Labor Notes

NewsGuild Challenger Calls for Rerun Election

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2019-06-20 12:16
NewsGuild Challenger Calls for Rerun Election June 20, 2019 / Randy Furst<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Who will lead the NewsGuild is an open question after its first contested presidential election in 11 years.

Incumbent Bernie Lunzer squeezed out a few more votes than insurgent candidate Jon Schleuss. But Schleuss says Lunzer and his executive team violated a number of federal rules on the conduct of elections.

This prompted Schleuss and at least 60 other members to file challenges calling for a rerun.

Categories: Labor Notes

NewsGuild Challenger Calls for Rerun Election

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2019-06-20 12:16
NewsGuild Challenger Calls for Rerun Election June 20, 2019 / Randy Furst<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Who will lead the NewsGuild is an open question after its first contested presidential election in 11 years.

Incumbent Bernie Lunzer squeezed out a few more votes than insurgent candidate Jon Schleuss. But Schleuss says Lunzer and his executive team violated a number of federal rules on the conduct of elections.

This prompted Schleuss and at least 60 other members to file challenges calling for a rerun.

Categories: Labor Notes

Why the UAW Lost Again in Chattanooga

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2019-06-14 17:00
Why the UAW Lost Again in Chattanooga June 14, 2019 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

It was a bad sign. On the day voting began at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the shift change suddenly turned blue.

Throngs of workers were passing through the factory turnstiles in both directions, as the day shift ended and the night shift began. On the preceding days, handfuls of union supporters in bright green shirts were there to hand out flyers and banter with their co-workers.

Categories: Labor Notes

Why the UAW Lost Again in Chattanooga

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2019-06-14 17:00
Why the UAW Lost Again in Chattanooga June 14, 2019 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

It was a bad sign. On the day voting began at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the shift change suddenly turned blue.

Throngs of workers were passing through the factory turnstiles in both directions, as the day shift ended and the night shift began. On the preceding days, handfuls of union supporters in bright green shirts were there to hand out flyers and banter with their co-workers.

Categories: Labor Notes

Volkswagen Declares War against Works Council and German Union

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2019-06-12 14:59

A top employee representative in Volkswagen’s Global Works Council was denied entry into the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory today as the union election began.

The plant’s 1,700 eligible hourly employees began voting this morning on whether to form a union with the United Auto Workers. The results will be announced Friday night.

According to a statement from the Global Works Council, Johan Järvklo arrived at the plant to be an election observer. Workers confirmed that he was booted.

Categories: Labor Notes

Volkswagen Declares War against Works Council and German Union

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2019-06-12 14:59

A top employee representative in Volkswagen’s Global Works Council was denied entry into the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory today as the union election began.

The plant’s 1,700 eligible hourly employees began voting this morning on whether to form a union with the United Auto Workers. The results will be announced Friday night.

According to a statement from the Global Works Council, Johan Järvklo arrived at the plant to be an election observer. Workers confirmed that he was booted.

Categories: Labor Notes

On Eve of Union Vote, Chattanooga VW Workers Describe Rampant Workplace Injuries

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2019-06-11 16:47
On Eve of Union Vote, Chattanooga VW Workers Describe Rampant Workplace Injuries June 11, 2019 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

“I’m only 33 and I can’t see myself working here for another 10 years,” said Ashley Murray. “I would be disabled by then. We need a union because they are a multibillion-dollar company and they treat us like shit.”

Murray is a production employee at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, one of 18 hourly employees there I interviewed for this story. Comments like hers were almost universal.

Categories: Labor Notes

On Eve of Union Vote, Chattanooga VW Workers Describe Rampant Workplace Injuries

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2019-06-11 16:47
On Eve of Union Vote, Chattanooga VW Workers Describe Rampant Workplace Injuries June 11, 2019 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

“I’m only 33 and I can’t see myself working here for another 10 years,” said Ashley Murray. “I would be disabled by then. We need a union because they are a multibillion-dollar company and they treat us like shit.”

Murray is a production employee at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, one of 18 hourly employees there I interviewed for this story. Comments like hers were almost universal.

Categories: Labor Notes

Injured VW Worker: ‘This Is Why We Need a Union’

Steward's Corner - Tue, 2019-06-11 16:35

On-the-job injuries are rampant in auto factories, where many dangerous tasks are still done by hand and in a hurry. It’s one of the main reasons why workers are organizing a union at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The vote begins June 12. Here plant worker Kim Onofrey describes what happened to her. –Eds.

I was working on the metal finish line that repairs defects on the bodies of the vehicles before they go to the paint shop.

Categories: Labor Notes

Injured VW Worker: ‘This Is Why We Need a Union’

Magazine Stories - Tue, 2019-06-11 16:35

On-the-job injuries are rampant in auto factories, where many dangerous tasks are still done by hand and in a hurry. It’s one of the main reasons why workers are organizing a union at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The vote begins June 12. Here plant worker Kim Onofrey describes what happened to her. –Eds.

I was working on the metal finish line that repairs defects on the bodies of the vehicles before they go to the paint shop.

Categories: Labor Notes

Steward's Corner: Pennies for Evelyn

Steward's Corner - Thu, 2019-06-06 13:02
Steward's Corner: Pennies for Evelyn June 06, 2019 / Patrick Weisansal II<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

An issue doesn’t need to violate contract language to spark a winning fight, as this story from my union demonstrates.

Just before Christmas last year, management told one of our members at Buffalo General Hospital that as of the first of the year, she would no longer receive a $1.50-an-hour pay bump as the department lead.

