Steward's Corner

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Updated: 9 hours 39 min ago

Viewpoint: Unions Aren’t Exclusive Clubs—We Fight for All Workers

Fri, 2018-08-17 09:16

Editor's note: This viewpoint is part of an ongoing debate about how unions should deal with free riders. Check out previous installments here.

Viewpoints

Introduction: How Should Unions Deal With Free Riders?

Categories: Labor Notes

Building a Rapid-Response Network to Defend Immigrant Workers

Thu, 2018-08-16 11:39
Building a Rapid-Response Network to Defend Immigrant Workers August 16, 2018 / Dan DiMaggio and Pioneer Valley Workers Center Staff<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

As the Trump administration cracks down on undocumented immigrants, it’s urgent for worker centers and unions to organize to defend immigrant members.

In Western Massachusetts, the Pioneer Valley Workers Center has created a rapid-response network it calls “Sanctuary in the Streets” (SiS). The worker center, founded in 2014, organizes restaurant workers and farmworkers in the area. Worker committees set the network's priorities.

Categories: Labor Notes

Review: Labor and the Class Idea in the U.S. and Canada

Thu, 2018-08-09 14:35

In 1965, in both Canada and the U.S., about 30 percent of the workforce was represented by unions. This figure, called union density, had been close between the two countries for 50 years. Often, density in the U.S. was a little bit higher than in Canada.

But starting in the mid-1960s, our paths diverged. Union density in the U.S. began to fall, while in Canada it kept climbing.

Canada’s union density peaked at 38 percent in the early 1980s. By 2017 it had fallen to 28.6 percent—but that’s still substantially higher than the 10.7 percent in the U.S.

Categories: Labor Notes

Missouri Voters Overwhelmingly Reject ‘Right to Work’

Wed, 2018-08-08 15:36

Unions in Missouri are declaring victory after voters shot down a Republican-backed “right-to-work” law by a hefty 2 to 1.

The final vote count was 937,241 against the legislation to 452,075 in favor.

Missouri became the 28th state with a right-to-work law on the books in February 2017, when Republican Governor Eric Greitens signed the law at a ceremony in an abandoned factory.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: How to Talk with Nonunion Workers about ‘Right to Work’

Tue, 2018-08-07 15:11

Today Missouri voters are at the polls in a referendum to repeal the state’s “right-to-work” law, thanks to the heroic efforts of union members and allies who gathered 310,657 signatures last year to block implementation of the anti-union law until voters could decide. Legislative Republicans pushed the referendum date back to August, instead of the November ballot, to suppress turnout.

Categories: Labor Notes

Tech Workers and Flight Attendants Resist Immigrant Family Separation

Mon, 2018-08-06 14:15
Tech Workers and Flight Attendants Resist Immigrant Family Separation August 06, 2018 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

The brutal and wildly unpopular Trump administration policy that separated thousands of children from their immigrant parents triggered widespread protests.

It also provoked resistance from workers whose jobs are crucial to carrying it out.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) don’t operate in a vacuum. They depend on a host of products and services—including technology produced by software engineers and travel assisted by flight attendants.

Categories: Labor Notes

South Korea: After 12 Years of Protests, Women Workers Get ‘Dream Jobs’ Back

Thu, 2018-08-02 18:19
South Korea: After 12 Years of Protests, Women Workers Get ‘Dream Jobs’ Back August 02, 2018 / Yi San<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

After 12 years of campaigns and protests against unjust layoffs, 180 female attendants at South Korea’s premier train service are getting their jobs back. These tenacious women workers defeated a ham-handed privatization effort and corrupt political collusion.

The KTX is South Korea’s answer to bullet trains. The country’s Railroad Administration launched it in 2004 and selected 351 female attendants, all in their twenties, from a pool of 4,600 applicants who dreamed of becoming “flight attendants on the ground.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Vermont's Striking Nurses Want A Raise for Nonunion Workers Too

Thu, 2018-08-02 10:30
Vermont's Striking Nurses Want A Raise for Nonunion Workers Too August 02, 2018 / Jonah Furman<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Especially for professional workers, when your main strike issue is pay, attracting public support can be a challenge.

Savvy employers paint union members as spoiled. They like to point out that you’re already making more than many of your nonunion neighbors.

Yet when 1,800 nurses and technical staff struck for better wages July 12-13 at the state’s second-largest employer, the University of Vermont Medical Center, the people of Burlington came out in force to back them up.

