Steward's Corner

Syndicate content
Updated: 5 hours 33 min ago

Could We See a Rail Strike?

Thu, 2022-11-24 02:43

Despite fanfare from the White House and Secretary of Labor about averting a rail strike, some freight rail unions could walk out as soon as December 9.

Members of the SMART-Transportation Division, representing 28,000 workers, mainly conductors, this week became the latest union to vote down a tentative agreement. Meanwhile the next-biggest union, the Teamster-affiliated Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, was the latest to vote up its deal.

Categories: Labor Notes

This Year's Biggest Strike Is by 48,000 Academic Workers at the University of California

Wed, 2022-11-23 14:31

Across the prestigious University of California system, tens of thousands of workers walked off the job last week for the nation’s largest strike of 2022, and the largest strike of academic workers in U.S. history.

The energy was palpable as nearly 5,000 academic workers gathered at UC-Berkeley’s campus November 14 to launch our strike. Any last-minute worries dissolved as I stepped onto campus and heard my colleagues, strike captains, undergraduate students, and community members chanting, “48,000 workers strong, we can fight all day long!”

Categories: Labor Notes

Southern Service Workers Launch a New Union

Tue, 2022-11-22 15:00

Hundreds of service workers from across the South gathered in Columbia, South Carolina, November 17-19 to launch the Union of Southern Service Workers (USSW), taking their fight to a new level.

The new organization grows out of the Raise Up, the Southern branch of the Fight for $15 and a Union, a movement backed by Service Employees International Union (SEIU). In addition to fast food, members work in hotels, gas stations, retail, home care, sit-down restaurants, and more.

Categories: Labor Notes

'Above All, Don't Stay Quiet': Philly Immigrant Workers Organize to Change the Restaurant Industry

Fri, 2022-11-18 12:53

The first time Yuris Reyes asked for paid sick leave, she was turned down. “My bosses told me that paid sick leave was only for the managers and not something I was entitled to,” says the Philadelphia restaurant worker.

That didn’t sound right to Yuris, who is a member of El Comité de Trabajadorxs de Restaurante (the Restaurant Workers Committee), a local advocacy group. She filed an anonymous complaint about her employer with the city of Philadelphia, which has had a paid sick leave law on the books since 2015.

Categories: Labor Notes

Strike Wave Rocks Britain, as Unions Confront the Cost-of-Living Crisis

Fri, 2022-11-18 10:32

In Britain today, anyone asking a worker about the direction the country is headed will be unlikely to receive a printable answer.

Categories: Labor Notes

‘No Contract, No Matisse’: Philadelphia Museum of Art Workers Win First Contract After Strike

Thu, 2022-11-17 11:58

After a 19-day strike, members of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) union voted overwhelmingly in October to approve their first contract. Daily pickets had cut into the museum’s attendance and impacted preparation for an anticipated exhibit on the works of French painter Henri Matisse.

After two years of stalled negotiations, the 180 workers of AFSCME Local 397 forced the museum’s hand and attracted public support that placed the museum’s well-crafted reputation at risk.

Categories: Labor Notes

'I Get to Have a Life': Pilots Speak Out on Contract Fights

Thu, 2022-11-17 11:46

Airline labor is at a breaking point. The country’s four largest airlines are facing pilot labor conflicts, all centering on a mismanaged pandemic recovery.

The pilots, split among three unions, share grievances over grueling schedules. They say overwork has depleted their home lives while inflation eats into their paychecks.

Categories: Labor Notes

Undaunted by Fines, Massachusetts Teachers Defy Strike Ban

Mon, 2022-11-14 17:15

Two more illegal strikes have hit Massachusetts! On October 14, members of the Haverhill Educators Association voted to strike. Malden educators voted to strike just a few hours later.

After four days out, Haverhill educators won their demands for school safety and commitment for diverse hiring; those in Malden settled their contract with a one-day strike.

Categories: Labor Notes

El movimiento sindical independiente de México: resumen de las victorias recientes y los desafíos

Fri, 2022-11-11 12:39

El régimen laboral del periodo neoliberal en México está en plena decadencia. Ya era una degeneración del exitoso sistema corporativista, una estructura política de un solo partido en la que el estado controlaba los sindicatos bajo el Partido Revolucionario Institucional, que gobernó durante mucho tiempo.

Categories: Labor Notes

General Strike Threat Beats Ontario's Anti-Worker Law

Thu, 2022-11-10 19:06

Ontario workers delivered a spectacular blow to Premier Doug Ford’s government this week. Just four days after ramming through unprecedented anti-worker legislation, Bill 28, Ford appeared in a hastily called press conference on Monday morning to announce its full repeal.

