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NewsFeed - Labor

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Black Girl Magic: The Power of Black Women in Elections

Today, on a press call held in honor of National Voter Registration Day, the AFL-CIO released new data revealing black women voters as the key to electing Hillary Clinton president in November. The data reveal that black women turn out to vote in higher numbers than other women and, just as they helped President Barack Obama win in 2008 and 2012, can secure the presidency for Hillary Clinton.

Posted: September 27, 2016, 7:19 pm

Working Families Respond to the First Presidential Debate

In a wild debate where Hillary Clinton showed that she was prepared and ready to be president and Donald Trump was, well, present, issues important to working families were front and center.

Posted: September 27, 2016, 4:46 pm

Nation’s capital wants to ban salary histories

A D.C. lawmaker says asking for salary histories “perpetuates the wage gap problem.” First, Massachusetts became the only state to ban employers from asking about prospective employees’ salary histories. Then New York City and Congress followed suit. Now lawmakers in the nation’s capital want to be the next: A city council member has introduced legislation that […]
Posted: September 27, 2016, 4:24 pm

CWA: Working People Know Why Hillary Clinton Must Be the Next President

The first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump provided even more evidence that Hillary Clinton is the candidate most qualified to become President of the United States and to implement policies and programs that will improve the lives of millions of working families.

Posted: September 27, 2016, 3:59 pm

A Union Is Brewing at Virginia Lipton Factory

What pushed tea factory workers to their boiling point?

In August the workers who supply Lipton’s entire North American market voted 108-79 to join Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400.

They were fed up with an unrelenting schedule that produces constant fatigue, injuries, and broken relationships.

Lipton brings tea from around the world through the Port of Virginia. At its single 20-acre plant in nearby Suffolk, 200 workers roast, blend, package, and warehouse it, producing over 6 billion bags a year.

Posted: September 27, 2016, 3:37 pm

National Voter Registration Day: Care About Your Community? Register to Vote!

My current work as a forensic coordinator for a hospital in Baltimore brings me into daily contact with people who are in the court system. Every day I run mental assessments to help the court decide whether mental illness is responsible for a person’s visit to the local courthouse. In my previous job at a local jail, I saw a steady stream of people returning to jail because they didn’t know how difficult having a criminal record would make it for them to find steady employment and readjust to life in their communities. 

Posted: September 27, 2016, 11:00 am

Why the Presidential Debate Is Hillary’s Moment

When Hillary Clinton takes the stage for her first debate with Donald Trump, her primary purpose should be very simple: She must let go and be herself.

Posted: September 26, 2016, 5:03 pm

Trying to Teach Old Dogs New Tricks

 On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve’s open market committee concluded its two-day meeting to set U.S. monetary policy. In a vote that divided the Board of Governors, appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in an open public process, and the presidents of the regional bank board presidents, chosen by boards dominated by banks […]
Posted: September 26, 2016, 12:37 pm

Who is Shameless This Election Season? One TV Show’s Challenging Depiction of the Working Poor

  Since the 2016 Presidential race began, pundits have been scrambling to understand what is apparently the most inscrutable segment of the Trump voting bloc: disaffected white working-class middle-aged men who feel they have lost gender and race privileges along … Continue reading
Posted: September 26, 2016, 11:08 am

The Working People Weekly List

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.

Posted: September 25, 2016, 11:00 am

Union Women in the Rust Belt Stepping Up for Clinton

A new article at Bloomberg takes a look at union women in the Rust Belt and finds that more and more of them are supporting Hillary Clinton.

Posted: September 24, 2016, 11:00 am

Business-Backed ‘Anti-Union Union’ Falters at Volkswagen

Tennessee’s infamous anti-union union is fading away for lack of members. Will Volkswagen’s rationale for keeping out a real union crumble with it?

The American Council of Employees, a business-financed rival to the United Auto Workers at Chattanooga’s VW plant, no longer meets the minimum membership threshold to qualify for meetings with management as part of the company’s so-called “Community Organization Engagement” policy.

