Troublemakers Blog

December 18, 2009 / Steve Early
Former IBEW Local 2222 Vice President Jerry Leary was laid to rest yesterday under the raised and arched booms of two telephone company bucket trucks, with a union banner strung between the two. In the face of the grotesque caricatures of unionism projected today, it’s easy to forget what being a rank-and-file member means in the culture of mutual aid and »
December 18, 2009 /
When our union, United Healthcare Workers-West, was trusteed last January by the Service Employees, there was an initial flurry of activity centered around decertifying SEIU and electing the National Union of Healthcare Workers. My plan was to lie low until our contract was up and we had the chance to elect NUHW, but recent workplace events have prompted a »
December 16, 2009 /
Bloomfield Hills is a Detroit suburb dotted with sprawling corporate office compounds, columned mansions, and stores like Saks Fifth Avenue—a haven for members of the managing class, insulated from the blight and devastation they helped create that surrounds them in Southeast Michigan. But things got interesting in suburbia yesterday as 200 Laborers and »
December 14, 2009 /
A delegation of U.S. and Canadian labor leaders visited Mexico November 29-December 3 in solidarity with fired electrical workers of the former Light and Power Company. On October 11 President Felipe Calderón sent police to occupy the facilities of the government-owned company and fired its 44,000 workers, »
December 09, 2009 /
Registered nurses from across the U.S. gathered this week for the founding convention of the National Nurses United, destined to be the largest RN union in the country's history. After months of a contentious, litigation-filled atmosphere, the new union's creation was met with a outpouring of joy by delegates. »
December 09, 2009 /
Chalk up another win for union reformers in New York. After victories by reform slates in two Teamster locals, 814 (movers and auction houses) and 804 (UPS), reformers in the Take Back Our Union »
December 08, 2009 /
I just returned from the US Labor Against the War Assembly in Chicago, December 4-6. There were lots of high points, including the fact that oil workers from the U.S. got together with the heads of the oil unions in Iraq and Venezuela. »
December 08, 2009 / Mischa Gaus
Labor activist Jeff Ballinger follows on his insightful piece on the ILO's Better Work program in the latest issue of Labor Notes magazine with an in-depth interview on WBEZ's "Worldview" program. "I'm very leery of this Better Work idea taking over the »
December 07, 2009 /
A daylong school held Saturday by the Vermont Workers Center and Labor Notes drew more than 200 participants, while at the same time 800 miles south 60 workplace activists from across the South were gathering. Their frankness about the weaknesses of our movement vs. the challenges capitalism has in store may sound tailor-made for a depressing day—but the »
December 03, 2009 / Mark Brenner
UPS Teamsters in New York City voted in a reform slate by to a 2-to-1 margin Thursday. It’s the second win in as many months for Teamsters reformers in the city, and it comes after a tireless yearlong campaign in a local with a long tradition of troublemaking. »