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Sherman A1

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Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Missouri's new lieutenant governor says he's moving forward despite lawsuit

JEFFERSON CITY • Missouri’s new lieutenant governor said he’s moving forward with his duties despite a pending lawsuit seeking to rescind his appointment.

Former Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, who was sworn into office Monday, said Wednesday it was not surprising that Democrats filed a lawsuit seeking to nullify the action taken by Gov. Mike Parson.

“I think most people thought something would come forward,” said Kehoe, a 56-year-old Jefferson City Republican.

Hours after Parson named Kehoe to the post Parson had held since January 2017, the Missouri Democratic Party filed a lawsuit targeting the legal and constitutional questions that surround the ability of a chief executive to fill a vacancy in the lieutenant governor’s office.


Attack Sub Maintenance at Private Yards Running Behind

CAPITOL HILL – Two attack submarines sent to private shipyards for routine maintenance availabilities are running a few months behind schedule. But the Navy hopes that using these new-construction yards for sub-maintenance on a regular basis will help them become reliable providers of on-time maintenance.

Attack submarines faced massive backlogs at the Navy’s four public shipyards, which prioritize ballistic-missile submarines and aircraft carriers above the SSNs. After several high-profile examples of SSNs sitting pierside for months and years while awaiting space at the yards to open up, the Navy opted to send USS Montpelier (SSN-765) to General Dynamics Electric Boat and USS Helena (SSN-725), USS Columbus (SSN-762) and USS Boise (SSN-764) to Huntington Ingalls’ Newport News Shipbuilding.

“The skill set required to do maintenance is different than it is for new construction, so when you give them repair work after they haven’t had repair work in a while, and you expect them to immediate perform like a Swiss watch, you find they’re challenged to do that. EB’s been challenged with Montpelier, we’re going to be late there, and Newport News is being challenged on Helena, we’re going to be a little late there,” Naval Sea Systems Command Commander Vice Adm. Tom Moore said today at a House Armed Services readiness subcommittee hearing.

“Some of that’s because we haven’t built that proficiency up, and so the Navy’s having discussions that maybe it would be in our best interest to, on a regular basis, keep some submarine repair work in the private sector not only as a relief valve for the public yards as we level-load them, but also to establish that proficiency level so that when we do get ourselves into a crisis we’ve got a partner over there that’s performed that work on a regular basis that can do that going forward.”


Marines Pick BAE to Build Amphibious Combat Vehicle; Contract Worth Up to $1.2B

After years of stops and starts, the Marine Corps has selected BAE Systems to build the service’s next generation of armored amphibious vehicles designed to protect Marines in transit from sea to shore, the service announced late Tuesday afternoon.

BAE will now produce 30 low-rate initial production units of its eight-wheeled Amphibious Combat Vehicle. The company beat out SAIC to win a $198-million contract for the ACV 1.1 program, with the first vehicles delivering in the fall of next year, John Garner, the Program Executive Officer for Land Systems in the Marine Corps, told reporters during a late Tuesday conference call.

“The path has been navigated to date with one primary goal in mind: ensuring that we field the best capability to our Marines as quickly as possible at an affordable price,” Garner said.

The total value of the contract, if all options are executed, could be as high as $1.2 billion for up to 204 ACVs, BAE said in a late Tuesday statement.


Federal report: Radioactive waste in Coldwater Creek increases cancer risk

A federal government agency has concluded radioactive contamination in a north St. Louis County creek could cause increased risk of certain types of cancer in residents who live near the north St. Louis County waterway.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s public health assessment, released Monday, states that residents who were exposed to the area around Coldwater Creek had a higher risk of exposure to radioactive contaminants, and thus a higher risk of bone cancer, lung cancer or leukemia. The federal organization is also calling for the public to comment and add to the report through Aug. 31.

Advocates for residents near Coldwater Creek were pleased to hear representatives of a federal agency acknowledge what they have long suspected.

“What they’re saying they confirm our exposure could be linked to our cancer and our illnesses,” community activist Kim Visintine said.


Should Hawaii Hotels Help Their Workers Buy Homes?

Hawaii has record visitor spending but many hotel employees still can’t afford to buy homes.
By Anita Hofschneider / June 18, 2018
Jowenna Ellazar spends eight hours a day changing sheets, scrubbing toilets and wiping down surfaces in hotel rooms at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel in Waikiki.

Then she drives an hour and a half back to Mililani in Central Oahu, where the 27-year-old lives in a four-bedroom house with her boyfriend, two children, two brothers, sister-in-law and parents.

Ellazar is one of thousands of workers who are the backbone of Hawaii’s thriving visitor industry. But she can’t afford to buy a home in the state where she was born and raised.

Unite Here Local 5, a union representing 11,000 service workers, is gearing up for contract negotiations to start next month. Apart from wages and benefits, the union is asking for something new: Money from the hotels to help workers become homeowners.


