“We never stopped from last year,” said Paul Schaffer, who was the lead organizer on the campaign. “Our volunteer organizing committee kept fighting and kept going on strong.”
Workers says that the intimidation by Volkswagen follows a pattern that the company has been engaged in since the defeat of the UAW union drive at its Chattanooga plant in February of 2013.
Today, several hundred UAW supporters blocked street corners throughout Albany to protest the decision by the federal government to extend an $18.3 million contract to Honeywell, who has locked out nearly 400 workers in South Bend, Indiana and Green Island, New York for four months.
The fastest-growing region in the United States for union membership is the South, where nearly 150,000 workers opted to join unions last year — bringing the total number of union members in the South to nearly three million. Five of the top 10 fastest-growing states for union membership in 2015 were all in the South. If those number surprise you, that might be because there is not a single full-time labor reporter anywhere in the South.
A federal ruling this week in a Memphis union campaign underscores the toothless and ineffectiveness of labor law. For the past seven years, workers there have been attempting to organize and collectively bargain at several Ozburn-Hessey Logistics (OHL) distribution centers.
Today, media workers at Law360 struck a decisive blow in the burgeoning media workers rights movement. Staff at the legal news publication voted 109 to 9 to join the NewsGuild in a National Labor Relations Board election.
OSHA fined a Tyson’s chicken plant in Center, Texas $263,498 for two repeated violations and 15 serious safety violations.
OSHA issued a citation against a Pilgrim’s Pride chicken slaughterhouse and processing facility for, among other serious violations, failing to promptly refer injured workers to medical attention.
Across the South, activists say that the Sanders movement has given them energy to push against the issues of economic and racial inequality that plague even Democratic-leaning cities, such as Chattanooga.
With workers having already successfully won first contracts at Vice and Gawker, perhaps a second wave of digital media unionization is about to begin at more mainstream media outlets. However, workers at those publications face far steeper odds, as the outlets tend to be owned by corporations that have deeper pockets and are less worried about the backlash of left-leaning readers.
“With Joe Biden, we had a messenger boy. With someone like Tom Perez, we would finally have a Vice President, who would know how to get stuff done for labor within the White House,” one top labor official privy to discussions within the AFL-CIO told Payday Report.
“It could really shake things up,” IWW organizer Jimi Del Duca told me. “A lot of working class people are afraid to organize because they have a few crumbs to lose. [Many] prisoners have nothing to lose and that gives them courage. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”