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Humans have created an existential crisis. It’s up for grabs who will live, how and where, which species will survive, and how the big decisions are made.
No exaggeration—we are in the eleventh hour.
Fossil fuel companies, banks, and all those who profit from these industries have exacerbated the warming of our planet, creating a climate disaster.

The drug and opioid crisis is something very important that the IBEW cares about shedding light on. The U.S. has over 70,000 overdoses and 47,000 deaths per year. These figures have doubled over the last decade.
Unfortunately, the construction industry is the leading occupation for opioid overdose deaths. Not only is the work in this field hard, but also it’s hard on the body. When members seek medical help for something simple, like back pain they can’t be prescribed bottles of opioids as their only treatment. After time, immunity is built and that can lead to addiction. Instead, wellness programs, less harmful drugs like Advil or Tylenol, physical therapy, and rest should be prescribed.
There is an opioid task force within the trades with Mike Richard, Director of Construction and Maintenance serving on the committee, as well as representatives from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Save-Rx. Other building and trade presidents are working on a plan to help members with addiction. Attorneys are on the task force. They have developed recommended language for IBEW members to take to their local trustees to let doctors know prescribing opioids for chronic pain is no longer...

This week 49,000 auto workers are walking the picket lines at General Motors factories across the U.S. in the biggest private sector strike in more than a decade. And you can help!
Despite flush profits, the company wants workers to pay more for health care, accept a raise lower than inflation, and continue its system of unequal tiers of workers. But GM didn’t count on the solidarity of the rank and file. Strikers are making a stand for equality for temps and second-tier workers.

Federal Agencies that Trump Hates Attack Their Unions

September 19, 2019 / Saurav Sarkar<?
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?>At an awards ceremony for Environmental Protection Agency workers July 10, scientist Loreen Targos took over the stage with a sign: “I care about EPA workers having a fair contract to address public health and climate change. Do you?”
Targos is a Government Employees (AFGE) Local 704 steward who was being honored, along with her co-workers, for superior service in the clean-up of contaminated wetlands in the Great Lakes region.

GM Strikers Have One Chance: Vote No

September 16, 2019 / Jane Slaughter<?
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?>Auto workers on strike since midnight at General Motors are between a rock and a hard place—a hugely profitable company making outrageous demands for concessions and a union leadership that made no plan for winning a strike and has not even told members what they’re going out for. Picket signs say simply “UAW on Strike.”
Over the last decades many other unions have taught themselves how to do contract campaigns and strikes, with members on board from the get-go. But to look at the UAW’s confrontation with GM this week, you’d think none of that experience had ever happened.

More than 120 years ago the American Federationist, the newspaper of the American Federation of Labor, printed an editorial denouncing the entry of women into the trades. One of its many nuggets of misogyny was this: “The wholesale employment of women in the various handicrafts must gradually unsex them.”
That term was probably as unclear then as it is today, but if unsexed means women today are declining to pursue “nature’s dearest impulse” (another of the article’s nuggets), then we are indeed unsexed, because there’s a birth strike going on.

To mark our 40th anniversary year, Labor Notes is reprinting occasional selections from our archives. This story was published in issue # 22 in November 1980. --Editors
On October 25 a coalition of labor, religious, civil rights, and civic organizations held a rally in Uniontown, Pa., 60 miles south of Pittsburgh, to protest a recruitment drive and rally by the Ku Klux Klan. The anti-Klan rally, organized by the Pittsburgh-based Ad Hoc Committee to Counter KKK Activity, drew over 500 people.

Steward's Corner: Tips for Helping Members During Investigatory Interviews

September 09, 2019 / Robert M. Schwartz<?
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?>One of the most important jobs of a union representative is to help workers during investigatory interviews over discipline for an alleged infraction. An able rep can help a worker avoid self-incrimination. The rep may also dissuade an employer from imposing a penalty.

You’ve probably noticed that Hollywood doesn’t turn out many movies about unions. But, says film buff and labor historian Toni Gilpin, there are some overlooked movies out there that depict working people and their lives on the job even though they might lack scenes with picket lines. This is her first installment in an occasional series.—Eds.

Corruption Cases in the Auto Workers Complicate Bargaining

September 04, 2019 / Jane Slaughter<?
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?>The Auto Workers' bargaining for 150,000 blue-collar workers at the Big Three auto companies was further complicated August 28 when the FBI raided the homes of UAW President Gary Jones and former President Dennis Williams. The FBI had search warrants for six locations in Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, and California.