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Commentaries

Tumultuous times precede convention

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

IN THE FIVE years since our last convention, historic changes have challenged us and tested our resolve. As Boilermakers have done throughout our 131-year history, we have risen to meet those challenges — adapting to change with innovative approaches, making sacrifices where necessary, and above all, standing together as brothers and sisters to advance our future.

Reporter  V50N2

GOP-backed budget cuts could strangle economy

Newton B. Jones, International President

Defunding government programs will cost jobs, threaten unions

FACED WITH A national debt that has grown to over $14 trillion over the past decade, Washington is debating how best to proceed with deficit reduction — and Republican-sponsored budget cuts are quickly spiraling out of control. The unfolding budget battles could have a dire impact on job growth and the nation’s continued economic recovery. Those battles will also define what kind of nation we leave our children and grandchildren.

Reporter  V50N1

Labor progress is still possible, despite midterm results

International President Newton B. Jones

Unions continue to have key friends in government

WHEN A SPLIT 112th Congress begins session in January — with the GOP in firm control of the House and Democrats holding a slim majority in the Senate — we can expect labor opponents to block key legislative initiatives backed by unions. The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409) will not go forward. Nor will the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) or the Miner Safety and Health Act of 2010 (H.R. 5663).

Reporter  V49N4

Worker-friendly candidates deserve our support

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Opponents seek to reverse union progress

OVER THE LAST two years, the Democrat-controlled Congress and the Obama administration have made enormous progress on behalf of American workers. That progress has not come easy. In fact, Republicans have repeatedly attempted to block much-needed reforms, and they have obstructed Democratic initiatives designed to save jobs and rescue the economy.

Reporter  V49N3

Building a culture of safety is a worthy goal

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Milestones mark progress, but tragedies loom large

WE ARE AN ORGANIZATION that places a high value on the safety and health of our members. This is evident both in our Construction Sector and our Industrial Sector, whether our lodges are bringing in a complex job without a single recordable injury or winning awards for working safely in plants, shops, and shipyards. It is evident as well in our commitment to the MOST safety training programs, our apprentice training efforts, and the work of our health and safety directors in Canada and the United States.

Reporter  V49N2

Health care reform is here – now creating jobs is our top priority

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

THE HOUSE OF Representatives made history March 21, passing the most significant improvement in American health care since the adoption of Medicare in 1965. Among other things, the health care reform bill extends health insurance coverage to 95 percent of Americans, bans insurance companies from denying coverage of pre-existing conditions and cancelling policies when people get sick, and closes the Medicare “donut hole” in prescription drug coverage for retirees.

Reporter  V49N1

Passing comprehensive energy bill ensures future for Boilermakers

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Lack of legislation is already costing us jobs

GLOBAL WARMING HAS changed the way the entire world does business. The magnitude of that change became apparent in 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as pollutants.

That ruling left Congress with two alternatives: establish new legislation to regulate greenhouse gases, or allow the EPA to create their own rules, with no congressional guidelines and no protection for workers in the affected industries.

Reporter  V48N4

We can’t let misinformation destroy health care reform

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

THROUGHOUT AUGUST, support for President Obama’s health care plan began to fade slowly as criticism of the plan grew. That fading support is a disturbing development, because the plan many citizens oppose is a fiction, created by anti-reform groups.

A recent NBC News survey uncovered this perverse trend. When shown key components of Obama’s reform plan and asked whether they would support such a plan, a majority of Americans said they would.

Reporter  V48N3

Let's build on our political successes

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

“In politics, the war is never won. The individual battles are what matter most.”

Employee Free Choice must be our first priority

THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF organized labor in recent elections have been nothing short of magnificent. Many in the media and in politics openly acknowledge that it was labor that made the difference in building pro-worker majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate — and it was labor that helped lift union-friendly Barack Obama into the White House.

Reporter  V48N2

Pres. Obama keeps promise to support unions

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Labor applauds middle class task force, new executive orders

CAMPAIGN PROMISES OFTEN wind up in the dust bins of history. However sincere those promises may be, the realities of office can quickly undo them.

Reporter  V48N1

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