Some 6,000 hotel workers and community supporters rallied Friday in front of The Cosmopolitan hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Members of Culinary Workers Union/UNITE HERE Local 226 picketed to support Cosmopolitan workers who have been trying to negotiate a contract with their employer for more than two years, since they first voted to join the union.
Capital Bikeshare, operated by Alta Bicycle Share Inc., is a popular bicycle-share program that was piloted as a green alternative to driving. In Washington, D.C., Capital Bikeshare has been so popular that Alta has landed similar contracts in cities all over America. But while Alta claims to be progressive, its employees say the company is refusing to pay them the prevailing wages and benefits that are required by federal law.
With the rapid rise of worker centers and alternate ways to gain a voice on the job, a traditional union is no longer the only way to organize and bargain for paid sick leave, a raise and other workplace rights. Just look at the Walmart strikers and restaurant workers speaking out about the need for paid sick leave. Worker centers representing domestic and food service workers and groups like the Dancers’ Alliance and Working America, the AFL-CIO's community affiliate, are expanding the definition of what it means to be a part of the labor movement.
As previously reported, 60 workers at Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group in Auburn, Wash., went on strike after they made concessions that would save the company $20,000 per month and the company refused to share a portion of the savings with workers through increased salaries. The workers, members of the Machinists (IAM) Local 79, rejected the last offer from the company on May 10, and the company has hired replacement workers to fill 39 of the 60 jobs.
Update: Earlier we reported Patriot Coal left the negotiation table with UMWA. A new report from BNA says Patriot Coal will return to the talks. The company denies it left the negotiations. UMWA told BNA: “We are glad this odd incident is behind us and that Patriot has changed its mind and is willing to return to the bargaining table.”
On Tuesday, negotiators from Patriot Coal walked out of talks with the Mine Workers (UMWA), leaving thousands of retirees in danger of losing their health care. The company also canceled talks scheduled through next week, UMWA reports via press release. UMWA President Cecil Roberts reported that the company and the union were only about $30 million to $35 million apart. Meanwhile, hundreds of high-paid executives at the company will be receiving about $25 million in bonuses.
Workers at Sunny Day Car Wash in the Bronx, N.Y., who joined the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) last year, ratified a three-year contract this week. The pact mirrors the contract the workers made with another carwash in Queens less than two weeks ago.
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.
Some 100 Chicago Sun-Times photographers who were abruptly fired last week, when the paper shuttered its entire 28-member photo department and their supporters, marched outside the Sun-Times building this morning to protest the paper’s “union-busting” and what they say was bad faith bargaining by the Sun-Times.