Troublemakers Blog

December 09, 2009 /
Registered nurses from across the U.S. gathered this week for the founding convention of the National Nurses United, destined to be the largest RN union in the country's history. After months of a contentious, litigation-filled atmosphere, the new union's creation was met with a outpouring of joy by delegates. »
December 09, 2009 /
Chalk up another win for union reformers in New York. After victories by reform slates in two Teamster locals, 814 (movers and auction houses) and 804 (UPS), reformers in the Take Back Our Union »
December 08, 2009 /
I just returned from the US Labor Against the War Assembly in Chicago, December 4-6. There were lots of high points, including the fact that oil workers from the U.S. got together with the heads of the oil unions in Iraq and Venezuela. »
December 08, 2009 / Mischa Gaus
Labor activist Jeff Ballinger follows on his insightful piece on the ILO's Better Work program in the latest issue of Labor Notes magazine with an in-depth interview on WBEZ's "Worldview" program. "I'm very leery of this Better Work idea taking over the »
December 07, 2009 /
A daylong school held Saturday by the Vermont Workers Center and Labor Notes drew more than 200 participants, while at the same time 800 miles south 60 workplace activists from across the South were gathering. Their frankness about the weaknesses of our movement vs. the challenges capitalism has in store may sound tailor-made for a depressing day—but the »
December 03, 2009 / Mark Brenner
UPS Teamsters in New York City voted in a reform slate by to a 2-to-1 margin Thursday. It’s the second win in as many months for Teamsters reformers in the city, and it comes after a tireless yearlong campaign in a local with a long tradition of troublemaking. »
December 03, 2009 /
To combat a wave of staggering illegality in low-wage and poorly regulated industries, a Chicago worker center has collaborated with a local university to create a map of law-breaking employers against which they have organized, giving workers and activists a powerful visual tool to bring to politicians and the community. »
December 02, 2009 /
President Obama’s decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan is wrong for many reasons. At its October 15 meeting, the Executive Board of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO adopted a simple statement that sums up many of those reasons: “We need to stop the war in Afghanistan and focus the nation’s attention on the fight for jobs, education, health care and pensions »
December 01, 2009 /
As a former staff worker for Service Employees (SEIU) Local 660 (now 721) in Los Angeles from 1998 to 2007, I am appalled by the degeneration of SEIU under the direction of President Andy Stern. Union leaders like to proclaim how SEIU is “bigger,” “stronger,” and “more united” than ever. For member it's a different experience entirely: one member told me he »
November 30, 2009 / Mark Brenner
If you want a glimpse inside the legal maze global corporations have erected to fatten their bottom lines and keep workers off-balance, take a look at this video. Monica Sanchez, a worker at the vacuum-maker Bissell's warehouse in Elwood, Illinois, talks about what happened to her and her co-workers when they tried »