Since 1979, Labor Notes has been home to the troublemaking wing of the labor movement. The pages of our magazine are filled with the stories of workers who are working to transform their unions, to take on the boss, to fight for racial justice.
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It’s just what you would expect from airplane engineers on strike—they reengineered the picket line burn barrel to be more efficient.
The strikers were Boeing engineers, members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), who walked the lines for 40 days in 2000 during a rainy Seattle winter.
The biggest UPS local in the Northeast is back in the hands of reformers.
Teamsters in New York City’s Local 804 elected the Experience Matters slate far and away the winner in a four-way race December 20.
President-Elect Vincent Perrone, a 25-year UPS worker and former business agent, won with 1,269 votes to incumbent President Danny Montalvo’s 794.
“How can we get young workers involved?”
That’s the question on everyone’s lips, with union density at near-record lows. Many unions have begun holding summits for young members or forming local committees, which is great.
But too often they’re missing a step that’s more essential: don’t sell young workers out.
When you settle a two-tier contract that puts new hires on a lower wage scale or trades away their pension, it sends a message: “This union is for us, not for you.”
The massive gift production and distribution operation at the North Pole is in disarray amid rolling strikes this week.
The conveyor belts were halted for several hours on Wednesday when maintenance elves walked out just as a mass of taffy was discovered in the gears. On Thursday there was another walkout, this time in Wrapping and Ribbons. And today, no one is loading sleighs.
The wildcat strikes were organized by rank and filers without the sanction of Elves, Reindeer, and Candy Stripers Local 1224.
Despite heavy pressure from their employer and their own union leaders, rank-and-file Teamsters across the U.S. last week voted down the controversial tentative agreement at UPS, 54 percent no to 46 percent yes.
Even UPS indicated it was ready to return to the table.
But then Teamsters Package Division Director Denis Taylor announced he would exploit a constitutional loophole to declare this contract ratified.
Teamster activists are calling on the union and the company to respect the majority vote and reopen negotiations.