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How to Use Grievances to Organize

March 08, 2019 / Mike Parker and Martha Gruelle<?
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?>The difference between a truly democratic union and one that follows a servicing model is stark when it comes to grievance handling. In a strong democratic union there may not even be many grievances; members organize to convince supervisors to stop violating the contract without having to use the formal procedure.

It’s just what you would expect from airplane engineers on strike—they reengineered the picket line burn barrel to be more efficient.
The strikers were Boeing engineers, members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), who walked the lines for 40 days in 2000 during a rainy Seattle winter.

The guy at the car rental counter found my T-shirt puzzling.
It was early on a Tuesday morning, and I had just flown back into L.A. Why, he wanted to know, was someone from Massachusetts wearing a shirt that said “United Teachers Los Angeles”?
I explained that I had been out the week before to support the teachers strike. I was back for a second round because this strike was important to educators across the country.
“The whole country? Why?”

Erie Locomotive Plant Workers Strike against Two-Tier

March 01, 2019 / Saurav Sarkar, Dan DiMaggio<?
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?>At a sprawling locomotive manufacturing complex a mile long and a mile wide in Erie, Pennsylvania, 1,700 workers walked off the job early Tuesday morning to fend off their new employer’s efforts to impose a raft of concessions, including two-tier wages.
Temperatures are below freezing, so at the dozen picket lines ringing the plant, burn barrels are fired up. Pickup trucks periodically drop off wood. Hundreds of members of the Electrical Workers (UE) are on the line, making life difficult for any non-union employees who try to drive through the gates.

This edition of Watts New features the Klein Tools Heavy Duty Wire Strippers. Klein Tools received feedback that users wanted this tool to have a different stripping range, so they decided to come out with this new one. It has a stripping range from 8-10 solid and 10-16 stranded. They integrated crown-stripping holes with a pinch cut plier style.
This tool allows for superior cutting because you can cut steel with it, but also strip well. It also has a plier style tip so it can grab and twist wires.
Every month, this tool goes through vigorous testing. It’s tested to make sure the stripping holes are accurate, the quality of the cut is high, and it lasts a long time.
To see more tools from Klein Tools, visit their website.
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The post Watts New – Klein Tools Heavy Duty Wire Strippers appeared first on IBEW Hour Power.

Strike Wave Wins Raises for Mexican Factory Workers

February 27, 2019 / Paolo Marinaro and Dan DiMaggio<?
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?>Mexican maquiladora workers in 70 factories have won big wage increases and bonuses in a strike wave that began in January.
The strikes in the industrial city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, on the border with Brownsville, Texas, have primarily hit auto parts factories, where tens of thousands of workers make goods for General Motors and other car manufacturers.
The first of the strikes began on January 12 at eight factories. Workers were demanding a 20 percent wage increase and an annual bonus of 32,000 pesos ($1,600)—a demand now popularized as “20/32.”

In the past six months, over 50 workers, students, and labor activists in China have been arrested or disappeared by the government. Their crime? Supporting workers at the Jasic welding equipment factory in their legal efforts to form a union.

Though I've lived in Detroit for 44 years, my heart is still in West Virginia, where I was born and raised. When West Virginia teachers and school workers went on a winning wildcat a year ago, and touched off a wave of teacher strikes across the country, I bragged about them all over, as if it had anything to do with me.

Casual dockworkers in the Port of Valparaíso, one of the largest ports in Chile, in December ended a 36-day strike.
The majority of Chile’s fruit exports pass through this port. The strike came at the beginning of summer in the southern hemisphere—the height of the season for fruit, one of the biggest export industries in the country.