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In Colombia, All-Women Childcare Union Emerges as National Player

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:27
In Colombia, All-Women Childcare Union Emerges as National Player March 24, 2017 / Neil Martin<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Sixty thousand women childcare workers in Colombia are on the verge of winning pensions and back pay, after decades of making just half the minimum wage.

Their union, Sintracihobi, has been able to achieve these remarkable results—despite representing only a minority of employees in the childcare sector—with an approach that combines legal action, political advocacy, and mass mobilization.

Momentum Builds for May Day Strikes

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 15:10
Momentum Builds for May Day Strikes March 23, 2017 / Jonathan Rosenblum<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Shop steward Tomas Mejia sensed something was different when 600 janitors streamed into the Los Angeles union hall February 16—far more than for a regular membership meeting. Chanting “Huelga! Huelga!” (“Strike! Strike!”), they voted unanimously to strike on May Day.

How We're Setting Our Contract Bargaining Tables to Advance Racial Justice

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 11:07
How We're Setting Our Contract Bargaining Tables to Advance Racial Justice March 15, 2017 / by Luster Howard, Maricruz Manzanarez, and Seth Newton Patel<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Employers often use race to divide workers against one another. At University of California campuses and hospitals, we’re seeing the problem get worse now that President Donald Trump’s administration is unleashing new waves of racism and attacks on immigrants.

Our union, AFSCME 3299, represents 24,000 patient care and service workers. About half of us are Latinos, and a supermajority are people of color. Our co-workers report that they’re frequently attacked based on their race or nationality.

Are Strikes Dead, or Just Happening Under the Radar? Report Your Strike

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 15:12

Year after year, the official statistics tell us the strike is all but disappearing from the United States. But is this the whole story?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics only reports strikes of 1,000 or more workers. There were just 15 of those last year.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service reports more, but only those directly connected to contract expirations and new contract negotiations. They report that 91 strikes ended in 2016, with another 12 still in progress.

Breaking the Silence on Sexual Harassment

Wed, 03/08/2017 - 12:13
Breaking the Silence on Sexual Harassment March 08, 2017 / Sonia Singh<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

When we think of the biggest issues at work, wages and benefits usually top the list. But in many industries, sexual harassment and assault are huge concerns—even if nobody’s talking about it.

Workers who experience harassment on the job can file charges with the federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, but they face many hurdles to get even a hearing. Deadlines are short. Only employers with 15 or more employees are covered.

Los trabajadores gestionan este hotel

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 13:41

Hace catorce años unos trabajadores en Buenos Aires, Argentina, ocuparon un hotel céntrico que sus propietarios habían abandonado. Desde entonces, han operado el Hotel Bauen como una cooperativa dirigida por trabajadores, recuperándolo no sólo como hotel, sino también como un centro para eventos sindicales y de movimientos sociales, buscado por visitantes progresistas de todo el mundo.

Workers Run This Hotel

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 13:17

Fourteen years ago workers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, occupied a downtown hotel that its owners had abandoned. Ever since, they’ve operated the Hotel Bauen as a worker-run cooperative, making it not only a hotel but a center for union and other movement events, sought out by progressive visitors from around the world.

AT&T Mobility Workers Dial It Up

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 12:00
AT&T Mobility Workers Dial It Up March 02, 2017 / Dan DiMaggio<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

AT&T Mobility workers are waging their largest-ever contract mobilization. In retail stores and call centers across the country they’re sporting “We Demand Good Jobs” buttons, picketing on their days off, plastering union flyers on their lockers, and blowing up Facebook with pictures of their activities. These actions are helping knit together a sense of solidarity among 21,000 union members dispersed throughout 36 states.

¿Podrían los propietarios-trabajadores hacer funcionar esta fábrica?

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 10:54
¿Podrían los propietarios-trabajadores hacer funcionar esta fábrica? February 27, 2017 / Jane Slaughter<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

A worker-owned cooperative with 1,050 members is building tires in Mexico, paying high wages, and proving what we knew all along.

Trabajadores mexicanos ganan la propiedad de una planta llantera después de tres años de huelga

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 10:52
Trabajadores mexicanos ganan la propiedad de una planta llantera después de tres años de huelga February 27, 2017 / Jane Slaughter<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

“If the owners don’t want it, let’s run it ourselves.” In Mexico a giant-sized worker cooperative has been building tires since 2005. The factory competes on the world market, employs 1,050 co-owners, and pays the best wages and pensions of any Mexican industrial plant.

