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'Do Unions Still Matter?' – From Bandon Weber Via Five Answers I've Offered My Father-In-Law When He Asks That Question

Published on Monday, December 14, 2015 in Young Unionists
Labor Unions have been on the decline for decades after reaching their high-water mark in 1955, when they represented nearly 35% of the Workforce. Some (like my father-in-law) say that because they bargain for fewer and fewer people, they should just go away or that “they had a purpose at one time, but not anymore." But others say the decline of more»

Young New Yorkers fight for stability through unionized labor

Published on Friday, December 11, 2015 in Young Unionists
(NEW YORK CITY) - Rudy Mulligan never expected she would trade in 10 years of experience as a Social Worker for safety glasses, a tool belt and a hard hat. Now Mulligan, 34, is one of the about 877,000 Unionized Members of New York City's Workforce. New Yorkers have historically supported Organized Labor even as National Politics have marred their more»

Think There’s ‘No Need’ For Unions? Get This: A 35-Year-Old Fast Food Worker Who Works Marathon Shifts Totaling 80 Hours A Week For Subway Chain Gets Fired After Oregon Newspaper Reports On Him “Making Ends Meet”

Published on Friday, December 11, 2015 in Young Unionists
(PORTLAND, OREGON) - Keith Fons showed up for work in early November at the Subway that he manages in Downtown Portland, expecting a normal Monday morning rush. Just a day earlier, The Oregonian's front page featured a story about Fons and the everyday challenges that Low Wage Workers face. The 35-year-old father worked as many as 80 hours every week at more»

Get This: Actor Samuel L. Jackson Supports Bringing Kangol Hat Jobs Back To The U.S.

Published on Thursday, December 10, 2015 in Young Unionists
(ADAMSTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA) - As Labor Costs rise in places like China and United States energy prices drop, many manufacturers have been rethinking where to expand production, and in some cases returning factory work to the U.S. But even if Made in USA is a priority, creating domestic manufacturing jobs is far from easy. This is especially true for textile more»

How About This One: Midwestern Hardware Chain Menards Threatens Managers, Says If Workers Unionize, Their Pay Will Be Cut By 60%

Published on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 in Young Unionists
Bosses have lots of strategies to block their Workers from Unionizing. There’s firing or disciplining Union Supporters (which is illegal, but carries such tiny penalties it can be worth it), Captive Audience Meetings, One-on-One Interrogations designed to intimidate Workers, and so on - but this is one I hadn’t heard of. Midwestern Hardware more»

Labor Perspective From San Francisco Teacher Aaron Hall: The American Dream Is A ‘Casualty’ Of Friedrichs Lawsuit

Published on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 in Young Unionists Editor’s Note: Aaron Hall teaches at San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy. His Labor Perspective: The American Dream Is A ‘Casualty’ Of Friedrichs Lawsuit, can be directly accessed at: As the Teacher of third graders and a father of more»

Wedge Community Co-Op Becomes First Twin Cities Co-Op To Form Union

Published on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 in Young Unionists
(MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA) - Organizers say Workers at the Wedge Community Co-Op in Minneapolis have voted to form a Union - a successful Unionization Drive that is a first for a Co-Op Grocery in the Twin Cities, which has more Cooperative Groceries than any other urban area in the United States. The Workers voted 76-to-31 for representation by United Food more»

Fighting For Union Representation: San Diego State University’s Aztec Shops Attempts To Stop Student Workers From Unionizing

Published on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 in Young Unionists
(SAN DIEGO) - A group of around 15 San Diego State Students were turned away after marching to the office of Donna Tusack, CEO of Aztec Shops, to request a meeting and discuss the Aztec Shops Workers’ right to form a Union. The group, including members of Activist Group SDSU Forward and Aztec Workers United, were told by Edith Anaya, who serves as more»

Let Me Introduce You To Santa's ‘Real’ Workshop: The Town In China That Makes The World's Christmas Decorations

Published on Monday, December 7, 2015 in Young Unionists
(YIWU, CHINA) - There’s red on the ceiling and red on the floor, red dripping from the window sills and red globules splattered across the walls. It looks like the artist Anish Kapoor has been let loose with his wax cannon again. But this, in fact, is what the making of Christmas looks like. This is the very heart of the real Santa’s workshop more»

Did You Know That When It Comes to Female Apprenticeship Numbers, Oregon is Blowing Other States Away?

