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LDF’s Concerns About Recent Arrest Of Atlanta Solidarity Fund Members

On May 31, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that law enforcement officials raided the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, arresting and charging three of its staff with charity fraud and money laundering. In response, Legal Defense Fund (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson issued the following statement: “We are deeply concerned about the apparent targeting of Atlanta Solidarity Fund members, Marlon Kautz, Savannah Patterson, and Adele Maclean, particularly in light of Magistrate Judge James Altman’s recent criticism of the evidence presented by the State against them, which he decried as unimpressive in today’s bail hearing.

ICE, Homeland Security Accused Of Targeting Outspoken Migrant Worker

Immigrant rights attorneys filed a complaint against United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that alleges that ICE detained a migrant worker known for speaking out against workplace abuse at construction and poultry plants. Baldomero Orozco Juarez, an indigenous father from Guatemala who lives in Mississippi, was arrested at an ICE check-in on April 12, 2023. Authorities sent Orozco Juarez to a private detention facility in Jena, Louisiana, owned by LaSalle Corrections. He faces deportation. In 2019, Orozco Juarez was deported to Guatemala after the “largest workplace immigration raid in a single state.” Nearly 700 people at poultry plants owned by companies like Koch Foods and PECO foods were rounded up by ICE.

A Union Busting Chatbot?

Is artificial intelligence a new union-busting tool? For the leadership at the National Eating Disorders Association, it would seem the answer is yes. Two weeks after the Helpline Associates at the NEDA won our vote to unionize and join Communications Workers (CWA) Local 1101, NEDA interim CEO Elizabeth Thompson made a surprise announcement: the Helpline was being eliminated and replaced with a chatbot. Every newly unionized employee would be jobless as of June 1. The National Eating Disorders Association is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to eating disorders. Its programs and services raise awareness, build communities of support and recovery, fund research, and put essential resources into the hands of those in need.

Cuba Solidarity Activists Harassed By US Customs And Border Patrol

This year marked the largest delegation of people from the US in decades to be in Cuba for the events around the International Day of Workers.  Over 350 people from the states participated and it was easy to see how youth made up the largest percentage, many of whom were visiting revolutionary Cuba for the first time. Yesterday delegates began to return home and some were met and detained by US Customs and Border Patrol in multiple cities. One reported that several of them traveling with the International Peoples Assembly (IPA) and the LA Hands of Cuba Committee were yanked into secondary questioning  pertaining to their political motives. At least two people had their phones confiscated. At this time all have been released.

Fisheries Workers, Cut For Organizing, File Labor Board Charges

A hundred immigrant seafood processing workers in New Bedford, Massachusetts, lost their jobs March 31 when their employer abruptly terminated its contract with the temp agency that placed them. Workers say it was retaliation for organizing. Their fight will be a test case of new protections for immigrants who organize on the job. The company invited the fired workers to apply for their old jobs, but only a handful were actually rehired. “When the workers got the news, they started crying, worried about how they are going to pay their rent and bills,” said Ruth Castro, who has worked for five years at the plant and almost 20 years in the industry.

How To Get Un-Fired

New York City, New York - In a few days Austin Locke will walk back into the Queens, New York, Starbucks store he was fired from seven months ago. He’ll also get a wad of back pay, and money from civil penalties. Locke had a target on his back because he was involved in a union drive at the store, but his reinstatement didn’t come from the National Labor Relations Board. Instead, his case was taken up by the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), under a city law passed in 2021 which makes unjust firings in fast food illegal. Two recent city laws protecting fast food workers, the 2017 Fair Workweek Law and the 2021 Just Cause law, have resulted in 230 investigations, resulting in nearly $27.1 million in combined fines and restitution for more than 20,100 workers, according to Michael Lanza of the DCWP.

SOS – Alliance For Global Justice Has Been Attacked!

Alliance for Global Justice and our fiscally-sponsored projects are under attack by right-wing media. They’re doing their best to intimidate and silence us in order to neutralize our effectiveness in growing and supporting movements for liberation and justice worldwide. They have convinced the company that handles our credit card donations to block AfGJ and our projects from use of this critical fundraising tool. This isn’t the first time they’ve come at us. In the 1980s, the Young Republicans claimed that the Nicaragua Network, our founding organization, was taking college students to Nicaragua to train in guerilla warfare techniques.

Union Kitchen Workers Win Back Pay In Labor Settlement

Union organizers at Union Kitchen locations in the D.C. region have settled a dispute with the food accelerator and retailer, which officials said had engaged in union-busting tactics outlined in an extensive complaint last fall. The National Labor Relations Board settlement agreement requires the restaurant to pay nearly $25,000 in backpay and frontpay to five workers who were fired or faced discipline, apparently in retaliation for their participation in the union drive. The payments include interest, expenses, and relief from economic harm and adverse tax consequences to some of the named workers.

