Posts tagged organized labor
Posts tagged organized labor
This photo from Warehouse Workers United on Twitter shows Santa getting arrested at a Black Friday Walmart demonstration.
Run THAT on the front page of the NYT.
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.
Every human being enjoys a basic right to be respected, not because of any title, position, prestige, or accomplishment but first of all because we are created in the image and likeness of God. From an ethical and moral perspective we embrace the exhortation of St. Paul “to anticipate one another in showing honor” (Rom 12:10). Today’s competitive culture challenges us to strive for victory and advantage, but for St. Paul the challenge is to build each other up and honor one another’s innate dignity.
Labor Day is an opportunity to take stock of the ways workers are honored and respected. Earlier this year, Pope Francis pointed out, “Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person… . It gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one’s family, to contribute to the growth of one’s own nation.” Unfortunately, millions of workers today are denied this honor and respect as a result of unemployment, underemployment, unjust wages, wage theft, abuse, and exploitation.
Even with new indicators of some modest progress in recovery, the economy still has not improved the standard of living for many people, especially for the poor and the working poor, many of whom are unemployed or underemployed. More than four million people have been jobless for over six months, and that does not include the millions more who have simply lost hope. For every available job, there are often five unemployed and underemployed people actively vying for it. This jobs gap pushes wages down. Half of the jobs in this country pay less than $27,000 per year. More than 46 million people live in poverty, including 16 million children. The economy is not creating an adequate number of jobs that allow workers to provide for themselves and their families. Jobs, wages, and poverty are interrelated. The only way to reduce the widening gap between the affluent and the poorest people in our nation is by creating quality jobs that provide a just compensation that enables workers to live in the dignity appropriate for themselves and their families.
Right on. It’s not often I praise the Catholic Church for anything, but it’s lovely to see the Catholic Bishops moving back towards a message of social justice, versus one of exclusion. Not that I think this speaks for the church as a whole, but praise when it’s due, y’know? Pope Frank ain’t perfect, but he’s better than
Emperor Palpatine Pope Benedict.
"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).
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet me @meglanker or drop me a line in the ask box!
We’re rolling tomorrow.
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.
You’ve got to be fucking kidding me…
Sent to me by Sarah R. who writes: “This picture is all over the Facebooks of my conservative relatives. It’s now my uncle’s profile picture, replacing the one that was a spilt screen between 9/11 in NYC and 9/11 in Benghazi, with a photoshopped bored looking Barack Obama in the middle (stupid, I know). Twinkies knocked out 9/11 in my uncle’s mind. WTF!!???”
Hey, how about the 18,000+ jobs lost due to persistent financial mismanagement and raises in CEO pay even though company performance was down? How about exorbitant demands on the part of hedge funds that workers concede more and more, and management less and less? Never forget, indeed.
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!
You have to read it to believe it. Scranton, Penn. claims to be broke and has lowered the pay of all city workers to $7.25. That means firefighters and police officers risking their lives for the citizens of Scranton will do so for $7.25/hr.
It’s insulting and disgusting to think that’s even close to a fair wage. It is impossible to live on minimum wage. That’s $290 a week, about $1,160 a month, and $15,080 a year — before taxes, and for a forty hour work week. Here’s the kicker:
Congressional Republicans repeatedly blocked efforts to extend aid to the states that would have helped shore up their budgets and keep these workers on payroll.
Take a bow, GOP, and ask yourselves: Do you want that police officer responding to your emergency call or the firefighter rushing into your burning house wondering if it’s worth it for $7.25/hr?
I sure as hell wouldn’t.