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 […]

LOW PAY & STAGGERING WORK LOADS LEAD PUBLISHING HOUSE WORKERS TO BEGIN TO TALK UNION

Glamor industries often attract young workers despite their usual practice of paying terrible wages and imposing staggering working conditions. The recruits are lured by the superficial aspects the job promises. They become flight attendants – young women with visions of travel to exotic places who did not reckon with a job that made them glorified […]

ORWELL’S PREDICTION HAS ARRIVED FOR MILLIONS OF WORKERS

When George Orwell wrote his classic novel 1984, few people could envision the idea of Big Brother watching over them every minute of the day. Well now, the Big Brother moment has arrived in many workplaces and is rapidly expanding. An astounding piece in the NY Times, 8/14 (8/15 in the print edition), details the […]

TEAMSTERS GEAR UP FOR CONTRACT TALKS NEXT YEAR

The Teamsters Union has begun preparing for negotiations scheduled to begin early next year. They are intent on undoing parts of the current contract, set to expire next July, that deal with pay scales and working conditions and are a sore point with the membership. For the first time, rank and file members of the […]

“LISTEN TO YOUR FELLOW WORKERS:” NEW GENERATION OF LABOR LEADERS TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE

“Unions may finally have the energy to reverse their decades-long decline” declared Steven Greenhouse as he opened an online forum July 28 on the current surge in union activity and prospects for the future. Outlining the new labor activity, Greenhouse, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation which sponsored the event, cited the 68 percent […]

HARPERCOLLINS WORKERS STAGE ONE-DAY WALKOUT; ATLANTIC WORKERS UNIONIZE

About 100 employees at HarperCollins publishers Manhattan office staged a one-day strike July 20, picketing for higher wages, better family leave policies, and stronger action to improve diversity in its staff. Negotiations with the company have been going on since the union contract expired Dec. 31 with little headway. The HarperCollins workers are members oi […]

FREIGHT TRAIN WORKERS SET TO STRIKE

A conductor on Union Pacific rail summed up the mood. “The company keeps making working conditions worse. They’re making billions per quarter and they’re only paying those dividends out to shareholders, when it’s the workers who are moving freight and making sure this country keeps the supply chain moving.” The conductor asked that his name […]

THE CLASSIC WAYS CORPORATIONS BUST UNIONS

We invite you to click on the link below for a graphic presentation by Robert Reich of the four ways that corporations engage in union busting. The tactics are classic and they continued to be employed by corporations all around the country. Reich was Secretary of Labor in Bill Clinton’s administration and is currently a […]

Amid Jousts and Stunts, NJ medieval times workers vote union

Workers at Medieval Times have formed the dinner-theater chain’s first labor union, bringing collective bargaining to a castle in northern New Jersey. The knights, squires, show cast and stablehands at the Lyndhurst location voted 26 to 11 in favor of joining the American Guild of Variety Artists following a ballot count June i5, according to the union. The […]

In Memoriam

Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for many years during the period of its historic growth, and a staunch defender of civil rights, who died July 10. In addition to being an effective union leader in bargaining for good wages and working conditions for his members, he […]

AFL-CIO head hits court decision on abortion rights

Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 6/24: Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade is a devastating blow to working women and families across this country. We strongly believe that everyone should have control over their own bodies, […]

Taft-Hartley: The Law That Made Union-Busting ‘Official’ Policy

Very few people are still around who remember the year 1947 when the US labor movement  represented one out three American workers. It came after a decade in the thirties when union organizing hit its peak with the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The CIO provided the militant push that organized the […]

4,000 Unionists Plan New Organizing Steps at National Meeting

In what is reported to have been an inspiring weekend conference of labor union activists, opening speeches by those involved in current organizing drives drove home the picture of  working people building unions and fighting for their rights around the country. Highlighting the picture of the power and greed of giant corporations and the rising […]

