Steward's Corner

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Steward's Corner: How to Fight Concessions

Thu, 2020-07-16 15:02
Steward's Corner: How to Fight Concessions July 16, 2020 / Samantha Winslow

We know they’re coming: bosses are going to be pushing for concessions. Many employers are facing financial pain. Tax revenue is missing in cities and states; hotels, restaurants, airlines, and universities are all hurting.

Other union employers are doing just fine, of course: UPS comes to mind, and supermarkets.

Categories: Labor Notes

Concessions Didn't Work Then and They Won't Now

Thu, 2020-07-16 14:01
Concessions Didn't Work Then and They Won't Now July 16, 2020 / Jane Slaughter

As union members return to their jobs, employers will ask them to open their contracts and take concessions.

They probably won’t be called “concessions” this time; employers’ demands for wage cuts and work rule changes will just be “common sense.” “We’re all suffering so we should all sacrifice,” we’ll be told. To save your job, your employer needs your cooperation.

Categories: Labor Notes

Farewell, Samantha

Thu, 2020-07-16 13:10

This month’s magazine is bittersweet; it’s the last one with Samantha Winslow’s name on the masthead, as she leaves the staff.

It’s hard for me to imagine Labor Notes without Samantha. We started working here at almost the same time, eight years ago. Over those years Labor Notes and I have benefited enormously from her organizing knowhow; her excellent political judgment and insights; her keen mind and creativity; and her warm good humor.

Categories: Labor Notes

Concessions and How to Beat Them

Thu, 2020-07-16 12:38
Concessions and How to Beat Them July 16, 2020 / Jane Slaughter

Employers never let a crisis go to waste. The economic crisis created by the global pandemic will be used as a springboard to demand that workers work more and accept less.

To help guide us through this moment, Labor Notes is providing a free digital copy of our first book, Concessions and How to Beat Them by Jane Slaughter. An updated introduction from the author and links to a few relevant articles are included below.

Categories: Labor Notes

Nurses Strike for More Staff at Big Illinois Health Chain

Wed, 2020-07-15 16:24

“After COVID-19, they put a sign up saying ‘heroes work here,’ but they sure aren’t treating us like that in bargaining,” said Olga Deschamps, a nurse at AMITA St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois.

Deschamps is one of 720 registered nurses at the hospital who have been on strike since July 4. The Illinois Nurses Association (INA) has been bargaining with St. Joseph since February; their contract expired May 9.

Categories: Labor Notes

Housing Is a Worker Issue: Why the Labor Movement Should Support the 'Beyond Recovery' Campaign

Wed, 2020-07-15 09:24
Housing Is a Worker Issue: Why the Labor Movement Should Support the 'Beyond Recovery' Campaign July 15, 2020 / Stephanie Luce

The uprising for Black Lives has opened new possibilities for organizing. But besides fighting police brutality, unions and worker organizations can address racial injustice by organizing around the issues of workers' everyday lives.

Categories: Labor Notes

VIDEO: An Introduction to Just Cause

Tue, 2020-07-14 11:06

Labor Notes is pleased to present a series of free webinars taught by veteran Boston labor lawyer Robert M. Schwartz and hosted by Labor Notes staffer Bianca Cunningham.

This webinar is entitled "An Introduction to Just Cause" and is based on the book Just Cause: A Union Guide to Winning Disciplinary Grievances by Bob Schwartz. Among the subjects covered are lax enforcement, due process, hearsay evidence, disparate treatment, and progressive discipline.

Categories: Labor Notes

Flight Attendants Tell Airlines: Don't Even Think About Concessions

Mon, 2020-07-13 13:07
Flight Attendants Tell Airlines: Don't Even Think About Concessions July 13, 2020 / Sara Nelson

The COVID-19 crisis hit airline workers with speed and devastation. Passenger flow through TSA checkpoints fell 97 percent in March compared to a year earlier. In the months since, travel demand has only barely recovered, to 20 percent of a year ago.

Flight attendants know from hard experience the volatility of the airline industry and the harsh impact a crisis can have on airline workers. And this is a crisis like no other in the history of commercial aviation.

Categories: Labor Notes

Why and How SEIU Members Are Calling on Our Union to Expel Cops

Fri, 2020-07-10 12:12

As calls to defund the police rise across the country, many of us are taking stock of our own association with police through our common membership in unions. We’re coming to see the police as a direct threat to us as union members, and we're also frustrated with the ways that too many police exploit the strengths of collective bargaining to avoid punishment for racist actions.

Categories: Labor Notes

In the Face of Mass Unemployment, We Need a 21st Century WPA

Thu, 2020-07-09 10:06
In the Face of Mass Unemployment, We Need a 21st Century WPA July 09, 2020 / Max Page

How can we help the unemployed get good-paying work, advance toward a green world, and get more workers into unions? And at the same time rebuild what has been shattered by two generations of neoliberal attacks—a belief that government's role is to build a more just society?

