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Worker Rights

Twenty-Five Thousand Auto Workers Are Now On Strike At The Big Three

Seven thousand Auto Workers at two more assembly plants will walk off the job at noon ET today, UAW President Shawn Fain announced in a Facebook Live appearance this morning. Joining the strike are Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant and General Motors’ Lansing Delta Township Assembly in Michigan. Fain announced that Stellantis would be spared this time. The union had been expected to expand the strike today at all three companies, but, said Region 1 Director LaShawn English, three minutes before Fain was scheduled to go on Facebook Live, the UAW received frantic emails from company representatives.

Québec Public Sector Workers Are Ready For A General Strike

Fed up with the deterioration of public services under the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government, thousands took to the streets to demand fair pay, improved benefits, and better working conditions while unions negotiated new collective agreements with the province. The coalition of unions—including the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), the FTQ, and the Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et services sociaux (APTS)—is known as the “common front,” or front commun, and represents over 420,000 workers in Québec’s public schools, health care and social services sectors.

First Tire Workers To Organize In 40 Years Win First Contract

It was late summer 2017 at the Overtyme Bar and Grill, a hotspot off a busy highway in Macon, Georgia, and Kumho Tire plant worker Mario Smith had important questions for local United Steelworkers (USW) president Alex Perkins: he wanted to know how he could bring a union to the one-year-old factory. Now six years later—after two elections, many National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) cases, a virulent union-busting campaign, and the triumphant solidarity of the factory workers—that union has gained its first-ever collective bargaining agreement with Kumho Tire management, the first tire workers to unionize in the United States in 40 years.

Auto Bargaining In Canada—Stuck In The Past?

Bargaining with the Detroit 3 auto corporations is happening in Canada and the United States at the same time this year—the first time that bargaining has aligned since the disastrous bankruptcy negotiations and forced concessions of 2009. Unifor just reached a tentative agreement with Ford earlier this week, while the United Auto Workers’ strike against selected Ford, Stellantis and General Motors plants is ongoing. This is indicative of the major differences in the strategies of the two unions. The UAW, under new leadership, is doing things dramatically differently—raising bold demands, mobilizing their membership, and developing innovative strategies and tactics.

Work Extra During A Strike? Auto Workers Say ‘Eight And Skate’

Only 13,000 of 146,000 auto workers at the Big 3 companies are on strike, so far. But others still on the job are turning up the heat by refusing voluntary overtime. At all three companies—Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis—Auto Workers (UAW) members have told Labor Notes about overtime refusals. Many Big 3 plants are hugely dependent on overtime to make up for understaffing. Organizing on the shop floor and on Facebook, many auto workers unified so fast to do their part for the strike that they forced management to shut their plants for this entire past weekend. That followed advice from top UAW officers: that members in plants not yet striking had a right to refuse voluntary overtime.

Wayne, Michigan: Striking Auto Workers Picket And Hold Large Rally

Wayne, MI – Since 12 a.m. September 15, over 4000 UAW Local 900 auto workers have been on strike at the Ford Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne, which is located just outside of Detroit. Since the strike was announced, the UAW workers have received much media attention nation-wide, and many Detroit residents are excited about the kind of fight the UAW are leading and the implications a win could have for them. UAW local 900 workers and their supporters were in high spirits and the atmosphere on the ground is electric. There is a 24/7 picket running along a mile stretch in front of the massive assembly plant, with hundreds of picketers spread across several entry gates at any given time.

Bakehouse Workers In Chicago Fight For Independent Union

Despite the Biden administration’s decision to terminate the national Public Health Emergency Declaration on May 11, COVID-19 has continued to spread and mutate, leaving millions dead around the world and millions of others chronically ill, permanently disabled, and/or immunocompromised. The pandemic itself, and the botched responses to it by powerful state and market actors (including, and especially, the United States), have inflicted irreversible damage upon our societies, and that damage has been disproportionately felt by marginalized, poor, and working-class people. But the many injustices working people have had to endure during the pandemic, and the many sacrifices we have had to make, have also played a direct role in galvanizing the emerging wave of worker organizing and the renewed labor militancy we are currently witnessing. 

On The Picket Line

The courageous Durham, North Carolina, sanitation workers, members of United Electrical Workers (UE) Local 150, ended their six-day strike Sept. 12 amid threats from the City Council to suspend them without pay. Despite these union-busting tactics, the workers will continue their struggle; a rally is set for Sept. 18 at Durham City Hall. This is an all too familiar scenario where essential workers continue to be mistreated by their bosses. The sanitation workers have legitimate concerns around hazardous conditions due to the nature of their work and severe understaffing.

