U.S. announces sweeping reforms to protect coal miners from black lung disease

By Chris Hamby

Surrounded by coal miners, U.S. Labor officials announce reforms including a new rule limiting the disease-causing dust allowed in mines.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health":

"… hat led to Wednesday’s announcement has a long and tortured history. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the government research agency known as NIOSH, reviewed a number of …"

White House seeks to chip away at severe Labor Department judge shortage, case backlog

By Jim Morris

The White House is requesting an additional $2 million from Congress for its overworked, understaffed Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… llion for the coming fiscal year to hire 10 employees in the Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ). The final installment of …"

"… enter’s “Breathless and Burdened” series revealed that the number of Labor Department judges, who hear a wide range of workers’ compensation, immig …"

"… made public by the Center, from Chief Judge Stephen Purcell to then-Acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris. Purcell wrote that “we are fast reaching a point …"

"… we will not likely recover for years to come.” In a statement Thursday, Labor Department spokesman Jesse Lawder wrote that if the agency gets the reques …"

Congressmen call for federal investigation of black lung benefits program, citing Center-ABC reports

By Chris Hamby, Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk

IMPACT: Two congressmen called on the Labor Department's IG to investigate whether miners have been wrongfully denied benefits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… we can provide," the agency wrote. …"

"… over $600 a month to about $1,250 a month, ultimately have received them, Labor Department numbers show. And, the request comes as Democratic Sens. Rober …"

"… rs of decline, the disease is back on the rise. In an interview, a senior Labor Department official said she is disappointed the system may be failing min …"

"… cases, that's an issue that Congress has to address,” said Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith. Smith was asked whether it was acceptable that so few …"

FEC nominees win Rules Committee endorsement

By Dave Levinthal

Senate Rules Committee endorses nominations of Lee Goodman, Ann Ravel

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… in downtown Washington, D.C., where the FEC is headquartered. Exhibit A: Labor lawyer John J. Sullivan, a Democrat, who Obama nominated to the FEC in 200 …"

Worker suffocations persist as grain storage soars, employers flout safety rules

By Jim Morris and Howard Berkes

The 2010 deaths of a 14-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man in an Illinois grain bin highlight unsafe practices, spotty enforcement.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… ed and die in the corn,” Piper told investigators with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Grain storage in the U …"

"… asbach by proposing a $555,000 fine for 25 alleged safety violations. The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division tacked on a $68,125 fine for the ill …"

"… to $200,000. The Justice Department declined to prosecute, according to a Labor Department document provided to the Center in response to a Freedom of Inf …"

"… ntity,” beyond OSHA’s jurisdiction. Under questioning by Department of Labor lawyer Denise Hockley-Cann, however, he acknowledged that no crops or live …"

Labor secretary leaves legacy of worker protections and unfinished business

By Chris Hamby

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis leaves behind a department advocates say increased enforcement but left worker safety rules unfinished.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… es recover from the financial crisis.  …"

"… ment employees that she planned to return to California, where she grew up.Labor advocates credit her with restoring the department’s commitment to prote …"

Warehouse worker lawsuit targets Walmart

By Jim Morris and Adithya Sambamurthy

Warehouse laborers, citing oppressive conditions and unpaid wages, contend Walmart is among those responsible.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… er scrutiny. In a report last June, the National Employment Law Project, a New York-based legal and policy-analysis center, alleged “pervasive labor abuses …"

BP to pay $13 million for safety violations at Texas refinery

By Alice Su

Oil giant BP has agreed to pay $13 million to settle safety violations at a Texas refinery that blew up in 2005.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Integrity":

"… workers and spilling about 5 million barrels of oil, the Center for Public Integrity reported that two BP refineries — in Texas City and Toledo, Ohio — acc …"

Contribution limits at risk in states thanks to Supreme Court

By Amy Myers

Illinois and other states may eliminate contribution limits to candidates to offset unlimited outside spending.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… ding to Trey Grayson, the director of Harvard University’s Institute for Politics and former Kentucky secretary of state.Super PAC spending in upcoming loca …"

Energy-backed firms award bonuses, file bankruptcy

By Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk

The DOE financed green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy — but not before the firms awarded big executive bonuses

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… ue operating the 20-megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York, a project the department said would “ensure the reliable delivery …"

"… Other energy companies struggled in the storm.Among them: SpectraWatt, a New York state manufacturer of silicon solar cells. In 2009, SpectraWatt secured a …"

