Labor Notes #382, January 2011

Chicago’s Mayor Daley and his corporate allies had a plan: cripple the Chicago Teachers Union. They nearly got away with it.

Public employees in Norwich, Connecticut, a former mill town of about 37,000, are organizing to preserve jobs and services and to get their scheduled wage increases. Our campaign marshals the facts about what members do, identifies allies, and finds better ways to run the city.

Solidarity is the core of union power and depends on connections among workers created in the course of workplace interaction. But management is changing work in ways that isolate people.

By stepping up its fight to protect quality public health services and challenge the corporate push for privatization, an Ontario union-community alliance has consistently notched victories. Last year saw several successes.

While the midterm elections were a corporate-led bloodbath most places, California put a brake on the Tea Party express. Billionaire CEOs lost their races, despite record-breaking campaign cash and non-stop public employee union bashing.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers aims to stop cuts despite hard times, less mail, and their boss’s love affair with machines. CUPW is reaching out to the public, proposing expanded services.

Delta flight attendants have submitted more than 150 reports to the government that they were coerced, intimidated, or influenced by Delta Airlines during their recent union election. They are asking for a re-vote.

Dumping on public workers is so “common sense” these days that even a few fellow unionists are piling on. The head of the New York City building trades council joined a business-backed group formed to attack public unions.

With all the venom directed at public employees these days, it’s hard to separate the facts from the attacks. Here’s a guide to common claims made about government spending, taxes, and public employees.

Sandy Pope is running for president of the Teamsters against James Hoffa. She needed 34,000 members to sign petitions to make her an accredited candidate and get access to the membership list and the Teamster magazine.

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