29

Apr

2018

Naperville students host summit to address gun violence: 'Young people have always led the way'

Author: Editor

High school students from Naperville and beyond got a hands-on lesson in civic organizing at North Central College on Saturday, while running the Gun Violence Solutions Summit they created and promoted on their own. 

“Participants — that was easier to get than students. It’s harder to find students willing to come Saturday at 9 in the morning,” said Andy Wang, a senior at Neuqua Valley High School.

 

Wang said he organized the Students Speak Up event to continue the dialogue spurred by the national school walkout on March 14, one month after a shooter killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla.

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29

Apr

2018

How the Loss of Union Power Has Hurt American Manufacturing

Author: Editor

Want to make America great again and keep factories in the United States? Try strengthening labor unions.

That may seem counterintuitive, and certainly contrary to the direction the country has been moving in lately. But the reality is that when organized labor dug in its heels — as it did regularly in the United States until late in the 20th century — manufacturing companies thought twice about shutting a factory and transferring production to another country.

As union membership declined, however, so did the political leverage of once nationally-known leaders like John L. Lewis, head of the United Mine Workers, and George Meany, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s first president. Not since the Nixon and Ford administrations in the 1970s has a union leader served in a president’s cabinet as secretary of labor, or in a similar post.

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23

Apr

2018

Rauner rated the nation's most vulnerable governor

Author: Editor

Maybe it's piling on. Or maybe it's just the way it is. Whatever, another big national political handicapper has bad news for Gov. Bruce Rauner, with Hotline today tapping his race as the most likely to switch parties of any gubernatorial seat up for election this year. 

Rauner is the most vulnerable governor, and his seat is the Democrats' "best pickup opportunity," said Hotline, which is published by the same folks who run National Journal. "Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker won 200,000 more votes in his decisive March primary than Rauner, who won renomination by just 2 points. The latest polling puts Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt fortune, up 18 points in a state that Hillary Clinton won by a similar margin, and his odds further improved when Rauner's alienation of the right led to a third-party challenge from GOP state Sen. Sam McCann."

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14

Feb

2015

A War on Workers in Illinois

Author: Editor

As one of his first official acts, the new Republican governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, issued an executive order this week that would weaken state unions by barring them from assessing fees on some of the workers they represent in collective bargaining. Worse, the damage from the order could reach far beyond Illinois.

At issue are so called “fair share” fees. In a unionized workplace, a union must extend collectively bargained pay raises and other benefits to nonmembers. The nonmembers — about 15 percent of unionized state employees in Illinois — do not have to pay union dues or contribute to the union’s political activities. Instead, under the law in Illinois and in many other states, they must pay the union a fair-share fee, which is less than full dues, to cover the cost of collective bargaining undertaken on their behalf.

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6

Feb

2015

The dangers of Illinois as a 'right to work' state

Author: Editor

Gov. Rauner has asked state and local lawmakers to consider adopting union-free business zones. So let’s imagine Illinois as a “right to work” state.

First a clarification. The phrase “right to work” is a misnomer that has little to do with the right of a person to seek and accept gainful employment. Anti-union proponents use “right to work” to refer to an option under federal labor law that allows workers employed by a unionized employer to receive the full benefits of a labor contract without paying for any of the cost to gain those benefits. In fact, no employee anywhere in the country has to join a union and no employer has to sign a labor agreement.

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