Febuary 2, 2013
HE AMERICAN LABOR REFORM MOVEMENT
February 2, 2013
Why Have No Candidates for Exec. Council
Announced They Would Seek Re-Election?
Answer: Trumka has ensured them the job
By locking up a majority of the convention
votes for top positions IN ADVANCE, the
Trumka Group can’t lose at the convention
By Harry Kelber
It may seem puzzling to union members, but with the AFL-CIO’s 2013 Convention in Los Angeles only eight months away, no top officer and member of the Executive Council has announced that he or she plans to run for re-election. Don’t be fooled. They are hungry for re-election.
And just about all of them have bought into an illegal plan devised by Trumka to win the election even before the 2013 convention opens.
Here is their plan:
When Harry Kelber announced his intention to run for president next year of the nation’s largest labor organization, he carefully planned his campaign message. But he also had something else to plan — his 98th birthday party.
Mr. Kelber, a longtime labor activist from Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., and outspoken critic of the AFL-CIO, announced his candidacy late last month on the day he turned 98. He will be 99 when he formally challenges AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, who was elected in 2009, at the labor union’s convention in September 2013.
“I’m a sincere old guy, and I can’t, in the final years of my life, give up,” Mr. Kelber said in a telephone interview, lisping slightly. “I can spend my final years in flowers looking around and watching TV, and I’m forgoing that.”
The labor gadfly said his platform will emphasize transparency and more activism on behalf of members, calling for the release of finance reports from the top officers. The labor umbrella group, he contends, has done nothing to better workers’ lives in the past 15 years while its influence on Capitol Hill is rapidly waning.
“Give workers something to fight for,” Mr. Kelber said. “Where’s the leadership to help them improve their conditions?”
The International Labor Organization (ILO) has urged countries to adopt new standards to ensure decent working conditions and pay for the world’s 53 million domestic workers, mostly women. The ILO report, Domestic Workers Across the World, shines a spotlight on a group of workers often neglected by policymakers and largely excluded from national labor laws.
“Domestic workers are frequently asked to work longer hours than other workers, and in many countries do not have the same rights to weekly rest that are enjoyed by other workers,” said Sandra Polaski, the ILO’s deputy director general. “Combined with the lack of rights, the extreme dependence on an employer, and the isolated and unprotected nature of work can render them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.”
Using official statistics from 117 countries, the report estimated the number of domestic workers in the world at 52.6 million in 2010. The 2010 figure is a significant increase from the 33.2 million recorded in 1995.
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