APPLE WORKERS REGISTER UNION BREAKTHROUGH AT MARYLAND STORE

In another breakthrough on the labor front, 100 workers at an Apple store in Towson, Maryland, voted by a two-to-one margin to unionize. The victory represents a big step for union activists who have been trying for years to make inroads into the retail outlets of the computer corporate behemoth. The union, the Coalition of […]

NEW UNIONS PRESENT CHALLENGE TO THE ESTABLISHED ONES

“For decades, the labor movement’s efforts to halt its long slide have been – to speak plainly – an utter failure” writes Steven Greenhouse in The American Prospect (6/13). “The U.S. has gone from having 35 percent of its workforce unionized in the 1950s to 20 percent in the 1980s to just 10 percent today. […]

Starbucks Organizing Drive Gaining Steam

Efforts to unionize the giant Starbucks chain that began with two stores in Buffalo a few months ago is picking up momentum even though there is still a long way to go. As of mid-May, 78 Starbucks stores around the country have voted to unionize. And Starbucks is not the only one. The drive of […]

Pass Laws to Protect Amazon Workers, NY Teamsters Tell State Legislators

All Three Joint Councils of the Teamsters Union  in New York State have urged the state legislature to pass two laws aimed at protecting workers in warehouse industries like Amazon from some of the notorious corporate abuses they have suffered. In letters to the legislature and in a rally and two press conferences at the […]

Amazon Union Loses Attempt to Organize Second Warehouse

After its stunning victory at the massive Staten Island warehouse a few weeks ago, the drive of the fledgling Amazon Labor Union to unionize the smaller Amazon facility in Staten Island failed to materialize. The vote at the LDJ5 center was 998 to 380 according to the NLRB tally. The plant has about 1,600 employees. […]

Union Shops More Likely to Enforce Laws Protecting Workers

One of the many problems facing American workers in recent years has been the lax enforcement of laws and rules meant to protect them. A very interesting April 29 article on the website of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and reproduced on LaborStart.org details how at union-organized shops these rules are more likely to […]

Indiana U. Grad Workers Strike for Recognition

Graduate school workers at Indiana University went on strike April 13 demanding recognition of their union in the face of the university’s refusal to recognize it. The walkout came after the union, the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition, a unit of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (IGWC-UE) obtained a strike authorization vote by a […]

MIT Grad Workers Latest to Vote Union

Graduate student workers at MIT have now become the latest to vote for a union in a rank-and-file organizing drive. Last week, they voted 1,785 to 912 to be represented by the MIT Graduate Student Union, a local of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE). The union will become the bargaining agent for […]

IN LANDMARK WIN, AMAZON NY WORKERS VOTE UNION

In a huge win for union organizing, workers at Amazon’s Staten Island, NY warehouse voted by a large margin to be represented by the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), the first victory for a union at the mammoth company. Hailing the workers victory, ALU President Christian Smalls said: “We want to thank Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s anti-union […]

Confessions of a Union Buster

Union busting has been a widespread employer activity for many years and is today not the exception but the norm.  The Economic Policy Institute, in a study released three years ago, found that 41.5 percent of employers whose employees are organizing are charged with violating federal labor law. Another study found that 90 percent of […]

Hershey’s workers, facing brutal conditions, hold union vote

In the face of outrageous working conditions, Workers at Hershey’s chocolate plants, are in the process of holding a union election with ballots to be counted March 24. http://https://perfectunion.us/hershey-prison-workers-who-make-reeses-expose-brutal-factory-conditions/ The workers, who make chocolate bars, Reese Peanut Butter Cups and other candy products, in interviews have described being forced to work overtime, in some cases […]

NEW UNION WIN AT GM MEXICAN PLANT HAS MAJOR INTERNATIONAL IMPLICATIONS

Workers at the General Motors plant in Silao, Mexico won a major victory in early February when an independent union won collective bargaining rights for them by a large margin. The new independent union, the National Auto Workers Union (SINTTIA) soundly defeated the corrupt national Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM), which has been allied for […]

