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How Los Angeles Teachers Built Up Our Courage to Strike

September 04, 2019 / Arlene Inouye<?
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?>Teachers in Los Angeles struck and won last January. In the months leading up to the strike, how did we overcome our fears and the school district’s intimidation tactics?
United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) has 34,000 members at 900 schools spread across eight areas of the city, each with its own area meetings. Here’s what we did:
Start early with accurate information.

A lineman’s job is a very dangerous one. They must work during all temperatures, hot and cold, late at night or early in the morning, and in disasters because the power has to be on. They leave their families in the harshest of times, but Terry Riffe, the co-founder of the National Sisterhood United for Journeymen Linemen said, “You accept it, you do what you can, be strong for your family.” As a lineman’s wife you wait until the danger is over, and then get ready for the next one. Families of linemen are faced with this dangerous reality everyday. When a lineman is injured it’s a hard situation for everyone.
The NSUJL is a non-profit organization that supports IBEW Journeymen Linemen and their families in work related accidents that lead to injury or death. The NSUJL is there for families physically or emotionally when they are in times of need. They have the ability to make sure families don’t have to worry about anything.
Every year the NSUJL hold’s a linemen’s rodeo. Locals from all over the country gather to support the fallen. When brothers come together, it becomes a family reunion. Every year they hold a climb for lost linemen where lanterns are hung...

“Hey, Barbara. This is Arne Duncan. I just wanted to congratulate you on your election victory.”
In 2014, as an insurgent candidate from the Educators for a Democratic Union caucus, I won the presidency of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. Duncan, then Obama’s Secretary of Education, was one of the first congratulation calls I got. The message he left on my phone provoked lots of astonished laughter when I shared it at meetings and in bars.

Fifty Years after Stonewall: LGBTQ Workers Seek Equality

August 23, 2019 / Saurav Sarkar<?
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?>This summer marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, where police raids on a New York bar led to six days of protests and clashes, sparking the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement. We decided to take a look around the country at some of the organizing by LGBTQ workers and allies in the labor movement today. Here’s a flavor of what’s happening in the post-marriage equality era. —Editors
LGBTQ workers continue to face discrimination and unemployment at higher rates than the population as a whole.

IBEW Local 113, in Colorado Springs, CO, recently partnered with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance to put together a family-friendly fishing derby. It’s important for the union to get families and kids outside and have a nice outing with brothers and sisters.
At the fishing derby, kids learned to have patience to catch a fish. They learned that not only is it fun and relaxing, but it’s also an opportunity to bond with friends and family.
Remy Ruppe, Journeyman Wireman, IBEW Local 113, said, “It teaches kids a lot, like responsibility, keeping the environment clean, respecting the outdoors and nature, and that there’s more to life. You have to slow down and take a breath. Coming out and fishing, if you take your time and think about what you’re doing, follow the steps, then you’re rewarded with the outcome you’re looking for.”
Another goal of the fishing derby to help highlight misinformation about what unions are about. The purpose of unions is to make sure everyone makes a living wage, comes home safe after work, and enjoys things like fishing derbies.
Thanks to the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance who stepped up to the plate, donated fishing rods, and gave IBEW...

The following are excerpts from Facebook comments in response to Barbara Madeloni's Slingshot, “Less Messaging, More Action” from the June issue of Labor Notes.
As a communications staffer for unions, I often feel acutely what this article is NAILING. Got an uphill battle? Focus on the organizing and the PR will follow. I am going to have a copy of this article in my back pocket for all time.

A recent decision by the Trump National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) addresses intermittent or “hit-and-run” strikes. Employers are jubilant and unions are distressed. Both reactions are largely off the mark.
The case grew out of a multi-year campaign by the Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) to organize Walmart, the largest U.S. employer (1.5 million workers in 4,000 locations). The effort began in 2010 under the name “OUR Walmart.”

In this edition of job tips, IBEW brother Curtis shows how to efficiently terminate a RJ45.
Step 1 – Ring the out jacketing to remove the insulation.
Step 2 – Orient the cable so the orange pair is on the left, and the brown pair is on the right.
Step 3 – Separate the pairs using the outer jacketing. This is faster and helps prevent damaging. Start with the orange pair, and then move to the blue, green, and brown pairs.
Step 4 – Straighten out the conductors.
Step 5 – Trim the conductors.
Step 6 – Insert the RJ45 with the tab down.
Step 7 – Use the crimper to finish the termination.
This tip will help you mitigate errors, prevent damage to the cabling, and help you be more efficient on the job site. For more helpful tips, visit the job tips section of our website.
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The post Job Tip: Terminating a RJ45 Cable appeared first on IBEW Hour Power.

Steward's Corner: How to Respond If a Member’s Work Authorization Is Challenged

August 15, 2019 / Guillermo Perez<?
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?>Every major union in the United States has immigrant members, documented and undocumented.
Union activists and staff who represent these members need to be familiar with the ways these workers may be terminated—or worse still, detained—as a result of challenges to their authorization to work in the U.S.
In 2017 the AFL-CIO came out with an invaluable toolkit of materials to assist unions in responding to these challenges. More on the toolkit later, but first a quick review of how challenges to work authorization typically happen.

Teachers Fighting for Public Schools Were Key to the Uprising in Puerto Rico

August 15, 2019 / Mercedes Martinez and Monique Dols<?
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?>In the two months leading up to the uprising which ousted Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Roselló, educators celebrated hard-fought victories against the privatization of their education system. Struggles by teachers and families against school closures and charter schools helped pave the way for July’s unprecedented outpouring of protest (see box).
By the end of the school year in June, it became clear that the struggle to stop charterization had largely won. There is only one actively functional charter school on the island.