Anniversary of 'Citizens United' decision draws protesters

By Corbin Hiar

'Citizens United' decision attracting legal challenges, protests

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… ment project, Amend2012. The effort is being led by Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich. “Our goal is to have as many states as possible …"

Pension insurer criticized for switching investment strategies too frequently

By Alexandra Duszak

Insurer of traditional pensions has changed investment strategies too often

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… of operating procedures and guidelines for its investment activities.” Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who is also chairman of the PBGC board, said she ag …"

Campaign cash: The independent fundraising gold rush since 'Citizens United' ruling

By Peter H. Stone

For many powerful GOP operatives and allied fundraisers, the luncheon last April felt like one part reunion and one part strategy summit for

Excerpts from this story referencing "BIPAC":

"… hat can protect donors’ identities, such as the American Future Fund and BIPAC, also have seen spikes in their funding this year. Nick Ryan, an Iowa base …"

"… y.”The Washington-based Business Industry Political Action Committee, or BIPAC, doesn’t have as much cash as its allies, but still plans to almost doub …"

"… uble its spending this cycle to $6 million, says its president Greg Casey. BIPAC, a business group that tilts heavily to the GOP, uses a sophisticated comp …"

"… spur employees to pull the right levers at the polls.Sources familiar with BIPAC tell the Center it has long depended heavily on large energy interests suc …"

BP to pay record fine, spend $500M to upgrade Texas refinery

By Jim Morris and M.B. Pell

UPDATED BP will pay a $50.6 million penalty and spend at least $500 million to upgrade its Texas City, Texas, refinery where a 2005 explosio

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… led 15 workers.The record fine was negotiated after the U.S. Department of Labor last year found BP “failed to live up to several extremely important ter …"

"… of the penalty rightly reflects BP’s disregard for workplace safety,” Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a conference call with reporters.The Center …"

"… t they call BP’s cavalier attitude toward worker safety.Deputy Assistant Labor Secretary Jordan Barab told reporters the agreement gives OSHA an “unpre …"

"Brown down" in Australia

By Marian Wilkinson, Ben Cubby and Flint Duxfield

Business interests thwart carbon controls on the hottest, driest continent

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… er who worked with the forestry and construction union before she became a Labor Party minister, Wong argued forcefully with many corporate chief executive …"

"… ustralia, Richard McIndoe, kicked off his campaign by writing to Victorian Labor Premier John Brumby and Prime Minister Rudd, warning of “supply failures …"

"… ensland and New South Wales, both dominated by MPs from the left-of-center Labor Party. Ralph Hillman, head of the Australian Coal Association, denies that …"

"… alian Coal Association, denies that the industry is deliberately targeting Labor’s marginal seats. “It so happens one of my advisors noted that half of …"

Hidden Chamber of Commerce hand behind anti-Solis ad

By Aaron Mehta

There’s a new ad floating on the “BlogAds” network, and it’s quite a doozy. In giant font, the ad warns of “Obama’s ETHICAL Problem,” which

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… ine is followed by a picture of the President’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, Rep. Hilda Solis. The text of the ad reads:“Three Strike Solis is wholl …"

"… against unions would be against the nomination of a pro-union Secretary of Labor. What was interesting was that the tipster who pointed this out to PaperTr …"

Commentary: Political mugging in America

By Charles Lewis

Anatomy of an "independent" smear campaign

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… tions, including the Media Fund, begun by Harold Ickes, the former Clinton White House deputy chief of staff who also serves on the executive committee …"

"… e last, considering the remarkable cash advantage and sordid reputation of White House political director Karl Rove, who years ago taught negative camp …"

Trading in favors

By Alex Knott and Aubrey Bruggeman

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2003 — Legislative favors, increased access to federal lawmakers and instructions on how to use loopholes to evade feder

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… ”Also sought after is access to members of the Cabinet. In one letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Robert Bennett asks …"

"… personal[ly] requested your aid in helping him reach this tremendous goal. Labor is a top issue for Toledo and the Lucas County area.Jumping through campai …"

The adventure capitalist

By Mungo Soggot and Phillip van Niekerk

Niko Shefer's takeover of Africa

Excerpts from this story referencing "The Washington Post":

"… and running.After articles exposing Robertson's dealings appeared in The Washington Post, the evangelist wrote an indignant letter to the newspaper, defending Free …"

Enron top brass accused of dumping stock were big political donors

By John Dunbar, Robert Moore and MaryJo Sylwester

WASHINGTON, January 9, 2002 — Twenty-four top executives and board members at Enron Corp. contributed nearly $800,000 to national political

