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BCTD efforts help defeat immigration reform bill

Legislation did not protect American workers

Frustrated by the lack of protections for American workers — as well as other deficiencies — the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) mounted an aggressive nationwide campaign that helped defeat the comprehensive immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate June 7.

Fox Valley workers take strike to the internet

International Rep Howard Cole's claim that workers received only a 75-cent raise in ten years was based on statements from the workers, but since this video was taped, this claim has been discredited by the company. However, raises at Fox Valley Forge have not kept pace with inflation nor with increases in wages at other Fox Valley Forge facilities.

Fox Valley Forge strikers want a union

Strikers at Fox Valley Forge want a union contract and a better future.

Community support keeps union hopes alive

“Estamos unidos,” Jose Luis Alcala told a freelance video journalist on the sidewalk outside Fox Valley Forge while his fellow workers picketed behind him. “We are united. And I believe the company will give up, because we are united.”

Alcala is a committeeman for a group of 50 forge employees whose struggle illustrates how important unions are to immigrants, as well as how far some companies will go to keep unions out.

Lodge panelists describe political activity

Mike Ventrone, Local 154 vice president, cites 99.8 percent CAF success.

Activists share insights into fund raising, campaigning

FOUR BOILERMAKERS WHO are involved in their local lodge political action efforts shared their experiences with LEAP delegates by serving on a best practices panel March 11. The purpose of the panel was to pass on information about what works best and to identify challenges that must be overcome.

Boilermakers lobby Capitol Hill

Local D93’s Keith Gurwell (r.), and Local 83’s John Seward share some final thoughts with Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-KS 2nd) outside the congresswoman’s office.

Some delegates visit a dozen or more congressmen

IN THE BUSTLING U.S. House and Senate office buildings, more than 100 Boilermakers — some alone, but most in groups of three or four — hurry to their appointments with congressmen as part of the 2007 Legislative Education Action Program (LEAP) conference.

LEAP delegates find new energy, hope on Capitol Hill

Changing unfair trade laws gains momentum

THE ATMOSPHERE IN Washington, D.C., crackles with an electric charge these days. It’s as if 12 years of frustration and oppression under an anti-worker Congress — and six years under an anti-worker administration — have been pushed aside and a new current of energy and hope has surged in.

Democrats win slim majority in Senate

Six candidates oust incumbent Republicans

FOR DEMOCRATS, REGAINING control of the U.S. Senate in the 2006 midterm elections was the longest of long shots. They had to keep Democrats in two open seats, in Minnesota and Maryland; all Democratic incumbents had to be returned to office; and six Republican incumbents had to lose to Democratic challengers.

When all three events came to pass, the Democrats held the majority by a single seat — 51-49. This includes Independents Bernie Sanders (VT) and Joe Lieberman (CT), who say they will caucus with Democrats.

Tags  LEAP Issues

Democrats lead Congress for first time in 12 years

Worker-friendly politicians ride ‘national wave’ to victory in House and Senate

“A NATIONAL WAVE” of voter anxiety. That is how CNN political analyst Amy Walter described the environment in which Democrats might possibly take back the House and Senate as she addressed Boilermakers at last year’s LEAP conference.

Secret agreements and fast-track voting do not inspire confidence

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

In May, the Democratic leadership in Congress and the White House announced they had reached an historic agreement on trade. Democrats announced that they had won guarantees to protect labor rights in all future trade deals, starting with Peru, Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. The specific labor rights protected include the right to organize, bargain collectively, as well as bans on the use of child labor and workplace discrimination.

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