Jonah Furman

‘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.

Another big nurse strike this summer drew momentum from a surprising source—a hard-fought internal union election that ended in a toss-up between two factions.

At Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, 2,400 nurses and other professionals walked off the job July 23. After enduring a 10-year freeze on starting pay, they want a raise to help attract more nurses.

You’ve read about the teacher strikes in West Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma, Colorado… but what about Puerto Rico? Fighting to keep the island’s public schools open in the wake of Hurricane Maria, teachers there are boycotting standardized tests and even teaming up with parents to occupy their schools.

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