Posted on May 15, 2013 by dcampbell1
Bill Moyers and Company
English: Picture of Sheila C. Bair, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
See this video. It includes good explanations of cooperative work sites and ownership, such as Sacramento Municipal Utility District ( electric power).
It includes Sheila Bair, formerly of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. A Republican. Critic of the bail outs. Author of, Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street. She discusses the issues of banking crisis and why we have not reformed our reformed our banks. Read more »
Filed under: Economy, Politics | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 15, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
The New Era Windows Cooperative opens its doors (and windows) for business
by Kari Lydersen
Reprinted with permission
from In These Times
(May 9, 2013) The workers know launching and running a company won’t be easy, but given their deep knowledge of the industry and their personal investment in the project, they are confident they can do it.
Today, in a revamped Campbell’s Soup building in an industrial and residential section of southwest Chicago, the New Era Windows Cooperative will celebrate the grand opening of its new factory.
Becoming a worker-owned cooperative is the latest chapter in the saga of the workers of Republic Windows and Doors, who gained the nation’s attention by occupying their factory—twice—and became a symbol of resistance in the face of corporate corruption and the economic crisis.
The journey to this moment has been a long and rocky one. Right before the December 2008 holidays, with the economy plunging into crisis, unemployment skyrocketing and a cold snowy winter setting in, 300-some workers at the Republic Windows and Doors factory on Goose Island in the Chicago River learned they were about to lose their jobs. Owner Richard Gillman announced that the factory would be closed, leaving workers without the unused vacation pay and severance pay legally due them. And their health insurance would be cut off promptly.
Read more »
Filed under: Economy, Organizing, Solidarity | Tagged: Republic Windows, The Working World, UE, worker coops | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 15, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Jack Metzgar
Last month a few hundred retail and fast-food workers, from places like Sears, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald’s, walked off their jobs for a rally in downtown Chicago. Carrying signs saying “Fight for 15” (or “Lucha Por 15”) and “We Are Worth More,” these workers make $9 or $10 an hour, at best, and they figure they’re worth at least $15.
A one-shift walk-out and protest by a few hundred out of the thousands of such workers in the Chicago Loop and along Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile cannot have the economic impact of a traditional strike – one that shuts down an entire workplace or industry for an extended period of time and, therefore, can bend an employer’s will. And these workers’ chances of getting $15 an hour any time soon are worse than slim. This “job action,” bolstered by community supporters organized by Action Now and with help from Service Employees International Union organizers, is more in the nature of a public protest than a “real strike.” You could even call it “a public relations stunt,” but you’d be wrong to dismiss it as inconsequential.
Read more »
Filed under: Low wage workers | Tagged: "Fight for 15", Charles Morris, Chicago fast food strike, fastfood workers, minority unions, NLRB, Walmart | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 14, 2013 by dcampbell1
As the Senate Judiciary Committee continues the “mark up” process on S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights asks individuals and groups to join them in signing an Open Letter to the Committee to adhere to the principles of human rights, labor rights, fairness and justice.
They ask for changes in the following.
- Substantially improve the path to citizenship.
- Access to a green card should not be dependent upon a “secure border”.
- The filing fees are too high.
- Maintain the core commitment to family reunification as a criteria.
- Continue the Diversity Visa program.
- End the prioritization of increase in border enforcement and militarization of the border.
- End the current immigration detention system.
- Ensure access to full labor protections and labor rights.
- End the temporary worker programs as soon as possible.
10. End the enhanced deportation programs.
DSA is a member of the National Network.
If you would like to endorse as an organization, please click here.
Filed under: Economy, Immigrant Workers, Politics | Tagged: United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 14, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Deadline to apply: May 17, 2013
This summer, the national movement to make change at Walmart will take a giant step forward. In the tradition of the 1964 Freedom Summer and the UFW’s grape boycott, a deeply committed group of labor, student and community supporters will spend the summer building local OUR Walmart and Making Change at Walmart (MCAW) support teams across the country that demonstrate the broad, growing movement calling on Walmart to change. The program will run from June 15th – Labor Day.
Read more »
Filed under: Low wage workers, Organizing | Tagged: Making Change at Walmart (MCAW), OurWalmart, Walmart | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 10, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Mike Elk
On average, 13 U.S. workers die a day in workplace accidents, as in this OSHA illustration of grain entrapment. (Wikimedia Commons)
“My happiness was taken away in a matter of seconds,” says Adrianna Martinez of the death of her husband, Orestes Martinez, in a workplace safety accident four years ago. “My family and I are broken. Losing my husband, my best friend, my love has left an empty space in my heart.”
Orestes Martinez, a construction worker in Houston, was killed on the job. Martinez and two other workers were moving a two-ton lead door by hand because no lift devices were available. The door fell and crushed Martinez.
OSHA found that Martinez’s employer, J.T. Vaughn Enterprises, Inc., had committed two serious safety violations that led to Orestes Martinez’s death. But OSHA fined the company only $10,000. On appeal, an administrative judge dismissed one of the violations and reduced the fine to $3,500 Read more »
Filed under: Workplace health and safety | Tagged: OSHA, WestTexas explosion | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 10, 2013 by dcampbell1
Labor wrestles with its future
By Harold Meyerson,
Since the emergence of capitalism, workers seeking higher pay and safer workplaces have banded together in guilds and unions to pressure their employers for a better deal. That has been the approach of the American labor movement for the past 200 years.
That approach, however, has begun to change. It’s not because unions think collective bargaining is a bad idea but because workers can’t form unions any more — not in the private sector, not at this time. There are some exceptions: Organizing continues at airlines, for instance, which are governed by different organizing rules than most industries. But employer opposition to organizing has become pervasive in the larger economy, and the penalties for employers that violate workers’ rights as they attempt to unionize are so meager that such violations have become routine. For this and a multitude of other reasons, the share of unionized workers in the private sector dropped from roughly one-third in the mid-20th century to a scant 6.6 percent last year. In consequence, the share of the nation’s economy constituted by wages has sunk to its lowest level since World War II, and U.S. median household income continues to decline.
Unions face an existential problem: If they can’t represent more than a sliver of American workers on the job, what is their mission? Are there other ways they can advance workers’ interests even if those workers aren’t their members? Read more »
Filed under: Organizing, Politics, Union Reform | Tagged: AFL-CIO, Harold Meyerson, Knights of Labor, RichardTrumka, Service Employees International Union, United States, Working America | 5 Comments »