After watching the continued decline in the number of Oregon workers winning a voice at work, the Oregon AFL-CIO “decided to do something different,” says state federation President Tom Chamberlain. That something different was unions working together. Since late 2011, Oregon unions have been able to craft a number of significant victories for workers who want a voice on the job. Says Chamberlain:
By working together, we have achieved something phenomenal.
A month after the Vermont legislature approved a bill allowing home care workers to collectively bargain, more than 4,500 home care workers filed an election petition seeking to form a union. Because of the new law, more than 7,000 workers are now eligible to join a union, and many participated in a march to file the petition. Home care workers in the state experience low wages and a lack of sick time, paid vacations and other benefits. The election is expected to be held in mid-July.
When most people think about union members, they probably picture blue-collar workers in factories. Maybe teachers, police, firefighters and other government employees come to mind.
But workers in many more fields come together in unions to have a voice on the job to improve their lives and the lives of their families—from rocket scientists at NASA (members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers [IFPTE]) to actors like Alec Baldwin (a member of SAG-AFTRA) and all across the spectrum of work that goes on in the United States.
AFSCME President Lee Saunders finds some dangerous parallels between the crushing austerity measures that have “left the Greek economy dangling on a ledge, threatening to prolong the recession and sending unemployment skyrocketing,” and Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) economic prescription for Wisconsin. In a column at The Huffington Post, Saunders writes:
Thousands of University of California patient care workers are back on the job today after a two-day strike at five UC medical centers demanding better patient care and safe staffing levels. Outside the centers, members of AFSCME Local 3299—the nurses, surgical and X-ray technicians, custodians, servers, cooks and others who keep one of the largest medical systems in the country running—chanted:
What’s this about? Patient care! All day, all night—safe staffing is our fight.
After a debate that took nearly 10 hours over three legislative days, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved historic legislation Monday that extends collective bargaining rights to family child care providers and personal care attendants. The bill passed 68-66 after surviving 20 Republican amendments trying to undermine it. Gov. Mark Dayton promises to sign the bill.
Union members in Swampscott, Mass., this week showed just how grassroots democracy works when a coalition of unions from the North Shore Labor Council mobilized to turn back an attack on public employees’ health care and retirement security.
Tax season is upon us. Whether you use an online filing service or a certified public accountant or your mom still helps you fill out your taxes, here are five things you probably won’t learn from your 1040.