MEXICAN LABOR NEWS AND ANALYSIS July 2010, Vol. 15, No. 5
The merger would create an international union of one million metal workers and miners.
The United Steelworkers (USW), which represents 850,000 workers in Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States, and the National Union of Miners and Metal Workers (SNTMMSRM), known as the Mineros, which represents 180,000 workers in Mexico, have announced plans to explore uniting into one international union. The agreement to begin exploration of a merger was signed on June 21.
This new step in the creation of a global union — as opposed to a global federation of unions — represents a significant new development for labor in the Americas with implications for workers around the world. Building on the 2008 trans-Atlantic relationship between Unite in the United Kingdom and the USW, now the USW and the Mineros are working to build a worldwide labor union with the power to confront the concentrated capital of the mining and metal working industries.
Increasing proportions of low-income young adults are pursuing higher education, but some remain poor even with a postsecondary degree, according to a new report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy.
In 2008, among Americans ages 18 to 26 whose total household income was near or below the federal poverty level, 47 percent were or had been enrolled in college, compared with 42 percent in 2000. Eleven percent of them had earned a degree, a proportion roughly equivalent to that eight years ago, according to the report, which is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
The institute is a nonprofit group in Washington that conducts public-policy research to encourage access and success in higher education.
In introducing its report, the group called into question President Obama’s declaration in his State of the Union address in January that “the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education.” Poor students go to college academically unprepared, the report says, and, amid competing family and work obligations, they accumulate debt “that could have been avoided by pursuing a different type of degree or a credential.”