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Updated: 15 hours 8 min ago

Wireless Workers Vote Up Deal at AT&T Mobility

Fri, 2018-01-19 12:22

AT&T Mobility workers in 36 states, who struck for three days last May, finally have a new contract. They had been without one for eight months.

These 21,000 union members work for AT&T’s wireless division in retail stores and call centers and as technicians. They first unionized with the Communications Workers (CWA) in 2005, under a neutrality agreement when the company was known as Cingular.

Categories: Labor Notes

Tax Act: Massive Giveaway to the Rich

Fri, 2018-01-19 12:10
Tax Act: Massive Giveaway to the Rich January 19, 2018 / John Miller<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Judging by what’s in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, Donald Trump and the Republicans who pushed this disastrous bill through Congress in December must have thought American inequality wasn’t unequal enough.

Their act showers benefits on the best-off taxpayers. For the rest of us, it offers only meager tax reductions written in disappearing ink.

In 2018, the Tax Policy Center estimates, taxpayers with incomes of $1 million or more will get an average tax cut of $69,660, while those under $75,000 will get an average cut of $353.

Categories: Labor Notes

Building on Dr. King's Legacy, North Carolina Municipal Workers Kick Off Bill of Rights Campaign

Mon, 2018-01-15 12:15
Building on Dr. King's Legacy, North Carolina Municipal Workers Kick Off Bill of Rights Campaign January 15, 2018 / Sarah Miles<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

A cold snap the first week of this year took a toll on North Carolina’s cities. In Greensboro alone, 38 water mains broke—and despite near-zero temperatures, municipal workers like Charles French were responsible for fixing them.

“We had workers out in frigid weather,” said French, a solid waste equipment operator. “We are the backbone of the city. Without us the city does not run.”

Categories: Labor Notes

The Attack on Workers' Retirement

Fri, 2018-01-12 08:57
The Attack on Workers' Retirement January 12, 2018 / Dean Baker<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

While many current retirees are reasonably comfortable because they have pensions, the future does not look bright for those yet to retire.

Traditional defined-benefit pensions are rapidly disappearing in the private sector—less than 15 percent of workers have them. Most public sector workers still have them—more than 20 million are either now receiving or looking forward to a pension. However, public sector pensions are coming under attack from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other right-wing groups.

Categories: Labor Notes

Trump’s Labor Board Likely to Strip Auto Workers of Southern Victory

Wed, 2018-01-10 13:35
Trump’s Labor Board Likely to Strip Auto Workers of Southern Victory January 10, 2018 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Two years ago the Auto Workers (UAW) broke new ground when skilled-trades workers at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant voted 108 to 44 in favor of unionizing.

It was the union’s first victory at a foreign-owned automaker in the U.S. South.

But the success was short-lived. The UAW went on to suffer several high-profile losses, including at Nissan and Fuyao last year.

Categories: Labor Notes

Why Do Auto Workers Union Drives Keep Failing? A Rank-and-File View

Wed, 2018-01-10 13:28

After losing a high-profile election at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant in 2014, the Auto Workers won a smaller unit: the skilled-trades workers at the plant. Now a Trump-appointed Labor Board is about to undo even that small victory, stripping the skilled-trades workers of union recognition. In response to this news, auto worker Wayne Cliett reflected on what went wrong in the original union drive. —Eds.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Don't Rule Out Giving Up Exclusive Representation

Thu, 2018-01-04 18:55

In Labor Notes, New Labor Forum, and In These Times, Chris Brooks has argued that unions facing the loss of “fair share” payments should not look to free themselves of the obligation to represent non-members in the bargaining unit by giving up exclusive representation.

Categories: Labor Notes

Don’t Fall for the Members-Only Unionism Trap

Thu, 2018-01-04 18:34

One of corporate America’s next big goals might surprise you: passing legislation to prevent unions from having to represent workers who don’t pay dues. This is just the latest of many business-friendly labor law reforms proliferating across the country.

Categories: Labor Notes

How to Jump-Start a Weak Union to Fight Open-Shop Attacks

Tue, 2018-01-02 08:54
How to Jump-Start a Weak Union to Fight Open-Shop Attacks January 02, 2018 / Ellen David Friedman<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Hostile forces are poised to encourage public sector workers to ditch their unions as soon as the Supreme Court rules on the Janus v. AFSCME case in 2018. To stave off a big exodus, many unions are asking workers to commit to keep paying dues. If you’re active in your union, leaders may even be asking you to “sell” membership to your co-workers.

Categories: Labor Notes

Music City Unions Mobilize against ALEC

Fri, 2017-12-22 17:29

A year ago, when local union leaders and activists gathered at our Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee strategic planning meeting, we learned that the right-wing policy group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was hosting its big annual conference in our city in 2018.

A local union rep got up and asked two questions. The first: how many of you know who ALEC is? Almost every hand in the room shot up. The next question, however, left no hands in the air: how many of your members know who ALEC is?

