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NewsFeed - Labor

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No Más! Campaign Calls for Chilean Government to Protect Human Rights

No Más! Campaign Calls for Chilean Government to Protect Human Rights
Chile: No Más!
CUT

Since last October, sparked by a hike in public transportation fares, a broad alliance of Chile's unions and other social movements have been protesting against low wages, the high cost of basic necessities and persistently high social inequality. The country's extreme model of privatization of most public services and basic programs in health care, social security and education has guided most public policy since the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (19731990). Since October, the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT), Chile's largest labor organization has convened three general strikes, the largest of which brought more than 1 million people into the streets. 

The government reacted to the protests with repression and violence reminiscent of the Pinochet era, leading to the deaths of at least 29 people, thousands of grave injuries and numerous rapes while protesters were in police custody. In response, 18 members of the U.S. House of Representatives called on the U.S. Embassy in Chile to defend the fundamental rights of the Chilean people and encourage the pursuit of peaceful, democratic dialogue.

The constitution drafted and imposed by the dictatorship in 1980 has blocked substantive changes to the extreme free-market model that has created a small wealthy class while making working peoples' and retirees' lives precarious and stressful, with most jobs paying too little to afford expensive privatized education, health care and pensions while investing little in public systems in these basic areas. 

For too long, Chile has been held up as an example for developing countries to follow to advance economically by extreme free-market measures while avoiding larger issues of sustainability, democracy and inclusion. With recent sustained protests, Chileans are overcoming that legacy in the face of excessive violence by the government and are claiming their rights. As result of sustained protest, nearly all Chilean political parties agreed to hold a referendum in April about replacing the constitution written under the Pinochet dictatorship. Chile has the opportunity to build a sustainable future with social justice. 

During this transition, the government must protect and respect human rights. As the CUT opened its 12th national congress on Jan. 24, bringing together its unions and an international delegation representing more than a dozen countries, CUT launched the campaign Chile: No Más! to mobilize the international community to increase attention to ongoing human rights violations in Chile and pressure the government to honor its commitments to human rights and democracy. The AFL-CIO has joined this effort.


 

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 01/27/2020 - 11:01
Posted: January 27, 2020, 4:01 pm

Trump Gets An F From Workers

Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed “great negotiator” and author of “The Art of the Deal,” promised to use his bargaining skills to help the American worker. Trump vowed to rewrite trade deals, stanch the offshoring of U.S. jobs and reinvigorate American manufacturing. His behavior tells a different story. Both of the trade deals he produced so far—the original United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement […]
Posted: January 27, 2020, 3:42 pm

Unions face another year of eroding membership as the war on workers continues

The share of U.S. workers represented by a union ticked down slightly from 2018 to 2019, dropping from 11.7% to 11.6%; the share of U.S. workers who are union members also dropped from 10.5% to 10.3%. The overall number of workers represented by a union stayed about the same, growing by 3,000. (Interestingly, unions grew by 47,000 […]
Posted: January 27, 2020, 3:40 pm

The Faith and Work Movement Stops Short of Class

The faith and work movement in the United States is an important expression of evangelical attempts to reconcile the demands of the modern workplace with the values of the Christian faith. In a recent opinion piece for The New York … Continue reading
Posted: January 27, 2020, 12:28 pm

Paraeducators Join the National Uprising of School Employees

Brookline paraeducators with signs lining hallway of school.
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Teachers around the country have been schooling us all with their strike wave. But schools depend on more than just classroom teachers. Recently paraeducators, a vital—and criminally underpaid—part of the public school workforce, are starting to rise up too.

Paraeducators assist individual students with a range of learning issues, including physical disabilities, problems focusing, and difficulties managing emotions. They aid classroom teachers and are often called on to provide support in managing the day-to-day of school life for these students.

Posted: January 24, 2020, 5:50 pm

A Friend of the Workers: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

A Friend of the Workers: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

In addition to the AFL-CIO's own "State of the Unions," there are a lot of other podcasts out there that have their own approach to discussing labor issues and the rights of working people. Here are the latest podcasts from across the labor movement in the United States.

Building Bridges: Which of the 2020 Candidates Is a Friend of the Workers?: "With Shaun Richman, program director for the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies at SUNY Empire State College....[We] talk about what the top Democratic Party contenders for the presidency are proposing to better the 'state of the state' of working men and women, as they ready themselves for the Iowa caucuses. We’ll also discuss who supports and the likelihood of the passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which is scheduled to be introduced in the House of Representative in early February."

Heartland Labor Forum: Neoliberalism: "This week on the Heartland Labor Forum: Recently workers in France and Colombia have shut down their economies when confronted with pension reforms, which attacked their livelihoods. Tune in Thursday to the Heartland Labor Forum to hear from union leaders in both countries about why they’re in the streets and what a general strike is. Thursday at 6 p.m., rebroadcast Friday at 5 a.m. on KKFI 90.1 FM or streaming at kkfi.org."

Labor History Today: UAW’s Punch Press Strike Daily: "The Cool Things from the Meany Archives' crew features the Punch Press, an autoworker strike publication. Also this week, Saul Schniderman remembers contributions to labor history by both Johnny Paycheck and Bruce Springsteen."

Union City Radio: Latest D.C. Labor News: "Bus strike ends; D.C. wage theft; NABET-CWA members at CNN win $76 million in back pay; the toll on firefighter health; repealing the Veterans Affairs' fraudulent “right to work.”

Union Strong: Television Diversity Tax Credit: "The Television Diversity Tax Credit Bill has been signed into law. We talk to Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East, to find out how it will change what we watch on television and the new opportunities it will create for writers and directors, who until now were overlooked."

WorkWeek Radio: Iran War and Labor And Fraud in California: "WorkWeek looks at the growing war threat of war by the U.S. when Donald Trump ordered the murder of the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. We interview retired International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 Secretary-Treasurer Clarence Thomas, who visited Iraq and met with trade unionists, Kambiz Sakhai, a labor political educator from Iran, and Alison Weir, with If Americans Knew. Then WorkWeek looks at the growing corruption scandal at the Fraud Assessment Commission, where the former Gov. Jerry Brown appointed disgraced former director Christine Baker of the Department of Industrial Relations to the FAC. We interview former Cal-OSHA Medical Director Dr. Larry Rose and former SEIU 250 Executive Board member and Kaiser Sacramento worker Dina Padilla. She is a longtime advocate for injured workers."

