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NewsFeed - Labor

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This week in the war on workers: Self-driving cars will kill a lot of jobs. What then?

A lot of companies are working on self-driving cars, hoping they’ll reshape a range of industries. That could provide benefits on some fronts, including the environment and road safety, but a lot of people work as drivers, so self-driving cars could have a massive impact on the jobs landscape. The Center for Global Policy Solutions […]
Posted: March 27, 2017, 1:00 pm

Class on the Small Screen

Every year when I teach the sociology of work, I’m filled with the same nagging doubt: are my cultural references out of date? Are they still relevant for my students of nineteen and twenty, who were only just born in … Continue reading
Posted: March 27, 2017, 11:05 am

CWA Statement on House Republican Health Care Proposal

Statement by Communications Workers of America on House Republican health care proposal withdrawal.

Posted: March 24, 2017, 8:56 pm

In Colombia, All-Women Childcare Union Emerges as National Player

March 24, 2017 / Neil Martin
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Sixty thousand women childcare workers in Colombia are on the verge of winning pensions and back pay, after decades of making just half the minimum wage.

Their union, Sintracihobi, has been able to achieve these remarkable results—despite representing only a minority of employees in the childcare sector—with an approach that combines legal action, political advocacy, and mass mobilization.

Posted: March 24, 2017, 4:27 pm

Momentum Builds for May Day Strikes

March 23, 2017 / Jonathan Rosenblum
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Shop steward Tomas Mejia sensed something was different when 600 janitors streamed into the Los Angeles union hall February 16—far more than for a regular membership meeting. Chanting “Huelga! Huelga!” (“Strike! Strike!”), they voted unanimously to strike on May Day.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 7:10 pm

Bargaining Update

The latest bargaining update from AT&T West.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 6:16 pm

URGENT: Tell Your Member of Congress to Vote No on GOP's "Age Tax" Health Care Plan

The House is scheduled to vote tonight on the Republican leadership health care plan.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 6:14 pm

Public Workers Moving Forward Together

CWA public, healthcare, and education members met in Orlando, Fl., to turn back the attack on public worker bargaining rights and make our union CWA STRONG.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 6:06 pm

Flight Attendants Rally for Rest on Capitol Hill

Flight Attendants rallied at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday in support of 10 hours of minimum rest for all Flight Attendants.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 5:59 pm

Standing with Nabisco Workers

The entire union movement is standing in solidarity with the Nabisco 600.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 5:46 pm

CWA Urges Senate to Reject Gorsuch for Supreme Court

CWA General Counsel Jody Calemine testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of a panel in the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 5:43 pm

Remembering CWAers Who Died on the Job

Join Workers' Memorial Day events on April 28 and to remember the five CWA members lost to workplace fatalities over the past year.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 5:38 pm

CWA: Working People Will Hold Acosta Accountable

CWA President Chris Shelton's statement about Labor Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 5:30 pm

The House Republican Health Care Plan—a Betrayal of Working People that Keeps Getting Worse

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blasted the Republican health care plan on which House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has announced plans for the House of Representatives to vote later today, stating in a letter:

This legislation is a betrayal of working people who will pay the price for it through medical care they can no longer afford, greater financial insecurity, fewer jobs and lives that end too soon. Though it masquerades as health policy, this legislation is really a massive redistribution of wealth away from working families to give even more to the wealthy few.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 5:16 pm

Stand with Mondelez/Nabisco Working People Whose Jobs Were Outsourced by Watching and Sharing This Video

The consequences of corporate greed are disastrous. Just ask the 600 former Mondelēz/Nabisco working people and members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union in Chicago, who were laid off one year ago today as the company shifted production to Mexico.

Posted: March 23, 2017, 1:00 pm

How States Are Trying to End the Disability Unemployment Crisis

Data in the newly released 2016 Disability Statistics Compendium are highlighting a pernicious, and complex, disparity for the disability community: unemployment. In 2015, less than 35 percent of disabled Americans between 18-64 living in the community were employed, in contrast with some 76 percent of their non-disabled counterparts. This is not just a disparity of […]
Posted: March 23, 2017, 12:45 pm

CWA Statement on Confirmation Hearing of Labor Secretary Nominee R. Alexander Acosta

Statement by Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton on today’s Senate confirmation hearing of Labor Secretary Nominee R. Alexander Acosta

Posted: March 22, 2017, 8:56 pm

Investors with $3 Trillion in Assets Call for CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratio Disclosure

Today, more than 100 institutional investors with a combined $3 trillion in assets under management sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in support of a CEO-to-worker pay ratio disclosure. The signatories of the investor statement on pay ratio disclosure include a variety of pension plans, asset managers, foundations, faith-based funds and state treasurers.