Posted: September 23, 2016, 7:58 pm

As Trump Visits Pittsburgh, Working Families Reject His Agenda

Donald Trump campaigned in Pittsburgh this week, and working families were there to make sure that Trump's agenda was exposed as the fraud it is. Here is some of the local coverage.

Posted: September 23, 2016, 7:15 pm

Trying to Teach Old Dogs New Tricks

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve's open market committee concluded its two-day meeting to set U.S. monetary policy. In a vote that divided the Board of Governors, appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in an open public process, and the presidents of the regional bank board presidents, chosen by boards dominated by banks within their region, Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the FOMC, announced the FOMC decided to hold steady to its current fed funds rate. The fed funds rate is an overnight interest charge made between banks loaning reserves to each other. If it is higher, the cost of making loans goes up, and that reduces liquidity for the business and consumer sectors. Lower liquidity means less borrowing for business investment or consumer purchases like homes and cars. In turn, that means slower demand, and translates into slower growth for jobs.

Posted: September 23, 2016, 5:09 pm

Farmworkers Taste the Fruits of Victory

After three years of tireless organizing, 500 farmworkers at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Washington state have finally won union recognition.

The berry pickers, mainly indigenous migrants from Mexico, began their fight with a work stoppage in 2013 and never let up.

Posted: September 23, 2016, 3:42 pm

Worker Wins Update: Groundbreaking Contract Victories in Multiple Industries

When working people come together and win the contracts, it proves that our raising wages agenda drives economic stability. Working people across the country are creating better lives for themselves and turning those workplace victories into political power. These latest worker wins show what the power of collective voice can achieve.

Posted: September 23, 2016, 2:23 pm

AFL-CIO Backs Dakota Access Pipeline and the “Family Supporting Jobs” It Provides

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) came out this week in support of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the construction of which was delayed last week by an order from the Obama administration—a decision that itself stemmed from months of protests led by the Standing Rock Sioux. In a statement, Richard […]
Posted: September 23, 2016, 1:00 pm

U.S. Senate Banking Committee Grills Wells Fargo CEO on Damaging Sales Practices

U.S. Senators from both political parties strongly criticized Wells Fargo's damaging sales practices and grilled the bank's CEO John Stumpf in a Capitol Hill hearing on Tuesday.

Posted: September 22, 2016, 5:50 pm

CWA Women for Political Power on the Ground in 20 States

"CWA Women for Political Power" is a new program mobilizing CWAers to support candidates who will adopt policies important to working women. 

Posted: September 22, 2016, 5:38 pm

Bargaining Update

Bargaining updates for ABC/Disney, Omni Air Flight Attendants, and AT&T West.

Posted: September 22, 2016, 5:34 pm

Political Action Update

Are you registered to vote? Are you sure?

Posted: September 22, 2016, 5:28 pm

CWA N.J. Local Government Stewards Meet for Mobilization Training

Last week, more than 40 CWA members participated in shop stewards' training on mobilizing around workplace issues.

Posted: September 22, 2016, 5:23 pm

Mark Your Calendar: CWA Customer Service Professionals Conference

CWA's Customer Service Professionals Conference is set for Oct. 16-18 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Posted: September 22, 2016, 5:20 pm

TPP Update

When the "Rock Against the TPP" tour hits Boston on October 7, IUE-CWA member Adam Kaz will be part of the show.

Posted: September 22, 2016, 5:18 pm

Working Families in Action

When they aren't on the job, working people put their time and effort into helping their community and working for the issues and political leaders who fight for us. Here are some recent examples of working people in action.

Posted: September 22, 2016, 4:42 pm

Chicago Teacher: Why We May Strike Again

September 22, 2016 / Gabriel Sheridan

Update, September 26: The Chicago Teachers Union announced this morning that members have voted to authorize a strike, with 90.6 percent turnout and 95.6 percent voting yes. The union's House of Delegates will meet September 28 to decide the next step. A strike could begin as soon as October 11.

Chicago teachers are voting September 21-23 on whether to authorize another open-ended strike.

Posted: September 22, 2016, 4:11 pm

Welcome, Leah!

