The Surprising Truth on How Little We Have to Spend on American Products to Make a Big Difference

by Sahid Fawaz

Via the Million Jobs Project comes this important video explaining how much of an impact we can all make by spending just a little more on American products. Share this with your friends to help us get the word out on the benefits of buying American. And make sure to visit our directory for a list of thousands of American products!

Walmart Executive Receives Bonus as Company Misses Growth Expectations

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by Sahid Fawaz

Walmart is known for its abysmal wages, which has led to taxpayers footing the bill for many of its employees who have to rely on government assistance to survive.

If a Walmart employee meets expectations on the job, his reward is more of the same meager wages that he accustomed to. And if he doesn’t meet expectations? Our guess is that he would likely be reprimanded or fired.

But when you’re a Walmart executive, the rules apparently no longer apply. Failing to meet expectations does not lead to negative consequences. Instead, it leads to an executive bonus.

Walmart’s president and CEO of its United States unit has an agreement with the company that provides with him a bonus if it achieves sales growth of at least two percent.

But growth for Fiscal Year 2014 were only 1.8%. Yet Walmart gave him a $1.5 million bonus.

How did that happen? The New York Times explains:

“After adjusting for certain items relating to the company’s sales, the Walmart unit eked out a growth rate of 2.03 percent in 2014. On the strength of that “adjusted” performance, Mr. Simon received $1.5 million, the proxy noted. His total compensation was $13 million last year.

What adjustments helped Mr. Simon clear the bar? One action that the company took was to eliminate the decline in its United States sales that occurred after the government cut food stamp benefits — formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP — by 5 percent last November.

That reduction in benefits hurt Walmart’s sales, the company acknowledged, because many customers use food stamps in its stores.

But for executive-pay purposes, that sales decline never happened. And that meant a bigger payday for Mr. Simon.”

Examples like this one shed light on the protections that corporate executives build for themselves to find any way to justify a lavish bonus, even when their company misses expectations. Many retail workers live a completely opposite life. They work tirelessly to meet expectations and their reward is that the value that they create goes to a handful of executives who make obscene amounts of money at the expense of their company and the taxpayer. 

Mitt Romney Tells Republicans to Support a Minimum Wage Raise

by Sahid Fawaz

You know the minimum wage must be really, really low if conservative Mitt Romney is calling on Republicans to raise it. Romney says that the GOP needs to stand up for what they believe in - "more jobs, better pay" - by supporting the raise. Watch the full video below of Romney's interview on the MSNBC show Morning Joe.

Alaskan Lt. Governor Hopeful Apologizes for Comparing Unions to Slavery

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Earlier this week, Anchorage mayor and Lieutenant Governor hopeful Dan Sullivan used the word slavery to describe unions.  According to the Achorage Daily News, Sullivan "compar[ed] rules that require union membership and payment of union dues to slavery."

Sullivan has been no friend of labor over the years. He fought public unions to restrict their right to strike and led a measure opposing raises for public servants.

According to the NPM News, "in a statement late Wednesday afternoon, [Sullivan] said he remains opposed to rules compelling mandatory union membership for certain work, which he referred to as a form of "'economic slavery.'

'To me, the term has no racial connotations except that people of all races may be prohibited from holding certain jobs unless they pay tribute to an organization they may not support,' he said in the statement, released by a city spokeswoman."

Sullivan ultimately apologized for his remarks and to all who he offended.

Five Union-Made Items for the Summer

by Sahid Fawaz

If the summer is anywhere near as extreme as this past winter was, then we’re to going to lots of supplies to cope. Fortunately, proud union members produce and deliver the best quality consumer products anywhere. Below are a few of our union-made items for the summer. And remember, each time you buy union-made, you support good middle-class jobs that pay fair wages and provide good benefits.

1. Coppertone Sunscreen (United Steelworkers)

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2. Omaha Steaks (UFCW)

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3. John Deere Mowers (UAW, IAMAW)

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4. Naturalizer Sandals (UFCW)

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5. Breyers Ice Cream (UFCW)

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Six Clever Cartoons on Income Inequality

By Michael Messina

On Monday, Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland joined in on the effort to get minimum wage workers closer to earning a livable wage. His plan will raise the state minimum wage to $10.10/hr by 2018 and is one of several moves made by state governments to up the take home pay of those on the lowest tier, joining California, Hawaii, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. as well as a city effort by Seattle to raise their minimum to $15/hr.

In light of these developments, we give you some of our favorite political cartoons that shed light on the income inequality that has run rampant in this country. Enjoy!

Income inequality cartoon 3

Five Great Union-Made Gifts For Mother's Day

by Sahid Fawaz

If you’re looking for a great gift for Mom this Mother’s Day, we’ve got a terrific list for you. And the best part is that that they are all made by proud union members!

Buying union on the holidays is more than just an expression of solidarity – it’s a vote for union-made, American products. The more that we all buy union-made products, the more demand there will be for those products and, in turn, the more demand for highly skilled unionized workers.

So this Mother’s Day consider products from these unionized brands below and help support good middle class American jobs!

1. Ghirardelli (UFCW)

2. Revlon (UAW)

3. Russel Stover (BCTGM)

4. Avon (UFCW)

5. See's Candies (BCTGM)

The Seven Biggest Economic Lies

by Sahid Fawaz

Whenever the topics of inequality, wages, or social security come up, there inevitably follows a wave of myths and lies that distort the issues. These lies perpetuate outdated laws and mechanisms that hurt the working class and unfairly benefit the 1%. Robert Reich walks us through seven of these lies in the video below and explains to us the economic reality facing America today.

Source: MoveOn.org

JetBlue Pilots Vote to Join Union

by Sahid Fawaz
 
Congratulations to JetBlue pilots who voted overwhelmingly to unionize and join the the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).
 
According to the ALPA,
 
"The National Mediation Board (NMB) announced that the 2,600+ pilots at JetBlue Airways voted overwhelmingly to join the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).
 
Of the votes cast, 71% of JetBlue pilots voted for ALPA. The win shows the strong desire of JetBlue pilots to gain a meaningful voice in their future, the certainty of a collective bargaining agreement, and the resources needed to be relevant. These objectives motivated the overwhelming grass roots effort by JetBlue pilots which led to today’s vote."
 
ALPA president, Capt. Lee Moak, said, 
 
"JetBlue pilot members immediately have available ALPA's aeromedical advisors and insurance benefits. The Association's world-class safety structure is also ready to go. We'll now start working hand-in-hand with JetBlue pilot representatives to set up the structure for them to make democratic decisions about their future and help negotiate their first contract."
 
For more on this, watch Capt. Moak’s full remarks here:
 
 

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