Entries by Paul Becker

ONTARIO THREAT OF GENERAL STRIKE FORCES END OF ANTI-UNION LAW

Four days after he pushed  a law through the Ontario legislature outlawing labor’s right to strike, the governor was forced to announce its repeal. The humiliating retreat by the governor, Doug Ford was the result of a general strike call announced by the Canadian province’s labor movement set to begin Nov. 14. Ford had rammed […]

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA STRIKE ENTERS ITS SECOND WEEK

With tens of thousands of workers at the state’s university campuses still on strike, negotiations continue between the unions, affiliated with the United Auto Workers and the administration of the University of California. The strike, which began Nov. 14, involves some 48,000 teaching assistants, lab assistants, researchers and other UC employees. At issue is pay […]

NOVEMBER BITS AND PIECES

MORE GRAD SCHOOL WORKERS SEEK TO UNIONIZE Over the past month, graduate workers affiliated with the United Electrical Workers (UE) at Northwestern University in Chicago, Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore launched organizing drives with rallies and record-breaking numbers of workers signing union cards. Workers at all three campuses are seeking a living wage, more […]

RE-EXAMINING LOWER MINIMUM WAGE FOR WORKERS WHO RELY ON TIPS

In the current tight labor market, an area that is currently coming under increasing scrutiny is the pay of workers who rely on tips for a living. Existing labor laws, both federal and in all but eight states, substantially modify prevailing minimum wage requirements. In these states, employers can pay tipped workers subminimum wages, resulting, […]

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OCTOBER BITS & PIECES

SECOND APPLE STORE VOTES FOR UNION An Apple store in Oklahoma City became the second one in the nation in which workers have voted to be represented by a union. The Oct. 14 vote conducted by the NLRB saw 56 workers at the company’s Penn Square Mall voting to be represented by the Communication Workers […]

MICHIGAN NURSES WIN GROUNDBREAKING CONTRACT

Nurses at the University of Michigan hospital won a big victory Oct. 1 when they approved a contract with management that ends the impossible burden placed on them caused by the shortage of nurses nationwide. That shortage has resulted in nurses working in extra-long shifts and neglect of the patients they serve. Their schedules were […]

SIT-DOWN AT FLINT: A TURNING POINT FOR AMERICAN LABOR

by Paul Becker It was 1936, Around the country, large industries had grown, employing hundreds and sometimes thousands of workers in single factory sites. There was a huge need to organize workers in these plants into one union, regardless of the jobs workers performed. However, the AFL leadership, frozen in the past, stuck to its […]

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RR AGREEMENT APPEARS TO BE BIG GAIN FOR WORKERS; IT NOW HEADS FOR VOTE

By now, much has been written about the narrowly averted railroad workers strike. Although salary issues are nearly always paramount in collective bargaining and was an issue here, the key sticking point was the punishing work schedules that was wreaking havoc on workers lives. Workers were expected to be on call at any time for […]

WRITING NEW BASEBALL CHAPTER, MINOR LEAGUERS VOTE OVERMINGLY FOR UNION

Most American baseball fans watching their favorite major league teams don’t think too much about the minor league players. If they do, it’s usually that these athletes are just being groomed for the high salaried majors. But minor league players are among the most exploited people in the country with salaries that can be as […]