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Support Long Island Rail Workers this Saturday

Photo courtesy Andrew Culverston on Flickr

On Saturday, June 21, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) workers, who have been without a contract for four years, and their supporters will rally in Massapequa, N.Y., telling the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to bargain fairly with them. The LIRR workers are members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART). Their previous contract expired in 2010, and the MTA is demanding benefit cuts and other concessions and has rejected recommendations from federal mediators that would have ended the dispute. 

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Never Felt so Good: Michael Jackson's New Music Video with Justin Timberlake Features Dancers with a Union Contract

We already know Justin Timberlake is awesome for negotiating a fair union contract with the dancers on his 20/20 Experience World Tour—the first touring contract of its kind for SAG-AFTRA tour dancers—but now Dancers' Alliance informs us Michael Jackson's new music video with Timberlake, "Love Never Felt so Good," features dancers covered by a union contract. 

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Colleges Need to Step Up Efforts to Aid Adjuncts and Athletes

Photo courtesy Widener University School of Law

I graduated with a master's in political science from Florida State University in December of 2000 but wasn't sure what career path I wanted to take at that point.  I had been working part-time as an office assistant and knew I wanted to do more when I was offered a chance to teach a college class as an adjunct at Tallahassee Community College. Reluctantly I accepted, since the idea of getting up in front of students and talking for an hour or more every day was a scary concept. I quickly realized that I loved teaching and that, in reality, the scary part of teaching was working as an adjunct.

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Collective Action: It's How Working Families Win!

Collective Action: It's How Working Families Win!

Women make up the majority of tipped and minimum wage workers. Child care costs are a huge barrier for families, and retail hours and scheduling make it difficult for working parents to make enough to survive. Women still earn less on the dollar than their male counterparts. More than four in 10 private-sector workers—and more than 80% of low-wage workers—do not have paid sick days. What century are we in?

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On Anniversary of Historic ILO Convention, Domestic Workers Speak Out Worldwide

Image via the National Domestic Workers Alliance

By caring for our homes and loved ones, domestic workers do the work that makes all other work possible. Unfortunately, the important labor of some 100 million domestic workers worldwide frequently goes unrecognized. In fact, domestic workers are vulnerable to labor exploitation, sexual assault and even forced labor and trafficking because they are mainly women, their workplace is behind closed doors and, in many places, they still are not covered under labor laws. In the United States, domestic workers are excluded from the most basic fairness and safety regulations on the job, including minimum wage and hour laws.

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Huhtamaki Workers Stand Up for Safe Working Conditions at California Paper Products Plant

Waterville Huhtamaki workers show their support.

That Starbucks cup that held your morning skim latte or the Chinet paper plates you’ve got packed up for a picnic this weekend were likely made by workers at one of Huhtamaki’s 21 plants in the United States, where more than 3,500 people work for the global Finnish packaging and paper products corporation.

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Union, Yes: Machinists Win Back-to-Back Organizing Drives in Texas

Exciting things are happening in Texas. The Machinists (IAM) today announced a second important organizing victory, this time for 475 office and clerical personnel employed by L3 at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Corpus Christi. This follows an April organizing win for 450 helicopter mechanics and technicians at the same facility.

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North Carolina Tobacco Farm Workers Organize for a Union Voice on the Job

Federico

Federico is one of about 100,000 tobacco farm workers working in North Carolina this harvest season. Every year, individuals like Federico put everything on the line and migrate from Mexico and Central America to North Carolina to work the tobacco harvest season. Expanding from early July to late September, the tobacco harvest season not only brings a lot of migrant workers to the state, but it also brings lots of revenue. North Carolina-grown tobacco accounts for more than half of the total U.S. production, making tobacco the most profitable cash crop in the state of North Carolina. Companies like Reynolds American Inc., Altria Group Inc. and Lorillard Inc., collectively known as “The Big Three,” hold nearly 90% of the tobacco market share in the United States, profiting from the hard labor performed by workers like Federico.

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Think About Moms Next Time You Shop at Walmart

During the annual Walmart shareholders meeting last week, moms who work at the retail giant walked off the job across the country. Joined by co-workers and allies, they have been calling for respect and decent wages—at least $25,000 a year—and demanding an end to retaliation against employees who speak out for better working conditions. Some Walmart associates even took their message to Walmart chairman and heir Rob Walton personally, and to the annual Walmart shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Ark.

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Teachers at Chávez Academy Bargain First Contract

CCA ACTS photo

The more than 130 education professionals who work at the César Chávez Academy (CCA), the largest charter school in Detroit, reached their first collective bargaining agreement last week. The teachers, counselors and social workers are members of The César Chávez Academy Alliance of Charter Teachers & Staff (CCA ACTS).

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