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Debating the Employee Free Choice Act

02/17/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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There’s a battle looming in Congress between organized labor and big business- it’s over the proposed Employee Free Choice Act. The bill was passed by the House back in 2007- but it’s been filibustered in the Senate since 2007.

President Barack Obama says he supports EFCA. Labor unions say it would make it easier for employees to form unions. They say that over the past 30 years the balance of power has shifted and that companies have gained too much power to fight union organizin...

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Meek gets key union endorsement in Senate bid listen

02/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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This morning one of the biggest public employee unions in Florida endorsed Miami area Congressman Kendrick Meek in the Senate race in 2010.

The endorsement by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is an early and strong boost for the Democrat. Currently, only Miami Beach Sen. Dan Gelber and North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns have announced their candidacies, though there could be several more announcing in the coming months.

Monica Russo is president of the Florida SEIU. She says...

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Employee Free Choice Act a possibility in Obama administration listen

12/17/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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With a Democratic president and large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, labor organizers are optimistic that pro-union legislation can win passage in 2009. At the top of the wish list is the Employee Free Choice Act. Over the last 20 years, an imbalance has been created between employers and employees, according to Rich Templin, communications director with the Florida AFL-CIO, a labor union that supports the Employee Free Choice Act.

“What th...

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Unions celebrate Labor Day in Tampa listen

09/02/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Yesterday was Labor Day, and in Tampa, thousands celebrated the holiday honoring the American worker by attending a barbecue at the Florida Fairgrounds.

The event was put on by a coalition of local labor groups. It drew the attention of a vast array of local public officials as well as a few candidates vying for office this November.

In addition to the hot dogs, chicken and pork 'n beans, there were carnival rides, games and a car and motorcycle show that drew lots of families to the ev...

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Union activists discuss labor in Tampa Bay area

08/20/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)
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Good Afternoon, welcome to Radioactivity. I'm Rob Lorei. Labor Day is coming up in less than two weeks and today we're joined by several labor activists: Robert Ray, president, West Central Florida Federation of Labor & member of IBEW Local 915; John Murphy, business agent, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 108, which represents employees of TECO and Johnson Controls & others; Mike McCoy, president, Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1593, which represents drivers a...

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St Pete Police demand fair negotiations with city listen

06/10/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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On the steps of the St. Petersburg City Hall, the Pinellas County Police Benevolent Association (PBA), today protested what they said was the city’s lack of action on contract negotiations.

Jim Spearing, campaign coordinator for the state PBA in Tallahassee, said there was "frustration" that the St. Pete police have not had any offers on an employment agreement from the city since last October. Spearing said “the turnover rate in this city is appalling.”

With about 30 police off...

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Colombian trade deal ratification sought listen

05/05/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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A “free-trade” deal has been negotiated between the United States and Colombia, but it awaits Congressional approval. Last month, Democrats in Congress said they would indefinitely delay a vote on ratification.

Today in Tampa, the Colombian Ambassador to the U.S. joined Florida’s junior Sen. Mel Martinez and some members of the business community to urge Congress to quickly vote to ratify the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

Colombian Ambassador Carolina Barco said that under Presi...

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In Tampa, McCain addresses U.S. health care listen

04/29/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Republican Presidential nominee John McCain addressed his plan for solving the country’s health care crisis this morning at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. McCain proposes shifting trillions of dollars in tax credits from businesses that provide health coverage to employees who buy their own.

Sen. McCain said the two fundamental problems troubling the American health care system are cost and access. He proposed replacing some employment-based health insurance coverage by giving indi...

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HART deals with financial struggles listen

04/07/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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The Board of Directors of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) met this morning in the County Center in downtown Tampa. The board is faced with how to deal with cuts to both local and federal transit budgets.

David Persaud, HART’s chief financial officer, assessed the current financial climate heading into the 2009 fiscal year.

Persaud said that the 2010 deficits might be made up through reduced services or opportunities for federal grants. Jeff Boothe, with the law...

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Truckers strike in Tampa to protest fuel prices listen

04/02/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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For the second day in a row, independent truckers were on strike in Tampa today protesting high diesel fuel prices and stagnant incomes. About 50 truck owner-operators demonstrated on Causeway Boulevard in front of the Port of Tampa.

David Santiago is a truck owner-operator. Santiago is striking because he wants the companies who hire independent truckers to pay them more.

“We just came together, we sat down and said, hey enough is enough, we can’t make it any more. I’m sure McDo...

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