Skip to content

Worker Rights and Jobs

Insurgent Slate Wins UFT Retiree Chapter Election

In a significant setback to the union’s leadership, former educators with the Retiree Advocate caucus of the United Federation of Teachers have ousted the incumbent Unity slate. In balloting for leadership of the union’s Retired Teachers chapter, the Retiree Advocate slate received 17,226 votes, or 63 percent of the total, while Unity, which is aligned with UFT President Michael Mulgrew, got 10,114 votes, according to unofficial results. Members of the Retiree Advocate had campaigned in opposition to the city’s efforts to switch retired city workers to a Medicare Advantage plan from their traditional Medicare. The plan is backed by the Municipal Labor Committee, of which Mulgrew is the executive vice-chair.

Amazon Workers Affiliate With The Teamsters, Next Up Electing Officers

Amazon Labor Union members voted June 17 to affiliate with the Teamsters. Workers cast 878 ballots at JFK8 Amazon fulfillment center on Staten Island, N.Y. The tally broke down to 829 votes in favor of the affiliation and 14 against it; 10 ballots were spoiled. Total turnout was 11 percent out of 8,000 workers. However, workers estimate the workforce has dipped to between 5,000 and 6,000 workers during the off-peak season. A Teamsters statement said the union will now “represent the roughly 5,500 Amazon warehouse workers.” Turnout works out to 16 percent based on that number. “On behalf of the Amazon Labor Union, I’m proud of our members choosing a path to victory. We're now stronger than ever before," said ALU President Chris Smalls in a statement.

Nigerian Trade Unions Hold Two-Day Strike Amid Economic Crisis

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous state and is listed as having the largest economy on the continent with huge deposits of oil, natural gas and other strategic resources. In possession of these material assets along with the 223 million people that inhabit the West African state, the achievements of Nigeria should be limitless. However, the system of neo-colonialism in Africa, where the national wealth of various states largely benefits imperialism, is still maintaining a dominant position over the labor and resources of the people. This system of exploitation constitutes the major impediment to genuine sovereignty, economic independence and social emancipation.

Technology Cooperatives In The Movement: Where Are We Now?

Cooperatives have many benefits to their members and communities. The transformation of the economy to one that works for all, likely requires a much greater role for cooperatives—worker owned cooperatives perhaps most of all. Marxist economist Richard Wolff has gone so far as to posit that the critical failing of past socialist revolutions has been not democratizing the workplace. Certainly, catalyzing a solidarity economy network will require as much of the economy and public infrastructure as possible to be under people's direct control. Tech worker cooperatives have the potential to provide particularly crucial infrastructure for the communication and coordination necessary for a liberatory movement and a robust and just economy.

Organizing Rural And Small Towns For Affordable Housing And Racial Justice

In March, the Rural Democracy Initiative conducted a wide-ranging survey of rural and small town voters that found the number one issue for people was rising costs, particularly the cost of buying a home. When asked if the rising cost of housing preventing people from buying homes was a major or minor problem where they lived, 68% or respondents said it was a major problem, including 64% of Democrats, 71% of Independents and 68% of Republicans. That comes as no surprise to Jaime Izaguirre, a housing organizer in Dubuque, Iowa, for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. Not only is the cost of buying a house beyond the reach of many, finding an affordable, well-maintained apartment or house or mobile home to rent is increasingly difficult in rural and small town America.

Flight Attendants Turn Out For Worldwide Day Of Action

Los Angeles, CA – On the late morning of June 13, hundreds of flight attendants from different airlines picketed across terminals at LAX, the Los Angeles airport. Three unions were present and coordinated together Worldwide Day of Action, hitting multiple airports across the country. AFA-CWA (Association of Flight Attendants), APFA (Association of Professional Flight Attendants), and the TWU (Transport Workers Union) all organized flight attendants as they marched throughout the busy LAX terminals demanding contracts, and an end to corporate greed. Flight attendants are demanding action as negotiations have reached a standstill between them and different airline companies.

Big Union Win In Virginia Schools Where Bargaining Is Suddenly Legal

Education unions just won a massive victory in the fight to bring collective bargaining rights to Virginia’s public sector. Workers at the Fairfax County Public Schools voted this week to unionize, creating a wall-to-wall union of 27,500 teachers, custodians, teaching assistants, bus drivers, and more. The new bargaining unit is one of the largest K-12 unions on the East Coast, according to the National Education Association. Fairfax County is in Northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., and the Fairfax County school district is by far the largest in the state. But many teachers, especially newer ones, live outside Fairfax County because housing there is too expensive. And “a lot of custodians do two or three jobs just to provide for their families,” said Ernesto Escalante, a building supervisor at Crestwood Elementary and an activist in the union drive.

