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Slate Political Gabfest

The Political Gabfest: The You're No Frank Underwood Edition

Friday, February 21, 2014

Slate's Political Gabfest, featuring David Plotz, John Dickerson, Emily Bazelon, and Slate political editor Will Dobson. This week: Is Ukraine headed for war? Are unions headed for extinction? And is House of Cards any good?

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The Takeaway

A Nail in the Coffin for Organized Labor?

Monday, February 17, 2014

In Tennessee, a vote was held over the weekend that many believe could be a nail in the coffin for organized labor. Workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant voted against joining the United Auto Workers union—the move was opposed every step of the way by the state's governor and other members of the GOP. Kristin Dziczek, director of the Industry & Labor Group at the Center for Automotive Research, joins The Takeaway to describe why this vote caused such a fight. Andy Berke, the Mayor of Chattanooga, also weighs in.

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Walter Reuther Takes the Long View: Community Good and Labor Issues

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WNYC

A vivid snapshot of the days when Labor reigned supreme in America, this 1963 meeting of the Overseas Press Club features United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther being introduced by his protégé and sidekick, the journalist Victor Riesel.

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The Takeaway

President Obama Addresses United Auto Workers

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

As voters in Michigan prepared to head to the ballots Tuesday, President Obama delivered a rousing speech to the United Auto Workers Union in Washington D.C., taking the opportunity to campaign on the success of the auto-bailout. Three years and some $80 billion later, the rescue of Chrysler and GM has remained fresh in the minds of voters in Michigan. However, the significance of the bank and auto bail-outs may mean something else — or perhaps nothing at all — to voters in other parts of the country.

Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Christie Says NJ "Will Do Our Share" in Secaucus 7 Plan; Roadway Travel Reaches Lowest Point Since 2003

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Extending the #7 subway to NJ could cost less than the ARC tunnel. (Link)

New York conducts bus inspection crackdowns, nets dozens of violations. (Link)

Specialty license plates generate revenue -- and controversy. (Link)

Should you treat a subway platform like Yosemite? (Link)

U.S. Highway 20, Idaho (photo by J.Labrado via Flickr)

Travel on U.S. roadways through the first eight months of this year is down 1.3% from a year ago -- or 26 billion vehicle miles -- and has reached the lowest level since 2003. (USA Today)

More on extending the #7 to Secaucus: Governor Christie said New Jersey "will do our share...All of this will be able to come together.” (Bloomberg via Stateline)

BP was granted a permit for deepwater drilling in the Gulf. (Politico)

Taxis are allowed to block bike lanes in San Francisco. (Bay Citizen)

UAW members reached a split decision over Chrysler contract. (Changing Gears)

Ten people were arrested in a $1 billion Long Island Rail Road disability scheme. (New York Times)

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says "continued failure is not an option" for regional transportation efforts in Metro Detroit. (MLive.com)

New York's elevated rail-line-turned-park, the High Line, received a $20 million donation. (New York Times)

A bus operator denies discrimination charges, says women on Brooklyn's B110 don't complain about having to sit in the back. (New York Times)

NY Daily News opinion piece: making all taxis wheelchair-accessible is a worthy goal, but it can't trump other considerations -- like cost.

 

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: FAA Allows NYC Helicopters Into Off-Limits Airspace, NYC Taxis May Get New Roof Lights, Michigan Town Loses Streetlights

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New York's Tappan Zee Bridge got expedited approval from the feds, but construction is years away. (Link)

(photo by Dino Abatzidis via Flickr)

A House committee will hold a hearing on President Obama's infrastructure bank proposal today. (The Hill)

The UAW reached a tentative deal with Chrysler. (Detroit Free Press)

New York is considering a new roof light system for taxis. (DNA Info, New York Times)

The Federal Aviation Administration said it's allowing some NYC sightseeing helicopters to use airspace that's supposed to be off-limits to local air traffic. (WNYC)

DC's Metro is trying to figure out ways to make parking easier for for riders -- and is also encouraging riders to bike to stations by building bike corrals. (Washington Examiner)

A Michigan town is losing more than half its streetlights as part of a settlement over an unpaid electric bill. (Detroit Free Press, Michigan Messenger)

Transportation Alternatives has compiled a list of NYC's most dangerous intersections for pedestrians and bikers. (New York Daily News)

Reimagining urban flight: an environmental designer creates 'urban fly lines.' (The Takeaway)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Car, Truck Sales Up; Perry Dogged by Trans-Texas Corridor

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Transit ridership is up in 2011. (Link)

FAA workers will get back pay for this summer's shutdown. (Link)

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Following Transportation Nation story, Politico says, yeah, Rick Perry's campaign could be sidetracked by the Trans-Texas Corridor. (Politico).

