Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Morning One Liners....

Stop & Shop in-house brand sodaImage via Wikipedia
A&P here went 1-for-3 in battles over website domain names for its Food Emporium banner, winning a judgment against the registrant of, but losing similar arguments against the registrants of and, according to the National Arbitration Forum.
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A recent Whole Foods surveys concluded "Quality Trumps Price for Most Shoppers"

BJ's is opening a store in Red Hook....Brooklyn Papers.

More on Red Hook's new love for Big Box.

Ahold here said yesterday that a reluctance to pass along cost increases to customers contributed to a decline in profitability at the company, which operates the Stop & Shop, Giant of Landover and Giant of Carlisle chains in the U.S.
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Delhaize Group here said yesterday that its chief financial officer, Craig Owens, will leave the company to become the CFO and chief administrative officer for Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., effective Sept. 30.
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Newsday Blog talks about the new Grace's in L.I.

A charge of unfair labor practice has been filed against the Covidien plant in Hobart regarding the termination of two employees, a union official said Wednesday.William Palmer and Daniel Whiteman were allegedly fired for a workplace safety violation, but Palmer said Wednesday he believes he was fired because he was backing the organization of a union at the plant.


Marketside, Walmart's (WMT) New Small Store Chain, Spotted Out In The Wild [ClusterStock]
It's everything Walmart isn't. A chain of smaller, friendlier stores with a neighborhood quality--providing fresh and prepared foods for higher prices.
Walmart has developed a game plan to transform more than 1,700 of its Garden Centers into "Game Time Headquarters," the company said Thursday. The customized areas will target supporters of local college and professional football teams. Beginning this week and running through Sept. 30, the Bentonville, Ark. giant will feature everything for football season, from team merchandise and decor to snacks and beverages

Daily News (John Lauinger): Willets Pt. summit stirs new city & biz negotiation
A new round of talks is shaping up between the city and some of the largest businesses at Willets Point after State Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) helped kick-start stalled negotiations, the Daily News has learned.

Andrew Cuomo would be the "instant favorite" if he enters what is expected to be a crowded field for mayor next year, Gov. Paterson said yesterday.

Enjoy your weekend
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Whole Foods has more FTC Problems, Pathmark under renovations & Wednesday Morning One Liners...

WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 11:  Wax figurines of 20...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
08/27/2008 Morning Read:

Whole Foods Market here has asked the Federal Trade Commission to select an administrative law judge to preside over the FTC’s antitrust proceedings against the Whole Foods-Wild Oats merger who does not serve as a commissioner, according to reports.
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Two Pathmark stores renovated under the chain’s new price impact format are set to debut in Philadelphia this week, kicking off a series of transformations planned for the Philadelphia region by owner A&P here. Pathmark stores in Upper Darby, Pa., and on Monument Ave. in Philadelphia, set to officially reopen under the new format on Friday, are the first of 26 planned conversions of existing Pathmarks in the region.

John Catsimatidis, chief executive officer of the Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods, is taking aim again at two Native America tribes on Long Island for what he claims is an unfair cigarette taxation issue.

Wal-Mart stores opening in Canada next year will be designed to save 30 percent in energy use, said the head of the discount behemoth's Canadian unit.

The first four Marketside stores Wal-Mart Stores plans to open in the Phoenix area this fall will be located in former drug stores, according to published reports.
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CNN reports that Bill Clinton will not attend Barack Obama's speech Thursday night, when he will officially accept the party's nomination.

WSJ : Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech to Democrats here Tuesday night was arguably as vital to the party's hopes for winning the White House as Sen. Barack Obama's big address will be Thursday.

David Patterson spoke at the Convention yesterday.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Morning One Liners....

The executives of BJ's Wholesale Club will speak at Goldman Sachs 15th Annual Global Retailing Conference in NYC on Sept. 4th.

Iowa labor officials on Friday accused meatpacking plant Agriprocessors with 31 new and repeat safety violations.


More farmers markets nationwide are accepting food stamps for their summer squash, apples, and other fresh produce — fattening profits for farmers while creating healthier options for low-income families as food prices soar.

As Food costs rise, so do School Lunches.


City Council Member Hiram Monserrate, the leading advocate against the Willets Points Plan may be out of office when the council votes on the controversial plan.

Jerry Antonacci, owner of Crown Container and once an outspoken critic of the city's plan to redevelop Willets Point, has agreed to make way for the project, for a price


A billionaire-funded group endorsed Brian Foley.

