Steward's Corner

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Updated: 18 hours 10 min ago

Staten Island Amazon Workers Pull into the Lead, While Bessemer Re-Vote Is Too Close to Call

Thu, 2022-03-31 21:10

In initial vote tallies today, Amazon warehouse workers in New York are ahead by hundreds of votes in favor of forming a union, while in Alabama the election is too close to call, pending a court hearing.

Categories: Labor Notes

Trouble in the Tulips: Organized Farmworkers Win Basic Demands in a Quick Strike

Wed, 2022-03-30 17:28

MT. VERNON, WASHINGTON, March 28—Tulips and daffodils symbolize the arrival of spring, but the fields are bitterly cold when workers’ labors begin. Snow still covers the ground when workers go into the tulip rows to plant bulbs in northwest Washington state, near the Canadian border.

Once harvesting starts, so do other problems. When a worker cuts a daffodil, for instance, she or he has to avoid the liquid that oozes from the stem—a source of painful skin rashes.

Categories: Labor Notes

Staten Island Amazon Workers Vote on a Union

Tue, 2022-03-29 20:50

As the country cheers on Starbucks workers organizing, the votes will be counted this week in two big union drives at Amazon warehouses—one in Alabama and one in New York.

Categories: Labor Notes

TV Review: Workers of Deep Space Unite!

Thu, 2022-03-24 00:00

This is part of an occasional series where we look back at the “labor episode” of a TV show. The Star Trek series Deep Space Nine has a great union episode with lessons about organizing in a customer service industry. Spoilers ahead for the fourth-season episode “Bar Association”!

Categories: Labor Notes

Stung by Ascension's Union-Busting, Michigan Nurses Gird for Contract Battle

Wed, 2022-03-23 14:42

The recent surge in union action has been met by an increase in union-busting by greedy employers—even in companies whose purpose is to serve and heal, such as hospitals.

The pandemic has put an acute strain on an already chronic problem: short staffing. For years many hospitals have adopted tools from the hospitality and the assembly-line production industry.

The hospital I work for—Ascension Borgess in Kalamazoo, Michigan—is an example of all of these dynamics. We were stretched thin even before the pandemic; Covid made the situation worse.

Categories: Labor Notes

Steward's Corner: Sustaining the Organizing Surge

Mon, 2022-03-21 11:43

It seems that union organizing has become both necessary and cool. Can this surge be sustained—and what will it take?

Categories: Labor Notes

Steward's Corner: Sustaining the Organizing Surge

Mon, 2022-03-21 11:43

It seems that union organizing has become both necessary and cool. Can this surge be sustained—and what will it take?

Steward's Corner: Sustaining the Organizing Surge March 21, 2022 / Ellen David Friedman
Categories: Labor Notes

Minneapolis Strikers Demand a Living Wage for the Lowest-Paid Educators

Fri, 2022-03-18 15:27

Labor is on fire in the Twin Cities. Educators in Minneapolis are wrapping up their second week on strike, and cafeteria workers are poised to join them.

St. Paul educators came close to walking out as well; the unions fed off one another as they built their contract campaigns. “St. Paul has the experience,” said St. Paul special ed teacher Jeff Garcia. “Minneapolis has the energy. They are really fired up.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Minneapolis Strikers Demand a Living Wage for the Lowest-Paid Educators

Fri, 2022-03-18 15:27
Author(s): Barbara Madeloni

Labor is on fire in the Twin Cities. Educators in Minneapolis are wrapping up their second week on strike, and cafeteria workers are poised to join them.

St. Paul educators came close to walking out as well; the unions fed off one another as they built their contract campaigns. “St. Paul has the experience,” said St. Paul special ed teacher Jeff Garcia. “Minneapolis has the energy. They are really fired up.”

Minneapolis Strikers Demand a Living Wage for the Lowest-Paid Educators March 18, 2022 / Barbara Madeloni
Categories: Labor Notes

Walkouts Hit Amazon’s Last-Mile Stations

Wed, 2022-03-16 20:04

Around 60 workers at three Amazon delivery stations—the final stop in the company’s logistics chain—staged a work stoppage early this morning.

Amazonians United, a network of rank-and-file worker committees around the U.S. and Canada, coordinated the walkouts in New York City and Maryland in its latest show of shop floor strength.

Categories: Labor Notes

Walkouts Hit Amazon’s Last-Mile Stations

Wed, 2022-03-16 20:04
Blog: BlogAuthor(s): Luis Feliz Leon

Around 60 workers at three Amazon delivery stations—the final stop in the company’s logistics chain—staged a work stoppage early this morning.