Your Rights at Work (WPFW 89.3 FM, Washington, D.C.): "Big win against wage theft in the District; Cinder Bed Road bus strikers win new contract; women leaders get empowered."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 01/24/2020 - 12:39
Posted: January 24, 2020, 5:39 pm

Bernie’s labor support snowballs

Most national unions haven’t picked a favorite yet in the Democratic presidential primary. It’s been a boon for Bernie Sanders. Rather than harming Sanders, a longtime labor ally who has promised to work to double union membership as president, the reluctance to offer endorsements at the national level has enabled more progressive-minded local unions and […]
Posted: January 24, 2020, 3:40 pm

Safety in the Skies: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Safety in the Skies: What Working People Are Doing This Week
What Working People Are Doing This Week
AFL-CIO

Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week.

Actors' Equity:

Members representing all 28 Equity Liaison Areas convened last July in Minneapolis, MN for a two-day conference w/ staff & members of Council to focus on ways to grow leadership capacity & advance the goals of Equity 2020.

Read more in the Member Portal- https://t.co/ieOIUylvmn pic.twitter.com/ozf9fxVAjG

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) January 23, 2020

AFGE:

The @USDA's request to the FLRA is not consistent with the law or the facts. #1u https://t.co/AOEIFDKlx6 pic.twitter.com/jF0Qg3C6df

— AFGE (@AFGENational) January 23, 2020

AFSCME:

Public service workers in Puerto Rico work 24/7 to make their communities better. They never quit on their neighbors or fellow residents or on each other, which is why their union will never quit on them! 🇵🇷 https://t.co/DfEqyuv133

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) January 23, 2020

AFT:

No child should have to learn in schools full of mold. And no educator should have to teach in one either. It's time to #FundOurFuture #FundOurFacilities and create safe, healthy environments for learning and teaching. https://t.co/s1jq1P4LOW

— AFT (@AFTunion) January 20, 2020

Air Line Pilots Association:

Safety in the skies is truly a team effort that revolves around the most important and effective safety feature on any passenger aircraft—two well-trained, highly-skilled, and experienced pilots. #TrainedForLife https://t.co/LUpvqZXJn7

— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) January 17, 2020

Alliance for Retired Americans:

After hobnobbing with billionaires at Davos, President Trump revealed that the door is open for Social Security and Medicare cuts. #Shame pic.twitter.com/ad7Rftpk2V

— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) January 22, 2020

Amalgamated Transit Union:

Florida lawmakers, #HART spearhead bills to improve transit worker safety https://t.co/25NNlmjz7u #1u #UnionStrong #transit #SafeBus

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) January 21, 2020

American Federation of Musicians:

#UnionMusicians ratified a new 2 yr. contract w/major studios that includes for the first time—screen credits for musicians. It also includes yearly 3% wage increases & increased residuals for shows rented & purchased online. #1u https://t.co/qaWis6JsCe pic.twitter.com/ckY39maI4N

— AFM (@The_AFM) January 23, 2020

American Postal Workers Union:

Be like Will E Bear.
Support your public Postal Service. #usmailnotforsale https://t.co/2HOEXm33GA

— APWU National (@APWUnational) January 22, 2020

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

As a @CAPAC member, Rep Speier must protect immigrant families by cosponsoring the #ReunitingFamiliesAct! https://t.co/oMn7IeSITv

— APALA (@APALAnational) January 21, 2020

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

We're contacting our airlines in an effort to put in place info & precautions for crewmembers. We're sharing what we know about virus now, although health officials are still determining full implications of virus & how it's spread. https://t.co/l75GhDrEic #CoronavirusOutbreak

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) January 23, 2020

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

No Duh. #Organize
“Strengthening labor unions and worker power represents the most effective strategy to combat America’s economic inequality and corporations’ sway over the economy and politics.” https://t.co/P8OnjoP2mP

— BCTGM International (@BCTGM) January 23, 2020

Boilermakers:

Read how this #Boilermaker member from L-290 (Bremerton, Washington) and his wife used the @UnionPlus advantage here ➡️ https://t.co/cqR1TUU6e8 pic.twitter.com/ZcEMo2yCTW

— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) January 23, 2020

Bricklayers:

⛑️✅🥽✅🧤✅ #WednesdayWisdom https://t.co/68Fhbg65xx

— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) January 22, 2020

California School Employees Association:

The labor movement is for everyone! Read about how milennials are picking up the torch: https://t.co/TR5tBNTEIn

— CSEA (@CSEA_Now) January 16, 2020

Coalition of Labor Union Women:

Workers lose $31.9 billion in wages each year that Congress refuses to pass #ChildCare4All & #PaidLeaveForAll.
Call your representative and tell them that families can’t afford to wait another year. https://t.co/JitrZ1yH0Z pic.twitter.com/TsFGlV8jYl

— CLUW National (@CLUWNational) January 23, 2020

Communications Workers of America:

"It’s time to fundamentally reform our political system by passing the #ForthePeopleAct. It’s time for Mitch McConnell to do his job and put this bill up for a vote.”

— CWA (@CWAUnion) January 22, 2020

Department for Professional Employees:

"The number of unionized professional employees, for example, increased by more than 90,000 people. About 6.27 million professional workers were union members last year, an all-time high." https://t.co/Z6CnwkvYBF

— Department for Professional Employees (@DPEaflcio) January 22, 2020

Electrical Workers:

Good riddance to the Cadillac Tax. https://t.co/80wG3qtqAW

— IBEW (@IBEW) January 23, 2020

Farm Labor Organizing Committee:

We are thankful for churches and other religious groups who stand with us. Will more of you join us? https://t.co/WF20tfe6hD

— Farm Labor Organizing Committee (@SupportFLOC) January 21, 2020

Fire Fighters:

AGP @jimmyjam1967 and @DougWStern lead an important discussion on how to communicate in a multi-cultural world at #ALTSHR20 pic.twitter.com/Y19MBqBNY8

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) January 22, 2020

Heat and Frost Insulators:

More from the Shakamak Jr. – Sr. High School Trades Career Fair yesterday in Indianapolis! We've got opportunities for joining the Registered Apprenticeship Program with Local 18 https://t.co/eVC8s9kFTG pic.twitter.com/lB0mLrmYQu

