Labor Notes

How They're Doing It in Denmark

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2020-04-08 17:16

The Danish government has struck a historic deal with unions and employers’ associations to stop mass layoffs during the pandemic.

Over the next three months, the national government will cover 75 percent of the wages of workers who would otherwise be laid off, up to $3,300 per month. Companies will cover the remaining 25 percent of wages, while workers will give up five days of future paid vacation time.

Categories: Labor Notes

How They're Doing It in Denmark

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2020-04-08 17:16

The Danish government has struck a historic deal with unions and employers’ associations to stop mass layoffs during the pandemic.

Over the next three months, the national government will cover 75 percent of the wages of workers who would otherwise be laid off, up to $3,300 per month. Companies will cover the remaining 25 percent of wages, while workers will give up five days of future paid vacation time.

Categories: Labor Notes

The Coronavirus Crisis Exposes How Fragile Capitalism Already Was

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2020-04-08 15:25
The Coronavirus Crisis Exposes How Fragile Capitalism Already Was April 08, 2020 / Stephanie Luce

When this is all over, will we be able to patch up the economy and get things back to normal? Trump certainly claims so. But he’s wrong.

Weak attempts to patch up the problems of capitalism—as much as the coronavirus itself—are what got us into the current economic meltdown in the first place.

Let’s define some terms. When we talk about the health of the economy, there are two parts: the “real economy,” which includes all the goods and services that we produce, and the “financial economy”: money, stock markets, banks, and credit.

Categories: Labor Notes

The Coronavirus Crisis Exposes How Fragile Capitalism Already Was

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2020-04-08 15:25
The Coronavirus Crisis Exposes How Fragile Capitalism Already Was April 08, 2020 / Stephanie Luce

When this is all over, will we be able to patch up the economy and get things back to normal? Trump certainly claims so. But he’s wrong.

Weak attempts to patch up the problems of capitalism—as much as the coronavirus itself—are what got us into the current economic meltdown in the first place.

Let’s define some terms. When we talk about the health of the economy, there are two parts: the “real economy,” which includes all the goods and services that we produce, and the “financial economy”: money, stock markets, banks, and credit.

Categories: Labor Notes

'You Can Find Us in the Break Room': How Nurses Got Masks

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2020-04-07 16:54

I am a registered nurse at Cook County Hospital, the safety-net hospital in Chicago and the busiest hospital in the state. The people who come to this hospital are some of the most underserved patients, mainly people of color, immigrants—many undocumented, the uninsured and underinsured, the homeless, and the incarcerated. Our emergency room denies no one care and about 300 people per day come there for treatment.

We have yet to become a COVID-19 “hot spot” but my co-workers all know it’s coming. Nurses know our patients will be some of the hardest hit.

Categories: Labor Notes

'You Can Find Us in the Break Room': How Nurses Got Masks

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2020-04-07 16:54

I am a registered nurse at Cook County Hospital, the safety-net hospital in Chicago and the busiest hospital in the state. The people who come to this hospital are some of the most underserved patients, mainly people of color, immigrants—many undocumented, the uninsured and underinsured, the homeless, and the incarcerated. Our emergency room denies no one care and about 300 people per day come there for treatment.

We have yet to become a COVID-19 “hot spot” but my co-workers all know it’s coming. Nurses know our patients will be some of the hardest hit.

Categories: Labor Notes

Chicago Amazon Workers Picket with Supporters—and Their Cars

Steward's Corner - Mon, 2020-04-06 15:44
Chicago Amazon Workers Picket with Supporters—and Their Cars April 06, 2020 / Alan Maass

“Quite a way to start your week off, right?”

Bekin Mehmedi was watching a long line of car protesters, all blaring their horns, drive through the gates of Amazon’s main delivery facility in Chicago. He and 20 or so workers and their supporters walked a socially distanced picket line, their fourth in six days, early on Saturday, April 4.

Categories: Labor Notes

Chicago Amazon Workers Picket with Supporters—and Their Cars

Magazine Stories - Mon, 2020-04-06 15:44
Chicago Amazon Workers Picket with Supporters—and Their Cars April 06, 2020 / Alan Maass

“Quite a way to start your week off, right?”

Bekin Mehmedi was watching a long line of car protesters, all blaring their horns, drive through the gates of Amazon’s main delivery facility in Chicago. He and 20 or so workers and their supporters walked a socially distanced picket line, their fourth in six days, early on Saturday, April 4.

Categories: Labor Notes

Undocumented Workers Hit Hard by COVID-19 Crisis

Steward's Corner - Mon, 2020-04-06 14:38
Undocumented Workers Hit Hard by COVID-19 Crisis April 06, 2020 / Saurav Sarkar

Restaurant worker and painter José Garcia says “positive thinking makes everything easier.”

He has a lot to make easier.

Prior to the coronavirus crisis, the Mexican-born Massachusetts resident was working nearly 60 hours a week. He earned $29,000 last year.

