Jane Slaughter

No Vote Allowed on Half Wages in Detroit-area Auto Plant

The United Auto Workers have signed an agreement to let General Motors pay half wages to 40 percent of its employees at a suburban Detroit assembly plant. The “Tier 2” workers would make roughly $14 working alongside so-called “legacy” or Tier 1 workers making the current production wage, about $28.

Nurses Decry Multitude of Sins at Union-Busting Catholic Hospitals

Less than 6 percent of Ascension Health’s 110,000 workers are union members, but apparently that’s 6 percent too many for the country’s largest Catholic health system. Management is on a concerted campaign to bust unions at its hospitals in Michigan, say the Teamsters, the Michigan Nurses Association, and their ally Interfaith Worker Justice, a national organization that works with religious leaders.

Brazilian Union Assists in Land Takeovers, Showing Power of a Good Example

As the U.S. Social Forum approaches, here in Detroit, we at Labor Notes have been talking a lot about how unions can work with other movements to pursue common goals. In Brazil last week, I was lucky to meet activists who had a terrific example: a metalworkers union that helped organize a movement of poor people to take over vacant land and build houses for themselves.

Solidarity from Below (the Equator)

International union connections are a kick. Within a few hours of my arrival at a union convention in Brazil, I met a copper miner from Chile whose company wants wage cuts, a union doctor from Spain fighting the imposition of co-pays, a Nestle worker from Colombia, and railroad workers from Japan.

Video: Striking Ontario Miners Back Down Police

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.

What’s In the Health Insurance Bill, What’s Not

What’s weird about the whole health insurance fracas is that Republicans and some insurance company execs fought just as hard against the crappy bill we have before us as if it were really what they claim it is: a vast government “intrusion” into health care.

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