Jonah Furman

Countdown to a Strike Tonight at John Deere

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At 11:59 p.m. tonight, barring a last-minute deal, nearly 10,000 Auto Workers members at John Deere in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas will go on strike. The last Deere strike began in 1986 and lasted for five months.

In the lead-up to tonight’s strike, tensions are high. The negotiating team is still bargaining up till the deadline. Management is trying to intimidate workers out of striking and is preparing to fill the gaps with non-union salaried employees.

Ten thousand Auto Workers (UAW) members at John Deere will vote on a new contract on Sunday, October 10. Unexpectedly, they can see the language of proposed changes to their several-hundred-page contract ahead of the vote. The UAW International posted the language online last night, along with a contract summary and proposed amendments to the pension plan.

‘We’re Sick of Giving Away Our Future’: An Interview with Kellogg Strike Leaders

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Just after midnight October 5, workers at all four of Kellogg’s “ready-to-eat cereal” plants went on strike. Bakery Workers (BCTGM) Local 3G represents the 395 workers at the flagship plant in Battle Creek, Michigan. Labor Notes spoke with Local 3G President Trevor Bidelman and Vice President Paul Walling. Both men have been at the plant since the mid-2000s, and are still working members. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Labor Notes: Why are you on strike?

Two Thousand California CWA Members Strike Telecoms Corp Frontier Communications

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Two thousand workers at the telecom provider Frontier in California walked off the job yesterday on an unfair labor practice (ULP) strike. Technicians, call center employees, dispatchers, clerks, mechanics, and construction workers across seven Communications Workers (CWA) locals got the call around 10:30 a.m. to stop work and report to the picket line.

From Contract Rejection to Union Office: School Therapists Keep Up Push for Fair Deal

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A group of New York City educators who bucked the union’s ruling caucus to vote down their contract three years ago has now won elected office.

This puts them in the leadership of their small chapter within the United Federation of Teachers—and gives them seats on the union’s bargaining team for 2022.

The seeds of their campaign were sown in 2018, when for the first time in over 20 years, a UFT contract was voted down.

United Auto Workers members will soon vote in an unprecedented referendum to decide whether the union’s 400,000 working members and nearly 600,000 retirees will directly elect their top officers. Ballots hit the mail October 19 and are due back November 29.

The UAW’s executive officers are currently elected to four-year terms by delegates at its convention. An “Administration Caucus” has dominated these positions for the past seven decades, using the powers of appointment available to International officers to wield tight political control.

UPDATE, October 1: There appears to be a tentative agreement between the UAW and John Deere. No details have been released yet.

Especially for professional workers, when your main strike issue is pay, attracting public support can be a challenge.

Savvy employers paint union members as spoiled. They like to point out that you’re already making more than many of your nonunion neighbors.

Yet when 1,800 nurses and technical staff struck for better wages July 12-13 at the state’s second-largest employer, the University of Vermont Medical Center, the people of Burlington came out in force to back them up.

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