Together, he and his partner earned $49,000. On that money, they supported themselves, their young daughter, and his partner’s children from a previous relationship.

Categories: Labor Notes

Undocumented Workers Hit Hard by COVID-19 Crisis

Magazine Stories - Mon, 2020-04-06 14:38
Undocumented Workers Hit Hard by COVID-19 Crisis April 06, 2020 / Saurav Sarkar

Restaurant worker and painter José Garcia says “positive thinking makes everything easier.”

He has a lot to make easier.

Prior to the coronavirus crisis, the Mexican-born Massachusetts resident was working nearly 60 hours a week. He earned $29,000 last year.

Together, he and his partner earned $49,000. On that money, they supported themselves, their young daughter, and his partner’s children from a previous relationship.

Categories: Labor Notes

Interview: Coronavirus Pandemic Inflames Anti-Asian Racism

Steward's Corner - Mon, 2020-04-06 11:24

Labor Notes’ Saurav Sarkar spoke with New York City teacher Annie Tan on March 23 about the rise in anti-Asian racism with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Labor Notes: Can you tell me a little bit about your family background and how it connects to organizing against anti-Asian racism?

Annie Tan: I was born and raised in Chinatown and I have lived in New York City almost all my life. My family members were mostly new immigrants to America.

Categories: Labor Notes

Interview: Coronavirus Pandemic Inflames Anti-Asian Racism

Magazine Stories - Mon, 2020-04-06 11:24

Labor Notes’ Saurav Sarkar spoke with New York City teacher Annie Tan on March 23 about the rise in anti-Asian racism with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Labor Notes: Can you tell me a little bit about your family background and how it connects to organizing against anti-Asian racism?

Annie Tan: I was born and raised in Chinatown and I have lived in New York City almost all my life. My family members were mostly new immigrants to America.

Categories: Labor Notes

The Steward's Guide to COVID-19

Steward's Corner - Sat, 2020-04-04 14:43
The Steward's Guide to COVID-19 April 04, 2020 / United Electrical Workers

The following is a lightly edited version of a special edition of the UE Steward, the United Electrical Workers’ monthly publication for stewards. Labor Notes is reprinting it under the terms of the UE’s reuse policy and in our shared interest of promoting democratic, rank-and-file unionism. For more coronavirus resources for workers, visit labornotes.org/coronavirus.

Categories: Labor Notes

The Steward's Guide to COVID-19

Magazine Stories - Sat, 2020-04-04 14:43
The Steward's Guide to COVID-19 April 04, 2020 / United Electrical Workers

The following is a lightly edited version of a special edition of the UE Steward, the United Electrical Workers’ monthly publication for stewards. Labor Notes is reprinting it under the terms of the UE’s reuse policy and in our shared interest of promoting democratic, rank-and-file unionism. For more coronavirus resources for workers, visit labornotes.org/coronavirus.

Categories: Labor Notes

Will COVID-19 Be Our Triangle Fire?

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2020-04-03 13:23
Will COVID-19 Be Our Triangle Fire? April 03, 2020 / David Unger

The world is in the grips of a horrible pandemic that will touch us all. But as has almost always been the case, the burden of COVID-19 will disproportionately fall on marginalized and working people. In New York, now the epicenter of the U.S. crisis, we watch as the crisis pushes the stories of previously invisible workers—the grocery store clerks and delivery persons, transit workers and hospital orderlies—squarely into the public conversation.

Categories: Labor Notes

Will COVID-19 Be Our Triangle Fire?

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2020-04-03 13:23
Will COVID-19 Be Our Triangle Fire? April 03, 2020 / David Unger

The world is in the grips of a horrible pandemic that will touch us all. But as has almost always been the case, the burden of COVID-19 will disproportionately fall on marginalized and working people. In New York, now the epicenter of the U.S. crisis, we watch as the crisis pushes the stories of previously invisible workers—the grocery store clerks and delivery persons, transit workers and hospital orderlies—squarely into the public conversation.

Categories: Labor Notes

How Auto Parts Workers Shut Their Plant

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2020-04-03 12:13

Union members at a Detroit-area auto parts plant refused to work March 19 and 20 after learning that a management employee had tested positive for the coronavirus. Angry first-shift workers gathered outside the plant and refused to enter.

The story is a textbook example of management indifference and worker solidarity. “It was one of those moments I am proud to be in a union,” said union chairman Trent DeSenglau. “This solidified us for sure. I have never seen so much support ever.”

Categories: Labor Notes

How Auto Parts Workers Shut Their Plant

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2020-04-03 12:13

Union members at a Detroit-area auto parts plant refused to work March 19 and 20 after learning that a management employee had tested positive for the coronavirus. Angry first-shift workers gathered outside the plant and refused to enter.

The story is a textbook example of management indifference and worker solidarity. “It was one of those moments I am proud to be in a union,” said union chairman Trent DeSenglau. “This solidified us for sure. I have never seen so much support ever.”

Categories: Labor Notes
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