Labor Notes

Postal Workers Plan Workers’ Memorial Day Vigils

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2020-04-24 13:15

Workers injured or killed by their jobs are honored every year on April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day. (It’s the anniversary of the date the Occupational Safety and Health Act went into effect in 1971.) This year the somber occasion is especially urgent, in the midst of the biggest workplace safety disaster this country has seen in decades.

Categories: Labor Notes

Postal Workers Plan Workers’ Memorial Day Vigils

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2020-04-24 13:15

Workers injured or killed by their jobs are honored every year on April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day. (It’s the anniversary of the date the Occupational Safety and Health Act went into effect in 1971.) This year the somber occasion is especially urgent, in the midst of the biggest workplace safety disaster this country has seen in decades.

Categories: Labor Notes

Nurses and Community Save Emergency Room on Chicago's South Side

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2020-04-23 16:25

In the midst of a pandemic wreaking havoc on Chicago, a victory was won by nurses and the community served by Provident Hospital. Located on the overwhelmingly black South Side near Washington Park, this institution has a rich history. It was the first hospital in the United States owned and operated by African-Americans, and where the first open heart surgery was performed in 1893 by founder Dr. Daniel Hale Williams.

Categories: Labor Notes

Nurses and Community Save Emergency Room on Chicago's South Side

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2020-04-23 16:25

In the midst of a pandemic wreaking havoc on Chicago, a victory was won by nurses and the community served by Provident Hospital. Located on the overwhelmingly black South Side near Washington Park, this institution has a rich history. It was the first hospital in the United States owned and operated by African-Americans, and where the first open heart surgery was performed in 1893 by founder Dr. Daniel Hale Williams.

Categories: Labor Notes

Class Struggle or Class Snuggle?

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2020-04-22 14:14

At this moment of unprecedented crisis, how can we ensure the physical safety and economic health of U.S. workers? According to a recent USA Today op-ed by four national union leaders—“Coronavirus is a stress test for capitalism, and we see encouraging signs”—the answer is partnering with “well-managed companies” who can “lead the recovery by pulling together and finding new ways to protect, pay and retain employees.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Class Struggle or Class Snuggle?

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2020-04-22 14:14

At this moment of unprecedented crisis, how can we ensure the physical safety and economic health of U.S. workers? According to a recent USA Today op-ed by four national union leaders—“Coronavirus is a stress test for capitalism, and we see encouraging signs”—the answer is partnering with “well-managed companies” who can “lead the recovery by pulling together and finding new ways to protect, pay and retain employees.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Reopening the Economy Will Send Us to Hell

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2020-04-22 13:26
Reopening the Economy Will Send Us to Hell April 22, 2020 / Mike Davis

As we head into the fifth month of the outbreak millions of working families feel like they have been kidnapped and sent to hell.

As unemployment (officially reported) soars toward 30 percent or more, an estimated 20 million more people will fall helplessly below the poverty line. In a recent Pew poll, 60 percent of Latinos reported losing jobs or wages, as did more than half of all workers below the age of 30. In addition to their jobs, millions will lose everything they had spent their lives working for: homes, pensions, medical coverage, and savings accounts.

Categories: Labor Notes

Reopening the Economy Will Send Us to Hell

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2020-04-22 13:26
Reopening the Economy Will Send Us to Hell April 22, 2020 / Mike Davis

As we head into the fifth month of the outbreak millions of working families feel like they have been kidnapped and sent to hell.

As unemployment (officially reported) soars toward 30 percent or more, an estimated 20 million more people will fall helplessly below the poverty line. In a recent Pew poll, 60 percent of Latinos reported losing jobs or wages, as did more than half of all workers below the age of 30. In addition to their jobs, millions will lose everything they had spent their lives working for: homes, pensions, medical coverage, and savings accounts.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: How to Save Transit Workers’ Lives

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2020-04-21 12:40

Transit workers have always known they were essential to the functioning of New York City. Wider public recognition of this fact has come at a high cost.

As of April 20, almost 70 have died. Thousands have been exposed to the virus as they keep the buses and subways running so that health care, emergency, grocery, and delivery workers can get to their jobs. More are likely to die in the weeks to come.

Management of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) likely pushed the number of fatalities up by the steps it took—or failed to take—in February and early March.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: How to Save Transit Workers’ Lives

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2020-04-21 12:40

Transit workers have always known they were essential to the functioning of New York City. Wider public recognition of this fact has come at a high cost.

As of April 20, almost 70 have died. Thousands have been exposed to the virus as they keep the buses and subways running so that health care, emergency, grocery, and delivery workers can get to their jobs. More are likely to die in the weeks to come.

Management of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) likely pushed the number of fatalities up by the steps it took—or failed to take—in February and early March.

Categories: Labor Notes

Building Power in a Pandemic: Virtual Labor Notes Conference Draws Thousands

Steward's Corner - Mon, 2020-04-20 16:25
Building Power in a Pandemic: Virtual Labor Notes Conference Draws Thousands April 20, 2020 / Labor Notes staff

Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates led off the first-ever Labor Notes Virtual Conference April 18, calling on workplace activists to “pivot from mourning into action.