— Insulators Union (@InsulatorsUnion) January 23, 2020

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

the #UnitedProfessionals of @IFPTE and @TheSocietySays stand with out @UniforTheUnion sisters and brothers! https://t.co/eVtGRe9hqZ

— IFPTE (@IFPTE) January 23, 2020

Ironworkers:

"Mykka Ellis, who joined the Ironworkers Union as a trans woman in 2016, says she got a lot of support when they would send her out to jobsites." #LGBTQ #transrights #BeThatOneGuy
https://t.co/7uPjRT9ecH

— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) January 6, 2020

Jobs With Justice:

Big business thought it could take the new $15 #minimumwage in Minneapolis to court and win. Welp, they lost and working people WON. #fightfor15 https://t.co/IOB7MMWjwU

— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) January 23, 2020

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

LCLAA supports the Prince George's County NAACP chapter, as it is imperative that our communities are accurately represented in order for our voices to be heard!https://t.co/4f8gxEysiR

— LCLAA (@LCLAA) January 23, 2020

Laborers:

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.... #MLK #MartinLutherKingJr pic.twitter.com/JkWv8nBtqj

— LIUNA (@LIUNA) January 17, 2020

Machinists:

The @MachinistsUnion is urging members to write House members, urging them to pass the #PROAct, legislation that would bolster worker rights https://t.co/hsVuTNmq8B

— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) January 22, 2020

Metal Trades Department:

The value of union membership. Have you checked out the Metal Trades Free College Benefit? Did you know that we now have a low-cost Bachelor's degree option? https://t.co/iMevQOKxjG pic.twitter.com/NmW4iqpVLZ

— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) January 23, 2020

Mine Workers:

UMWA International President @CecilRoberts met with @senatemajldr yesterday to thank him for his critical role in passing the Bipartisan American Miners Act. #TheyEarnedIt #PromiseKept pic.twitter.com/zMCTBN815g

— United Mine Workers (@MineWorkers) January 8, 2020

Musical Artists:

We had an amazing Delegate Training session today with some of our incredible Concert Singers! #WeAreAGMA #AGMA #UnionStrong #KnowledgeIsPower #UnionPower pic.twitter.com/e2SzD5GcMT

— AGMA (@AGMusicalArtist) January 16, 2020

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

In a single year, nearly one billion passengers will take to the skies — more than twice the population of the U.S., and the number increases each year. The use of geospatial technology enables precision time-management for controlling air traffic. https://t.co/BrYhNf78c8

— NATCA (@NATCA) January 23, 2020

National Association of Letter Carriers:

One hot summer day, as carrier Joseph Loeser was delivering on his route, he saw one of his customers suffering from heat stroke. Joseph comforted the man and asked a security guard to call 911. Paramedics arrived and took the man to the hospital. Thanks, Joseph! #Heroes #1u pic.twitter.com/Wg6cPESyjC

— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) January 23, 2020

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

Last week, NDWA leaders in Vancouver met with @HerreraBeutler about the personal importance of passing the national #DomesticWorkersBillofRights! Thank you for listening to our stories. We strongly encourage you to become a co-sponsor of this important legislation! pic.twitter.com/T6l8RXd07h

— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) January 23, 2020

National Federation of Federal Employees:

2019 was an huge year for our union and federal employees across the country.

Take a look at some of our biggest wins. #NFFE #IAMAW #1u https://t.co/1cLXat3wL0

— NFFE (@NFFE_Union) January 22, 2020

National Nurses United:

"We joined the union so that we can have a stronger voice on #SafeStaffing." 🙌🙌

Welcome to the #UnionStrong family! ✊ https://t.co/oPZu8nmz4d

— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) January 23, 2020

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

NYTWA taxi medallion owner-drivers packed @TheNCUA board meeting in VA this morning to make our demands for debt relief heard. pic.twitter.com/vaDjuWV1GJ

— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) January 23, 2020

The NewsGuild-CWA:

And we're off to a strong start in 2020! Three weeks into the new year, journalists at 5 publications have announced union drives with @NewsGuild @CWAUnion: Sports Illustrated, South Bend Tribune, Springfield News-Leader, Miami New Times & Phoenix New Times. https://t.co/tjRIad8JwA pic.twitter.com/bfXq9BV7Na

— NewsGuild (@newsguild) January 23, 2020

NFL Players Association:

These community superheroes together impacted thousands of lives through donations and special events. One of them will earn $100,000 for their charity as the Alan Page Community Award winner! @GenoSacks @BCarr39 @bcope51 @demario__davis @Bwagz pic.twitter.com/BK2Obb4j0s

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) January 22, 2020

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Hosting construction career fairs is a great way to show today’s youth that a #BuildingTrades union career is secure, safe & reliable 👏

“A lot of us are told that college is our only option, but it’s really neat to see that it’s not"https://t.co/UPgi2SifS5

— The Building Trades (@NABTU) January 23, 2020

Office and Professional Employees:

Best of luck to our union family in Nevada, which is growing larger by the day! @NVAFLCIO #1u https://t.co/9PIXoujNXY

— OPEIU (@OPEIU) January 21, 2020

Painters and Allied Trades:

#TBT In January 1970, the union got a name change - from "Brotherhood of Painters and Decorators of America" to “International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades." It would take another 30 years to settle on the IUPAT. In 1970 and 2020, we're fighting for working people. pic.twitter.com/7lN11UDf7k

— GoIUPAT✊🏽 (@GoIUPAT) January 23, 2020

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

Read about 7 interesting construction industry trends — especially #1, Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, where the #OPCMIA International Training Fund Apprenticeship Program is on the cutting edge of the technology of the future!https://t.co/vYffyph9d1

— OPCMIA International (@opcmiaintl) January 22, 2020

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Congrats @TheWNBPA on new contract! Fair pay, work/life balance & workplace protections are what all unions bargain for so that our members can do their jobs without distractions. Like PASS members @ FAA & DoD. And like DC's own @WashMystics WNBA champs! #1u #unionsolidarity

— PASS (@PASSNational) January 15, 2020

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:

R.I.P. to Charlie Mae Brown Snowden, a 35-year employee at @Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago and officer with RWDSU Local 291.

