News

Laborers' Looman named DOLI assistant commissioner

Minnesota Commissioner of Labor and Industry Ken Peterson has appointed Jessica Looman to the position of assistant commissioner for construction codes and labor standards. Looman has worked for the past 10 years as general counsel for the Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota. There she worked on issues including collective bargaining, prevailing wage and unemployment insurance. Read more »

"AFTERSHOCK" Reich and Colbert on our new economy

Professor Robert Reich from U Cal Berkley appeared on the Colbert Report show to talk about his most recent book:"Aftershock". Reich was the Secretary of Labor during the Clinton Administration and a real champion of Organized Labor. He is very candid about the redistribution of wealth which has lasted at least 30 years.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/361761/october-11...

Unemployment Insurance, tax credits for working families, boost economy much more than high-income tax cuts

The federal legislation that extends Unemployment Insurance for people looking for work, along with the extension of improvements to tax credits for low-income working families, are expected to produce far more “bang for the buck” in terms of economic growth than the extension of tax cuts for high-income households. These findings come from a recent analysis by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. Read more »

OSHA Backtracks on Proposed Workplace Injury Rule

It seems simple enough. Employers already keep a record for workplace injuries and illnesses–why not add a column to the report for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s)—ergonomic injuries? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would provide the form and employers would simply put a check mark in right place to identify which injuries are MSDs. But now OSHA is backtracking on this rule-keeping measure, withdrawing the rule from final review to get further input from small businesses. Read more »

Politics as Usual Targets Workers in States

In Minnesota, they want to want to end the jobs of 15 percent of the men and women in the state workforce. In Tennessee, they want to take away right of teachers join unions. In Ohio, they want to eliminate collective bargaining rights for home health care and child care workers and restrict the bargaining rights of police officers and fire fighters. Who are they? Read more »

Making Clean Local Energy Accessible Now

The Center for American Progress has a new report out about clean renewable energy. One of the main components of the report is the importance of hiring local contractors and craftsmen. This paper explores how to implement contracts in ways that create the greatest benefit for consumers, communities, and the economy as a whole.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/pdf/clean_contracts.pdf (full report)

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/pdf/clean_contracts_execs... (executive summary)

Historian: Thomas Jefferson supported `government run health care'

Image of Thomas JeffersonThanks to the Sheet Metal Workers for posting this article by Greg Sargent, Washington Post, on their Facebook page. I see that the Rick Ungar post I flagged yesterday arguing that John Adams supported a 1798 measure similar to health reform's individual mandate Read more »

Public sector workers are a ‘privileged new class,’ says billionaire

In the ideological assault being directed today at public sector workers no one has outdone Mortimer Zuckerman ... It is the millions of “public servants” with their outrageous five-digit salaries and their galling health insurance and retirement pensions, Zuckerman insisted, who have now become “the public’s masters,” seizing a disproportionate share of society’s rewards and bringing on the failures of the U.S. Read more »

Changing Our Story

Mark Breslin has built quite a positive reputation in the organized construction industry over the past several years. He is admired after for his vision, creativity and frankness when it comes to addressing industry problems. Mark also writes extensively about the industry. From time to time we will attach some of his articles. This piece talks about the rigors and rewards of an apprenticeship compared with college.

http://blog.breslin.biz/?p=160

World Trade Center Tower Reaches Midpoint

The attached site has a wonderful tour of the construction from the new World Trade Center in New York City. The story and video serve as a reminder of just how picturesque the construction industry really is. It is also a reminder about the dangers of the industry and the perils of those who capture video of the  events. Read more »