“This is a moment that we won’t get back, and if we’re not careful this moment will dovetail into more austerity,” she said. “I don’t want to go back to 2008....I do not want to go back to what anyone has deemed normal, because normal was insufficient for everyone.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Building Power in a Pandemic: Virtual Labor Notes Conference Draws Thousands

Magazine Stories - Mon, 2020-04-20 16:25
Building Power in a Pandemic: Virtual Labor Notes Conference Draws Thousands April 20, 2020 / Labor Notes staff

Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates led off the first-ever Labor Notes Virtual Conference April 18, calling on workplace activists to “pivot from mourning into action.

“This is a moment that we won’t get back, and if we’re not careful this moment will dovetail into more austerity,” she said. “I don’t want to go back to 2008....I do not want to go back to what anyone has deemed normal, because normal was insufficient for everyone.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Shop Steward in a Pandemic

Steward's Corner - Mon, 2020-04-20 10:41

I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve my fellow Baltimore postal workers as a shop steward for the last decade. Twelve years of challenges and triumphs at the Postal Service have helped define who I am—but no training could have prepared me to represent 1,500 postal workers during a global pandemic.

In these times, members are ready to mobilize and they are looking for guidance from their leaders—which often means their shop steward. In typical times I would turn to more senior stewards and officers for advice. Now we’re all learning together in real time.

Categories: Labor Notes

Shop Steward in a Pandemic

Magazine Stories - Mon, 2020-04-20 10:41

I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve my fellow Baltimore postal workers as a shop steward for the last decade. Twelve years of challenges and triumphs at the Postal Service have helped define who I am—but no training could have prepared me to represent 1,500 postal workers during a global pandemic.

In these times, members are ready to mobilize and they are looking for guidance from their leaders—which often means their shop steward. In typical times I would turn to more senior stewards and officers for advice. Now we’re all learning together in real time.

Categories: Labor Notes

Corona Capitalism in Honduras

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2020-04-17 13:14
Corona Capitalism in Honduras April 17, 2020 / Karen Spring and Judy Ancel

On April 10 residents of Choloma, an industrial town in northern Honduras, blocked the main highway connecting the city of San Pedro Sula to the Port of Cortes. Choloma and nearby towns are the center of sweatshop production for U.S. brands in factories called maquilas. They are also the epicenter of COVID-19 in Honduras.

Categories: Labor Notes

Corona Capitalism in Honduras

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2020-04-17 13:14
Corona Capitalism in Honduras April 17, 2020 / Karen Spring and Judy Ancel

On April 10 residents of Choloma, an industrial town in northern Honduras, blocked the main highway connecting the city of San Pedro Sula to the Port of Cortes. Choloma and nearby towns are the center of sweatshop production for U.S. brands in factories called maquilas. They are also the epicenter of COVID-19 in Honduras.

Categories: Labor Notes

'All Union Members Are Hereby Fired'

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2020-04-17 11:16
'All Union Members Are Hereby Fired' April 17, 2020 / Andrew Tillett-Saks

While workers around the world scramble for physical and economic safety in the pandemic, some factory owners in Southeast Asia see an opportunity to attack unions to increase their profits.

On March 28 the Myan Mode garment factory in Yangon, Myanmar, permanently fired all 520 union members working in the factory and withheld March wages, citing a decrease in orders due to COVID-19. But the Korea-based owners kept all 700 workers who are not members of the union, and the factory continues to operate.

Categories: Labor Notes

'All Union Members Are Hereby Fired'

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2020-04-17 11:16
'All Union Members Are Hereby Fired' April 17, 2020 / Andrew Tillett-Saks

While workers around the world scramble for physical and economic safety in the pandemic, some factory owners in Southeast Asia see an opportunity to attack unions to increase their profits.

On March 28 the Myan Mode garment factory in Yangon, Myanmar, permanently fired all 520 union members working in the factory and withheld March wages, citing a decrease in orders due to COVID-19. But the Korea-based owners kept all 700 workers who are not members of the union, and the factory continues to operate.

Categories: Labor Notes

Nurses Across the U.S. Protest Dangerous Conditions and For-Profit Health Care

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2020-04-16 15:45
Nurses Across the U.S. Protest Dangerous Conditions and For-Profit Health Care April 16, 2020 / Labor Notes staff

Nurse union activists organized actions at hospitals across the country yesterday, a national day of action to draw attention to how the U.S.’s profit-driven health care system is failing workers and patients alike.

The actions were coordinated through a series of calls organized by Labor Notes—which has been helping grow a network of rank-and-file nurse activists for more than a year—and were inspired by the protests organized at New York City hospitals in previous weeks.

Categories: Labor Notes

Nurses Across the U.S. Protest Dangerous Conditions and For-Profit Health Care

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2020-04-16 15:45
Nurses Across the U.S. Protest Dangerous Conditions and For-Profit Health Care April 16, 2020 / Labor Notes staff

Nurse union activists organized actions at hospitals across the country yesterday, a national day of action to draw attention to how the U.S.’s profit-driven health care system is failing workers and patients alike.

The actions were coordinated through a series of calls organized by Labor Notes—which has been helping grow a network of rank-and-file nurse activists for more than a year—and were inspired by the protests organized at New York City hospitals in previous weeks.

Categories: Labor Notes
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