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  #26  
Old 09-17-2019, 02:50 AM
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Default Re: Labor Day

Key Points About the U.A.W. Strike Against General Motors {warning: metered paywall}
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First, it was teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky. Then hotel workers at nearly two dozen Marriotts and grocery employees at Stop & Shop locations in the Northeast.

Now the United Automobile Workers have gone on strike at General Motors, sending nearly 50,000 members at factories across the Midwest and South to picket lines.

U.A.W. leaders in Detroit voted unanimously on Sunday to authorize the strike, the union’s first such walkout since 2007, after the current agreement with G.M. expired.

The strike, part of a recent surge of labor activism, has halted production in the United States. A prolonged stoppage could affect G.M.’s Canadian and Mexican operations, crimping the company’s bottom line and the fortunes of its parts suppliers.
This is the largest strike in the US in more than a decade. One of the big issues is two-tiered pay, where newer employees get paid substantially less; and slowing or reversing plant closures in the US.
Hard to find a single decent article on the subject in a short search engine perusal; labor reporting in the US is mostly dead.

On that same subject, on two search engines all the results on the first page for unionization/ how to form a union/ signing unionization cards are anti-union "workers rights" employer propaganda. Not surprised.
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  #27  
Old 09-18-2019, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Labor Day

Okay did some digging.
1. UAW did a shitty job of preparing for this strike. Labor Notes discusses the issue, which boils down to whether or not the union involves rank-and-file workers and prepares them in building solidarity and intensity for the strike, with everyone on the same page about the demands, or if it is called for from union management entirely without front-loading and prep.
2. UAW is embroiled in a corruption scandal right now that is being pursued by the FBI. This also makes union leadership look unprepared at best and disconnected and corrupt as all hell.
Quote:
GM was bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of $50 billion in 2009. It made over $8 billion in profits last year, while paying no federal income taxes yet gifting CEO Mary Barra $22 million. For GM to demand concessions from its overworked employees now is a sign that it thinks the UAW is an easy foe.

After all, UAW President Gary Jones may be distracted. His house and that of former President Dennis Williams were both searched by the FBI August 28. Jones’ top lieutenant before he became president, Vance Pearson, was charged with using union funds for personal luxuries, and it’s widely believed that Jones and Williams will be next. Pearson was the sixth UAW official to be recently charged or convicted of graft.
GM has also been buying back stocks; they are awash in cash.
GM bought back $10 billion in stock since 2015, double what job cuts will save

On this subject I just finished Jane McAlevey's No Shortcuts, which gives a number of case studies of two broad primary types of unions in the US today: top down deal maker unions and lateral grassroots solidarity unions. Top-down deal maker unions may go to an industry or large employer and gain unionization in return for backing a piece of legislation, finding supply chain cost reductions, agreeing to not unionize THOSE parts, etc. Negotiations are behind closed doors, workers are not involved particularly. Lateral grassroots solidarity unions have an involved rank-and-file; union officers are drawn from the rank-and-file; they engage in solidarity actions and regular participation of membership, including in contract negotiations, and they strike (with lots of prep and training). This second type of union in almost every study is stronger, gains more concessions, but takes involvement from the membership.
The main argument is that the mobilizing model which gained ascendancy in unionizing in the last decades is insufficient; it takes organizing workers and building movement solidarity; mobilizing alone does not sustain.

Oh, and the book was great. Jane McAlevey has a fair number of videos on YouTube as well, discussing labor and unionization today, in concrete terms.
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  #28  
Old 10-18-2019, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Labor Day

Labor Notes covers the current negotiations as GM workers vote on the tentative agreement.
Quote:
After nearly six weeks on the picket lines, auto workers will make a sobering choice: accept the agreement proposed or vote no and stay out in the hopes of getting something better. In 2015 Chrysler workers rejected their tentative agreement 2-1 and sent bargainers back for more. GM workers, voting later, approved their pact by just 58 percent for production workers; skilled trades voted it down.

UAW leaders decided that workers will remain on strike during the ratification vote. Voting will end Friday, October 25 by 4:00 p.m.
One of the biggest issues is regarding the tiers of workers, with workers hired after 2007 having significantly lower pay and benefits than those hired before 2007. The new contract being offered does little to resolve this large and important issue.

ALSO!

Chicago teachers are striking, to force the Democratic machine running politics in Chicago to actually address major issues.
Quote:
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Public Schools classes are canceled again Friday as the Chicago Teachers Union remains on strike for a second day.

There are signs of movement toward a deal, but thousands of CPS teachers returned to the picket lines Friday morning. Twenty-six thousand CPS teachers and 8,000 support staff workers including custodians, special education assistants and bus aides are on strike. It is the first CPS teacher strike since 2012.
Labor Notes on the teacher's strike:
Quote:
This time, 25,000-member CTU is joined on strike by Service Employees (SEIU) Local 73, which represents 7,500 classroom assistants, bus drivers and aides, security guards, and other support staff.

This time the union has extended its demands: it wants to tackle student homelessness and affordable housing for low-income Chicagoans.

And this time it is up against a new mayor—not the blatant corporate shill Rahm Emmanuel but liberal Lori Lightfoot, whose election platform promised support for the Chicago Public Schools. In spite of these promises, Lightfoot chose the same bargaining team that served Emanuel and is holding firm against the unions' demands.
...>snip<...
Many SEIU members work with students with special learning, developmental, or emotional needs. The average salary for custodial workers is $35,000 a year and for special education classroom assistants $36,000. That puts these workers below the Housing and Urban Development measure of “very low income.”

Isaac Krantz-Perlman, a substitute special education classroom assistant, describes a colleague who works with students all day, leaves to drive for Uber, works as a night-shift custodian, goes home to care for his elderly mother, sleeps, and heads back to work with students the next day. He says this is what the unions mean when they say “our working conditions are students' learning conditions.” Students need well-rested staff.

Local 73 is demanding pay raises, access to health benefits and paid vacations, an end to outsourcing, and more training for educators working with high-needs students.

Class-size caps, and the opening of a new classroom when numbers go over that cap, are central to CTU’s demands. The union is calling for more counselors and social workers, with lower caseloads, nurses in every school, and an expansion of the number of Sustainable Community Schools from 20 to 75. These are schools that give students a full array of wrap-around social services.
The teachers in Chicago reorged their unions internally before the 2012 Strike that they won, to become stronger with much more rank-and-file participation and solidarity and militancy, as opposed to top-down union structures that preceded it.
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