New Hampshire AFL-CIO Endorses HR 676

Author of Medicare for All Rep. John Conyers (D)
Author of Medicare for All Rep. John Conyers (D)

New Hampshire AFL-CIO Endorses HR 676

“On Saturday, May 4th the New Hampshire AFL-CIO unanimously passed a
resolution supporting HR 676 and the adoption of a national single payer
health care system that covers all Americans for all necessary medical
care including prescription drugs and dental,” reported President Mark

New Hampshire is the 42nd State AFL-CIO Federation to endorse HR 676,
Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, sponsored by Congressman John
Conyers (D-MI).

“HR 676 will save hundreds of billions of dollars by eliminating the
private health insurance industry with its high overhead and profits,”
said MacKenzie.

“As President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO I am proud to have our members
actively participate in the movement to win passage of HR 676 and to make
health care a human right.”

On May 21, 2013, HR 676 gained another co-sponsor in Congress with the
addition of Danny Davis (IL-7). HR 676 now has 42 co-sponsors.

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Labor Endorsed Candidates Advance in PA Primary

Labor Wins On Primary Day

The Labor Movement across Pennsylvania flexed its muscle on primary election day, propelling many of our endorsed candidates to victory.  In municipal, school board, and judicial races, and in two special elections for state house, it was a good day for working families, and for the candidates who support us.

“Elections have consequences;” said Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale.  “After seeing the consequences of recent election cycles, labor members and a majority of voters from across the Commonwealth stood together yesterday in so many of these elections, and delivered victories for Pennsylvania’s workers.”

In the special election for House District 42, Dan Miller (D – Allegheny) won a commanding 20-point victory over his opponent to fill the seat of newly elected State Senator Matt Smith.   Kevin Schreiber (D – York), running in the 95th House District to replace Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, also won on Tuesday by an impressive 15-point margin.

“The voters in HD 42 and HD 95 spoke loud and clear, in what will become a referendum opposing the failed policies of the Corbett Administration, in favor of a pro-worker, pro-community agenda;”  added Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder.  “The PA AFL-CIO would like to give special credit to the Allegheny and York / Adams Central Labor Councils, who spearheaded these Special Elections through their early recommendations and affiliate-field mobilization.”

Central Labor Council bodies from across the Commonwealth also endorsed in many local elections, and worked hard to propel their candidates to victory.

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PA DEP Forced to Reveal Drilling Damage in 161 PA Water Supplies

Dimock, Pa. resident Craig Sautner shows off his water.
Dimock, Pa. resident Craig Sautner shows off his water.

Oil, gas drilling damage in 161 Pa. water supplies

SCRANTON (AP) — Oil and gas development damaged the water supplies of at least 161 Pennsylvania homes, farms, churches and businesses between 2008 and the fall of 2012, according to state records obtained by a newspaper.

The (Scranton) Times-Tribune first requested the records in late 2011 under the Right to Know law, but the Department of Environmental Protection mounted legal challenges and didn’t release the records until late last year.

The Times-Tribune analyzed nearly 1,000 letters and enforcement orders written by DEP officials. The determination letters are sent to water supply owners who complained that drilling activities polluted or diminished the flow of water to their wells.

About 17 percent of the investigations across the five-year period found that oil and gas activity disrupted water supplies either temporarily or seriously enough to require companies to replace the source. According to the letters, faulty wells channeled natural gas into the water supplies for 90 properties. Three of those cases were tied to old wells, one of which caused an explosion at a home after gas entered through a floor drain and accumulated in a basement.

The department repeatedly argued in court filings that it does not count how many determination letters it issues or track where they are kept in its files. The DEP has also fought efforts by The Associated Press and other news organizations to obtain similar records.

Continue reading PA DEP Forced to Reveal Drilling Damage in 161 PA Water Supplies

Labor Unions to Oppose Obama Nominee for Commerce Secretary

EXCLUSIVE: Organized labor to oppose President Obama’s nomination of Penny Pritzker for commerce secretary

National hotel workers union upset with Pritzker for labor practices at Hyatt Hotels, the source of her family’s fortune


Published: Monday, May 20, 2013, 1:22 PM
Updated: Monday, May 20, 2013, 1:57 PM

ObamaPritzkerChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama’ with his nominee for commerce secretary, Chicago business executive Penny Pritzker, at the White House earlier this month. A major union announced Monday that it will oppose her nomination.

Organized labor will break its silence and oppose President Obama‘s nominee for Commerce Secretary, Chicago’s Penny Pritzker, the Daily News has learned.

The decision stems from long-standing grievances with labor practices at the Hyatt Hotels chain, a source of her family’s fortune, and despite earlier reports that unions would not raise objections to the nomination.

Donald “D” Taylor, president of the 270,000-member union of hotel and restaurant workers known as UNITE HERE, confirmed the move to The News on Monday. His opposition was spurred by his just learning that the Senate Commerce Committee was moving up its confirmation hearing for Pritzker.

The union had been led to understand that hearing would take place perhaps well after the Memorial Day weekend. But the surprise decision to move up the hearing forced the union’s hand.

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‘Clean and Green’ Industrial Laundry Comes to Pittsburgh as a Worker Cooperative


Pittsburgh, PA is the home of a new worker cooperative, the ‘Clean and Green Laundry.’  The industrial-scale cleaning firm was brought into being by a joint effort of the United Steel Workers and the City University of New York School of Law’s Community Economic Development (CED) Clinic, both of whom are in a new partnership with the Mondragon Cooperatives, the largest worker-owned cooperative in the world, located in Spain.

Under the new partnership, the CED Clinic, in collaboration with Pennsylvania-based Regional Housing Legal Services, will help launch the job-creating effort, an eco-friendly laundry based on Mondragon’s cooperative model.

Pittsburgh Clean & Green aims to re-employ 100 primarily minority laundry workers, who were laid off when their Sodexho Corporation laundry closed. They will work in a new state-of-the-art facility in Pittsburgh’s Central District.


Photo: Industrial laundry similar to ‘Clean & Green’

CUNY’s CED Clinic will provide legal support for a new model of unionized worker cooperatives—called “union coops”—recently launched by Mondragon, the United Steelworkers union (USW), and the Ohio Employment Ownership Center (OEOC).

“Union coops can create well-paying, democratically run workplaces in communities hard hit by the economic recession,” explains Carmen Huertas-Noble, associate professor and director of the CED Clinic. “The union component of the model provides front line worker-owners with the security of a collective bargaining agreement and leverages the organizational expertise and economic power of the labor movement.”

Continue reading ‘Clean and Green’ Industrial Laundry Comes to Pittsburgh as a Worker Cooperative