Posted on May 7, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Street Heat
While encouraging, the recent uptick in discussions regarding the future of the labor movement will be limited in its impact unless the strategic nature of the U.S. south is included in the exchange.
It is somewhat mystifying that while acknowledging the urgency of labor to address its shortcomings, the critical role that the U.S. south plays in stymieing labor’s ascendancy has received little to no attention. More concerning is the fact that the south’s centrality to labor’s resurgence and ultimate survival is not even acknowledged in this increasingly vigorous discussion.
The combination of anti-worker laws, repression against people of color and reactionary politics has allowed the enemies of labor to define an entire geographic area as a bulwark against movements for social justice. The south provides the critical majority of electeds who have held the line against pro-worker reforms (along with most other progressive legislation) and its laws have provided a template for laws passed in the “war on workers” in northern states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and New Hampshire.
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: UAW, Working America, Teamsters, UFCW, Smithfield, Nissan, South, #1ufuture, Savanah port workers | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 23, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
By Bruce Vail
Several hundred labor activists gathered last week in Lansing, Mich., for a frigid but boisterous protest of Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address. Their intention was not to disrupt the speech, but to remind Snyder that he has awakened a deep and abiding anger among the state’s labor leaders and their allies. Snyder can count on many more such reminders in the coming months, Michigan labor sources say, as unions carry out plans to reverse the anti-worker initiatives Snyder has sponsored in the last six weeks, and push back against the big business forces that stand behind him. (more…)
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: "right to work", Bob King, Indiana, Michigan, UAW, USW | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 26, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Eric Lee
Danny Glover, the star of Lethal Weapon and other Hollywood blockbusters, delivered a message to the LabourStart conference which opened yesterday in Sydney, Australia.
I’d like to ask you to take a minute to watch the video:
Then please sign up to the online campaign, here:
Filed under: Global organizing, Organizing | Tagged: Danny Glover, LabourStart, LabourStart Global Solidarity conference, Nissan, UAW | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 16, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Review of Greg Shotwell’s Autoworkers Under The Gun: A Shop-Floor View of the End of the American Dream (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011) 237 pp. $17 (paper).
By Steve Early
The tradition of radical pamphleteering in North America is as old as Thomas Paine and his distinguished predecessors in the struggle for democratic rights in a world dominated by monarchs and theocrats. More than a few modern-day purveyors of “common sense” have penned their denunciations of the powers-that-be in rank-and-file newsletters, the shop-floor alternative to official labor publications. Their critique of the workplace status quo has been no less welcome than the writings of the immigrant corset-maker, who dared to challenge illegitimate illegitimate authority, in England and its colonies, in the late 1700’s.
During his three decades as a machine operator in Michigan, Gregg Shotwell was never once asked to contribute to his national union magazine, Solidarity, which serves as a glossy mouthpiece for the United Auto Workers (UAW). So Shotwell, a brilliant wordsmith and working-class humorist, launched a lively shop paper called Live Bait & Ammo for the edification of his co-workers at General Motors and Delphi. It contained all the news and commentary that Solidarity didn’t see fit to print. Thanks, to the inter-net (and much to the chagrin of UAW leaders), Live Bait & Ammo was soon circulating in UAW plants far and wide. This made Shotwell widely read, if not very popular, at Solidarity House, the now sadly mis-named headquarters of a labor organization more devoted to dividing and conquering its own members than uniting them in fights against major employers.
Filed under: Book Reviews | Tagged: autoworkers, Autoworkers Under the Gun, UAW | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 7, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
Tonight, working families across the country celebrate the re-election of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden – and breathe a sigh of relief that our country will move forward on the path of sanity and shared prosperity. Nothing about the last four years has been easy, from the Great Recession to Hurricane Sandy, from unrelenting partisan obstruction by Republicans to the greatest onslaught of negative ads ever unleashed against an American president.
Throughout the tumult, President Obama and Vice President Biden have been steadfast allies of working men and women and the values we cherish, focused on repairing the economy, rebuilding the ladder to the middle class and investing in our shared future. That’s why workers and their unions made an historic effort on their behalf, bringing home the vote for the President from Nevada to Ohio, from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania.
With “Osama dead and GM alive” and the economy beginning to pick up steam, we are ready to work together with the President and all willing parties to win greater equality and economic opportunity for all – starting with ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and opposing any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits.
Below are statements from the AFT, UFCW,UAW , AFGE , UFW, SEIU, IBEW, and IAM
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: AFGE, AFL-CIO, AFT, IBEW, Obama, SEIU, UAW, UFCW, UFW | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 1, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
DETROIT – Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are the last people who should be championing the cause of Delphi salaried workers whose pensions were terminated during the General Motors and Delphi bankruptcies. Despite opposing the auto rescue, Romney personally profited off the deal that cut the pensions of workers at Delphi Automotive, an automotive parts division spun off from GM in 1999.