Car sales soared for GM and Chrysler...(Los Angeles Times)

...and Hyundai's benefiting from an ad campaign that plays into people's worries about the economy. (NPR)

AND sales of trucks and SUVs are up. (AP via Boston.com)

Meanwhile: Ford, UAW reach tentative agreement. (Detroit Free Press)

Some Chinese are questioning whether infrastructure growth is worth a tradeoff for safety. (Marketplace)

NY's MTA said it will increase service on the L train after one politician said it has not kept pace with the line’s “meteoric” increase in ridership. (DNA Info)

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel held an 'aviation summit.' (Chicago Sun Times)

Chicago bicyclists can now be ticketed for biking while texting or talking on cell phones. (Chicago Sun Times)

Lobbyists for the Trans-Canada pipeline and staffers from the State Department appeared to have a cozy email relationship. (NY Times)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Port Authority Head Could Be Out, Staten Island's Transit Options, and Atlanta's Transit Vs. Roads Debate

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Top stories on TN:

What does cell phone service on NYC's subways sound like? "I can't hear you over the train!" (Link)

San Francisco's MUNI spent more money on transit -- yet customer satisfaction fell. (Link)

The outgoing head of NY's MTA said his replacement doesn't need to have a transit background. (Link)

 (photo by Kate Hinds)

The head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey may be leaving next month. (New York Times)

NY's DOT unveiled its short list of Staten Island transit alternatives: light rail, BRT, enhanced bus service. (Staten Island Advance)

Atlanta's 'transit vs. roads' debate "may be about to boil over." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Regional transportation officials voted to try to buy a new home in an old building in downtown San Francisco -- despite a looming audit over the purchase. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Dept. of Energy report: US should invest more in green auto tech, less on technologies that will take generations to come to market. (Good)

Faster bus service is coming to midtown Manhattan, as the city expands Select Bus Service to 34th Street. (New York Daily News)

A new agreement between GM and auto workers means that up to a quarter of GM's workforce could be 'two-tier' new hires. (Changing Gears)

Streetsblog looks at a March 2011 WNYC interview through a new lens.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: NY's Comptroller Sounds MTA Debt Alarm, House Dems Want to Save Auto Loan Program, and Where Have All the Hitchhikers Gone?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New census data shows how the nation commutes to work -- and how New York is different. (Link)

High-speed rail got a last-minute reprieve -- sort of. (Link)

Chicago will roll out a bike share program next summer. (Link)

The interim chief of the Texas DOT wants more travel options -- not just lanes. (Link)

New York's comptroller: the MTA's plan to borrow billions is fraught with risk. (WNYC's Empire, NY1, Bloomberg, Streetsblog)

House Democrats flirt with shutdown to save the $1.5 billion government loan program that helps car companies build fuel-efficient vehicles. (Washington Post)

The UAW agreed to extend its existing labor contract with Chrysler until Oct. 19 and plans to target Ford for a new labor contract next. (Detroit Free Press)

Freakonomics radio: higher rates of driver's licenses and car ownership have all but killed hitchhiking. (Marketplace)

Norfolk's light rail -- which just opened last month -- is already so popular that officials are talking expansion. (WTKR)

Massachusetts needs $15 billion in transportation fixes, and the MBTA is looking at a fare hike. (Boston Globe)

"If you smell something, sign something:" NYC transit workers -- whose contract with the MTA is up in four months -- demonstrated in Queens to protest staff cuts and sanitation issues at stations. (NBC New York)

President Obama returns to Boehner country today to use a major bridge in need of repair as a prop for yet another sales pitch for his jobs plan. (Politico)

Orioles pitcher -- and bicycle enthusiast -- Jeremy Guthrie (whose Twitter location puts him on "a bike or the bump") explored Boston on a Hubway bike. (Link)

 

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The Takeaway

GM and UAW Reach New Agreement

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

General Motors and the United Auto Workers union have released the details of their tentative new four year agreement, which was reached on Tuesday. The deal will close the salary gap between workers in the two-tier wage system that is in place at GM and the two other Detroit automakers. Paul Eisenstein, publisher of The Detroit Bureau, has the latest on the deal.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Virginia Closer to Tolling I-95, BART Wants To Ban Repeat Offenders, and Happy Birthday, Capital Bikeshare

