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Building on Dr. King's Legacy, North Carolina Municipal Workers Kick Off Bill of Rights Campaign

January 15, 2018 / Sarah Miles<?
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?>A cold snap the first week of this year took a toll on North Carolina’s cities. In Greensboro alone, 38 water mains broke—and despite near-zero temperatures, municipal workers like Charles French were responsible for fixing them.
“We had workers out in frigid weather,” said French, a solid waste equipment operator. “We are the backbone of the city. Without us the city does not run.”

The Attack on Workers' Retirement

January 12, 2018 / Dean Baker<?
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?>While many current retirees are reasonably comfortable because they have pensions, the future does not look bright for those yet to retire.
Traditional defined-benefit pensions are rapidly disappearing in the private sector—less than 15 percent of workers have them. Most public sector workers still have them—more than 20 million are either now receiving or looking forward to a pension. However, public sector pensions are coming under attack from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other right-wing groups.

In this episode of Watts New, Sean O’Flaherty from Klein Tools promotes their new tool, the Non-Contact Voltage Tester. This tool can detect 12-1000 volts, and also has an onboard infrared thermometer. The thermometer can be really useful when needing to make a quick temperature check on the fly. Electricians will use this when scanning a panel to see if a breaker is running hot.
Buy one today at www.kleintools.com!
Job Tips are sponsored by Klein Tools
Since 1857 Klein Tools has been the leader in the design, development, production, and marketing of quality products and services that meet the needs of trade professionals and other skilled craftsmen and women who use tools to do their jobs. Discover what the pros know at www.kleintools.com.
The IBEW Hour Power Job Tips are time saving tips and tricks for the job-site. Tune into our Job Tips channel for more tips like this one.
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Trump’s Labor Board Likely to Strip Auto Workers of Southern Victory

January 10, 2018 / Chris Brooks<?
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?>Two years ago the Auto Workers (UAW) broke new ground when skilled-trades workers at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant voted 108 to 44 in favor of unionizing.
It was the union’s first victory at a foreign-owned automaker in the U.S. South.
But the success was short-lived. The UAW went on to suffer several high-profile losses, including at Nissan and Fuyao last year.

After losing a high-profile election at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant in 2014, the Auto Workers won a smaller unit: the skilled-trades workers at the plant. Now a Trump-appointed Labor Board is about to undo even that small victory, stripping the skilled-trades workers of union recognition. In response to this news, auto worker Wayne Cliett reflected on what went wrong in the original union drive. —Eds.

In Labor Notes, New Labor Forum, and In These Times, Chris Brooks has argued that unions facing the loss of “fair share” payments should not look to free themselves of the obligation to represent non-members in the bargaining unit by giving up exclusive representation.

One of corporate America’s next big goals might surprise you: passing legislation to prevent unions from having to represent workers who don’t pay dues. This is just the latest of many business-friendly labor law reforms proliferating across the country.

How to Jump-Start a Weak Union to Fight Open Shop Attacks

January 02, 2018 / Ellen David Friedman<?
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?>Hostile forces are poised to encourage public sector workers to ditch their unions as soon as the Supreme Court rules on the Janus v. AFSCME case in 2018. To stave off a big exodus, many unions are asking workers to commit to keep paying dues. If you’re active in your union, leaders may even be asking you to “sell” membership to your co-workers.

A year ago, when local union leaders and activists gathered at our Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee strategic planning meeting, we learned that the right-wing policy group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was hosting its big annual conference in our city in 2018.
A local union rep got up and asked two questions. The first: how many of you know who ALEC is? Almost every hand in the room shot up. The next question, however, left no hands in the air: how many of your members know who ALEC is?

Labor Notes supporters have been busy spreading our bottom-up approach to building the labor movement all over the globe. Here are a few reports: