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New York Taxi Workers Put the Brakes on Uber

August 23, 2018 / Chris Brooks<?
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?>This summer, the scrappy union representing 21,000 taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers in New York City scored two groundbreaking victories against the world’s most valuable start-up company.

Editor's note: This viewpoint is part of an ongoing debate about how unions should deal with free riders. Check out previous installments here.

Viewpoints

Introduction: How Should Unions Deal With Free Riders?

Building a Rapid-Response Network to Defend Immigrant Workers

August 16, 2018 / Dan DiMaggio and Pioneer Valley Workers Center Staff<?
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?>As the Trump administration cracks down on undocumented immigrants, it’s urgent for worker centers and unions to organize to defend immigrant members.
In Western Massachusetts, the Pioneer Valley Workers Center has created a rapid-response network it calls “Sanctuary in the Streets” (SiS). The worker center, founded in 2014, organizes restaurant workers and farmworkers in the area. Worker committees set the network's priorities.

Spirit AeroSystems, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, designs and builds both commercial defensive airplanes. The IBEW makes up a strong part of their employee work force, and they are dependent on them to help get the planes out the door.
They make the 737, 787, and 767 airplane, and have over 10,000 employees. The success of Spirit AeroSystems largely relies on their high volume production capabilities of fuselages, pylons, and wing components. They rely on members of IBEW Local 271 to ensure that a production factory is always running and up for the task.
Russell Kennedy, Business Manager, IBEW Local 271 said, “We have a relationship that goes back for several generations. The skill of our members and the technical expertise they bring is really what has built a strong relationship between Spirit AeroSystems and IBEW Local 271.”
What makes Spirit AeroSystems such a unique place for an IBEW journeyman to work is the incredible varieties of tasks they are ask to perform everyday.
Randy Megli, IBEW Local 271, Spirit AeroSystems said, “Spirit is the place to go. If you want cutting edge technology this is the place to be. Anything from heat treat to...

In 1965, in both Canada and the U.S., about 30 percent of the workforce was represented by unions. This figure, called union density, had been close between the two countries for 50 years. Often, density in the U.S. was a little bit higher than in Canada.
But starting in the mid-1960s, our paths diverged. Union density in the U.S. began to fall, while in Canada it kept climbing.
Canada’s union density peaked at 38 percent in the early 1980s. By 2017 it had fallen to 28.6 percent—but that’s still substantially higher than the 10.7 percent in the U.S.

Unions in Missouri are declaring victory after voters shot down a Republican-backed “right-to-work” law by a hefty 2 to 1.
The final vote count was 937,241 against the legislation to 452,075 in favor.
Missouri became the 28th state with a right-to-work law on the books in February 2017, when Republican Governor Eric Greitens signed the law at a ceremony in an abandoned factory.

Today Missouri voters are at the polls in a referendum to repeal the state’s “right-to-work” law, thanks to the heroic efforts of union members and allies who gathered 310,657 signatures last year to block implementation of the anti-union law until voters could decide. Legislative Republicans pushed the referendum date back to August, instead of the November ballot, to suppress turnout.

Tech Workers and Flight Attendants Resist Immigrant Family Separation

August 06, 2018 / Chris Brooks<?
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The brutal and wildly unpopular Trump administration policy that separated thousands of children from their immigrant parents has triggered widespread protests.
It has also provoked resistance from workers whose jobs are crucial to carrying it out.

South Korea: After 12 Years of Protests, Women Workers Get ‘Dream Jobs’ Back

August 02, 2018 / Yi San<?
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?>After 12 years of campaigns and protests against unjust layoffs, 180 female attendants at South Korea’s premier train service are getting their jobs back. These tenacious women workers defeated a ham-handed privatization effort and corrupt political collusion.
The KTX is South Korea’s answer to bullet trains. The country’s Railroad Administration launched it in 2004 and selected 351 female attendants, all in their twenties, from a pool of 4,600 applicants who dreamed of becoming “flight attendants on the ground.”

Vermont's Striking Nurses Want A Raise for Nonunion Workers Too

August 02, 2018 / Jonah Furman<?
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?>Especially for professional workers, when your main strike issue is pay, attracting public support can be a challenge.
Savvy employers paint union members as spoiled. They like to point out that you’re already making more than many of your nonunion neighbors.
Yet when 1,800 nurses and technical staff struck for better wages July 12-13 at the state’s second-largest employer, the University of Vermont Medical Center, the people of Burlington came out in force to back them up.