Ford claimed this was a good-faith gesture to kickstart negotiations with Ontario’s 55,000 education workers, who had entered their second day of an “illegal” strike.

Categories: Labor Notes

After Workers Flee China's Largest iPhone Factory, Activists Demand Accountability from Apple

Thu, 2022-11-10 11:36

Chinese overseas labor activists and allies have launched a campaign demanding accountability from Apple and Foxconn for their gross mistreatment of workers at a Chinese factory where half the world’s iPhones are made. They rallied in front of the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City on November 6, handing out flyers inviting passersby to sign a petition with the support of labor and community organizations across the world.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Support Veterans by Defending, Not Defunding, Public Sector Jobs at the Post Office and the V.A.

Tue, 2022-11-08 17:55

Our nation’s year-round celebration of former military service by 19 million Americans reaches its apex every Veterans Day. On that occasion, there is no louder “thank you for your service” heard throughout the land than the expressions of gratitude that emanate from businesses, large and small.

Categories: Labor Notes

Chicago Teachers: Notes from a Fighting Union

Thu, 2022-11-03 13:57

When I stepped down as Chicago Teachers Union president earlier this year (the union has a dynamic new officer team led by Stacy Davis Gates), I did it partly because I was ready for a change, partly to make room at the top, and partly because I think we need a reckoning about the direction of the labor movement.

Stepping down gives me a chance to write and speak out without the constant and overwhelming work of running a 26,000-person local. This article is the first in what I hope will be a series in which I share some of the insights CTU learned through our struggles.

Categories: Labor Notes

UFCW Reformers Look to 2023

Wed, 2022-11-02 17:33

Next April, 1,200 delegates from the Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) will gather in Las Vegas for the union’s international convention. A new reform group, Essential Workers for a Democratic UFCW, is gearing up for a fight.

The group describes itself as a coalition of rank and filers, local leaders, and not-yet-union workers. Drawing inspiration from the caucuses that have recently won landmark reforms in the Teamsters and Auto Workers, it is pushing for change in three areas: union democracy, new organizing, and coordinated bargaining.

Categories: Labor Notes

Can't Wait Until the Next Labor Notes Conference?

Tue, 2022-11-01 17:46

We’re excited to announce that the next Labor Notes Conference will be April 19-21, 2024, in Chicago. Our last one was the biggest ever, drawing 4,000 workers—and the youngest ever, with lots of newly organized workers.

Who will be the surprising newcomers, the strike warriors, the newly elected reformers at the next conference in 2024? Stay tuned.

Categories: Labor Notes

How to Win NLRB Cases against Union-Busters

Thu, 2022-10-27 20:35

As big brands like Amazon, Starbucks, and Chipotle lash back at worker organizing, union-busting is getting long overdue exposure in the press. But while the stories graphically depict the problem, they don’t offer any solutions.

Though many of the common tactics of union-busting are illegal, there are only insignificant penalties that fail to discourage its lucrative practice. This is the only area of law where attorneys can advise clients to commit perjury in federal court without fear of disbarment or even censure.

Categories: Labor Notes

New Leadership, New Direction in Major Midwest Teamsters Local

Thu, 2022-10-27 19:33

Members overwhelmingly elected new leadership in the 14,000-member Teamsters Local 135, where Dustin Roach and the 135 Members First Slate won with 68 percent of the vote.

The election is a triumph for grassroots action and rank-and-file power, after an intense grassroots member-to-member campaign.

Local 135 is one of the biggest locals in the Teamsters, representing members across Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan as well as 2,000 flight attendants nationwide at Republic Airlines.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: It’s Time to Tap into Labor’s Fortress of Finance

Wed, 2022-10-26 14:47

Despite the recent upsurge in worker militancy, union membership and density have been declining for decades. But a close look at labor’s finances suggests that unions have the economic resources to potentially reverse this decline.

Standard explanations for labor’s decline blame our grossly unfair labor laws, the full-scale corporate attack on organizing and collective bargaining, and economic trends including the decline of manufacturing.

Categories: Labor Notes

Ahead of Halloween, Sysco Teamsters Give Corporate Ghouls the Heebie-Jeebies

Tue, 2022-10-25 18:40

Teamsters in Plympton, Massachusetts, won their strike at America's largest wholesale food distributor with an old-fashioned militant tactic: the mass picket line.

The Sysco strike broke out on October 1. At first there were 100 workers, each with a picket sign, walking a little circle in the driveway leading to the warehouse.

But in the early morning of Monday, October 17, a throng of fellow Teamsters swelled the crowd to 400. A dozen positioned their tractor-trailers athwart exits to block scabs from leaving and entering. Thirteen workers got arrested.

Categories: Labor Notes