS AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY’S ORGANIZED LABOR MOVEMENT WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE MEMORIALS HELD IN THER HONOR. THE LABOR DAY PARADE WILL RESUME IN 2011, AND THE PLANNING STAGES ARE ALREADY UNDER WAY.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey now employs thousands of construction workers through its capital plan – providing much needed employment in tough economic times. But the jobs might not last. The Authority confronts a shrinking budget as it struggles to meet the growing transportation needs of the region and rebuild its aging infrastructure. Union activists call for new investments in the region’s infrastructure that can keep the Port Authority’s capital plan on track and keep union workers on the job.
“We have a national and regional crisis with our infrastructure. We are looking more and more like a Third World nation,” said Robert Ledwith, business manager for Local 46 of the Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers speaking at a June 25th meeting of the Business and Labor Coalition of New York. Hundreds of his members are now working on Port Authority projects.
It’s been a pretty good year for the Port Authority so far. The Authority’s capital plan has created 58,000 jobs in 2010 alone, with $3.1 billion in new investment. Almost half of that work – 46 percent – is in lower Manhattan at the site of the World Trade Center. Tower One, formerly called the Freedom Tower, continues to rise and the World Trade Center Memorial is now scheduled to be completed in time for the 10-year anniversary of September 11th next year, according to Chris Ward, Executive Director of the Port Authority.
DILATION & ROUTINE EYE EXAMINATIONS
This is a question that is asked often by patients when they go for a routine eye examination and the doctor recommends that he or she dilate the pupil. Pupil dilation is extremely important because it allows the optometrist to look into the back of the eye. The reason should always be explained to the patient before dilation is performed. We often hear a patient complain that he didn’t want or ask for his eyes to be dilated, but rather just wanted refraction for eyeglasses. “ There are so many reasons that the doctor will dilate however explaining that this procedure enables the optometrist to early detect health problems such as hypertension, glaucoma and cataracts very early will alleviate confusion on the part of the patient,” says Diane Bowin, Director of Provider Relations for GVS. Patients with any eye diseases or other physiological diseases such as diabetes need to have these exams often. Making patients aware of all the reasons for dilation during a routine eye examination will help foster confidence and trust with the patient as well as general good health.
Call 1-800-VISION-1 for a General Vision Service location near you.
GVS is the largest third party optical administrator in the New York area serving over 5 million union members.
For more information see www.generalvision.com or e-mail Ken Levin at KenL@gvs.bz.