After a year of organizing, much of it in secret, a narrow majority of the workers voted earlier this month to join the Culinary Workers Union and Bartenders Union, which are part of the national hospitality workers union Unite Here. The text of the company’s complaint — filed with the National Labor Relations Board in D.C. — is not yet public, and multiple calls to the hotel’s management were not returned by the time of publication. But Trump hotel workers told ThinkProgress that their company is “objecting to the outcome of the vote and want it thrown out.”
“Mr. Trump has said repeatedly that he expects and insists on being treated fairly as he campaigns to be the next president of the United States of America,” said Jeffrey Wise, a food server at the hotel. “I also want to be treated fairly. My coworkers and I participated in a democratic election process, just like the one Mr. Trump is preparing for right now.” Continue reading
by Mike Elk
Ed. note: On October 11,2014, Sherwin Alumina locked out 450 USW Local 235A members at their plant in Gregory, Texas. The lockout came after 235A members overwhelmingly rejected the company’s demands for major cuts in pension and health care benefits for members and retirees, as well as reductions in overtime pay. The lockout is now continuing into its 15th month
Sherwin Alumina is owned by Glencore, a highly profitable Swiss commodities giant that is the 10th largest corporation in the world, with net income of $4.6 billion in 2013.
Glencore is a company set up by billionaire financier Marc Rich, who was eventually brought to terms by the USW after a lengthy lockout at the Ravenswood aluminum plant in West Virginia. Rich, then a fugitive from American justice, was notoriously pardoned by Bill Clinton in the last days of his Presidency.
This article was originally written by labor reporter Mike Elk for Politico in July 2015, but did not appear then because of a labor dispute between Politico management and Mike Elk, who was active in the effort by the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA Local 32035) to organize POLITICO.
As one with extensive experience in the global labor movement, I regard Mike Elk’s July article as an excellent case study of the difficult realities of campaigning for international labor solidarity.
December 15, 2015
This morning, I found myself wanting to cry as I spoke on the phone to a United Steelworkers staffer about an ugly lockout of 450 at Sherwin Alumna lockout that has gone on for 14 months. As a labor reporter, I have dealt with PTSD as a result of the suicides, divorces, and bar room brawls that happen during lockouts. It’s just so awful what happens to people during lockouts and the media even the so called “left media” rarely pay proper attention to them.
Dan Braun , Capital and Main
As Capital & Main reported recently , drivers with one of the larger
trucking companies serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach went on strike just before dawn October 26th. They struck XPO Logistics, a major international freight transportation company, while at the same time other drivers picketed Pacific 9 Transportation as they entered the 15th week of a strike against that company.
These drivers are on the front lines of a critical fight impacting the future of work in the United States. “Misclassification,” a condition in which companies wrongly treat their workers as “independent contractors” rather than as employees, is a growing problem that is receiving increasing attention. By misclassifying their workers, companies are able to claw back pay, duck standards like the minimum wage and overtime restrictions, and shift risk onto employees. This is wage theft, according to both labor advocates and the striking port truck drivers, as well as a growing list of rulings  from courts and regulatory agencies. Continue reading
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Immigrant Workers, Organizing, Strikes and work action | Tagged: Independent contractor, Lawsuit, Los Angeles, Strike, Truck driver, Trucking industry in the United States | Leave a comment »
By Carl Finamore
There are only two flash points in American history where labor unions became center stage in politics.
I will call these “Big Bang” moments because they propelled the American Federation of Labor (AFL) after 1886 and the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) after 1935, from fledgling organizing committees into mass organizations directly impacting and attracting millions.
In the case of the AFL, it was due to avid support for the eight-hour day and in the case of the CIO, it was due to resolute support for union organizing of millions of previously excluded industrial workers.
There has never again been such mass acceptance and relevancy for labor, mostly because of numerous failures to grasp the historical moment. Continue reading
Filed under: Economy, Immigrant Workers, Labor History, Low wage workers, Organizing, Politics, Solidarity, Strikes and work action | Tagged: activism, AFL-CIO, American Federation of Labor, American Federation of Teachers, CIO, Samuel Gompers, United Farm Workers | Leave a comment »
by Dan Braun,
As Capital & Main reported yesterday, drivers with one of the larger trucking companies serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach went on strike just before dawn Monday. They struck XPO Logistics, a major international freight transportation company, while at the same time other drivers picketed Pacific 9 Transportation as they entered the 15th week of a strike against that company.
These drivers are on the front lines of a critical fight impacting the future of work in the United States. “Misclassification,” a condition in which companies wrongly treat their workers as “independent contractors” rather than as employees, is a growing problem that is receiving increasing attention. By misclassifying their workers, companies are able to claw back pay, duck standards like the minimum wage and overtime restrictions, and shift risk onto employees. This is wage theft, according to both labor advocates and the striking port truck drivers, as well as a growing list of rulings from courts and regulatory agencies.
Drivers may owe their companies money if they don’t drive enough to cover vehicle expenses. Continue reading
NUHW negotiator Dennis Dugan told me the strike was primarily to preserve union-contract Kaiser Foundation health benefits that were unilaterally eliminated after San Diego-based Providence Group Inc. took control of SFNC long-term care facility in May.
Communication Workers of America
The Joint Negotiating Committee of AFA-CWA flight attendants has called for a National Day of Action Thursday, July 16, to highlight the difficulties that they are facing bargaining a contract with United Airlines.
“The bottom line problem is the company’s unwillingness to put the required economic resources into a Flight Attendant Contract,” AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson said. “That is unacceptable and we are going to stand up to make it clear to the company that we expect much more, especially now as United’s profits are soaring.”
United management must understand that Flight Attendants are united for a fair contract. They are preparing for a System-wide Day of Action on July 16th in all the airline’s 16 base locations, including at Washington Dulles, where they will be joined by CWA President Chris Shelton.
Other locations include London, Frankfurt, Boston, New York, Newark, NJ, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Guam. The workers have targeted July 23rd as the date for an agreement but it will take a very serious turn around at the bargaining table to get there. Flight Attendants will be joined at the National Day of Action by other CWA Locals as well as allies from other labor unions and progressive groups. Details for action are listed at ourcontract.org.
United has failed to reach a unified labor contract with its 24,000 flight attendants despite a boast by United Chief Executive Jeff Smisek following the airline’s October 2010 merger with Continental that he would complete joint contracts with all workers by the end of 2011. Meanwhile, United Airlines is making record profits and its 2015 income will be more than five times higher than in 2013; operating profit in 2015-2017 is expected to be $5 billion or more in each year; United has $7.0 Billion in cash on its balance sheet and its stock price has jumped 162% since negotiations began; Smisek’s pay is up 32% and other top executives and shareholders are also cashing in.
United showed it is tone deaf by announcing that it is investing $100 million in a Brazilian airline while refusing to invest in its own workers who spend more time with passengers than anyone else.
Flight Attendants, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, will demonstrate their solidarity for a joint Contract that recognizes and respects what each worker has brought to the airline since its United/Continental merger and the hard work all they do every day to make United Airlines fly safe.