17,000 AT&T technicians and call center workers go on strike

California and Nevada workers allege offshoring and illegal job changes.

About 17,000 AT&T wireline technicians and call center employees went on strike in California and Nevada today while filing an unfair labor charge to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that AT&T violated federal law.

“The company has shown disrespect to the bargaining process by changing the work assignments of workers without bargaining as required by federal law,” the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union said in its strike announcement. “Further, AT&T reneged on an agreement to resolve the dispute without any explanation.”

The CWA said that AT&T “is asking its workers to do more for less—keeping them from their families with unpredictable overtime, undercutting pay and advancement, offshoring good jobs, and pushing more health care costs onto employees.”

Source: 17,000 AT&T technicians and call center workers go on strike

Is the coal industry really roaring back to life under Trump? – LA Times

In his recent speech, President Trump said he had promised that “dying industries will come roaring back to life” – and then highlighted the boost he gave one such industry by blocking an environmental regulation “that threatens the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners.”

The move Trump referred to stopped an environmental rule meant to protect streams from pollution stemming from mining.

Source: Is the coal industry really roaring back to life under Trump? – LA Times

The full list of 138 J.C. Penney stores closing around the US – The Boston Globe

The company said that about 5,000 positions nationwide will be affected by the closures, most of which will occur in June.

Below is the list  of stores slated to close
Mall/Shopping Center City State
Auburn Mall Auburn AL
Tannehill Promenade Bessemer AL
Gadsden Mall Gadsden AL
Jasper Mall Jasper AL
Military Plaza Benton AR
Chickasaw Plaza Blytheville AR
Riverview Mall Bullhead City AZ
Downtown Bishop Bishop CA
Sunwest Plaza Lodi CA
The Village at Orange Orange CA
Hilltop Mall Richmond CA
Fort Morgan Main St. Fort Morgan CO
Glenwood Springs Mall Glenwood Springs CO
St. Vrain Centre Longmont CO
Broadway Plaza Sterling CO
Connecticut Post Mall Milford CT
Jacksonville Regional Shopping Center Jacksonville FL
Palatka Mall Palatka FL
Dublin Mall Dublin GA
Macon Mall Macon GA
Milledgeville Mall Milledgeville GA
Gateway Plaza Thomasville GA
Tifton Mall Tifton GA
Downtown Decorah Decorah IA
Crossroads Mall Fort Dodge IA
Penn Central Mall Oskaloosa IA
Quincy Place Ottumwa IA
Snake River Plaza Burley ID
Eastland Mall Bloomington IL
Fulton Square Canton IL
Village Square Mall Effingham IL
Freestanding Macomb IL
Peru Mall Peru IL
Northland Mall Sterling IL
Centerpointe of Woodridge Woodridge IL
FairOaks Mall Columbus IN
Connersville Plaza Connersville IN
Huntington Plaza Huntington IN
Jasper Manor Center Jasper IN
Logansport Mall Logansport IN
Chanute Square Chanute KS
Downtown Great Bend Great Bend KS
Hutchinson Mall Hutchinson KS
Freestanding Lawrence KS
Winfield Plaza Winfield KS
Cortana Mall Baton Rouge LA
Park Terrace DeRidder LA
North Shore Square Slidell LA
Berkshire Mall Lanesborough MA
Easton Marketplace Easton MD
Rockland Plaza Rockland ME
Lakeview Square Mall Battle Creek MI
Delta Plaza Escanaba MI
Westshore Mall Holland MI
Copper Country Mall Houghton MI
Birchwood Mall Kingsford MI
Midland Mall Midland MI
Cascade Crossings Sault Ste. Marie MI
Central Lakes Crossing Baxter MN
Five Lakes Centre Fairmont MN
Faribo West Mall Faribault MN
Irongate Plaza Hibbing MN
Hutchinson Mall Hutchinson MN
Red Wing Mall Red Wing MN
Downtown Thief River Falls Thief River Falls MN
Freestanding Winona MN
Maryville Center Maryville MO
Leigh Mall Columbus MS
Southgate Plaza Corinth MS
Greenville Mall Greenville MS
Bonita Lakes Mall Meridian MS
Oxford Mall Oxford MS
Capital Hill Mall Helena MT
Sidney Main Street Sidney MT
Albemarle Crossing Albemarle NC
Boone Mall Boone NC
Eastridge Mall Gastonia NC
Blue Ridge Mall Hendersonville NC
Monroe Crossing Monroe NC
Becker Village Mall Roanoke Rapids NC
Prairie Hills Mall Dickinson ND
Buffalo Mall Jamestown ND
Downtown Wahpeton Wahpeton ND
Fremont Mall Fremont NE
Downtown McCook McCook NE
Platte River Mall North Platte NE
Rio Grande Plaza Rio Grande NJ
The Boulevard Las Vegas NV
Dunkirk-Fredonia Plaza Dunkirk NY
Westfield Sunrise Massapequa NY
Palisades Center West Nyack NY
Findlay Village Mall Findlay OH
New Towne Mall New Philadelphia OH
Richmond Town Square Richmond Heights OH
St. Mary’s Square St. Marys OH
Altus Plaza Altus OK
Ne-Mar Shopping Center Claremore OK
Ponca Plaza Ponca City OK
Pioneer Square Shopping Center Stillwater OK
Astoria Downtown Astoria OR
Grants Pass Shopping Center Grants Pass OR
La Grande Downtown La Grande OR
Downtown Pendleton Pendleton OR
The Dalles Main Street The Dalles OR
Columbia Mall Bloomsburg PA
Clearfield Mall Clearfield PA
King of Prussia Mall King of Prussia PA
Philadelphia Mills Philadelphia PA
Bradford Towne Centre Towanda PA
Lycoming Mall Pennsdale PA
Willow Grove Park Willow Grove PA
Citadel Mall Charleston SC
Town ‘N Country Easley SC
Palace Mall Mitchell SD
Northridge Plaza Pierre SD
Watertown Mall Watertown SD
Yankton Mall Yankton SD
Greeneville Commons Greeneville TN
Knoxville Center Knoxville TN
County Market Place Union City TN
Athens Village Shopping Center Athens TX
Borger Shopping Plaza Borger TX
Heartland Mall Early TX
El Paso Downtown El Paso TX
Marshall Mall Marshall TX
McAllen Downtown McAllen TX
University Mall Nacogdoches TX
King Plaza Shopping Center Seguin TX
Bosque River Center Stephenville TX
New River Valley Mall Christiansburg VA
Tanglewood Mall Roanoke VA
Pilchuck Landing Snohomish WA
Pine Tree Mall Marinette WI
Marshfield Mall Marshfield WI
Richland Square Shopping Center Richland Center WI
Rapids Mall Wisconsin Rapids WI
Foxcroft Towne Center Martinsburg WV
Downtown Sheridan Sheridan WY
SOURCE: J.C. Penney Company, Inc

