I know this is going to sound really dumb, but I want to help unionize my state, and I am aware of two heavily exploited and under-represented groups.
I am qualified to work in entry-mid level positions in both of these fields but.. I want to unionize them from the outside instead of dealing with the shit from the inside. I can’t work those places because they are pretty abusive and I have an exceptionally low tolerance for that crap at this point, plus I’m kinda very much a communist, and this whole model we have doesn’t work for me.
Instead, I want to form/expand an organization for at least one of them. The one I’m looking to focus on is lab workers, and if that works, go from there. What would I need to do for that to happen in Wisconsin? Is it even possible to form an external workers union? I know there’s some limits to public sector bargaining in Wisconsin, and while I don’t think that applies to private sector, I don’t know whether a private company with government contracts (which a lot of them have) would count as public.
Are there any resources for this sort of thing? Maybe national unions that would want to expand if there’s enough interest? I’m super serious about doing this, so I’m really soliciting information.
Union-busting companies know how to deal with walkouts, sickouts, boycotts — and even limited strikes — pretty handily under existing labor law. But how in the world do they confront a theatrical production that puts their exploitation and worker abuses center stage?
How do they contend with art?
New Yorkers are gonna find out very shortly how the bosses at REI’s flagship store in Soho deal with it because the green vests there are developing a new play in conjunction with the Working Theater aimed at an eventual Off-Broadway production — and it dramatizes the workers’ ongoing fight to secure a first contract — as it happens.
“I knew I was gonna write a play about my day job — but I thought it was gonna be a comedy about greenwashing or actors having day jobs, something a little bit lighter than what I ended up with,” Foot Wears House playwright Laura Neill tells Work-Bites. “When I was hired, I was told REI is unionized. I was like, ‘Oh, great, this is amazing; I love being part of the unionized workforce.’”
As such, Neill anticipated a good contract with solid union protections would soon follow.
“And then I realized, of course, that REI is not bargaining in good faith at all,” she says. “And so, this play came out of that.”
Neill and some of her REI co-workers performed an excerpt of Foot Wears House at a special Working Theater showcase held earlier this week in Manhattan. A full reading of the developing production is slated for Saturday, February 24, at the Hudson Park Library. The event is free and starts at 2 p.m.
REI management is on record saying it doesn’t believe “union representation is the best path to improving work situations for REI employees” and that it is instead committed to “creating an employee experience that is so compelling that the need for union is not necessary.”
Cue the violins.
New Trades Union Congress (TUC) analysis reveals Women’s Pay Day – the day when the average woman stops working for free compared to the average man – is today, Wednesday 21 February. In some industries and in some parts of the country where the gender pay gap is wider, women effectively work for free for even longer
Women’s Pay Day: 52 days of working for free
New TUC analysis published on 21 February reveals that the average woman effectively works for free for nearly two months of the year compared to the average man. This is because the gender pay gap for all employees currently stands at 14.3%.
This pay gap means that working women must wait 52 days – nearly two months – before they stop working for free on Women’s Pay Day today.
And the analysis also shows that at current rates of progress, it will take 20 years – until 2044 – to close the gender pay gap.
The union of 3,500 workers said, “our Union members have collectively decided to refuse handling all types of weaponised cargoes. Loading and unloading these weapons helps provide organizations with the ability to kill innocent people.”
New Delhi: The Water Transport Workers Federation of India, representing 3,500 workers at 11 major Indian ports, has declared that it will refuse to load or unload weapons to Israel on any ships it may be asked to do so, carrying armaments and bound for Israel.
The press release issued by them, dated February 14, says they have “decided to refuse to load or unload weaponized cargoes from Israel or any other country which could handle military equipments and its allied cargo for war in Palestine.”
The union says that as “Port workers, part of labour unions would always stand against the war and killing innocent people like women and children. The recent attack of Israel on Gaza plunging thousands of Palestinians into immense suffering and loss. Women and children have been blown to pieces in the war. Parents were unable to recognise their children killed in bombings which were exploding everywhere.”
Seeing any role in enabling ship to carry armaments which may aggravate the war in Gaza and particularly in Rafah, they have said “our Union members have collectively decided to refuse handling all types of weaponised cargoes. Loading and unloading these weapons helps provide organizations with the ability to kill innocent people.” The trade union has also called “for an immediate ceasefire”.
The press release further says, “as responsible trade unions, we declare our solidarity with those who campaign for peace. We call upon the workers of the world and peace-loving people to stand with the demand of free Palestine.”
Nearly 500 Starbucks stores have filed for union representation so far.
Starbucks workers in 21 locations across 14 states are filing to unionize on Tuesday, marking the highest number of stores petitioning to join Starbucks Workers United (SWU) on a single day in the union’s history, the group says.
The stores filing for a union Tuesday are located across the country, from Long Island, New York, to San Jose, California, with other filings coming from Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, and elsewhere in California and New York.
In a joint letter sent to CEO Laxman Narasimhan signed by representatives from each of the 21 stores, workers cited similar problems as other stores that have filed for representation, including understaffing, cuts to hours and insufficient wages and benefits.
“We have worked through violent threats from customers, unsafe weather conditions, and a global pandemic. Despite our willingness to work regardless of this disregard for our health and safety, we have been met with higher and higher expectations without being given the resources to meet them,” the workers wrote.
“Starbucks’ profit driven behavior makes doing our jobs impossible,” they continued. “We cannot keep up with constant promotions, dilapidated equipment, and unclean stores. It’s clear to us now more than ever that this one-sided relationship is no longer working.”
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