|CANADA: Canadian Rail Engineers Begin a Strike|
by Ian Austen, New York Times
November 28th, 2009
About 1,700 locomotive engineers with the Canadian National Railway went on strike early Saturday. The walkout followed a decision by Canadian National to impose a new contract on its workers, including a 500-mile increase in the distance engineers are required to cover each month. The union said that the increased distance would sometimes make engineers work seven-day weeks without overtime.
|US: A Dispute Over Unionizing at Montana Hair Salons|
by Steven Greenhouse, New York Times
August 29th, 2009
The Regis Corporation, parent of Cost Cutters and the largest hair salon company in the U.S., is asking stylists in Montana to sign a document foregoing any future pro-union signature. Regis claims the document is meant to protect against union-card legislation now in Congress.
|INDONESIA: Scramble for coal assets in Indonesia|
by Sundeep Tucker and John Aglionby, Financial Times
June 7th, 2009
Some of the world’s largest energy groups are scrambling to acquire coal mining assets in Indonesia as family-run conglomerates consider divestments to raise cash. Peabody Energy, the US coal miner, and Xstrata, the Anglo-Swiss miner, are believed to be among those interested. Industry analysts said Chinese, South Korean, Indian and Middle Eastern companies were also scouring Indonesia for assets.
|WORLD: The Jewel Trade's Fading Luster|
by V. Dion Haynes and Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post
March 28th, 2009
The drop in U.S. demand for high-end jewelry in a slumping economy is having ripple effects around the globe as stores close, workers are laid off in mass in the diamond-polishing factories of Gujarat, and countries like Botswana experience a dramatic drop in diamond revenue.
|US/CANADA: Alaskan lake’s fate could echo across continent|
by Todd Wilkinson, Christian Science Monitor
March 24th, 2009
A landmark legal case now before the US Supreme Court holds huge implications for lakes across the continent. Nearly four decades the Clean Water Act was passed to protect waterways from industrial pollution, a proposal by Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. to dispose of tons of effluent in Alaska's Lower Slate Lake has sparked an international debate.
|UGANDA/IRAQ: Why 10,000 Ugandans are eagerly serving in Iraq|
by Max Delany, Christian Science Monitor
March 6th, 2009
Hired out to multibillion-dollar companies for hundreds of dollars a month, 10,000 Ugandans risk their lives seeking fortunes protecting US Army bases, airports, and oil firms in Iraq for as little as $600 per month. Many are looking to go to Afghanistan as the Obama administration increases contracts there.
|US, GLOBAL: Layoffs Without Notice Sting Workers|
by Steve Lohr, New York Times
March 5th, 2009
With the economy weakening, chief executives want Wall Street to see them as tough cost-cutters who are not afraid to lay off workers. Big companies also routinely carry out scattered layoffs that are small enough to stay under the radar, contributing to an unemployment rate that keeps climbing. I.B.M. is one such company.
|US: 'Card check' ballots to determine union representation|
by Erin Rosa, Colorado Independent
February 24th, 2009
Glenn Spencer, executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was in Denver on Monday to decry H.R. 800, federal legislation that would give workers greater rights to unionize. Spencer spoke at the offices of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry and warned of the “most radical rewrite of labor law in 70 years.”
|UK, ITALY: Italian business body hits at Brown|
by Jean Eaglesham, Financial Times
February 9th, 2009
In the context of global debate around the unfettered free-market system, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown comes under fire from an Italian business association for not reining in wildcat labor strikes at the Lindsey oil refinery in Lincolnshire.
|JAPAN: Nissan to Slash Payroll, Pare Japanese Output |
by John Murphy, Wall Street Journal
February 9th, 2009
Nissan Motor Co. Monday announced plans to slash more than 20,000 jobs world-wide, shift production out of Japan and seek government assistance from Japan, the U.S. and elsewhere, part of a broad new effort by the Japanese car maker to weather the economic downturn.
|US: In Factory Sit-In, an Anger Spread Wide|
by MONICA DAVEY, New York Times
December 7th, 2008
In a glimpse at how the nation’s loss of more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs this year is boiling over, workers laid off from Republic Windows and Doors, said they would not leave, after company officials announced that the factory was closing. The workers were owed vacation and severance pay and were not given the 60 days of notice generally required by federal law in lay-offs.
|US/IRAQ: Indiana guardsmen sue defense contractor KBR|
by Farah Stockman, Boston Globe
December 4th, 2008
Sixteen Indiana national guardsmen filed a lawsuit yesterday against military contractor KBR. The complaint alleges that several reservists contracted respiratory system tumors and skin rashes after guarding reconstruction work at the Qarmat Ali treatment plant, strewn with the toxin chromium dichromate.
|US: 2nd Walkout at Boeing in 3 Years
by MICHELINE MAYNARD, The 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 PRESTON, The 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 FRANCIS, The 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 DEWAN, The 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 Morris, Mother 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.)