Labor Notes

Organize or Die

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2020-03-20 11:02

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest workplace issue of our lives. Across the country, it is throwing into relief the cold capitalist logic of American workplaces, where the health and safety of workers, their families, and the public is subordinate to the employers' need for profit. The success or failure of our organizing at work today could be a question of life and death for hundreds of thousands.

Categories: Labor Notes

Dispatch from Italy: Class Struggle in the Time of Coronavirus

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2020-03-20 09:27
Dispatch from Italy: Class Struggle in the Time of Coronavirus March 20, 2020 / Leopoldo Tartaglia

This is an edited version of a piece by Leopoldo Tartaglia of the international department of the CGIL, Italy’s largest union federation. Read further down to see how Italian workers have fought for their health with widespread strikes. Thanks to Peter Olney for translation.

Categories: Labor Notes

Dispatch from Italy: Class Struggle in the Time of Coronavirus

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2020-03-20 09:27
Dispatch from Italy: Class Struggle in the Time of Coronavirus March 20, 2020 / Leopoldo Tartaglia

This is an edited version of a piece by Leopoldo Tartaglia of the international department of the CGIL, Italy’s largest union federation. Read further down to see how Italian workers have fought for their health with widespread strikes. Thanks to Peter Olney for translation.

Categories: Labor Notes

Strike First, Then Bargain

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2020-03-19 13:16

Direct action gets the goods. If your employer is still not acting like workers’ lives matter, take a page from union members who are putting muscle behind their bargaining—they're shutting the place down first.

Detroit bus drivers collectively declared Tuesday morning that they weren't going to work without safety precautions. At both the city's two big terminals, they talked among themselves, told management “no way—we need protection,” and called their union.

Categories: Labor Notes

Strike First, Then Bargain

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2020-03-19 13:16

Direct action gets the goods. If your employer is still not acting like workers’ lives matter, take a page from union members who are putting muscle behind their bargaining—they're shutting the place down first.

Detroit bus drivers collectively declared Tuesday morning that they weren't going to work without safety precautions. At both the city's two big terminals, they talked among themselves, told management “no way—we need protection,” and called their union.

Categories: Labor Notes

Verizon Unions Win Model Paid Leave Policy for Coronavirus—Will Other Unions Demand the Same?

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2020-03-18 16:21

The unions representing 34,000 workers at Verizon have negotiated paid leave for union members who can’t work during the COVID-19 outbreak. Will other unions fight for these benefits to protect members?

Like many health care workers, UPS drivers, and grocery workers, telephone workers are on the job as essential workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Categories: Labor Notes

Verizon Unions Win Model Paid Leave Policy for Coronavirus—Will Other Unions Demand the Same?

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2020-03-18 16:21

The unions representing 34,000 workers at Verizon have negotiated paid leave for union members who can’t work during the COVID-19 outbreak. Will other unions fight for these benefits to protect members?

Like many health care workers, UPS drivers, and grocery workers, telephone workers are on the job as essential workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Categories: Labor Notes

Detroit Bus Drivers Win Protections Against Virus Through Strike

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2020-03-18 14:16

Detroit bus drivers collectively declared Tuesday morning that they weren't going to work without safety precautions. Bus service was canceled throughout the city because of “the driver shortage,” as city officials put it.

The drivers' union backed them up and their brief work stoppage, less than 24 hours, won all their demands. Fares will not be collected for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

Categories: Labor Notes

Detroit Bus Drivers Win Protections Against Virus Through Strike

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2020-03-18 14:16

Detroit bus drivers collectively declared Tuesday morning that they weren't going to work without safety precautions. Bus service was canceled throughout the city because of “the driver shortage,” as city officials put it.

The drivers' union backed them up and their brief work stoppage, less than 24 hours, won all their demands. Fares will not be collected for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

Categories: Labor Notes

Auto Companies Announce Closure Following Outbreak of Wildcat Strikes

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2020-03-18 12:33

Update 2:00 p.m. EST, March 18: Following a number of wildcat strikes bubbling up in auto plants with confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the Big Three automakers announced they will begin temporarily suspending production until at least March 30. Honda, a non-union company with several plants in North America, had already announced they were suspending production for a week at full pay.

