Labor/Economics/Business

Union pickets showing up at area Safeway and Giant stores

On the 5th of November, one of a series of what are probably the UFCW's informational pickets came to a Safeway outlet in Montgomery County, MD. While the union is not yet on strike and hopefully won't have to resort to a strike, management must consider the possibility that shoppers may refuse to cross any kind of picket line.

Video-picketers at a Montgomery County Safeway store 50 seconds

Mono Diner in Georgetown closes after refusing or shorting last paychecks to all their workers

For months Georgetown's Mono Diner has had a problem: owner Mohammad Esfahnani had discovered he could save money by withholding employee's last paychecks outright and paying for only some of the hours employees had been clocked in on others. This is flat-out wage theft. Now he has shut the restaurant down, and apparently nobody there will get their last paycheck. Mohammad Esfahnani now owes at least $6,602 in back wages and has refused to pay even in the face of months of pressure and complaints to the DC government.

Ballooning Student Debt Debated by Presidential Hopefuls

Republicans and Democrats Propose Student Loan Relief SolutionsWashington DC - American student loan debt topped $1.6 trillion dollars this year, surpassing credit card and auto loan debt combined. More than 45 million people hold student debt, owing an average of $35,000. 20% of current borrowers are behind in student loan payments and the Brookings Institution released data that 40% of student borrowers will default by 2023.Presidential candidates, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposed student debt relief plans.

Second Deadly Cyclone Hits Mozambique

 Category-4 Cyclone Kenneth hit Mozambique Thursday night, the second severe storm to hit the country in six weeks. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 30,000 people were evacuated because of Cyclone Kenneth and another 70,000 people are still in harm's way. The hurricane-strength storm is predicted to drop twice as much rainfall as Cyclone Idai, which devastated the East African nation in March.

UN Forum Wrestles with Funding Development

New York City - After months of negotiations and four days of formal meetings, the United Nations voted on development policies at the fourth UN Financing for Development Forum. The UN meetings convene world leaders, ministers, governments, the IMF, World Bank and development groups.

Somalia Leaders Call for Debt Cancellation

In Somalia, 60 percent of the 15 million person population lives in extreme poverty. According to the United Nations Development Programme almost 10 million people live in extreme poverty or close to poverty in Somalia while the war-torn African nation wrestles with a $4.6 billion debt.

IMF Warns of Global Financial Crisis Risk

Washington DC - For the second day in a row, the International Monetary Fund raised concerns of pending financial crisis. Ahead of the Spring IMF and World Bank meetings, the IMF released the Global Financial Stability Report, warning of "vulnerabilities" in corporate debt, house values and sovereign (country) debt."We are seeing some of same conditions that created the 2008 financial crisis and the IMF worries that we are not doing enough to prevent the next financial crisis," stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who monitors IMF reports.

Kaiser Permanente CEO's visit to DC for "humanitarian award" draws protest over rate hikes and CEO pay

On the 9th of April, the CEO of health insurer Kaiser Permanente appeared at an upscale hotel in DC. He was there to receive a "humanitarian award." Protesters outside the hotel banged drums and blew whistles, outraged that Kaisier is jacking up their rates while the CEO and top executives get millions in executive pay.

Video-interview with one of the participants 1 min 37 sec

Senate Votes on Puerto Rico Disaster Aid and Emergency Food Assistance

The Senate agreed to vote next week on disaster relief legislation that includes $600 million in emergency food assistance for Puerto Rico. In recent days, a turbulent exchange between President Trump and Congressional leadership exploded over whether or not Puerto Rico disaster aid monies should be included in Senate legislation.

Toll lanes (Lexus lanes) proposed for Beltway on MD side and I-270

The MD State Highway Administration has announced a "traffic relief" plan for the Beltway and I-270 that has been reported elsewhere to include widening both roads and making all of the new lanes "variable-toll" lanes that are meant to ensure the wealthy can bypass traffic congestion. States have learned the hard way that widening roads doesn't reduce congestion, so the focus now is paid bypasses for the rich.

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