Columbus Janitors Won’t Be Taken to the Cleaners


Bobby Copley is one of nearly 1,000 Columbus janitors who may go on strike if their demands for full-time work, affordable health care, and decent working conditions aren't met.   (Photo courtesy of SEIU Local 1) When a representative from SEIU Local 1 first showed up at Bobby Copley’s door in Columbus, Ohio, about two years ago, “I was about to throw her out of the house. I was totally anti-union...
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Dollar Store Caught Nickel-and-Diming Workers; Uber Sued; NFL Gets Off Cheap on Concussions


Those bronze plastic gods at the Dollar Store may not come with a clear conscience. (Monado/ Flicker /Creative Commons)   Dave Jamieson has a must-read exposé on how the Dollar Store skims from its employees' wages by classifying them as managers. From The Huffington Post : In interviews and court documents, former and current store managers claim major dollar store companies classify them as mana...
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After Largest School Shutdown in History, Spared Schools See Few Financial Benefits


Whittier Elementary, in Chicago's mostly Latino Pilsen neighborhood, is starting the year without an athletic facility after the city demolished the school's field house in July, citing disrepair. The field house also housed a community education center and library (Josh K/ Flickr /Creative Commons).   In pushing through the closures of 50 neighborhood Chicago schools this summer over the vocifero...
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Bullet-proof Jobs: Summer Employment May Help Stem Youth Violence


A 2011 installation outside of Chicago's Fourth Presbyterian Church displayed 77 t-shirts, representing the 77 Chicago youth who were killed by violence during the 2010-2011 school year. (Photo by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar via Flickr )   It’s conventional wisdom: Kids get into trouble when they have nothing better to do. Now, research reveals that a summer youth employment program might reduce ...
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Fast Food Strikes Hit a Record 58 Cities, As Campaign’s Tactics Are Debated

Fast food strikes reached record numbers yesterday, with organizers estimating that some 1,000 stores and restaurants in 58 cities were affected by workers walking off the job. In addition to growing in cities that have seen numerous strikes in the past, like New York City, Chicago and Detroit, the strikes entered into previously uncharted territory, including Raleigh, N.C., Wilmington, Del., Miss...
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UE Takes the Fight to GE and Wal-Mart—and McDonald’s, Because Why Not?

“Who are we? UE!” chanted some 200 protestors outside the Chicago headquarters of General Electric Transportation Division last Monday. GE executives did not need the introduction. They’ve faced off with feisty UE—the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America —for most of the union’s 77-year history. And since last year, UE has worked hard to save nearly 1,000 member jobs at the big ...
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Chicago Students Boycott Class, Demanding an Elected and Accountable School Board

“David Vitale, we don’t recognize you as the board chairperson... You’re fired!” Thus Jitu Brown, education organizer at the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization on Chicago’s South Side, began today’s protest rally of about 400 students, parents and community members outside the downtown headquarters of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), where Chicago Board of Education president Vitale and the rest ...
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Wave of Low-Wage Worker Strikes Hits LA Ports

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Workers at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles were probably surprised yesterday to see groups of truckers chasing trucks making deliveries and setting up temporary picket lines in front of them. Port truck drivers went on a 24-hour strike early Monday evening to protest alleged union-busting by Green Fleet, one of the port’s biggest trucking companies. The Green Fleet drivers say that the com...
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50 Years After the March on Washington, Unions Still Have a Dream


At the Aug 24, 2013 march on Washington, D.C., thousands wore SEIU purple and carried signs demanding higher wages and an economy that works for all. (Belinda Gallegos/SEIU)   WASHINGTON, D.C.—At a rally of some 175,000 people on Saturday to mark the 50th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, several leading unions seized the opportunity to strengthen the ties between o...
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Carnivals Are No Picnic for Migrant Workers


Migrant workers who set up and take down rides at traveling fairs, like this one in North Texas, complain of wage theft and grueling hours. (Double H Photography/Wikimedia Commons).   A trip to the carnival is the quintessential American summer pastime. But for workers who run the show, the hard labor of making our holidays carefree can be shockingly grim. A lawsuit lauched last week by two migran...
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At MLK March, Renewed Call For Obama Executive Order on Wages


Alvin Turner, a veteran of the 1968 Memphis garbage workers strike, speaking at a Change to Win panel on the King's legacy for labor. (Change to Win)   WASHINGTON, D.C.—On the eve of a march to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, labor and civil rights activists are calling on President Barack Obama to honor King with an executive order that would raise wages for as many ...
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Wisconsin Protests Rejuvenated by Crackdown on Singers in Capitol


The Summer of Solidarity Tour joins the Solidarity Singers at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis. (Summer of Solidarity Tour)   Yesterday, the Summer of Solidarity Tour stopped in Madison, Wis. and visited the state Capitol. There, the labor activists joined the daily Solidarity Sing Along held by protesters at noon inside the Capitol each day since Gov. Scott Walker signed a controversial anti-uni...
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A Victory for Silica Dust Exposed Workers?


A CTA rail worker laying down track is in one of the many occupations at high risk of exposure to cancer-causing silica dust.   (TheeErin / Flickr / Creative Commons). Today, after a much-criticized delay on issuing a rule to limit workers' exposure to cancer-causing silica dust, the Obama administration put forward a proposed rule for public consideration. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupatio...
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Unions Under Siege in Guatemala


Melvy Lizeth Camey Rojas, Secretary General of the SNTSG Santa Rosa Dept, shows the scars of the bullet wounds she suffered in an assassination attempt in August 2012 at her union office. (Photo from Public Services International)   Guatemala is beginning to emerge from a grim history of military dictatorship and civil strife, but its workers remain mired in the nation's bloody legacy. Even today,...
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Koch Brothers Won’t Get the LA Times; People of Color Feel Less Safe at Work


To labor's relief, the Los Angeles Times building in downtown LA won't be under Koch ownership any time soon.   (Wikimedia Commons) The Koch Brothers no longer are interested in buying the Los Angeles Times and its parent company, the Tribune Company. Their dropping of their bid is a victory for unions that fought it, concerned that the Koch's anti-labor stance would inform Tribune-owned papers fr...
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