Evelyn is a file clerk in the imaging department, where patients go for X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. She had been receiving this pay differential since the late 1990s in exchange for taking on extra duties as the lead.

Categories: Labor Notes

Steward's Corner: Pennies for Evelyn

Magazine Stories - Thu, 2019-06-06 13:02
Steward's Corner: Pennies for Evelyn June 06, 2019 / Patrick Weisansal II<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

An issue doesn’t need to violate contract language to spark a winning fight, as this story from my union demonstrates.

Just before Christmas last year, management told one of our members at Buffalo General Hospital that as of the first of the year, she would no longer receive a $1.50-an-hour pay bump as the department lead.

Evelyn is a file clerk in the imaging department, where patients go for X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. She had been receiving this pay differential since the late 1990s in exchange for taking on extra duties as the lead.

Categories: Labor Notes

Less Messaging, More Action

Steward's Corner - Wed, 2019-06-05 10:34

You’re at a union meeting, brainstorming for a campaign, when a hand shoots up. “What we need is better messaging. Can we get a billboard? Maybe we could make a meme.”

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve said it yourself. It seems like common sense that if we can just find the right words and the correct medium, we’ll win over our fellow workers, or the community, or politicians.

I was frustrated daily by this logic when I was president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, leading the campaign against a ballot question that would allow for more charter schools.

Categories: Labor Notes

Less Messaging, More Action

Magazine Stories - Wed, 2019-06-05 10:34

You’re at a union meeting, brainstorming for a campaign, when a hand shoots up. “What we need is better messaging. Can we get a billboard? Maybe we could make a meme.”

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve said it yourself. It seems like common sense that if we can just find the right words and the correct medium, we’ll win over our fellow workers, or the community, or politicians.

I was frustrated daily by this logic when I was president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, leading the campaign against a ballot question that would allow for more charter schools.

Categories: Labor Notes

Baltimore Teachers Unseat Incumbents, Who Demand a Do-Over

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2019-05-31 16:36
Baltimore Teachers Unseat Incumbents, Who Demand a Do-Over May 31, 2019 / Samantha Winslow<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

What happens when new leaders run for office and beat an eight-term incumbent? In the Baltimore Teachers Union, it seems, the incumbent tries for a second bite at the apple.

A slate called “The Union We Deserve,” backed by two rank-and-file caucuses, ran for office this spring. Its platform was to open the union up to its own members and join with parents to fight for fully funded public schools.

Categories: Labor Notes

Baltimore Teachers Unseat Incumbents, Who Demand a Do-Over

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2019-05-31 16:36
Baltimore Teachers Unseat Incumbents, Who Demand a Do-Over May 31, 2019 / Samantha Winslow<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

What happens when new leaders run for office and beat an eight-term incumbent? In the Baltimore Teachers Union, it seems, the incumbent tries for a second bite at the apple.

A slate called “The Union We Deserve,” backed by two rank-and-file caucuses, ran for office this spring. Its platform was to open the union up to its own members and join with parents to fight for fully funded public schools.

Categories: Labor Notes

As VW Election Nears, CEO Stokes Fears over Plant Closing from 1988

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2019-05-31 11:26
As VW Election Nears, CEO Stokes Fears over Plant Closing from 1988 May 31, 2019 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

The new head of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant led two all-plant captive-audience meetings on Tuesday, a day before the National Labor Relations Board announced it has scheduled a union election.

Labor Notes has obtained audio of the speeches by CEO Frank Fischer. Both times he insinuated that the United Auto Workers were to blame for the closure of Volkswagen’s plant in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, in 1988.

All 1,709 hourly employees at the plant will be eligible to participate in the election June 12, 13, and 14.

Categories: Labor Notes

As VW Election Nears, CEO Stokes Fears over Plant Closing from 1988

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2019-05-31 11:26
As VW Election Nears, CEO Stokes Fears over Plant Closing from 1988 May 31, 2019 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

The new head of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant led two all-plant captive-audience meetings on Tuesday, a day before the National Labor Relations Board announced it has scheduled a union election.

Labor Notes has obtained audio of the speeches by CEO Frank Fischer. Both times he insinuated that the United Auto Workers were to blame for the closure of Volkswagen’s plant in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, in 1988.

All 1,709 hourly employees at the plant will be eligible to participate in the election June 12, 13, and 14.

Categories: Labor Notes

Strike by Drivers Disrupts Uber Launch

Steward's Corner - Fri, 2019-05-31 09:47
Strike by Drivers Disrupts Uber Launch May 31, 2019 / Joe DeManuelle-Hall<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Rideshare drivers around the world rallied and struck May 8, the day Uber went public. Joined by unions in London and in Melbourne, Australia, drivers from at least 12 U.S. cities participated in the first globally coordinated protest against rideshare companies Uber and Lyft.

During the strike, Lyft’s stock dropped to its lowest value since going public. Uber’s stock market launch (known as an initial public offering, or IPO) lost more value in its first day than any other in U.S. history.

Categories: Labor Notes

Strike by Drivers Disrupts Uber Launch

Magazine Stories - Fri, 2019-05-31 09:47
Strike by Drivers Disrupts Uber Launch May 31, 2019 / Joe DeManuelle-Hall<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Rideshare drivers around the world rallied and struck May 8, the day Uber went public. Joined by unions in London and in Melbourne, Australia, drivers from at least 12 U.S. cities participated in the first globally coordinated protest against rideshare companies Uber and Lyft.

During the strike, Lyft’s stock dropped to its lowest value since going public. Uber’s stock market launch (known as an initial public offering, or IPO) lost more value in its first day than any other in U.S. history.

Categories: Labor Notes
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