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Minnesota Amazon Workers Walk Off the Job over Speed-Up

March 22, 2019 / Joe DeManuelle-Hall<?
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?>After yet another speed-up in a workplace notorious for its lightning pace of work, workers at a Minnesota Amazon warehouse walked off the night shift for three hours.
The March 7 walkout at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, was these workers’ second job action in three months.
The strikers work in the stow department, shelving items after they have been unloaded from inbound trucks and processed. Once shelved, the merchandise is then compiled into customer orders by pickers.

Oakland Teacher Strike Builds Steam In California School Funding Fight

March 21, 2019 / Samantha Winslow<?
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?>On the heels of Los Angeles teachers’ winning strike in January, teachers in Oakland 340 miles north joined the strike wave. Three thousand teachers, alongside parents and students, led picket lines February 21-March 1 at the city’s 86 schools.
These strikes, plus rumblings from other California teacher unions, are ramping up the pressure on school boards and legislators to invest in public schools and stop privatization statewide.

I talk with labor activists all across the country. Plenty are inspired by strikes that happen elsewhere. But over and over I hear the same excuse for why they can’t make big demands or go on strike themselves: “It’s different here.”
How is it different? Pick your poison: It’s the South. It’s the public sector. It’s illegal. Our union leaders would never support us. Everyone is too scared. Too apathetic.
This year, the teacher union movement is supplying the best reply to “It’s different here.” Here’s what we’ve seen in 2019 so far:

The A-Team was a hit show among my friends when it first aired in 1983. Growing up in a union family, one episode that stood out for me was “Labor Pains,” when the A-Team helped farmworkers organize a union. I recently watched it again to see how well it presents unions and the organizing process.

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.”