Published on Monday, December 7, 2015 in Young Unionists
(THE STATE OF OREGON) - In Oregon, outreach efforts to ensure women have Apprenticeship Opportunities were recently rewarded at a ceremony, during which elected officials and Union Leaders touted the State’s Leadership and celebrated the receipt of a $3 million Federal Grant to develop such programs. According to the numbers, Oregon has more than more»

A ‘Big Win’ For Adjunct Faculty At Temple University In Philadelphia

Published on Friday, December 4, 2015 in Young Unionists
(PHILADELPHIA) - Adjunct Faculty at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had something big to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. No - it wasn’t the 20-pound turkey and the Pop Singer Adele didn’t stop by to say “Hello.” Instead, it was: "We’re ‘thankful’ for a Union," wrote the Members of the Temple more»

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, Bipartisan Lawmakers Demand More Project Labor Agreements On Federally Subsidized Construction Projects

Published on Monday, November 30, 2015 in Young Unionists
(BANGOR TRIDENT BASE, WASHINGTON) - U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez toured the $345 million Wharf Project at Naval Base Kitsap in the State of Washington last week, which is being built primarily with Local Labor thanks to a Project Labor Agreement (PLA). Some lawmakers now want to see such agreements become the standard for similar U.S. Department of more»

New Contracts Boost AFSCME-Represented Florida Workers, Energize Local

Published on Sunday, November 29, 2015 in Young Unionists
(THE STATE OF FLORIDA) - Hundreds of hard-working men and women represented by American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2227 recently ratified three new contracts, providing not only a boost to Members’ paychecks - but also serving to protect Public Service Jobs in the future. The AFSCME Members, who proudly more»

Is Labor Law Failing Workers? Then Maybe It’s Time To Push For A ‘New’ Labor Act

Published on Friday, November 27, 2015 in Young Unionists
The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was a bad bill, and it is deader than dead. So it’s time for Organized Labor to propose a comprehensive set of amendments to the Nation’s primary Collective Bargaining Law, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). EFCA would have guaranteed a Union’s right to a first Contract, imposed punitive fines on more»

More Good Giving Back To Our Community Labor News: Building Trades Unions Donate 800 Man Hours Worth $50,000 To Build New Park Shelter In Missouri

Published on Friday, November 27, 2015 in Young Unionists
(CAPE GIRARDEAU, MISSOURI) – Sometimes the right people come together to make something special. That’s what happened when the City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department in Missouri reached out to the local Building Trades Council for help constructing a new, elaborate park pavilion at Capaha Park. The project coincided with the more»

AFSCME-Represented Bristol, Connecticut ‘Lunch Ladies Rock’ - Win Big At The Polls & Stop Privatization Effort

Published on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 in Young Unionists
(BRISTOL, CONNECTICUT) – American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) School Cafeteria Workers in Bristol, Connecticut recently engaged the community in their fight against outsourcing services. This past Election Day, the School Cafeteria Workers sent a clear message that there are consequences to putting corporate profit more»

Here’s 10 Of The ‘Best’ Union Songs Of ‘All Time!’

Published on Monday, November 23, 2015 in Young Unionists
Unionists are often many things - steadfast, political … and surprisingly decent musicians. In fact, Union songs have been a part of the movement since the very beginning. So in that spirit, here are 10 of the best songs ever written about Workers or the Union Movement, in no particular order: Factory: Bruce Springsteen - You’d be hard more»

German Labor Union Opening Joint Office In Tennessee With UAW

Published on Friday, November 20, 2015 in Young Unionists
(SPRING HILL, TENNESSEE) - Germany's largest Trade Union is opening a joint office with the United Auto Workers (UAW) in Tennessee to promote Labor Issues at German Automakers and Suppliers in the Southern United States. Frankfurt-based IG Metall estimates that 100,000 people work for German-owned automotive companies in the U.S., but unlike at their more»

Labor Perspective From Amy Dean: Millennials Are Revitalizing Organized Labor - A New Generation Is Offering Hope To Ailing Unions

Published on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 in Young Unionists Editor’s Note: Amy Dean is a fellow of the Century Foundation and a Principal of ABD Ventures, a consulting firm that works to develop innovative strategies for organizations devoted to social change. She’s a Co-Author, with David Reynolds, of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement. Her more»

Papa John's Franchisee/Business Owner Gets Jail Time For Failing To Pay Full Wages

Published on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 in Young Unionists
(NEW YORK CITY) - The owner of several Papa John's franchises in New York City will serve 60 days in jail for failing to pay his workers the Minimum Wage and overtime, New York's attorney general announced Monday (November 16th). Two months isn't a particularly long time in the hoosegow, but any jail time at all is notable in a Wage Theft Case. Although more»

A Wide Swath Of Industry Groups Are Pushing To Kill Ruling That Could Make It Easier For Fast Food Workers To Unionize

Published on Monday, November 16, 2015 in Young Unionists
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - A wide swath of business groups is currently pressuring Congress to use a must-pass spending bill to block a recent victory for the Labor Movement that could give Unions more power to negotiate with McDonald’s and other corporations that use franchises or Contract Workers. The fight is bubbling up at a time when businesses are more»

Liberals ‘Roar’ As Senate Democrats Demand Unionization For Senate Workers

Published on Sunday, November 15, 2015 in Young Unionists
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Thirty-four members of the Senate Democratic Caucus - including U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont), Elizabeth Warren (Democrat-Massachusetts) and Al Franken (Democrat-Michigan), sent a letter to the contractor that employs the Senate Cafeteria Workers late last week, calling on them to allow their Employees to organize more»

