Articles from Working In These Times

UPS Has a Racism Problem

This article was first posted at Socialist Worker.

Earlier this year, United Parcel Service (UPS) boasted that it was "recognized as a World's Most Ethical Company for the 10th consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices."

No Justice, No Peeps! Workers Walk Off the Job At Pennsylvania Peeps Factory

Workers employed by candy manufacturer, Just Born Quality Confections, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, are on strike over the company’s pension plan proposal. The strike, workers allege, hits the company—which makes Peeps, as well as Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales candies—just as next year’s Easter orders are meant to be made.

“This is my livelihood,” says Alex Fattore, a mechanic who has been at Just Born since 1980. “We make Easter happen. I want to go back in there and make Easter happen.”

VW’s Company Union Can’t Attract Even 15 Percent of Workers

Tennessee’s infamous anti-union union is fading away for lack of members. Will Volkswagen’s rationale for keeping out a real union crumble with it?

The American Council of Employees, a business-financed rival to the United Auto Workers at Chattanooga’s VW plant, no longer meets the minimum membership threshold to qualify for meetings with management as part of the company’s so-called “Community Organization Engagement” policy.

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.

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