In This Issue:
- Four Presidents, One Theme: Digital Theft Hurts U.S. Workers
- DPE Commends PROTECT IP Act
- New DPE Report Shows Value of Unions for Professionals
- So-Called Independent Contractors: New DPE Guide for Misclassified Employees
- This Month! American Library Association, June 23-28
- DPE Latest: Library Workers, Service Sector, And Employee Free Choice Act
- NEA Reports on Value of Performing Arts
- EPI Explores Interns in the Labor Market
- DC Bar Association on Employment-Based Visas
- DPE Signs On
FOUR PRESIDENTS, ONE THEME: DIGITAL THEFT HURTS U.S. WORKERS – Here’s an article from the AFL-CIO website to read, act on, and circulate: Digital Theft Hurts U.S. Workers.
Its authors? Presidents of four unions – all affiliated with DPE – representing creators, performers, and craftspeople in the arts, entertainment, and media (from left below):
● Ray Hair, President, American Federation of Musicians
● Roberta Reardon, National President, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
● Matthew D. Loeb, International President, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage
Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts
● Ken Howard, President, Screen Actors Guild
The article shows how digital theft – illegal downloading, streaming, and websites – costs union workers in the U.S. their jobs, income, and benefits. It includes ways you can support legislation to improve the situation and find – legally – the online content you want.
DPE COMMENDS PROTECT IP ACT – On May 12, 2011, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (right), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led the introduction of the PROTECT IP Act. The bill – the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act – targets rogue websites that profit from infringing copyrights or selling counterfeit goods. Photo: http://leahy.senate.gov.
On May 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the proposed legislation.
In a news release on May 12, DPE President Paul E. Almeida said, “Senator Leahy has commented on the bipartisan, bicameral, and labor-management support for strengthening our defense of American intellectual property. That across-the-board support is a tribute to his leadership – and a signal that for U.S. workers and consumers, this is the right thing to do.” DPE has worked with its affiliated unions to stress that illegal online downloads and streaming of music and entertainment are wage theft. (See “Four Presidents, One Theme: Digital Theft Hurts U.S. Workers” above.)
AFL-CIO Richard L. Trumka underscored the importance of the proposed legislation: “The economic well-being of workers in the United States – jobs, income, and benefits – turns more and more on our protecting the creativity and innovation that yield world-class entertainment, cutting-edge and sustainable manufacturing and construction, and disease-ending pharmaceuticals. In a tough economic time, the PROTECT IP Act will help to protect U.S. workers and consumers against digital thieves and counterfeit scammers.”
In a May 12 letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, AFL-CIO Government Affairs Director Bill Samuel thanked Senator Leahy and committed the AFL-CIO to working with Congress to pass the bill. Samuel wrote: “The seemingly nonstop proliferation of rogue websites testifies to the ineffectiveness of existing countermeasures. The PROTECT IP Act offers workers and consumers important steps toward improving an intolerable situation.”
On May 16, the AFL-CIO NOW Blog published “Bill Targets ‘Rogue Websites’ that Kill Jobs, Steal Wages” by Mike Hall. The piece highlighted the AFL-CIO support for the PROTECT IP Act and drew three critical online comments. To read the article, the comments, and a response from DPE Executive Director David Cohen underscoring the value of the bill, click here and scroll down; Cohen’s response is the last in the sequence of comments.
For more about the PROTECT IP Act from its Senate sponsors, Senators Leahy, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and others, click here. To read the May 12 AFL-CIO news release, go here. For more information, please contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320, or DPE Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
NEW DPE REPORT SHOWS VALUE OF UNIONS FOR PROFESSIONALS– DPE has published a new report, “The Benefits of Collective Bargaining for Professional and Technical Workers,” that demonstrates the value of unions for professional and technical workers.
The benefits include:
● merit-based compensation;
● clear and fair methods for resolving workplace concerns;
● preserving workplace integrity and respect; and
● creating safe, professional, and rewarding work environments.