GOOD NEWS FOR DELIVERY WORKERS – URINE LUCK

Drivers who deliver food from New York City restaurants will now be entitled to use customer restrooms from restaurants when they’re picking up food. Beginning January 31, the drivers for app-based delivery companies like UberEats, Grubhub, and others will no longer have to resort to the indignity of relieving themselves between parked cars and risking […]

COLORADO SUPERMARKET CHAIN WINS MAJOR GAINS AFTER TWO-WEEK STRIKE

Eight thousand workers at the King Scoopers supermarket chain in the Denver metropolitan area ended a two-week strike January 24 with a three-year contract that sees many gains in their pay and working conditions. They Can’t Run Without Workers The strike showed “the company they can’t run without workers,” triumphantly declared Kim Cordova, president of […]

STARBUCKS WORKERS TALKING UNION AROUND COUNTRY

Buoyed by the victory of a newly organized union at one Starbucks store in Buffalo to gain collective bargaining rights, and in the face of intense anti-union pressure from the company, Starbucks workers at other facilities are also talking union. Workers at a second store in the Buffalo area won union rights after the National Labor […]

COLUMBIA GRAD SCHOOL WORKERS WIN STRONG GAINS AFTER10-WEEK STRIKE

Striking graduate school student workers at Columbia University ended their labor action Jan. 7 with an agreement that includes a 7 to 11 percent raise for workers with annual contracts based upon the length of their appointments and an hourly wage boost from the previous $15/hour to $21/hour. The annual salaries of doctoral candidates on […]

THE DIFFERENCE A UNION MAKES: HOW THE LAS VEGAS CULINARY WORKERS POINT THE WAY

What a difference a good strong union makes. Particularly a progressive one that always keeps the needs of its rank-and-file members as its number-one priority. A most recent example of that difference is the work of the 60,000 member Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas, Nevada, representing the city’s workers in the hotels and casinos. […]

AMAZON, UNDER MOUNTING PRESSURE, AGREES TO END ANTI-LABOR PRACTICES

After repeated and determined efforts to unionize its warehouse workers in the face of stubborn intimidating tactics by the company, Amazon has finally come to a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board to keep its hands off workers attempts to freely organize into unions. In the settlement, reached just before Christmas, Amazon agreed to […]

FILM, TV WORKERS REACH “LANDMARK AGREEMENT” WITH MAJOR STUDIOS

In what the union described as a landmark agreement, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employers (IATSE) reached a three-year agreement with motion picture and television producers in October. The agreement affects 60,000 film and television workers in 36 IATSE locals across the country. IATSE member posting a message on the car of a union […]

KELLOGG WORKERS OK NEW CONTRACT AFTER LONG STRIKE

After a prolonged strike that lasted 2 ½ months, workers at four Kellogg cereal plants ratified a new contract just a few days before Christmas and voted to return to work. The contract, negotiated through the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union, will sharply limit the “unfair two-tier wage system” that had only […]

UNIONS: GOOD FOR WORKERS AND GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY

Most people think of unions as benefitting their members with higher pay and better working conditions. But it has long been known that the benefit of unions go far beyond that – affecting the well-being of their communities and the entire country. A recent report by analysts at the Economic Policy Institute documents the benefits […]

INCUMBENTS ROUTED IN TEAMSTER ELECTIONS

In a stunning upset that reflects the growing militancy of workers and union members, a rank-and-file slate swept to victory in Teamster Union elections last month. The Teamsters United slate routed the incumbent slate that has ruled the union for years by a margin of about two-to-one. The incumbent backed slate had the backing of […]

WE NEED ANOTHER FDR; DEMOCRATS MUST REGAIN THEIR NEW DEAL LEGACY

Don’t let some of the media pundits and so-called “moderates” fool you. In the wake of the defeat of Democrats in a number of races around the country, there has been a stream of lament that they have gone “too far to the left,” (whatever that means!). Example: Virginia Democratic Representative Abigail Spanberger remarked last week, […]

“A VICTORY FOR AMERICA’S WORKING FAMILIES”

