The UAW’s Election Loss at Chattanooga VW Plant Will Not End the Southern Auto Organizing Drive

by Paul Garver

Attributing its narrow loss at the Chattanooga VW plant to outrageous outside interference by anti-union special interest groups and right-wing politicians, on 21st February the UAW formally filed objections to the election with the NLRB. This is new legal terrain, since the electoral misconduct stemmed not as customary from management but from misleading and coercive statements by right-wing politicians and wealthy anti-union organizations.

The success of the UAW’s novel legal appeal is far from certain, despite its evident justification. It is also uncertain, even if a new election is granted, whether the union would  prevail in an unchanged hostile external political environment and continuing opposition to the union by some workers. However a new combination of political mobilization in the community and renewed organizing efforts by pro-union VW workers and their families can succeed.

I went away from a workshop with renewed hope at the recent Labor Notes conference in Chicago addressed by Volkswagon workers  and by Chris Brooks, of Chattanooga Organized for Action.  The workers and Chris explained with passion and clear analytical thinking how the union came close to victory, only to be blindsided by a massive anti-union campaign fueled by hundreds of thousands of dollars from shadowy outside special interests.

Continue reading

Global Union Bodies Demand Justice for Cambodian Workers

ITUC OnLine

Cambodia Flag (wikicommons)

Cambodia Flag (wikicommons)

The ITUC , Global Union Federation IndustriALL and UNI Global Union  have expressed horror at the violent repression of garment worker strikes by security forces and government-backed vigilantes.  Workers had been demonstrating peacefully demanding an increase in the minimum wage. At least four workers were killed and 39 injured during a crackdown by security forces on Friday. Trade unionists and labour rights supporters have been targeted for attack as workers demanded a minimum wage above the government offer of US$100 per month, which is woefully insufficient to meet the rising cost of living. Over 23 have been arrested, their whereabouts unknown, and summonses have been issued for several union leaders. Continue reading

New Report “Triangular Trap”: Massive Expansion of Agency Work

The triangular trapIndustriALL Global Union released ‘The Triangular Trap’ on 2 October, a new report attacking the massive expansion of the use of agency work and demanding direct, secure and decent employment.

“Employment via agencies, labour brokers, dispatchers and contractors is being used to wholesale replace permanent, direct employment. Its use goes way beyond any legitimate need to fill genuinely temporary vacancies,” said Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union.

Continue reading