Labor Notes

In Wake of Charlottesville, How Can Unions Fight for Racial Justice?

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2017-08-18 15:49

How should unions respond to the chilling events in Charlottesville? As believers that “an injury to one is an injury to all,” what's our special responsibility? Can we survive if our own unions are split along racial lines?

Labor Notes looked through our recent coverage to find examples of unions that are proactively working for racial justice. The excerpts below show steps some locals are taking to help members learn from each other and fight discrimination right on the job. Many began after the recent wave of police shootings of unarmed Black men.

Categories: Labor Notes

In Wake of Charlottesville, How Can Unions Fight for Racial Justice?

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2017-08-18 15:49

How should unions respond to the chilling events in Charlottesville? As believers that “an injury to one is an injury to all,” what's our special responsibility? Can we survive if our own unions are split along racial lines?

Labor Notes looked through our recent coverage to find examples of unions that are proactively working for racial justice. The excerpts below show steps some locals are taking to help members learn from each other and fight discrimination right on the job. Many began after the recent wave of police shootings of unarmed Black men.

Categories: Labor Notes

Teachers Union Caucuses Gather to Swap Strategies

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2017-08-17 16:42
Teachers Union Caucuses Gather to Swap Strategies August 17, 2017 / Gillian Russom and Samantha Winslow<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

With teachers facing similar attacks in school districts across the country, it makes sense to share strategies for fighting back. That’s the goal of the United Caucuses of Rank-and-File Educators (UCORE), a growing network of locals and caucuses within the teachers unions.

Seventy-five educator activists met in Los Angeles August 4-6, representing school districts from Philadelphia to Oakland and statewide groups from Hawaii, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Categories: Labor Notes

Teachers Union Caucuses Gather to Swap Strategies

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2017-08-17 16:42
Teachers Union Caucuses Gather to Swap Strategies August 17, 2017 / Gillian Russom and Samantha Winslow<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

With teachers facing similar attacks in school districts across the country, it makes sense to share strategies for fighting back. That’s the goal of the United Caucuses of Rank-and-File Educators (UCORE), a growing network of locals and caucuses within the teachers unions.

Seventy-five educator activists met in Los Angeles August 4-6, representing school districts from Philadelphia to Oakland and statewide groups from Hawaii, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Categories: Labor Notes

The 1997 UPS Strike: Beating Big Business & Business Unionism

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2017-08-15 11:10
The 1997 UPS Strike: Beating Big Business & Business Unionism August 15, 2017 / David Levin<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Twenty years ago this month, 185,000 Teamsters shut down UPS and won labor’s biggest victory in decades.

The contract pitted a Fortune 500 company that was accelerating toward a low-wage, part-time future—against a grassroots campaign intent on applying the brakes.

The strike was also a showdown between union reformers and business unionism.

Democracy is power, Labor Notes has always argued. The UPS strike put that proposition to the test.

Categories: Labor Notes

The 1997 UPS Strike: Beating Big Business & Business Unionism

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2017-08-15 11:10
The 1997 UPS Strike: Beating Big Business & Business Unionism August 15, 2017 / David Levin<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Twenty years ago this month, 185,000 Teamsters shut down UPS and won labor’s biggest victory in decades.

The contract pitted a Fortune 500 company that was accelerating toward a low-wage, part-time future—against a grassroots campaign intent on applying the brakes.

The strike was also a showdown between union reformers and business unionism.

Democracy is power, Labor Notes has always argued. The UPS strike put that proposition to the test.

Categories: Labor Notes

Why Did Nissan Workers Vote No?

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2017-08-11 15:59
Why Did Nissan Workers Vote No? August 11, 2017 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

There's no sugar-coating a loss this dramatic: 2,244-1,307 against the United Auto Workers, after a 12-year campaign to organize the mile-long Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi.

After four attempts, the UAW has yet to win a plant-wide vote at a foreign-owned auto plant in the South.

Categories: Labor Notes

Why Did Nissan Workers Vote No?

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2017-08-11 15:59
Why Did Nissan Workers Vote No? August 11, 2017 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

There's no sugar-coating a loss this dramatic: 2,244-1,307 against the United Auto Workers, after a 12-year campaign to organize the mile-long Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi.

After four attempts, the UAW has yet to win a plant-wide vote at a foreign-owned auto plant in the South.

Categories: Labor Notes

Spectrum Workers Soldier On in Months-Long Strike

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2017-08-11 13:30

Some 1,800 members of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3 have been on strike at Spectrum/Time Warner Cable in New York and New Jersey since March 28, more than four months ago. Since then, only a fraction of the workforce has crossed picket lines, but the company is working hard to keep up normal operations by using scabs and subcontractors to break the strike.

Categories: Labor Notes

Spectrum Workers Soldier On in Months-Long Strike

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2017-08-11 13:30

Some 1,800 members of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3 have been on strike at Spectrum/Time Warner Cable in New York and New Jersey since March 28, more than four months ago. Since then, only a fraction of the workforce has crossed picket lines, but the company is working hard to keep up normal operations by using scabs and subcontractors to break the strike.

Categories: Labor Notes

With Nike Up to Old Tricks, Students and Workers Launch Global Protests

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2017-08-10 13:22
With Nike Up to Old Tricks, Students and Workers Launch Global Protests August 10, 2017 / Kory Stuer<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

In February Nike launched its “Equality” campaign, professing its commitment to diversity and inclusion. On July 29, students and workers held a Global Day of Action in 25 cities across 12 countries to tell Nike: we’re not buying it.

Workers in garment factories producing Nike apparel say the company’s up to its old tricks, by barring independent inspectors and cutting production from unionized plants. Members of garment worker unions and allies demonstrated in India, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Spain, and eight other countries.

Categories: Labor Notes

With Nike Up to Old Tricks, Students and Workers Launch Global Protests

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2017-08-10 13:22
With Nike Up to Old Tricks, Students and Workers Launch Global Protests August 10, 2017 / Kory Stuer<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

In February Nike launched its “Equality” campaign, professing its commitment to diversity and inclusion. On July 29, students and workers held a Global Day of Action in 25 cities across 12 countries to tell Nike: we’re not buying it.

Workers in garment factories producing Nike apparel say the company’s up to its old tricks, by barring independent inspectors and cutting production from unionized plants. Members of garment worker unions and allies demonstrated in India, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Spain, and eight other countries.

Categories: Labor Notes

Review: In the Fields of the North (En los campos del norte)

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2017-08-08 16:25

Mexican blueberry picker Honesto Silva Ibarra died in Washington state on Sunday after complaining of headaches but being forced by his supervisor to return to work in the blazing sun. He ended up in a coma. When 70 of his co-workers struck Sarbanand Farms to protest Silva's treatment, they were fired the next day and within an hour were thrown out of their company-owned housing.

Categories: Labor Notes

Review: In the Fields of the North (En los campos del norte)

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2017-08-08 16:25

Mexican blueberry picker Honesto Silva Ibarra died in Washington state on Sunday after complaining of headaches but being forced by his supervisor to return to work in the blazing sun. He ended up in a coma. When 70 of his co-workers struck Sarbanand Farms to protest Silva's treatment, they were fired the next day and within an hour were thrown out of their company-owned housing.

Categories: Labor Notes

The Racist Origins of Right to Work

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2017-08-03 11:24

As right-to-work laws proliferate, it's worth remembering that they originated as a means to maintain Jim Crow labor relations in the South and to beat back what was seen as a Jewish conspiracy.

No one was more important in placing right-to-work on the conservative political agenda than Vance Muse of the Christian American Association, a larger-than-life Texan whose own grandson described him as “a white supremacist, an anti-Semite, and a Communist-baiter, a man who beat on labor unions not on behalf of working people, as he said, but because he was paid to do so.”

Categories: Labor Notes

The Racist Origins of Right to Work

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2017-08-03 11:24

As right-to-work laws proliferate, it's worth remembering that they originated as a means to maintain Jim Crow labor relations in the South and to beat back what was seen as a Jewish conspiracy.

No one was more important in placing right-to-work on the conservative political agenda than Vance Muse of the Christian American Association, a larger-than-life Texan whose own grandson described him as “a white supremacist, an anti-Semite, and a Communist-baiter, a man who beat on labor unions not on behalf of working people, as he said, but because he was paid to do so.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Irish Retail Workers Strike for Secure Hours

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2017-08-02 14:52
Irish Retail Workers Strike for Secure Hours August 02, 2017 / Moira Murphy<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

In Ireland the retail sector employs 1 in 7 workers—and their fight for a living wage, secure hours, and union rights is heating up. Recent strikes at the country’s largest private sector employers, Tesco and Dunnes, have grabbed headlines and working-class support.

Categories: Labor Notes

Irish Retail Workers Strike for Secure Hours

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2017-08-02 14:52
Irish Retail Workers Strike for Secure Hours August 02, 2017 / Moira Murphy<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

In Ireland the retail sector employs 1 in 7 workers—and their fight for a living wage, secure hours, and union rights is heating up. Recent strikes at the country’s largest private sector employers, Tesco and Dunnes, have grabbed headlines and working-class support.

Categories: Labor Notes

Making Buses Safer

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2017-08-01 11:11

After two passengers died in a horrific stabbing on a train in Portland, Oregon, the transit agency upped police presence. But the union is pushing for a different solution.

The May 26 incident began with a man yelling racist slurs at two young women of color. When three passengers defended the women, the man stabbed them.

Categories: Labor Notes

Making Buses Safer

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2017-08-01 11:11

After two passengers died in a horrific stabbing on a train in Portland, Oregon, the transit agency upped police presence. But the union is pushing for a different solution.

The May 26 incident began with a man yelling racist slurs at two young women of color. When three passengers defended the women, the man stabbed them.

Categories: Labor Notes
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