Read more about her amazing life: https://t.co/OAtLAf7X4K pic.twitter.com/S6uqM4i2u2

— RWDSU (@RWDSU) January 23, 2020

SAG-AFTRA:

And a few more from the #SeeHer platform at the 2020 @SAGawards. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/J4c5BiXvZS

— #SeeHer (@seeher2020) January 21, 2020

Seafarers:

#1u #JonesAct #Puerto Rico #Maritime #Unions
PMCs & Affiliates Deliver Badly Needed Relief to Puerto Rico Earthquake Victims https://t.co/IIhX9LQ9PC

— Seafarers Union (@SeafarersUnion) January 23, 2020

Solidarity Center:

Union power, pass it on! pic.twitter.com/RdC9CcFpuN

— Solidarity Center (@SolidarityCntr) January 23, 2020

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Our @GolfChannel crews continue to fight for a safe and fair contract ✊ Let them know you stand with them! https://t.co/5b6pi9EiU8

— IATSE (@IATSE) January 23, 2020

Transport Workers:

"Our society can rewrite the rules to put power in working people's hands, and strengthen our democracy, ensuring that no one is left behind." https://t.co/ZheD6v4uV2

— TWU (@transportworker) January 23, 2020

Transportation Trades Department:

After reuniting a lost boy with his family, MTA bus operator Tyrone Hampton said - and as many transit workers know - the good deed was just part of doing his job. https://t.co/81wtYcP8ek

— Transp. Trades Dept. (@TTDAFLCIO) January 19, 2020

UAW:

"Overhauling the North American Free Trade Act may have been a start, but the work has just begun."

Read the latest Labor Voices from UAW President Rory Gamble >>> https://t.co/S9OqZC9dwm

— UAW (@UAW) January 22, 2020

Union Veterans Council:

Shout out to the members of @PASSNational and @AFGENational working on the @AFLCIO #MLKconf day of service! pic.twitter.com/x4X1tGntue

— Union Veterans Council (@unionveterans) January 18, 2020

UNITE HERE:

"Is [@Marriott's] 'Make a Green Choice' about sustainability, or reducing labor costs? Real change, or customer-assuaging greenwashing?"@Sierra_Magazine investigates. READ: https://t.co/czaUxxqykV#GreedyChoice pic.twitter.com/ERHAndqs7M

— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) January 21, 2020

United Food and Commercial Workers:

Every year our @UFCW75 members in #Ohio honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy and continue his work to help hardworking families build a better life.

Thanks to all who joined the #Cincinnati and #Dayton march remembering #MLK. We’re proud to stand with you. #1uMLK #TBT pic.twitter.com/VcGdo02bLr

— UFCW (@UFCW) January 23, 2020

United Steelworkers:

Union Against Public Funding for Company Hiring Nonunion Custodians | Cleaning & Maintenance Management https://t.co/cqAZ2R7O1r #1u

— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) January 23, 2020

United Students Against Sweatshops:

VICTORY!!! USASers at the UCs have been fighting alongside @AFSCMELocal3299 workers for the past 3 years. Today, service workers signed a historic agreement that sets the highest union standard at UC. This is a major win for USAS and for workers everywhere. When we fight, we win! pic.twitter.com/iYiAQ75J3J

— USAS (@USAS) January 23, 2020

United Union of Roofers and Waterproofers:

Hear workers recount their own experiences falling from ladders. https://t.co/KyrweOq0YY #roofersafety365 https://t.co/BmKqdbP2yd

— Roofers Union (@roofersunion) January 15, 2020

Utility Workers:

"When you look at wages that apprenticeships and other career areas pay and the fact that you do not pay four years of tuition and you're paid while you learn, these paths really need some additional consideration." https://t.co/ZP4a9upDx7 @UWUA_P4A @ashleykgross @JonMarcusBoston

— UWUA National (@The_UWUA) January 23, 2020

Working America:

In 2018, Amazon paid $0 in U.S. federal income tax on over $11 billion in profits before taxes, but somehow it's always the poor and elderly that get blamed for our budget deficit.

— Working America (@WorkingAmerica) January 23, 2020

Writers Guild of America, East:

Our statement on reports that @Spotify is in talks to purchase @Ringer. #RingerUnion pic.twitter.com/xU3Lj6fnqe

— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) January 21, 2020
Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 01/24/2020 - 10:23
Posted: January 24, 2020, 3:23 pm

CWA President Chris Shelton to Mitch McConnell: Do Your Job and Put For the People Act Up for a Vote

As part of a coalition of more than 145 groups working together to fix our broken democracy, CWA President Chris Shelton called on Mitch McConnell to put the For the People Act up for a vote.

Posted: January 23, 2020, 7:38 pm

NewsGuild Joins Groups Denouncing Restrictions on Journalists Covering Impeachment

The NewsGuild-CWA has joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 57 other media organizations in denouncing restrictions on the press during the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Posted: January 23, 2020, 7:34 pm

Organizing Update

Workers at Miami New Times and Phoenix New Times, and at Q Center, vote to join with CWA.

Posted: January 23, 2020, 7:29 pm

Bargaining Update

CWA Local 1180 reached a tentative agreement on a new contract covering more than 8,100 administrative employees and supervisors who work for New York City.

Posted: January 23, 2020, 7:22 pm

Save the Date - 2020 CWA Human Rights Conference and LP Activist Convening

The 2020 CWA Human Rights Conference and Legislative-Political Activist Convening will be held from July 26-29, 2020, at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix, Arizona.

Posted: January 23, 2020, 7:20 pm

CWA Members win Call Center Job Protections in New Jersey!

CWA members worked alongside members of the state AFL-CIO and IBEW Local 827 to get the bill across the finish line.

Posted: January 23, 2020, 7:10 pm

Two Groups Unite to Form Canadian Freelance Guild under CWA Canada

Two groups of independent freelancers are coming together to form a new organization within CWA Canada!

Posted: January 23, 2020, 7:03 pm

CWA Urges FCC to Deny Sale of AT&T Mobility Units to Liberty Latin America

Because of LLA's strained financial position and track record of opposing workers' rights, the deal endangers jobs, harms workers, and threatens service quality.

Posted: January 23, 2020, 6:58 pm

CWA Human Rights Activists Across the Country Take Action

CWA members across the country stood proudly on the front lines to ensure all working people are treated with dignity and respect.

