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Green policy = Construction jobs Posted by on

"The We Campaign is a project of The Alliance for Climate Protection -- a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort founded by Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore. The goal of the Alliance is to build a movement that creates the political will to solve the climate crisis -- in part through repowering America with 100 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources within 10 years. Our economy, national security, and climate can??t afford to wait."

The group has been running some pretty compelling television ads lately. Here's one that connects the dots between the climate crisis and job creation in the construction industry.

TAGS: Leed

Are unions the problem or solution for auto industry? Posted by on

Johnathan Cutler writes an interesting piece in the LA Times considering whether the problems with the auto industry have more to do with the union plants operated by the Big Three or the nonunion plants operated by Japanese automakers.

The good news is that Japanese automakers are influenced more by unions at home than they are here. The bad news is that, in Cutler's view, the UAW seems to have made no attempt to use that to its advantage.

Is transplant management the difference then? According to the prevailing wisdom, Japanese auto companies neither trust nor understand the American notion of labor unionism. Ah, but there's the rub. The very companies that operate as nonunion transplants in the United States have always confronted a unionized workforce at home, organized by the Japanese Automobile Workers Confederation.

The UAW simply never established any sort of alliance with the Japanese Automobile Workers Confederation. And yet the UAW leadership knew plenty about Japan and the Japanese labor movement. The leader of the Japanese Automobile Workers Confederation was Ichiro Shioji. As David Halberstam noted in his 1986 book, "The Reckoning," Shioji spent a year at Harvard in 1960 and then spent a summer at the UAW headquarters in Detroit, befriending all the major UAW leaders, including Walter Reuther, Leonard Woodcock and Douglas Fraser. Shioji was no stranger to the UAW.

No trickle down for bailout? Posted by on

Bank of America gets $25 billiion in taxpayer bailout money.

Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago, Illinois--a Bank of America client--shut its doors last week. The company was considering closing its plant, but was pushed into the action when Bank of America shut down their line of credit. So the company didn't comply with legal mandates that they give 60 days notice to employees or pay 60 days wages. They can not pay workers for vacation time they are owed.

Are the 250 workers out of work and out of luck? They've been staging a sit-in at the plant for four days, receiving lots of attention. The Governor of Illinois--George Blagojevich--is stepping in and standing up for the workers. He's telling all state agencies and departments in Illinois to suspend doing business with Bank of America until the problem is fixed and workers are given what they're owed.

The ABC affiliate in Chicago has a few stories on issue available on their website.