News from the Daily Kos Labor
- Voters oppose Trump’s air traffic control privatization plan, poll finds
June, 23 2017
Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are gung-ho to privatize the American air traffic control system. The American people, not so much. According to a CNBC poll, a majority of people who hear a description of the plan think it’s a bad idea:
… in the area of ATC reform, respondents were asked about the shift to a system in which “the FAA would have some oversight…but would no longer manage the air traffic control system.” Respondents were given the following choices: “This is a good idea because the system is out of date and cannot keep pace with the significant increases in air traffic. A non-governmental entity led by aviation experts could update the system with the most reliable technology faster and less expensively, making air travel more efficient and safer” or “This is a bad idea because it would give the airlines too much control over a public asset and will give them authority to impose taxes and fees on U.S. passengers. These corporations could cut corners that serve their own interests and make it less safe and more expensive for all to fly.”
Only 33 percent sided with “ good idea,” while 53 percent selected “bad idea.” Another 11 percent said they were not sure, while the remaining 3 percent said neither.
Just another Republican plan that the public doesn’t want.
- It’s starting to look like layoff week at factories where Donald Trump has bragged about jobs
June, 23 2017
Donald Trump’s successful jobs record continues apace. Carrier just announced 600 layoffs at the factory where Trump supposedly “saved” 1,000 jobs. And then there’s Boeing. Trump visited a South Carolina Boeing factory not long after his (poorly attended) inauguration, saying that:
“We are going to fight for every last American job.” […]
“We’re here today to celebrate American engineering and American manufacturing,” Trump said at the time. “We’re also here today to celebrate jobs. Jobs!”
Well, guess what.
On Thursday, workers at the North Charleston plant learned they’d soon face layoffs.
The airplane manufacturer announced it would be cutting “fewer than 200 people” at the 787 Dreamliner campus and other facilities in the city.
While that’s a small fraction of Boeing’s South Carolina workers, it follows more than 2,000 voluntary and involuntary layoffs in Washington state and 700 buyouts in South Carolina. The trend is not good, in other words. But hey, it was a good non-union backdrop for Trump to claim he was winning on “Jobs. Jobs!”
- Months after Trump’s hype, Carrier announces 600 layoffs
June, 22 2017
Remember how, back before the media caught on to Donald Trump’s habit of announcing he’d “created” jobs that had been long planned or “saved” jobs that either didn’t need saving or weren’t actually saved, his Carrier deal was major headline news? Trump supposedly saved 1,000 jobs from being sent to Mexico, and we were supposed to ignore the fact that many of the jobs being “saved” were never planned to be cut, and the giant tax subsidies he doled out to make that happen, and all the jobs that were still going to Mexico, and the fact that the deal was going to help the company eliminate jobs through automation.
Well, Carrier isn’t in the headlines so much these days, which makes it about time for the asterisks on Trump’s big deal to kick in with a vengeance. Layoffs are officially coming for more than 600 workers at the plant:
“The jobs are still leaving,” said Robert James, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999. “Nothing has stopped.” […]
[The CEO of Carrier’s parent company] said the laid-off workers would be offered jobs at other factories across the country.
“We’re going to be hiring something like 5,000 people this year,” he said.
But union officials say they have heard nothing from the company about any job offers elsewhere within the company. All they have received is the official notice, as required by federal law, that the first round of cuts — 338 jobs — will take place on July 20, with an additional 290 employees terminated on Dec. 22, three days before Christmas.
But of course this reality won’t get nearly as many headlines as Trump’s hype did.
- Republicans ready to shut down government in Washington state
June, 22 2017
Public workers in Washington state are getting temporary layoff notices, as the state could be headed for a government shutdown on July 1 if the Republican-held state Senate and Democratic state House and governor can’t reach a budget agreement before then. The legislature is under court order to fix school underfunding, and—surprise!—Republicans are rejecting most options for adding revenue and refusing to negotiate. The editorial board of The Olympian writes:
Basically this fight didn’t need to play out this way. It pits the Democratic-majority state House against a Republican-controlled Senate, but fundamentally it is ideology on the GOP side that is blocking progress.
The Democrats have been realistic about the need for new revenue. Republicans have dug in with fervor against new taxes — with one self-serving exception.
The GOP favors jacking up property taxes on mostly urban areas that have sky-high property valuations, housing affordability issues and Democratic representation. That won’t work morally or politically. Their members are justify this overall tax increase by telling their supporters that it actually means tax cuts in their districts.So far, Democrats have showed some willingness to compromise. First, Gov. Jay Inslee suggested House Democrats pull a capital gains tax proposal off the table. Inslee, a Democrat who had proposed the tax, was acknowledging it would probably not pass in the Senate where Republicans adamantly oppose it.
But Republicans, of course, won’t compromise. As a result, Washington residents and workers are looking at a shutdown that would cause more than 50,000 senior citizens to lose meals, tens of thousands of families to lose child care, and state parks to close. Workers’ compensation claims wouldn’t be processed, workplace safety inspections would stop, veterans would lose PTSD counseling, an enormous range of healthcare services would halt, people with disabilities wouldn’t get vocational rehabilitation services, and much, much, much more.
Par for the Republican course, in other words. Stay tuned.
- Thanks to Betsy DeVos, a private student loan CEO will be overseeing your federal student loans
June, 21 2017
Is there an idiom one step past “setting the fox to guard the hen house”? Because thanks to Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos, we really need one. Maybe “putting a private student loan company CEO in charge of student loans.” It doesn’t have a snappy ring to it, but it’s true, and it’s appalling:
The Education Department’s statement described A. Wayne Johnson as the “Founder, Chairman and former CEO” of a payments technology company called First Performance Corporation. It noted his Ph.D. in education leadership, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, citing his dissertation, said he “actually wrote the book on student loan debt.”
But what wasn’t noted was Johnson is currently the CEO of Reunion Student Loan Services, a detail confirmed by a company representative reached by phone on Tuesday afternoon. Reunion originates and services private student loans, and offers refinancing and consolidation for existing loans.
He actually wrote the book on student loan debt? Or he actually filled his own bank book with dollar signs thanks to other people’s student loan debt?
This is who the Trump regime thinks should oversee student debt. Someone who has spent his career figuring out how to squeeze the next dollar out of people struggling to pay off their educational loans. If you or your kids have student debt, take this as what it is: a sign that Trump and DeVos put your future behind private profit, your interests behind private loan companies.