Categories: Labor Notes

Labor Notes: Making Trouble for the Bosses Worldwide

Wed, 2017-12-20 16:23

Labor Notes supporters have been busy spreading our bottom-up approach to building the labor movement all over the globe. Here are a few reports:

Categories: Labor Notes

2017 Year in Review: Turning Lemons into Lemonade

Tue, 2017-12-19 13:20
2017 Year in Review: Turning Lemons into Lemonade December 19, 2017 / Alexandra Bradbury, Samantha Winslow<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

If there’s one lesson labor can draw from the events of 2017, it’s this—to survive and grow in the face of a nationally coordinated employer offensive, we’ll have to use the attacks against us as organizing opportunities.

Categories: Labor Notes

NYC Building Trades Make a Stand at Biggest Project since Rockefeller Center

Fri, 2017-12-15 10:48
NYC Building Trades Make a Stand at Biggest Project since Rockefeller Center December 15, 2017 / Dan DiMaggio<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

New York City building trades unions are in a fight that hits at the very core of their jurisdiction: big commercial office buildings.

At $4 billion and 2.9 million square feet, 50 Hudson Yards will be the city’s most expensive and fourth-largest office building. And it’s just one of 16 skyscrapers slated for Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in U.S. history. This sprawling redevelopment of a former railyard is reshaping a section of Manhattan’s West Side, while employing an estimated 23,000 construction workers over the course of a decade.

Categories: Labor Notes

Honduran Unionists Back Presidential Election Recount

Thu, 2017-12-07 15:33

Hondurans went to the polls November 26 to elect a president, national congress, and local authorities. The elections tested the strength of the neoliberal regime in power since June 2009, when a coup d’etat ousted President Manuel Zelaya, whose government had raised the minimum wage substantially and undermined the interests of the traditional oligarchy. Labor groups were an important part of the resistance to the coup, and they have suffered retaliation accordingly, teachers in particular.

Categories: Labor Notes

My Quarter-Million-Dollar Baby

Thu, 2017-12-07 12:01

Call her our $250,000 baby.

In July my uneventful pregnancy took a turn—I developed a serious condition called preeclampsia and had to deliver a month early. Paloma weighed less than five pounds at birth, and spent a week in neonatal intensive care.

She was one of the larger and healthier babies in the ward; I learned that a stint in baby intensive care isn’t unusual these days. I’m grateful to live in a time and place where babies and mothers can survive what Paloma and I did. A century ago we might not have been so lucky.

Categories: Labor Notes

Ontario Workers and Students Notch Biggest $15 Win Yet

Tue, 2017-12-05 14:48
Ontario Workers and Students Notch Biggest $15 Win Yet December 05, 2017 / Jonathan Rosenblum<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Mainstream politicians often claim that we have to elect progressives to office first, before workers can win big legislation. Ontario workers and students just proved otherwise.

In Canada’s most populous province, a centrist Liberal Party government on November 22 adopted a $15 minimum wage, new card-check union recognition rights, paid sick leave, scheduling rights, and equal pay for temporary and part-time workers, and doubled the ministry of labor’s enforcement staff.

Categories: Labor Notes

Resources for the Rank and File: An Interview with Robert Schwartz

Mon, 2017-12-04 11:24

Labor lawyer Robert M. Schwartz, author of The Legal Rights of Union Stewards, has generously turned over his five immensely popular handbooks to Labor Notes. We asked Schwartz about his experience writing and publishing the books.

Labor Notes: What led you to write labor law handbooks for union representatives and rank-and-file workers?

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Electrical Workers Talk Sexual Harassment over Coffee

Fri, 2017-12-01 12:43

Some days the men I work with amaze me. It was just about time for coffee when the Matt Lauer story broke. [NBC fired the "Today" co-host November 29 over allegations of sexual harassment. -Ed.] So one of the guys says, “Why now? Why are all these women coming out now? Why didn’t they come forward before?”

It became a moment in which we were able to have that heartfelt, tough conversation. I said, “I can tell you from a woman’s perspective and a girl’s perspective.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Jersey Library Workers Get Loud to Win $15

Thu, 2017-11-30 16:25

The best way to increase union membership on the eve of the Janus decision? Build a fighting campaign in your workplace. If there’s no fight, there’s nothing to join.

The 100 library support staff in Camden County, New Jersey, members of Communications Workers Local 1014, provide a good example. We won a contract that will raise minimum pay from $8.92 per hour to $15 per hour by 2019. And the unit went from 65 percent union membership to 93 percent.

Categories: Labor Notes

Health Care Splits Rail Crafts

Tue, 2017-11-28 13:16
Health Care Splits Rail Crafts November 28, 2017 / Dan DiMaggio<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

After nearly three years of bargaining with the nation’s top freight carriers, railroad unions are at odds over a contract settlement that will set the pattern for 135,000 rail workers.

Categories: Labor Notes