Posted: March 22, 2017, 1:00 pm

HELP Committee Should Ask Acosta for Commitments to the DOL Mission

Ahead of Wednesday’s confirmation hearing for Alexander Acosta as Secretary of Labor, workers and workers’ advocates have been vocal about their concerns with his appointment. Workplace Fairness, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, among others, are seeking assurances from Mr. Acosta about how he intends to protect workers and […]
Posted: March 22, 2017, 12:37 am

Ahead of CFPB Rule, Congress Prepares for a Showdown over the Future of Forced Arbitration and Consumer Class Actions

Last week, lawmakers laid the groundwork for a battle over consumer rights and forced arbitration that likely will play out through the spring. First, congressional Democrats introduced several bills to restore consumers’ right to hold corporations accountable in court for wrongdoing. Led by U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), lawmakers on March 7 introduced a slate […]
Posted: March 21, 2017, 1:12 pm

Playing Chicken: Discovering a Diverse Working Class in Trump Country

Since the election of 2016, much has been written about rural working-class voters who helped elect Donald J. Trump to the presidency.  Most of those stories have assumed that the rural working class is overwhelmingly white.  But if we look … Continue reading
Posted: March 21, 2017, 9:36 am

Getting Kids to Be Activists Through a Graphic Novel

One of the lessons of history is that it must be retaught so our children won’t repeat it. When I left Union Plus last year, I decided to enter into an “encore” career and published a graphic novel to teach kids about labor history. But most importantly, how to become an activist when you’re a teenager. That was just the beginning—AFT got involved and decided that we needed to go big on this. Through #ShareMyLesson, we wrote a lesson plan that guides kids through worker history but also gets them engaged in issues during this very important political time.

Posted: March 20, 2017, 7:00 pm

21 Female Senators to Help Decide Fate of Bill That Would Kill Harassment, Discrimination Suits

Asking female applicants whether they were married and planned to have children in a job interview. Telling female employees how to dress (and show more skin). Overtly and concretely penalizing female employees for taking maternity leave. Promoting low-performing men over the highest-performing women. Asking women employees to have sex with their boss to advance their […]
Posted: March 20, 2017, 2:08 pm

What Slashing the Labor Department Budget by 21 Percent Would Mean

The Trump administration’s “budget blueprint” would devastate worker safety, job training programs and legal services essential to low-income workers. Its cuts include a 21 percent, or $2.5 billion, reduction in the Department of Labor’s budget. The budget would reduce funding for or eliminate programs that provide job training to low-income workers, unemployed seniors, disadvantaged youth […]
Posted: March 17, 2017, 8:09 pm

AFL-CIO Analysis of President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 Budget

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:

 “Working people in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didn’t vote for a budget that slashes workforce training and fails to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. President Trump’s proposed budget attempts to balance the budget on the backs of working families. The $54 billion cut to programs that benefit working families is dangerous and destructive. Huge cuts to the departments of Labor, Education and Transportation will make workplaces less safe, put more children at risk and make improving our failing infrastructure much more difficult. The administration can and should do better.”

Posted: March 16, 2017, 6:24 pm

We Must Create Good Jobs: Sherrod Brown Shows the Way Forward

February, the first full month of the Trump presidency, witnessed solid jobs growth of 235,000 with the headline unemployment rate little changed, at 4.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Services monthly report. Trump has already tweeted to claim credit for the results, but neither his plan nor his administration were in place. In […]
Posted: March 16, 2017, 4:09 pm

Trump Labor Department has a message to employers: Workplace safety? Not a priority.

Donald Trump’s Labor Department is sending employers a message that it’s open season on worker safety—by cutting off public messages about enforcement of worker safety rules. What Fair Warning noticed 10 days ago is still going on today: In a sharp break with the past, the department has stopped publicizing fines against companies. As of Monday, seven weeks after […]
Posted: March 15, 2017, 3:27 pm

How We're Setting Our Contract Bargaining Tables to Advance Racial Justice

March 15, 2017 / by Luster Howard, Maricruz Manzanarez, and Seth Newton Patel
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Employers often use race to divide workers against one another. At University of California campuses and hospitals, we’re seeing the problem get worse now that President Donald Trump’s administration is unleashing new waves of racism and attacks on immigrants.

