Labor Notes #468

What will happen to public sector unions after the Supreme Court rules on the Janus v. AFSCME case this spring? Indiana teachers are already there. Slammed by a “right to work” law in 1996 and a new barrage of attacks in 2011, the teachers experienced what many unions are afraid of—a big drop in membership.

But the Indiana State Teachers Association didn’t roll over and give up after that. The union developed a tracking system called “Go Green” to help local leaders get membership back up.

UPS tried to ban its tractor-trailer drivers from using CB radios and hands-free headsets, but Chicago-area drivers were having none of it—and they used the opportunity to draw attention to the real safety problems the company is ignoring.

Managers arriving at the massive Chicago Area Consolidated Hub (CACH) on January 30 were greeted by an inflatable rat and a fat cat 12 feet tall. Teamsters held a banner: “UPS Does Not Care about Employee Safety.”

Teachers and school service employees in West Virginia have launched a two-day statewide strike, riding a wave of indignation that has washed over the state.

They’re protesting health insurance changes that would result in pay cuts for many state employees. Governor Jim Justice’s initial proposal would have provided raises of just 1 percent a year for the next five years—while health insurance costs would rise significantly.

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