The Creative Resistance Of Domestic Workers

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By Rose Mahi for Open Democracy. Many conditions play into the exploitation of migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in Lebanon. Most of the time, MDWs are women, and some of us are illiterate. And at times, this illiteracy furthers existing exploitation, which is already embedded in sexism, classism, and racism. These factors are present in our home countries, and migration renders us even more vulnerable to them. Our employers often believe that people migrate because they had nothing to do, were not qualified, or lacked opportunity in their home countries, and that we therefore owe them for saving us.

Workers May Have Just Killed Missouri’s Right to Work Law

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By Jeff Schuhrke for In These Times. Missouri – In a badly needed victory for organized labor, a coalition of workers’ rights groups in Missouri is poised to halt a devastating new anti-union law from taking effect later this month. The deceptively named “right-to-work” (RTW) legislation—quickly passed and signed into law this February by Missouri’s new Republican governor, Eric Greitens—would prohibit unions in private sector workplaces from automatically collecting dues from the workers they are legally required to represent. Designed to decimate unions by cutting off their financial resources, RTW laws are currently in place in 27 other states. Though the law is set to take effect on August 28, the pro-union We Are Missouri coalition, led by the Missouri AFL-CIO, says it has collected enough signatures from voters to call for a state-wide referendum in November 2018 that could nullify the legislation.

Minimum Wage Of $15 An Hour Passed In Minneapolis

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By Staff of NELP and Fight for $15. Since the Fight for $15 began in November 2012, more than 40 cities and counties, and more than 20 states have adopted minimum wage increases. NELP estimates that about 19 million workers have won almost $62 billion in annual raises, and a growing numbers of U.S. states and cities in just the last few years are adopting a minimum wage of $15 per hour. SeaTac, Washington, which was the first city to do so, approved a $15 minimum wage in 2013. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee brokered an agreement between labor and business to place a $15 minimum wage on the November 2014 ballot, which the voters overwhelmingly approved, and the Los Angeles city council approved a $15 minimum wage in 2015. California and New York approved a statewide $15 minimum wage in 2016. About 10 million workers have benefitted from these $15 minimum wage laws so far. An increase in the Minneapolis minimum wage to $15 per hour will benefit 23 percent of workers in Minneapolis, or approximately 71,000 people.

True Food Systems Change From The Bottom Up

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By Families United for Justice. On June 15th FUJ members turned out to overwhelmingly ratify the tentative collective bargaining agreement presented by their negotiations committee. After an overview of the contract the Mixteco and Triqui hand harvesters, men and women, lined up to cast their ballots. Official vote counters Jeff Johnson President of the WA State Labor Council and Steve Garey former President of the Steelworkers Local 12-591 tallied the vote and announced it was over 85% in favor of ratifying the tentative agreement. The harvesting season will begin soon with contractual benefits for members of FUJ hand harvesting the berries. Among the benefits union members will receive is an average $15 an hour wage. While this contract is truly a great victory, C2C’s vision for a better food system stretches far beyond this moment.

Boycott Wendy's

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By Coalition of Immokalee Workers. For over three years, farm workers and consumers have been demanding that Wendy’s join its major competitors – Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Subway and Burger King – in participating in the Fair Food Program. Yet, Wendy’s has instead consciously and shamefully opted to profit from farm worker poverty and abuse, continuing to cling to the low-bar standards of the past when presented with an acclaimed and proven alternative. Rather than participate in what was called the “best workplace-monitoring program” in the U.S. in the New York Times, Wendy’s ran from responsibility and abandoned the Florida tomato industry altogether. In response to increasing pressure from consumers to join the Fair Food Program, Wendy’s released a new code of conduct for its suppliers, a perfect example of the failed, widely-discredited approach to corporate social responsibility that is completely void of effective enforcement mechanisms to protect farm workers’ human rights.

AT&T Workers Begin Three-Day Strike

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By David Bacon for In These Times. Around 40,000 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at AT&T walked off their jobs Friday, for a three-day strike, as pressure continues to mount on the corporation to settle fair contracts. In California and Nevada, around 17,000 AT&T workers who provide phone, landline and cable services have been working without a contract for more than a year. Last year, they voted to authorize a strike with more than 95 percent support. And in February, an estimated 21,000 AT&T Mobility workers in 36 states voted to strike as well, with 93 percent in favor. Workers had issued an ultimatum, giving company executives until 3 p.m. ET on Friday to present serious proposals. They didn’t; the workers walked. It isn’t the first strike at AT&T. Some 17,000 workers in California and Nevada walked off the job in late March to protest company changes in their working conditions in violation of federal law.

Call For Global Unity On May Day

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By James E. Rabbitt, III. This May Day (Monday, May 1, 2017), workers worldwide are invited to participate in an unprecedented call for global unity demanding that all full-time workers are paid a living wage by means of a May Day General Strike, which transcends borders and all other divides among fellow workers. The success of this event is dependent upon word of mouth and social media to invite others who will collectively stand together in solidarity to end the unjustifiable inhumane suffering and exploitation of underpaid workers everywhere. This act of global unity to improve the quality of life for millions, possibly even billions, of people can be held at every place of employment, with workers determining which type of strike is best suited for their unique workplace (i.e. sick-ins, picketing, good work strikes, etc.).

Support Education Activist Sarah Chambers

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By Michelle Strater Gunderson for Living in Dialogue. Chicago, IL – If you are fortunate, every once in a while you will meet someone who breathes the fire of justice. In my life Sarah Chambers, a special education teacher from Maria Saucedo School in Chicago, fills that role. Yet, this is the teacher who the Chicago Public Schools suspended last week pending a hearing that could lead to her firing. Sarah is everywhere in Chicago when there is a call to defend children with disabilities. She is the leader of the Chicago Teachers Union Special Education Task Force, the co-chair of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, a member of the union’s executive board, and a negotiator on our latest bargaining team. So, why would the Chicago Public Schools send her a letter the night before our Spring Break removing her from the classroom?

