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File an Information Request with Every Grievance

Fri, 2019-12-06 16:46
File an Information Request with Every Grievance December 06, 2019 / Robert M. Schwartz<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Practically speaking, one of the most useful parts of U.S. labor law is the obligation of employers to furnish records and other information needed to investigate and process union grievances.

Although this duty is not explicit in the National Labor Relations Act, the U.S. Supreme Court has construed it from Section 8(d) of the Act, which requires employers and unions to “bargain collectively.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Support Labor Notes: The Strike is Back!

Mon, 2019-12-02 16:04

Labor Notes is in the midst of our year-end fundraising drive. Below is the text of our fundraising letter, which will hit supporters' mailboxes in the first half of December. Donate to support our ongoing efforts to put the movement back in the labor movement at labornotes.org/donate.

This year workers hit the picket lines all over the country. Here’s what Labor Notes means to them and why we're asking for your support:

Categories: Labor Notes

Film Review: Nothing But a Man

Wed, 2019-11-27 15:56

You’ve probably noticed that Hollywood doesn’t turn out many movies about unions. But, says film buff and labor historian Toni Gilpin, there are some overlooked movies out there that depict working people and their lives on the job even though they might lack scenes with picket lines. This is her latest installment in an occasional series of viewing suggestions.

Categories: Labor Notes

The Hard Fight at Amazon

Wed, 2019-11-27 15:22

Amazon is today’s most high-profile corporate villain. It’s the devil incarnate to activists concerned with labor standards, climate change, public subsidies, and the deportation machine.

But for all the condemnation of CEO Jeff Bezos, why have no U.S. Amazon workers managed to unionize?

Much like Uber, Amazon grew under labor's inattentive eye. By the time unions and worker centers saw the threat it posed, it was already a formidable opponent. It now threatens union bastions like supermarkets, UPS, and the Postal Service.

Categories: Labor Notes

Teachers and Public Workers in Argentina: Four Months of Strikes and Pickets

Tue, 2019-11-26 20:22
Teachers and Public Workers in Argentina: Four Months of Strikes and Pickets November 26, 2019 / Julia Soul and Leandro Rodríguez<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Teachers and public workers in an Argentinian province have been striking, blockading roads, marching by the thousands, occupying buildings, and even attacking and burning the provincial parliament building, in a fight to defend their contracts and their bargained wage increase.

For the last four months, these workers in Chubut province battled their provincial government, which is supported by transnational corporations and by the national leadership of the oil workers union—a key political player in the country’s main oil region.

Categories: Labor Notes

Twenty Years Later, Remembering the Battle in Seattle

Fri, 2019-11-22 16:30

The morning of November 30, 1999, was unseasonably warm as I jumped in my car to meet up with my fellow members of the Inlandboatmen’s Union at our headquarters in Seattle. At the time I was a business agent for tugboat workers and running for national president of the IBU, the marine division of the Longshore union (ILWU).

Categories: Labor Notes

Gary Jones Just Resigned as UAW President—Now Questions Arise about Acting President Rory Gamble

Thu, 2019-11-21 17:51
Gary Jones Just Resigned as UAW President—Now Questions Arise about Acting President Rory Gamble November 21, 2019 / Chris Brooks<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

As news broke yesterday that United Auto Workers President Gary Jones was resigning over allegations of corruption, questions arose whether Acting President Rory Gamble was also mired in the unsavory culture that has become a way of life in the upper reaches of the union.

Categories: Labor Notes

UAW Official Demoted After Saying Locals That Voted Against Ford Agreement Should Lose Jobs

Wed, 2019-11-20 16:55

As voting on the Auto Workers’ agreement with Ford came to a close last week, a union official publicly expressed his contempt for locals that had voted against the pact.

Management should move production to locals that voted yes, wrote Michael Robison, an assistant director in the union’s National Ford Department.

“Everyone of them Locals should lose there product now and in the future. $1 Billion dollar investment in KTP [Kentucky Truck Plant] really. Ship Lima Engine to Dearborn Engine. Ship Chicago Assy’s work to Flat Rock,” Robison wrote Friday on Facebook.

Categories: Labor Notes

GM Workers Shocked to Learn New Hires Will Still Take Eight Years to Reach Top Pay

Fri, 2019-11-15 16:21

After six weeks on the picket line, General Motors workers ratified an agreement that left many major areas unchanged, but one provision stood out as a true gain: the time it took to “grow in” to the top wage would be cut from eight years down to four.

Categories: Labor Notes

Chile in Revolt: ‘It’s Not about 30 Pesos, It’s about 30 Years’

Fri, 2019-11-15 15:12
Chile in Revolt: ‘It’s Not about 30 Pesos, It’s about 30 Years’ November 15, 2019 / Camilo Santibáñez Rebolledo<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

In October, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, an entrepreneur and right-wing politician, proclaimed that “in the midst of this turbulent Latin America, our country is a true oasis.”

Six days later, high school students in the capital city, Santiago, began a protest against the rising cost of public transit through mass fare evasions.

