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Updated: 2 hours 31 min ago

Book Review: Refinery Town Political Revolution

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 17:33

On a snowy winter day, 25 people gathered in a library meeting room in Greenfield, Massachusetts, to hear how a movement of progressive activists had won elections and taken power in Richmond, California.

Veteran labor organizer Steve Early was giving a talk about his new book Refinery Town: Big Money, Big Oil and the Remaking of an American City. The meeting was sponsored by Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution, which grew out of Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

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.

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