Tens of Thousands Strike on Day without Immigrants

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 16:06
Tens of Thousands Strike on Day without Immigrants February 23, 2017 / Dan DiMaggio, Sonia Singh<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Arkansas poultry workers, Brooklyn warehouse workers and house cleaners, Twin Cities roofers, and thousands of students in places like Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Charlotte, North Carolina. They were all among the tens of thousands who stayed home from work or school across the country during Thursday, February 16’s “Day without Immigrants.”

Illinois State Workers Authorize Strike Against Governor Who Invoked Legacy of PATCO

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 10:35
Illinois State Workers Authorize Strike Against Governor Who Invoked Legacy of PATCO February 23, 2017 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

For the first time in four decades as a union, 28,000 Illinois state workers could be going on strike, facing down a Republican governor who campaigned on the promise to force a showdown with the union.

In a 20-day vote that ended February 19, members from the 70 locals that comprise AFSCME Council 31 voted in favor of strike authorization.

“Eighty-one percent of members voted yes to give the bargaining committee the authority to call a strike,” said Roberta Lynch, executive director of Council 31, at a press conference announcing the results.

How We Got Out of a 401(k) and into a Real Pension

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 12:08
How We Got Out of a 401(k) and into a Real Pension February 21, 2017 / James W. Russell<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

After being trapped in an inferior 401(k)-style retirement plan, is it possible for a union to reverse the trend and switch back to a traditional defined-benefit pension?

Connecticut state employees did just that in 2012. Our little-known story, combined with similar victories in Massachusetts and West Virginia, shows it can be done. There’s a small but growing movement to follow suit in other states.

Minneapolis Bakery Workers Call Out Super Bowl Hypocrisy with ‘Taste of Justice’

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 14:16

Every year on the eve of the Super Bowl, celebrity chefs, National Football League players, and Hollywood stars come together in the game’s host city for an opulent fundraiser for local and national food banks. It’s called the Taste of the NFL.

“The most mainstream dish” in Houston this year, the Star Tribune said, was “veal meatballs and a cheesy pasta with truffles.” Since its founding a quarter-century ago, the event has raised $15 million for food banks.

More Repression, More Fightback! El Salvador's Labor Movement Defends the Minimum Wage

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:59
More Repression, More Fightback! El Salvador's Labor Movement Defends the Minimum Wage February 17, 2017 / Luke Walsh-Mellet<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

On January 1, workers in El Salvador won a big increase in the minimum wage—in some cases doubling their pay.

But before they had time to celebrate, the multinational companies who thrive on the country’s still-low wages counterattacked with mass layoffs, judicial maneuvers, and a bid to undermine the eight-hour day.

Viewpoint: The Boeing Vote Was Not a Referendum on Organizing the South

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:30

The Machinists’ loss in Wednesday's union vote at Boeing was devastating. Out of 3,000 workers eligible to cast ballots at the Charleston, South Carolina, plant, 2,097 voted against unionization, and only 731 in favor.

But contrary to the armchair wisdom of pundits, this vote was not a referendum on whether or not it’s possible to organize in the South.

The Machinists faced a relentless anti-union campaign. Boeing and a statewide business advocacy group saturated local television, radio, newspapers, and social media with hundreds of anti-union ads.

Viewpoints: Building Trades Activists Argue for a Different Approach to Trump

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 11:58
Viewpoints: Building Trades Activists Argue for a Different Approach to Trump February 15, 2017 / Len Shindel and Kevin Norton<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

After national leaders of the Building Trades unions met with President Donald Trump January 25 and heaped praise on him, two readers sent in their thoughts. One is a local assistant business manager, the other a retired communications staffer for the Electrical Workers (IBEW). Here are excerpts from both. –Editors.

Fawning over Trump Shuts Out Our Movement’s Future

by Len Shindel

How We Got Our Lead Nurses Back

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 12:23
How We Got Our Lead Nurses Back February 14, 2017 / Deirdre Lacey<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Nurses sat stunned. We had been called to a meeting about a “new vision.” In one week, our chief nursing officer (CNO) announced, the charge nurse role would be eliminated.

Credit Mass Resistance, Not Anti-Union Judge, for Blocking Trump’s Travel Ban

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 10:55

When I first heard the good news on February 3 that U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart had slapped a restraining order on Trump’s travel ban, I texted a labor attorney friend: “Goodness—Judge Robart! Am I obliged to like him now?”

You see, while millions of people are applauding Judge Robart for upholding the Constitution and blocking xenophobia, some of us have had a very different experience in his Seattle courtroom.

Puzzled over Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 14:01

“They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.” That’s Andrew Puzder, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, praising the advantages of employing robots over human beings in an interview with Business Insider last year.

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