In This Issue:
- Happy 2013 from DPE!
- New! DPE Fact Sheet on Young Professionals
- AFGE Wins First Contract at Transportation Security Agency
- AFT Wins for Exploited Filipino Teachers on H-1B Visas
- AFL-CIO Tackles Threats to Retirement Security
- Proposed Cut in Internet Music Royalties Opens Unexpected Discussion
- DPE Opposes U.S. Chamber of Commerce on L-1B Visas
- DPE Executive Committee Hears Post-Election Prospects
- DPE Latest: School Administrators, Guest Workers and STEM, and Pharmacists
- DPE Welcomes Research Intern
- DPE Signs On
- DPE In the News
A new DPE Fact Sheet takes a look at the 16.3 million workers aged 22 to 35 who make up the young professional workforce. The Fact Sheet explores the demographics of young professionals, occupation and industry concentrations, historical perspectives, educational attainment, unemployment and underemployment, and union membership.
Read the new Fact Sheet at The Young Professional Workforce. To view all of the DPE Fact Sheets, visit our website. For further information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFGE WINS FIRST CONTRACT AT TRANSPORTATION SECURITY AGENCY – On November 9, 2012, workers at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) made history. By a margin of 10 to one (17,326-1,774), they voted to ratify their first TSA contract.
AFGE and TSA signed the new collective bargaining agreement on November 30.
AFGE National President J. David Cox, Chair of the DPE Board, declared the agreement “will mean better working conditions, fair evaluation practices and safer workplaces, and … will improve morale. This is important because low morale leads to unsafe levels of attrition in an agency where a stable, professional workforce of career employees is vital to its national security mission.”
Cox noted that the contract marked the culmination of 11 years of organizing and negotiations. The AFGE unit consists of 45,000 transportation security officers at TSA.
AFT WINS FOR EXPLOITED FILIPINO TEACHERS ON H-1B VISAS – On December 17, 2012, a federal court jury spoke out against the exploitation of Filipino teachers under the H-1B visa program. In a case brought in part by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the jury awarded the teachers $4.5 million in damages from a recruiting firm.
DPE President Paul E. Almeida commented, “DPE and its affiliated unions have long spoken out for rational immigration policies and reform. The H-1B guestworker program displaces U.S. professionals, undercuts U.S. wages, and exposes guest workers to abuse. We congratulate AFT on its successful and courageous advocacy.”
To read the AFT release with details about the case, click here. For more about employer abuses of U.S. visas, see the DPE report Gaming the System 2012: Guest Worker Visa Programs and Professional and Technical Workers in the U.S.; go here and scroll down.
AFL-CIO TACKLES THREATS TO RETIREMENT SECURITY – On December 18, 2012, the AFL-CIO hosted a five-hour “Leadership Retirement Security Summit.” Its goals: to describe the challenges to retirement security facing workers and unions and to agree on a plan for action.
Among the speakers: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler; IAM President Tom Buffenbarger; BCTD President Sean McGarvey and National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans Executive Director Randy DeFrehn; AFSCME President Lee Saunders; and AFL-CIO Policy Director and Special Counsel Damon Silvers. Trumka also invited each affiliated union to comment and summarized the responses.
Representing DPE was Executive Director David Cohen. For more information, contact him at 202-638-0320 extension 113, email@example.com.
PROPOSED CUT IN INTERNET MUSIC ROYALTIES OPENS UNEXPECTED DISCUSSION – A Congressional hearing about Internet royalties for music recordings took an unexpected turn. Proponents of a bill to pump up profits for Internet music services like Pandora at the expense of singers and musicians faced criticism from all sides, liberal and conservative. The sponsors, instead of advancing their bill, ignited a broad discussion about justice for performers.
The November 2012 DPE NewsLine reported that Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced the so-called Internet Radio Fairness Act of 2012, S. 3609 and H.R. 6480, on September 21, 2012; see “AFL-CIO Opposes Proposed Cut in Internet Royalties.” The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet hosted the November 28, 2012 hearing.
A typical account, one of many online and in the media, came from The Salt Lake Tribune. Its headline: “Chaffetz’s radio bill panned by musicians, conservatives.” To read the report, click here.
In a letter of October 19 from AFL-CIO Government Affairs Director William Samuel, strongly backed by AFM and AFTRA and seconded by DPE, the AFL-CIO had already announced its opposition to every member of Congress. Samuel urged Senators and Representatives not to co-sponsor. He declared that “webcasters do not need a government handout financed on the backs of working musicians.” A better course, he wrote, would be for Congress “to close the decades-old special interest loophole that exempts AM/FM radio stations from paying any performance royalty whatsoever.”
That seems to be the discussion that the November hearing began. With the opening of the 113th Congress this month, will Pandora and its Congressional allies seek to revive the bills that so many denounced? Or will Congress follow up with a better, more comprehensive, and more just approach?
To watch the hearing video, see the list of witnesses, or read their statements, click here. For a musicFIRST statement about Pandora and the proposed legislation that quotes AFM president Ray Hair, click here. For more information, please contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
DPE OPPOSES U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ON L-1B VISAS – In a November 9, 2012 letter to the U.S. State Department (DOS), DPE President Paul E. Almeida called on DOS “to maintain its standards for L-1B approval and reject calls from the Chamber [of Commerce] to weaken rules that protect workers.” Almeida noted that the L-1B visa program has been “riddled with fraud and abuse.”
DPE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE HEARS POST-ELECTION PROSPECTS – On November 28, 2012, DPE Chair J. David Cox, AFGE National President, chaired a meeting of the DPE Executive Committee by conference call. A highlight: AFL-CIO Director of Government Affairs Bill Samuel briefed the participants on legislative prospects after the elections, including negotiations over federal revenues and expenditures, the “fiscal cliff.”
Also on the agenda were financial reports from DPE Treasurer Francine Lawrence, AFT Executive Vice President; and the President’s Report by DPE President Paul E. Almeida, for which he also called on DPE Executive Director David Cohen and Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning. In addition to AFGE and AFT, affiliated unions represented on the call were AEA, IATSE, IFPTE, SAG-AFTRA, and USW.
• School Administrators: An Occupational Overview
• Guest Worker Programs and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce
• Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians: Facts and Figures
To view a complete list of DPE Fact Sheets, visit our website. For more information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, email@example.com.
DPE WELCOMES RESEARCH INTERN – DPE has hired Samantha Groark, a first-year graduate student at Georgetown University, as our new research intern. Samantha has already been hard at work researching and updating DPE Fact Sheets and will also be working on special projects. Samantha comes to DPE from Ohio where she was active in her community as a legal observer coordinator with Occupy Cincinnati and worked on selected projects for the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center. Samantha graduated from Xavier University in May 2012 where she majored in English and minored in History, Gender & Diversity Studies, and Peace Studies.
DPE SIGNS ON – On November 9, 2012, DPE joined 145 other organizations in a letter to the President asking that the budget negotiators “focus on job creation and avoid any actions that would cost jobs; oppose benefit cuts for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; protect our nation’s safety net; and oppose any extension of the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans.” To read the letter and see the signers, go here and scroll down.
DPE IN THE NEWS – A December 5, 2012 opinion column in The Bradenton (Fla.) Times cited DPE President Paul E. Almeida and his testimony about the shift of jobs from the U.S. to overseas; to read the column, click here.