Articles from Working In These Times

Nationwide Prison Strike Against “Slavery in America” Rolls On—Despite Media Blackout

This article was first posted at Truthout.

The first national prison labor strike in US history launched on September 9. Billed as a "Call to Action Against Slavery in America," the spark for the action came from the Free Alabama Movement (FAM), a prison-based organization that has been mobilizing across the state since 2012. Alabama has one of the most overcrowded prison systems in the country.

We Are Workers: The Case Against Grad Student Exceptionalism in the UAW

Unionization is surging among faculty, staff, and graduate student workers at public and private universities. In part, that’s thanks to the United Auto Workers (UAW). The union has emerged as an essential ally in some of the most successful campus campaigns, including a recent National Labor Relations Board decision that said graduate student assistants at private universities have the right to unionize.

AFL-CIO Backs Dakota Access Pipeline and the “Family Supporting Jobs” It Provides

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) came out this week in support of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the construction of which was delayed last week by an order from the Obama administration—a decision that itself stemmed from months of protests led by the Standing Rock Sioux.

Anatomy of a Lockout

This article was first posted at Jacobin.

On August 31, the Long Island University Faculty Federation Union contract expired. Faculty and management began negotiations over a new contract, and on September 6, the faculty met to discuss a proposed agreement.

California Farmworkers Win Equal Overtime: “This Bill Corrects 78 Years of Discrimination”

California just approved the strongest overtime pay legislation in the nation for farmworkers, long exempt from overtime standards mandated for most other occupations.

The legislation, known as AB 1066, was signed into law this week by Gov. Jerry Brown and will eventually result in time-and-a-half pay for farmworkers who work more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week.

French Workers Step Up Labor Strikes: “With This Law, We’re Going Toward a Catastrophe”

PARIS—France takes its summer vacation seriously: Families enjoy weeks of paid time off. Major cities empty out. Students go on break. This year, it’s also when the ruling Socialist government approved a deeply unpopular and sweeping set of labor reforms—arguably, the most significant rollback of workers’ rights since the nation’s welfare state rose from the ashes of World War II.

The Fight to Save UMass Labor Center Is a Fight for Worker Power

The Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Amherst is in turmoil. Its director, Eve Weinbaum, says she was abruptly pushed out of the position. In an alarming e-mail to alumni, students and allies, she protested funding cuts to teaching assistants and part-time instructors and, more troublingly, threats to the “Labor Studies faculty’s autonomy to make programmatic decisions and to designate a Director.”

150 Million Workers In India Just Staged the Largest Strike In History To Resist Neoliberalism

Trade unionists in India staged a nationwide strike last week that affected key sectors of the nation’s economy, including transportation, healthcare, finance, energy, coal, steel, defense and education. Organizers reportedly claimed that more than 150 million people took part and that it cost the economy some $2.5 billion, making the strike the "world's largest." 

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