NY Daily News writes "NEWELL FOR ASSEMBLY": Democratic voters in Lower Manhattan have a chance to send a dramatic message on Primary Day, Sept. 9: They can bring down Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver - and shake Albany's pay-to-play culture to its core.

In an effort to unseat State Senator Serphin R. Maltese, a long time incumbent Republican, 1 of the 2 Democrats on the ballot withdrew from the race.  Council member Joe Addabbo now will face Maltese.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stop & Shop new logo, Wal-Mart sells milk at too low of a price & Friday Morning One Liners...

After another falling profit, Target announced they will challenge Wal-Mart on low prices.

UFCW leaders are preparing to use a history-making collective agreement won by nine Wal-Mart garage workers to organize more of the retailer's Canadian stores.

"Always Low Prices" isn't always a good thing for Wal-Mart, apparently. The discounter was warned by Puerto Rican authorities on Thursday that it was selling milk too cheaply on the island.

Stop & Shop and Giant of Ladover, Md., are unveiling new logos today, part of an effort to highlight broad changes being made in the stores.
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The City Council in Oceanside California is expected to give final approval next week to what an official termed a business-friendly law that would require store owners to take more responsibility for keeping shopping carts on their premises.

Consumers looking for values drove hefty increases in sales and store traffic to BJ's Wholesale Club during the second quarter, but a relatively cautious outlook sent stock in the retailer down by more than 7% Wednesday.
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ACDC will sell their album exclusively at Wal-Mart.

Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Wal-Mart Stores, encouraged other food retailers to join Wal-Mart and several other major global retailers in embracing the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), an effort to create and adopt uniform food safety standards.
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Sen. Barack Obama said he has decided on his running mate, but he's not saying who it is.
Bloomberg rethinks term limits...

 The New York Sun editorial board says David Paterson is backing the effort to extend term limits.

Business Owners Send Strong Message on Willets Point:A group of business owners opposing Mayor Bloomberg's rezoning plan for Willets Point slowed traffic around Shea Stadium before yesterday's Mets game by putting on the streets trucks carrying slogans such as "Hands Off Our Land, Bloomberg!"

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A&P unveils new format, Safeway agrees to new contract, and Wednesday Morning One Liners...

Avalon Riverview, one of several new luxury de...Image via Wikipedia

Safeway Canada here said its workers approved a new, five-year labor contract this week that covers about 8,000 employees in British Columbia.
Read more of this story.

Queens Crap [Blog] Doesn't have a problem with our hand-billing of 'Food Cellar', but they do have a problem with No Wal-Mart in NYC.

BJ's Wholesale Club Inc said on Wednesday its quarterly profit rose as shoppers headed to the No. 3 U.S. warehouse club operator in search of low prices on food and fuel.

Anthony Weiner is back on the campaign trail.

 Whole Foods Markets will host the second annual Farmers and Food Artisans Road Tour at its Rocky Mountain region stores in September. On the tour, shoppers can meet local producers of foods sold at the organic grocer's stores, try free samples and learn how the foods are brought to market.

A&P will uncork its second “Best Cellars at A&P” store format here Friday.
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Long Island City Development
Prudential Douglas Elliman officially launched the sales campaign for L haus, a 122-unit luxury condominium in Long Island City that is being built by the Stahl Organization. When completed in next year, the building's one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will range from $500,000 to $1.5 million. The building is in Hunters Point, near the Pulaski Bridge and the No. 7 train.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Saving Money at Gourmet Garage?, L.I.C. residents say Food Cellar is 'over-priced', Bronx obesity continues to surge & Tuesday morning One Liners...

NY1 joined a registered Dietitian on a shopping trip to the ‘Gourmet Garage’ on tips for saving money while food shopping, check out the video here.

Another local blog calls the ‘Food Cellar’ overpriced.

Food Cellar was highlighted in the Daily News yesterday, including a quote from organizer John Mallen.

Kroger (NYSE:KRO) on Monday said members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1059 gave the final OK to the agreement, a tentative version of which had been reached Aug. 13. A contract with the union had been set to expire Nov. 9.
The lack of resources and outdoor space had lead to a surge of obesity in the Bronx.
The New York Police Department is working on a plan to track every car, truck or other vehicle entering Manhattan and screen it for radiation or other terror threats

Obama will address the UFCW today via satellite.

Breaking News...President Both elected to UFCW International Vice President.

UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce W. Both was elected today August 19, 2008 to the position of United Food and Commercial Workers Union International Vice President today at the 6th Regular Convention of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union in Montreal, Canada.
President Both was elected along with the UFCW International President Joseph P. Hansen and Secretary-Treasurer Anthony Marc Perrone as well as a full slate of International Vice President to a new five year term.
“It is truly an honor to be a Vice President of the UFCW under the leadership of International President Hansen and International Secretary-Treasurer Perrone,” President Both stated. “These are both exciting and challenging times times for the labor movement and both the UFCW and Local 1500 are up for the challenge. We will be successful,” President Both concluded.  
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. UFCW Local 1500 represents 22,000 workers in the Metropolitan New York area who primarily work in Supermarkets.
  The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, immigration reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Message from the Working Families Party...

WFP logoImage via Wikipedia

The Working Families Party (WFP’s) radio ad against the Governor’s tax cap, and promoting the circuit breaker and the millionaire’s tax as an alternative, is on the air.

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Wal-Mart unionized in Canada, Monday Morning One liners...

Street sign for Wal*Mart Drive near Gordon, Pe...Image via Wikipedia
Employees at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. outlet in Canada won an arbitrator-imposed contract on Friday, becoming the giant retailer's only location in North America with a collective agreement in place.

AP picked up the story as well.

Trade reports out of the United Kingdom last week said Fresh &  Easy Neighborhood Market here is preparing to scout locations in Chicago in advance of a possible move there.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market here has reportedly pulled its application for a liquor license at a store it opened earlier this month in Van Nuys, Calif., after the Los Angeles City Council said it would vote on whether to rescind the license that was pending.

Yet another Eli Zabar profile, this time in the "New Yorker"

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — As part of an effort to control retail prices Wegmans here is improving its operating efficiency. “Examples include lowering our electricity costs with new technology and re-lamping of stores and distribution center,” said Mary Ellen Burris, senior vice president of consumer affairs for Wegmans,

Eatontown NJ Pathmark to close: Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. will close its Pathmark store on Route 36, citing the store's poor performance, the company said Wednesday.

Trader Joe's Brooklyn:  A photo emerges of the Trader Joe's under construction on Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill [McBrooklyn via Racked


Republicans could lose control of State Senate ;Nearly 70 years of Republican domination of the State Senate could end after the fall elections

Bloomberg Encourages Staff to Watch the Clock; As of Monday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has 500 days left in office

Arby's Restaurant Group, the fast food chain whose New York City presence includes just three Queens outposts, plans to open 41 new locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx in the next decade.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Gristedes on Henry St., BJ's in Brooklyn, Whole Foods cuts jobs, Wal-Mart still booming and Friday Morning One Liners

More Eli Zabar press

Prominent labor groups are seeking an investigation into whether Wal-Mart Stores Inc. violated federal election laws by telling employees that electing Democrats would lead to passage of legislation making it easier to unionize companies.

Organizing campaign turns to the Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

Gristedes on Henry St. in the Brooklyn Heights is all cleaned up.

Two popular local blogs picked up the BJ's story....Queens Crap.....and The Gothamist.

Whole Foods Market Inc. said Wednesday it is cutting 49 jobs out of 650 in Austin.

Wal-Mart keeps reaping benefits in a tight economy.

Willets Point
Hiram Monserrate introduced a bill Thursday to require financial impact reports to be conducted before land can be seized by the city under eminent domain.

The NY Sun analyzes the most competetive race in NY: Staten Island Congressional Race.
This is the week of the broken alliance. On Wednesday the state Working Families Party, which went all out for the Eliot Spitzer-David Paterson ticket two years ago, launched an advertising assault against the new governor's proposal for a 4 percent cap on school-related property-tax increases.

Enjoy the weekend

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Building Blocks Project

Fruit on display in a supermarket in Japan.Image via Wikipedia A campaign geared towards taking action against the current Supermarket crisis throughout the five boroughs. The project is called the 'Building Blocks Project'. Here's a quick synopsis of Local 1500's project, if you would like to get involved just follow this link and sign up!
The lack of affordable and quality food available to consumers through traditional Supermarkets has reached crisis levels. Communities are affected both economically and with health related problems. Good jobs are being lost due to store closings, and we are failing to create new jobs through new supermarket development. Diabetes, obesity and heart related illnesses are at epidemic levels.
Through our Building Blocks Project, we intend to form a long-term coalition of labor unions, healthcare professionals, hunger and nutrition advocates, food access experts, elected leaders, community activists and faith-based leaders to ensure that all communities have the basic Building Blocks of good food, good jobs and good health. When a community is built upon this foundation, it produces positive results for all residents of New York State.
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Food Cellar opens, BJ's Warehouse in Brooklyn, top news...

