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United we bargain divided we beg
(Laura Clawson)

Every Saturday night, we run "The week in the War on Workers," a round-up of news items that didn't get their own posts during the week but are worth knowing about. This is the first post in an expansion of that project through the week, highlighting efforts to get workers "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work" (and it's not a fair day's wage without respect and safety) and looking at what state and local governments are doing that will affect workers—these days, that's more likely to mean attacks on workers, but good news is more than welcome.

Since weekday round-up posts will likely remain Daily Kos Labor-only, items will be repeated on Saturday night for the broader Daily Kos audience, at least for now.

A Fair Day's Wage

  • What does protected concerted activity look like? The National Labor Relations Board has a new site showing recent cases in which workers took action to try to improve their working conditions or pay, faced retaliation by their bosses, and had to go to the NLRB for protection.
  • Despite an anti-union intimidation campaign, 1,200 poultry workers in Russellville, Alabama, voted overwhelmingly to join the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union. And no, Alabama is not exactly a bastion of unionism.
  • In response to a lockout of 79 workers in Evansville, Indiana, Teamsters in five cities have waged rolling sympathy strikes against Republic Services/Allied Waste. And they're not stopping there.
  • Atlantic City's Tropicana Casino and Resort has indefinitely suspended 21 workers after they were arrested for civil disobedience protesting the casino's refusal to bargain in good faith for a new contract and termination of its pension plan.
  • File this under "people you probably didn't expect to organize": music video dancers now have an industry-wide contract to protect them, through SAG-AFTRA and the Dancers' Alliance.
  • The Archdiocese of St. Paul is stripping workers at its newspaper of union rights.
  • has dropped two anti-union clients, Stand for Children and StudentsFirst, after drawing criticism for running a Stand for Children petition targeting Chicago teachers.
  • The longest ongoing strike in the United States is at Chicago's Congress Hotel.

State and local legislation

  • Republican Pennsylvania state Rep. Brad Roae is trying to use sick children to weaken prevailing wage laws. Under his proposed legislation, prevailing wage laws would be lifted on projects benefiting children who are sick, disabled, or who lost a military parent.
  • According to the Michigan Court of Appeals, repeal of the state's Emergency Manager Law should be on November's ballot. Republicans are continuing to stall, and repeal backers have filed an emergency appeal to make sure Michigan voters have the chance to repeal the law.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 09:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Progressive Hippie.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The emergency manager law (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Hector Solon

    in MI predates Republicans, but they expanded it to make it much easier for their handpicked manager to act unilaterally to toss out union contracts, fire people, reduce, privatize, or eliminate services, and do pretty much whatever else they feel like.

    Nobody claims the cities in question are not in financial trouble, but much of it is due to revenue sharing cuts by state government, i.e. Republicans, massive job losses (Flint, Detroit) as well as chronic mismanagement (Benton Harbor). The issue is that he law now in place basically removes the will of the voters from the equation completely. The emergency manager has absolute power and answers only to the governor.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 10:21:54 AM PDT

  •  I'm a Teamster... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (That's the first time I've gotten to say that here since I started work)

    ...And I stand with all my working brothers and sisters.

    (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

    by homogenius on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 03:06:23 PM PDT

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