The Leonard Lopate Show

The Man Who Never Died

Thursday, September 15, 2011

In 1914, Joe Hill was convicted of murder in Utah and sentenced to death by firing squad, igniting international controversy. Many believed Hill was innocent, condemned for his association with the Industrial Workers of the World—the radical Wobblies. William M. Adler gives the first full-scale biography of Joe Hill, and presents documentary evidence that comes as close as one can to exonerating him. The Man Who Never Died is Hill's story, set between the turn of the century and World War I, when the call for industrial unionism struck a chord among workers and class warfare raged.

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The Takeaway

Listeners Respond: The Two-Tier Wage System

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yesterday, we talked about the two-tier wage system implemented by three Detroit automakers. In the two-tier system, new employees make half the salary of workers already on the job. We talked with a few tier-two workers yesterday, and we asked our listeners if they would be willing to do their job for half the salary.

Comments [4]


Central Park Boathouse Restaurant Agrees to Recognize Union

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The frosty relationship between the owner of the Central Park Boathouse Restaurant and a labor union seems to be thawing, more than a month after dozens of workers began striking.


It's A Free Blog

Opinion: What if we Blamed Obama for the IHOP Shooting? Crazy, Huh?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

It's been months since Tucson but it's hard to forget the repulsive behavior exhibited by so many on the left. The finger-pointing in the wake of that tragedy was unacceptable and unforgettable. To have the president shrug at these sorts of comments from someone on his own side, while sharing a stage, is a problem.

-Karol Markowicz, It's A Free Country blogger.

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Comments [28]

The Takeaway

The History of Labor Day

Monday, September 05, 2011

On this Labor Day many are celebrating a free day off from work with barbecues and beach trips. The holiday originally started in 1882 in New York City as a way for early unions to organize for basic workers rights. On the first Labor Day 30,000 union members to a picnic with their families in Union Square Park.


It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Republicans Should Use this Labor Day to Ponder their Assault on the American Worker

Sunday, September 04, 2011

It's only a matter of time before today's Congress seeks to change Labor Day to Capital Day. In the end, they will only compromise and call it "Ronald Reagan Labor Day" if the White House cuts more jobs programs.

-Justin Krebs, It's A Free Country blogger.

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Comments [7]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Verizon Strike Turns Bitter

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Steven Greenhouse, New York Times labor and workplace correspondent and author of The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker, discusses the increasingly bitter national strike against Verizon, which began on August 7.

Comments [50]


CSEA Union Set to Announce Results on Contract Vote

Monday, August 15, 2011


Under threat of nearly 10,000 layoffs, members of New York's largest public employees' union will soon find out the status of a new five-year contract with New York State.

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Verizon, Striking Workers Accuse Each Other of Not Bargaining in Good Faith

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Verizon and picketing workers are accusing each other of not bargaining in good faith, as a strike enters its second week.

Comments [8]


Verizon Workers Strike as Contract Talks Break Down

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Thousands of area Verizon workers went on strike on Saturday night as contract negotiations broke down. They are part of a total of 45,000 Verizon workers now on strike across the country.


Transportation Nation

How Politics Doomed Dulles Airport's Underground Subway Station

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dulles Airport (photo by Bobby Hidy via Flickr)

(Washington D.C. - WAMU) The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has reversed its controversial decision to build an underground Metro Station at Dulles Airport.

Everyone on both sides of the battle over this decision --- the Airports Authority and Virginia's political leaders -- agree an underground station would be more convenient for travelers. And yet, with the Authority's vote today, that won't be happening.

"I will be embarrassed that the international gateway airport for the capital of my country has a slipshod station like this, says Bob Brown, a federal appointee to the Airports Board. "This is an embarrassment and an outrage, I'm sorry to say that."

The underground option that the Airports Authority chose in April would've cost almost half a billion dollars more than an above ground alternative, and the Board was under tremendous political pressure to reverse course.

Tom Davis, a Airports Board member and former Congressman, voted against the underground option in April, but says he understands why Brown and his other colleagues pushed so hard for it.

"Bob is looking at this from a visionary point of view -- where do you want this airport to be in 50, 75 years," says Davis. "And I think, all things being equal, I would've been with him."

However, Davis says in this financial climate, and in an election year in Virginia, it was just not possible to win over the political leaders who'd have to pay the extra cost. The underground station, Davis says, is just a victim of circumstance.

But now that the matter of where the Metro station should go has been decided, the negotiations are far from over. In fact, you could say the negotiations have only just begun.The Airports Authority agreed to drop its plans for an underground Metro station only on the condition that Virginia contribute an additional 150 million dollars to the Dulles Metrorail project. Without this money, Authority officials say they can’t make the project’s financial ends meet.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell says he won’t even discuss contributing more money until the Airports Authority makes changes to its labor agreement, passed in April. It requires all contractors working on the project to conform to union-level standards for wages, benefits and skills.