Our organizing efforts against irresponsible employers throughout the five boroughs has been highlighted in a Daily News article today:
According to the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, BJ's stores gross more than a million dollars a week in sales and attract around 7,000 cars a day. Their impact on the existing supermarkets would be nothing short of devastating. Read it here

Here's what the Neighborhood Retail Alliance had to say.

Crain's covered the 'Food Cellar' opening in LIC, and specifically notes "There are no plans yet for moderately-priced supermarkets such as C-Town or Key Foods"

Here's the Queens West blog on the Food Cellar prices.

The A.F.L.-C.I.O and three other pro-labor groups will urge the Federal Election Commission on Thursday to rule that Wal-Mart acted illegally by warning many store managers and department heads that a Democratic victory in November would hurt the company by helping workers unionize.

Vornado Realty Trust said Wednesday it has formed a joint venture with India's Reliance Industries to invest in shopping centers in India.

Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. will close its Pathmark store in NJ on Route 36 in Eatontown sometime this fall, a spokeswoman said today.

Deal between Kroger and UFCW averts a strike.

More from Forbes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Whole Foods Brooklyn update, Amish Market opens a new store & Wednesday Morning One Liners...

The Brooklyn Whole Foods is being 'revised' according to a Company spokesman.

U.S. antitrust regulators will resume work scrutinizing organic grocer Whole Foods' merger with rival Wild Oats, the Federal Trade Commission said in an order issued on Monday.

Calling this November’s ballot an “economy-killing” political mess, the Colorado Economic Leadership Coalition Monday came out against the proposed right-to-work amendment and several labor-backed counter-measures.

Amish Market's new store the 'Food Cellar' is opening today, and Supermarket News has a write up about it.

A Local Blog isn't too excited about the new upscale market in the LIC.

This blog has some great inside photos of the new store.

The Gristedes on 14th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue has shuttered, but only temporarily for renovations, according to a spokesman for the company.

Large retailers are looking towards Solar Power and other energy saving approaches to save money in difficult economic times.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration here has proposed fines of $133,000 against C&S Wholesale Grocers for alleged “repeat and serious safety violations” at its warehouse in Windsor Locks, Conn.

Citing continued corruption, a federal judge has ordered a one-year extension of government oversight of the New York City carpenters’ union, which has spent 14 years under supervision.

Mayor Bloomberg has endorsed 3 Democrats in State races.

Here's an editorial on the EFCA & Wal-Mart

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bj's in Brooklyn, Wal-Mart heading to court again and Monday Morning One Liners..

Where and what is local in your supermarket? NY Times highlights the trend of using the word 'local' in supermarkets.

How one business man helped saved the Long Island Farms: Mr. Casa is being hailed as a hero to Long Island growers, having devised a creative way to move local produce to the shelves of 50 King Kullen supermarkets without the farmers having to deal with the false promises of other buyers or unscrupulous brokers.

NY Times continues to cover the illustrious Eli Zabar and his new Farm.

NY Times: Brooklyn residents admit 'Big Box isn't that bad'.

A car plowed through a CVS next to a King Kullen in Staten Island yesterday.

The Daily News covers BJs' Plan to open two stores in Brooklyn, "BJ's wants to put in two stores, but it doesn't answer the needs of the community - they need a supermarket," said Grocery Workers Union organizer Pat Purcell.

The Real Deal covers the story as well... "A lease has been signed at a Thor Equities-owned former bus depot at 1824 Shore Parkway, near Ceasar's Bay shopping center in Bensonhurst. No lease has been signed yet at the Brooklyn Terminal Market on Foster Avenue and Avenue D in Canarsie, the site of an old Key Food storage facility. "

A UFCW protest in Binghamton is getting press.

The NY Sun writes on Balducci's expansion to Dubai. Eventually Balducci's will have three outlets in Dubai.

The NY Times compares Porchetta prices in Gourmet NYC stores, including Fairway, Grace's, Agata....

Honeywell International is moving some manufacturing operations out of the company's central New York plant, eliminating nearly 300 jobs. Honeywell officials announced Thursday that the Morristown, N.J.-based company will shift some operations in the town of Skaneateles (skan-ee-AT'-les), 15 miles west of Syracuse, to a location in China within a year.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) and Tyson Foods have reached an agreement in Tennessee.


Canada's highest court agreed to hear an appeal by former employees of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. who say the company closed a Quebec store because of a union drive.

