Atlanta Jobs with Justice Celebrates 2013 Victories

atlantajwjby Roger Sikes

In 2013 we won big victories and laid important infrastructure towards organizing the South. Our city of Atlanta is critical to the regional, national and global struggle to build an economy that works for EVERYONE. The South must lead. Building an unapologetically progressive organization that unites community, labor, students and faith communities in effective campaigns and movements for economic, racial and social justice is a tall task anywhere, but especially in the South. Continue reading

75 Years of the Fair Labor Standards Act: Webcast Symposium Friday Nov 15

Friday November 15, 2013, 9:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.

flsa_dolU.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez will welcome researchers, policy experts, advocates and workers to the Department of Labor’s Frances Perkins Building on Friday, Nov. 15 at 9 a.m. EST for a daylong symposium marking the 75th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Speakers will discuss the past, present and future of the FLSA, the current state of the American economy and worker protections. They will also explore what it means to have a good job that provides economic security, the minimum wage, the changing nature of the employer-worker relationship and trends in paid leave policy.

This event is in collaboration with the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley. The event can also be viewed online at http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/75event/index.htm.

EPI: Plutocratic attacks on wages, workers and unions all part of a concerted corporate effort

by  Meteor Blades

attribution: Economic Policy Institute

The 2010 congressional victory of the Republican right has mostly meant gridlock inD.C. But the tea-party wave that year also gave Republicans monopoly control in 11 states, and there’s been plenty of action in those, much of it directed at undermining workers’ rights and workers’ compensation, including their pensions. Nothing is more harmful to workers than when plutocrats and their legislative marionettes are feeling their oats and turning greed into law. As Gordon Lafer, an associate professor at the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center, puts it in the Economic Policy Institute’s new 75-page briefing paper—The Legislative Attack on American Wages and Labor Standards, 2011-2012:

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Why the World Bank must do better at Doing Business

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

International Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation

On the eve of the release of the World Bank’s Doing Business 2014, civil society organisations call on the World Bank to implement the major recommendations delivered by an independent panel in June, which included ending the ranking of countries according to an “Ease of Doing Business” index and permanently removing the report’s controversial tax and labour indicators.

This year’s Doing Business report, which ranks countries according to how business-friendly they are, comes in the wake of widespread criticism of its relevance and robustness. Advance information about Doing Business 2014 indicates that the recommendations for its comprehensive reform by a panel of experts nominated by World Bank President Jim Kim have not yet been implemented.

Christina Chang, CAFOD’s lead economic analyst, said: “Decision makers will rightly wonder how much weight to give to a publication that has ranked Zambia 12th in the world on access to credit for businesses, when over 90% of small businesses there cite this as a major constraint for their success.”

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Firefox OS: What it is – and what it means for you and your union

by Eric Lee

firefoxosbookcover200Back in 1993 I was asked to look into how unions were using computer networks and email.

The result was my 1996 book on the labour movement and the internet — and after that, LabourStart.

Twenty years on and I’ve been looking into how we in the trade union movement use the new communications tools — smartphones and tablets — and the result is a new book I’ve just co-authored with Jeremy Green, “Firefox OS for Activists“.

Firefox what? Continue reading

The Government is Open: Now Fight for a Just Economy

The Government is Open: Now fight for Just Government Policies

Democratic Socialists of America logo

Democratic Socialists of America logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Joseph M. Schwartz 

Progressives welcome the defeat of Republican efforts to use the government shutdown and the threat of government default  to overturn the Affordable Care Act.  This is a victory for majoritarian democratic government over an extreme minority’s attempt to overturn democratic legislation.

But the democratic left should be aware  that a victory over minoritarian extremism could well be followed by a bi-partisan budget agreement  that would further gut anti-poverty programs such as Food Stamps, WIC, and Head Start, cut the real value of Social Security, and curtail Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The Senate bill that will reopen the government through Jan. 15 and extend the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 will be accompanied by a motion that instructs House and Senate negotiators to reach accord by Dec. 13 on a blueprint for taxing and spending over the next decade. The elite Washington consensus between Republicans and moderate Democrats in favor of fiscal austerity threatens to yield a bi-partisan long term budget agreement that would gut the historic gains of the New Deal and Great Society programs. Continue reading

National Labor Relations Board Launches Mobile App

 

NLRB appAs Labor Day 2013 approached, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced the launch of a new mobile app, available free of charge for iPhone and Android users.  The app provides employers, employees and unions with information regarding their rights and obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.

“The National Labor Relations Act guarantees the right of workers to join together, with or without a union, to improve their working lives,” notes NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce.  “The promise of the law can only be fulfilled when employers and employees understand their rights and obligations.  With this app, we are using 21st Century technology to inform and educate the public about the law and their rights.” Continue reading

New ITUC Report on Violations of Trade Union Rights

ITUC

itucreportUnemployment rates and income inequality are increasing globally. Trade unionists continue to fight for jobs, rights and equality. This fight often costs them their jobs, and sometimes even their lives, in various parts of the world. Since 2006, the ITUC, the largest and most democratic social movement of the world, has been monitoring violations of trade union rights. This new ITUC report points at key findings in 87 countries with a special focus on seven countries where the existence of trade unions and other democratic institutions are under extreme risk: Burma/Myanmar, Bahrain, Fiji, Guatemala, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Georgia.

According to the ITUC report, despite international legal instruments that protect and promote freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, unions and their members are still exposed to severe violations of their rights. Unions are increasingly under attack, fighting to maintain the ability to effectively promote and defend the interests of workers.

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How do trade unionists use the net in 2013?

LS_logoThanks to the thousands of you who participated in LabourStart‘s third annual survey of trade union use of the net.
Over 3,000 of you participated this year and as promised, we’re sharing the results with you and your unions.
Here are some highlights of what we learned:

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CHINA IN REVOLT: A Labor-Community Roundtable

by Paul Garver

 

DATE:   Sun. March 17th, 2013

TIME:     4:00 PM – 6: 00 PM

PLACE: Joseph S. Murphy Institute

25 West 43rd Street, 18th floor

New York City

Sponsored by Jacobin Magazine, Labor Notes and Talking Union

With:

·         Eli Friedman, Cornell University

·         Anita Chan, University of Technology-Sydney

·         Chris King-Chi Chan, City University of Hong Kong

·         Elaine Sio-ieng Hui, University of Kassel, and others

Moderated by:

·         Seth Ackerman, Jacobin magazine

 Over the past few years, millions of Chinese workers have been striking for better pay and working conditions – and many have been winning their demands. This activity – especially against a background of labor defeat in the developed world – is both stunning and largely unexplored.  Talking Union has been covering these developments for several years.

This Roundtable will provide an opportunity to learn more about what is happening in China. Professor Eli Friedman will give depth and detail to the strike wave, with particular attention to the question of contemporary trends that will influence the future of Chinese labor politics. (See “China in Revolt” – Jacobin Magazine, Summer 2012 for background.)

Commentary will be provided by several leading China labor scholars, all drawing from extensive research. The discussion is intended for activists, academics and practitioners.

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