Tag Archives: workers’ issues

US Slides Down Annual Press Freedom Ranking, With Watchdog Calling Nation ‘Problematic’ for Reporters’ Rights

“Never before have U.S. journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-18-2019

The U.S. slid down a yearly list ranking press freedom in nations around the world, falling three places to number 48. (Image: Reporters Without Borders)

An annual accounting of press freedoms around the world describes an “intense climate of fear” in which reporters are being forced to work, calling out world leaders like U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for their attacks on the media.

Trump’s repeated statements that journalists are “the enemy of the people” and his threats to roll back their right to report political news have been a contributing factor in the United States’ descent to 48th place in the Press Freedom Index, which was released Thursday by Reporters Without Borders or Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF). Continue reading

Share

“Keep It, It’s Yours.” Postal Workers’ Message to Public Denounces Trump Privatization Plan

 “Don’t sell this national treasure to private interests that will charge more for less service,” union says ahead of Tax Day events

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-14-2019

The Tax Day message from the American Postal Workers Union. (Image: APWU with frame)

U.S. Postal Service workers will hold a day of action Monday to reject a Trump White House proposal to privatize the service.

“Our message to the public is quite simple. ‘The United States Postal Service—Keep it. It’s yours!'” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), in a statement. “Don’t sell this national treasure to private interests that will charge more for less service.” Continue reading

Share

‘I Felt Americans Needed to Know’: Insurance Industry Whistleblower Gives Glimpse of Effort to Crush Medicare for All

“The business model of for-profit health insurance depends on denying care to people who need it. These corporations can’t be reasoned with, only defeated.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-12-2019

“When the people begin organizing against private insurance, the lonely insurance executives turn to their only friends: the elected officials beholden to their cash,” said Medicare for All campaigner and policy expert Tim Faust. (Image: Miami Business School)

In an effort to inform the public about the corporate forces working to crush Medicare for All, an employee at the insurance giant UnitedHealthcare leaked a video of his boss bragging about the company’s campaign to preserve America’s for-profit healthcare system.

“I felt Americans needed to know exactly who it is that’s fighting against the idea that healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” the anonymous whistleblower told the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein. Continue reading

Share

‘Huge Victory’: French Court Finds Monsanto Guilty of Poisoning Farmer

“Monsanto needs to realize that we are not going to be silent anymore. We are not going to roll over and play dead.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-12-2019

Protesters attended a demonstration against the chemical company Monsanto in 2016 in France. On Thursday, a /French court found Monsanto guilty of poisoning a farmer. (Photo: Pascal.VanFlickr/cc)

Monsanto was ordered to pay restitution to a French farmer who developed a neurological disease after using its weedkiller—the latest victory for the chemical giant’s former customers who want to hold the company accountable for selling poisonous pesticides.

A court in Lyon, France, ordered Monsanto Thursday to immediately pay Paul François €50,000 ($56,000) for the legal fees he incurred as he fought the company, and said the full amount it would be required to pay him would be announced in an upcoming ruling. François is seeking €1 million ($860,000). Continue reading

Share

‘Disorder by Design’: Aid Group Details How Trump Has Manufactured Crisis at the US-Mexico Border

“Cutting aid, closing borders, and returning thousands to unsafe and unstable countries is bad policy and bad strategy.”

By  Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-5-2019

A new report published Friday by the International Rescue Committee offers policy solutions for the crises in Northern Triangle countries. (Photo: IRC)

Following recent outrage over President Donald Trump’s decision to slash aid to Central American countries, a new report out Friday details how his administration has “manufactured” a crisis at the southern border and offers policy solutions for how the U.S. can better address the flood of asylum-seekers from the region.

The report—titled Disorder by Design: A Manufactured U.S. Emergency and the Real Crisis in Central America (pdf)—was published by the New York-based International Rescue Committee (IRC) and relies on first-hand accounts from beneficiaries, partners, and staff on the ground in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Continue reading

Share

The Peach State or ‘Banana Republic’? Critics Howl Over Georgia GOP’s Proposal to Target Journalists With Secretive Ethics Panel

“It’s not the government’s role to tell journalists how to do their jobs. This bill is unnecessary state meddling with the press.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-4-2019

Georgia state Rep. Andy Welch proposed a bill that would establish a “journalism ethics board” in the state. (Photo: @andywelchga/Twitter)

Press freedom advocates on Thursday warned of dangers posed by a bill put forward by Republicans in Georgia that would create a journalism ethics board in the state and subject reporters to fines if they don’t comply with the new rules.

