In July 2015, Mondelēz International announced it had chosen to invest $130 million in its new Salinas, Mexico, plant instead of investing in its iconic Nabisco bakery in Chicago. As a result, 600 workers at the South Side Chicago bakery could lose their jobs as the product lines are sent to Mexico. The union workers at the Chicago Nabisco bakery have been producing high-quality baked goods such as Oreo and Chips Ahoy cookies, and Ritz and Premium crackers for more than 50 years. These hardworking Chicagoans, as well as others in the Nabisco/Mondelēz production network across the country, have dedicated decades of their working lives to fuel the company’s financial success and global appeal. But their dedication and commitment to building these iconic brands is being rewarded with callous disregard and the displacement of their jobs to unregulated areas of the world with labor forces that work for poverty wages.
Each week, we take a look at the biggest friends and foes of labor. We celebrate the workers who are winning big and small battles, and we shame the companies or people who are trying to deny working people their rights.
In our regular weekly feature, we’ll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the people or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families or working people who have fought for or won a significant victory. The losers will be whomever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights or the working people who have lost a right or a battle for expanding or keeping their rights.
On Aug. 24, NPR Chicago broadcast a special story detailing the recent announcement by Mondelēz International that it is shipping 600 union jobs--half of the plant’s workforce--to Mexico. The program included interviews with BCTGM Local 300 members at the Chicago bakery. The report also described how the city worked with Mondelēz the last time the company threatened to move production outside of the United States by providing $300 million in tax breaks to complete infrastructure work at the bakery.
In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.
In the wake of federal and state inaction, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) recently proposed raising the minimum wage within the city limits to $13 per hour. A key City Council committee advanced the measure on a 16–3 vote Monday and the broader council passed it 44–5 Tuesday. The current wage of $8.25 will move to $10 early next year and will rise in increments until it reaches the full $13 in 2019.
You may have seen a video of him before, but if 11-year-old Asean Johnson can stand up to Rahm Emanuel and school "reformers" like he does in this video from the AFT convention, you can stand up and fight the important battles in your community.
Members of National Nurses United (NNU) have had a busy week fighting to improve patient safety both inside and outside hospitals. First up is a new campaign to call upon hospitals coast to coast to reject replacing registered nurses with technology that lowers the quality of patient care and oppose efforts to cut costs at the expense of patient care. Working on the theme “when it matters most, insist on a registered nurse,” the campaign includes radio ads, videos like the one above, social media, in-person rallies and a legislative push.
Privatization of services has long been a favorite "solution" of right-wing extremists looking to profit off of taxpayer funds. In attempts to sell the government service provision to private companies, many promises are made about the cost-effectiveness and superior quality product that can be offered by the private sector. But most of those promised benefits fail to materialize. Here are 10 lessons that government officials should learn before considering the privatization of services based on the experience of Chicago's privatized parking meters (and other examples), as outlined in a recent Atlantic article.