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I’ve never been tear gassed before. The smell is similar to fireworks and the effect is explosive—and effective. I immediately wanted to get as far away as I could from the noxious source of burning eyes and throat.
I was in Paris when France’s “yellow vest” (gilet jaune) movement shut down the center of the city.
There were thousands of demonstrators, all wearing the bright yellow safety vests drivers are required by law to have in their cars.

“How can we get young workers involved?”
That’s the question on everyone’s lips, with union density at near-record lows. Many unions have begun holding summits for young members or forming local committees, which is great.
But too often they’re missing a step that’s more essential: don’t sell young workers out.
When you settle a two-tier contract that puts new hires on a lower wage scale or trades away their pension, it sends a message: “This union is for us, not for you.”

Chicago Teachers Launch First Charter Strike in History

December 04, 2018 / Barbara Madeloni<?
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?>Chicago teachers are leading the way again. Today they launched the first charter school strike in U.S. history.
Members of the United Educators for Justice hit the picket lines this morning. The strike involves 550 teachers and paraprofessionals in all 15 Chicago charter schools in the Acero charter chain.
Strikers want to “put a check on privatization and the idea that schools are a business,” said Joanna Wax Trost, a seventh-grade English-language teacher at Acero’s Marquez Elementary School.

Klein Tools puts a lot of pride into the products they make. It’s not just the company name they put on their products, it’s their family name. Their customers are American people, who want American tools do their job.
Klein Tools knows electricians are the backbone of the American economy. They put a lot of pride into what they make. Their customers are American trades people, and Klein Tools knows they want American tools to do their job.
The Mansfield, Texas operations are the bulk of the American manufacturing that Klein Tools does. The facility is fast paced, high energy, and very organized. They have a talented group of people who run the machines and move material. When their employees make a pair of pliers, they want to make sure it’s the quality that electricians have come to know and trust.
Klein Tools is going to continue to be American Made because they understand the value their customers have in holding a pair of pliers that is made in the country. They want to make sure anything they put their name on is done well.
To learn more about Klein Tools American manufacturing, visit their website.
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The Troublemakers Union turns 40 next year! We’re planning a whole series of events to commemorate the occasion, from special magazine features to speaking tours and more.
As part of our celebration, we’re gathering memories of Labor Notes history, and we’d appreciate if you shared yours.
When was the first time you came across Labor Notes?
What role have Labor Notes and our supporters played in your organizing?

Liu Penghua, along with Mi Jiuping, was one of the three workers who took the lead in trying to form a union at the Jasic welding equipment factory in Shenzhen, China. Liu was the first to face retribution for his actions, suffering a beating by factory thugs on July 16. He is now among the four worker activists being tried for participation in the Jasic organizing.

We have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Let’s not forget our coworkers, not only make each day a little more productive, but also a little bit more enjoyable. Let’s not forget our local leaders and administrators who do everything they can to represent us well and keep track of everything it takes to run a local union. Let’s not forget our instructors at the JATC who keep our skills sharp, or the organizers who spend their days hearing, “No” a lot more than they hear, “Yes.”
Most importantly, let’s not forget our families who are always there to support us. There’s nothing like coming home to see our family and realizing you put in a hard day’s work. None of us can do it alone, and because of that, we have a lot to be thankful for.
May your turkey be hot, your beer be cold, and, most importantly, may your football team win. Happy Thanksgiving!
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The post President’s Message: Happy Thanksgiving 2018 appeared first on IBEW Hour Power.

University of California Workers Strike for Racial Justice

November 20, 2018 / Chris Brooks<?
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?>University workers across California hit the streets October 23-25 in their latest strike aimed at confronting racism in the state’s higher education system.
A longer strike could be ahead. “Like Malcolm X said, by any means necessary,” said bargaining committee member Luster Howard, a truck driver at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The University of California is the state’s third-largest employer, and AFSCME Local 3299 is its largest union, representing 24,000 patient care and service workers across 10 campuses and five university hospitals.

A Detroit News article published in October revealed that our union, the Auto Workers (UAW), is building a luxurious three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath “cabin” as a permanent residence for retired President Dennis Williams at Black Lake, the union’s educational retreat center in Northern Michigan.
The article implied that this wasteful project had the full support of delegates like us at the recent UAW Constitutional Convention. But if this project was before the delegates, it was hidden in obscure language and therefore not apparent.

Yu Juncong—the author of the first open letter to Jasic Technology and one of the first Jasic workers to openly protest the company’s policies—was fired in May 2018 for his actions. On July 27, he attempted to re-enter the factory along with other fired workers who had raised their voices against the company and, along with his wife and younger brother who were there in support, was arrested. Yu is one of the four workers being officially tried in the Jasic incident.
The following is Yu’s story, based on his wife Huang Lanfeng’s recollections.