Labor Notes

After 18 Months, Striking Warrior Met Miners and Families Hold the Line

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2022-10-07 12:34

A somber bell toll broke the silence outside the West Brookwood Church in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. The white-gloved hand of Larry Spencer, International Vice President of Mine Workers (UMWA) District 20, solemnly struck the Miners’ Memorial bell as the names of victims of mine-related deaths were read aloud.

Categories: Labor Notes

After 18 Months, Striking Warrior Met Miners and Families Hold the Line

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2022-10-07 12:34

A somber bell toll broke the silence outside the West Brookwood Church in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. The white-gloved hand of Larry Spencer, International Vice President of Mine Workers (UMWA) District 20, solemnly struck the Miners’ Memorial bell as the names of victims of mine-related deaths were read aloud.

Categories: Labor Notes

'Society Has Shut Down On Us:' Prison Strikers Across Alabama Demand Change Despite Severe Retaliation

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2022-10-06 09:54

Across the state of Alabama, where the state’s longest-ever strike is currently ongoing at Warrior Met Coal after over 18 months, another historic labor stoppage is in its second week. Thousands of incarcerated people at every major male prison in Alabama have refused to report to their work assignments.

Categories: Labor Notes

'Society Has Shut Down On Us:' Prison Strikers Across Alabama Demand Change Despite Severe Retaliation

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2022-10-06 09:54

Across the state of Alabama, where the state’s longest-ever strike is currently ongoing at Warrior Met Coal after over 18 months, another historic labor stoppage is in its second week. Thousands of incarcerated people at every major male prison in Alabama have refused to report to their work assignments.

Categories: Labor Notes

Employers' Productivity Standards Are Not Real Science. Here's How to Push Back

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2022-09-30 18:57

This article, the first in a series on how to deal with workplace monitoring technology, focuses on grievances. Future articles will discuss organizing and preparing to bargain over these issues.

Whether you’re working in a warehouse or piano factory, processing insurance claims, or taking care of patients, the use of worker productivity monitoring continues to expand.

Workplaces where jobs are monitored and measured—and workers required to meet certain performance metrics—pose a particular set of challenges for stewards.

Categories: Labor Notes

Employers' Productivity Standards Are Not Real Science. Here's How to Push Back

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2022-09-30 18:57

This article, the first in a series on how to deal with workplace monitoring technology, focuses on grievances. Future articles will discuss organizing and preparing to bargain over these issues.

Whether you’re working in a warehouse or piano factory, processing insurance claims, or taking care of patients, the use of worker productivity monitoring continues to expand.

Workplaces where jobs are monitored and measured—and workers required to meet certain performance metrics—pose a particular set of challenges for stewards.

Categories: Labor Notes

GEICO Workers Launch Union Effort, Management Says Call the Cops

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2022-09-28 08:04

GEICO insurance sales rep Lila Balali first started thinking about a union early in the pandemic. “I didn’t really know what a union was,” she says, “just that it was something for the employee.”

She and her co-workers had been abruptly sent to work from home, where she set up a cramped workspace. “We were taking calls on our cell phones, 40 hours a week, our phone to our ear,” she recalls. “You couldn’t get reimbursed or provided a headset.

Categories: Labor Notes

GEICO Workers Launch Union Effort, Management Says Call the Cops

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2022-09-28 08:04

GEICO insurance sales rep Lila Balali first started thinking about a union early in the pandemic. “I didn’t really know what a union was,” she says, “just that it was something for the employee.”

She and her co-workers had been abruptly sent to work from home, where she set up a cramped workspace. “We were taking calls on our cell phones, 40 hours a week, our phone to our ear,” she recalls. “You couldn’t get reimbursed or provided a headset.

Categories: Labor Notes

Before Your Strike Vote, Consider a Practice Strike Vote

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2022-09-27 08:18

The below is excerpted from the Labor Notes book How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers. Available at labornotes.org/store.

Leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union were pretty sure they would need to strike the school district in the fall of 2012 to win what students and educators deserved.

Categories: Labor Notes

Before Your Strike Vote, Consider a Practice Strike Vote

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2022-09-27 08:18

The below is excerpted from the Labor Notes book How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers. Available at labornotes.org/store.

Leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union were pretty sure they would need to strike the school district in the fall of 2012 to win what students and educators deserved.

