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US: 2nd Walkout at Boeing in 3 Years
by MICHELINE MAYNARDThe New York Times
September 6th, 2008
The Boeing Company, whose order books are bulging with demand for its planes, was hit by its second major strike in three years early Saturday, when the union that represents 27,000 machinists in Washington State, Oregon and Kansas walked off the job.

US: Inquiry Finds Under-Age Workers at Meat Plant
by JULIA PRESTONThe New York Times
August 5th, 2008
State labor investigators have identified 57 under-age workers who were employed at a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, and have asked the attorney general to bring criminal charges against the company for child labor violations, Dave Neil, the Iowa Labor Commissioner, said on Tuesday.

US: Companies Tap Pension Plans To Fund Executive Benefits
by ELLEN E. SCHULTZ and THEO FRANCISThe Wall Street Journal
August 4th, 2008
In recent years, companies from Intel Corp. to CenturyTel Inc. collectively have moved hundreds of millions of dollars of obligations for executive benefits into rank-and-file pension plans. This lets companies capture tax breaks intended for pensions of regular workers and use them to pay for executives' supplemental benefits and compensation.

US: OSHA Seeks $8.7 Million Fine Against Sugar Company
by SHAILA DEWANThe New York Times
July 26th, 2008
Imperial Sugar, the owner of a refinery near Savannah where 13 workers died in a sugar dust explosion in February, knew of safety hazards at the plant as early as 2002 but did nothing, and should pay more than $8.7 million for safety violations, the head of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Friday.

US: Toxic Smoke and Mirrors
by Jim MorrisMother Jones
Filed in federal District Court in Cleveland, their claim joined thousands of others pending against welding-products manufacturers in state and federal courts. (Employers have not been among the targets because lawyers generally concluded they were ignorant of the metal's dangers.)

US: Workers on Hunger Strike Say They Were Misled on Visas
by JULIA PRESTONThe New York Times
June 7th, 2008
The Indian workers say they were deceived by Signal International and labor recruiters when they paid as much as $20,000 for visas they believed would allow them to work and live permanently with their families in the United States. In fact, the H-2B visas are for short-term contracts.

US: Wal-Mart's Detractors Come In From the Cold
by MICHAEL BARBARONew York Times
June 5th, 2008
But after waging an aggressive public relations campaign against Wal-Mart for three years, the company's full-time, union-backed critics, who once vowed never to let up, are lowering their pitchforks.

GLOBAL: Union Takes Anti-Buyout Campaign Worldwide
by MICHAEL J. de la MERCEDThe New York Times
June 4th, 2008
Beginning Wednesday, the Service Employees International Union, one of the country’s biggest unions, will call upon people to attend protests on July 17 in 100 cities in 25 countries. The rallying cry will be: Take back the economy from buyout firms that the union says have exploited tax loopholes to amass great wealth at others’ expense.

US: In Stock Plan, Employees See Stacked Deck
by MARY WILLIAMS WALSHThe New York Times
May 29th, 2008
Now that many U.S. Sugar workers are reaching retirement age, though, the company has been cashing them out of the retirement plan at a much lower price than they could have received. Unknown to them, an outside investor was offering to buy the company — and their shares — for far more. Longtime employees say they have lost out on tens of thousands of dollars each and millions of dollars as a group, while insiders of the company came out ahead.

US: Burger King Ends Dispute With Farmworkers Group
Associated Press
May 23rd, 2008
Burger King Corp. and a farmworkers advocacy group announced a deal Friday to end a bitter dispute by trying to boost wages and improve conditions for Florida tomato pickers.

RUSSIA: As Gazprom Goes, So Goes Russia
by Andrew E. KramerNew York Times
May 11th, 2008
Gazprom and the Russian government have long had a close relationship, but the revolving door between them is spinning especially fast this year. But Gazprom also epitomizes the risks of state capitalism: waste and inefficiency.

US: Hawaii ironworkers' pension fund sues Alcoa, board members over Bahrain bribery allegations
The Associated Press
May 8th, 2008
The Hawaii Structural Ironworkers Pension Trust Fund accuses Alcoa's board in the lawsuit of "causing and/or failing to prevent Alcoa's illegal payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal bribe payments" to senior Bahraini government officials.

MEXICO: Pemex Oozes Corruption
by Diego Cevallos IPS
May 7th, 2008
Funds belonging to the Mexican state oil monopoly, Pemex, have paid in recent years for liposuction treatment for the wife of the company's chief executive, a presidential candidate's campaign, contracts with firms facing legal action, and the whims of trade union leaders who are not required to account for their expenses.

CHINA: In China City, Protesters See Pollution Risk of New Plant
by Edward WongNew York Times
May 6th, 2008
Residents took to the streets of Chengdu to protest a $5.5 billion ethylene plant under construction by PetroChina, reflecting a surge in environmental awareness by urban, middle-class Chinese determined to protect their health and the value of their property.

US: Working Life (High and Low)
by STEVEN GREENHOUSEThe New York Times
April 20th, 2008
Jean called it “a great deal for FedEx. They don’t have to pay for trucks, for the insurance, for fuel, for maintenance, for tires,” she said. “We have to pay for all those things. And they don’t have to pay our Social Security.”

US: Rape in Iraq Recounted
by SUZANNE GAMBOAThe Associated Press
April 10th, 2008
An Illinois woman who says she was raped while working for a contractor in Iraq recounted the experience in a congressional hearing Wednesday.

US: US business unites to fight labour reform
by Jonathan Birchall and Francesco GuerreraThe Financial Times
April 9th, 2008
US business leaders are ­stepping up a campaign against proposed labour law reforms, backed by the Democrats, that could significantly enhance the ability of unions to organise workers.

US: America for Sale: 2 Outcomes When Foreigners Buy Factories
by PETER S. GOODMANThe New York Times
April 7th, 2008
As foreign buyers descend upon the United States, capturing widening swaths of the industrial landscape and putting millions of Americans to work for new owners, these two cities offer sharply competing narratives for a nation still uneasy about being on the selling end of the global economy.

US: CALIFORNIA $100 million tip for Starbucks servers
by Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff WriterThe San Francisco Chronicle
March 21st, 2008
A San Diego judge ordered Starbucks to pour more than $100 million into the accounts of its low-wage coffee-servers in California on Thursday after ruling that the company had improperly required the workers to share tips with their bosses.

US: Families Sue Chiquita in Deaths of 5 Men
by CARMEN GENTILEThe New York Times
March 17th, 2008
Last week, Ms. Julin, who has remarried, and the widows of the four other men filed a lawsuit against Chiquita Brands International Inc., saying the company contributed to their husbands’ deaths by financing the leftist group.

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