Categories: Labor Notes

Copper Workers Strike to Stop Concessionary Trend

Fri, 2019-11-08 12:32

If you stand on the corner of Pima Mine Road near ASARCO’s Mission Mine at sunset, you might feel a chilly breeze sweep across the desert. You’ll also smell a grill and hear the chants of ASARCO miners on strike as scabs cross their picket line for the evening shift change.

Categories: Labor Notes

UAW Just Agreed to Let Ford Use Technology to Monitor Assembly Workers

Thu, 2019-11-07 16:31

Somehow it was left out of the contract highlights the United Auto Workers prepared for members: the tentative new agreement with Ford will allow the company to use new technologies to take time-and-motion studies to a whole new level.

The new language falls under the heading of “production standards” and states that the union and company will choose “pilot locations” to use new technology tools such as “digital video recording and walk path mapping devices” as well as “motion tracking systems and additional productivity implementing tools.”

Categories: Labor Notes

Fight for Racial Justice Fuels Little Rock Educator Strike Preparations

Thu, 2019-11-07 16:03
Fight for Racial Justice Fuels Little Rock Educator Strike Preparations November 07, 2019 / Barbara Madeloni<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

The site of struggle to defend unions and public education has moved quickly from Chicago to Little Rock.

The 1,800-member Little Rock Education Association began preparing for a potential strike after the Arkansas State Board of Education ended recognition of the union. Their demands: return collective bargaining rights to LREA, give full local control of the school district back to the people of Little Rock, and provide education support professionals with raises that were being negotiated at the time that the union was decertified.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Vote No on the PSC-CUNY Contract: 7K or Strike

Thu, 2019-11-07 11:33

The Professional Staff Congress, American Federation of Teachers Local 2334, reached a tentative agreement in October on a new contract with the City University of New York (CUNY). The agreement covers 30,000 workers at the university, including part- and full-time faculty, professional staff, lab technicians, graduate employees, and more. Below we publish a piece arguing for a no vote on the agreement. See the argument for a yes vote here.

Categories: Labor Notes

Viewpoint: Vote Yes on the PSC-CUNY Contract: A Step Forward in the Fight

Thu, 2019-11-07 11:23

The Professional Staff Congress, American Federation of Teachers Local 2334, reached a tentative agreement in October on a new contract with the City University of New York (CUNY). Below we publish a piece arguing for a yes vote on the agreement. See the argument for a no vote here.

Categories: Labor Notes

All General Motors Needs to Close an Auto Plant Is a Thesaurus

Tue, 2019-11-05 18:20

Today the United Auto Workers announced that it has dropped its legal effort to save three General Motors plants from closure. It’s sad evidence that even a union contract doesn’t guarantee job security for auto workers.

After a large number of plant closings in the 1980s, the UAW bargained contract language that prohibited automakers from closing plants during the life of the agreement.

So the companies began to “idle” plants instead.

Categories: Labor Notes

Striking Teachers and Support Staff Forced Chicago's Mayor to Find Money She Said Wasn't There

Fri, 2019-11-01 16:25
Striking Teachers and Support Staff Forced Chicago's Mayor to Find Money She Said Wasn't There November 01, 2019 / Samantha Winslow<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

Today Chicago teachers returned to school triumphant, after an 11-day walkout that became a showdown between their union and the proclaimed progressive new Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

If you’re looking for an example of the power of the strike, look no further. The strikers accomplished what months of bargaining could not.

The mayor and her appointed school board had made all but no movement in the 10 months of bargaining that led up to the strike. (Lightfoot has only been mayor for five months, but she kept the previous bargaining team from former Mayor Rahm Emanuel.)

Categories: Labor Notes

GM Workers Ratify Contract Though 'Mixed at Best'

Fri, 2019-10-25 17:46
GM Workers Ratify Contract Though 'Mixed at Best' October 25, 2019 / Chris Brooks, Jane Slaughter<? if(isset($entity->premium) and $entity->premium == 1) { echo "Print Only"; } ?>

The Auto Workers' strike against General Motors came to a close this weekend after six weeks on the picket lines, with workers voting to ratify a contract that was clearly unloved but accepted with a yes vote of 57 percent.

Categories: Labor Notes

Defying Injunction, Massachusetts Teachers Strike

Fri, 2019-10-25 16:02

In Massachusetts, strikes are unlawful for public sector workers. That didn’t stop the Dedham Educators Association from walking out this morning after an overwhelming 248- 2 (out of 280 members) strike vote last night.

The educators in this Boston suburb are crying foul about health insurance costs that eat into their salaries, and district demands for more time on the clock and in professional development without any increase in compensation. Teachers are also demanding contract language that allows for real enforcement of sexual harassment policies.

Categories: Labor Notes

VIDEO: Chicago Teachers And Support Staff On Strike!

Fri, 2019-10-25 11:12

The Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Local 73 are on strike for class size caps, fair wages, support for homeless students, affordable and sustainable housing, a nurse in every school and more counselors and librarians – and more!

We’ve learned that they have reached a tentative agreement that includes naptime for Pre-K students. Yes, we need to strike to get little ones naptime.

This webinar was held on Thursday October 24, 2019 at 9 PM EST. Discussion was facilitated by Labor Notes staff writer and organizer Barbara Madeloni.

Categories: Labor Notes