Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Burgerville Workers’ Lessons for Independent Unions

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2023-01-25 11:23

Self-organizing a union on a shoestring? Winning the supposedly unwinnable? Workers at a local burger chain out of Portland, Oregon, were doing it before it was cool.

The Burgerville Workers Union, which went public in 2016 and won its first contract in 2021, has recently been influencing and supporting independent union efforts in the region—and it has a few lessons to offer independent unions around the country.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Burgerville Workers’ Lessons for Independent Unions

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2023-01-25 11:23

Self-organizing a union on a shoestring? Winning the supposedly unwinnable? Workers at a local burger chain out of Portland, Oregon, were doing it before it was cool.

The Burgerville Workers Union, which went public in 2016 and won its first contract in 2021, has recently been influencing and supporting independent union efforts in the region—and it has a few lessons to offer independent unions around the country.

Categories: Labor Notes

South Korea: Intelligence Agency Raids Top Union Confederation

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2023-01-24 12:14

South Korea’s intelligence agency raided the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the country’s largest organization of independent unions, and an affiliate on January 18.

The high-profile raid, over alleged ties between four former and current union officers and North Korean agents, has raised fears that the conservative government is reverting to dictatorship-era methods of attacking labor by conflating organizing with threats to national security.

Categories: Labor Notes

South Korea: Intelligence Agency Raids Top Union Confederation

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2023-01-24 12:14

South Korea’s intelligence agency raided the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the country’s largest organization of independent unions, and an affiliate on January 18.

The high-profile raid, over alleged ties between four former and current union officers and North Korean agents, has raised fears that the conservative government is reverting to dictatorship-era methods of attacking labor by conflating organizing with threats to national security.

Categories: Labor Notes

Workers at Hooters-Style Restaurant Strike, Protesting Racist Sexist Manager

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2023-01-24 11:54

Latino immigrant kitchen workers and a group of racially diverse women servers walked out at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Brentwood, Tennessee, on Saturday, January 14. They say their employer is serving up of a toxic brew of racism and sexism.

“We went on strike to fire a manager because he is mistreating my co-workers verbally and physically,” Juan Carlos Mendoza, a barback with six years at the restaurant, told the Spanish-language news channel Nashville Noticias. “The manager is a racist… and that’s why we raised our voices.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Workers at Hooters-Style Restaurant Strike, Protesting Racist Sexist Manager

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2023-01-24 11:54

Latino immigrant kitchen workers and a group of racially diverse women servers walked out at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Brentwood, Tennessee, on Saturday, January 14. They say their employer is serving up of a toxic brew of racism and sexism.

“We went on strike to fire a manager because he is mistreating my co-workers verbally and physically,” Juan Carlos Mendoza, a barback with six years at the restaurant, told the Spanish-language news channel Nashville Noticias. “The manager is a racist… and that’s why we raised our voices.”

Categories: Labor Notes

How We Began To Bring the Mail Back

Steward's Corner - Mon, 2023-01-23 13:57

Across the country and here in Portland, Oregon, carriers are working 12-, 14-, and 16-hour days, into the dark as late as 9 p.m., 10 p.m., even midnight! At several stations we have begun to bring the mail back at 12 hours (or 10 hours) and stop work at 60 hours in a week.

We are refusing orders to continue delivering. Filing form 1767 (hazardous conditions, “exhausted”) and form 1571 (undelivered mail). And we are getting away with it.

Categories: Labor Notes

How We Began To Bring the Mail Back

Magazine Stories - Mon, 2023-01-23 13:57

Across the country and here in Portland, Oregon, carriers are working 12-, 14-, and 16-hour days, into the dark as late as 9 p.m., 10 p.m., even midnight! At several stations we have begun to bring the mail back at 12 hours (or 10 hours) and stop work at 60 hours in a week.

We are refusing orders to continue delivering. Filing form 1767 (hazardous conditions, “exhausted”) and form 1571 (undelivered mail). And we are getting away with it.

Categories: Labor Notes

Ballots Out in UAW Presidential Run-Off

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2023-01-20 12:50

The run-off election for president of the United Auto Workers is underway. Ballots hit the mail January 12 and counting will start March 1.

The election pits challenger Shawn Fain, an electrician from Kokomo, Indiana, and an international rep, against incumbent president Ray Curry. The 400,000-member union represents workers at the Big Three auto plants, auto parts factories, and other sectors including heavy equipment manufacturing and higher education.

Categories: Labor Notes

Ballots Out in UAW Presidential Run-Off

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2023-01-20 12:50

The run-off election for president of the United Auto Workers is underway. Ballots hit the mail January 12 and counting will start March 1.

The election pits challenger Shawn Fain, an electrician from Kokomo, Indiana, and an international rep, against incumbent president Ray Curry. The 400,000-member union represents workers at the Big Three auto plants, auto parts factories, and other sectors including heavy equipment manufacturing and higher education.

Categories: Labor Notes

Mexican Auto Parts Plant Is Battleground For Independent Union’s First Contract Fight

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2023-01-20 12:20

In the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, auto parts workers are throwing down yet again against their employer, Michigan-based VU Manufacturing, and its chosen union, the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM).

Last August, VU workers voted to form an independent union, the Mexican Workers’ League (la Liga), defeating management’s effort to impose an employer-friendly union affiliated with the CTM.

Categories: Labor Notes

Mexican Auto Parts Plant Is Battleground For Independent Union’s First Contract Fight

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2023-01-20 12:20

In the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, auto parts workers are throwing down yet again against their employer, Michigan-based VU Manufacturing, and its chosen union, the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM).

Last August, VU workers voted to form an independent union, the Mexican Workers’ League (la Liga), defeating management’s effort to impose an employer-friendly union affiliated with the CTM.

Categories: Labor Notes

Review: Don’t Bleed in the Shark Pool

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2023-01-17 20:59

A woman navigating the challenges of the male workplace makes a good story, and Hilary Peach does the genre proud in her new book, Thick Skin: Field Notes from a Sister in the Brotherhood.

Categories: Labor Notes

Review: Don’t Bleed in the Shark Pool

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2023-01-17 20:59

A woman navigating the challenges of the male workplace makes a good story, and Hilary Peach does the genre proud in her new book, Thick Skin: Field Notes from a Sister in the Brotherhood.

Categories: Labor Notes

Virginia Transit Strikers Fight Privatized Race to the Bottom

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2023-01-13 14:33

Around 130 workers who operate, fix, and dispatch buses in Loudoun County, Virginia, went on strike Wednesday morning.

They’re up against Keolis, a French multinational and one of the largest private operators of public transit systems in the U.S. The company has challenged the union’s right to strike, its right to a contract, and even its existence.

Categories: Labor Notes

Virginia Transit Strikers Fight Privatized Race to the Bottom

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2023-01-13 14:33

Around 130 workers who operate, fix, and dispatch buses in Loudoun County, Virginia, went on strike Wednesday morning.

They’re up against Keolis, a French multinational and one of the largest private operators of public transit systems in the U.S. The company has challenged the union’s right to strike, its right to a contract, and even its existence.

Categories: Labor Notes

What Today's Union Reformers Can Learn from Miners for Democracy

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2023-01-06 11:15

Originally published at In These Times.

In December 1972, coal miners rocked the American labor movement by electing three reformers as top officers of the Mine Workers (UMWA), a union which at the time boasted 200,000 members and a culture of workplace militancy without peer.

Categories: Labor Notes

What Today's Union Reformers Can Learn from Miners for Democracy

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2023-01-06 11:15

Originally published at In These Times.

In December 1972, coal miners rocked the American labor movement by electing three reformers as top officers of the Mine Workers (UMWA), a union which at the time boasted 200,000 members and a culture of workplace militancy without peer.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: What Message Does a ‘Vote No’ Campaign Send?

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2023-01-05 20:19

In December, the contract bargaining team for Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2865 brought back a tentative agreement with the University of California and presented it to its membership of teaching assistants, graders and tutors for ratification. A lively “vote no” campaign arose.

A vote no campaign sends a very public message. Does it tell the boss that the union is divided, and therefore weak, or does it warn the boss that members are ready to fight for more? What does it say about the union and the union leadership?

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: What Message Does a ‘Vote No’ Campaign Send?

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2023-01-05 20:19

In December, the contract bargaining team for Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2865 brought back a tentative agreement with the University of California and presented it to its membership of teaching assistants, graders and tutors for ratification. A lively “vote no” campaign arose.

A vote no campaign sends a very public message. Does it tell the boss that the union is divided, and therefore weak, or does it warn the boss that members are ready to fight for more? What does it say about the union and the union leadership?

Categories: Labor Notes
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