Skip to content

Unions

Union Power Can Change Campus Protests Forever

Strikes are different from protests. Though protesters frequently say that they are making ​“demands,” it is more accurate to say they are making requests. Protests rely on persuasion. Their persuasion may be gentle, or it may be aggressive. It may rely on moral shaming to get its point across, or it may rely on the elevation of awareness, or it may rely on the pure intimidation of numbers. But protests, for all of their righteous fury and necessity, lack the legal ability to shut things down until change is achieved. Strikers, on the other hand, can truly make demands. Their proposition is simple: No work will get done until a change is made.

Over 400 Physicians From Delaware’s Christiana Care Move To Unionize

More than 400 physicians from Delaware's Christiana Hospital, Wilmington Hospital, and Middletown Free-standing Emergency Department -- all part of the ChristianaCare health system -- filed to unionize with Doctors Council SEIU Local 10MD. "If successful, this will be the first physician union in Delaware and the first union of any kind at ChristianaCare," Doctors Council SEIU said in an announcement of the filing, which pointed to the ongoing corporatization of medicine as driving the physicians' efforts. Some of the specific concerns that physicians detailed in regard to their filing included understaffing and inadequate resources, corporate influence on medical decision making, limited input in matters affecting patient care and physician safety and autonomy, and moral injury caused by pressure to place profit over patients.

Awful Conditions In New Postal Hubs Create Opening For Resistance

For three years, rank-and-file postal workers and community allies have been fighting Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s Ten-Year Plan to Amazonify the postal service. DeJoy’s overall goal is eliminating jobs by installing huge new automated parcel sorting machines. For letter carriers, the biggest immediate impact of his multi-pronged plan is relocating many from neighborhood post offices to massive new Sorting and Delivery Centers. Over the next few years 600 of these hubs would be set up, impacting 6,000 post offices and 100,000 routes. Under pressure from Senators, DeJoy announced May 13 that he will pause another part of the plan, the consolidation of mail processing plants, at least until next January—a big win for our side.

Organizing One Of The Largest Black Led Unions In The United States

McMaid workers, led by Irma Sherman, Doris Gould, Juanita Hill, and Mary Williamson, transformed labor organizing by successfully unionizing homecare workers in Chicago in 1984, setting the groundwork for the largest union in the Midwest, and catalyzing the organizing of a field predominately staffed by working-class Black and brown women. In Part One, the McMaid homecare workers, with their union, United Labor Unions Local 880, a small, independent union founded by ACORN, the national community organization, overcame an intense anti-union campaign by management to win a solid union election victory in January, 1984. But even more obstacles lay ahead in their fight for Justice.

UAW Admits Digital Heavy, Organizing Committee Light Approach Failed Them

Rather than using traditional organizing committee structures, the UAW relied heavily on digital meetings, a light staff approach from the international union, and getting workers to sign union cards via QR codes. Given the positive media coverage of the UAW in the “Stand Up Strike,” many UAW leaders were confident they could win using this approach. After filing with 70%, the UAW believed they would maintain their margin and win at similar margins to the 73% victory of UAW workers in Chattanooga. However, the UAW lost 44%-56% in Alabama amid charges that the company used backroom manipulation tactics against workers.

How Workers Are Revolutionizing The South

Donneta Williams, president of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1025 and a longtime optical fiber maker at the Corning plant in Wilmington, North Carolina, knows how important it is for workers intent on forming a union to speak directly with peers who walk in the same shoes. So Williams agreed to send three of her colleagues to Corning’s Tarboro facility, about 145 miles away, when workers at that site approached the union with questions about organizing. Local 1025 members shared firsthand accounts of how the union boosted their wages, gave them a voice, and kept them safe on the job. And in May 2024, the workers at Tarboro filed for an election to join the USW.

When Stellantis Fired Temps At Toledo Jeep, We Marched On Management

After we struck for six weeks last fall and won a contract that promised a path to seniority, auto workers are being screwed over again by Stellantis. The firings were a one-two punch. First, in January, Stellantis terminated 500 temp workers—“supplementals” in the company’s jargon—in Kokomo, Indiana, and at a parts sequencing facility near its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Then in March, the mass firings expanded to 341 temp workers at the Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio, where I work making Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators, one of the plants that launched the Stand-Up Strike. Workers got the news that they were terminated via text message.

How Reformers Doubled Vermont AFL-CIO Membership

Transforming an existing union into a more democratic and member-run organization has often proven to be a daunting—though possible—task. The pressing need to revitalize organized labor in the U.S., however, depends on such movements. Beginning in 2017, a slate of reform-minded union activists won leadership offices in the Vermont state federation of labor, reinvigorating that organization. Within just a few years, the federation’s membership doubled. Insurgent Labor: The Vermont AFL-CIO, 2017-2023 is two-term president David Van Deusen’s participant-retelling of the emergence of the UNITED reform group.