Our union, AFSCME 3299, represents 24,000 patient care and service workers. About half of us are Latinos, and a supermajority are people of color. Our co-workers report that they’re frequently attacked based on their race or nationality.

Posted: March 15, 2017, 3:07 pm

9 Ways the Republican Health Care Bill Makes Health Coverage in America Unaffordable and Out of Reach

The congressional Republican health plan is an attack on everyone’s health benefits. No health care coverage—workplace plans, Medicare, Medicaid or the individual insurance coverage now available as a result of the Affordable Care Act—is untouched. For more than a century, working people in their unions have fought to make health care a right for every American. The Republican plan contradicts this very idea by making care less affordable and less accessible. It’s bad for our health care, it’s bad for working families, and we fully oppose it.

Posted: March 15, 2017, 1:04 pm

Women's History Month Working Women Profiles: Kara Sheehan

Meet Kara Sheehan, a field organizer at the Texas AFL-CIO and member of Office and Professional Employees Local 298. Before joining the AFL-CIO, Sheehan worked with the Workers Defense Project and other local progressive groups in Austin, and worked at the Austin City Council.

Posted: March 14, 2017, 5:33 pm

Rep. Steve King and the Racist Origins of 'Right to Work'

Controversial Iowa Rep. Steve King is once again in hot water for espousing racist, white nationalist views, tweeting that "we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies." He doubled down on his bigoted words over the weekend, telling CNN that "I meant exactly what I said."

Posted: March 14, 2017, 4:57 pm

Despite Some Union Support, Trump’s New Labor Pick Would Be Terrible for Workers

President Donald Trump’s new pick to head the Labor Department is getting an early boost from a “divide-and-conquer” strategy against labor unions and their allies, even before his qualifications and background as a civil servant are scrutinized in a Senate confirmation hearing. The nomination of R. Alexander Acosta was announced by Trump less than 24 […]
Posted: March 14, 2017, 12:34 pm

Still Getting 'It' Wrong

On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy gained 235,000 payroll slots in February and upped its estimates for December and January by another 9,000 jobs. Over the three-month period, that means an average job growth of 209,000 jobs a month. Including the ups and downs, over the past 30 years, the […]
Posted: March 14, 2017, 5:30 am

How to Find Union-Made Tires

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has made it very easy to find union-made tires by requiring that each tire carry a code that shows the company and the location of the plant that manufactured the tire. DOT requires that each tire sold in the United States carry a code that looks something like this: DOT BE XX XXX XXX. The two letters or numbers that follow the DOT identify a particular factory.

Posted: March 13, 2017, 6:08 pm

Still Getting 'It' Wrong

On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy gained 235,000 payroll slots in February and upped its estimates for December and January by another 9,000 jobs. Over the three-month period, that means an average job growth of 209,000 jobs a month. Including the ups and downs, over the past 30 years, the U.S. economy has averaged job growth of about 126,000 jobs a month. So this current rate of growth would suggest a strong labor market. Further, workers who transitioned from being out of the labor force into active job search were 2.3 times more likely to land a job than to be stuck unemployed.and looking. And unemployed workers were 1.3 times more likely to find a job than if they were to quit and drop out of the labor force discouraged. Over the year, average wages (not adjusting for inflation) rose 2.8%.

Posted: March 13, 2017, 1:18 pm

Fractions within the Working Class

This has been a rough year.  After the election, I reposted a few articles on my Facebook wall, as did so many of my friends, about the “working-class vote.”  Did the white working-class just elect Trump?  I didn’t think so, … Continue reading
Posted: March 13, 2017, 11:44 am

Are Strikes Dead, or Just Happening Under the Radar? Report Your Strike

Year after year, the official statistics tell us the strike is all but disappearing from the United States. But is this the whole story?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics only reports strikes of 1,000 or more workers. There were just 15 of those last year.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service reports more, but only those directly connected to contract expirations and new contract negotiations. They report that 91 strikes ended in 2016, with another 12 still in progress.

Posted: March 9, 2017, 8:12 pm

Breaking the Silence on Sexual Harassment

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When we think of the biggest issues at work, wages and benefits usually top the list. But in many industries, sexual harassment and assault are huge concerns—even if nobody’s talking about it.

