(Reuters) - The Wisconsin state AFL-CIO and two other unions filed suit on Tuesday challenging a new statute that lets private-sector employees avoid joining unions or paying dues even when covered by union-negotiated contracts. The law, signed on Monday by Governor Scott Walker, a likely Republican U.S. presidential contender for 2016, made Wisconsin the 25th state to adopt a so-called "right-to-work" statute, following similar laws adopted in Michigan and Indiana in 2012. Right-to-work laws such as the one in Wisconsin bar private-sector workers covered by a collective-bargaining agreement from being required to join and financially support their union as a condition of their employment. The complaint, filed in Dane County Circuit Court by the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and local chapters of the International Association of Machinists and United Steelworkers unions, said the law violated the state's constitution.
NEW YORK (AP) — Cardinal Edward Egan was God's servant and worked tirelessly for parishes, charities, health care and education, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Tuesday at a funeral Mass for one of the most powerful prelates in the global Roman Catholic Church.
The U.S. Air Force hopes to certify privately-held Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, to launch some U.S. military and intelligence satellites into space using its Falcon 9 rocket by June, a top official told Reuters on Tuesday. "I think we're still looking at ... June," Lieutenant General Ellen Pawlikowski, the top uniformed officer in charge of Air Force acquisition, told Reuters after a speech at the annual Women in Defense conference. Pawlikowski, nominated by President Barack Obama to head Air Force Materiel Command, said she was disappointed the Air Force had not been able to certify SpaceX for the launches by December, as initially hoped, but said she was "encouraged that we're close." The general said allowing SpaceX to enter a market dominated by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of the two top Pentagon suppliers, Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, would let the Air Force leverage the commercial market and help reduce the cost of launching satellites into space.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The Ferguson City Council on Tuesday evening unanimously approved a resolution to part ways with City Manager John Shaw following a scathing Justice Department report that alleged racial bias in the city police department and court system.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The case against Syrian President Bashar Assad is much better than the one against Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia or Charles Taylor of Liberia, both of whom were indicted by international tribunals, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues said Tuesday.
By Erwin Seba HOUSTON (Reuters) - The union representing striking U.S. refinery workers said on Tuesday that renewed talks with oil companies for a settlement to the 38-day work stoppage were "moving along." A meeting in Houston between negotiators for the United Steelworkers union (USW) and Shell Oil Co, representing U.S. refinery owners, ran into Tuesday night. While the USW's message about progress in the talks began on a positive note, it also carried a threat. "Industry needs to close the gaps and end the strike or see it expand." A spokesman for Shell, which is the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, declined to comment on the union's message. Analyst group Fitch Ratings warned on Tuesday that an extended strike could squeeze refiners with walkouts during peak summer demand for gasoline.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A woman suing a prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firm in a high-profile case alleging gender bias testified Tuesday that she did not reject the initial romantic advances of a male colleague and even discussed having children with him.