Posted on November 26, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
The ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) is calling for a new international Convention on gender-based violence at the workplace, as the world observes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women today.
The Governing Body of the International Labour Organization – made of representatives of governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations – has not yet given the green light to tripartite negotiations for an international legal instrument focusing on gender-based violence at the workplace. Although several members of the ILO – including the workers’ group – have indicated their support for such a Convention, there are still voices against it, among them the employer representatives at the ILO.
“There are very few countries which have labour-law provisions to prevent, address and redress gender-based violence at the workplace. An ILO Convention is absolutely necessary to close this gap and boost protection for women and girls generally against violence,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Domestic violence, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 22, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
he International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) joins major environmental and development groups in protest action at COP 19 in Warsaw where Governments are not acting responsibly to tackle the threat to lives, jobs and livelihoods that climate change represents.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) joins major environmental and development groups in protest action at COP (Conference of the Parties) 19 in Warsaw where Governments are not acting responsibly to tackle the threat to lives, jobs and livelihoods that climate change represents.
Unions joined civil society groups in a voluntary withdrawal from the Warsaw climate talks. This is the first time there has been a mass walkout from a COP meeting.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC, said democratic leaders have failed us. Even as the climate science warns of escalation of climate change with devastating impacts, negotiations backtrack on emission reduction targets, financing for developing nations, technology sharing and the just transition workers demand. (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Global warming, International Trade Union Confederation, Sharan Burrow | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 7, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Mike Elk
Weaknesses in OSHA’s whistleblower protection laws leave employees vulnerable to retaliation for speaking out against workplace hazards. (Greg Younger / Flickr / Creative Commons)
According to a report released last week by the Center for Effective Government (CEG), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspects only 1 percent of workplaces in the United States in a given year. In the absence of inspections, that means more of the burden to report safety abuses falls on individual workers themselves. However, the CEG study shows that due to weak protection laws, many workers find themselves choosing between reporting a safety violation and keeping their jobs—creating a vicious cycle that can lead to workers too fearful to report potentially deadly workplace hazards.
“Too often, when workers raise concerns about health and safety hazards on the job, employers retaliate with reduced hours or dismissal, even though doing so is clearly illegal,” says Katie Weatherford, regulatory policy analyst at CEG and the author of the report. “Neither federal OSHA, nor its state-level counterparts, currently do enough to protect workers from being harassed, suspended, or fired for reporting health and safety problems, leaving workers with no place to turn.” (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: OSHA | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 7, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
On Thursday, November 7 at 5:00pm 100 women and men of conscience will commit an act of non-violent civil disobedience sitting down at Walmart in Chinatown (at the intersection of Cesar Chavez Ave and Grand).
Filed under: Low wage workers, Strikes and work action, Uncategorized | Tagged: Making Change at Walmart, Our Walmart, Walmart | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 22, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency
Edited by Kristian Williams, William Munger and Lara Messersmith-Glavin
AK Press, 2013
Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America
By Matt Apuzzo & Adam Goldman
Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2013
Anyone who spent 10 minutes at an Occupy encampment knows that the police response was intense, invasive, unconstitutional and bordered on the deadly. In New York, Oakland, Boston and in hundreds of other locales nationwide, the police were not there to serve and protect nonviolent protesters, let alone the general public. To quote Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s infamous words during a week-long police riot against anti-war protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, his cops were there “not to create disorder but to preserve disorder.” Who can improve on Daley? Life During Wartime tries. I think it fails, though the trying is well worth the effort.
A ponderous book that’s impossible to read in one sitting, or even 10, it’s filled with much-needed information on counterinsurgency efforts at home and abroad. It chronicles mainstream institutions such as the media that serve to legitimize the existing social order and cool out, co-opt or crush dissent. It examines everything from state violence to an Orwellian manipulation of language. It also speaks to the capacity of social movements to act smarter in response. The breadth of its examples and the understanding of its 15 contributors of the depth of manipulation alone makes the book necessary reading. That’s where it succeeds. (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: civil liberties, occupy, police repression | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 1, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Randy Shaw
Today is Eliseo Medina’s last day as the Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU International. Medina is retiring from his job, though not from immigrant rights activism, after nearly fifty years working for social change. Medina helped expand Latino union membership, and increased Latino voting and political empowerment. He secured SEIU resources to implement Latino voter outreach strategies that effectively changed the course of national politics, and played a leading role in broadening a network of immigrant rights groups into a national labor and church-backed movement.Medina’s activism began in 1965 at age 19 as an organizer with Cesar Chavez and the UFW. He was trained by the legendary Fred Ross Sr
., who also mentored Chavez. Seen by many as Chavez’s successor, Medina abruptly left the UFW in 1978 over concern with the group’s direction. His departure began a mass exodus of the UFW’s key organizing talent, whose future endeavors became the subject of my previous book, Beyond the Fields
. Medina’s legacy has parallels to Chavez, whose later failures left some to wrongly downplay his historic achievements. In Medina’s case, his support for SEIU President Andy Stern’s takeover of the California-based SEIU-UHW in 2009 and his refusal to publicly oppose Stern’s attempted seizure of UNITE HERE also that year alienated some of his former admirers into adversaries. Yet as with Cesar Chavez, Eliseo Medina’s rich life must be evaluated over the course of his career. Medina is among the most influential social change activists of his time, and his story should be known.
