Posts tagged There is power in a union
Posts tagged There is power in a union
From US Uncut:
Happening NOW! Walmart workers are getting arrested for striking outside the company’s NYC headquarters as part of a nationwide action.
I stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in NYC — and everywhere else — placing their livelihood and lives at risk by standing up for the rights of workers. An injustice to one is an injustice to all.
"There is Power in the Union" by Street Dogs
Remember, when you fire up your grill over Labor Day, it was the blood and sweat of the Labor movement that brought you the weekend — much less a three-day one.
"Money speaks for money / the devil for his own / Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone / What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child / There is power in a Union!"
Progressives can’t ignore organizing opportunities in the South. Solidarity EVERYWHERE, my friends.
I should print out thousands of these and just distribute widely.
Oh, you guys wanna play? Let’s play.
First off, in right to work states, the median income is $6,690 lower per year than in non-right to work states. That’s $555.75 a month. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time workers who are members of unions make over one-third more per week than those with no union representation. Workers who are just represented by unions, without formal membership, still make about 30% more than their non-union counterparts. Here’s an example:
Jim works in the construction industry. He pays union dues and belongs to a union. His weekly salary is approximately $1,017. His co-worker, Mary, chooses not to pay union dues or have formal union membership, but is still covered under the contract her employer has with the union. Her average salary is $1,010. Mary’s brother, Bob, has no union representation. His weekly salary, on average, is $647 — or 64% of Bob’s salary.
Or try this one:
Jim works as a groundskeeper and is a member of a union. His weekly pay is, on average, $635. Mary, who is covered under the union contract, but does not pay dues, still makes $626 per week. Bob, who is non-union, makes $431 per week.
Now, Mary is capitalizing on federal labor law if she pays no fees to be covered by the union. Why? Federal law already guarantees that no one can be forced to be a member of a union, but in a right to work state, workers can freeload. According to the Economic Policy Center:
Right-to-work laws allow some workers to receive a free ride, getting the advantages of a union contract—such as higher wages and benefits and protection against arbitrary discipline—without paying any fee associated with negotiating on these matters.
That’s because the union must represent all workers with the same due diligence regardless of whether they join the union or pay it dues or other fees and a union contract must cover all workers, again regardless of their membership in or financial support for the union. In states without right-to-work laws, workers covered by a union contract can refuse union membership and pay a fee covering only the costs of workplace bargaining rather than the full cost of dues.
There’s no evidence these laws increase job growth, and studies show that these laws actually decrease workplace safety. Right to work laws also depress wages through declining union membership, meaning small businesses get hurt. In fact, right to work states employ over two-thirds of the nation’s minimum wage workers and have higher poverty rates, higher usage of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program [SNAP], and a higher gender wage gap. They also employ a higher percentage of part-time versus full-time workers.
Now, you can howl all you like about correlation not equaling causation, and you’d be right. It doesn’t.
But then your graphic would be completely wrong. Which it actually is anyhow.
According to the latest numbers from the BLS, unemployment in right to work states is actually 7% and 7.5% in non-right to work states. And of the states that saw a statistically significant decrease in unemployment from Oct. 2011 to Oct. 2012, right to work states saw less of a decrease than non-right to work states (1.2% to 1.4% respectively).
Tomorrow’s radio show is going to be all about the strike. For more, check out makingchangeatwalmart.org.
He was looking at pictures of Walmart workers with me and asking questions. I’m indoctrinating my nephew — one opportunity at a time.
Why? Because I’m the best aunt ever:
Charlie: “What’s that?”
Me: ”People getting ready to strike.”
Charlie: “What’s that?”
Me: ”What happens when bosses are mean.”
Me: “Should bosses be mean?”
Me: “Do you stand in solidarity?”
Me: *raises fist* “Solidarity!”
Charlie: *raises first* “Solly-dary!”
Me: “Do you stand with workers?”
My work here is done. For now.
The latest news in the Walmart labor protests — which have included walkouts and marches in Dallas, San Diego, Chicago and Los Angeles — is the threat of a strike on Black Friday. That’s the day after Thanksgiving, widely considered the busiest, and most lucrative, retail day of the year. Some 200 angry protesters showed up at a meeting of investors and analysts earlier today at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.
I hope they do it. Seriously. No day like Black Friday.
