Labor Notes #404, November 2012

Union-backed ballot measures, including minimum wage increases and taxes on the rich, fared well around the country yesterday, with an exception in Michigan and an uncertain outcome in Phoenix. Here's a round-up.

Chicago Teachers Union leaders vowed that their seven-day strike was just one step in their fight to defend public education. Now teachers and community groups are demanding a moratorium on school closings. Ten were arrested Friday.

A California ballot initiative stands poised to fundamentally alter national politics—even if it loses tomorrow. Proposition 32's backers hope to silence unions by disallowing use of mandatory payroll deductions for political purposes.

There’s plenty of pressure to bite your tongue and keep quiet about your criticisms till after the election, but a few unions turned the conventional wisdom on its head this year, piping up instead of quieting down.

Union members are on the front lines cleaning up after weather disasters caused by global warming. It’s time for unions to be on the front lines of preventing them.

Majorities of voters, even Republicans, support raising the minimum wage, and politicians who oppose it sound mean and out of touch. But no one is running on it this year.

The labor-community coalition Missouri Jobs with Justice is taking on low-wage employers, championed by the Missouri Restaurant Association, and the payday loan industry.

Jerry Tucker, a hero in the troublemaking wing of the labor movement, passed away on October 19. Labor Notes asked three close co-workers why he will be so widely missed and what are the lessons for those who will continue his legacy.

The U.S. presidential election has held up a decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, but in Canada, unions have joined environmentalists to battle another pipeline—this one headed for the pristine west coast of Canada.

Orchestras are resorting to lockouts to try to force big pay cuts, with four just this fall. From management's behavior, you’d never know that the arts are still good business.


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