In today’s United States, labor unions and Latino voters are two key pillars of progressive politics. Yet when Eliseo Medina worked for the UFW from 1965-1978, the situation was very different. The UFW was the only union that prioritized grassroots electoral outreach, and among the few groups focused on registering Latino voters and getting them out the vote. (more…)
Filed under: Immigrant Workers, Organizing, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: Andy Stern, Eliseo Medina, Latino, Los Angeles, Medina, Miguel Contreras, SEIU, Service Employees International Union | 3 Comments »
Posted on September 24, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
This Labor Day finally brought recognition for the 28 Mexican migrant farm workers who tragically perished when the twin-engine DC-3C charter plane flying them back to Mexico caught fire and crashed on Jan. 28, 1948, near Los Gatos Canyon in west Fresno County, Calif. The Latino community of Fresno buried the 28 unidentified bracero farm workers after funeral services in a mass grave at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. News reports of the crash didn’t offer any names of the farm worker victims. They were just called “deportees.”
Incensed by how the farm workers were treated on the radio and in the newspapers, famed folk singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie wrote a beautiful poem, later a song, called “Deportee” or “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos.” Many artists, including Joan Baez who sang it at a United Farm Workers benefit last July in San Jose, have performed the ballad. The refrain goes:
Farewell to my Juan, farewell Angelina
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria
You won’t have your names
When you ride the big airplane
All they will call you will be deportee
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Arturo Rodriguez, Bracero, Cesar Chavez, Deportees, farm workers, Guestworker, immigration reform, Labor, Labor Day, Latino Voices News, Latinos & Hispanics, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Steve King, UFW, United Farm Workers | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 18, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
This video presents a message from workers across the Pacific Rim about the potential negative consequences of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade and globalization agreement among 12 countries (Australia, Brunei-Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam). If this agreement puts corporate rights first, workers and their families in all 12 countries could be harmed by downward pressure on wages and labor rights; more polluted air and water; reduced access to life saving medicines; and more powerful corporations influencing our laws and trying to override our voices. We encourage you to learn more about the TPP, share the video, and sign the petition to ask the governments involved to put people first as they work on this deal. Learn more about the TPP here:
The following labor federations and organizations helped create this video: ACTU (Australia), AFL-CIO (US), CATP (Peru), CGTP (Peru), CLC (Canada), CSD (Canada), CSN (Canada), CUT (Peru), ITUC (International), MTUC (Malaysia), NZCTU (New Zealand), RedGE (Peru), and UNT (Mexico).
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 31, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
America’s athletes, actors, Broadway performers, recording artists, and broadcasters have one thing in common: they’re union members. So this Labor Day, they are standing in solidarity with their fellow union members and workers everywhere to celebrate the importance of having a voice on the job, whether on a field, film set, on the stage, or factory floor.
Throughout the weekend, union members and workers’ rights supporters across the country will tweet about the advantages of being a “#unionmember” – for themselves and for workers in each sector of the economy. And they’ll do it in 140 characters or fewer.
Just a few of the athletes and celebrities participating this year include: Arizona Cardinals linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (@onemangang97); Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen (@TheCUTCH22); “Raising Hope” star Lucas Neff (@RealLucasNeff); novelist and Emmy-nominated “Late Show with David Letterman” writer Bill Scheft (@BillScheft); Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate); and New Orleans Saints defensive end Martez Wilson (@MartezWilson95).
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: #unionmember, union member tweet-a-thon | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 15, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Christie Thompson and Blair Hickman
This story first appeared on ProPublica.
In 1994, Bridget O’Connor began an internship at Rockland Psychiatric Center, where one of the doctors allegedly began to refer to her as Miss Sexual Harassment, told her that she should participate in an orgy, and suggested that she remove her clothing before meeting with him. Other women in the office made similar claims.
Yet when O’Connor filed a lawsuit, her sexual harassment claims were dismissed because she was an unpaid intern. A federal appeals court affirmed the decision to throw out the claim.
Unpaid interns miss out on wages and employment benefits, but they can also find themselves in “legal limbo” when it comes to civil rights, according to law professor and intern labor rights advocate David Yamada. The O’Connor decision (the leading ruling on the matter, according to Yamada) held that because they don’t get a paycheck, unpaid interns are not “employees” under the Civil Rights Act—and thus, they’re not protected.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: interns, sexual harassment | Leave a Comment »