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Workers In The South Aren’t Letting Anti-Labor Laws Stop Them

Even though strikes are illegal for public sector workers in North Carolina, the difficult and sometimes dangerous work — coupled with low wages and the rising cost of living — led Perry and his co-workers to refuse to get in their trucks to pick up trash on September 6. The action reflects growing labor agitation in the South — a region where union organizing and striking are exceptionally challenging, but workers are nevertheless coming together to improve their working conditions. The day before the action, on the evening of September 5, sanitation and other city workers packed the Durham City Council meeting to present a petition demanding an immediate $5,000 bonus, payment for all work done outside job titles, and hiring all temporary workers as permanent.

South Korea: Intelligence Agency Raids Top Union Confederation

South Korea’s intelligence agency raided the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the country’s largest organization of independent unions, and an affiliate on January 18. The high-profile raid, over alleged ties between four former and current union officers and North Korean agents, has raised fears that the conservative government is reverting to dictatorship-era methods of attacking labor by conflating organizing with threats to national security. The moves come at the same time as the conservative government, led by president Yoon Suk-yeol, seeks to lift restrictions on long working hours and reduce pension payouts while increasing worker contributions. Yoon was elected last March on an openly anti-labor platform. During the raid, 30 agents of the National Intelligence Agency (NIS) executed a search warrant on the KCTU’s headquarters in Seoul.

Activists In Mississippi Challenge Constitutionality Of Anti-Strike Law

A political time bomb is ticking in Greenville, and the explosion could transform the state’s public education environment for decades to come. Last Monday and Tuesday, between 13-20 bus drivers for the Greenville Public School District — some of the lowest paid employees in one of the most under-resourced school districts in one of the most under-resourced regions of America — skipped work to protest reduced pay and what they called poor work conditions. As far as anyone knows, this was the first organized work stoppage in Mississippi public schools since 9,429 teachers walked out in a 1985 strike, after which lawmakers passed the demanded pay increases but also enacted one of the nation’s most stringent strike laws. Lawmakers that year made it explicitly illegal for school employees to strike in Mississippi.

Montreal Dockers Strike: Defy Back-To-Work Legislation

Since the end of the seven-month truce on March 21, the bosses have been in attack mode. On April 12, the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) decided to suspend the job security plan. The dockers organized in CUPE 375 retaliated with an overtime and weekend strike. Then, on April 23, another slap in the face: the MEA changed work schedules to increase hours worked and implement “shift schedules” that make it harder to balance work and family—which is one of the main issues in the negotiations! This tactic of changing schedules is a contemptuous frontal attack. This was also implemented in the fall of 2018, before the dockers had a strike mandate. Michel Murray, spokesperson for the union, said in his press conference on Friday that the anger of the membership had to be contained to avoid an illegal strike at that time. 
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