SO-CALLED INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS: NEW DPE GUIDE FOR MISCLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES – DPE has published a new one-page guide for misclassified employees, “Recourse for Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors.” The guide suggests ways to a remedy for employees who believe their employer has misclassified them as independent contractors.
Numerous state and federal resources are available to misclassified employees. Many misclassified employees who fear retribution from employers have an option of filing reports anonymously.
To read the guide, visit our website. For more information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
THIS MONTH! AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, JUNE 23-28 – Join DPE to promote the benefits of organizing unions at the 2011 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Meeting and Exposition, June 23-28, 2011 in New Orleans, LA.
As co-chair of the AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups (Joint Committee), DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning has worked with Joint Committee members to craft “Libraries Fight Back.” Scheduled for Monday, June 27 from 10:30 am to 12 noon, Room 287, Morial Convention Center, the session will feature Elissa Cadillic, President of AFSCME Council 93 Local 1526 at the Boston Public Library; Amy Fry, Electronic Resources Coordinator at Bowling Green State University; and Jason Neely, Career and Business Resources Librarian at the Russell Library in Middletown, Connecticut.
When budget crises occur, libraries always seem to be the first offered for sacrifice. This program will examine the essential services that libraries – public, academic, and special – provide to communities locally and globally. The program will highlight inventive ways to combat the erroneous belief that library work is “non-essential” or “extra”; will provide tools to fight back for your library and community; and will focus particularly on the relationship between union advocacy and library advocacy.
The Joint Committee will have a table at the annual conference staffed by Jennifer Dorning and other Joint Committee members. Please stop by to learn about the union difference for library workers, union advocacy, and more.
Libraries Fight Back will be open only to ALA Annual Meeting attendees. For information about day passes, the ALA Annual Meeting, or the work of DPE with ALA, please contact Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, email@example.com, (202) 638-0320 extension 114.
DPE LATEST: LIBRARY WORKERS, SERVICE SECTOR, AND EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT – DPE has updated three of its Fact Sheets:
● Library Workers: Facts and Figures
● The Service Sector: Projections and Current Stats
● The Employee Free Choice Act: Professional Employees and the Public
To view the DPE Fact Sheets, visit our website. For more information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEA REPORTS ON VALUE OF PERFORMING ARTS – On May 24, 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) held a webinar to present its new report: “Time and Money: Using Federal Data to Measure the Value of Performing Arts Activities.”
The NEA report approached the value of performing arts activities from three perspectives. First, it offered a count of performing arts organizations and summarized their staffing and budgets. Second, it investigated consumer spending. Third, it took an unprecedented look at how people in the United States spend their time on cultural activities.
Even the limitations of federal data cannot hide a central fact: The amount of time and money that Americans expend on the performing arts is … dramatic.
EPI EXPLORES INTERNS IN THE LABOR MARKET – On May 18, 2011, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) held a forum, “Unpaid and Exploited? Examining Interns in the US Labor Market.” The forum paid particular attention to the role internships play for young people entering the white-collar job market.
Speaking at the forum were Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy, and Michael Hancock, Deputy Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Ross Eisenbrey, EPI Vice President, moderated.
For a review of Intern Nation by an unpaid intern, click here. Attending the forum was DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning. For more information, contact her, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, email@example.com.
DC BAR ASSOCIATION ON EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISAS – On May 3, 2011, three immigration attorneys provided insight on how attorneys can help clients navigate the employment-based immigration system. The continuing legal education (CLE) program included the H-1B and L-1 visas.
Attending was DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning. For more information, contact her, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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DPE SIGNS ON – On May 4, 2011, DPE joined a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives opposing the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2011 (H.R. 1439), which would limit state and local taxation and revenues at a time of budget crises; other signers affiliated with DPE included AFSCME, AFT, IAFF, and IFPTE. To see the letter, go here.
On May 9, DPE joined a letter to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives commenting on the proposed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 in relation to privatization, insourcing, and federal employees; other signers affiliated with DPE included AFGE, AFSCME, and IFPTE. To read the letter, click here.