The Authority says this will streamline the project's operations, but McDonnell says the agreement might violate Virginia’s right-to-work laws.

For more, visit WAMU News.

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It's A Free Country ®

Facing Layoffs, NY and CT Unions Head Back to the Table

Friday, July 08, 2011

Public employees in New York and Connecticut have rejected their union contracts — which were expected to be major sources of savings in the budgets presented by governors Andrew Cuomo and Dan Malloy. As each governor threatened layoffs this week, public sector unions urged them to extend negotiations.


The Leonard Lopate Show

No Contract, No Cookies: The Stella D’Oro Strike

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Michael Filippou, a shop steward featured in the film “No Contract, No Cookies: The Stella D’Oro Strike, andGeorge Kassai, a former Stella D'Oro baker, talk about the divisive strike at the Stella D’Oro factory in the Bronx. In 2006, Stella D’Oro was bought by Brynwood Partners, a private-equity firm that boasts of giving its investors a 30% return, and it demanded bakers accept wage cuts of up to 30%. The workers went on strike. After a long legal battle, the strike came to an end, but the owners responded by selling the business to a non-union plant in Ohio, and today the Bronx factory is closed. “No Contract, No Cookies” is directed by Jon Alpert and Matt O'Neill, and it premieres July 6 on HBO2.

Comments [4]

It's A Free Country ®

Cuomo, State Workers Union Reach Deal on New Labor Contract

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the union representing 66,000 state workers in the executive branch have reached a contract agreement.



Thousands of Macy's Workers Threaten Strike

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union announced on Monday that 4,000-plus members voted to authorize the union to call a strike. It would affect four Macy's stores, including the one in Herald Square.

Comments [13]


Financial 411: Labor Unions Eye a New Target

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Labor unions have gone after Wal-mart for years — attacking the world's largest retailer for providing poor wages and benefits and driving small businesses out of business. Now, organized labor has its eye on another big-box retailer: Target. Workers at a Target store in Valley Stream, Long Island, will vote next month on whether to join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500.



No Contract, No Dancing? City Ballet Fails to Reach Agreement with Dancers

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Contract negotiations between the union representing dancers at the New York City Ballet and the company's management are "headed for disaster," according to the American Guild of Musical Artists.

Comments [1]


Cuomo and Unions Wrangle After Contract Deadline

Friday, April 22, 2011

Governor Cuomo may have achieved an on-time budget for only the third time in 25 years, but there is one April 1 deadline that he missed.



Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Obama Invokes Bridge Collapse, NY Auto Show, TSA Unionizes

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Infrastructure is a campaign topic. President Obama recently invoked the Minnesota bridge collapse to criticize GOP budget. (CBS)

That doesn't mean transpo advocates are all in line. Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institution makes the case for a two-year transportation bill instead of a full six-year reauthorization. (New Republic)

CNN tries to understand why high-speed rail has become such a contentious topic. With companion piece debunking rail myths. (CNN)

Hear a trucker speak frankly about driving with an automatic tracker that monitors his hours and distance. He hated it before he got it, now he likes it. (The Takeaway)

At the NY Auto Show starting tomorrow Chevy will debut the new Malibu, calling it the "most fuel-efficient mid-sized Chevy ever" at 38 mpg. (AutoBlogGreen) Also at the show, Porshe is showing of a replica of a 1900 vehicle they're calling the first ever hybrid. (Wired) There's lots of car porn ahead of the show if you want to see the shiny new 2013 models. (Jalopnik)

For balance, some rail (station) porn. Here's an artist's rendition of the new high-speed rail station in Birmingham, England. (Birmingham Post)

First they slowed down high-speed rail for safety reasons. Now China is removing luxury seating to make bullet train travel more affordable. (Economic Times)

After six weeks of voting, TSA workers will unionize, but they haven't picked which union will represent them. It's time for a runoff election. (AP)

Rail just got cheaper in Hawaii. Estimates for a new transit plan have decreased from $5.5 billion to $5.3 billion. (Star-Advertiser)

The agency that runs the NYC subway, the MTA, is looking to sell its headquarters building and two others to make ends meet. A developer could build a skyscaper next to Grand Central Station on the site. (NY Times)

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:

- Now you can edit Google Maps and add in bike and walking paths yourself. We did it. (Link)

- DOT issues new rules for airlines on bag fees, tarmac waits and bumped travel vouchers. (Link)

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The Takeaway

Wisconsin Vote for Judge Becomes Referendum on Gov. Walker

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

In any other year, yesterday’s election for a justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court would have been nothing more than a headline. But following the fierce battle over collective bargaining rights, the election turned into a heated political fight and possible referendum on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The election is still too close to call, explains Monica Davey, reporter for The New York Times.