Labor Notes

Seattle Teachers End Week-Long Strike

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2022-09-14 19:13

Six thousand Seattle educators walked out on strike September 7, which would have been the first day of school. The top issue was the district’s proposal—disguised in social justice language—to end student-teacher ratios for many categories of special education.

Also key were struggles over class size, cuts to services, and wages, especially for substitutes and paraprofessionals, who often work most closely with students with disabilities.

Categories: Labor Notes

Seattle Teachers End Week-Long Strike

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2022-09-14 19:13

Six thousand Seattle educators walked out on strike September 7, which would have been the first day of school. The top issue was the district’s proposal—disguised in social justice language—to end student-teacher ratios for many categories of special education.

Also key were struggles over class size, cuts to services, and wages, especially for substitutes and paraprofessionals, who often work most closely with students with disabilities.

Categories: Labor Notes

Workers at Big South Florida Hotel Boost Minimum Pay to $20, Retain Union Jobs

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2022-09-14 16:16

Weeks after a big strike vote, 450 hotel workers at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract that boosts minimum hourly pay to $20, halts subcontracting, and restores daily housekeeping.

Categories: Labor Notes

Workers at Big South Florida Hotel Boost Minimum Pay to $20, Retain Union Jobs

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2022-09-14 16:16

Weeks after a big strike vote, 450 hotel workers at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract that boosts minimum hourly pay to $20, halts subcontracting, and restores daily housekeeping.

Categories: Labor Notes

The Right to Strike Is at Stake on the Railroads

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2022-09-14 11:34

Originally published at Jacobin.

For months, 125,000 union railroad workers have been stuck at an impasse with their employers, who are united under the banner of the Association of American Railroads. The terms of the dispute should be familiar to most workers: attendance policy, staffing, and wage increases. Despite record profits, rail employers have cut staffing, placing enormous burdens on workers that aren’t reflected in their pay.

Categories: Labor Notes

The Right to Strike Is at Stake on the Railroads

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2022-09-14 11:34

Originally published at Jacobin.

For months, 125,000 union railroad workers have been stuck at an impasse with their employers, who are united under the banner of the Association of American Railroads. The terms of the dispute should be familiar to most workers: attendance policy, staffing, and wage increases. Despite record profits, rail employers have cut staffing, placing enormous burdens on workers that aren’t reflected in their pay.

Categories: Labor Notes

After Strike Threat, Wisconsin Nurses Get a Possible Path to Union Recognition

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2022-09-13 14:08

A three-day strike by Wisconsin nurses is off this week, after SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin (part of the Service Employees union) and UW Health (the University of Wisconsin's medical system) reached an agreement on a path toward the potential recognition of the union. The deal came after five days of mediation conducted by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC), a state agency regulating labor relations in the public sector, and under the auspices of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

Categories: Labor Notes

After Strike Threat, Wisconsin Nurses Get a Possible Path to Union Recognition

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2022-09-13 14:08

A three-day strike by Wisconsin nurses is off this week, after SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin (part of the Service Employees union) and UW Health (the University of Wisconsin's medical system) reached an agreement on a path toward the potential recognition of the union. The deal came after five days of mediation conducted by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC), a state agency regulating labor relations in the public sector, and under the auspices of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

Categories: Labor Notes

Rest in Power, Tim Schermerhorn: Leader of New York Subway Union Reform Effort

Steward's Corner - Mon, 2022-09-12 18:16

Tim Schermerhorn—subway train operator, rank-and-file activist, union militant and officer, socialist, troublemaker, Labor Notes board member, son, husband, father, grandfather, and my dear friend and comrade—died this week.

Tim was hired by the New York City Transit Authority in 1982. As a founder of the Hell on Wheels newsletter in 1984, and later the New Directions caucus, he was central to building the confidence and organization of the generation of transit workers hired after the 1980 transit strike.

Categories: Labor Notes

Rest in Power, Tim Schermerhorn: Leader of New York Subway Union Reform Effort

Magazine Stories - Mon, 2022-09-12 18:16

Tim Schermerhorn—subway train operator, rank-and-file activist, union militant and officer, socialist, troublemaker, Labor Notes board member, son, husband, father, grandfather, and my dear friend and comrade—died this week.

Tim was hired by the New York City Transit Authority in 1982. As a founder of the Hell on Wheels newsletter in 1984, and later the New Directions caucus, he was central to building the confidence and organization of the generation of transit workers hired after the 1980 transit strike.

Categories: Labor Notes

Workers Building New U.S. Embassy in Honduras Strike over Severed Fingers, Illegal Contracts

Steward's Corner - Mon, 2022-09-12 10:39

The Biden administration has pledged that “the United States will work with governments to strengthen ... the enforcement of labor laws, promote decent work, and support workers in exercising their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights,” as one of four pillars of its strategy to address the root causes of migration from Central America.