Excerpts from this story referencing "presidential election":

"… ate. He also chipped in for Bush’s Florida recount battle after the 2000 presidential election.In addition, Lou L. Pai, chairman and CEO of Enron Accelerator, former CEO …"

High-stakes health care battle in the Green Mountain state

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: fate of Vermont single-payer initiative may depend on financing plan.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Peter Shumlin":

"… ds to Know About the Affordable Care Act. …"

'Revolving door' spins between AT&T, GSA

By Dave Levinthal

AT&T hires a top GSA official, then and scores a lucrative service contract with the agency.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… We won the contract on the merits," AT&T spokesman Jim Greer told the Center for Public Integrity. "GSA has been a customer of ours for decades. As in the past, our work on …"

New types of health care delivery are improving the 'patient experience'

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: eliminating role of insurers could improve health care delivery.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Insurance":

"… ue to drive it. Wendell Potter is the author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and …"

Health insurers turning into who knows what?

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health insurers are transforming themselves — but into what?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… t was enacted. We tend to think that insurers with well-known brands like Aetna, Blue Cross, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare have been around forever and likel …"

"… ne of the world’s largest multi-line insurance companies. Its peers were Aetna — which initially was just a life insurer — MetLife, Prudential and Tr …"

"… MetLife, Prudential and Travelers all sold their health care business and Aetna and Cigna decided to get out of the property and casualty business to focu …"

"… Humana says its primary focus “is on the well-being of its members.” Aetna says it is “transforming health care to create healthier communities, a …"

Taking insurance companies out of health care

By Wendell Potter

If Boeing experiment flies, health care system could be transformed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… lth system,” Dr. Elliott Fisher, director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, was quoted as telling The Seattle Times. “ …"

"… Health insurers are quickly diversifying. Just two weeks ago, Modern Healthcare noted that because Health insurers are now required to spend at l …"

"… expect to realize higher returns. The magazine cited as an example UnitedHealth Group’s Optum division, which works in technology and population Health …"

"… th in operating earnings. Meanwhile, in its core insurance business, UnitedHealth saw its 2013 operating margin decline to 6.4 percent, down from 7.6 percen …"

Contractor, Hispanic worker deaths up in 2013, BLS says

By Talia Buford

The number of contractors and Hispanic workers who died on the job increased in 2013 even as the overall tally of worker deaths declined.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… ity guards or groundskeepers. Several states, including Massachusetts and Illinois, have passed laws in recent years strengthening employer liability for tem …"

Defeat of California initiative would protect insurers' profits

By Wendell Potter

Proposition 45 would allow California's insurance chief to block insurance rate hikes; insurers are spending millions to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health Net":

"… nthem/WellPoint; Blue Shield of California; Kaiser Foundation Health Plan; Health Net; and UnitedHealthcare. Of $37.9 million donated to CAHHCC as of August 22 …"

Koch-funded think tank offers schools course in libertarianism

By Chris Young

Koch-backed think tank wants to educate young minds on the benefits of the free-market system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… ple, teachers using EDvantage can find economics videos explaining how the Environmental Protection Agency is bad for the environment, how sweatshops are good for third-world worker …"

Is this U.S. coal giant funding violent union intimidation in Colombia?

By Rosalind Adams

Lawsuits allege Alabama-based Drummond Co., which mines coal in Colombia, has financial ties to groups that have threatened union leaders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Colombia":

"… t these injustices, and so we put our fate in the hands of God.” …"

"… Florez served as a local president of Sintramienergetica, a labor union in Colombia that represents the employees of Drummond Company, a U.S.-based coal-minin …"

"… ted, “Drummond has never paid or otherwise assisted any illegal group in Colombia, whether paramilitary or guerilla [sic].” Nonetheless, Drummond has bee …"

"… ham, Alabama, with revenues that reached $3 billion last year—has helped Colombia become the world’s fourth-largest coal exporter. Heman Drummond started …"

Insurers following 'the playbook' in opposing California ballot initiative

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: multi-faceted effort to defeat California ballot initiative.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… along with lawmakers and regulators, as among those subject to influence. Health care reform advocates in California, led by Consumer Watchdog, are support …"

"… 2.8 million itself, and has been joined by other insurers, including UnitedHealthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield and Health Net. Published reports sho …"

"… r insurers, including UnitedHealthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield and Health Net. Published reports show that they have been spending that money almos …"

"… hat no one has to know you have any association with the front group.” Health insurers named their front group to fight the ballot initiative “Califor …"

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