Kevin Bacon’s new video imploring millennials to raise their 80s awareness did not mention Billy Bragg’s 1986 song “There Is Power in a Union,” but the idea that there is any power in a union probably seems as remote to many millennials as parachute pants or the White Pages. Actually, this is probably true of anyone born after about 1965. It’s been a long time since we have thought that most workers can realistically be something other than lone and lonely individuals forced to accept whatever terms of employment they can find and hope not to get fired.Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity [...]
According to The 1938 Almanac for New Yorkers, excerpted below: 110 years ago tomorrow, hazing was outlawed at West Point! And also this week in 1919, 35,000 dressmakers in New York City went on strike for, among other things, a 44-hour workweek. Later that year, the National Association of Ladies' Hatters went on strike as well. 1919 was a big year for striking! See also: the Seattle General Strike, the Boston Police Strike, the New York Harbour Strike and the Actor's Equity Strike that shut down Broadway. In 1919, the women of the New England Telephone Company shut down New England's telephone service [...]
The ten-month lockout of workers at Sotheby's has ended with a new contract! It is not so dramatic, at all, and you really wonder for what the management was holding out? The three-year deal, reached in the last week, boosts wages 1% in each year, lifts the starting salary to $18.50 an hour, and maintains the workers' benefits, according to Jason Ide, president of Teamsters Local 814, which represents the 42 workers. Sotheby's had sought to permanently replace some of the union art handlers with temporary nonunion workers, but the deal protects the positions as union jobs, Mr. Ide said.
What does it look like to have a country where people are angry about their government and actually do something about it? Why, it looks like France! With six days of full-on national protests, with half-a-million people marching and students leaving schools en masse and factories of all sorts shut down, this is what you get when a significant percentage of workers have a way to come to agreement about rights that they would prefer for working people. You know: things that they think are in their best interests. Because they don't spend their days in Stockholm Syndrome with the rich, begrudging welfare payments. The Parliament will vote [...]
Verizon, who has recently been quite happy to secretly turn over millions of loyal Americans' phone records to the government (and then lie about doing so!), now has a much more difficult choice to make about what's right. Do they cater to anti-union bias and Wall Street profit-grabbing? Or do they engage just a little in trying to make America better by not helping to destroy the middle class?
With global operating revenues last year of $106 billion (and only $31 billion in real costs), the company doesn't feel a need to really engage with its 45,000 striking workers. Last year, Verizon laid off lots of staff—2500 directly, [...]