- DPE: For U.S. Workers and Jobs, Defend Intellectual Property
- Whistleblowers, Science, and Professional Integrity
- Trans-Pacific Partnership: Consulting Labor At Last
- Library Workers, Unite! American Library Association, June 23-28
- New Video Spotlights Performers With Disabilities
DPE: FOR U.S. WORKERS AND JOBS, DEFEND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY– From Capitol Hill to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to the White House, the message from DPE and its affiliated unions is the same: Defending intellectual property (IP) means defending U.S. workers, jobs, and incomes.
On April 4, 2011, DPE President Paul E. Almeida joined Members of Congress from both chambers in a press conference led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Other participants included House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI),
IP Subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and Representative Howard Berman (D-CA).
Almeida explained that nine unions affiliated with DPE represent “hundreds of thousands of creative professionals and other workers in the arts, entertainment, and media industries. For these skilled professionals, online infringement is wage theft. Too few people who download entertainment illegally recognize that they are stealing wages and benefits from workers.” Almeida urged Congress to pass the Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA).
A summary video includes Almeida’s entire presentation a little after its first five minutes; the total length is 8 minutes, 44 seconds. To read Almeida’s comments, click here. Press accounts included a Reuters story, “Lawmakers renew push for ‘rogue websites’ bill”; The Hill, Variety, and the AFL-CIO Now Blog.
On April 13, DPE Executive Director David Cohen participated in a White House meeting seeking input for the U.S. position in OECD negotiations over Internet policy. He highlighted the support of the arts, entertainment, and media unions affiliated with DPE for expanding access to affordable high-speed broadband, for intellectual property rights, and for an unfettered Internet.
Cohen also raised a need to counter illegal online activity with government sanctions or private liability. To read the written statement that he distributed, go here.
Leading the meeting was Philip J. Weiser, Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation to the National Economic Council Director. With Weiser were U.S. Ambassador to the OECD Karen Kornbluh; Ambassador Philip L. Verveer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy; Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA); Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer; Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) Victoria Espinel; and Danny Weitzner, Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. More than 30 others represented telecom companies, groups advocating for an open Internet, Internet intermediaries, federal agencies, and the copyright and content community.
On April 22, joined by representatives for AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America, and IATSE, Cohen attended a White House meeting seeking input for an Administration position on COICA. On April 26, he joined a meeting focused on efforts by IPEC Espinel and her office to seek a voluntary stance by payment processors against illegal online infringement.
AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka weighed in on the importance to the U.S. of defending its IP. In honor of World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, he co-authored Protecting America’s Innovative Advantage with Robert D. Hormats, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, and Deborah L. Wince-Smith, President and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness.
For more information, please contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, email@example.com, 202-638-0320, or DPE Executive Director David Cohen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
At an April 28, 2011 meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) of Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI), three special guests proved how engaging expertise and commitment can be. Invited at the suggestion of PftPI Policy Subgroup Chair Raymond Garant of the American Chemical Society, the guests provided updates on two topics for which PftPI adopted consensus statements: whistleblowers and scientific integrity.
The proposed Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) of 2011 incorporates proposals that would make the whistleblower protections for federal employees credible. Federal whistleblowers have exposed filth in meat processing plants, drugs causing patients’ deaths, poor vehicle protections implicated in soldiers’ fatalities, and a program cancellation that could have enabled air hijackings.
Despite strong support in the last Congress, behind-the-scene maneuvers torpedoed WPEA passage in the closing hours of the December 2010 Congressional adjournment. Tom Devine, Legal Director of the Government Accountability Project, and Shanna Devine, its Legislative Campaign Coordinator, recounted the extraordinary tale and suggested constructive next steps.
Focusing on scientific integrity and federal agencies, Francesca Grifo, Senior Scientist and Director, Scientific Integrity Program, Union of Concerned Scientists, underscored how essential scientific integrity is to good public policy, from regulating children’s lead exposures to protecting endangered species. She traced a chronology that began with a March 9, 2009 directive from President Obama that led in turn to a December 17, 2010 memorandum to executive departments and agencies on scientific integrity from John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In response to the Holdren memo, on February 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DoI) became the first agency to issue a reformulated scientific integrity policy.
On behalf of PftPI, Raymond Garant of ACS and DPE President Paul E. Almeida, in his capacity as PftPI Chair, wrote an April 5 joint letter of commendation and concerns to the newly designated DoI Departmental Scientific Integrity Officer, Dr. Ralph Morgenweck. They also sent the PftPI consensus statement, Scientific Integrity and the Executive Branch, to Assistant to the President Holdren with a brief cover letter.
Also on the agenda at the JWG meeting was a report from PftPI Activities Subgroup Chair Vin O’Neill of IEEE-USA. It included an analysis of the factors affecting the cancelled April 4 PftPI Forum, status reports on two proposed Forums, and an update on foundation responses to PftPI proposals for funding the Forums.
For more information about PftPI, which DPE began organizing in 2007, contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP: CONSULTING LABOR AT LAST– After six rounds of negotiations, on April 12, 2011 Michael Froman, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, hosted a White House meeting with labor about the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Among the participants: DPE President Paul E. Almeida.
The TPP negotiations started in March 2010 in Melbourne, with the participation of Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam. Malaysia joined the negotiations in October 2010 at the third round of negotiations. The intent: to develop a high-quality, comprehensive 21st century Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that increases economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region.
The meeting represented the first opportunity for labor to state its concerns. It was the latest in a series at which DPE related protecting intellectual property to defending U.S. workers and jobs. See “DPE: For U.S. Workers and Jobs, Defend Intellectual Property” above.
Accompanying Froman were Ron Bloom, Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy; Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist to the Vice President; Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; Douglas Bell, Director for Trade and Investment of the National Security Council; and Barbara Weisel and Lewis Karesh, both of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Further meetings about specific aspects of the agreement are scheduled.
LIBRARY WORKERS, UNITE! 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 638-0320 extension 114.
“The Audition,” produced by the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists (ACTRA), brings home the obstacles that performers with disabilities may face. ACTRA, Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) launched the video on April 6.
The video is the latest element in a campaign that AEA, AFTRA, and SAG began in 2008. I AM PWD – Inclusion in the Arts & Media of People With Disabilities – is a global civil rights campaign dedicated to ending discrimination against and exclusion of performers and broadcasters with disabilities. I.AM.PWD is uniting labor, industry, community, and governmental allies to fight discrimination against people with disabilities.
To watch the video and for more information, go to www.iampwd.org. To read the resolution that DPE proposed on behalf of its arts, entertainment, and media unions and that the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention adopted, “Unions Should Give People with Disabilities a Voice and a Face,” click here.