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Updated: Teamster Brass Overrule Member 'No' Vote at UPS

Thu, 2018-10-18 16:16
Updated: Teamster Brass Overrule Member 'No' Vote at UPS October 18, 2018 / Alexandra Bradbury<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

This article, originally published October 5, was updated October 8 and October 18 to reflect the results of the vote count and subsequent developments. –Editors.

Exploiting a constitutional loophole, Teamsters brass have declared that the controversial tentative agreement covering 243,000 workers at the package giant UPS is ratified, despite members voting it down by 54 percent.

Package Division Director Denis Taylor weirdly claimed that he planned to keep negotiating to improve the deal—but also that members wouldn't get a chance to vote on any further changes.

Categories: Labor Notes

Getting a Fair Contract Vote

Thu, 2018-10-18 11:27
Getting a Fair Contract Vote October 18, 2018 / Mike Parker and Martha Gruelle<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

With UPS Teamsters steaming after their union brass declared a contract ratified despite a 54 percent vote to reject it, we thought this was a good time to reprint this excerpt from the Labor Notes book Democracy Is Power about common obstacles to a democratic vote, and how to do it right. –Editors

Categories: Labor Notes

Lessons from Teachers on How to Strike and Win

Mon, 2018-10-15 10:26

Teachers across the country this year are breathing new life into the strike—galvanizing members and winning gains.

These strikes are fueled by rank-and-file anger. Many were coordinated not from above by the official union leadership but by networks of activists. The size of the mobilizations and level of organization have caught many by surprise.

Categories: Labor Notes

Chicago Teamsters Mull Strike at UPS

Fri, 2018-10-12 15:49
Chicago Teamsters Mull Strike at UPS October 12, 2018 / Alexandra Bradbury<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

If UPS keeps stonewalling in upcoming bargaining, members of Chicago-area Teamsters Local 705 will take a strike vote in early November, for a possible walkout the week after Thanksgiving. That’s peak season at UPS.

Stewards greeted this morning’s announcement from Secretary-Treasurer Juan Campos, the union’s principal officer, with “lots of rounds of applause,” said bargaining team member and UPS feeder driver Dave Bernt.

There’s one bargaining session left, October 25-26, and Bernt said the union is approaching it in good faith.

Categories: Labor Notes

Beyond $15 at Amazon

Thu, 2018-10-11 11:18

“Power concedes nothing without a demand,” abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass declared 161 years ago.

Last week saw that truth on broad display as Amazon, facing growing political and organizing pressure, announced it was setting a minimum wage of $15 an hour for its U.S. workforce and also raising wages in England.

Categories: Labor Notes

Gas Workers Defend the Next Generation, As Lockout Enters Fourth Month

Wed, 2018-10-10 11:25
Gas Workers Defend the Next Generation, As Lockout Enters Fourth Month October 10, 2018 / Joe Ramsey and Barbara Madeloni<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

There’s a reason his employer wants to eliminate pensions for new hires, said corrosion technician Andy Colleran: “National Grid is trying to break the union from within.”

Colleran is one of 1,200 members of Steelworkers Locals 12003 and 12012 in Massachusetts who have been locked out since June, after the unions refused a two-tier contract.

National Grid is a British-based utility company that provides gas and electric service in Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. The locked-out union members work on gas lines.

Categories: Labor Notes

Teacher Strike Wave: By the Numbers

Thu, 2018-10-04 16:18

Five percent of all U.S. workers in K-12 public education walked out on strike this spring. It’s by far the biggest spike in teacher strikes in a quarter-century.



The strike wave this spring was by far the biggest spike in teacher strikes in a quarter-century.

Categories: Labor Notes

Election Landslide Raises Hopes for Mexican Labor

Thu, 2018-10-04 10:25
Election Landslide Raises Hopes for Mexican Labor October 04, 2018 / Jeffery Hermanson<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

The landslide victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (“AMLO”) in the Mexican presidential election in July has raised workers’ hopes for a revitalized and democratized labor movement.

Independent unions have formed a new federation. They hope to win progressive labor law reform and finally end the reign of corrupt, pro-employer unions.

Categories: Labor Notes

Let Members Lead

Tue, 2018-10-02 13:35

It was a decisive moment in the West Virginia teachers strike. State union leaders, presenting a deal that would leave out some public sector workers, were greeted with a chorus of “back to the table!”

Those educators refused to be talked into a compromise. And, after days out on strike, they knew they had the power to back up that demand.

Categories: Labor Notes

Review: It’s Time to Write Women Back into Labor History

Fri, 2018-09-28 11:51

Union women are leading labor forward. You can see it in the flurry of teacher strikes—Los Angeles teachers were the latest to authorize one—and in the September walkout by McDonald’s workers in many major cities, an anti-sexual harassment action linked to the Fight for $15.

Categories: Labor Notes

NAFTA 2.0: What's the Deal?

