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When you’re sitting in your car waiting for a train to safely pass by before continuing on your commute, you might not think much about how the signals work to safely pass a train, but there’s a lot of coordination that occurs behind the scenes.

The Traffic Signal Division of IBEW Local 111 in Denver, Colorado is hard at work testing traffic signals for an intersecting Union Pacific Railroad track. Traffic Signal Technicians are working with the city and BNSF Railway to test new railroad signals that have been installed as part of the Central 70 Project, a reconstruction of a 10-mile stretch of road on I-70, one of the major highways in the mile-high city.

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In his article "With City's Economic Future in Doubt, Can New York Unions Stop the Cuts?," Chris Maisano analyzes the looming effects of the pandemic on public workers and the services they provide in New York City. The city has cut $5 billion from its budget, with accompanying cuts to services and the workforce. Twenty-two thousand more workers could be laid off if the municipal unions don’t come up with $1 billion in givebacks.

Part 1: The Name of the Game Is Class Struggle
It’s no secret that, over the last 40 years, income inequality has soared in the United States.
In the late 1970s, the top 10 percent of the U.S. population, ranked by income, received about one-third of total U.S. income. They now receive about half of total income.

After 500 Issues, A Look at Labor Notes Then and Now

October 19, 2020 / Jane SlaughterHow was Labor Notes #1, from February 1979, different from Labor Notes #500, the issue we just sent to the printer? There’s the obvious:

George Floyd was murdered by police after a retail worker reported that he had paid with an allegedly counterfeit $20 bill, and we know this was no isolated incident. So at the bookstore where I work, many of us have been thinking about the times when police have been called to our workplace.

Review: Forty Years of Working-Class Films

October 16, 2020 / Toni GilpinIf you search for films about labor, one makes every list: Norma Rae. This most iconic of union movies was a critical and box office smash when it came out in 1979, the same year Labor Notes published its first issue. At that moment, when more Americans than ever before were union members, it wasn’t surprising that a movie about a gutsy labor organizer would prove popular.

Unions Are Beginning to Talk About Staving Off a Possible Coup

October 15, 2020 / Barbara Madeloni“Therefore, be it finally resolved that the Rochester Labor Council, AFL-CIO calls on the National AFL-CIO, all of its affiliate unions, and all other labor organizations in the United States of America to prepare for and enact a general strike of all working people, if necessary, to ensure a Constitutionally mandated peaceful transition of power as a result of the 2020 Presidential Elections.”

How Unions Can Lay the Ground for the Next Upsurge

October 15, 2020 / Mark MeinsterI started in the labor movement in the mid-90s, when the fall in union density from 23 percent of the workforce in 1980 to 15 percent in 1994 had created a crisis at the top. In response, the “New Voices” slate led by the Service Employees’ John Sweeney defeated heir apparent Thomas Donahue in the first contested election in AFL-CIO history.

With City's Economic Future in Doubt, Can New York Unions Stop the Cuts?

October 12, 2020 / Chris MaisanoThe COVID-19 pandemic has killed nearly 25,000 New York City residents. The worst of the public health crisis may have passed, but its dire toll has triggered a second crisis. Shutting down huge swaths of the economy was necessary to save lives, but the deep freeze on economic activity has plunged the city into its worst fiscal crisis since the troubled 1970s.

On day two of their five-day strike, Alameda Health System workers in California's East Bay won a landmark victory. After years of stalling, the elected Board of Supervisors of Alameda County suddenly announced they would disband the unelected Board of Trustees that has long mismanaged this public safety-net health care system.