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“The anti-union campaign has begun,” said a Volkswagen worker, who asked to not be identified due to fear of being targeted by management.
Before each shift, the 1,700 workers at the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee factory attend mandatory meetings where they do stretches while supervisors read updates from the company’s “JumpStart” newsletter.
This morning, the supervisors read something new: anti-union talking points.

Labor Notes has been busy across the country, organizing four big Troublemakers Schools already this spring, with more to come. These schools are unique opportunities for workplace activists from various unions and sectors to build organizing skills and swap strategies.
Two hundred hospital workers, school staffers, farmworkers, and baristas packed the Plumbers Local 267 hall in Ithaca, New York, on March 23 for our first Troublemakers School of the year.

A general strike in Poland’s education sector that began on Monday, April 8 continues with no end in sight. According to organizers from the two unions that initiated the strike—the Polish Teachers’ Union (ZNP) and the Trade Union Forum (FZZ)—on the first day of the strike 14,000 schools and kindergartens out of 20,400 such institutions joined the walkout. Teachers at 2,000 of those schools have since returned to work, but there are strong indications that this will be a longer protest, comparable in scope to the mobilizations by the country’s teachers between 1991 and 1993.

International Student Workers Key To Chicago Grad Strike Victory

April 22, 2019 / Zukhra Kasimova<?
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?>Of the 1,600 members of University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees (GEO) Local 6297 who struck for three weeks in March and April, almost half were international workers. Though we often feel vulnerable, given that we’re in the U.S. on visas, we were fed up with the UIC administration ignoring our financial needs and grievances.

A Hotly Contested Race for NewsGuild President

April 18, 2019 / Alexandra Bradbury<?
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?>A flagging union has found new hope in a flurry of organizing victories. Now in the union’s presidential election, members are mulling what’s the best way to keep growing—stick with the incumbent, or replace him with a young leader from last year’s biggest organizing drive?
Jon Schleuss, 31-year-old challenger to head the 20,000-member NewsGuild, led the 2018 drive at the Los Angeles Times. The landslide there was a breakthrough for the union, kicking off a banner year of growth.

The gloves are off in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Employees showing up to work this morning at the country's sole Volkswagen plant were read a letter from the company's top management expressing their opposition to unionization.

Every year as the cherry blossoms bloom in the Monument Park scattered across Washington D.C., so too are the bright lights shining on the IBEW’s annual Construction and Maintenance conference.
This year, business managers, representatives, and rank and file members from across North America gathered to focus on how to construct a better future.
On day one of C&M 2019, President Lonnie Stephenson addressed a packed house, starting by reflecting on the IBEW’s successes and growth in the last year.
President Lonnie Stephenson, “Since our last convention we’ve added more than 18,000 new construction members. We’re working more hours than ever before. We continue to nurture strong relationships with some of the biggest customers in the world, companies like Facebook and Google.”
While it’s common for challenges to face any organization, the IBEW has always taken a proactive step to finding solutions. While growth is necessary to combat a shortage of workers, there is one workforce made up of individuals with core values that align with the IBEW.
President Lonnie Stephenson, “Folks who already know something about working with their hands, and...

Third Time’s the Charm? UAW Announces New Election at Volkswagen

April 11, 2019 / Chris Brooks<?
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?>For the third time in five years, auto workers will vote on whether to form a union at the country’s sole Volkswagen plant, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
On Tuesday, the United Auto Workers (UAW) filed for an election to represent all 1,709 of the plant’s hourly employees, requesting that the election be held on April 29 and 30.
The union’s first attempt in 2014 failed after a slim majority of workers voted no, following a barrage of threats by politicians and business-backed anti-union groups.

Who Controls Our Time?

April 09, 2019 / Dan Clawson and Naomi Gerstel<?
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?>As the bumper sticker has it, unions are “the folks who brought you the weekend.” Unions fought for the 10-hour day, and then the eight-hour day… and then our fight stopped. We never got to a six-hour-day fight.
Instead we started to backslide. We not only lost the weekend; we lost control over our time. This slippage mirrors the decline in real wages over the last generation—both signs that organized labor has gotten weaker.

On Saturday, March 30, 100 union members, labor activists, and allies met in Detroit for a Troublemakers School: a day of skill-sharing and strategizing about workplace organizing.
Though it was gray and drizzling outside, the energy at the Troublemakers School was strong all day, closing out with a call from Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to keep up the fight. Tlaib is pushing for a Green New Deal that would create millions of jobs by converting our economy to sustainable energy and transportation.