Fight For $15 And Movement For Black Lives Plan Nationwide Action

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By Fight for $15 and Movement for Black Lives. MEMPHIS — The Fight for $15 and the Movement for Black Lives will take to the streets nationwide April 4 – the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination – in a two-dozen-city “Fight Racism, Raise Pay” protest. Thousands of underpaid workers, local racial justice activists, elected officials and clergy will hold rallies, marches, teach-ins, and other demonstrations to stress that the push for economic and racial justice remains as deeply linked today as when Dr. King was killed in 1968 supporting striking black sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn. The coast-to-coast protests will culminate in a march by thousands of workers, national civil rights leaders and politicians on the Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis, where they’ll hold a memorial at the site of Dr. King’s assassination 49 years ago.

Get To Know The BATS: Teachers Fighting Privatization

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By Marla Kilfoyle and Melissa Tomlinson in partnership with Read the Dirt for Popular Resistance. Chris Christie once told a Badass Teacher that he was “sick”of people like her. It was his response to the question posed by her sign: Schools in NJ are among the top 3 in the country. Why does Governor Christie portray our schools as failure factories?“You know what,”he said, “I’m tired of this. I’m so sick of you people. What do you want?”He pointed his finger in her face, “just go do your job.” It was 2014, seven years into Melissa Tomlinson’s career as a public middle school special education teacher in Buena, NJ—and six months after the founding of the Badass Teachers Association (BATs) network. Some might know BATs for their online activism and role in the campaign against Betsy DeVos. Organized horizontally through committees, we have chapters in every state, but all are autonomous to account for unique obstacles and local culture.

Workers, Civil Rights Leaders Join 'March on Mississippi' For Nissan Union

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By Sue Sturgis for Facing South. n what’s expected to be the largest protest in Mississippi in years, hundreds of workers, civil rights leaders, and social justice advocates plan to march to the Nissan factory in Canton this Saturday and call on the automaker to respect employees’ right to a union election free from fear and intimidation. The March on Mississippi is being organized by the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan, a coalition of civil rights leaders, ministers and worker advocates. It will be led by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and actor Danny Glover, a longtime advocate for the Nissan workers, and will be joined by NAACP President Cornell William Brooks, Sierra Club President Aaron Mair and U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi). The march will also be streamed live on the Good Jobs Nation Facebook page.

How To Stop Trump’s Continuous Scam On The Working Class

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By Paul Street for Truthdig. Two things are clear going forward. First, progressives hoping to defeat Trump and Trumpism will need to drive a class wedge between the new administration’s big basket of deplorable, super-wealthy plutocrats and the president’s conservative WWC base. Second, Trump is going to provide a lot of ammunition for that wedge-building task with policies that mock his posture as some kind of great white working-class hero. It is distressing that candidate Trump got away with taking that populist pose in the first place. Born to significant real estate wealth, Trump owed his rise to hyper-opulence “to his relentless manipulation of the corporate-controlled media market … to increase the market value of his name, which he then licensed to be sold. … The result,” author Mike Lofgren notes, “was Trump resorts, Trump steaks, even Trump dietary supplements retailed through multilevel marketing, the polite biz school euphemism for a pyramid scheme. As for Trump University, the principal lesson it imparted … was how to avoid being victimized by such scams in the future. … Such is Donald Trump, friend of the working class.”

Fast-Food Workers Shut Down Hardee's Corporate HQ Puzder 'Unfit'

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By Staff for Fight for $15. Hundreds of fast-food workers flooded the lobby of Hardee’s corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., this afternoon, demanding that Trump’s labor nominee Andy Puzder withdraw his nomination or be rejected by the U.S. Senate. Chanting “Hold Your Burgers, Hold Your Fries, Down With Puzder and His Lies” and “Make a Dollar, Get a Dime, Puzder Won’t Pay Overtime,” workers unfurled a banner reading “Puzder: Bad for America” in the lobby of the building. The also dropped a banner from the parking garage across from Hardee’s headquarters. The message: reject Puzder.

Newsletter: Trump Comes Into Focus; So Do Our Tasks

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. The Trump presidency is coming into focus. Every appointment shows that his populist campaign rhetoric was disguising a government for the ultra-wealthy and the military. He has already appointed the wealthiest cabinet ever with a net worth of $12 to $35 billion, and he is putting generals in what are usually civilian positions. A look at his current appointments show us what we can expect the Trump administration to pursue for policies. Much of the work that has been done for social and economic justice will be threatened. This means that we will need to escalate our efforts and be more assertive. The potential for people working together in solidarity will grow and the long-term impact of the Trump era could be a mass movement that will change the political culture in the United States.

White House Gives Up On Passing The TPP

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By Vicki Needham for the Hill. The Obama administration’s won’t pursue passage of its signature Pacific Rim trade deal, dealing a major blow to President Obama’s legacy. Any hope of passing the sweeping 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) quickly faded after Donald Trump’s surprise victory on Tuesday and pronouncements by congressional leaders that the pact would not be considered during the lame-duck session. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton each opposed the agreement during their campaigns, endangering the already slim chances that Congress would cobble together enough support to pass the historic agreement before the end of Obama’s presidency. The long-shot trade agreement faced widespread Democratic opposition on Capitol Hill and the environment for passing the deal only grew more toxic during the presidential campaigns.