About 100,000 civil servants in the UK are set to strike next month, affecting services around the country. Workers for 124 government departments and agencies will walk out on February. 1, impacting a range of public services including driving tests, passport applications and welfare payments, the Public and Commercial Services Union said in a statement. If the strike takes place, the government workers will join the thousands of rail workers, transport workers National Health Service workers and others already on strike  in a series of labor actions the UK has not seen in years as workers protest cuts in pay.

Bloomberg, 1/11; also see Rail Strike Bloomberg, 1/11



You’re invited!  Locker Associates is hosting a Book Launch Party for an important new book, Labor Power & Strategy by John Womack, Jr. and edited by Peter Olney and Glenn Perusek.
Place:  Locker Associates, 225 Broadway, Suite 2625, NY, NY 10007
Date:   February 6th
Time:   5:00pm to 7:00pm
Labor Power & Strategy offers major insights into a key question facing the U.S. labor movement, including how to marshall power to win organizing drives in the twenty-first century.  The collection of articles is a must-read for a new generation of labor organizers who are on the front lines at Starbucks, Amazon and Trader Joes. Experienced labor leaders will also find this material very stimulating and evocative.
If you would like to attend, please respond to this email at [email protected] by January 23rd.
If you can’t attend the party, please consider purchasing this important book at PM Press here: PM Press-Labor Power & Strategy, or at Amazon here: Labor Power & Strategy.
Last year saw a record 17-year high in strike activity by unions, according to Bloomberg News, driven in part by actions at over 100 Starbucks  stores. The number of strikes  was more than double the year before, although in terms of the number of workers involved, it did not match the years 2018 and 2019 when strike waves swept educational institutions. In those years, 80 percent of the strikers were in the field of education.
Who Gets the Bird, 1/8-1/15
The Service Trades Council Union, comprised of six unions representing the 42,000 workers art Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has recommended that its members turn thumbs down on the $1 an hour pay raise offer of Disney in their upcoming contract . The insulting offer to workers, who currently earn an average of $16 an hour, signals tough negotiations ahead.The six unions ion the STCU are IATSE Local 631, Teamsters Local 385, TCU-I(AM Local 1908, UFCW Local 1625, and Unite Here Locals 362 and 737.
Who Gets the Bird, 1/18-1/15
In a development in late January, both HarpderCollins and UAW Local 2120, the union representing the 200 HarperCollins who have been out on strike since November, have agreed to a mutually acceptable mediator to help settle the strike.
Workers in the editorial, sales, marketing, and other departments, at HarperCollins publishers, on strike since November 10, marked the 50th day of their strike with a large rally in front of News Corporation in Manhattan, parent company of the publisher. News Corporation is owned by Rupert Murdoch, the right-wing media tycoon, and is also the parent company of the ultra-right Fox News.
Union members of UAW  Local 2110 are striking for higher pay (their current wage goes not enable them to live in a high priced area like New York so many have to rely on the income of spouses or parents), a commitment to diversifying the staff, and stronger union protection. Negotiations have been going on and off since December 2021 and workers have been working without a contract since April 2022. After months of failed negotiations and a one-day strike on July 20, 2022, the union authorized another strike last November.

“Management has been very uninterested in bargaining with us over our proposals,” said Laura Harshberger, union chairperson and senior production editor for HarperCollins Children’s Books. “I don’t know why the company has been so antagonistic to us this time around … My only understanding of it is that they don’t believe that HarperCollins should have a union, and they’re trying to union-bust, but we’re not letting them.”

The company has hired temporary editors as strikebreakers but many of its authors have refused to work with them and have honored the picket lines.

Publishers Weekly, Jan. 13, Jan. 18; Portside,Jan. 19



Among the latest group of workers to vote for union representation are; employees at Peet’s coffee chain in North Davis, California, who voted 14-to-1 to be represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 1021. In their petition for representation, they wrote, “We are overworked, understaffed, and underpaid.”  They were assisted in their organizing drive by the Starbucks United union organizers.

Council 5 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers. were voted to be the union representing then 250 workers at the Science Museum of Minnesota. The union says it represents about 35,000 workers in cultural institutions nationwide.

Portside, 1/24,1/20