The AFL-CIO has posted on its website a statement from its president, Liz Shuler, on what the recently passed infrastructure law means to America’s workers. Click the link below to access it. https://aflcio.org/press/releases/infrastructure-and-investment-breakthrough-victory-working-families And for further late news and views from the national AFL-CIO, click the link below: afl-cio.org

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE YEAR’S WORK OF TWO UNIONS

We link below to the newspaper of two international unions, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) and the United Auto Workers,  listing their accomplishments this past year. We will be linking to other union newspapers from time to time. https://www.ueunion.org;  https://uaw.org

JOHN DEERE WOKERS WIN BIG GAINS AFTER MONTH-LONG STRIKE

After previously rejecting two proposed contracts over the heads of their union leaders, workers at John Deere voted to approve a new six-year contract Nov. 17 that wins big gains for them. The new contract, approved by 61 % of the 10,000 Deere workers, members of the United Auto Workers in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas, […]

NOTES FROM GROWING UNION ACTIVITY

Richmond, California is seeing a big jump in union activity with the unionization of 850 workers at the Hello Fresh facility. For Unite Here Local 2850, the union leading the drive, it will mean a big jump in their membership and a major step in Unite Here’s campaign to organize the rapidly growing meal kit industry. In […]

WORTH QUOTING: PAUL KRUGMAN ON BIDEN’S INFRASTRUCTURE & RECONCILIATION PACKAGE

Most of us know why right-wing republicans oppose the Biden reconciliation bill now before Congress. Their mission is to cut taxes on the wealthiest people in the country by shrinking safety net programs that benefit millions of Americans. But what motivates the so-called “moderates” or centrists who have been holding back their support? In his […]

Labor’s Future – A Discussion

For an interesting discussion on the prospectives for a vibrant future of the labor movement, click on the link below: Creating the Path Forward for a Vibrant Labor Future – Perspectives from the Front Lines Webinar organized by Marylyn Katz on the current labor situation and the labor movement. Courtesy, Locker Associates, New York

Some Labor Roundups

Almost 250 Refresco workers in New Jersey, mostly Latin American immigrants, voted in June to join jjhe United Electrical Workers union (UE). Their victory was the largest National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) win in the U.S. by a group of blue-collar workers in the first half of 2021, and came over a year after workers […]

After 5 months, Met Warriors Coal Miners Strike Continues

Eleven hundred coal miners have been on strike in Brookwood, Alabama since April 1 after the company engaged in a series of unfair labor practices and then made an “insulting” offer on wage negotiations. According to Jacob Morrison, Secretary-Treasurer of the North Alabama Area Labor Council, the workers made a major sacrifice for the company, […]

Other Items of Interest

President Biden in April signed an executive order creating a task force to examine existing policies regarding labor unions and issue a series of recommendations within 180 days on how they can be leveraged to promote worker organizing and collective bargaining in the federal government and  recommend what new policies should be created. — Eleanor […]

Assessing Future Labor Strategy

In the wake of the defeat of the drive to unionize Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, many theories are being advanced on why the union lost and what labor’s strategy should be in the future.  One such theory appeared recently in The American Prospect by its editor at large, Harold Meyerson. Meyerson contends that […]

Making Big Money Busting Unions

When a big company wants to get rid of a union or prevent one from organizing, they don’t often do it by themselves.  They hire a specialist.  Law firms and consulting firms that earn fancy fees for skirting around the weak labor laws are readily available and they’ve been doing a great job at union […]

Labor Demands: Pass the Pro Act

LABOR DEMANDS: PASS THE PRO ACT A number of labor leaders, in a call to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, have made it clear to the party’s US Senators that their support of the PREO Act is crucial to union support and financial contributions to their campaigns for re-election.  The act, passed by the House […]

Cartoon by Fed Wright Courtesy of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)

Cartoon by Fed Wright Courtesy of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)

Fred Wright cartoon courtesy of United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE)

Fred Wright cartoon courtesy of United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE)