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    Today in Labor History

    May 20
    The Railway Labor Act takes effect today. It is the first federal legislation protecting workers’ rights to form unions - 1926
     
    Some 9,000 rubber workers strike in Akron, Ohio - 1933
     
    May 21 
    Italian activists and anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, widely believed to have been framed for murder, go on trial today. They eventually are executed as part of a government campaign against dissidents - 1921
     
    The “Little Wagner Act” is signed in Hawaii, guaranteeing pineapple and sugar workers the right to bargain collectively.  After negotiations failed, a successful 79-day strike shut down 33 of the territory’s 34 plantations and brought higher wages and a 40-hour week - 1945
     
    Nearly 100,000 unionized SBC Communications Inc. workers begin a 4-day strike to protest the local phone giant’s latest contract offer - 2004
     
    May 22
    Eugene V. Debs imprisoned in Woodstock, Ill., for role in Pullman strike - 1895
    (The Bending Cross: A Biography of Eugene V. Debs: Eugene V. Debs was a labor activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who captured the heart and soul of the nation’s working people. He was brilliant, sincere, compassionate and scrupulously honest. A founder of one of the nation’s first industrial unions, the American Railway Union, he went on to help launch the Industrial Workers of the World -- the Wobblies. A man of firm beliefs and dedication, he ran for President of the United States five times under the banner of the Socialist Party, in 1912 earning 6 percent of the popular vote.)
     
    While white locomotive firemen on the Georgia Railroad strike, Blacks who are hired as replacements are whipped and stoned—not by the union men, but by white citizens outraged that Blacks are being hired over Whites.  The Engineers union threatens to stop work because their members are being affected by the violence - 1909
     
    Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 gives federal workers a pension - 1920
     
    President Lyndon B. Johnson announces the goals of his Great Society social reforms: to bring “an end to poverty and racial injustice” in America - 1964

    - compiled/edited by David Prosten at Union Communication Services.
     

  • Budget Proposal Would Freeze Federal Pay Through 2015
    Updated On: Mar 20, 2012

    The GOP Budget Proposal Would Freeze Federal Pay Through 2015
    By Ian Smith

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012 

     below link is from FedSmith

    http://www.fedsmith.com/article/3351/gop-budget-proposal-would-freeze-federal.html

     The GOP's 2013 federal budget blueprint released today contains a number of proposed cuts for federal workers including a 10% reduction in the federal workforce and an extended pay freeze through 2015.

    The proposed cuts in the budget should not come as a shock. We reported last week that federal employees could expect some form of proposed cuts in the budget, plus given the plethora of proposals that would scale back on the federal workforce ranging from workforce cuts through attrition to freezing step increases that have been suggested since the pay freeze was first proposed by President Obama in 2010, it stands to reason some form of cost cutting via public sector workers would be utilized.

    The Proposed Cuts

    The budget proposes the following:

    • A 10% workforce reduction over the next three years through attrition
    • Extending the current pay freeze through 2015

    It is estimated that these cuts would save taxpayers approximately $368 billion over ten years.

    The impetus for these cuts is to slow the rapid growth of the public sector which has been crowding out growth in the private sector. According to the proposal, "The federal government has added 147,000 new workers since the President took office. It is no coincidence that private-­?sector employment continues to grow only sluggishly while the government expands: To pay for the public-­? sector’s growth, Washington must immediately tax the private sector or else borrow and impose taxes later to pay down the debt."

    The budget proposal notes, however, that the duties of the federal government do require a strong federal workforce. So while the GOP intends to make cuts, they don't want to take them too far. Hence, the proposal says that "Pay increases and fringe benefits [of the federal workforce] should be reformed to better align with those of their private-sector counterparts."

    This statement is referring to the CBO's recent study which shows that public sector wages and benefits continue to outpace those of the private sector, noting that the CBO showed that federal workers receive, on average, 16% higher pay and benefits to comparable workers in the private sector.

    "The reforms called for in this budget aim to slow the federal government’s unsustainable growth and reflect the growing frustration of workers across the country at the privileged rules enjoyed by government employees. They reduce the public-­?sector bureaucracy, not through layoffs, but via a gradual, sensible attrition policy," concludes the Budget Committee.

    The 2013 budget proposal is nearly identical to the one put forth by the House Budget Committee last year in terms of its approach to reducing the federal workforce. A statement from last year's proposal reads, "[The proposed budget would] boost private-sector employment by slowing the explosive growth of the public sector, achieving a 10 percent reduction over the next three years in the federal workforce through attrition, coupled with a pay freeze for the next five years and reforms to government workers' generous benefit packages."

    The Path to Prosperty: FY 2013 Budget Resolution 


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