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Obama sends three trade deals to Congress

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Monday sent long-stalled free trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to the congress and pressed lawmakers there to approve them “without delay.” “These agreements will support tens of thousands of jobs across the country for workers making products stamped with three…

Two N.H. Republicans quit posts over GOP attacks on workers

Two Republican lawmakers in New Hampshire have resigned their leadership posts, citing deeply held disagreements with the GOP’s recent attacks on organized labor. State Rep. Matt Quandt and House Whip Tim Copeland both said they simply could not sit idly by as pensions and bargaining rights were rolled back. “[It]…

Republicans in South Carolina, New Hampshire and Missouri line up to attack unions

With the success of union-busting bills in Wisconsin and Ohio, Republicans in other states are taking the opportunity to attack unions. New Hampshire is set to become the first right-to-work state in the Northeast if Republicans there can override a promised veto of Democratic Gov. John Lynch. In 2010, Republicans…

GOP to use sleeping air controllers to push for privatization

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An uproar over lapses by U.S. air traffic controllers will spill into Congress where critics of organized labor see an unexpected opening to push their agenda into sweeping aviation legislation. Embarrassing disclosures of controllers sleeping on duty — even allowing first lady Michelle Obama’s plane to fly…

Shock employment figures: Fewer than 46% of Americans have jobs

The percentage of Americans who have jobs has fallen to the lowest point in three decades and now hovers just above 45 percent of the total population, according to an analysis of labor data published by USA Today. The report, based on figures provided by the Census and the Bureau…

U.S. and Colombia reach deal on labor concerns: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Colombia have agreed on a plan to address concerns over labor rights and anti-union violence in the South American country that have blocked a free trade pact for more than four years, a U.S. private sector source said on Wednesday. “I hear the…

After Maine’s governor removes labor mural, feds demand their money back

Whoops: The governor of Maine’s decision to remove a pro-labor mural from the state’s Department of Labor may cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, all because he wanted to “send a message.” Apparently unknown to Maine’s recently elected Republican governor, the mural targeted by his ire was initially paid…

Poll: Americans favor unions over GOP governors in labor disputes

More Americans back unions over governors who are trying to curb collective bargaining rights, according to a recent poll. The polling organization Gallup found that 48 percent, or nearly half of Americans agree more with state employee labor unions. Only 39 percent favored governors in those states. An additional 13…

Jobs numbers up in march, unemployment down

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. employment recorded a second straight month of solid gains in March and the jobless rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent, marking a decisive shift in the labor market that should help to underpin the economic recovery. Nonfarm payrolls rose 216,000 last month, the…

Maine Republicans seek to loosen child labor laws

Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill through the Maine Legislature that would rollback child labor laws enacted by the state in 1991. The bill, LD 1346, establishes a “training wage” for employees under 20 years of age at $5.25 per hour for their first 180 days of employment and increases…

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