Labor Notes is thrilled to welcome Leah Fried as its new associate director.

Posted: September 22, 2016, 3:36 pm

Why the Wells Fargo Scandal Shows the Need to End Forced Arbitration

Another day, another scandal at the big banks. Since the financial crisis, banks like Barclays and UBS have been caught manipulating interest rates; J.P. Morgan has reluctantly handed over billions for its association with Bernie Madoff, illegal hiring practices, and lax oversight of its own traders among its other misdeeds; while Goldman Sachs has been […]
Posted: September 22, 2016, 12:00 pm

Working People Give a Bold Union Yes in Las Vegas

If you were lamenting that Labor Day’s current day association with leisure has obfuscated the true meaning of the holiday—don’t despair because the working people of Boulder Station Hotel & Casino got together over the Labor Day weekend and after a long battle said, “Union Yes!” More than 570 Boulder Station workers will now enjoy […]
Posted: September 21, 2016, 11:48 am

Uber Drivers Learn that Sometimes the Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

Courts have an important responsibility to approve class action settlements and ensure that the plaintiffs and their attorneys are not selling out the class by colluding with the defendants. Sometimes, though, in their zealous protection of the absent class members, courts wind up forgetting the old aphorism attributed to Confucius: “Better a diamond with a […]
Posted: September 20, 2016, 11:30 am

The gender wage gap hasn’t budged in 9 years

The average woman who had a full-time, year-round job in 2015 made just 80 percent of what a man did, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. That’s up from last year’s 79 percent, but the increase is not statistically significant. The wage gap hasn’t closed significantly since 2007. In 2015, men made […]
Posted: September 19, 2016, 11:30 am

White Trash, Hillbillies, and Middle-Class Stereotypes

During election years white people who do not have bachelor’s degrees (the increasingly common definition of “the working class”) become both a somewhat exotic who-knew-they-were-here-and-in-such-large-numbers object of discussion and a target for freewheeling social psychologizing. Thus, it is more than … Continue reading
Posted: September 19, 2016, 11:08 am

Minimum Wage Increases On the Ballot In Four States

There’s a lot more going on in this election than the presidential race between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. Borne out of the dedication and hard work of activists, ballot initiatives give citizens the opportunity to vote directly on legislation and constitutional amendments at the state and local level, sometimes even […]
Posted: September 16, 2016, 7:20 pm

Viewpoint: Unifor’s Focus on Investment Lets Down Canadian GM Workers

September 16, 2016 / Herman Rosenfeld

Ever since the sit-down strikes of the 1930s, the cycle of Big Three auto bargaining has been a major economic and political event, an indicator of the progress of working class power in North America.

Such interest has sagged lately—but it charged back into the news when Unifor President Jerry Dias declared that winning new investments for Canada is at the top of the union’s agenda in its bargaining with General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler.

Posted: September 16, 2016, 2:43 pm

The Fight to Save UMass Labor Center Is a Fight for Worker Power

The Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Amherst is in turmoil. Its director, Eve Weinbaum, says she was abruptly pushed out of the position. In an alarming e-mail to alumni, students and allies, she protested funding cuts to teaching assistants and part-time instructors and, more troublingly, threats to the “Labor Studies faculty’s autonomy […]
Posted: September 16, 2016, 11:00 am

Bargaining Update

Bargaining updates for DirecTV and ABC Inc.

Posted: September 15, 2016, 6:54 pm

Political Action Update

Political action updates from Colorado, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Posted: September 15, 2016, 6:43 pm

As UMass Higher-Ups Gut Labor Center, Students and Alums Speak Out

On the eve of Labor Day, students and alumni of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Labor Center discovered that the program was under attack.

Professor Eve Weinbaum, the center’s respected director, alerted alumni and students by email that she was being ousted, and that the university administration was slashing funding for many aspects of the nationally recognized program.

