Posted on November 12, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
In 2008 Boeing Machinists struck against outsourcing and concessions. It was the last time the union bargained a pact that wasn’t a mid-contract extension made under threat of shipping away jobs. Photo: Jim Levitt.
Thirty-one thousand Machinists in Washington state were stunned to learn last week that their union had been talking with Boeing for at least two months about opening their contract for concessions to ensure that the next generation 777X plane would be built in Washington.
The contract doesn’t expire until 2016, but the company is threatening to move production of the huge new 777X out of Washington to avoid the union.
The company’s proposal was not made public until last Wednesday. Union members were then told they would vote on Wednesday, November 13.
A website sprang up urging members to “vote no to corporate blackmail” and questioning how the proposed contract would guarantee that the work stayed in Washington. Sponsors planned a rally today. (more…)
Filed under: LaborFilm, Organizing | Tagged: Boeing, Boeing 777X, IAM, Machinists District Lodge 751 | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 27, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
By Steve Early
A Teamsters entourage in the town near Mystic River?
BOSTON—From Jersey Shore to the short-lived All American Muslim to the much glitzier Shahs of Sunset, there seems to be no ethnic community left untouched by the national carnival show known as “Reality TV.”
Always dissed or ignored by the mass media—and thus hungry for more attention—the multi-ethnic enclave of organized labor might have been our last hold-out against letting it all hang-out in this shamelessly exhibitionist genre.
But that modest stance is about to change, quite possibly for the worse, on union turf that’s very familiar. A&E Television Networks is now filming a pilot called The Teamsters. Forget those flashy Persian immigrants, the scarf-wearing women of Dearborn, or the sacrilegious Italian stallions (and their tacky fillies) who populate the Garden State, this show is zeroing in on a local tribe that I know well, thanks to my great grandfather, who fled potato-less County Leitrim for Beantown more than 160 years ago.
According to The Boston Herald
, A&E’s proposed new series will “focus on the lives and struggles of members of Teamsters Local 25,” a union with a long, colorful, and sometimes troubled history with the entertainment industry. Dorchester’s own Mark Wahlberg, the son of a Teamster, is collaborating on the project with Stephen Levinson. (more…)
Filed under: LaborFilm, Organizing | Tagged: "The Teamsters", IBT, Mark Wahlberg, Teamsters, Teamsters Local 25 | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 5, 2011 by dcampbell1
David Bacon brings activist’s soul to journalism
Freelancer one of the few reporters covering lives of migrant workers
by John Geluardi
Freelance journalist and radio host David Bacon is one of the few remaining American reporters whose work openly advocates for social reform. He rejects the illusion of journalistic neutrality and uses his pen and camera to give voice to organized laborers and migrant workers who are so often the hidden victims of an indifferent global economy.
Bacon is carrying on a long American tradition of advocacy journalism that began with the muckrakers of the early 20th Century and reached its zenith with the roving photo documentarians of the Depression era like Hansel Mieth, Otto Hegel, Dorothea Lange and Lewis Hine, whose work was a catalyst for labor law reforms. (more…)
Filed under: Labor History, LaborFilm, Low wage workers | Tagged: Bacon, David Bacon, East Bay Express, Hansel Mieth, KPFA, Los Angeles, Oakland, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 12, 2011 by paulgarver
View this moving video with soundtrack by Bruce Springsteen. It’s time for a Main Street Contract for the American People. National Nurses United (NNU) has embarked on a campaign to reverse national priorities and policies that have placed the interests of Wall Street over the crisis facing American families today.
On September 1 the NNU will hold rallies at various locations on the theme “Tax Wall Street to Heal America.” More information on times and locations of these rallies will be available on the NNU’s website and on Talking Union.
Filed under: Economy, Health Care, LaborFilm, Organizing, Politics, Solidarity, Uncategorized | Tagged: Bruce Springsteen, Main Street Contract, National Nursus United, NNU, Tax Wall Street | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 20, 2011 by dsalaborblogmoderator
From June 22 to 25, 2011, around 230 people attended the conference of the Working-Class Studies Association, held at the University of Illinois-Chicago. The conference was chaired by Jack Metzgar, a regular blogger on the Working Class Perspectives blog [and Talking Union], and organized by the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies. The conference theme of “working-class organization and power” reflected the urgency of the present moment when not only are public sector unions under attack, but also the very idea of the “public” as a shared set of social resources is being undermined by cutbacks or privatization. Conference plenaries on organizing in Wisconsin, food justice, and the “corporatizing” of public schools explored these topics from multiple perspectives. Panelists included teachers, parents, labor leaders, researchers, community organizers, a social worker, a farmer, and food service worker, along with academics. Each panel both analyzed the challenges and described actions being taken to tackle them, in an inspiring demonstration of the unity-in-diversity necessary to carry our common work forward. (The full conference program is available online.)
In this post I want to offer some reflections on the conference and on what it suggests about this formation we call “working class studies.” But first, a little institutional history.
Filed under: Conferences and Events, Labor History, LaborFilm | Tagged: Working-Class Studies Association | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 5, 2011 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Eric Lee
A little girl making a mess out of cake baking. A cartoon with a menacing dog – and a lamb. And stirring images of the protests against anti-union laws in Wisconsin.
What do these have in common?
They’re three of the five finalists in the second annual Labour Video of the Year competition.
Last month, hundreds of you submitted your favorite labor videos and a panel of judges has selected the shortlist of five.
Filed under: LaborFilm, Video | Tagged: LabourStart, LabourStart Video of the Year Contest | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 22, 2011 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Bill Barry
The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers Struggle (1997)
This marvelous documentary provides a vivid history of more than 100 years of California commercial farming and of the generations of farm workers and their organizations. The producers collected extraordinary archival footage, mixed with a wide range of interviews, to show the development of agribusiness in California, built upon the stoop labor of successive waves of immigrants (Chinese, Filipinos, Okies, Mexicans and Chicanos).
Every generation of workers tried to organize with work stoppages and community pressure, attracting political radicals, religious reformers and sympathetic social workers—many of whom were interviewed for this documentary—to la causa. By the late 1940s, the workers established a permanent organization, the United Farm Workers (UFW), which is the main topic of this documentary. The UFW grew against the bitter hostility, of both class and race, from the growers in California’s central valley.
Filed under: LaborFilm, Video | Tagged: Cesar Chavez, Fight in the Fields, labor movies | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 2, 2011 by paulgarver
by Paul Garver
At the impressionable age of 23 as a graduate student in history I went to see an Italian film called “The Organizer.” Starring a bearded Marcello Mastroanni as a penniless and hungry “Professor Sinigaglia” who hitches a ride on a train to Turin to help organize textile workers, the film ably combined tragedy, comedy, rousing worker anthems and vivid impressions of working-class life. I saw the film only once 47 years ago, but it made an indelible impression. Ten years later when as a jobless former university professor I answered an ad placed by the Pittsburgh SEIU local for hospital worker organizers I could imagine myself as an avatar of Professor Sinigaglia.
Filed under: Labor History, LaborFilm, Low wage workers, Organizing, Resources, Uncategorized | Tagged: Italy, Organizer, Textile Workers | 1 Comment »