Truckers Movement For Justice To Protest At Hunts Point Market

For years, Truckers Movement for Justice (TMJ) has worked to contribute to fixing issues within the trucking industry by informing the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the US Department of Labor (USDOL) that truckers need ALL HOURS WORKED ALL HOURS PAID, OVERTIME FOR ALL, and ENFORCEMENT OF THE RIGHT TO SEE THE FREIGHT BILL. Without movement on these three simple demands, TMJ picketed on 1 May 2023 in front of the USDOT and American Truckers Association (ATA) buildings to remind and warn them to act immediately. Dirt was dumped onto the sidewalk and TMJ President Billy Randel drew a line through it before declaring, “We are drawing a line in the sand!”

Big 3 Focus On Auto Parts Centers In Strike Preparation

The automakers General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis are hurtling towards a showdown with United Auto Workers (UAW) as contract talks approach the September 14 strike deadline. As the Big 3 automakers scramble to make contingency plans, they are shining a spotlight on one specific part of the supply chain: the parts distribution centers that supply after-sales spare parts and accessories to dealerships. In August, reports leaked that Ford was preparing to deploy 1,200 non-union salaried employees to parts distribution centers (PDCs), or as Ford calls them, “high velocity centers.” The plan proved to be controversial. Some salaried employees raised concerns about safety—a non-union employee got into an accident during the 2021 John Deere strike.

The Big 3 Have Just Days To Avert A Strike

After decades of accepting concessions demanded by the Big Three automakers, the United Auto Workers (UAW) is now making bold demands of its own in one of the most spirited contract campaigns in the union’s recent history. With 97% of the 150,000 UAW members at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) voting to authorize a strike, and with the current collective bargaining agreements set to expire Thursday night, a work stoppage at any or all of the auto giants could begin Friday morning unless new four-year contracts are secured. The Big Three have made a combined nearly quarter trillion dollars in profits in North America over the past decade — including $21 billion in the first six months of 2023 alone.

BLET Engineers Unanimously Endorse Strike At NJ Transit

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members who work at New Jersey Transit last week voted unanimously to authorize a strike. Five hundred locomotive engineers employed by NJ Transit received strike ballots in August. Voting results show 81% of the eligible 494 union members cast ballots and all of them favor a strike, BLET officials said in a press release. NJ Transit recently announced plans to spend more than $440 million to lease luxury office space, which has infuriated many BLET members, they said. “The agency has millions for penthouse views, but not a dime for train crews who kept the trains running throughout the worst days of the pandemic, and haven’t had a raise since 2019," said BLET National President Eddie Hall.

Global North Uses Online Gig Work To Exploit Global South Workers

Under the cover of Internet invisibility, companies around the globe are using online gig platforms to break labor laws and violate human rights. The so-called gig economy (more akin to digital piecework) is exacerbating poverty and inequality, particularly in the Global South, by circumventing existing labor standards and imposing harsh working conditions and low wages on millions of workers. I was one of those workers, and I was recently fired, after seven years, for speaking up. I had been working as a researcher at the New York-based company Ask Wonder in order to supplement my income as a freelance journalist in Mexico.

‘Big Bargaining’ In Oakland Led To Big Gains

After a seven-month contract campaign and a seven-day strike, the Oakland Education Association won substantial raises and broad benefits, including “common good” demands. It was a hugely popular tentative agreement—ratified with a 90 percent yes vote, with nearly 80 percent of members voting—in large part because of our “big bargaining” approach, meaning an expanded bargaining team with robust communication back and forth with the members. Thanks to big bargaining, the union has 50 new leaders who have developed confidence and skills. Now they want to learn how to keep up the fight at their schools by enforcing the contract.

North American Truckers’ Movements Announce International Alliance

Mexico City, MX - Tamexun and Truckers Movement for Justice will formally meet in person for the first time, and are publicly announcing their historic international alliance. Tamexun, based in the United Mexican States, is an association formed to stop the exploitation of truckers, and is celebrating its fifth anniversary with Saturday's demonstration. Truckers Movement for Justice (TMJ), based in the United States of America, is a grassroots organization focused on economic issues affecting truckers and the trucking industry. Tamexun and TMJ are both comprised of truckers: company employees, lease-operators, and small carrier owner-operators.
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