Labor Notes #462

It sometimes looks like union and non-union employers are competing for the fattest book of employee rules. Handbooks frequently exceed 100 pages. Employees who fail to adhere to a standard—even one that is not explained—can be subject to discipline and possible discharge.

This makes it vital for unions to review National Labor Relations Board cases concerning company handbooks; the Board’s thinking on this topic is known as the Lutheran Heritage doctrine.

Last year personal trainers at Canada’s largest chain of gyms became the first fitness workers in North America to unionize, joining Workers United.

Since then, 650 trainers at GoodLife Fitness in Toronto and two nearby cities have been fighting for a first contract, and waging fights for better conditions club by club.

With teachers facing similar attacks in school districts across the country, it makes sense to share strategies for fighting back. That’s the goal of the United Caucuses of Rank-and-File Educators (UCORE), a growing network of locals and caucuses within the teachers unions.

Seventy-five educator activists met in Los Angeles August 4-6, representing school districts from Philadelphia to Oakland and statewide groups from Hawaii, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

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