Tag Archives: unions

Corporate Anti-Union Strategy in America

Corporate Anti-Union Strategy in America
Labor Day 2014 in the U.S. has come and gone and it should be obvious to all but those with self-imposed historical myopia that American unions and workers are now well into a fourth decade of a strategic retreat. Retreat is not synonymous with defeat, of course. Resistance and fight-back continues to occur along several fronts—low wage workers’ attempts to unionize, immigrant workers’ protests, minimum wage fights, and scattered islands of ... Read more

Rank-and-File Environmentalism

Rank-and-File Environmentalism
That the emergence of ecological consciousness among coal miners was intimately linked to a union democracy movement isn’t a coincidence. Fighting for democratic, rank and file-run unions is necessary for both opening the space for energy workers to discuss how to confront ecological destruction and to build the kind of power that will be necessary to confront the energy giants. Read more

Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Agreement: Collective Bargaining Reborn?

Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Agreement: Collective Bargaining Reborn?
Seattle’s plan sets a template not just for minimum-wage levels, but for collective bargaining more generally. At a time when collective bargaining has all but vanished from the private-sector economy—just 6.7 percent of private-sector workers are union members—Seattle has charted a new path to raise wages for workers, whether union members or, mainly, non-members. The process of getting to $15 has been every bit as groundbreaking as the $15 ... Read more

Soon We’ll All Be Temp Workers

Soon We’ll All Be Temp Workers
Nissan, the first of many foreign automakers to set up shop in Tennessee, is leading a trend. Companies from Amazon to Asurion to Dell have outsourced their warehouses and call centers to the hundreds of staffing agencies that have cropped up in the region. Tennessee went from having 51,867 temporary workers in 2009 to 80,990 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- while median wages have stayed flat. That accounts for nearly ... Read more

How did our financial system become so undemocratic?

How did our financial system become so undemocratic?
Our financial destiny does not have to be governed solely by the interests of Wall Street. As we limp from crisis to crisis spurred on by the logic of “high risk, high reward” and the technocratic jargon of modern portfolio theory, it would serve us well to remember that, in addition to building wealth for the working class through pension plans, organized labor was also able to direct the power of finance through democratic means. Not ... Read more

Saving the Post Office While Developing Community Banks?

Saving the Post Office While Developing Community Banks?
Your friendly local post office may have an honorable history, but it’s facing tough times, including a fiscal crisis and, more generally, a struggle to keep pace with growing digital communication technologies. Conservatives have increasingly dismissed the United States Postal Service as a clunky relic of old-fashioned America, with right-wing lawmakers seeking to phase it out through service cuts and privatization. Now, some progressives ... Read more

What Does the VW Vote Say About the U.S. Model for Labor?

What Does the VW Vote Say About the U.S. Model for Labor?
Current management theory recognizes that businesses do better when employees are involved in decision-making. But that trend ran smack into the paternalistic view that workers are replaceable parts in the narrow vote by workers at Volkswagen (VW) in Chattanooga, Tennessee to reject the United Auto Workers (UAW). Here was a case where right-wing politicians, who usually worship at the alter of business, decided that a business that actually ... Read more

Our Harvest [Union] Co-op

Our Harvest [Union] Co-op
February 17th, 2014 - You are invited to a presentation on UFCW Local 75’s (Cincinnati) project, the Our Harvest [Union] Co-op, at 6:00pm, next Monday night, February 17th, at Busboys and Poets on 5th and K Street, NW. The presentation is part of the restaurant’s monthly Bread & Roses labor program. Read more

Workers in TN Could Form First Works Council in U.S.

Workers in TN Could Form First Works Council in U.S.
On Feb. 12–14, workers at the Chattanooga, Tenn., Volkswagen factory will vote to unionize. If successful, they plan to organize under the works council model that is common at the company's factories outside the United States. Currently, the Tennessee location is the only major Volkswagen production facility in the world that does not have labor representation. Works councils enable workers to collaborate with management in improving the ... Read more

Verizon Strike Highlights Union Effect on Middle Class Jobs

By Kari Lydersen In These Times, August 15, 2011 Verizon employees rally in Boston’s Post Office Square on the steps of the Verizon building on July 31, 2003.   (Photo by Douglas McFadd/Getty Images) State officials nationwide — most prominently governors Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Chris Christie in New Jersey—have attacked unionized nurses and teachers as overpaid, as part of a larger campaign against public sector unions. Now ... Read more