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Note: Li Zhan is a former worker at the Jasic welding-equipment factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Shenzhen. He's been held in Shenzhen Number 2 detention center for over 100 days for supporting the effort to form a union at Jasic this summer. Li is one of four workers against whom charges have been pressed for “disturbing social order” in the course of the Jasic struggle. They have been held in detention and denied access to their lawyers as they await trial.

In the Pacific Northwest, the First Paraeducator-Led Strike of the Teacher Uprising

November 16, 2018 / Dan DiMaggio<?
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?>Paraeducators in Port Angeles, Washington, are on strike. In this year’s wave of teacher strikes, it’s the first one led by paraeducators.
Teachers have refused to cross their picket lines, shutting down the district’s schools Thursday and Friday.
The 115 paradeucators in this small coastal city, just across the water from Canada, assist with everything from reading lessons to recess. Paraeducators play an essential role in today’s schools, offering extra attention and care to students who need it—especially those with disabilities.

Checklist: Are You Organizing Democratically?

November 16, 2018 / Matt Noyes<?
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?>Labor Notes has always emphasized that union power requires democracy. That’s because unions need active members to be strong—and people won’t stay active for long if they don’t have a meaningful say.
But “be democratic” is easier said than done. What does democratic organizing look like in practice? How can your efforts be made more inclusive?

Teacher Strike Threat Backs Off ExxonMobil

November 15, 2018 / Barbara Madeloni<?
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?>Sometimes the boss offers us a fight that directly exposes the destructive effects of corporate power.
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that moment came when ExxonMobil asked for yet another handout from taxpayers—property tax exemptions totaling $6 million.
For the ninth-largest corporation in the world, it was a routine request. ExxonMobil is accustomed to receiving such perks from obedient state officials. But teachers saw it differently: as a $6 million theft from the local schools budget.

In this job tip, IBEW brother Andy demonstrates how to thread a piece of conduit using rope. The rope holds the threader in place instead of physically holding it. This tip helps it become a one-man operation instead of a two-man one.
To see more job tips, visit the Job Tips section of our website.
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The post Job Tip: Conduit Threading appeared first on IBEW Hour Power.

UPS Vote No Activists Take Over Big Dallas Local

November 14, 2018 / Alexandra Bradbury<?
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?>Reformers in the Teamsters have the wind at their backs. A rank-and-file slate swept to victory November 10 at Local 767 in Dallas, the largest UPS local in the South.
The 767 Teamsters United for Change won an outright majority in a four-way race. President-elect Brian “Smokewagon” Perrier, a 29-year UPS driver, got nearly twice as many votes as the incumbent president.

What Vermont Paraeducators and School Bus Drivers Learned When They Almost Went on Strike

November 09, 2018 / Emma Mulvaney-Stanak<?
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?>What do you do when your employer suddenly turns hostile? After years of relatively friendly labor relations, in 2015 the school board in rural Brandon, Vermont, shut down negotiations and imposed its terms: higher health care costs and minimal raises.

How did states with high-profile union fights fare in the 2018 midterms? The elections were a mixed bag.
Wisconsin union members (and yours truly!) got to vote out the state’s number one union-buster: Scott Walker. He survived a 2012 recall and a 2014 re-election, but the third time was the charm. The governor who rose to the national stage by kneecapping unions was narrowly ousted in a high-turnout election.

This Veteran’s Day, we’re sharing the story of Crystal Rourke, an Army veteran and IBEW Local 160 sister, for our third episode of our Band of Brotherhood series.
Crystal grew up in a rural farming community in Missouri. After moving around not only from house to house, but also family to family, she questioned where home was for her. After deciding to join the military, she finally found a sense of home, camaraderie, and brotherhood. She felt like she finally belonged somewhere, and it was something she never wanted to let go.
The military gave Crystal a lot of self-confidence and courage. It taught her to always find a way to accomplish any task. The camaraderie, trust, and bond really helped her solidify the kind of future job she was looking for outside the military. She feels she’s not truly happy in a profession unless she feels those same qualities.
After Crystal got out of the military, she started looking for jobs and found one as a line clearance tree trimmer. With that job came union membership with the IBEW. That job allowed her to become a direct hire as a senior groundsman, which is a job she loves.
John Rosckes, Crew Foreman, IBEW Local...

Hospitals Torch Safe Staffing Limits in Massachusetts

November 07, 2018 / Chris Brooks<?
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?>Massachusetts nurses suffered a devastating defeat at the polls yesterday as a union-led ballot initiative, Question 1, lost by more than 2 to 1.
Question 1 would have improved hospital care by limiting the number of patients that bedside nurses could legally be assigned.
The ballot question was shepherded by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which represents nurses at 70 percent of the hospitals in the state, including 47 private and five public hospitals.