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top stories on TN:

A new study says more pedestrians are hit by bicyclists than previously thought. (Link)

NYC reduced its carbon emissions in 2010. (Link)

Goodbye parking meter, hello Muni-Meter. (Link)

Police in a BART station during a protest (photo by Ryan Anderson via Flickr)

California lawmakers passed a bill that would give BART the authority to ban those who repeatedly break the law -- fare cheats, vandals or possibly protesters disrupting train service -- from entering its stations. (Contra Costa Times)

The Federal Highway Administration has given preliminary approval for Virginia to impose tolls on Interstate 95 to help fund transportation projects. (WAMU)

General Motors will help China develop electric vehicles -- but it wants to buy back majority control of a joint China - GM company. (Marketplace)

New York's East River bridges now have pedestrian safety managers to keep bikers and pedestrians in line -- and in their lane. (NY Daily News)

DC's Capital Bikeshare turns one today. (AP via WTOP)

The TSA fired 30 employees at Honolulu's airport for improperly screening luggage. (The Hill)

Chrysler and the UAW are close to a deal on a four-year labor contract. (Wall Street Journal)

Another aspect of the Port Authority of NY/NJ's bridge and tunnel toll hike: "peak" hours were extended. (The Star-Ledger)

Fast Company published a list of five transit technologies for a low-carbon economy.

 

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: No Contract Yet Between UAW and Auto Makers; NYC Bike Share Is A "Game-Changer"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top stories in TN:

NYC chooses Alta for its bike share system. (Story, photos)

Congressman John Mica -- chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee -- has a love/hate relationship with infrastructure. (Link)

A lone Republican senator is holding up transportation and FAA funding extensions, because he said they will fund things like a Corvette museum and an albino squirrel sanctuary. (Link)

A bike lane on Manhattan's Upper West Side (photo by Kate Hinds)

NYC bike share: coverage in Marketplace, New York Times, NY Daily News, NY Observer, DNA Info, Wall Street Journal.

NYC DOT head Janette Sadik-Khan's editorial in the New York Daily News: bike share is another option for New Yorkers.

Editorial in The Guardian: bike share is a "game-changer."

Auto workers and car manufacturers failed to reach a contract agreement by the deadline; GM and Chrysler agree to extend talks. (Detroit Free Press)

In Canada, a study found that new immigrants are twice as likely to use public transit when compared to Canadian-born workers. (Global News)

The Obama administration wants to ban electronic cigarettes on planes. (AP via AJC)

A Chicago official wants to crack down on distracted biking. (WBEZ)

Taking stock of technology in cars: we're not that far off from "partial autopilot." (Wall Street Journal)

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The Takeaway

The Two-Tier Wage System: Fairness vs. Employment

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Four years ago, the United Auto Workers Union allowed the three Detroit auto makers to put in place a two-tier system for paying employees, which allowed them to continue to functioning and stay in business as they struggled to stay afloat. New hires were given a salary around $14 an hour, while their tier-one counterparts were making almost double that. The system has helped increase employment in Detroit and kept the auto giants from tanking, but many people say it's unfair.

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The Takeaway

Auto Contract Negotiations Begin

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Contract negotiations between Chrysler and the United Auto Workers Union kicked off on Monday, as the industry fights to stay competitive with foreign automakers. Fellow "Big Three" companies General Motors and Ford will also begin negotiations with the UAW later this week. Will the parties involved be able to reconcile their demands and reach a suitable agreement before contracts expire in mid-September? Paul Eisenstein, publisher of The Detroit Bureau, has been following the negotiations.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: More Roads Lead to More Traffic, Black Women Bike DC, and London's Bike Share, A Year Later

Monday, July 11, 2011

A recent study says that building more roads leads to ... more traffic. And more transit doesn't relieve traffic congestion.  (NPR)

New York's subways attract almost as many riders on weekends as they do during the work week -- but fewer trains and planned maintenance lead to insanely crowded cars. (New York Times)

The Republican's plan to privatize Amtrak and the Northeast Corridor could leave NJ Transit vulnerable to fare hikes. (Daily Record)

WAMU looks at how the House's transportation budget would affect the DC region.

