Dan DiMaggio

Building Trades Activists Stand Up to Trump

When they heard President Donald Trump would address the Building Trades national legislative conference, activists from Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 569 knew they had to do something.

“We couldn’t let him come and speak to us and just sit there,” said William Stedham, a “workaday Joe” and executive board member of the San Diego-based local. “If we hadn’t, everyone would think that the Building Trades was on board with him 100 percent, and we’re not.”

How can unions help create a social movement to take on Wall Street’s economic and political dominance?

AT&T Mobility workers are waging their largest-ever contract mobilization. In retail stores and call centers across the country they’re sporting “We Demand Good Jobs” buttons, picketing on their days off, plastering union flyers on their lockers, and blowing up Facebook with pictures of their activities. These actions are helping knit together a sense of solidarity among 21,000 union members dispersed throughout 36 states.

Arkansas poultry workers, Brooklyn warehouse workers and house cleaners, Twin Cities roofers, and thousands of students in places like Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Charlotte, North Carolina. They were all among the tens of thousands who stayed home from work or school across the country during Thursday, February 16’s “Day without Immigrants.”

A How-To in Solidarity: Teacher Takes Turkeys to Teamsters

What can you do to help your brothers and sisters when they’re on strike or locked out?

You might follow the example of Head Start teacher Jonathan Dudley. When Aubuchon Hardware locked out 60 workers in the town next door, he sprang into action and raised $1,830—enough to buy each worker a Thanksgiving turkey.

Aubuchon, a regional chain with 120 stores throughout New England, locked the warehouse workers and truck drivers out of its Westminster distribution center on November 8. The boss, fourth-generation owner Will Aubuchon, claims they struck.

Thanksgiving on the Picket Lines at Momentive

Seven hundred workers who make adhesives and sealants for Momentive Performance Materials will spend Thanksgiving on the picket lines.

They’ve been on strike since November 2, fighting the company’s efforts to hike health care costs, eliminate retiree health care, undermine vacation time, and reduce 401(k) payments for younger workers, who had their pension frozen in the last contract.

After Labor Notes Training, Management Sees Red

Fired up after a Labor Notes stewards training, workers at the Camden County Board of Social Services organized an impromptu red-shirt day.

Friday is casual day at their office, after all. But management tightened up the rules during Communications Workers Local 1084’s recent contract campaign, telling workers they couldn’t wear T-shirts or any shirts with logos or names on them. The agency also installed security cameras and launched a new computerized swipe system to harass employees about their break time and sick days.

On Intermittent Strikes, Labor Board's Top Attorney Cites Labor Notes

A lot of us probably try to stay off the government’s radar. But this time, we appreciate the attention. In what may be a first, the top prosecutor for National Labor Relations Board cases recently cited a Labor Notes article.

In an October brief, NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin argued that intermittent strikes deserve legal protection—and announced he is seeking test cases to bring before the Board.

After three weeks on strike, the 400 workers who make Mike and Ikes, Hot Tamales, and that Easter basket staple, marshmallow Peeps, were driven back to work September 28—still without a contract.

Their employer, the privately held Just Born, forced them back through a combination of permanent replacements, younger workers crossing the line, and a looming cut-off of health care benefits.

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