Posted: January 23, 2020, 6:52 pm

How a 15-Hour Workweek Could Change Our Lives for the Better

15-hour work • week noun 1. Exactly what it sounds like—less work for the same money I work nearly three times that much now. Is this normal? Sadly, yes. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development shows that American workers put in an average of 1,786 hours annually, 200 more hours than their British and French peers. […]
Posted: January 23, 2020, 2:02 pm

Childcare costs are sucking U.S. parents dry and still leaving early childhood teachers in poverty

Parents in the U.S. pay a staggering amount for care for their young children—and here, as in so many other areas, the support they get from their government falls short of what peer nations provide. A new report from the Economic Policy Institute shows just how big the problem is, and what it’s costing the economy. […]
Posted: January 23, 2020, 1:56 pm

Marriott's 'green choice' isn't so green, and it's hurting workers

Why would environmental organizations like the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and 350.org have signed a pledge that they wouldn’t use a hotel chain’s environmental program? Because Marriott’s “Make a Green Choice” program, in which hotel guests are asked to opt out of having their rooms cleaned during a stay, is a classic case of […]
Posted: January 23, 2020, 1:54 pm

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act takes a step forward in the House, this week in the war on workers

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act took a step toward a full House vote on Wednesday when it passed in the House Committee on Education and Labor. “The federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) would explicitly require employers to make reasonable accommodations for women with pregnancy-related limitations absent undue hardship to the employer—the same familiar process in place […]
Posted: January 23, 2020, 1:53 pm

Trump Labor Department gives big companies the go-ahead to exploit franchise workers

The Trump Labor Department is taking action to protect massive corporations from their low-wage workers seeking justice in court, because the Trump Labor Department, currently headed by Eugene Scalia, is all about putting a boot on the neck of workers. The department is finalizing a rule making it more difficult for workers at franchise businesses or contractors—like fast food […]
Posted: January 23, 2020, 1:51 pm

Communications Workers of America Urges FCC to Deny Sale of AT&T Mobility Units to Liberty Latin America

The union says the transaction as currently structured threatens considerable harm to the public interest by endangering potentially hundreds of jobs, harming workers and threatening service quality.

Posted: January 22, 2020, 7:35 pm

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Healing a Community

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Healing a Community
Leah Daughtry podcast
AFL-CIO

On the latest episode of "State of the Unions," podcast co-hosts Julie and Tim talk with Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO of "On These Things," about Reconnecting McDowell, an AFT project that takes a holistic approach to revitalizing the education and community of McDowell, West Virginia, and how her faith informs her activism.

Listen to our previous episodes:

State of the Unions” is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you can find podcasts.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 01/22/2020 - 12:30
Posted: January 22, 2020, 5:30 pm

Dr. King’s Radical Revolution Of Values

This Monday, the nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. If he hadn’t been murdered, he would be 91 years old. How would Dr. King view today’s activists?   The words to his “I Have a Dream” speech will be repeated from podiums and in classrooms across the country. But many of the people repeating […]
Posted: January 21, 2020, 2:51 pm

An Upcoming Supreme Court Ruling Could Starve Public Schools—In Favor of Religious Ones

On January 22, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a case that could result in the massive expansion of public funding for private religious schools. The petitioners in the case—which will be litigated by the conservative law group, Institute for Justice—are asking that the court rule unconstitutional the denial of “public funds’ […]
Posted: January 21, 2020, 2:48 pm

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Plasterers and Cement Masons

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Plasterers and Cement Masons
OPCMIA
AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Plasterers and Cement Masons.

Name of Union: Plasterers and Cement Masons (OPCMIA)

Mission: To protect and promote the quality of the industry and the livelihood of members, to promote cement and plaster, to recruit and train skilled craftsmen to meet the demands of the industry, and to hold the union responsible to this commitment for the future of the industry and the welfare of all those who earn their living in it.

Current Leadership of Union: Daniel E. Stepano serves as the general president for the OPCMIA, a role he has served in since 2016. He first joined the union as a plasterer in 1980 in Pittsburgh for Local No. 31. After many years of service to the local and beyond, he was appointed international vice president in 2004. At that year's international convention, he was elected to serve as vice president. In 2007, he became executive vice president for the OPCMIA and was re-elected to the role before becoming president. 

Kevin D. Sexton serves as general secretary-treasurer. 

Members Work As: Plasterers, masons and shop hands.

Industries Represented: Members work in two major construction fields, concrete and plaster.

History: The OPCMIA is the oldest building and construction trades union in the United States, beginning during the Civil War. Leaders sought to unify various local craft unions in the trade. Once the union became active, it endorsed the eight-hour workday and instituted apprentice training and regulation. In 1887, the union became international by allowing Canadian workers to join. In 1951, Operative Plasterers were added to the name as a reflection that members did more than finish cement. For more than a century, the OPCMIA has lived by the principles upon which it was founded and upon which the OPCMIA will continue to be proud, strong and united.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: OPCMIA Veterans spotlights members who have transitioned from military service to their country into the industry. Plasterer and Cement Mason magazine provides news and information. The OPCMIA provides training to help working people expand their skills and pursue their goals. OPCMIA Gear offers branded merchandise for members and supporters.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 01/21/2020 - 08:31
Posted: January 21, 2020, 1:31 pm

The Politics of Pensions: No Bailout for You

On December 24 last year, the New York Times reported that a multi-billion-dollar bailout of the United Mine Workers Health & Retirement Fund which was slated to go broke in 2023 had been rolled into the $1.4 trillion bi-partisan spending … Continue reading
Posted: January 20, 2020, 12:37 pm

A Win for Nurses and Patients: Worker Wins

A Win for Nurses and Patients: Worker Wins

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with nurses banding together to make patients' lives better and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life. The end of 2019 saw a flurry of wins for working people, so this is the first in several posts over the next week that will cover the victories of the last quarter of the year.

California Nurses Win New Master Contract: Nearly 4,000 registered nurses at eight Tenet hospitals in California approved a new master contract. The nurses are members of California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU). The new agreement enhances recruitment and retention, assures eight-hour rest periods between shifts, adequate breaks, scheduling improvements, better health and safety, wage increases, and protections for the nurses' health care. “We are very proud of what we’ve achieved with this new contract. It is a testament to what registered nurses can accomplish collectively when we stand together as committed patient advocates,” said Ginny Gary, an registered nurse at the Los Alamitos Medical Center. “This new agreement is a win for the nurses and our patients, for our families and for the communities we serve across the state.”

