Posts tagged Strikes
Why strikes are working and which industries could be next
November 14, 2023 // A similar story could play out for other workers who endured hardships during the pandemic — and whose industries are still struggling to fill open positions, including teachers, childcare professionals, and food service workers. "From meatpacking plants to grocery stores and coffee shops, workers are realizing more than ever, not just how essential they are, but the strength that comes from standing together to improve their working conditions," Dave Young, International Vice President for the United Food and Commercial Workers union, told Insider.
Unionization booms in 2023, but is far from 1950s peak
November 2, 2023 // "A very limited number of workers in California are unionized. Currently, it's about 16 to 17 percent," Bernick said, adding that the majority of unionized workers are in the public sector. A lack of jobseekers, a strong economy and the state mandating higher pay for many classes of workers, have helped wage gains in recent years, Bernick said. So, 2023 could turn out to be something less than a grand slam. "I've seen a number of events that have been pointed to as seminal changes in unionization in California, and they've actually had very limited impact," Bernick said. But the public, by and large, supports the organizing efforts.
Big Labor Is an Economic and Political Dead End
October 26, 2023 // While misguided faux populists like Senator Hawley adopt the policy positions of union leaders who want to force as many workers as possible to fund their self-interested political agenda, other Republicans should stand with workers and co-sponsor the Employee Rights Act. It would protect workers’ right to secret-ballot union elections, the right of freelancers to remain independent (as the vast majority prefer), and allow workers to decide for themselves whether they wish to share personal information with union organizers or support union political spending. Too often, labor issues are inaccurately described as having two sides: “union” and “management.” But this populist moment is the perfect time for Congress to stand up for the oft-forgotten but most important third group: actual workers. The Employee Rights Act would be the perfect start. In the face of President Biden’s advancing radical agenda and some Republicans’ erroneously gravitating towards it, this pro-worker legislation can’t be enacted a moment too soon.
Union-backed bills pose biggest challenges to cities
October 16, 2023 // The reasons: a tight labor market with unemployment under 4% and pro-union policies by the Biden administration. But one reason not cited is the difficulty of fighting union power in one-party, Democratic states such as California, New York and Illinois. Indeed, the SEIU’s clout was shown this month when Newsom appointed Laphonza Butler to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the late Dianne Feinstein. Most recently the head of Emily’s List, Butler was before that president of SEIU California, representing 700,000 California workers. Through its contributions, the SEIU has a stranglehold on hundreds of local officials in the state. When Republican clout is moribund – and the party seemingly can’t get its act together, as most glaringly in California – there’s no countervailing power to union demands. Urban residents are most dependent on public services and the tourism and entertainment industries represented by these newly energized unions. Strikes always are disruptive and can paralyze an economy, damaging city finances and driving away businesses. The rusted-out remnant of Detroit, until the 1960s dubbed the Paris of the West, is a cautionary example. But one California economic sector will benefit for sure: moving companies. Better pack up before they’re unionized, too.
Teachers union suing Nevada over state’s ban on striking
October 13, 2023 // The Clark County Education Association, which represents more than 16,000 employees, is this week filed a lawsuit in the 8th Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada challenging Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 288.700, which prohibits strikes by workers against the state or local government employers. The lawsuit comes after union members held a rally on Saturday in support of higher pay. The statute “impermissibly impinges upon the First Amendment rights of CCEA and its members, is overbroad, void for vagueness, is not narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling state interest, lacks specific enforcement standards, and encourages, authorizes, and fails to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement,” the lawsuit argues.
Opinion: A rebirth of the union movement in the US
September 28, 2023 // Biden’s action is consistent not only with his career, but with the current environment of discontent. Winning back Democratic enclaves in the industrial belt, which Donald Trump won by surprise in 2016, was essential for the current president’s victory in the 2020 elections. And it will be so again in 2024. The capacity for union organization and mobilization explains a good part of the progressive shift by large cities and industrial centers towards the Democratic Party. These are places without whose support one cannot reach the White House. The UAW has not yet endorsed Biden for 2024.
Writers, UAW, UPS strikes: Impact on economy
September 22, 2023 // U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Neil Bradley broke down what he referred to as "the summer of strikes." Bradley said, "You have these unrealistic, almost excessive demands on the part of union leadership across a whole host of industry that could ultimately be destabilizing for the entire economy."
As L.A. City Hall staffers consider unionizing, competing unions seek to woo them
September 12, 2023 // The city work force, like the vast majority of the public sector work force across California, is heavily unionized. Staffers for elected officials, however, have long been at-will employees — they can be hired without dealing with civil service requirements, but also lack the protections that a civil service job confers. That’s the norm for staffers to elected officials across the country. But the City Hall effort is far from an outlier.
Analysis: Workers have more bargaining power amid changing labor landscape | Tatiana Bailey
September 12, 2023 // And here’s the monkey wrench. Some of these worker asks are related to disruptive technological changes like artificial intelligence, better known as AI, and alternative energy. For example, Hollywood writers don’t want entertainment companies to use AI to write scripts. Auto workers are worried about their job security because of electric vehicles. Unionized workers, in particular, are trying to secure a bigger piece of the pie as it relates to corporate executive pay, but they are also trying to secure their place in a world that is likely shifting to fewer workers and more technology. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out.
A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND UNION RAMPS UP EFFORTS TO SWEEP THE SOUTH
August 30, 2023 // The Union of Southern Service Workers began making headlines last fall after formally christening themselves during a rally in Columbia, South Carolina. This union holds some familiar attributes, given that it began as an offshoot of Raise Up, the Southern leg of the SEIU’s Fight for $15 initiative. Yet this is no ordinary effort by the SEIU, for the USSW purports to not only be “built by and for low-wage workers” but also stretches across many industries. A key distinction: The union frames itself as a cross-sector organization, designed to retain members even if they job-hop between industries, i.e., fast food, retail, hotel, nursing home, warehouses, etc.