Consumer and labor-related sites
activistcash.com: Profiles anti-consumer activist groups, along with information about the sources of their exorbitant funding. Breaks them up among activist groups, foundations, celebrities and major individual players in the activist community.
www.aflcio.org: The nation’s largest labor union. Nice information on workers’ rights, as well as a state-by-state economic snapshot that reviews issues such as poverty, health care coverage and state budget issues.
www.alpa.org/alpa/DesktopDefault.aspx: The Air Line Pilots Association has good updates on negotiations between pilots and airlines when they’re negotiating new contracts. Speeches and testimony are also available.
www.cch.com: The Commerce Clearing House site, which is excellent for summaries of tax rules.
www.consumerfed.org: Consumer Federation of America, which lobbies Congress and other government agencies on behalf of the consumer. Its major concerns are food, finance, health care, privacy, safety and environmental health and utilities, so if you’re interested in one of these topics, go there.
www.cpsc.gov: Home page of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, where you can find out information about product recalls. There’s also a way to sign up to be notified whenever the CPSC announces a major recall. That is at www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.
www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/amuse.pdf: This file lists who regulates amusement park rides on a state-by-state basis.
www.clearhq.org: Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation. The discussion board has interesting submissions from state regulators across the country on how to better serve consumers. You might find a story idea there. Also, click on “Resources” to find regulatory boards of professions.
www.ebri.org: The Employee Benefit Research Institute is the only nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed exclusively to data dissemination, policy research and education on economic security and employee benefits. Research is available here on employee benefits.
www.dot.gov/new/index.htm: Looking for information about auto recalls? Go to the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you cover the auto industry, or if trucking is a major part of your local economy, look here for information.
www.eeoc.gov: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigates charges against businesses for unfair employment practices or discrimination. The “Litigation” section in the center of the page has a link to a monthly report on all of the actions taken by the agency. There’s also an area for statistics on various types of discrimination, ranging from race and pregnancy to age and religious beliefs.
www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ProtectYourself/default.htm: Nice website from the Food and Drug Administration about the action taken by the agency against the selling of medicine and medical products online. The FDA’s home page, located at www.fda.gov, also lists drug recalls.
www.fda.gov/default.htm: FDA site that provides access to various issues about its regulation of food, drugs, medical devices, animal food, cosmetics and radiation-emitting products such as cell phones. You can also subscribe to its email newsletters here.
www.fraud.org: The National Fraud Information Center was established by the National Consumers League to combat telemarketing and Internet fraud. Statistics are available on the site.
www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm: The Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection home page has links for topics ranging from identity theft to investments that can be useful for reporters writing about these topics.
www.ic3.gov/default.aspx: The Internet Fraud Complaint Center is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center. Statistics and warning notices are available here.
www.ibew.org: The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers website has information on union membership and negotiations with some larger employers.
www.jdpower.com: Consumer-based ratings on various products, such as cars, boats, home builders, financial service providers and travel. The ratings can be viewed for certain markets as well.
www.lemonlawamerica.com/Lemon-Law-Statutes.htm: An index of state lemon laws that allow consumers to fight back if they believe they’ve purchased a defective car, truck, SUV, boat, motorcycle or other consumer product. Also look at www.carlemon.com/lemonstat.html.
www.nacaa.net: The National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators is a Washington, DC-based non-profit association for government consumer protection agency administrators. This site is best for its “Member” list, which provides links to federal, state and local consumer protection agencies across the country. The “Member List” is only available to members; registration is free, but your application must be approved by the NACAA.
www.nasuca.org: National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, which represents the interest of consumers before state and federal agencies in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Nice list of its testimony and filings.
www.consumeraction.gov: Has lists of consumer protection groups and agencies under “where to file a complaint” on the left side of the page.
www.cpsc.gov and www.fda.gov/safety/recalls/default.htm: Two nice search engines here for product recalls from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration. Both can be searched by product or company name.
www.osha.gov/oshstats: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration statistics and data page allows you to look at accident investigation reports and inspection reports for companies by industry.
www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.html: This page enables the user to search for OSHA enforcement inspections by the name of the establishment.
pueblo.gsa.gov: The Federal Citizen Information Center has plenty of publications that can be ordered online about a variety of topics, from cars to small business. The site is operated by the General Services Administration.
www.epa.gov/TRI: The Toxic Release Inventory is a database of information about releases and transfers of toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities. Facilities must report their releases of a toxic chemical if they fulfill four criteria. This can be searched by geographic regions as well as by facility, parent company and industry.
www.nhtsa.dot.gov: Home site of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Safety problems with specific vehicles and equipment, as well as regional recalls, are available at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/.
www.nlrb.gov: The National Labor Relations Board investigates disputes between companies and workers. Its site has a nice weekly summary of cases it’s handled, as well as a Freedom of Information link at the bottom right of the page that shows you how to request documents.
www.planetfeedback.com: Search for complaints or compliments about any product and any company at this site. If you’re writing about consumer products companies, the postings here might provide some story ideas.
www.uaw.org: The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America home page has information on recent news affecting its members and links to government-related issues it thinks are important.