Unionization and Workers' Demands

Conservative Policy Network Aims to ‘Defund and Defang’ Public Sector Unions

September 4, 2017

The State Policy Network, a network of conservative thinktanks, has a state-by-state plan to ‘defund and defang’ public sector unions, reveals The Guardian newspaper. Larry Cohen, former president of CWA and Chair of Our Revolution says this will only strengthen the US oligarchy

Nissan Workers Plan to Push Back Following Loss

August 8, 2017

By Mike Elk Following an ugly campaign, Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi, lost a historic union election by a margin of 2,244 to 1,307 last week. Workers say that they aren’t giving up in their attempts to organize. The union immediately pledged to challenge the results at the National Labor Relations Board. Late last month, the NLRB charged Nissan with illegally threatening workers and bribing workers to vote against the union. On the day of the election, the UAW filed seven more unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB. If the federal body decides that Nissan broke the law, it could order another election within six months. Workers say that during the next 6 months the union will have to prove the promises made by the company to stop the union drive were empty. “[Nissan] is going to play this nice guy role for about 3-6 months…then everything will go back to normal,” says Nissan worker Robert Hathorn. “Then, the same people who voted against us are gonna be the same ones leading the campaign more than we are.” They say that despite not having a union, workers will have to continue to advocate for small everyday changes. Doing so they say will prove necessary to showing that the union, not Nissan, truly has workers’ interests at heart. “They don’t understand that they are the union,” said worker Michael Carter. “There is not a third party coming in there, the union is already in there, and that’s what we gotta make them understand, that they…

EXCLUSIVE: Nissan Workers Talk Their Struggles With One-on-One Anti-Union Meetings

August 4, 2017

CANTON, Miss. – Nearly every business around the Nissan plant displays a sign that reads, “Our Team, Our Future, Vote No August 3-4.” The message at and around the Nissan plant is clear: A vote for a union hurts the economic future of Canton. As the more than 3,500 employees vote today and tomorrow on whether or not to join the UAW, Nissan’s campaign against unionization continues. The automobile manufacturer has touted business and civic leaders who warn workers that although they think a union will help them, in reality, it will hurt everyone in their community and even the entire state. “If you want to take away your job, if you want to end manufacturing as we know it in Mississippi, just start expanding unions,” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant warned last week. That message is being reinforced on airways, in signs, and in awkward mandatory meetings where supervisors tell employees that a union would eliminate Nissan’s sense of teamwork, which they claim makes the company more innovative than American-based automakers. Such meetings can last as long as an hour. In them, workers are routinely reminded of times when management looked away at minor infractions by employees, such as being late to work or getting extra sick time. Other workers currently employed as temporary workers by Kelly Services, are now being offered “pathways” to permanent employment as Nissan begs for workers to get them a “second chance,” Late last week, the NLRB filed a complaint against Nissan charging that the company has broken the law…

Sanders, Turner and Glover Joined by Thousands for #MarchOnMississippi

March 4, 2017

Bernie Sanders, Nina Turner, Danny Glover, Cornell Brooks and Chokwe Antar Lumumba say there isn’t a more important struggle than that of the Nissan workers, who have been engaged in a years-long campaign to join a union

Would a Trade Deficit be Good for Workers

February 23, 2017

CEPR co-director Dean Baker says that Trump’s haphazard proposals for tariffs are dangerous, but he’s right about the relationship between the trade deficit and the value of the dollar

UAW Local 9 Members Speak Out Against 8 Month-Long Lockout

January 19, 2017

Unionized workers at the Honeywell plant in South Bend, Indiana say the company is not bargaining in good faith despite making record profits in its aerospace division

Postal Workers Fight Privatization

May 15, 2015

TRNN’s Jessica Desvarieux interviews actor & activist Danny Glover and USPS workers during the nationwide day of actions.

Push to Unionize Baltimore’s Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop

September 3, 2014

By Dharna Noor   Over Labor Day weekend, workers at Jimmy John’s gourmet sandwich shop Baltimore rallied outside their Pratt Street location. Along with union organizers and supporters, they distributed promotional information about the Jimmy John’s Worker Union, the latest project of Baltimore’s Industrial Workers of the World. The movement to unionize Baltimore’s Jimmy John’s workers started several weeks ago. On August 9, 30,000 people flooded the streets outside Baltimore’s Convention Center to attend Otakon, the city’s annual anime convention. Many of these costume-sporting attendees found their afternoon and evening sustenance at the Pratt Street shop. There, members and supporters of the new union gathered as well, engaging with convention-goers and baseball fans to garner support. The 9th’s work began with a ‘march on the boss,’ in which three Jimmy John’s workers and a dozen supporters confronted the store’s owner. They presented him with a letter stating demands: “we’re fighting for fair pay, guaranteed hours, consistent scheduling, paid sick days, proper compensation for [delivery] drivers’ safety equipment, and a harassment-free work place,” said Isaac Dalto, IWW organizer and Jimmy John’s worker. Those present also stated that they expected to be recognized and respected as union members. The workers were, as Dalto said, “going public.” “Going public has its risks,” said Dalto. “Corporations are ruthless in the face of organizing campaigns. Even though it’s illegal, they’ve been known to target union members…they’ve been known to discipline, threaten, bribe, and threaten again.” The remainder of the day’s action focused on the right to use tip jars, an…

The Consequences of Reagan Breaking the ’81 Air Traffic Controllers Strike (2/2)

August 6, 2014

Prof. Joseph McCartin and former PATCO spokesperson Elliot Simons explain why other organized labor didn’t strike in solidarity with PATCO workers

The Consequences of Reagan Breaking the ’81 Air Traffic Controllers Strike (1/2)

August 4, 2014

Prof. Joseph McCartin and former PATCO spokesperson Elliot Simons discuss the anniversary of the firing of 11,000 air traffic controllers and why it matters today

Workers Strike in 20 Cities as Study Finds Walmart Can Pay More

June 6, 2014

Nationwide strikes target Walmart ahead of shareholders meeting, calling for a $25,000 annual salary as a new Demos report finds Walmart can afford to do so without raising prices

Unions should organize unemployed

April 22, 2009

Elaine Bernard Pt5: To build a movement, unions need to organize unemployed workers to demand jobs

The union non-union gap

April 21, 2009

Elaine Bernard Pt4: A successful labor movement socializes their gains – or they weaken themselves

The struggle for the Employee Free Choice Act

April 19, 2009

Elaine Bernard Pt.3: The biggest barrier to unionization is the law

The war against unions

April 13, 2009

Elaine Bernard, Executive Director of the Trade Union Program at Harvard Law School, explains the various ways that the US legal system inhibits worker organization. Above all, believes Elaine, the Taft-Hartley Act, a post-World War II bill that brought about the ‘right to work’ principle, stands as a continuing systemic challenge for unions.

Unions in America

April 11, 2009

Elaine Bernard Pt.1: Private sector union membership has plummeted while the public sector has increased