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear two cases stemming from Wal-Mart’s controversial closing of a unionized store in Quebec, the court here said.
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Wal-Mart Stores told SN Friday the small-format Marketside stores it plans to unveil this fall in the Phoenix area are part of "a small-scale pilot, and we have no plans [for the format] beyond a handful of stores." The comment, from a Wal-Mart spokesman, came in response to a report published in the Financial Times of London that quoted the Marketside website as saying the company expected to start with 10 stores and evolve to between 1,000 and 1,500 locations with more than $10 billion in annual sales.

A UFCW protest on the opening day of a 'Fresh & Easy' was effective.


Lawmakers who supported a property-tax-cap bill while the Senate was in Albany last week could pay a steep political price.State AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes said it's possible the 2 million-member labor federation will withhold endorsements in key races that involve senators who voted "yes" on the cap when its member unions meet for their annual convention next week. "There's talk about holding back," Hughes said.

Four members of the New York City congressional delegation stood on the steps of City Hall August 4 to endorse State Sen. Martin Connor (D-Brooklyn/Manhattan), a 30-year incumbent who faces a grueling primary against a feisty insurgent, for reelection.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Whole Foods changes approach, Wal-Mart in China, Tuesday Morning One Liners....

Whole Foods tries to change their image and remove the stereo-type 'Whole Pay Check' in these harsh economic times.

Whole Foods struggles in the UK: The company behind London's largest organic supermarket has suffered a £10m loss in the store's first year, as cash-strapped shoppers start to turn away from expensive food.

Wal-Mart to sign collective contracts at all China stores.

As we reported yesterday, Gourmet grocer Balducci's here yesterday said it has sealed an agreement with a real estate developer in Dubai to open multiple locations in that United Arab Emirates city.
Read more of this story

Shaw's said workers represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 791 have ratified a new, five-year contract covering 5,500 employees at 38 stores in southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island and the Shaw's distribution center in Wells, Maine.
Read more of this story

On the recent contract Local 791 spokesman Peter Derouen said. "We were able to get rid of the bonuses and get general wage increases for everyone,” he said. “The company had really been pushing to freeze the pension plan and then introduce a 401(k) plan, which we were able to fight off.”

Must Read:

Verizon Communications' union workers stayed on the job yesterday as their leaders continued to meet with management to hammer out remaining sticking points and avoid a threatened strike.

More on Eli Zabar and his new farm.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Balducci's expands to the Middle East, BJ's expect to be opposed in Brooklyn, and Monday Morning One Liners...

Balducci's has announced they will be one of the first US Food retailers to open a store in the Middle East.

Here's more on Balducci's expansion.

If you haven't read it yet Wal-Mart has been warning their employees of a Democratic win.

Pathmark & A&P recruits workers by offering discounts.

With 341 locations Dunkin Donuts has more stores in the city than any other chain, including Starbucks.

On the Amish Hyde Park closing, a former councilman said "I'm really not surprised that they closed," he said. "They really never got off on the right foot, and a lot of the people I know just were not willing to pay the high prices."

We got some press in Crain's on Friday morning regarding our fights against BJ's.

Here's a blog that discusses why the Hyde Park Amish failed

United Food & Commercial Workers Union, Local 555 filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge against Fred Meyer (owned by the Kroger Co.) for failing to bargain in good faith.

UFCW Local 791 warned over the weekend that a strike is looming because Shaw's Supermarkets refuses to back off proposals that offer substandard wage increases, eliminate the defined benefit pension plan, and gut the health care plan while asking workers to pay more for a lesser health plan.

It's reported today although that Local 791 has ratified a new five-year contract.

Here's more on the contract.

Price investments and promotional activity helped Ahold post quarterly sales gains of 1.7% at Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover and 11.5% at Giant-Carlisle, the company, based here, said Friday.
Read more of this story

The founding family of 'The Fresh Market' had a buyout scare last week, but the company retains that the family will remain in control over the rapidly growing supermarket.

Two unions representing 65,000 workers at Verizon postponed a strike threatened for Sunday morning, citing progress in late-night negotiations.


Change to Win leader and vice-president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Geralyn Lutty, along with two members from Change to Win unions, joined state and national experts and grassroots Americans in Cleveland, Ohio this weekend for the Democratic Party's Platform Drafting Committee meeting to assist in defining and drafting the Party's national platform.

A new website posts the salaries of 263,000 state employees.

Here's more on Weiner's proposed Job Creation plan.

Bloomberg is hosting a party for Hillary Clinton tonight, on Barack Obama’s birthday.