In Honduras today the U.S. has an opportunity to practice this with the 1,100 workers it has hired to build a new embassy. But it’s blowing it.

Categories: Labor Notes

Workers Building New U.S. Embassy in Honduras Strike over Severed Fingers, Illegal Contracts

Magazine Stories - Mon, 2022-09-12 10:39

The Biden administration has pledged that “the United States will work with governments to strengthen ... the enforcement of labor laws, promote decent work, and support workers in exercising their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights,” as one of four pillars of its strategy to address the root causes of migration from Central America.

In Honduras today the U.S. has an opportunity to practice this with the 1,100 workers it has hired to build a new embassy. But it’s blowing it.

Categories: Labor Notes

Ten Years Ago, Chicago Teachers Gave Us All a Jolt of Hope

Steward's Corner - Sat, 2022-09-10 01:40

On the tenth anniversary of the Chicago Teachers Union’s groundbreaking strike, we’re reissuing our award-winning book How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers. This is the new introduction.

If you feel like your union needs a jump-start—whether you’re a longtime shop steward or just started your first union job—this book is for you.

Categories: Labor Notes

Ten Years Ago, Chicago Teachers Gave Us All a Jolt of Hope

Magazine Stories - Sat, 2022-09-10 01:40

On the tenth anniversary of the Chicago Teachers Union’s groundbreaking strike, we’re reissuing our award-winning book How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers. This is the new introduction.

If you feel like your union needs a jump-start—whether you’re a longtime shop steward or just started your first union job—this book is for you.

Categories: Labor Notes

Rank-and-File Power Is Essential to Rebuilding the Labor Movement

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2022-09-07 17:55

Union democracy—defined as rank-and-file power—is the essential ingredient for restoring the power of the labor movement.

Many leaders of the labor movement know that they need members in motion if they’re to win anything. But too many envision a mobilized labor movement as troops ready to respond to the commands of their officers. Top-down control seems so efficient, and times are desperate. Do we really need democracy to have a movement? After all, aren’t people interested in results—not procedures?

Categories: Labor Notes

Rank-and-File Power Is Essential to Rebuilding the Labor Movement

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2022-09-07 17:55

Union democracy—defined as rank-and-file power—is the essential ingredient for restoring the power of the labor movement.

Many leaders of the labor movement know that they need members in motion if they’re to win anything. But too many envision a mobilized labor movement as troops ready to respond to the commands of their officers. Top-down control seems so efficient, and times are desperate. Do we really need democracy to have a movement? After all, aren’t people interested in results—not procedures?

Categories: Labor Notes

Wisconsin Nurses Set to Strike, As Employer Claims It's Banned from Bargaining

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2022-09-07 10:49

Nurses at UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, will strike for three days next week. The strike comes in response to the hospital administration's continuing refusal to recognize the nurses’ union and growing frustration over compensation issues and deteriorating working conditions.

The dispute goes back to modifications of state laws enacted in 2011, generally known as Act 10. Then-Republican Governor Scott Walker and Republican legislative majorities passed this anti-union law in the face of massive public protests, including a prolonged occupation of the State Capitol.

Categories: Labor Notes

Wisconsin Nurses Set to Strike, As Employer Claims It's Banned from Bargaining

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2022-09-07 10:49

Nurses at UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, will strike for three days next week. The strike comes in response to the hospital administration's continuing refusal to recognize the nurses’ union and growing frustration over compensation issues and deteriorating working conditions.

The dispute goes back to modifications of state laws enacted in 2011, generally known as Act 10. Then-Republican Governor Scott Walker and Republican legislative majorities passed this anti-union law in the face of massive public protests, including a prolonged occupation of the State Capitol.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Confronting the Nature of Work

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2022-09-01 16:03

The word “work” has been associated historically with “compulsion, torment, affliction, and persecution.” Why is this? The answer lies in our economic system.

The driving force of capitalism is capital accumulation. Every business seeks to make maximum profits and then grow as rapidly and as large as possible. The source of this accumulation is our daily labor; without workers, there are no profits and there is no growth.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Confronting the Nature of Work

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2022-09-01 16:03

The word “work” has been associated historically with “compulsion, torment, affliction, and persecution.” Why is this? The answer lies in our economic system.

The driving force of capitalism is capital accumulation. Every business seeks to make maximum profits and then grow as rapidly and as large as possible. The source of this accumulation is our daily labor; without workers, there are no profits and there is no growth.

Categories: Labor Notes
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