If This Is Us At 20, What Could We Be At 40?

My main work over the past 44 years has been about figuring out how we can consciously develop democracy all over this country. This has included 16 years of active involvement with the cooperative/solidarity economic movements. I believe that bringing this developmental perspective to the cooperative movement can be a rich and productive way for celebrating the 20th birthday of the USFWC. I have two suggestions for consciously growing the worker co-op movement, which naturally reach beyond to the whole cooperative economic movement. The first is to make full use of both Eleanor Ostrom's work and the wisdom emerging from the field of cultural evolution.

27,000 Virginia Education Workers Win Union Recognition

Around 14,000 teachers and 13,000 support staff will now be represented by an alliance of the Fairfax County locals of the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). This win increases union density in Virginia by at least 15%, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The election victories were for the two bargaining units within the FEU: the Licensed Instructional Unit, covering all workers requiring a license, such as teachers, counselors, social workers, psychologists, librarians, and speech language pathologists; and the Operational Unit for workers such as various kinds of assistants, cafeteria workers, custodians, transportation workers, and front office staff.

Workers At Defense Contractors Navigate Dissent Over Gaza War

When an engineer started a new job last year at Northrop Grumman, America’s third-largest defense contractor, their training included vague guidance about political speech in the workplace. In a section of the online training regarding etiquette, the company instructed employees to not discuss politics at work in order to prevent a “hostile work environment.” The online training went on to present a fictional scenario that the engineer shared with Inkstick: “Jane is involved in a political action group outside of work. She sometimes brings up the goals of the group and current events associated with it at work. Sometimes she asks her colleagues if they want to be involved, which makes some colleagues feel pressured or uneasy around her.”

Threat Of Canadian Rail Strike Looms After Bid For Conciliation Fails

Last week’s meetings between the Teamsters union (TCRC) and Canadian National Railway (CN) were abandoned less than halfway through, as the parties refuse to see eye-to-eye. Rail workers at CN and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) were set to strike on 22 May, but a request from the government for the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to “review if a strike could endanger public safety” put this on pause. The CIRB process does not impact continued bargaining, and last week TCRC and CN planned three days of meetings with the participation of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services.

Museum Workers Win Demand To Shut Down For RNC In Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) employees represented by their union, AFSCME Local 526, are celebrating a decisive victory in their campaign for workplace safety during the Republican National Convention. In a statement, the union said it “presented a list of proposals to MPM administration that would prioritize the rights and safety of MPM employees during the RNC, which will be held just blocks away from MPM. The Union asked MPM not to host organizations or individuals whose actions are inconsistent with MPM’s values, and that employees suffer no loss of wages or additional transportation expenses during the RNC, among other workplace-specific issues.”

Bosses Want To Fix The Worker, Unions Want To Fix The Job

Unions and bosses have different outlooks on safety. Employers say illnesses and injuries are caused by worker carelessness: he didn’t look where he was going; she wasn’t using correct lifting technique. That’s the way the boss wants you to think, too. But the union realizes that it’s the hazards themselves that cause injuries, and that it’s the boss who sets up the workplace, either designing in hazards or failing to design them out. Blind corners and high shelving make it hard to avoid collisions; overloaded boxes on low shelves forces awkward bending. Emphasize these different outlooks with workers.

We Want A Labor Law That Protects All Farm Workers

Seattle - Farm workers at Windmill Mushroom traveled to Seattle on Wednesday to shed light on their years-long struggle for dignity and respect – and to urge lawmakers to pass legislation to ensure farmworker labor rights. Accompanied by United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero and joined by state legislators, farm workers spoke passionately about their fight to unionize and the need for labor laws that protect all farm workers, organized or not. The workers have been organizing together for more than two years at Windmill Farms – formerly Ostrom – fighting back against intense pressure and retaliation from the boss.

Professor Says She Was Suspended Over Her Palestine Activism

Last month Sang Hea Kil, a justice studies professor at the San Jose State University, was placed on a temporary suspension. The school claims that Kil violated Article 17 of the collective bargaining agreement between the school and the faculty union, but she believes she was suspended over her Palestine activism. Kil stepped down as co-chair of the Palestine, Arab, and Muslim Caucus of the California Faculty after the school placed her under an investigation for allegedly disruptive activities. “i am resigning now as co-chair and from all committees in pam. it was an honor to fight side by side with you all against the tragic and painful silence around the genocide we experienced at our campuses,” said Kil.
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.