University of Chicago Nurses Avert Strike with Tentative Deal: The nurses, members of National Nurses United (NNU), planned for a one-day strike and the hospital said it would lock out the nurses in response. The strike was canceled when the the agreement was reached. “Both sides have been working since March on a contract that not only recognizes the valuable contributions our nurses make to our organization, but also ensures [the University of Chicago Medical Center] remains at the forefront of medical care and scientific research for years to come,” said Debra Albert, the hospital’s chief nursing officer.

Last of the Big Three Detroit Auto Makers Reaches Agreement with UAW: UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) reached a tentative four-year agreement that would cover hourly workers at the company. The deal secures $9 billion of company investments that will create nearly 8,000 jobs. "FCA has been a great American success story thanks to the hard work of our members. We have achieved substantial gains and job security provisions for the fastest growing auto company in the United States," said Rory Gamble, the acting president of the UAW.

Philadelphia Public Defenders to Become UAW Members: A majority of the 200 lawyers at the Defender Association of Philadelphia voted to be represented by the UAW. The lawyers represent some 70% of those arrested for criminal offenses or probation violations in the city. In a petition to management, the attorneys said: “We have all chosen this work because we are passionate about protecting the constitutional rights of our clients and giving them a voice in a system that otherwise does not. We believe that by collectively improving our workplace, we will better serve our clients.”

New Mexico Faculty Vote to be Represented by AFT: More than 70% of faculty at the University of New Mexico (UNM) voted to be represented by AFT. More than 1,600 full- and part-time faculty across five campuses will also be members of the American Association of University Professors. The new unit, United Academics of the University of New Mexico, will begin bargaining with the university on its first contract. Hilary Lipka, a temporary part-time faculty member in religious studies, said: "This is a historic moment for faculty at UNM. Our victory reflects how important it is that the university treats faculty with dignity and respect. We look forward to sitting down with the administration and negotiating a contract that acknowledges the work and value that part-time faculty contribute to the university."

Zoellner Arts Center Stagehands Join IATSE: In a unanimous vote, stagehands who work at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania voted unanimously to join Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 200. The workers support the 200-plus annual events held at the arts center. The new unit will meet with Lehigh to begin negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement.

Los Angeles Times Newsroom Employees Reach Tentative Agreement: Nearly 500 members of the Los Angeles Times newsroom will now be represented by the L.A. Times Guild, an affiliate of The NewsGuild-CWA (TNG-CWA). The contract is more than a year in the making and will provide raises and other benefits over the life of the three-year contract. “We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved together,” said Carolina A. Miranda, co-chair of the L.A. Times Guild. “It’s a difficult time in the industry, but we’ve landed significant pay increases and a broad safety net of job protections that are some of the best in the industry. We’re grateful that Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is actively reinvesting in The Times. This is a win for journalism and a win for L.A.”

Hormel Workers Across the Country Approve New Contract: Thousands of Hormel workers nationwide approved a new contract that strengthens wages, expands health care and increases pension security. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents the Hormel workers, said: “By strongly voting for a new contract that improves wages and benefits, thousands of our hardworking members sent a powerful message this week about the power that comes from workers standing together."

Houston Mayor Signs $12 Minimum Wage for Airport Workers: After months of workers demanding that city leaders raise the minimum wage at George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for all airport workers in Houston to $12 an hour. The rate is a first step in pursuit of $15 an hour minimum wage at the airports in Houston. “We are excited that Mayor Turner met with airport workers and listened to their struggles, and thankful that he took action to raise wages," said Willy Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 23. "This is a great step forward for Houston’s airport workers. For many of our members, this will make the difference between whether or not they can pay rent at the end of the month.

Actors' Equity Reaches Agreement with The Broadway League: An overwhelming 95% of Actors' Equity (AEA) members voted to approve the new production contract with The Broadway League. "This negotiation resulted in not only great compensation increases for our members but created new terms and conditions that provide further protections for stage managers and swings," said Mary McColl, executive director of AEA. "This is the third negotiation we have completed with The Broadway League this year. Thanks to the solidarity and support of our members, all three have been successful."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 01/17/2020 - 10:52
Posted: January 17, 2020, 3:52 pm

Strikes Are Hard Work

Dedham educators in red, on a picket line, with red and white signs.

They stood on a picket line at the entrance to the school parking lot: seven educators out on strike for the first time.

Public sector strikes are illegal in Massachusetts. But the night before, after two years of fruitless negotiations, the 300 members of the Dedham Education Association had voted overwhelming to walk out.

Now educators lined the main street from the high school to the middle school, celebrating each passing car that honked support.

“I’m nervous,” said one. “I am a new teacher, two years in the district.”

Posted: January 13, 2020, 3:38 pm

Greater Boston Labor Council Makes History with Latest Election

Greater Boston Labor Council Makes History with Latest Election

The Greater Boston Labor Council (GBLC), AFL-CIO, made history last week with the election of the first woman of color to its top office. Darlene Lombos takes over as executive secretary-treasurer, replacing Richard Rogers, who officially retired after leading the GBLC for the past 16 years.

Darlene Lombos, Greater Boston Labor CouncilLombos brings more than 20 years of community and youth organizing experience in the labor movement to the position. She served as vice president of the GBLC and has been the executive director of Community Labor United since 2011. A vital asset to the greater Boston community, her work continues to protect and promote the interests of working-class families and communities of color in greater Boston and throughout the commonwealth.

“I am honored to lead such an amazing group of dedicated workers in the Boston area,” said Lombos. “Rich was a true mentor and I look forward to continuing his legacy of empowering working families for years to come.”

Richard Rogers, Greater Boston Labor CouncilRogers, a member of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Local 391, leaves behind an impressive legacy in the labor movement. Prior to leading the GBLC, Rogers served on the staff of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO for 21 years, 12 of those as the state federation’s political director. He was the chief organizer for several influential political campaigns, including Ted Kennedy’s 1994 U.S. Senate race and the elections of Jim McGovern and John Tierney to the U.S. House of Representatives. He played an integral role during his four terms as GBLC executive secretary-treasurer in growing and strengthening the Boston-area labor movement.