Teamsters: Desperate To Prevent Employees From Exercising Free Speech, American Bottling Resorts To

Teamsters: Desperate To Prevent Employees From Exercising Free Speech,

American Bottling Resorts To Harassment

CHICAGO, June 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American

Bottling Company, a subsidiary of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (NYSE:

DPS) which is set to merge with Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. in July,

has crossed a line no one should ever cross.

Last week, a Dr Pepper manager singled out one of the union's female

business agents and allegedly threatened sexual assault against her,

her mother and her sister. According to the agent, a Dr Pepper

employee and manager said, "I'm going to f*** you, f*** your mother

and f*** your sister." When these unconscionable threats and sexually

explicit comments were promptly brought to the company's attention, Dr

Pepper responded not with the immediate launching of an investigation,

but by claiming the union was lying.


At the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate Students Are Organizing to Survive

Hillary Lazar, a 39-year-old graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, had to rely on food stamps to eat during her pregnancy. Her son, Benji, now 2, wouldn’t have health insurance if not for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program because the cost of adding him to the university health-care plan was more than half of her monthly take-home pay.

It’s been so difficult, she said, to balance her competing responsibilities as a researcher, educator, and parent, that she’s often thought about abandoning her studies. “I can’t tell you what it’s like, not knowing if we’re going to be able to provide food for my kid,” she said.

This story was produced for Student Nation, a section devoted to highlighting campus activism and student movements from students in their own words. For more Student Nation, check out our archive. Are you a student with a campus activism story? Send questions and pitches to Samantha Schuyler at samantha@thenation.com.

Lazar is not the only graduate-student worker at Pitt—or across the country—struggling to survive. Members of the graduate-workers union at the New School, who went on strike at the end of this past spring semester, claim they’re being compensated for just a fraction of the labor they provide for the university. Graduate students at Ohio University, where the minimum stipend paid for a full assistantship is one-third of a living wage, report paying a significant portion of their stipend back to the university in fees and health-care costs.


Boeing won't recognize union win at North Charleston site as it appeals vote

Boeing Co. says it won't negotiate with the union that a group of North Charleston workers voted to join in May until its appeal of the election is decided, a move that could spark retaliation by the International Association of Machinists.

Flight-line employees at the 787 Dreamliner campus voted 104-65 to have the IAM represent them in collective bargaining with the aerospace giant. The National Labor Relations Board certified the election last week, but Boeing said it plans to appeal an earlier NLRB decision that let the voting proceed in the first place.

"We continue to strongly believe that this micro-unit is prohibited under federal law and we are appealing to the NLRB," Boeing said in a statement. "We do not intend to recognize the IAM as the lawful representative of our teammates while the appeal is pending."

Boeing has two weeks from the June 12 election certification to file an appeal. No appeal had been filed as of Monday, according to the NLRB's website.


Discussing your salary at work

Q: I recently found out that one of my employees has been sharing his salary with other employees and posting it on his Facebook page. A few employees who make less than him have complained about their wages. The worst part is the morale in his department is suffering. Can I punish the employee for discussing his salary? Can I issue a written policy prohibiting employees from discussing their compensation with other employees and on social media websites?

A: The answer to both of your questions is no. While you may wish to keep the salaries and other details of your employees’ compensation confidential, both federal and state law protect an employee’s right to discuss compensation both inside and outside of the office, including on social media websites.

Under the National Labor Relations Act, which applies to most private sector employers like you, employees have the right to engage in “concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.” Discussing compensation is included in such concerted activities. The National Labor Relations Board has long considered employers who have pay secrecy policies or who retaliate against employees for disclosing their wages to be in violation of the Act.

New Hampshire law also protects employees who wish to discuss compensation by prohibiting employers from requiring that they refrain from disclosing their salaries as a condition of employment or requiring that they sign a document stating that they will not disclose their wages. New Hampshire law also prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee for inquiring about, discussing or disclosing the employee’s wages or the wages of another employee by, for example, demoting or terminating the employee.


28% of Younger Workers Think They'll Never Retire

Many of us look forward to retirement and the opportunity to enjoy a lifestyle devoid of work-related demands. It's unfortunate, then, to learn that 28% of millennials are convinced they'll never manage to retire, according to data from TD Ameritrade.

On the one hand, this sentiment actually makes sense. Countless younger workers today are saddled with student debt to the point where it seems unshakable. Throw in the fact that younger workers tend to earn less than their older counterparts and their paychecks are often eaten up by debt payments and living expenses, and it's no wonder so many have written off retirement completely.

Though the idea of ever establishing enough of a nest egg to retire might seem undoable, one thing younger workers need to remember is that they have an extremely valuable weapon on their side: time. And if they take advantage of it, they just might manage to retire after all.

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