Source: The full list of 138 J.C. Penney stores closing around the US – The Boston Globe

Natural gas plant to rise where coal once fell in Masontown – Post Gazette

Hatfield’s Ferry, a large Greene County coal plant shuttered in 2013, has drawn the attention of a New Jersey power developer that plans to build a large natural gas plant on the site. APV Renaissance Partners, a subsidiary of American Power Ventures, said it plans to submit a permit to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection within the next month for a combined-cycle power plant. David Neurohr, a spokesman for APV, would only say that it’s a “redevelopment project” whose details would be disclosed at a public information meeting on April 5, between 5 and 8 p.m., at the Carmichaels and Cumberland Township Volunteer Fire Department. However, in late January, PJM Interconnection LLC, the Valley Forge-based grid operator that manages the flow of electricity for 13 states

Source: Natural gas plant to rise where coal once fell in Masontown

JCPenney closures signal more pain for shopping malls – Business Insider

A tidal wave of store closures is about to hit the US, and the result could be catastrophic for hundreds of lower-tier shopping malls.

JCPenney announced Friday that it would close up to 140 stores in the next couple of months.

That follows decisions by Macy’s and Sears to close a collective 218 stores in the first half of the year. Other mall-based stores including American Apparel, The Limited, Bebe, BCBG, and Payless have also recently announced that they are shutting down all or most of their stores.

Source: JCPenney closures signal more pain for shopping malls – Business Insider

Soda sales fizzle by 50% in Philadelphia after soft drink tax – NY Daily News

Some Philadelphia supermarkets and beverage distributors say they’re gearing up for layoffs.

Jeff Brown, who owns six local ShopRite supermarkets, told The Philadelphia Inquirer he expects to cut 300 jobs. Bob Brockway, chief operating officer of Canada Dry Delaware Valley, has predicted a 20% workforce reduction by March.

Source: Soda sales fizzle by 50% in Philadelphia after soft drink tax – NY Daily News

Our Miserable 21st Century | commentary

By 

Consider the condition of the American economy. In some circles people still widely believe, as one recent New York Times business-section article cluelessly insisted before the inauguration, that “Mr. Trump will inherit an economy that is fundamentally solid.” But this is patent nonsense.

But there is the employment situation. Labor-force trends have been utterly dismal. Work rates have fallen off a cliff since the year 2000 and are at their lowest levels in decades. We can see this by looking at the estimates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the civilian employment rate, the jobs-to-population ratio for adult civilian men and women.

American health conditions seem to have taken a seriously wrong turn in the new century. Overall health progress has been shockingly slow.

Thus the bittersweet reality of life for real Americans in the early 21st century: Even though the American economy still remains the world’s unrivaled engine of wealth generation, those outside the bubble may have less of a shot at the American Dream than has been the case for decades, maybe generations—possibly even since the Great Depression.

Read Full Story: Our Miserable 21st Century | commentary