unions http://wesa.fm en Softened Changes For Union Exemption On 'Fast Track' http://wesa.fm/post/softened-changes-union-exemption-fast-track <p>A state proposal to change rules for unions involved in a labor dispute is on the fast track to becoming law.<br /><br />Under state law, unions in Pennsylvania are allowed to harass, stalk, and threaten to use weapons of mass destruction if they’re involved in a labor dispute.<br /><br />Legislation that started as an effort to end that exemption now just kind of massages it.<br /><br />A Senate committee on Tuesday approved changes to allow stalking and harassment if it is used in the pursuit of constitutionally-protected or legally-protected activity.<br /> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:41:44 +0000 Mary Wilson 26884 at http://wesa.fm Rhetorical Fight Brewing Over Union Deductions Proposal http://wesa.fm/post/rhetorical-fight-brewing-over-union-deductions-proposal <p>A rhetorical battle is brewing over a proposal to end the automatic deduction of union dues and voluntary political contributions from the pay of public employees in Pennsylvania.<br /><br />Unions representing public workers say it’s an attempt to kill organized labor and shrink their political spending.<br /><br />The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Bryan Cutler of Lancaster County, says he’s not refuting the rights of public employee unions to make contributions to political campaigns and political action committees.<br /> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 15:33:23 +0000 Mary Wilson 23476 at http://wesa.fm American Economic Growth and Unions http://wesa.fm/post/american-economic-growth-and-unions <p>Looking at America&rsquo;s economy today, Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich has pointed to the decline of unions as a contributor to the stagnation of American wages.</p><p>When unions are strong, is the economy strong?</p><p>Stephen Herzenberg, Executive Director of the <a href="http://keystoneresearch.org/">Keystone Research Center</a> says job growth and America&rsquo;s recovery from the great recession have been too slow. With the decline in unions over the past few decades, he says wages have been flattened and even declined since the recovery began. Wed, 16 Oct 2013 23:12:27 +0000 Heather McClain 18263 at http://wesa.fm Early Unions Collectively Bargained For Their Safety http://wesa.fm/post/early-unions-collectively-bargained-their-safety <p>America&rsquo;s earliest unions of the 19th century were connected to craft and trade guilds. But with factory workers facing terrible working conditions such as 12+ hour work days, and 7 day work weeks in cramped, dangerous spaces, their only choice was to come together to collectively bargain for their safety.</p><p>When <a href="https://www.aclu.org/womens-rights/crystal-eastman">Crystal Eastman</a>, Co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union visited Pittsburgh in the 1920&rsquo;s, she reported 526 industrial related deaths in Allegheny County within one year.</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.iup.edu/page.aspx?id=57737">Dr. Charles McCollester</a>, a former professor of Industrial and Labor Relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and author of <a href="http://www.pointofpittsburgh.com/"><em>The Point of Pittsburgh</em></a>, about 3,000 mining industry workers died each year, between 1890 and 1920. Wed, 16 Oct 2013 21:15:40 +0000 Katie Martin 18256 at http://wesa.fm Early Unions Collectively Bargained For Their Safety The Future State of the Unions http://wesa.fm/post/future-state-unions <p>In recent decades, America has seen a sharp decline in union membership. In the 1950&rsquo;s, 35 percent of American workers were members of a union, today that number is down to 11 percent.</p><p>According to labor author, commentator and speaker <a href="http://www.philipdine.com/">Philip Dine</a>, President Reagan&rsquo;s crackdown on unions in the 1980&rsquo;s demonstrated that the old rules of collective bargaining no longer applied. Wed, 16 Oct 2013 20:56:33 +0000 Katie Martin 18255 at http://wesa.fm The Future State of the Unions