Auto Glass Workers Withstand Threats To Form Independent Union

Workers who produce glass for automakers including Ford, Volkswagen, and Tesla at a big auto glass plant in Mexico are pushing for a new contract, after forming an independent union despite threats of violence from a powerful, employer-friendly union. The factory, owned by the French multinational Saint Gobain, employs 1,900 workers. It’s located in Cuautla, Morelos—the city in south-central Mexico where the revolutionary Emiliano Zapata is buried. Last September, workers there voted to join the new Independent Union of Free and Democratic Workers of Saint-Gobain Mexico and leave a union affiliated with the Confederation of Workers and Peasants (CTC). The CTC had held the contract since the plant opened in 1996. It’s one of the numerous, politically connected “employer-protection unions” that have long dominated Mexico’s labor scene.

Non-Compete Agreement Leaves Workers Homeless And Jobless

Kevin Borowske is still mulling it over after being fired last week—and evicted as of February 28. Was he a scientist with the proprietary recipe for a cleaning solution? Was he the holder of a confidential blueprint concealing the secret rooms in the condo? Otherwise, he’s at a loss as to why the property management company FirstService Residential had him sign a non-compete agreement when he was hired as a caretaker—a job that blends janitorial and light housekeeping services—at a high-rise building in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A non-compete agreement bars the worker from taking a similar job with another company for a period of time. You might assume that such agreements would mainly be used to keep workers with proprietary information from being poached by a firm’s competitors. But now all kinds of employers require workers to sign them—so many that the Federal Trade Commission is considering outlawing the practice.

Fighting Anti-Abortion Extremists And The Boss

New York - Sam Heyne, a young, newly hired HR worker, was stunned by the number of workers who were quitting and the frequent accounts she was hearing about toxic behavior from bosses. “It became abundantly clear that there needed to be a culture change, and the only way…was to start a union,” Heyne says. Before long, Heyne was caught up in the long-brewing organizing drive at the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, a prestigious research and advocacy arm for the reproductive rights movement. After months of strategizing, with Heyne working on the group’s internal communications, workers won an overwhelming victory in July 2022, 63-2, to join Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 153. The celebration didn’t last long; within two hours, Heyne was fired.

Alabama Prison Strike On Hold After Three Weeks

Alabama – Prisoners in Alabama announced on Oct. 14 that they had paused their historic three-week work stoppage. The strike, which started Sept. 26, involved thousands of prisoners throughout the state, causing the breakdown of normal operations at most major male prisons this month. According to organizers, the strike’s end was announced following a protest at the state capitol in Montgomery hosted by Both Sides of the Wall. Diyawn Caldwell, founder of the prisoner advocacy group, explained that the strike may only be on pause, depending upon the government’s response. “It’s been a collective effort from us on the outside and those on the inside that are organizing the strike to put it on hold to give the state, the governor, and the department of corrections time to address our grievances and concerns surrounding our demands,” said Caldwell.

Amy’s Kitchen Workers Protested Their Working Conditions

Organic convenience foods brand Amy’s Kitchen maintains a carefully constructed image of ethical consumption and saving the planet, one vegan frozen burrito at a time. The company is owned by the Berliner family, and its website makes much out of being a small, family-owned business, with pictures of the founders joyfully making pot pies and surfing. “We choose what’s best for our customers, our farmers, our employees and our planet,” the website reads. “It’s a tall order, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.” But Amy’s has been under fire the past year as startling labor practices have come to light. On July 18, the California-based manufacturer of organic convenience foods closed its new San Jose plant — less than a year and a half after it opened its doors; workers had been in the process of organizing with Unite Here Local 19, which represents food service and hospitality workers in the Silicon Valley.

UPS Is Firing Union Activists In The Middle Of Contract Negotiations

During the first week of August, UPS Teamsters organized rallies across the country with thousands of workers to kick off their 2023 contract campaign. From now to July of next year when the current contract is set to expire, UPS workers will be fighting for their demands and preparing to strike if they are not met. Among those demands are: air-conditioned trucks, no more excessive overtime, an end to the two-tier system of “22.4s,” higher part-time pay, more full-time jobs, an end to harassment, and an end to outsourcing. If UPS Teamsters don’t reach a suitable agreement with the company, over 340,000 workers could go on strike, bringing UPS — which moves 6% of the U.S. GDP — to a grinding halt. It is no surprise that the bosses are afraid.

Union Demands Respect And Dignity For Disciplined Workers

Minneapolis, Minnesota - On June 22 union leaders from AFSCME Local 2822, representing 1300 clerical workers at Hennepin County, crashed the State of the County Address demanding, “Stop retaliation against union activists now! End racism, sexism, ageism at work!” While managers patted each other on the back and reconnected after two years of hiding at home, union leaders confronted public officials with signs and informational flyers. Workers are demanding the bosses stop targeting union stewards and activists. Bosses began targeting three union leaders in January 2022. The first was Irish Gauna, a single African American mother of five who was fired in late January for allegedly violating the county’s COVID testing policy.
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