Categories: Labor Notes

Frontier Strikes Get First Aid Kits Updated, Win Back Work

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2022-09-23 12:44

“Safety first” is a principle you’ll always hear on the job. And it’s true—safety can save your life, if it’s taken seriously. But if action isn’t taken, it’s just an empty phrase.

When my co-workers and I took action over safety in our workplace, we were retaliated against. This triggered the most useful tool that we have as workers: a strike.

Categories: Labor Notes

Frontier Strikes Get First Aid Kits Updated, Win Back Work

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2022-09-23 12:44

“Safety first” is a principle you’ll always hear on the job. And it’s true—safety can save your life, if it’s taken seriously. But if action isn’t taken, it’s just an empty phrase.

When my co-workers and I took action over safety in our workplace, we were retaliated against. This triggered the most useful tool that we have as workers: a strike.

Categories: Labor Notes

Florida Letter Carriers Won Back Our Sunday Breaks with Direct Action

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2022-09-22 12:30

A simple grievance can take many months to get results. But at the post office where I work, we got fast results defending our breaks with a different approach: direct action.

I’m a city carrier assistant (CCA)—part of the lower-paid second tier of letter carriers—in Naples, Florida. The retention rate for CCAs nationwide hovers around 20 percent.

Categories: Labor Notes

Florida Letter Carriers Won Back Our Sunday Breaks with Direct Action

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2022-09-22 12:30

A simple grievance can take many months to get results. But at the post office where I work, we got fast results defending our breaks with a different approach: direct action.

I’m a city carrier assistant (CCA)—part of the lower-paid second tier of letter carriers—in Naples, Florida. The retention rate for CCAs nationwide hovers around 20 percent.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: UNITE HERE International Should Keep Its Hands Off Local 2’s Pension Fund

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2022-09-21 19:59

I have been a proud member of UNITE HERE Local 2 in San Francisco since 1976, working at several hotel, restaurant, and food service jobs over the years, and now at the Giants’ ballpark. Without Local 2, my life would have been much harder.

But today one of my worst Local 2 nightmares may be coming true. The International Union wants to “merge” Local 2’s pension fund into the massive Las Vegas pension fund.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: UNITE HERE International Should Keep Its Hands Off Local 2’s Pension Fund

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2022-09-21 19:59

I have been a proud member of UNITE HERE Local 2 in San Francisco since 1976, working at several hotel, restaurant, and food service jobs over the years, and now at the Giants’ ballpark. Without Local 2, my life would have been much harder.

But today one of my worst Local 2 nightmares may be coming true. The International Union wants to “merge” Local 2’s pension fund into the massive Las Vegas pension fund.

Categories: Labor Notes

'Bro, How Do I Fix This?': Home Depot Workers Form Independent Union

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2022-09-21 16:00

On September 19, workers filed a petition to organize a union among 276 workers at a Home Depot in northeast Philadelphia. If successful, the independent union would be the first at the home repair chain, the fifth-largest private employer in the U.S with 500,000 employees.

Vince Quiles, who’s worked at the store for five years, says the union effort gathered over 100 signatures for an election in just five weeks.

Categories: Labor Notes

'Bro, How Do I Fix This?': Home Depot Workers Form Independent Union

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2022-09-21 16:00

On September 19, workers filed a petition to organize a union among 276 workers at a Home Depot in northeast Philadelphia. If successful, the independent union would be the first at the home repair chain, the fifth-largest private employer in the U.S with 500,000 employees.

Vince Quiles, who’s worked at the store for five years, says the union effort gathered over 100 signatures for an election in just five weeks.

Categories: Labor Notes

Joe Biden Thinks a Rail Strike has Been Averted. Do Rail Workers?

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2022-09-16 17:40

Just after 5 a.m. on Thursday, Marty Walsh tweeted that the railroad companies and the railroad unions had come to a tentative agreement, less than 19 hours from a potential shutdown:

Categories: Labor Notes

Joe Biden Thinks a Rail Strike has Been Averted. Do Rail Workers?

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2022-09-16 17:40

Just after 5 a.m. on Thursday, Marty Walsh tweeted that the railroad companies and the railroad unions had come to a tentative agreement, less than 19 hours from a potential shutdown:

Categories: Labor Notes
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