Categories: Labor Notes

Union Election Invigorates Rhode Island Nurse Strike

Thu, 2018-08-02 10:22
Union Election Invigorates Rhode Island Nurse Strike August 02, 2018 / Jonah Furman<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Another big nurse strike this summer drew momentum from a surprising source—a hard-fought internal union election that ended in a toss-up between two factions.

At Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, 2,400 nurses and other professionals walked off the job July 23. After enduring a 10-year freeze on starting pay, they want a raise to help attract more nurses.

Categories: Labor Notes

T-Shirt Ban Energizes Michigan Nurses

Wed, 2018-08-01 13:04
T-Shirt Ban Energizes Michigan Nurses August 01, 2018 / Anne Jackson<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Stewards and active rank and filers at the University of Michigan Hospital have been working hard to engage a membership that has not had to fight for a contract in seven years. It was slow going at first, trying to get 5,800 nurses at maize and blue U of M to wear red to show our union solidarity as we bargain.

Categories: Labor Notes

UPS Teamsters Take On Two-Tier

Mon, 2018-07-30 16:59
UPS Teamsters Take On Two-Tier July 30, 2018 / Alexandra Bradbury<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

There are no flashy special effects in Tyler Binder’s 12-minute video, “Why the UPS 2018 contract sucks!”

No stirring soundtrack, no animation, no laugh track. It’s just him and his whiteboard, explaining in plain language how the tentative agreement would affect every group of workers.

But the video went viral. Just two weeks after he uploaded it, it had 90,000 views on Facebook and 50,000 on YouTube.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Any Janus Solution That Ignores Free Riders Is Star-Crossed and Unfair

Fri, 2018-07-27 12:03

Chris Brooks has written an important critique of the direct reimbursement proposal that I and others have sugges

Categories: Labor Notes

Trump Launches War on Federal Unions

Thu, 2018-07-26 11:48
Trump Launches War on Federal Unions July 26, 2018 / Jim Campana<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Federal employees are at war with a presidential administration that’s bent on busting their unions. They rallied around the country July 25, their day in court as federal unions sue to halt three anti-union executive orders.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Boss Can’t Be Janus Fix

Wed, 2018-07-25 13:03

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, a new approach to financing unions called “direct reimbursement” is gaining traction with Democratic politicians, academics, and even the New York Times editorial board.

It boils down to this: rather than public sector workers paying dues, their government employer would pay an equivalent amount directly to the union.

Categories: Labor Notes

Review: Chinese Workers Strike against Runaway Factories

Fri, 2018-07-20 13:36

China has more strikes per year than any other country, many thousands. These strikes are often unplanned, spontaneous, even chaotic, and the bosses stop at nothing to suppress them: they lie, cheat, call in the police, and hire gangsters to intimidate strikers or even beat them up.

But the strikes keep happening—especially when it becomes clear, usually by the removal of machinery, that the owner is relocating the factory. These frequent relocations have one main cause: employers are moving to regions of China where the wages are lower.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Making the Union a Personal Choice Gives Ground to the Boss

Fri, 2018-07-06 13:53

Editor's note: This viewpoint is part of an ongoing debate about how unions should deal with free riders. Check out previous installments here.

Viewpoints

Introduction: How Should Unions Deal With Free Riders?

Categories: Labor Notes

Welcome, Bianca and Barbara!

Tue, 2018-07-03 14:32

Labor Notes is thrilled to announce two fantastic new hires! Bianca Cunningham and Barbara Madeloni will be joining our staff this summer.

Bianca Cunningham will be our newest Staff Organizer. Bianca got her start in the labor movement as a Verizon retail worker—she was a leader in the 2014 drive that won a union at seven stores, breaking into wireless retail for the first time in company history. Those workers went on to win their first union contract when they joined landline workers in the electrifying 2016 Verizon strike.

Categories: Labor Notes

Be Democratic

Mon, 2018-07-02 15:00
Be Democratic July 02, 2018 / Labor Notes<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Organizing in its best sense—helping people work together to achieve what they want—is at the root of union democracy.

Categories: Labor Notes

Fight the Boss

Mon, 2018-07-02 14:55
Fight the Boss July 02, 2018 / Labor Notes<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

You’re not asking co-workers to join a social club or an insurance plan. You’re asking them to join a fight over issues that matter.

Categories: Labor Notes

Turn Up the Heat

Mon, 2018-07-02 14:50
Turn Up the Heat July 02, 2018 / Labor Notes<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

To scale up and tackle big goals takes time and planning. A good campaign starts small and builds.

Categories: Labor Notes