Issues

Journalists of the Chicago Tribune: It’s time to form a union

CHICAGO—In an organizing move most Chicagoans, along with veteran journalists with a sense of history, never expected to see, the Chicago Newspaper Guild-CWA officially announced an organizing drive at the Chicago Tribune. No election date has been set.   If successful, it would mark a watershed for the Guild, the city and the paper. In its 171-year history, the Tribune, […]

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Top union lawyer: High Court ruling could blow hole in overtime pay eligibility

WASHINGTON–A new Supreme Court ruling against a small group of workers – auto dealership service advisors – potentially blows a big hole in which workers nationwide are eligible to get overtime pay, a top union attorney warns.   That’s because the April 17 opinion in Encino Motorcars v Navarro gives the Labor Department wide latitude to decide which classes of […]

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Steelworker local president: Dumped foreign steel leads to layoffs, pain for workers

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.—Just over a decade ago, before the surge of dumped foreign steel in the U.S. and the Great Recession hit, the Arcelor-Mittal plant in Conshohocken, Pa., had 400-425 Steelworker members turning out specialty steel the military needs to protect its tanks and vehicles against improvised bombs they’d run over, notably in the Middle East.   Now it has 200, […]

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Arizona teachers, school staff vote for statewide strike

PHOENIX—Pushed to anger by a decade of spending declines and a state school money offer both inadequate and unfunded, Arizona teachers and school support staffers voted by 78 percent-22 percent to strike statewide on April 26.   At least 57,000 educators and staffers cast paper ballots in the three days of statewide voting, Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas announced […]

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Major unions back new Poor People’s Campaign

WASHINGTON—With support from five big unions and other union-affiliated groups, a new Poor People’s Campaign, building on and expanding the drive of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago, launched on April 10 with a comprehensive report linking poverty, systemic racism, repressed voting rights, ecological disasters and the war economy.   Organizers, led by the Revs. William Barber and […]

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AFT backs settlement of Flint water contamination case

DETROIT—Almost precisely four years after lead-contaminated and dangerous drinking water first started flowing into residents’ pipes and into their homes in Flint, Mich., the state and attorneys for Flint’s schoolchildren have settled a class-action suit about it, agreeing to universal screening of Flint students for lead poisoning, including in-depth blood testing.   The American Federation of Teachers, which sponsored a […]

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Senate party-line vote gives GOP majority on Labor Board

WASHINGTON—By a strictly party-line vote – all 50 voting Republicans for, all 46 voting Democrats and both independents against – the Senate gave Republicans a National Labor Relations Board majority by naming corporate attorney John Ring to its sole vacant seat. Organized labor did not flatly oppose Ring’s nomination, but questioned whether he could set aside his pro-corporate track past […]

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Bldg. trades union leaders laud Trump interagency pact to speed construction permits

WASHINGTON–Building trades union leaders lauded a Trump administration interagency agreement to speed up federal permits to build infrastructure projects. One top environmental group opposed it, and other unions and environmentalists were silent.   Trump released a memo joining the departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and others in committing to approving needed federal […]

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Company intransigence forces AT&T Midwest workers to authorize strike

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio—Company intransigence at the bargaining table forced the 14,000 workers at AT&T Midwest and AT&T Legacy to vote to authorize a strike, the Communications Workers announced.   The contracts at the two firms expire at midnight April 14 and both have bluntly refused to move on key issues, the union said. AT&T Midwest covers workers in the Great […]

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Labor Notes 2018: More than just unions in the labor movement

CHICAGO—When people hear about the “labor movement,” they think “unions.” While that is certainly true, the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society joined a major labor gathering in Chicago hosted by a group that is, like the WES itself, a non-union labor group.     More than 2,500 grassroots labor activists, “worker center” leaders, union members, union officers, and community activists gathered at […]

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