Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

In The News: International banditry, garbage, mob ties, and candy stores.

1. It’s Arlen Specter, so I am not surprised, but it is interesting to note that on the heals of receiving a major labor endorsement from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, he announced a 5 points “Worker’s Bill of Rights”. Is it some sort of bizarre consolation prize for EFCA? In the process, he manages to rile people up by accusing China of “international banditry”. I am sure they appreciate his preaching to the choir. According to The Hill, those 5 points include:

Forcing China to end its practice of pegging its currency to the U.S. dollar, more aggressively enforcing U.S. trade laws, rescinding the president’s authority to overrule the International Trade Commission’s recommendations, offering speedier remedies for illegal trade claims, and strengthening “Buy American” requirements under the stimulus. Specter has not introduced legislation encompassing all these issues, and a spokeswoman said such legislation is unlikely. But several individual bills have been introduced by Specter or other senators on all of these points.

2. Teamsters Local 282 has been a “candy store for the mob”, but the candy thieves just got arrested.

On Tuesday morning, March 9, prosecutors inside Brooklyn federal court announced the results of an unsealed indictment against eight persons who are suspected Colombo members or associates. The eight-count indictment alleges the defendants variously engaged in racketeering, wire fraud, extortion and embezzlement.[…] There also was a labor union angle to the indictment. Prosecutors charge that Colombo associate Edward Garofalo, Jr. and his wife, Alicia DiMichele, embezzled from pension and welfare benefit plans established on behalf of members of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 282.[…] This “candy store for the mob,” as it often has been called, once served as home base to feared John Gotti-era Gambino¬†underboss Sammy “the Bull” Gravano, now in federal prison, whose testimony proved crucial to convicting Gotti.

3. Seattle’s fine citizens will get their garbage picked up, thanks to a slightly confusing week of “will they or won’t they” negotiations between Waste Management and Teamsters Local 147.

4. The NUHW claims that the SEIU will lose the trial in CA. The Huffington Post continues to run Erica Boddie’s day by day account of the trial, which came out of the gate shrieking at the NUHW and now is just getting old.

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