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  • Newsday reports that Wal-Mart, as well as other non-union retailers in New York’s Suffolk County, may be forced to provide a minimum level of health care to employees.

    The Suffolk County Legislature is considering a bill that would require companies to pay $3 per hour per employee for health care benefits, and would prevent the company from deducting any of the money from employees’ compensation.

    According to Newsday, the bill “is similar to other legislation being debated in New York City and in states including Washington and Maryland. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed one such measure this month; the city council is expected to override the veto by early next year.”

    Wal-Mart and other companies object to the legislation because they feel it will drive up the cost of doing business.

  • The Change to Win Coalition, made up of the four unions that broke away from the AFL-CIO, met this week and pledged to organize employees who work for Wal-Mart.

    Wal-Mart "contributes nothing to America but more poverty and they've got to be stopped," said UNITE HERE President Bruce Raynor.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that “officials of the seven unions that make up the federation said they would pour more resources into multiunion organizing campaigns, vowing to spend $750 million a year on these initiatives. Union officials weren't able to immediately provide a breakdown of how much each union would contribute or how the number compared with previous spending.

    “The federation also pledged to organize more minority and immigrant workers in sectors of the economy that are growing the fastest, including retail, hospitality and health care.”

KC's View:
Sure is refreshing when new rhetoric replaces old rhetoric.

Maybe we’re delusional, but it seems to us that it would be nice if in one of these statements, the unions actually conceded that the world has changed, that competitive demands have altered the way businesses work, and that they are looking for ways to become more relevant to the process – not just looking for new ways to achieve old goals.