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Updated: 2 hours 35 min ago

Bay Area Transit Workers Organize for Hazard Pay, Build toward Contract Campaigns

Fri, 2022-01-21 18:58

Oakland transit worker Connie McFarland drove home after a long shift last July 28 and logged onto Zoom for a board meeting of her employer, AC Transit. She joined a chorus of 40 workers and riders who held up the start of the agenda with nearly two hours of public comment.

Their demand: hazard pay for frontline transit workers.

Bay Area Transit Workers Organize for Hazard Pay, Build toward Contract Campaigns January 21, 2022 / Elana Kessler and Richard Marcantonio
Categories: Labor Notes

Mike Parker: A Labor Educator with Impact

Thu, 2022-01-20 20:24
Blog: Blog

Mike Parker, the author of four Labor Notes books and a close supporter and key strategist throughout our 43-year history, died January 15 of pancreatic cancer. Read more about Mike his contributions to the labor movement here. —Editors

While spending 30 years as a working auto worker, Mike Parker had as much or more influence on members of other unions than most full-time labor educators.

Categories: Labor Notes

Rest in Power Mike Parker, 1940-2022

Thu, 2022-01-20 01:00
Author(s): Alexandra Bradbury

Mike Parker, the author of four Labor Notes books and a close supporter and key strategist throughout our 43-year history, died January 15 of pancreatic cancer. He will be hugely missed—remembered as a brilliant thinker, a humble and dedicated movement-builder, and a moral compass and mentor to generations of activists.

Rest in Power Mike Parker, 1940-2022 January 20, 2022 / Alexandra Bradbury
Categories: Labor Notes

As Omicron Rages, Teachers and Students Fight for Safety Measures in Chicago and Elsewhere

Thu, 2022-01-13 16:54
Author(s): Barbara Madeloni

Chicago Teachers Union members voted by 77 percent on January 4 to go fully remote until effective Covid mitigations to protect educators and students were approved by members and enacted, or until the current Covid surge subsided.

Within a week they had a tentative agreement on mitigation measures. Members ratified it January 12 by 56 percent and returned to in-person teaching.

As Omicron Rages, Teachers and Students Fight for Safety Measures in Chicago and Elsewhere January 13, 2022 / Barbara Madeloni
Categories: Labor Notes

Steward's Corner: Using Pressure to Settle Grievances

Wed, 2022-01-05 17:18

What ultimately settles grievances? More often than not, it hinges on the union’s ability to pressure management to settle.

When managers look at the steward and the grievant across the table at a grievance meeting, they must clearly understand that they are dealing with more than just two people. They are dealing with the entire union. Management must also go to the grievance meeting feeling some immediacy, so they don’t drag the grievance out through all the steps.

Steward's Corner: Using Pressure to Settle Grievances January 05, 2022 / from the Union Steward's Complete Guide
Categories: Labor Notes

UPS Drivers Stage a Walk-in to Defend a Fired Co-Worker

Thu, 2021-12-23 01:00
Blog: BlogAuthor(s): Alexandra Bradbury

To protest the unfair firing of a co-worker, on the morning of Tuesday, December 21 150 UPS drivers in Chicago took a simple action: they didn’t go into work early.

Instead, they gathered outside with an inflatable fat cat. They grilled food, played music, and then walked in together, right on time.

This departure from routine was enough to throw their management into a panic.

Categories: Labor Notes

Christmas On Strike: Warrior Met Miners Stick It Out

Wed, 2021-12-22 18:11
Blog: BlogAuthor(s): Luis Feliz Leon

This Christmas, as millions of families settle in to adorn fir trees, the children of striking coal miners in Alabama have asked mainly for practical gifts. Shoes and clothes top their lists, followed by Barbies and Rainbow High dolls, Legos, Nerf guns, and makeup kits.

Categories: Labor Notes

Whatever Happened to 'Eight Hours for What You Will'?

Wed, 2021-12-22 09:38
Blog: BlogAuthor(s): Barbara Madeloni

When Frank Carrico talks about why he and his co-workers at the Heaven Hill distillery went on strike, he talks about family. “I missed out on my kids’ activities” because of forced weekend shifts, he says. “I missed out on a lot, and I don’t want the young people coming behind me to have that happen to them.”

When we spoke, the distillery workers had just come off a six-week strike demanding to maintain a 40-hour week, Monday-Friday, with overtime pay beyond that.

Categories: Labor Notes

It's Awfully Convenient for Shippers that Longshore Workers Get Blamed for Delays, As Contract Fight Looms

Tue, 2021-12-21 11:49
Author(s): Saurav Sarkar

If you ordered a teddy bear or a designer picture frame as a holiday gift, you know that it likely took a lot longer to get here than in past years.

There have been problems getting things from point A to point B since the pandemic started. At one point in October, 77 percent of the world’s ports were experiencing long delays.

It's Awfully Convenient for Shippers that Longshore Workers Get Blamed for Delays, As Contract Fight Looms December 21, 2021 / Saurav Sarkar
Categories: Labor Notes

Who Might Strike in 2022? Hundreds of Big Contracts Will Be Up

Mon, 2021-12-20 14:55
Author(s): Dan DiMaggio

2021 saw high-profile strikes and contract battles that put unions in the public spotlight. And 2022 could potentially be more explosive.

Workers are already sensing their increased leverage in a tight labor market. They’ll be feeling the squeeze of record inflation while their employers rake in profits. There’s every reason to hold the line against concessions, or to win back what they gave away before.

Who Might Strike in 2022? Hundreds of Big Contracts Will Be Up December 20, 2021 / Dan DiMaggio
Categories: Labor Notes

Review: How Labor Can Stop ‘The Privatization of Everything’

Mon, 2021-12-20 01:00
Blog: Blog

Several years ago, Don Cohen, a former central labor council staffer from San Diego, appeared on a panel discussing the privatization threats faced by union members across the country. He and other speakers were addressing a conference of state, county, and municipal workers represented by the Communications Workers (CWA).

Categories: Labor Notes

2021 Year In Review: The Only Way Out Is Through

Fri, 2021-12-17 20:05
Author(s): Alexandra Bradbury

2021 reminds me of a riddle: What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm in your apple. What’s scarier than a year of pandemic? A second year of pandemic.

We’re on new terrain, but labor is finding its footing. This was the year of a sudden “labor shortage,” the year everyone learned the phrase “supply chain problems”—and also the year that many who had been called “essential” saw how quickly they went, in the words of Kellogg’s striker Trevor Bidelman, “from heroes to zeros.”

2021 Year In Review: The Only Way Out Is Through December 17, 2021 / Alexandra Bradbury
Categories: Labor Notes

Troublemakers Schooled in Detroit and Philly

Thu, 2021-12-16 15:39
Blog: Blog

“They called us essential workers, so we believed them.” The labor shortage taught workers we could use the crisis to our advantage. A hundred thousand American workers either went on strike or authorized strikes in Striketober. And on November 20, 210 union members and allies showed up for a Troublemakers School in Detroit, eager to learn how to build power in their workplaces. On December 11 similar numbers did the same in Philadelphia.

After a long in-person hiatus, Labor Notes’ famed local Troublemakers Schools were back in business, catering to pent-up demand.

Categories: Labor Notes

Kellogg's Strikers: We Want a Clear Path Out of Two-Tier, Set in Stone

Mon, 2021-12-13 14:30
Author(s): Jane Slaughter

Update: On December 16, Kellogg's and the BCTGM reached a new tentative agreement. Workers will vote on the five-year deal on Sunday, with results expected by Tuesday.

In contract talks with its 1,400 workers this summer, Kellogg's proposed to remove the union logo from its cereal boxes.

Kellogg's Strikers: We Want a Clear Path Out of Two-Tier, Set in Stone December 13, 2021 / Jane Slaughter
Categories: Labor Notes

Instead of Coal, These Nurses Gave Their Boss 900 Documented Incidents of Unsafe Understaffing

Wed, 2021-12-08 15:36
Blog: BlogAuthor(s): Jane Slaughter

Since the Chief Nurse Executive was “in a meeting,” the nurses taped their petition to a door with a red bow...


Categories: Labor Notes

Supply Chain Snafus Give Santa's Elves New Leverage

Wed, 2021-12-08 01:55
Blog: BlogAuthor(s): Alexandra Bradbury

A new spirit of defiance is spreading on the wind that whips through the North Pole workshop complex. Elves are chafing against long hours and discovering their increased leverage—both resulting from a labor shortage that has jammed up critical points in the supply chain.

Polar warehouses are stacked to the rafters with gingerbread men no one has frosted and headless nutcrackers awaiting a delayed shipment from the parts plant.

Categories: Labor Notes

Teachers Say Students Are Stressed and Fragile—While District Pushes Standardized Tests

Tue, 2021-12-07 12:53
Author(s): Barbara Madeloni

In mid-October six fights broke out in one day at Lawrence High School in Massachusetts. Police were called and arrests made. For those inside the school, this was shocking, but not surprising.

“The unrest is the students’ way of screaming out, ‘We need help,’” said high school English teacher Kristin Colucci. “Their social and emotional needs are not being met.”

Teachers Say Students Are Stressed and Fragile—While District Pushes Standardized Tests December 07, 2021 / Barbara Madeloni
Categories: Labor Notes

The Supply Chain Disruption Arrives ‘Just in Time’

Mon, 2021-12-06 10:35

A global spectacle unfolded in March when the giant container ship Ever Given, bound for Rotterdam from Malaysia, got stuck in the Suez Canal for six days, stopping 150 ships in one day and backing up shipping traffic at an estimated cost of $1 billion (£750 million).

The Supply Chain Disruption Arrives ‘Just in Time’ December 06, 2021 / Kim Moody
Categories: Labor Notes

Johnson Brothers Strikers Take Their Fight to the Customers

Thu, 2021-12-02 13:19
Blog: BlogAuthor(s): Dan DiMaggio

For more ideas on taking your campaign to consumers, see the Steward's Corner by Robert M. Schwartz, "How to Picket Stores That Sell Your Employer's Products."

Striking delivery drivers in Rhode Island are providing a good example of what you can do with a small squad of roving picketers. The drivers, who deliver wine and liquor for Johnson Brothers of Rhode Island, have been targeting stores and restaurants that are accepting scab deliveries.

Categories: Labor Notes

Auto Workers Win Direct Democracy in Referendum

Wed, 2021-12-01 19:55
Author(s): Jonah Furman

This article was originally published on December 1, but is being updated as results come in.

The members of the United Auto Workers have voted overwhelmingly to move to a direct voting system for choosing their union leadership—“one member, one vote.” With all votes counted as of December 2, direct elections had the support of 63.6 percent of voters.

It's a historic win for reformers in one of the nation’s most important unions, where members have pushed for this change for decades.

Auto Workers Win Direct Democracy in Referendum December 01, 2021 / Jonah Furman
Categories: Labor Notes