In recognition of his lifetime of hard work and dedication to the movement, The Labor Guild awarded the prestigious Cushing-Gavin Award to Rogers in December 2019.

Dennis Loney Mon, 01/13/2020 - 08:26
Posted: January 13, 2020, 1:26 pm

Beyond Policy: Why Democrats Need to Show White Working-Class Voters Some Respect

When I heard Hillary Clinton refer to half of Trump supporters as “deplorables” during her 2016 presidential campaign, I knew she would lose. Her comment exemplified the arrogant, elitist, dismissive attitudes that make many white working-class voters suspicious of the … Continue reading
Posted: January 13, 2020, 12:13 pm

Economy Gains 145,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Unchanged at 3.5%

Economy Gains 145,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Unchanged at 3.5%

The U.S. economy gained 145,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 3.5%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Preliminary data from BLS also shows, for the first time since 2010, the majority of workers on U.S. payrolls are women, underscoring the importance of addressing the gender wage gap.

In response to the December job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

@BLS_gov continues to show modest wage gains, up only 2.9 percent over the year. Combined with modest employment growth, clearly the @federalreserve was correct to reverse course on interest rate hikes it had planned beginning back in 2018. @AFLCIO #JobsReport

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 10, 2020

The industries with the lowest wages (moving down the graph below the dotted horizontal line) and the greatest job gains (moving to the right from the dotted vertical line). This composition effect helps to slow overall wage growth. @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/QFrHWlT2M7

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 10, 2020

At 3.1% for Leisure & hospitality (mostly food service workers) and 4.2% for Retail trade, both industries where the minimum wage increases have been important, saw higher year-over-year wage growth than the average. @ernietedeschi @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/D6XgCROogR

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 10, 2020

The weakness in wage growth, and the deceleration in job growth contribute to this sad statistic: Employment in motor vehicle production fell from 1.005 million in December 2018 to 986,900 last month. At 3.5% unemployment selling cars should be easy. @UAW @AFLCIO @bencasselman

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 10, 2020

State government (on left) and local government employment continue their climbs back to restoring the needed public investment for sustained growth. But, in December state government employment took a small dip, losing 8,000 while local employment grew 14,000. @AFSCME @AFTunion pic.twitter.com/YgVBb1QB9d

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 10, 2020

Last month's biggest job gains were in retail trade (41,000), leisure and hospitality (40,000), and health care (28,000). Mining lost jobs (-8,000). Employment in other major industries—including construction, manufacturing, financial activities, transportation and warehousing, wholesale trade, information, professional and business services, and government—showed little change over the month.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for teenagers (12.6%), blacks (5.9%), Hispanics (4.2%), adult men (3.1%), whites (3.2%), adult women (3.2%) and Asians (2.5%) showed little or no change in December.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was unchanged in December and accounted for 20.5% of the unemployed.

Dennis Loney Fri, 01/10/2020 - 13:11
Posted: January 10, 2020, 6:11 pm

Can Workers Still Use the National Labor Relations Board under Trump?

Nine Black film industry parking attendants in coats, smiling with fists up, indoors, in front of an NLRB office in New York City.
January 09, 2020 / Gabrielle (Gay) Semel
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For those following labor law issues, each week seems to bring a new horror story about the Trump Labor Board dismantling rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Posted: January 9, 2020, 7:28 pm

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Collective Heroism

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Collective Heroism
State of the Unions: Collective Heroism
.

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” AFL-CIO podcast co-hosts Julie Greene Collier and Tim Schlittner talk to Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President Harold Schaitberger about the union’s one-of-a-kind behavioral health treatment facility in Maryland dedicated to treating IAFF members struggling with addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and other related behavioral challenges. They discuss the toll of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on firefighters and their families, the response of the IAFF in its wake, and the life of a firefighter.

Listen to our previous episodes:

State of the Unions” is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you can find podcasts.

Dennis Loney Wed, 01/08/2020 - 14:20
Posted: January 8, 2020, 7:20 pm

How We Organized The Oakland Teachers Strike

Oakland teachers marching down the street en masse with two bullhorns and a sign.
January 07, 2020 / Keith D. Brown, Ismael Armendariz, Chaz Garcia
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We organized a seven-day strike last February and March that united 3,000 Oakland public school educators with parents and community against a billionaire-backed school board.

By striking, we forced our boss to double the compensation offer, take all concessions off the table, and admit that privatization was hurting our kids.

Here’s how we organized a shutdown seven months into our first year in office.

Posted: January 7, 2020, 10:43 pm

A Future That Works for Workers

A Future That Works for Workers

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the AFL-CIO is partnering with SAG-AFTRA to host the second annual Labor Innovation & Technology Summit. The summit, led by AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor, brings together union, technology, entertainment and media leaders to explore how these industries intersect and the potential impact for America’s workers and for the country’s creative culture. 

As the voice of working Americans, unions play a critical role in ensuring that rapidly evolving technology, which will bring so many great things to humanity, doesn’t roll over humans in the process. Recognizing that this can only be accomplished by partnering with the tech industry, the second annual Labor Innovation & Technology Summit brings together diverse voices for a frank conversation about where we are, where we’re going and the critical milestones along the way.

About the AFL-CIO Commission on the Future of Work and Unions

For the better part of four decades, workers have been more productive than ever, creating massive amounts of wealth—but rigged economic rules, unmitigated corporate greed and unrelenting political attacks have weakened our voices, stifled our wages and eroded our economic security. Yet, as we write this report, a wave of collective action is sweeping the nation. Working people across industries and demographics are joining together for a better life. This uprising comes at a critical moment, as the astounding technologies of the digital revolution have the potential to improve workers’ lives but also threaten to degrade or eliminate millions of jobs.

The AFL-CIO Commission on the Future of Work and Unions, formed by a unanimous vote of the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention, is putting working people where we belong—at the center of shaping the economy, work, unions and the AFL-CIO.

Related Articles

An Open Letter to Game Developers from America's Largest Labor Organization
Kotaku
By Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer

Now it’s time for industry bosses to start treating you with hard-earned dignity and respect. While you’re putting in crunch time, your bosses are ringing the opening bell on Wall Street. While you’re creating some of the most groundbreaking products of our time, they’re pocketing billions. While you’re fighting through exhaustion and putting your soul into a game, Bobby Kotick and Andrew Wilson are toasting to “their” success.