Workers who experience harassment on the job can file charges with the federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, but they face many hurdles to get even a hearing. Deadlines are short. Only employers with 15 or more employees are covered.

Posted: March 8, 2017, 5:13 pm

Los trabajadores gestionan este hotel

Hace catorce años unos trabajadores en Buenos Aires, Argentina, ocuparon un hotel céntrico que sus propietarios habían abandonado. Desde entonces, han operado el Hotel Bauen como una cooperativa dirigida por trabajadores, recuperándolo no sólo como hotel, sino también como un centro para eventos sindicales y de movimientos sociales, buscado por visitantes progresistas de todo el mundo.

Posted: March 3, 2017, 6:41 pm

Workers Run This Hotel

Fourteen years ago workers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, occupied a downtown hotel that its owners had abandoned. Ever since, they’ve operated the Hotel Bauen as a worker-run cooperative, making it not only a hotel but a center for union and other movement events, sought out by progressive visitors from around the world.

Posted: March 3, 2017, 6:17 pm

AT&T Mobility Workers Dial It Up

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AT&T Mobility workers are waging their largest-ever contract mobilization. In retail stores and call centers across the country they’re sporting “We Demand Good Jobs” buttons, picketing on their days off, plastering union flyers on their lockers, and blowing up Facebook with pictures of their activities. These actions are helping knit together a sense of solidarity among 21,000 union members dispersed throughout 36 states.

Posted: March 2, 2017, 5:00 pm

Tens of Thousands Strike on Day without Immigrants

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Arkansas poultry workers, Brooklyn warehouse workers and house cleaners, Twin Cities roofers, and thousands of students in places like Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Charlotte, North Carolina. They were all among the tens of thousands who stayed home from work or school across the country during Thursday, February 16’s “Day without Immigrants.”

Posted: February 23, 2017, 9:06 pm

Illinois State Workers Authorize Strike Against Governor Who Invoked Legacy of PATCO

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For the first time in four decades as a union, 28,000 Illinois state workers could be going on strike, facing down a Republican governor who campaigned on the promise to force a showdown with the union.

In a 20-day vote that ended February 19, members from the 70 locals that comprise AFSCME Council 31 voted in favor of strike authorization.

“Eighty-one percent of members voted yes to give the bargaining committee the authority to call a strike,” said Roberta Lynch, executive director of Council 31, at a press conference announcing the results.

Posted: February 23, 2017, 3:35 pm

Neil Gorsuch and Religious Liberty: Class Dismissed

President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch on January 31 to fill the vacant seat of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court may seem like the answer to a prayer for many in the … Continue reading
Posted: February 20, 2017, 12:09 pm

A Working-Class Appreciation for the National Health Service

I have spent a lot of time in a National Health Service (NHS) hospital in the southwest of England recently because my mother has been seriously ill. Without the treatment and care she received there, she would not have survived. … Continue reading
Posted: February 13, 2017, 10:35 am

Is the Worst Yet to Come for Unions?

With the decline of good paying jobs in the private sector, public employment has been particularly important for working-class people. These state and local workers also provide important public services ranging from street cleaning, to home health to emergency services. … Continue reading
Posted: February 6, 2017, 12:25 pm

For-Profit Colleges: Rough Times Ahead for Working-Class Students

With the promoter of the now disgraced “Trump University” at the helm of the federal government for the next 4 years, we are likely to see for-profit companies playing a bigger role in higher education.  But history shows us that … Continue reading
Posted: January 30, 2017, 12:27 pm

On Race, Class, and Two Referendums in Richmond

On election night in November, the success of local ballot measures raising the minimum wage, endorsing election law reform, or calling for other much-needed policy changes produced some political cheer on an otherwise dismal evening. Such measures may be our … Continue reading
Posted: January 23, 2017, 10:15 am

Every Part of Us Has Parts

One of my first awakenings to the cultural divide between working-class and middle-class ways of seeing and being in the world was John Helmer’s 1974 book The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society.   Focused on a critique of American sociology, the … Continue reading
Posted: January 16, 2017, 12:18 pm

Working-Class Nostalgia

The first time I presented a paper at an academic conference, I was accused of being nostalgic. My mistake, as my fellow academic pointed out, was that in my bid to find some value in working-class occupational cultures I was … Continue reading
Posted: January 9, 2017, 12:11 pm