Retired New York City Teachers Rise And Run

They’ve really stepped in it. The incumbent Unity Caucus that runs the huge teachers union in New York City is facing a challenge from the Retiree Advocate slate who hope to take leadership of the powerful 70,000-person retiree chapter within the union. Ballots were mailed May 10 and will be counted June 14. The rallying issue has been the United Federation of Teachers’ collusion with the city to put municipal retirees, including retired teachers, into a for-profit Medicare Advantage plan run by Aetna. The plan would replace their traditional Medicare, which is provided premium-free along with a cost-free wraparound.

The Role Of The Labor Movement In Solidarity Economy

Enjoy this panel discussion on the role of the labor movement in solidarity economy hosted by the Solidarity Economy Club at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies from Friday, May 10 , 2024. Solidarity Economy is an internationalist framework that seeks to unify diverse community-based initiatives toward a values-centered alternative to capitalism. Some of these initiatives include cooperatives, community gardens, land trusts, tenant’s unions, care networks & more. There has been increasing attention on the role of the labor movement in solidarity economy as union leaders seek new ways to fight back against the increasing precarity caused by neoliberalism, automation and AI.

US Undergrads Are Getting A Crash Course In Labor Organizing

When Grinnell College wanted to begin compensating community advisors (CA), who work to provide students living in residence halls with programming and support for personal and academic issues, on an hourly basis, undergraduates at the private liberal arts school in Iowa took collective action. They went on strike at the end of the spring semester in 2023. Hannah Sweet, a third-year student at the school who works as a CA, opposed the change because it would have amounted to a substantial pay cut given the 24/7 nature of the job. “One of the main things we did was we performed ‘structure tests’ leading up to the strike date,” said Sweet, who’s now co-president of the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW), which now represents all undergrad labor on campus.

Daimler Truck Workers Use Strike Threat To Win Big

North Carolina heavy truck and school bus manufacturing workers won 25 percent pay increases and ended wage tiers after an energetic contract campaign and strike threat against Daimler Truck. The United Auto Workers unionized these plants in the 1990s and early 2000s—but since then, wages had stagnated. Starting pay was low, and the plants were stuck on different wage scales. At Thomas Built Buses, the largest school bus manufacturing site in the U.S., assembly workers topped out at $24, $5 less than their counterparts at Daimler’s Mount Holly truck plant. The new contract establishes a common wage grid across all 7,400 workers at the four North Carolina plants, as well as parts distribution centers in Atlanta and Memphis.

Reformers Win Rerun Election In Rail Machinists

Reformers in the Machinists rail union have ousted incumbents in a Department of Labor-supervised election. According to the results posted on the union’s website, challenger Reece Murtagh won the presidential election in District 19 of the IAM, 820 to 748, while his slate-mate Marty Rosato won 787 to 774 for secretary-treasurer. Both Murtagh and Rosato are full-time railroad workers. Murtagh is a roadway mechanic for CSX and the president of his local lodge in Richmond, Virginia; Rosato works at CSX in Selkirk, New York. They will take office June 3. Murtagh received the news while he was finishing up his shift at work. In his shop, his co-workers celebrated victory by playing the “Rocky” theme from their phones.

High-Profile UAW Campaign At Mercedes-Benz In Alabama Falls Short

Workers at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plant in Vance, Alabama came up short in their first union election on Friday, May 17, with 2,045 votes to join the United Auto Workers and 2,642 against.  A brief but high-energy campaign that saw real improvements won at the plant and a worker-led effort to organize failed to create a wave after the high-profile Volkswagen workers’ win in April in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “These courageous workers reached out to us because they wanted justice. They led us. They led this fight. And what happens next is up to them,” UAW President Shawn Fain told reporters shortly after the vote count.

Good News: The ‘American Lessons’ From The Labor Notes Conference 2024

On Friday PM April 19 I was scheduled to chair a Labor Notes workshop on “Organizing in the Construction Industry” I entered the designated hotel meeting room and approached the table in front to begin set up. I heard a vibrant Italian speaker and engaged with him. Turned out it was Salvatore Leonardi from the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro – CGIL. He had been a panelist for a discussion of international trade union solidarity. Later I met up with him in the lobby of the O’Hare Hyatt as he headed to Chicago to explore labor history and blues clubs. His solid knowledge of both genres really impressed me.
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.