Stephen Smith worked at an AT&T call center in Meriden, Connecticut, for over 20 years before the giant telecoms company announced it was closing the city’s three call centers in February 2019.
“At 46 years old, I’m looking for a new job,” Smith said. “They basically told us we either need to move south or lose our job. It was out of the blue. We had no idea.”
Smith and about 90 of his colleagues were offered severance packages or the option to relocate to Georgia or Tennessee. But for most workers who have spouses with their own careers, elderly parents nearby in need of care, or children still in school, relocating on a whim isn’t an option.
These sudden mass layoffs have become increasingly common for workers at AT&T and many other big firms. But it was not meant to be that way.
Source: Bosses pocket Trump tax windfall as workers see job promises vanish | Business | The Guardian
Women across Switzerland are striking on Friday to denounce slow progress on tackling the gender pay gap and inequalities.
The movement echoes a similar protest held in 1991 in which some 500,000 women took part and which led to the adoption five years later of the Gender Equality Act. The legislation banned workplace discrimination and sexual harassment with the aim of “furthering true equality between women and men”.
But 28 years after their first strike, Swiss women continue to denounce the persistently-high gender pay gap under the slogan “Pay, time, respect!”
According to data from the country’s Federal Statistics Office, Swiss women earn 19.6% less than their male counterpart. While that is down by nearly a third since the first strike, the discrimination gap — the differences that cannot be explained by rank or role — has actually worsened since 2000.
The International Labour Organisation also found last month that the country is near the bottom of the list when it comes to the wage gap between men and women in senior roles. Only Italy, Kazakhstan and Israel were deemed worse across Europe and Central Asia.
The Women’s Strike Zurich Collective, which co-organised Friday’s movement, wrote in a manifesto: “We’re striking because women earn less for the same work, are passed over for promotions, are hardly represented at the executive level and because typically female jobs are poorly paid.”
Source: Swiss women strike for gender equality | Euronews
The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted largely along party lines on Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to comply with congressional subpoenas.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) broke with his party to vote with the Democrats on the panel.
The high-stakes vote took place just hours after the Justice and Commerce Departments announced that President Trump had asserted executive privilege over the subpoenaed documents, which were tied to the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Wednesday’s vote, which comes just one day after the House voted to empower committee chairs with more legal authority to enforce their subpoenas, is a further escalation of the battle between the Trump administration and House Democrats investigating the president.
The citizenship question has been hotly contested since Ross announced in March 2018 that it would be included on the 2020 census, stating that the Justice Department had requested the question in order to help enforce the Voting Rights Act.
Source: House Oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt | TheHill
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over information related to his administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census as the House Oversight Committee prepared to hold two of his Cabinet members in contempt for defying its subpoenas on the issue.
Trump’s move, which the Justice Department announced in a letter to the committee’s chairman, Elijah Cummings, came as the panel began a meeting to vote on a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for withholding documents on the decision to add the question to the census.
The resolution would allow Democrats to pursue both civil and criminal contempt of both Cabinet officials for defying subpoenas issued by Cummings, D-Md., on April 2 to produce the documents. Democratic leadership would then decide which avenue to pursue.Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attends an event in Washington on June 6, 2019.Leah Millis / Reuters file
The planned committee vote comes a day after the House approved a resolution to authorize the House Judiciary Committee and other panels to go to court to enforce their subpoenas of the Trump administration.
Source: Trump asserts executive privilege over census citizenship question info as Dems prepare contempt vote : NBC News
OTTAWA – Canada has passed legislation that bans keeping whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity for entertainment, as well as the trade, possession, capture and breeding of cetaceans. Today, the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of Bill S-203, the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act.
Bill S-203 was introduced by Senator Wilfred Moore in 2015, and then sponsored by Senator Murray Sinclair. Upon passage through the Senate, it was championed by Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in the House of Commons.
Rebecca Aldworth, Executive Director of HSI/Canada stated: “The passage of Bill S-203 is a watershed moment in the protection of marine animals and a victory for all Canadians. Whales and dolphins don’t belong in tanks, and the inherent suffering these highly social and intelligent animals endure in intensive confinement can no longer be tolerated. We congratulate the sponsors of this bill and the Canadian government for showing strong leadership in responding to public will and sound science on this critical issue.”
Green Party Leader and Saanich – Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May stated, “Canadians have been clear, they want the cruel practice of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity to end. With the passage of Bill S-203, we have ensured that this will happen.”
Bill sponsor Senator Wilfred Moore said, “We have a moral obligation to phase out the capture and retention of animals for profit and entertainment. Canadians are calling upon us to do better – and we have listened.”
Source: Canada hails landmark victory as Canada bans whale, dolphin and porpoise captivity – Humane Society International
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party have unveiled a raft of new policy ideas designed to solve the housing crisis and make the economy fairer for the least well off – plans which include abolishing Council Tax entirely and replacing it with a “progressive property tax” to be paid only by asset-rich homeowners.
The policy paper, entitled ‘Land For The Many‘, has been co-authored by a host of progressive luminaries including Guardian journalist George Monbiot, and outlines 9 multifaceted policy recommendations which could be implemented by a future Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government.
The most eye-catching of the proposals is a plan to replace Council Tax with a “Progressive Property Tax” levied only on homeowners – meaning that private renters and low earners unable to get on the housing ladder would be completely freed from the burden of Council Tax.
The policy paper recommends that the new tax should be “based on contemporary property values“. and would only be “payable by owners, not tenants“, adding that the new system would:
Source: Labour unveils raft of new policy plans, including abolishing Council Tax entirely for renters and least well-off homeowners | Evolve Politics