A 21st century WPA.

Categories: Labor Notes

Chicago Unions Demand to Defund Police and Fund Health Care for All

Tue, 2020-07-07 13:35

A coalition of Chicago unions and community organizations has come together around the call “Black Lives Matter, Health Care Justice Now.” The group is demanding that resources that currently go toward racist policing be redirected toward human services that improve health.

Categories: Labor Notes

They're Back: Concessions Are Coming

Thu, 2020-07-02 12:05
They're Back: Concessions Are Coming July 02, 2020 / Tom Juravich

Although COVID-19 is far from under control and reopening of the economy is stumbling, the airwaves are filled with people telling us how we should be thinking about economic recovery.

Far from a recovery, though, we are facing the worst economic crisis of a generation. The voice of workers and their unions has never been more important, because without us, we have a pretty good idea what’s going happen.

Categories: Labor Notes

Black Workers at Ohio Ford Plant Denounce Racist Taunts

Tue, 2020-06-30 14:09

After this article was published on June 30, some of those quoted in it became concerned about retaliation. Some names have been removed.

Workers organized two protests at Ford Motor Co.'s engine plant in Lima, Ohio, on June 19. One was a picket at shift change made up primarily of Black workers, objecting both to blatant racial insults and to a hierarchy that they allege keeps Black employees from moving up.

Categories: Labor Notes

Can Auto Workers Win the Right to Vote? Here's How Teamsters Did It

Mon, 2020-06-29 11:43
Can Auto Workers Win the Right to Vote? Here's How Teamsters Did It June 29, 2020 / Justin Mayhugh

After former Auto Workers President Gary Jones pleaded guilty in June to charges of embezzling more than $1 million in union funds, the years-long federal investigation into corruption by senior UAW officials is set to move to a new phase.

The government has named the UAW itself as a co-conspirator. That creates a probability that the Department of Justice will bring a case against the union under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act—a maneuver that could result in a government takeover of the union.

Categories: Labor Notes

Postal Day of Action: "We Need the Postal Service!"

Fri, 2020-06-26 17:25

Despite the pandemic, postal workers in at least 18 cities and towns rallied on foot, by car, and even by bicycle June 23 to demand federal funding to save the U.S. Postal Service.

While the House has passed a $25 billion rescue package, the Senate is not expected to take it up until after July 4.

Categories: Labor Notes

How Phoenix Educators Used the ‘Red for Ed’ Momentum to Rebuild Our Local Union

Thu, 2020-06-25 15:31

Two years ago, the Red for Ed movement swept across Arizona. Seventy thousand educators flooded the capitol demanding higher wages and lower class sizes and a stake at the bargaining table.

For many locals in Arizona, the six-day walkout reinvigorated work that had been underway for years. But in the Phoenix Elementary Classroom Teachers Association (PECTA), we used the walkout to totally restart our local.

Categories: Labor Notes

After Labor Board Ruling, Unions Must Shut Door on Management Rights

Wed, 2020-06-24 13:33
After Labor Board Ruling, Unions Must Shut Door on Management Rights June 24, 2020 / Robert M. Schwartz

Since 2017, Republican appointees have firmly controlled the National Labor Relations Board. Not surprisingly, the agency has released a slew of decisions markedly reducing or eliminating union rights.

Categories: Labor Notes

Unions Take Up the Black Lives Banner

Fri, 2020-06-19 10:27

The Black Lives Matter uprising has prompted strong statements about racism and police accountability from top union officials, but the participation of the labor movement has been limited. Several internationals have, to their credit, encouraged their members.

More of the initiative to take action has come from below, with local unions and rank and filers organizing or participating in local demonstrations, pushing local governments and schools to shift resources from policing to community needs, and confronting racism in their own workplaces and industries.

Categories: Labor Notes

Philly Sanitation Workers Rally, Join Demand for PPE, Right to Refuse Dangerous Work

Tue, 2020-06-16 15:52

It hasn’t taken long for workers to figure out that employers see an economic and public health crisis as an opportunity. But Philadelphia sanitation workers are not prepared to give up their safety without a fight.

City budgets everywhere have been devastated by COVID-19. Municipal governments are gearing up for another round of brutal austerity, and public workers will be on the chopping block—making it even more difficult to ensure safe workplaces during a pandemic.

Categories: Labor Notes

It's Time to Make Black Lives Matter in Our Unions

Mon, 2020-06-15 16:42
It's Time to Make Black Lives Matter in Our Unions June 15, 2020 / Bianca Cunningham

The Movement for Black Lives is encouraging union members to plan "Labor for Black Lives" actions in their communities on Friday, June 19—Juneteenth. Actions will be part of M4BL's call to Defend Black Lives all across the world. Find an action in your town and join it, or organize your own and add it to the map.

Categories: Labor Notes