Jane Slaughter

Video: Striking Ontario Miners Back Down Police

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Striking nickel and copper miners in northern Ontario blocked entrances to company property for five days in May, defying a police order to stand down. In what Steelworkers Local 6500 called a protest and their multinational employer Vale Inco called a blockade, strikers and community supporters in Copper Cliff and Levack mounted 24-hour lines complete with RVs and toilets.

Women in the Trades: They've Got Stories

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It was a day like today—60s and sunny, decades ago—when I swung from the top of a telephone pole and thought I had the best job in the world. A few months earlier, in the Detroit winter, not so much. I remember phoning a customer from the pole behind her house and hearing her tell me she could see a man working on the pole back there. When I visited another customer’s home, climbing boots and tool belt and all, she called me “operator.”

'Toxic' Health Bill or No, Labor's 'Medicare for All' Activists Dig In

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When I told friends I was on my way to the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer conference, held last weekend, they all said, “I bet that’ll be a bunch of long faces.” I predicted not—these were people who’d always known the health care reform debate in Congress would come up short. Yet the 124 delegates to the March 5-7 conference in Washington were upbeat.

Health Care Victory—or Pretzel?

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Yesterday Rich Trumka announced a deal with the White House: high-cost union health care plans won’t be subject to an excise tax till 2018—five years later than almost everyone else. Trumka made clear that the intent of the changes the unions brokered is to make so many groups exempt from the tax that in practice it will almost never be applied. But why build a pretzel around the right thing?

Reform Teamster Leaders Out, Then In Again, in Chicago

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In 2007 Teamsters in scores of small Chicago shops, and a few big ones, capped years of organizing against corrupt leaders and stolen elections by electing a reform slate to head 11,000-member Local 743. Attendees at the 2008 Labor Notes Conference heard President Richard Berg tell the inspiring story of how persistence had enabled the slate to slash officers’ salaries, get rid of do-nothings, and beef up representation and education.

‘There Are No Tea-baggers in Soup Lines’

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Auto workers outshone the tea-party types as dueling demonstrations took place in the snow outside the Detroit Auto Show today. Small numbers of auto workers gathered to say government should use its role in the auto bailout to direct the factories toward job-creating green products such as high-speed trains and wind turbines—and should enact Medicare for All.

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