Posted: September 15, 2016, 4:43 pm

Wisconsin’s “Smoking Gun Of The Rigged Economy”

 “Outsourcing is the smoking gun of the rigged economy.” — Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Companies extort tax breaks and subsidies by threatening to withhold jobs. After their demands are met, they instead outsource the promised jobs. For the workers who remain, the threat of outsourcing causes their wages to fall. […]
Posted: September 14, 2016, 12:35 pm

'Superstore' Is the Realest Retail Sitcom Yet

Ever wanted to know what it’s really like to work in retail? “Superstore” is the show to watch.

I know retail like the back of my hand. I worked at Walmart for five years, in jobs from sales floor associate, like Jonah on the show, to management, like Amy. And I’m far from alone; Walmart is the largest private employer in the U.S., employing 1.5 million people.

Yet it’s still rare to see jobs like mine depicted at all in pop culture—let alone as the stars of a show.

Posted: September 12, 2016, 4:19 pm

Solidarity, not Division: Understanding London’s East End

The East End of London has a long history of working-class community. It has been a place of industry, where the river Thames and the river Lea have provided work for many people. The area attracted many immigrants, including workers … Continue reading
Posted: September 12, 2016, 11:37 am

At the Profitable Space Needle, Workers Keep Pushing for a Contract

The Space Needle, Seattle’s iconic landmark and tourist destination, is also home to Washington state’s highest-grossing restaurant.

Yet the workers there have been without a union contract since management unilaterally terminated theirs in 2012—committing five violations of federal labor law, the National Labor Relations Board later found.

Posted: September 8, 2016, 9:16 pm

When Your Boss Is Just Going through the Motions

September 08, 2016 / David Cohen

Has your union ever faced an employer that treated bargaining as a sham?

Such employers have no interest in reaching a compromise; they’re intent on forcing concessions or breaking the union. Often they never move off their concessionary proposals. Finally they declare impasse and implement their “last, best, and final offer.”

Winning against an employer like this requires a multi-pronged strategy. Members will need to gather public support and wage a fight that affects the employer’s production or services.

Posted: September 8, 2016, 2:51 pm

Poverty and Precarious Work

Given that many working people are also poor, Labor Day is good time to talk about poverty in the United States. But in this election year, with so much with emphasis on jobs, we should look especially at the relationship … Continue reading
Posted: September 4, 2016, 6:43 pm

Why Evangelicals Matter to the Labor Movement

Conventional wisdom tells us that all evangelicals must be anti-union because they are theologically and politically conservative. Therefore, you might assume, labor has nothing to gain from the sixty two million adult adherents of evangelicalism in the U.S. Yet evangelicals … Continue reading
Posted: August 29, 2016, 10:23 am

Some Silver Linings for the Working Class in British Politics?

On the face of it, there is little to make progressives cheerful about in British politics at the moment. In the wake of June’s Brexit vote the Labour party has begun to knock large lumps out of itself with a … Continue reading
Posted: August 22, 2016, 12:25 am

The Education Campaign: Addressing Inequality through Teaching and Learning?

Other than Hillary Clinton’s adoption of Bernie Sanders’s proposal to make college tuition free for most Americans, we haven’t heard much about education in this year’s election. The focus has been on economic inequality, immigration, trade, and national security – … Continue reading
Posted: August 15, 2016, 11:21 am

Chasing Tax Cheats to Create Jobs: Why Don’t We Do That?

I’m guessing that tax collectors have never been a popular group, but we need thousands more of them, probably about 50,000 more. Why? Because something like $400 billion in business and personal taxes go uncollected each year, and with more … Continue reading
Posted: August 1, 2016, 11:24 am

Greyhound Racing in Australia: The Demise of a Working-Class Pastime (and Why That’s a Good Thing)

  The recent announcement that the New South Wales government in Australia was banning Greyhound racing starting in 2017 surprised many. They didn’t expect this from the conservative Liberal Party that runs the NSW government, and many were cynical about … Continue reading
Posted: July 25, 2016, 10:43 am

Why Clinton Could Lose the Working Class in Ohio

Note: As the Republican National Convention gets underway in Cleveland, we’re reposting John Russo’s recent op-ed explaining why Hillary Clinton could lose working-class voters in Ohio and what she would need to do in order to win. The piece first … Continue reading
Posted: July 18, 2016, 11:53 am