Troublemakers Blog

November 17, 2009 /
One nagging factor in labor's crisis has been its internal culture of silence. Difficult issues are often sidestepped, finessed, or ignored all together. Steve Early says he learned in his early days the first rule of business unionism: “Thou shall not criticize another union.” Thirty years later, he's still banging on this rule with a prose sledgehammer—and »
November 15, 2009 /
Steelworkers at nickel giant Vale Inco’s operations in Sudbury and Voisey Bay in Canada have been on strike since July. After rejecting contracts calling for deep concessions, Steelworkers (USW) members there find themselves in the midst of one of the largest battles in their history. »
November 13, 2009 / Mark Brenner
Forty warehouse workers and their supporters picketed Wednesday in front of the Bissell distribution center in Joliet, Illinois, one of dozens of mammoth buildings that have sprung up off of I-55 south of Chicago. One week earlier Bissell—through their temp agency—dropped the axe on all 70 workers in the warehouse. Their offense? Trying to form a union. »
November 13, 2009 /
The Steelworkers announced a plan October 30 to create worker co-operatives in North America, which overturn the traditional workplace division between workers and bosses by having worker-owners make most decisions on a “one worker, one vote” basis. What's the union up to? »
November 12, 2009 /
Detroit’s public sector workers have won a battle in a months-long war with Mayor Dave Bing. The recently re-elected mayor had threatened for a month to terminate contracts if city unions didn’t accept his proposed 26 furlough days—amounting to a 10 percent wage cut. He tried to make good on that threat in late October, moving to impose terms on AFSCME District »
November 10, 2009 / Tiffany Ten Eyck
We’ve known for a while now that the economic crisis has dampened the willingness of workers to head out on strike (with some courageous exceptions). That’s partly due to the business class and the corporate press, who »
November 10, 2009 /
Carpenters President Douglas McCarron is delusional indeed. He’s dismissed the AFL-CIO’s newly chartered carpenters organizing committee and placed faith in his “corporate unionism” approach and a repressive, self-serving regime that destroys the democratic rights of rank and file members. »
November 09, 2009 / Jane Slaughter
Sometimes high-paid jobs provoke a lot of envy and resentment. But sometimes you feel a lot more comfortable when workers in certain positions are making more than a living wage. While attending the Teamsters for a Democratic Union convention Friday, I met a pilot who took home $26,000 last year as a first officer »
November 06, 2009 /
Hey, did you hear about the World Series fans that were nearly stranded in South Philadelphia due to a transit shutdown? Probably. See any stories on striking drivers or mechanics, or their struggles to endure? Probably not. The pressure on the union during Philadelphia's transit strike is relentless. »
November 06, 2009 /
Chicago saw an unusual meeting of the minds last week between two groups of workers who have taken extraordinary steps when faced with a plant closing. »