This is fantastic:
Today, for the first time in Walmart’s fifty-year history, workers at multiple stores are out on strike. Minutes ago, dozens of workers at Southern California stores launched a one-day work stoppage in protest of alleged retaliation against their attempts to organize. In a few hours, they’ll join supporters for a mass rally outside a Pico Rivera, CA store. This is the latest – and most dramatic – of the recent escalations in the decades-long struggle between organized labor and the largest private employer in the world.
"I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m scared…" Pico Rivera Walmart employee Evelin Cruz told Salon yesterday about her decision to join today’s strike. "But I think the time has come, so they take notice that these associates are tired of all the issues in the stores, all the management retaliating against you." Rivera, a department manager, said her store is chronically understaffed: "They expect the work to be done, without having the people to do the job."
I wish them all the best. Where are the political candidates standing with these workers? Do I even have to ask?
There are few locations where any Walmart workers are unionized. Perhaps this will help wake some folks up to the power of banding together.
Wisconsin Judge Juan Colas ruled that Governor Scott Walker’s (R-WI) law eliminating collective bargaining rights for public-sector unions was unconstitutional under both the Wisconsin and United States constitutions. The law, which does not save the state any money but crushes the political and economic influence of unions, has been in effect for roughly one year. It is unclear, per ABC’s reporting, whether union restrictions will be suspended immediately pending a likely Walker appeal.
YES! ON WISCONSIN!
Remember that one time Scott “Imperial” Walker tried to strip your rights, tens of thousands gathered in Madison, he did it anyway, and y’all vowed to boot his ass?
Here’s your chance. GO VOTE!
Find your polling place here.
From We Are Wisconsin:
You do not need photo ID, but — just in case — you should bring bring a document with your name and voting address. This must be either a university photo ID along with a university fee receipt or list of dorm residents; a driver’s license; a state ID; a recent utility bill (electric, cell, phone, cable, etc.); a lease; a bank statement; a pay check; an employer ID card; or a government document or check.
NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE? If you wish to register to vote at your polling place, you must bring proof that you reside at your present location and have lived in Wisconsin for 28 days. For purposes of voter registration, acceptable forms of proof of residence must include:
- A current and complete name, including both the given and family name; and
- A current and complete residential address, including a numbered street address, if any, and the name of a municipality.
If you have voting questions, or encounter and/or witness problems at the polls, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE
Visit We Are Wisconsin to volunteer today!
Scotty thinks you won’t show up. Show him he’s wrong.
And just to get you a little more fired up, it’s “There is Power in a Union” by Street Dogs
2 things that make this post make sense:
1. When I was very little, my dad taught me to say “Go Union!” since he was the president of the AFSMCE chapter in my hometown. Being little, it came out “Go Onion!” So now that’s a running joke in my family.
2. My dad likes to put on an old VHS tape of the Graceland concert, have a few drinks, and expound upon theories to fix the world. The concert, held by Paul Simon and several African musicians in South Africa, was a benefit to assist victims of apartheid and featured freeing Nelson Mandela as an overall theme. My family used to watch the concert often and my dad would hold court with my brother and I (most often, just me), and even dance with us.
My dad is going to be 67 this year, and he still supports the Occupy movement and organized labor. Anyone who wonders where my activism comes from needn’t look far - the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Because of him, I know Newt Gingrich is wrong about Saul Alinsky and that Charles Bukowski wrote some of the most brutally honest poetry known to man. One year, without planning it, we gave each other the unedited, original scroll edition of On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Whenever I see the most interesting man in the world commercials, I’m reminded of my father.
And this is why my dad is awesome.
My dad, Mike, with my nephew Charlie at Thanksgiving this year
The world’s tiniest violin is playing just for them. From Mediaite:
Controversial undercover videographer James O’Keefe is under fire from two of his Project Veritas operatives, who complain exclusively to The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz that O’Keefe’s handling of their so-called NPR “sting” made them “feel exploited.”
Shaughn Adeleye and Simon Templar, who carried out the “NPR sting,” accuse O’Keefe of “hijacking” credit for their story in order to “get his ‘comeback’ or his ‘redemption.’”
In all seriousness though, part of their complaint is that they did not get credit for their written work. May I suggest joining National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981/AFL-CIO? You can view more info as well at the Pay The Writer campaign site.
There is power in a union, folks.
"There Is Power in a Union" by Street Dogs
For Occupy Oakland, marching on the port, and for Occupiers everywhere.