The so-called “Ethics in Journalism Act” (H.B. 734) would establish an “independent” ethics board with members from the journalism profession selected by the University of Georgia, which is run by the state. The board would create “canons of ethics,” set up a system for issuing and investigating complaints about journalists and news outlets, and issue advisory opinions on whether news organizations have violated laws. Continue reading

Share

As GOP Deploys ‘Nuclear Option’, New Reports Detail Damage Done By Trump’s Far-Right Takeover of Judiciary

“In just under two years on the bench, these narrow-minded elitist judges have already harmed workers, consumers, voters, immigrants, reproductive rights, and many more.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-3-2019

Mitch McConnell, Brett Kavanaugh, Mike Pence and Jon Kyl before Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Photo: Office of the Vice President [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As Senate Republicans rammed through a rules change enabling faster approval of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, two advocacy groups released reports on Wednesday showing the far-reaching and long-lasting damage his confirmed federal judges have already had on the nation.

People for the American Way (PFAW) and Alliance for Justice (AFJ) both published studies Wednesday about Trump’s success in appointing 92 judges to district courts, federal appeals courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court—with PFAW writing that the president’s effort to remake the judicial branch in his own image could be disastrous for a number of marginalized groups. Continue reading

Share

Citing ‘Conscience Shocking’ Conduct, Federal Judge Reinstates Former Gov. Snyder in Flint Water Lawsuit

City residents, said the judge, “could have taken protective measures, if only they had known what the Governor knew. Instead, the Governor misled them into assuming that nothing was wrong.”

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-1-2019

Screenshot: Fox 17

A federal judge on Monday—who agreed that allegations of “conscience shocking” conduct claimed by plaintiffs were “plausible”—reinstated Michigan’s former Governor Rick Snyder as a defendant in a class action lawsuit by the victims of the water crisis in the city of Flint that first captured national headlines in 2014.

After earlier removing Snyder from the suit, brought by city residents harmed by the poisoning of the municipal water supply, U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy reversed that decision as she noted the plaintiffs had shown the allegations against Snyder and his fellow co-defendants “plausibly describe ‘conscience shocking’ conduct” as the people of Flint were stripped of 14th Amendment protections from bodily harm or injury. Continue reading

Share

‘Verdict Is In’: Monsanto Found Liable for Man’s Cancer, Ordered to Pay $80 Million in Damages

“The jury resoundingly held Monsanto accountable for its 40 years of corporate malfeasance.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-28-2019

Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr

In a victory for consumers and yet another massive blow to Monsanto, a federal jury on Wednesday found the company liable for causing a California man’s cancer and ordered it to pay $80 million in damages.

“The jury resoundingly held Monsanto accountable for its 40 years of corporate malfeasance and sent a message to Monsanto that it needs to change the way it does business,” said the legal team of 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in 2015 after using Roundup on his property for more than two decades. Continue reading

Share

Cries of ‘Shame!’ Heard at Arlington County, Va. Hearing As Officials Approve $23M in Incentives for Amazon

“You claim Arlington is a place for all, for immigrants, for equality, [and] clamor for the attention of a company that does the opposite.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-17-2019

Anti-Amazon demonstrators attended an Arlington County Board hearing Saturday to demand the board vote against $23 million in financial incentives for Amazon, which is planning to build a headquarters in Crystal City. (Photo: @hqpoo/Twitter)

Anti-Amazon protesters in Arlington County, Virginia were outraged Saturday after the county board dismissed outright their concerns over the corporate giant’s decision to build a headquarters in Crystal City—voting unanimously to approve $23 million in tax incentives for the company.

The 5-0 vote followed hours of testimony by Amazon representatives, supporters, and opponents of the plan, with critics arguing that the trillion-dollar company has no need for financial incentives and that its presence in Crystal City will negatively impact lower-income residents and public services. Continue reading

Share