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From the Archives: Immigration Raids Make Latino Workers the Enemy

July 25, 2019 / Dan La Botz<?
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?>This article is presented as part of our ongoing series of stories from our archives. It originally appeared in Labor Notes # 40 published on May 26, 1982. -Editors.
James Gonzalez ran in panic from the agents of La Migra who raided the Boulder Valley Poultry Farm in Boulder, Colorado. He ran from the farm into the main road and was run down by a gravel truck and killed. Gonzalez’s real name turned out to be Jose Morales, an undocumented worker.

Baltimore Teacher Reformers' Win Upheld by National Union

July 25, 2019 / Samantha Winslow<?
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?>The reform slate in the Baltimore Teachers (BTU) overcame its first hurdle after being elected in May: an attempt by the incumbents to force a rerun was rejected by the national Teachers (AFT) leadership.
The incumbents, who had held office for 20 years, had challenged the results after being defeated by the “Union We Deserve” slate.
That slate was supported by two rank-and-file caucuses, the Baltimore Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (BMORE) and the Caucus of Educators for Democracy and Equity (CEDE).

In the carrot and stick approach to union-busting, Frank Fischer was the carrot.
Fischer, a former plant executive whom many workers remembered fondly, parachuted in as interim CEO of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volkswagen plant at the end of May to help sway the plant’s 1,700 hourly workers to vote against unionization.
He replaced unpopular CEO Antonio Pinto. The point was to show workers that the company was listening to their concerns and making changes.

Taiwanese Flight Attendant Strike Cancels 2,250 Flights

July 22, 2019 / Brian Hioe<?
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?>Flight attendants at EVA Air have concluded the largest and longest strike in the history of Taiwan’s airline industry, from June 20 through July 10.
Strikers notched a partial victory against a notoriously anti-union company. Now they will have to consolidate their gains and fend off repression.
The strikers were all women—EVA does not hire male flight attendants, though it announced in the middle of the strike that it plans to. According to the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union (TFAU), 2,949 of the airline’s 4,600 cabin crew members participated.

Viewpoint: As Big Three Negotiations Open, Which Way Forward for the Auto Workers?

July 19, 2019 / Dianne Feeley<?
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?>Why does the once-powerful United Auto Workers keep losing?
That question is on many lips after the union’s sad organizing defeat at Volkswagen in Tennessee; its unfolding corruption scandal; and its toothless response to the news that General Motors will close five plants.
The symbolism was clear last January when, instead of joining a spirited coalition demonstration at the International Auto Show, the UAW held a candlelight vigil nearby.

Hour Power has many missions, including showcasing the IBEW’s skilled craftsmen and women. The problem is there are so many good stories, but we can’t get to all of them. Every so often our best effort is not only doing the work, but also securing it.
That’s why we’re introducing a new edition of President’s Messages, the Business Development News Brief. These videos will feature stories about IBEW members who chalk up some big wins because want everyone to know about these projects.
Here are the updates from the first edition of Business Development News Briefs:
In the 4th District, Local 24 recently picked up a floor and décor distribution center. This builds on the momentum they’ve got going from the recently completed work at the Under Armour and Amazon.com distribution centers. They’ll also be ready to roll on an upcoming Home Depot warehouse project. It’s all part of the Tradepoint Atlantic, the huge industrial gateway where land, sea, and rail come together.
In the 6th District, the Code of Excellence is a big reason why Local 697 is working at the BP Whiting Refinery on a $300 million job. Brothers and sisters there are installing a Naphtha...

Prime Day for Amazon Protests

July 17, 2019 / Joe DeManuelle-Hall<?
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?>Amazon’s biggest shopping days of 2019 so far —”Prime Days,” July 15-16— saw walkouts and protests by workers in the U.S. and Germany. The protests were semi-coordinated, targeting Amazon when its warehouses are running at full clip and the company is in the media spotlight.
In Germany, Amazon workers organizing with the Ver.di union struck over the course of two days in an ongoing struggle over pay. The union claimed that 2,000 workers participated across seven facilities.

Amazon Warehouse Worker: Why I’m Taking Action

July 16, 2019 / Terry Miller<?
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?>Amazon warehouse and tech workers around the country took action, including a strike in Minnesota, during the company’s much-hyped annual “Prime Day” discount frenzy July 15-16. Read more about those actions in our reporting later today. Here one warehouse worker from Chicago describes conditions on the job. Thirty night shift workers in his warehouse marched on their boss early this morning to demand air conditioning, health insurance, and Prime Week pay increases. –Editors

Twenty-five Martha’s Vineyard bus drivers are striking for a first contract, exposing the inequality that exists for working people on an island known as the summer home of the rich and famous.
The Florida-based company Transit Connection Inc. (TCI) receives public funds to operate the bus system relied on by vacationers and year-round residents alike. So during the strike, taxpayers are literally paying scab wages—contrary to the progressive values often associated with Martha’s Vineyard.

This story was first published by Northwest Labor Press. But there’s a Labor Notes connection—one of the workers who led the effort started by reading our book Secrets of a Successful Organizer. Get your copy here. —Editors