This Holiday Season Could Be Watershed Moment for Amazon Organizers

This article was originally published by Labor Notes. Could this November see the biggest coordinated international day of action at Amazon yet? Although Thanksgiving is a unique U.S. holiday, the day after — known as “Black Friday” — is celebrated in many countries as the opening of the Christmas shopping season. In Italy, for example, merchants offer Black Friday discounts that fill their stores with the same bargain-hungry shoppers as in the U.S. That’s why three Italian trade union federations chose it as a strategic day in 2017 to strike Amazon’s million-square-foot distribution center in Castel San Giovanni, near Piacenza…

Railroad Workers Reject Deal: “Our Demands Have Not Been Met”

Members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, who build and maintain tracks and bridges, have voted down a national tentative agreement with the freight rail carriers. Just under 12,000 of the union’s 23,900 freight rail workers voted, the union announced October 10, with 56 percent voting against the deal. Leaders said they’re hoping to return to the bargaining table. The union is delaying any potential strike until November 19 at the earliest. In a statement, BMWE President Tony Cardwell attributed the rejection to members’ feeling that “management holds no regard for their quality of life, illustrated by their…

Corporations Are Spending a Ton to Stop Low-Wage Workers From Unionizing

Thousands of workers across the country have been busy gathering signatures from their co-workers in the past year. Candy makers at a Hershey’s factory in Virginia. Cooks at a Chipotle restaurant in Michigan. Six employees at a Dollar General store in Connecticut. Their goal: form a labor union to force their bosses to negotiate better pay and benefits after years of brutal working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them are low-paid service employees trying to establish the first unions at multibillion-dollar companies. The recent spike in labor organizing is unusual, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis…

Labor Activists: Senate Candidates Should Support PRO Act or Get Out of Congress

A coalition of labor groups is launching an effort to pressure U.S. Senate candidates in battleground states to support the pro-union Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. This week, the Worker Power Coalition will begin calling, protesting and visiting the offices of senators up for reelection this fall, pressuring them into supporting the PRO Act or publicly shaming them if they don’t, according to Politico. Organizers will target lawmakers in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida. The coalition, made up of over 40 labor, progressive and climate groups and led by several major labor…

Seattle Teachers Strike for Smaller Classes, Higher Pay and Special Ed Support

Originally published by The 19th. On Thursday, Tymmony Keegan stood on a picket line in front of Cleveland STEM High School in Seattle, where public school teachers had begun a strike the previous day on what would have been the start of the school year. Her colleagues held signs stating, “Listen to educators! Fund our kids’ dreams! A nurse in every school!” It was her twin boys’ 4th birthday, a milestone they celebrated by temporarily joining the picket line. Cars and trucks honked their support for educators as they drove past the closed school. “All of us who are out…

Chile: Rejection of new Constitution is just one step of a constitutional process that must continue

Chile will have to continue building upon its process for a new Constitution so that it can become a reference point in the field of human rights, said Amnesty International, following a plebiscite that resulted in the rejection of a proposed new Constitution. The result of the vote means that the Constitution originally enacted under […] The post Chile: Rejection of new Constitution is just one step of a constitutional process that must continue appeared first on Amnesty International.

Our Labor Is Used to Create Wealth for Others. Let’s Reclaim It to Make Life.

In the last years of his life, my father spent many days in intensive care. He had emphysema, the product of too many cigarettes and exposure to asbestos and silica dust at the glass factory where he labored for 44 years. Once during a visit, he said from his oxygen tent that a man was following the nurses around, marking down whatever they did. The nurses were trying to form a labor union, and the observer was noting their times and motions, no doubt in an effort to spot wasted efforts that had to be corrected and to intimidate them.…

Strip Club Dancers Plan to Hold Union Elections as Unionization Wave Spreads

Earlier this week, former dancers of the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in North Hollywood held a rally at the Actor’s Equity headquarters in Los Angeles, filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board. The dancers plan to hold union elections in the near future. If the club recognizes the union, Star Garden will be the only unionized strip club in operation since the Lusty Lady, the first strip club to unionize in the country, closed its doors in 2013. Over a dozen Star Garden dancers have held a theatrical picket outside the club for almost six months, making…

Labor Leaders Vow United Front Against Amazon Amid New Warehouse Union Election

Ballots will be counted today at a second, 1,500-worker Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, that began voting last week on whether to unionize with the independent, worker-led Amazon Labor Union (ALU) led by retaliatorily terminated Amazon employee Chris Smalls. A win at the warehouse, known as LDJ5, would build on ALU’s stunning April 1 victory at the larger, 8,000-worker JFK8 warehouse just across the street, forming a second unionized workplace at the second-largest private employer in the United States. A victory would cement ALU’s place as a leading force in the U.S. labor movement that could set the…

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