Amazonians United, a network of rank-and-file worker committees around the U.S. and Canada, coordinated the walkouts in New York City and Maryland in its latest show of shop floor strength.

Categories: Labor Notes

A Nurse’s Story: My True Cost of the Pandemic

Fri, 2022-03-11 13:29

Content warning: This piece mentions death and suicidal thoughts. —Editors

February 2020: “I don’t want to see anyone in the hallway with a mask on,” the manager said.

We were standing at the nurses’ station, in what was to be the Covid unit. “Um, the CDC is saying this is airborne,” I said. “Not only do we need masks, we need N95s!”

Categories: Labor Notes

A Nurse’s Story: My True Cost of the Pandemic

Fri, 2022-03-11 13:29
Blog: Blog

Content warning: This piece mentions death and suicidal thoughts. —Editors

February 2020: “I don’t want to see anyone in the hallway with a mask on,” the manager said.

We were standing at the nurses’ station, in what was to be the Covid unit. “Um, the CDC is saying this is airborne,” I said. “Not only do we need masks, we need N95s!”

Categories: Labor Notes

Texas Union Activists Fight 'Microtransit' Privatization

Tue, 2022-03-08 11:22

When “microtransit,” the new rage in transit privatization, showed up in Denton, Texas, union activists decided to fight back.

Microtransit is a loosely defined term that combines on-demand service with flexible scheduling and routes—imagine replacing a bus system with shared Ubers. It is presented as a high-tech alternative to public transit, but in reality it’s an extension of the drive to privatize.

Categories: Labor Notes

Texas Union Activists Fight 'Microtransit' Privatization

Tue, 2022-03-08 11:22
Blog: BlogAuthor(s): Joe DeManuelle-Hall

When “microtransit,” the new rage in transit privatization, showed up in Denton, Texas, union activists decided to fight back.

Microtransit is a loosely defined term that combines on-demand service with flexible scheduling and routes—imagine replacing a bus system with shared Ubers. It is presented as a high-tech alternative to public transit, but in reality it’s an extension of the drive to privatize.

Categories: Labor Notes

How Starbucks Workers Won in Mesa

Sat, 2022-03-05 07:00

Starbucks Workers United (SWU) won its third store election February 28 in Mesa, Arizona. The vote was an overwhelming 25-3, with three additional contested ballots, despite heavy anti-union pressure from the company and in a state with only 5.4 percent union density.

“We led with kindness and care and just did our jobs in the face of union-busting from upper management,” said shift supervisor Liz Alanna, who helped lead the effort. Shift supervisors coordinate the day-to-day running of a store but are eligible for union membership because they don’t have hiring and firing power.

Categories: Labor Notes

How Starbucks Workers Won in Mesa

Sat, 2022-03-05 07:00
Author(s): Saurav Sarkar

Starbucks Workers United (SWU) won its third store election February 28 in Mesa, Arizona. The vote was an overwhelming 25-3, with three additional contested ballots, despite heavy anti-union pressure from the company and in a state with only 5.4 percent union density.

“We led with kindness and care and just did our jobs in the face of union-busting from upper management,” said shift supervisor Liz Alanna, who helped lead the effort. Shift supervisors coordinate the day-to-day running of a store but are eligible for union membership because they don’t have hiring and firing power.

How Starbucks Workers Won in Mesa March 05, 2022 / Saurav Sarkar
Categories: Labor Notes

The Hows, Whys, and Whats of ULP Strikes

Fri, 2022-03-04 16:21

As nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Massachusetts discovered last year, one of the most critical moments that can arise during a strike is an employer announcement that it intends to hire permanent replacements. Of course, the employer may be bluffing. But, if it follows through, strikers’ jobs may be in serious jeopardy.

Categories: Labor Notes

The Hows, Whys, and Whats of ULP Strikes

Fri, 2022-03-04 16:21

As nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Massachusetts discovered last year, one of the most critical moments that can arise during a strike is an employer announcement that it intends to hire permanent replacements. Of course, the employer may be bluffing. But, if it follows through, strikers’ jobs may be in serious jeopardy.

The Hows, Whys, and Whats of ULP Strikes March 04, 2022 / Robert M. Schwartz
Categories: Labor Notes

Solidarity in Wartime: Interview with a Ukrainian Union Leader

Wed, 2022-03-02 19:22

Ignacy Jóźwiak of the Polish union Workers' Initiative interviewed Witalij Machinko, leader of the Workers’ Solidarity Trade Union in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 27. This interview comes to us via the International Trade Union Network of Solidarity and Struggle. It has been translated through Polish and French, and we apologize for any errors in the process.

Categories: Labor Notes