Lexington, Kentucky. At its February meeting the Executive Board of the
Bluegrass Central Labor Council voted to endorse HR 676, single payer
health care legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).
Council President Barbara Pierce said: “The Board of the CLC endorsed HR
676, single payer universal health care, because we firmly believe that
it’s the best plan for working families.”
The Bluegrass CLC, which represents workers in nine counties in Central
Kentucky, is the 119th CLC to endorse HR 676. Six out of eight central
labor councils in Kentucky, in addition to the state AFL-CIO, have
endorsed HR 676.
President Pierce said that the council will send the resolution to
Representative Ben Chandler, who represents the region in the US Congress.
Photo: Jason Altmire, (D-4th-PA) at labor meeting
Residents Speak Up
at ‘Town Hall’ Forum
and Job Issues
By Carl Davidson
Beaver County Blue
Congressman Jason Altmire got an earful at the Feb. 17 “Town Meeting’ on transportation issues held at Beaver County Community College, with some voices straying beyond the official agenda. But then, that’s what the representative from PA’s 4th CD called for when he launched sessions around the district inviting public participation.
The topic was Pennsylvania’s roads, bridges and traffic patterns, and how to keep the state, district and county from being shortchanged on all fronts. But it widened to include environmental protection, youth unemployment, racism in hiring, high-speed rail, rebuilding lock and dams, and general praise for President Barack Obama’s stimulus package. Continue reading County Residents Give Congressman Altmire and Transport Officials An Earful
Photo: Debi Davidson, Unpaid Nurse at CMC
Waiting for Pay
By Michael Pound
Beaver County Times
“They found money to pay the lawyers, and they still won’t pay us? It is outrageous.” –Michelle Batchelor, Hopewell Township, former operating room nurse at Commonwealth Medical Center.
PITTSBURGH, Feb 18, 2009 – The company that holds the checkbook for the bankrupt Commonwealth Medical Center found money to pay the attorneys who represent many of the hospital’s creditors — but the folks who worked for the hospital in the weeks before it closed are still waiting to hear when they’ll get their money.
Despite assuring everyone involved that there would be an agreement in place to ensure that those checks would be forthcoming, an attorney representing Bridge Healthcare Finance — the primary creditor in the case and the firm that controls whatever money is spent by the hospital — pulled back from those discussions, with the exception of finding about $20,000 for paying other lawyers involved in the case.
Continue reading Aliquippa Workers to Bridge Finance: ‘Why Are We the First in Line to Work, and the Last in Line for Payment?’
by Andrew Coates MD
COBRA is a law that allows you to keep your employer-sponsored health
insurance for 18 months if you lose or change jobs. To do so, you have to
pay 102% of the cost (the full premium plus a 2% surcharge).
The stimulus package just passed provides for laid off workers, who had
health insurance on the job, to receive a subsidy of 65% of the health
insurance premium for up to nine months.
Continue reading Subsidizing COBRA Is Not Enough–We Need HR 676: National Health Care
Photo: CMC workers gather for vigil and march
Dragging Feet on
Final Payment to
By Carl Davidson
Beaver County Blue
Why is a major Chicago financial group with millions once again behaving like a low-life deadbeat, needing to be dunned for payment by the hospital workers it owes, and who have very little?
That’s the question that sent Aliquippa’s former employees of the Commonwealth Medical Center back to the shutdown hospital Feb 16 for a candlelight vigil and nighttime march through neighborhood streets. About 50 nurses and staff, fired last December, braved freezing weather to demand, once again, their full back wages. About two weeks earlier, after a brief sit-in in the facility, they got about half their money, with the other half promised within weeks. The promise proved empty, if not deceitful. Continue reading Once Again, Aliquippa Workers Hit the Streets to Demand Their Pay
March Draws Thousands
in Granite City, IL
By Scott Cousins
St Louis Suburban Journals
Feb. 10, 2009 – A line of more than 5,500 laid-off steelworkers from Granite City, auto workers from Decatur and Fenton, Mo., and their supporters stretched out for more than eight blocks along a mile-long route as part of a “Put America Back To Work” march Tuesday morning in Granite City.
The march, sponsored by local and state labor unions and several community groups, was held to support passage of a federal stimulus bill, including a “buy American” provision.
Both city and union officials said slightly more than 5,500 people participated. Continue reading 5000 Steelworkers Deliver a Message to GOP Stimulus Blockers and Cutters