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Worker Rights and Jobs

UAW Wins Organizing Election At Volkswagen Tennessee Plant

United Auto Workers achieved a historic organizing victory Friday night at a Volkswagen AG plant in Tennessee plant as workers voted overwhelmingly to join the union following a three-day election. The vote count was 2,628-985, according to unofficial results released by the automaker, the union and a National Labor Relations Board tally posted on X. "Volkswagen Chattanooga workers voted in favor of union representation in their workplace this week," the automaker said in a statement. "The vote was administered through a democratic, secret ballot vote overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. ... We will await certification of the results by the NLRB. Volkswagen thanks its Chattanooga workers for voting in this election."

The Nation’s Coal Miners Get A Rare Piece Of Good News

Today, the Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) officially published a new federal safety rule aimed at reducing the amount of silica dust that coal miners breathe during their long shifts underground. As In These Times reported in a 2023 investigation, the prior standard allowed miners to be exposed to as much as 100 micrograms of silica dust per cubic meter, which was twice as high as the silica limit for workers in all other industries. The new rule slashes the limit to 50 micrograms — a level first recommended in 1974.

Forty Years: Brazil’s Landless Workers Have Fought To Build Humanity

Brazilian landless workers, who live on settlements and encampments of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), gathered roughly 13 tonnes of food to send to Palestinians in Gaza between October and December 2023. MST cooperatives across the country participated in the solidarity campaign, which included milk from Cooperoeste in Santa Catarina, rice from Terra Livre Cooperative, the Cooperative of Settled Workers of the Porto Alegre Region (Cootap), and Cooperav in Rio Grande do Sul, and corn flour from Terra Conquistada in Ceará.

How Alabama Communists Organized In The Jim Crow South

As the United Auto Workers (UAW) set their sights again on organizing factory workers in the Deep South, they do so keenly aware of the difficulties campaigning in a center of union-busting reaction. In 2019, bosses at a Chattanooga Volkswagen plant led a vicious anti-union campaign, abetted by Donald Trump’s National Labor Relations Board, that defeated an earlier UAW campaign there. When Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, waged an audacious effort to unionize in 2021, against one of the largest corporations on Earth, they likewise faltered in the face of widespread interference and intimidation.

Argentine Unions Call Another General Strike For May 9

The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) has called for general strike on Thursday May 9. The general strike is the second since Milei took office in December 2023. The measure taken by the CGT is a response to a meeting held a few days prior at the Casa Rosada, during the first official meeting with government officials. In response to their apathy in light of the dire economic, social and political context, the union called for a new measure of force to be unleashed as soon as possible. In the same way as during the first general strike in January, the CGT is calling for a large mobilization, and will be accompanied by other unions, such as the Argentine Workers’ Central Union, and the Argentine Workers’ Central Union (Autonomous).

Occidental College Undergrad Workers Join Campus Labor Movement

Los Angeles - Occidental College, one of the first liberal arts colleges established in California, presents a portrait of the idyllic all-American collegiate experience that many folks dream about. The small, well-planned campus features a distinctive Beaux-Arts design to its buildings and a tree-lined quad that have been featured in dozens of TV shows and movies over the decades, including Beverly Hills 90210, Clueless, and Jurassic Park III. Just under 2,000 full-time students were officially enrolled at the college in Fall 2022, and it remains one of the few colleges nationwide that focus exclusively on undergraduate education.

Chile On Strike: Worker Anger Spills Over

The diagnosis that emerged at the congress of the CUT, held in January, is that in Chile there is a political alliance between a right wing and a business sector that does not allow the reforms that Chile needs to move forward and a government that, in the face of this blackmail, gives in, because it has been, in political terms, far more centrist or even right wing than anybody expected. During our congress, we elaborated a strategy designed to break this political stalemate and the “national active strike” today is part of this mould-breaking in which the CUT has an important role to play. We have reached an agreement on this course of action with most unions and made public our “social manifesto” of 11 demands that are behind the strike.