The UAW wants to organize a foreign automaker, labor leader says union's future hinges upon it: "I don't think there's a long-term future for the UAW, I really don't." (Detroit Free Press)

A look at London's bike share system, which is almost a year old. "The bikes make 20,000 journeys a day, but in a relentlessly predictable pattern, with huge spikes during the morning rush hour at the major rail stations and then again, in reverse, as commuters dash back to catch their evening trains." (The Guardian)

Black women take their place in DC's bike lanes -- and encourage others to join them. (Washington Post)

Residents, police and business owners want Bolt Bus booted from West 33rd Street. (DNA Info)

The mayor of Birmingham wants to create a tourist transit system to transport visitors to downtown hotels and attractions like the zoo, Vulcan Park and the botanical gardens. (Birmingham News)

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Taking Down Freeways Goes Mainstream, Bay Area Floats Transit-Oriented Development Plan, and Massachusetts Picks New Commuter Rail Line Route

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Image from the "One Bay Area" presentation of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments.

San Francisco's regional transportation and housing agencies (One Bay Area) are floating a 25 year-plan to prepare for a future in which the Bay Area has 2 million more people and 902,000 housing units -- and most of it built near rail stations, bus lines, walking paths or bike lanes. (Contra Costa Times)

Half a century after cities put up freeways, many of those roads are reaching the end of their useful lives. But instead of replacing them, a growing number of cities are thinking it makes more sense just to tear them down. (NPR)  You can see our earlier coverage of this issue here, on Marketplace.

Massachusetts transportation officials hoping to build a new commuter rail line have decided on a preferred route to connect Boston to New Bedford and Fall River. The state hopes to have the line built by 2017 -- but the funding has not been secured yet. (Boston Globe)

New Yorkers can now contest parking tickets online. (WNYC)

The Federal Highway Administration launched new standards for bridge inspections (The Hill), which Ray LaHood says will allow the FHWA to more clearly and easily identify bridge issues in each state.

United Auto Workers made concessions in 2008, when the American auto industry was limping. Now, Detroit car manufacturers are newly profitable -- and UAW officials are meeting today to map out strategy in advance of labor contract talks. (Marketplace)

Google has become the first customer for a new wireless EV charging station. The inductive charging system requires only proximity to the charging unit -- no plug or outlet necessary. (Wired/Autopia)

Some fuel-efficient cars can take years to reach the break-even point.  (KUHF)

Georgia's DeKalb County is expected today to approve a $2.7 billion wish list of transportation upgrades, but county officials are still reluctant to support asking residents to pay more in sales tax. And it sounds like no one thinks there's enough local control of the money. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

A Foursquare add-on will give users real-time transit schedules when they check in near a transit stop. (Mashable)

Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: NY's City Hall goes on a bike lane offensive, and Mayor Bloomberg speaks -- diplomatically -- about Iris Weinshall, who's not a bike lane fan. The Chinese demand for coal is pushing some American freight lines to the max. A former Metro executive is now working for a transportation lobbying firm. Watch a visualization of London's bike share system on the day of a tube strike. And: happy 200th anniversary, Manhattan street grid.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories

Friday, June 18, 2010

Obama, LaHood to Ohio to mark start of the 10,000th road project launched under recovery act.  (Columbus Dispatch)

Boston commuter rail link to South Coast takes step forward with purchase of frieght tracks.  (Boston Globe)

Toyota resumes building Mississippi facility, promising 2,000 jobs.  UAW accuses company of skirting union shops.  (AP)

Seattle jaywalking spot becomes YouTube sensation, police concern.  (Seattle Times)

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The Takeaway

Does the United Autoworkers Union Still Matter?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

At their convention today in Detroit, the United Autoworkers Union will elect a new president, ending the eight-year tenure of Ron Gettelfinger. Gettelfinger led the union through one of the most difficult periods in its history. The UAW was once one of the largest and most influential unions in the country, but these days its membership is the smallest it’s been since the end of World War II.

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The Takeaway

United Auto Workers set to ratify concessions with Chrysler

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Officials in the Obama administration have been negotiating with the leaders of Chrysler, Fiat and the United Auto Workers to find a way to salvage Chrysler. A deal has been tentatively reached that gives all parties an ownership stake in the company. In the deal, the UAW would get 55% of Chrysler’s stock, but that majority stake is in return for the latest round of concessions to the U.S. auto maker and now the U.S. government. But UAW members still have to ratify what their union leaders have agreed to and some aren’t biting this time. Two UAW members who will be heading out to vote on the plan today and are stopping by The Takeaway first. Ken Mefford is an hourly worker in Chrysler’s Warren Plant in Michigan and Stephanie Ramberger is a laid-off autoworker waiting to be put back on the job.

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