Fri, 2018-09-28 09:36
NAFTA 2.0: What's the Deal? September 28, 2018 / Dan DiMaggio<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

What does a renegotiated NAFTA mean for workers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico? At best, it might stem some of the bleeding.

The presidents of the U.S. and Mexico announced on August 27 that they had reached a deal. A month later, Canada is still out of the agreement, though negotiations are likely to continue over the next few months. Text of the draft deal between the U.S. and Mexico may be published as soon as today.

Categories: Labor Notes

Effort to Form Union in China Meets Ferocious Repression

Tue, 2018-09-25 12:01
Effort to Form Union in China Meets Ferocious Repression September 25, 2018 / Elaine Hui<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

A group of workers in China’s manufacturing hub of Shenzhen tried something very rare this summer—they attempted to follow the legal process to set up a union.

University students lent tremendous support. But their employer and the Chinese government cracked down on both the workers and the students with firings, detention, surveillance, and the threat of jail sentences.

Categories: Labor Notes

Are Los Angeles Teachers Next?

Tue, 2018-09-25 10:47
Are Los Angeles Teachers Next? September 25, 2018 / Samantha Winslow<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Who’s next to join the strike wave? The nation’s second-largest teachers local, in Los Angeles, kicked off the school year with a strike authorization vote.

With 81 percent of teachers voting, 98 percent backed a strike if mediation fails this fall.

After working hard to get out the vote across L.A.’s 900 schools and 35,000 members, this landslide result was “the best feeling ever,” said teacher and union rep Karla Griego.

For 18 months, bargaining has gone nowhere.

Categories: Labor Notes

It's Down to the Wire in Tense Talks at Health Care Giant Kaiser

Fri, 2018-09-21 11:12
It's Down to the Wire in Tense Talks at Health Care Giant Kaiser September 21, 2018 / Alexandra Bradbury<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Bargaining between health care giant Kaiser Permanente and a new union alliance representing 38,000 of its employees has come down to the wire.

“Kaiser is playing hardball,” said Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Practitioners President Adrienne Enghouse, a 21-year nurse.

The unions that split from the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions this year to form the Alliance of Health Care Unions have emphasized their commitment to continuing a friendly partnership with the employer.

Categories: Labor Notes

Washington Walkouts Win Teachers Big Raises

Thu, 2018-09-20 16:43
Washington Walkouts Win Teachers Big Raises September 20, 2018 / Barbara Madeloni<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Fifteen districts started the school year on strike in Washington state—the latest to ride the West Virginia wave.

“For my whole life I thought this was just the way it was, that I would have to struggle to have a sustainable life,” said Anna Cockrum, a teacher in Evergreen, out on her first picket line. “I teach students to stand up for themselves, and it is so cool to be living that.”

Categories: Labor Notes

West Virginia Teachers Launch Rank-and-File Caucus

Wed, 2018-09-19 11:28

A group of West Virginia teachers, including rank-and-file leaders of the nine-day strike earlier this year, have launched a cross-union caucus.

WV United aims “to keep people fired up and keep working together,” said Jay O’Neal, who teaches eighth grade in Charleston.

Categories: Labor Notes

Unionized Judges and Public Defenders Demand Due Process for Immigrants

Mon, 2018-09-10 16:31

Why have New York City public defenders been walking out of the courts in the middle of the day to hold spirited demonstrations in support of their clients?

The outcry began last November when Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were reported to lurk in the vicinity of the courts, targeting people as they entered or exited court proceedings.

Legal Aid client Genaro Rojas Hernandez was meeting with his lawyer in Brooklyn when ICE agents grabbed him.

Categories: Labor Notes

Race and Labor: Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Room

Wed, 2018-09-05 09:23
Race and Labor: Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Room September 05, 2018 / April Sims<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

“In your union or workplace, what’s a situation where you’ve observed or experienced racism?” That’s the first question we ask people to discuss, in groups of three, as part of a Race and Labor training that our state labor council has offered for 29 local unions and labor councils so far in Washington state.

Categories: Labor Notes

How Milwaukee Teachers Beat Back Cuts and Busywork

Tue, 2018-09-04 11:24
How Milwaukee Teachers Beat Back Cuts and Busywork September 04, 2018 / Samantha Winslow<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Collective bargaining is all but illegal for public sector workers in Wisconsin. So how did Milwaukee teachers not only block major cuts to public schools but also make gains on workload and health care?

At the height of the red-state teacher strikes in April and May, teachers and school employees in Milwaukee passed around a petition at school committing that to win their demands, they were ready to “do whatever it takes.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: The Agenda of the Mexican Working Class

Fri, 2018-08-31 13:33

Earlier this week, the U.S. and Mexico announced an agreement to update parts of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Below we publish an English translation of a statement from Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, president of Los Mineros (the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel, and Related Workers of the Mexican Republic), on the deal. Gómez Urrutia returned to Mexico to take his seat in the Senate this week, after 12 years in exile on bogus criminal charges filed by the Mexican government after he led vigorous protests following the deaths of 65 miners in an explosion.

Categories: Labor Notes