A recent report in The Nation detailed Romney’s investment in the hedge fund that swooped in to buy – for pennies on the dollar – controlling interest in Delphi during its bankruptcy. The Romney campaign has not denied that the Romney family made at least $15 million and as much as $115 million off its investment in the hedge fund that controlled Delphi after its bankruptcy.
Romney’s investor group leveraged more than $12 billion in rescue funds from the U.S. Treasury Department through its major customer, GM, by threatening to withhold components critical to the assembly of GM cars. Steven Rattner, former counselor to the Treasury secretary in the Obama administration during the auto restructuring, likened it to “extortion demands by the Barbary pirates.”
Filed under: Economy, Politics | Tagged: auto bailout, Bain, Delphi, GM, UAW | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 23, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Labor Notes’ Mark Brenner has a tribute to legendary dissident United Auto Workers organizer Jerry Tucker who died on Friday.
Jerry Tucker’s name is legendary, and on so many fronts. He led the successful effort to beat back a right-to-work referendum in Missouri in 1978, uniting unions and farm organizations. He reintroduced work-to-rule strategies to UAW plants, winning critical early fights against concessions (read about them in the Troublemaker’s Handbook).
As the concessions trend picked up steam, Jerry stood at the head of the New Directions Movement within the UAW in the 1980s, pledged to resist both givebacks and the “partnership” mentality. He dared to run for UAW regional director against the “jointness” candidate—and won, despite a slew of dirty tricks.
Jerry later turned to advising workers and unions in a host of industries. His tactics were adopted by the workers at the Staley plant in Decatur, Illinois, before and during their lockout, as detailed in the book Staley.
Filed under: Labor History | Tagged: Jerry Tucker, UAW | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 23, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by William Kornblum
Patricia Cayo Sexton
Patricia Cayo Sexton (1924-2012) died peacefully in her sleep on August 11, after a lifetime devoted to advancing the rights of wage-earning women and men in their workplaces and communities. Her death deprives the Dissent
circle of a true stalwart. With her late husband, Brendan Sexton, she was an active member of the United Auto Workers in the Reuther generation of the union’s founding. Their home was for many years a gathering place for social democratic talk and action. Her books and essays continue to offer invaluable insights into the relentless attacks on labor and the working class, even while they document the possibilities of democratic action. At Dissent
meetings and other gatherings of social democrats, Pat Sexton was an active listener who saved her comments for their timeliest moment in the debate. She was sharp, attractive, and plainspoken, as were so many of her generation who had spent time in the car shops and union halls of industrial America.
Pat was a regular voice in Dissent, especially after joining the editorial board in 1972. She wrote memorable pieces for the magazine on labor, urban poverty, women in education, and finance capitalism. A faculty member in sociology and urban education at NYU, her highly acclaimed book Spanish Harlem (1965) was a close-up account of life and social conditions in what was then still a relatively new racial and ethnic community, the Puerto Rican Barrio of Harlem. As an urban sociologist, Pat was known particularly for her work on urban poverty and education. Her work on labor and capital are especially notable for their continuing relevance to current controversies. Her book The War on Labor and the Left (1992), analyzes the exceptional anti-labor virulence of segments of the American ownership class. The book challenges the notion accepted by many liberals and progressives of the time that in the new social contract of post-war labor-management relations, the trade unions would have a secure place at the bargaining table.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Patricia Cayo Sexton, UAW | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 21, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Steve Early
One sign, among many, of labor’s current travails is the stalled union growth strategy known as “Bargain to Organize.”
More than a decade ago, there was no bigger buzzword in union organizing circles. When John Sweeney was elected AFL-CIO president in 1995, he encouraged affiliates to employ the tactic by pressuring unionized companies to permit uncontested organizing drives at their non-union facilities or subsidiaries.
In one model Bargain to Organize campaign that began in 2008, the 6,000 SEIU members employed by Help At Home, a for-profit home healthcare company, used their own contract negotiations in Illinois to confront management about its record of union-busting in neighboring Indiana.
Then-SEIU organizer Matt Luskin reported that after an aggressive membership mobilization campaign, Help At Home signed an agreement that not only gave raises and better benefits to Illinois workers, but also “expanded the organizing rights of thousands of workers in other states where the company operates.”
Filed under: Organizing | Tagged: bargain to organize, IBT, NUHW, SEIU, UAW | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 10, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee and Sec.-Treas. Lee Saunders released a statement applauding President Obama’s message. They said:
“President Obama’s announcement today recognizes a fundamental American right – that every citizen is entitled to respect and dignity, and the equal protection of our laws. For too long, lesbian and gay Americans have been denied the right to marry the person they love, raise a family and live as equal citizens in our country.”
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: AFSCME, CWA, marriage equality, Obama, SEIU, UAW, UFCW, Unite Here | 2 Comments »