America’s Biggest Labor Federation Asks Game Developers to Unionize
Variety
By Emily Gera

A leading figure from America’s biggest labor organization penned an open letter to game developers encouraging unionization across the games industry. AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler took to Kotaku with a post that asks workers in the games industry to fight for adequate pay, sensible work hours, and against toxic work conditions.

Amid Game Industry Layoffs, AFL-CIO Says It’s Time for Workers to Organize
Polygon
By Charlie Hall

On Feb. 15, just days after massive layoffs at Activision Blizzard, the AFL-CIO issued a powerful public statement of support to game developers in the United States. Also known as the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the AFL-CIO represents more than 12 million workers in 50 different labor unions, including a unit here within Vox Media. Its message, published in an open letter at Kotaku, was both simple and profound.

Activision Blizzard CEO's $30M Pay Under Fire from Labor Union: 'Like Legal Highway Robbery'
Hollywood Reporter
By Patrick Shanley

The AFL-CIO, the nation's largest federation of unions, has taken aim at Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and his annual compensation in 2018 following a massive round of layoffs earlier this year which saw nearly 800 employees lose their jobs. AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler, in a statement published Tuesday, highlighted Kotick's financial compensation in 2018—which was $30.8 million, the majority of which came from stock options ($19 million)—saying, "This is like legal highway robbery."

Dennis Loney Mon, 01/06/2020 - 11:22
Posted: January 6, 2020, 4:22 pm

Amazon Warehouse Workers Deliver Christmas Walkout

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Workers at Amazon’s DSM1 warehouse in Sacramento celebrated Christmas in their own fashion—by walking out. It was the latest move in their campaign for paid time off.

Night-shift workers delivered a petition with 4,015 signatures to management during their 2:30 a.m. break on December 23. After reading out loud their demands for a meeting with management and paid time off, 36 of the 100 night-shift workers clocked out at 2:45 a.m. and walked off the job mid-shift.

Posted: January 3, 2020, 7:49 pm

2019 Year in Review: Workers Strike Back

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2018 could have been a tough act to follow. It’s not every year that a grassroots movement of teachers captures the nation’s attention.

But workers across the country rose to the occasion, making 2019 one of the most exciting years for the labor movement in recent memory.

TEACHERS KEPT AT IT

In terms of the number of workers who went on strike, 2019 is on pace to match 2018.

Posted: December 20, 2019, 8:17 pm

A Busy Year for Labor Notes!

Labor Notes has been at it for 40 years. But 2019 will go down as one of our busiest and most productive yet.

In addition to putting out our monthly magazine, we crisscrossed the country joining picket lines, organizing Troublemakers Schools, and meeting with workers to help them chart a path forward in their unions and workplaces.

Posted: December 20, 2019, 7:24 pm

Six UAW Locals Back Direct Elections of Top Officers

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United Auto Workers activists are making a push for a specially called national convention to amend the union’s constitution and mandate that its top positions be elected by a direct vote of the members.

So far six UAW locals have passed resolutions, including four that participated in the recent strike at General Motors—Locals 774 and 259 in New York, Local 1853 in Tennessee, Local 838 in Iowa, and Local 167 in Michigan—plus the National Writers Union, Local 1981. Together they represent an estimated 10,000 members.

Posted: December 18, 2019, 10:39 pm

Review: Longtime Labor Reporter Describes the Decline of Worker Power

Early in his new book, Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor, former New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse makes a striking observation. He writes, “There’s a hugely important but often overlooked phenomenon that goes far to explain why so many bad things are happening to American workers, and that is the decades-long decline in worker power, both in the workplace and in politics and policy.” The purpose of this book seems to be to make sure this phenomenon is no longer overlooked.

Posted: December 18, 2019, 9:38 pm

Working-Class Christmas

During this Christmas season, there is a tweet making the rounds that shows the number of paid vacation days in thirteen different countries by law: France             30 Denmark         25 Finland            25 Norway           25 Sweden           25 … Continue reading
Posted: December 16, 2019, 12:21 pm

Challenger Wins Re-Run Vote to Head NewsGuild

After a much-contested election process, the largest union of journalists in North America has chosen a 32-year-old reporter at the Los Angeles Times to be its new leader.

Jon Schleuss helped win union recognition and a historic first contract at the Times (a non-union paper for 136 years) before ousting NewsGuild President Bernie Lunzer, a three-term incumbent twice his age.

Posted: December 13, 2019, 2:16 pm

Valuing Working-Class Life: Recent Memoirs by Working-Class Women

With the UK general election looming, there has been renewed interest in the effects of years of austerity measures on poor and working-class people. It seems clear that inequality has increased and more and more people rely on food banks … Continue reading
Posted: December 9, 2019, 1:05 pm

Amplified Advantage: Why Education Is Not the Answer to Our Class Problems

Thirty years ago, after having dropped out of college after just one term, unable to pay for my dorm room, I was unsure if I would ever leave the working class.  Two years later I was a student at Barnard … Continue reading
Posted: December 2, 2019, 12:30 pm

Re-Placing Class: Community, Politics, Work, and Labor in a Changing World

This week, we’re posting something a little different: the call for papers for this year’s Working-Class Studies Association conference. This year’s gathering marks the 25th anniversary of the conference that led to the founding of the Center for Working-Class Studies, … Continue reading
Posted: November 25, 2019, 12:24 pm

National Labor Relations Board Twists the Knife in the Heart of Unions and Workers

It may be hard to remember, but the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is supposed to ensure the right of workers to organize and safeguard the stated public policy expounded in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which favors collective … Continue reading
Posted: November 18, 2019, 1:01 pm

Sanders or Warren? Populist-Progressivism or New Deal? Take Your Pick!

Despite their general agreement on specific issues, the two most left-wing candidates for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have embraced different ideological markers.  Sanders calls himself a “democratic socialist” and his near-miss 2016 primary … Continue reading
Posted: November 11, 2019, 6:27 am

Counting on Class: The Continuing Appeal of Meritocracy

Neither faith in nor critiques of the idea of meritocracy is new. Michael Young’s famous 1958 book The Rise of Meritocracy argued that class privilege and advantage were likely to be amplified as financial and cultural capital passed across generations … Continue reading
Posted: November 4, 2019, 12:47 pm