Categories: Labor Notes

Auto Companies Announce Closure Following Outbreak of Wildcat Strikes

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2020-03-18 12:33

Update 2:00 p.m. EST, March 18: Following a number of wildcat strikes bubbling up in auto plants with confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the Big Three automakers announced they will begin temporarily suspending production until at least March 30. Honda, a non-union company with several plants in North America, had already announced they were suspending production for a week at full pay.

Categories: Labor Notes

Amazon Is Failing Its Workers during the Coronavirus Crisis

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2020-03-18 11:44

Employers, like the government, have been slow to respond to the crisis. Amazon initially limited its response to its tech offices, including in Seattle, where two workers tested positive for COVID-19. Office workers were told to work from home through March, and the company stopped employees’ “non-essential” travel.

Categories: Labor Notes

Amazon Is Failing Its Workers during the Coronavirus Crisis

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2020-03-18 11:44

Employers, like the government, have been slow to respond to the crisis. Amazon initially limited its response to its tech offices, including in Seattle, where two workers tested positive for COVID-19. Office workers were told to work from home through March, and the company stopped employees’ “non-essential” travel.

Categories: Labor Notes

Frontline in a Pandemic: A UPS Worker’s View

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2020-03-17 10:09

Everybody is sharing their thoughts on COVID-19, so I thought I’d share mine. The anxiety in the air even has us laid-back folks on edge.

Everyone has commented on the bans, closures, and overall shutdown. I’m thankful that our [Ohio] governor uses words like science and data when he speaks. What people are talking about less, and worries me more, is what people like myself and my wife are going to be up against.

Categories: Labor Notes

Frontline in a Pandemic: A UPS Worker’s View

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2020-03-17 10:09

Everybody is sharing their thoughts on COVID-19, so I thought I’d share mine. The anxiety in the air even has us laid-back folks on edge.

Everyone has commented on the bans, closures, and overall shutdown. I’m thankful that our [Ohio] governor uses words like science and data when he speaks. What people are talking about less, and worries me more, is what people like myself and my wife are going to be up against.

Categories: Labor Notes

As Rank-and-File Auto Workers Demand National Shutdown, Union Officials Partner with Companies to Keep Plants Open

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2020-03-17 09:47
As Rank-and-File Auto Workers Demand National Shutdown, Union Officials Partner with Companies to Keep Plants Open March 17, 2020 / Chris Brooks

Last week Ford mandated that most of its global white-collar workforce is to work from home indefinitely, starting yesterday. But the company is still requiring blue-collar workers to keep the assembly plants running. Ford workers are to come in even if they are in a high-risk group, such as having a respiratory disease or being older than 60.

Categories: Labor Notes

As Rank-and-File Auto Workers Demand National Shutdown, Union Officials Partner with Companies to Keep Plants Open

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2020-03-17 09:47
As Rank-and-File Auto Workers Demand National Shutdown, Union Officials Partner with Companies to Keep Plants Open March 17, 2020 / Chris Brooks

Last week Ford mandated that most of its global white-collar workforce is to work from home indefinitely, starting yesterday. But the company is still requiring blue-collar workers to keep the assembly plants running. Ford workers are to come in even if they are in a high-risk group, such as having a respiratory disease or being older than 60.

Categories: Labor Notes

Organizing around the World for PTO: Pandemic Time Off

Steward's Corner - Mon, 2020-03-16 17:35

Across the globe, workers are taking action in the face of the coronavirus, pressuring employers to boost paid sick leave, suspend punitive attendance policies, and apply safety measures. While some companies have been proactive, too many have reacted only after workers forced them to.

Categories: Labor Notes

Organizing around the World for PTO: Pandemic Time Off

Magazine Stories - Mon, 2020-03-16 17:35

Across the globe, workers are taking action in the face of the coronavirus, pressuring employers to boost paid sick leave, suspend punitive attendance policies, and apply safety measures. While some companies have been proactive, too many have reacted only after workers forced them to.

Categories: Labor Notes

Solidarity Is Our Only Chance

Steward's Corner - Mon, 2020-03-16 16:40
Solidarity Is Our Only Chance March 16, 2020 / Jane Slaughter

If there were ever a time to say, “I'll fight for someone I don't know,” this is it. If we ever meant it when we said “an injury to one is an injury to all,” now we're seeing why that's so.

The labor movement's cherished values of solidarity and siblinghood are our only chance if we don't want to see our elders die before their time.

Categories: Labor Notes
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