Mercedes Tries To Punch Down Alabama Union Momentum

Workers at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama were forced to attend 20-minute anti-union meetings with the company’s top management today. Recordings obtained by Labor Notes show top management dangled carrots and put on a contrite-boss act, promising to do better. Workers filed with the National Labor Relations Board on April 5 for the first-ever election to unionize the 5,200 people who work at the plant. Mercedes claims to be neutral in the election, but it’s also listed as a supporter of the Business Council of Alabama’s anti-union website, Alabama Strong. The Auto Workers (UAW) has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges accusing the company of retaliating against pro-union workers.

Red Baiters Go Big To Distort And Disarm Workers’ Growing Anger

The main focus of the interview is looking back on the CIO in the 1930s and advocating a “Go Big” approach to labor today. One would expect to find historical examples explaining the strategies of the class struggle organizations which helped to bring about America’s most tumultuous and successful labor upsurge – the formation and struggles of the CIO. Loomis gives an overview of the particular circumstances leading to the creation of the CIO, notably the depression, FDR, and the particular interests of John L Lewis – but chooses to gloss over the years of on-the-ground organizing by left-wing radicals within the labor movement, particularly communists.

Momentum For Open Bargaining Grows For The Letter Carriers

Hit by years of inflation, and inspired by last year’s contract struggles and big wins by Big 3 auto workers and UPS Teamsters, members of the Letter Carriers (NALC) at the U.S. Postal Service are getting organized to fight for open bargaining. So far 23 NALC branches and one NALC state association have passed an open bargaining resolution first put forward by NALC Branch 9 in Minneapolis. In many more branches, members are discussing the resolution and plan to bring it forward in the weeks to come. The resolution calls for NALC leaders to articulate clear demands up front, and to give regular updates about the progress of bargaining.

Can Grocery Workers Take Back Their Union?

On a gray October evening, half a dozen insurgents huddle around a table in an upscale diner across the street from Sea-Tac airport, considering their battle plans. “I don’t want to get shot in New Jersey or New York, and those guys will fucking murder us,” says the consigliere. “Yeah,” the boss muses. ​“They will hella murder us.” “I’m more afraid of some people who have threatened to shoot us out here than those people out there,” says one of the generals. “The chances of us getting shot,” concludes the ringleader, ​“are fairly high.”/

The GKN Workers’ Fight Continues

On 9 July 2021, Melrose Industries announced the closure of its GKN Driveline (formerly FIAT) factory, which produces car axles in Campi di Bisenzio, Florence, and the layoff of more than 400 workers. While in many cases the workers and unions would settle for negotiating enhanced redundancy benefits, the GKN Factory Collective took over the plants and kickstarted a long struggle against decommissioning. However, what makes the Ex GKN Florence dispute really unique is the strategy adopted by the workers.

HAW-UAW Large Unit Votes To Unionize, 93% In Favor

Non-tenure-track faculty at Harvard voted 1,094-81 to unionize under Harvard Academic Workers-United Auto Workers, the group announced on Friday. Around 40 percent of the 3,100 eligible voters — which includes academic workers from postdocs to lecturers from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard Divinity School — showed up to vote at one of three locations at the Harvard Science Center, the Science and Engineering Complex, and Tosteson Medical Education Center at the Longwood campus.

Cities Are Taking On Uber’s Bullying

If you’ve taken an Uber ride recently, you’ve probably noticed it cost a lot more than a few years ago. Why is that? We conducted the largest-ever study of rideshare fares to find out, and discovered a story of gaslighting and corporate greed that squeezes rideshare drivers and riders alike, while funneling our money to banks and billionaires. This month, Minneapolis passed an ordinance requiring rideshare corporations to pay drivers at least $1.40 per mile and 51 cents per minute. In a desperate attempt to block the pay floor, Uber and Lyft are threatening to leave the city, claiming that such a requirement would make rides too expensive for residents.

Books Are The Missing Piece Of A Unionized American Culture Industry

One interesting side effect of writing a book about unions (as I recently did) is that it makes you more aware that the book industry is, for the most part, not unionized. On one hand: yeah, just like every other industry! On the other hand, there are some glaring reasons to think that the book business — the whole, sprawling chain, from writing to publishing to selling — is overdue for its own big wave of unionization. Book workers, unite! You have nothing to lose but the branded tote bags they give you instead of raises.
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