Troublemakers Blog

May 24, 2010 / Paul Abowd
Soon after declaring the first week of May "National Charter School Week," President Obama continued the push to open up public school districts—and their coffers—to non-union, privately run charter schools. Applications are due June »
May 20, 2010 / Paul Abowd
Thirty thousand Chicago teachers and para-professionals will vote for new union leadership May 21. Four slates are challenging the Chicago Teachers Union incumbents, who have come under fire for a lack of transparency and an unwillingness to mobilize against the city’s school privatization plan. Seventy schools have closed in eight years, and the union has lost »
May 19, 2010 /
As the sun rose on April 21, hundreds of students approached the main gate to the University of Puerto Rico’s historic Río Piedras campus and chained it shut. Thus began an occupation that has now spread to all 11 campuses of the UPR system and has become the longest-lasting strike action of any kind in this U.S. island colony in years. »
May 18, 2010 / Jane Slaughter
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 »
May 14, 2010 /
Hundreds of RNs at the Bronx's Montefiore Medical Center celebrated Nurses Week by picketing their employer for a decent contract and safer staffing. »
May 14, 2010 /
Workers in the airline and railroad industries will now get to vote whether to join a union on the same basis—majority rules—as all other private sector workers. This week the National Mediation Board, which governs these workers, voted 2-1 to update its archaic procedures. Flight attendants at Delta Air Lines may be the first to benefit from the new rules. »
May 13, 2010 /
As the sun dipped behind California Hall on UC Berkeley's campus last night, a team of hunger strikers, both students and campus workers, emerged with agreements from a recalcitrant administration to evaluate several of their demands. The hugs, shaking hands, smiles, and bread-breaking made it clear that the struggle produced far more than pieces of paper, »
May 12, 2010 /
LGBTQ activists made sure clients at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis hotel knew that "Workers' rights are hot!" Leading up to the frenzied San Francisco Gay Pride events in June, Pride at Work (the LGBTQ affiliate group of the AFL-CIO) reminded revelers to respect workers' rights while waving their rainbow flags. Pride event crowds have been estimated at »
May 12, 2010 /
Nearly every book written about the UFW has placed Cesar Chavez front and center, and most of them have portrayed him as a cross between Gandhi and Jesus Christ. Miriam Pawel’s fine account of the rise and fall of the United Farm Workers Union has the great virtue of not making Chavez its main protagonist. Instead, she tells the story of the UFW through the »
May 06, 2010 /
Image-conscious global brand operating in a repressive environment seeks to downplay workers’ complaints. No surprise. But this story has a couple of twists. For one, the repressive environment is the state of Virginia. »