Karen Silkwood - A Radioactive Angel

Published on Sunday, November 15, 2015 in Young Unionists
After a version of this piece ran two years ago, I heard from Karen Silkwood’s daughter, Elaine Lipsey, who felt that I had misrepresented her mother’s life and maligned her memory. Since I admired Silkwood and her sacrifice, I was alarmed. I re-read my piece and found that for dramatic effect and I may have sounded harsh and judgemental more»

The USW Alleges Two Workers Fired By Northern Ontario Company For Unionizing

Published on Friday, November 13, 2015 in Young Unionists
(NORTHERN ONTARIO, CANADA) - The United Steelworkers (USW), which alleges Payment Services Corporation (PSC) fired two Employees in Northern Ontario after they joined the Union, plan to file complaints with the Ontario Labour Relations Board. “The (Ontario Labour Relations Act) ‘guarantees’ the rights of Employees to support and more»

Group Of Construction Unions Step Forward In The State Of Illinois To Pay The Electricity Bill For Christmas Lights On The Springfield Capitol’s Dome

Published on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 in Young Unionists
(SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS) - The tradition of Christmas lights on the State of Illinois’ Capitol dome in Springville will live on this year – thanks to a group of Construction Unions that have stepped forward and agreed to cover the $7,300 electric bill associated with the lights. The announcement comes just a week after the Illinois’ more»

‘Good News’ For Some Of Organized Labor’s Members Who Ran For Public Office In Election 2015: Six Teamsters Re-Elected In New York & New Jersey Metro Areas

Published on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in Young Unionists
Six Teamsters Union Members who ran for Public Office in the New York and New Jersey Metro Areas celebrated victories last week. All six were incumbents. A recent Teamsters Nation piece highlighted the six members, the highest-ranking of whom is Kevin McCaffrey, who was re-elected to the 14th District of Suffolk County. In addition to being the President more»

More Non-Union Workers Making The Decision To ‘Go Union:” In A Landslide Vote, B&H Photo Workers In Brooklyn Decide To Unionize With The United Steelworkers

Published on Friday, November 6, 2015 in Young Unionists
(BROOKLYN, NEW YORK) - Warehouse workers employed by B&H Photo Video in the Brooklyn Navy Yards have voted for Union Representation with the United Steelworkers (USW) in what can only be described as a landslide victory, with 200 electing to Unionize and 88 dissenting - amounting to a voter turnout of about 80%. The Union Election, which was more»

Some Good News From the November Election: In Oregon, Voter Turnout Was Just Under 70% & Democrats Won BIG!

Published on Friday, November 6, 2015 in Young Unionists
(THE STATE OF OREGON) – The State of Oregon has: Mail-in voting: No serious efforts at voter disenfranchisement; and an engaged populace. But here's the big one: Out of the 2.2 million Registered Voters in Oregon, 69.5%, or 1,519,804, returned ballots - which is actually a point and a half down from the 2010 midterm. And the result? Despite a huge more»

Something For Organized Labor To Take Advantage Of: 16-Year-Old Makes An App That Exposes ‘Sellout’ Politicians – Helps Shine Light On The ‘Undue Influence’ Of Money In Congress

Published on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 in Young Unionists
With U.S. politics swimming in so much corporate money that it's pretty much an oligarchy, it can be hard to keep track of which particular set of lobbyists is trying to milk more cash out of Health Care, Fossil Fuels and other very important issues from one week to the next. But thanks to 16-year-old Nick Rubin, keeping track of just how much politicians more»

From The American Labor Studies Center: Why Schoolchildren Should Learn About The American Labor Movement

Published on Monday, November 2, 2015 in Young Unionists Editor’s Note: Paul Cole, the former American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of the New York State AFL-CIO, currently serves as Executive Director of the Loudonville, New York-headquartered American Labor Studies Center (ALSC/ Cole recently made aware of more»

Students Take Up The Fight For $15 For Another Group: Themselves

Published on Sunday, November 1, 2015 in Young Unionists
Over the past few years, thousands of Students have waved picket signs and chanted slogans in support of raising the Minimum Wage for people who toil in Fast Food Restaurants and other Low-Paid Professions - now that advocacy has expanded to another class of Worker: College-Goers themselves. Students at nearly 20 schools, including: the University of more»

University Of Pittsburgh Faculty Launch Campaign To Unionize With United Steelworkers

Published on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 in Young Unionists
(PITTSBURGH) - Faculty at the University of Pittsburgh are in the early stages of organizing a Union, a representative of the United Steelworkers (USW), which is working with faculty, confirmed earlier this week. Robin Sowards, an Organizer with the USW, said the faculty-led campaign includes both Full-Time and Adjunct Faculty among Pitt's main and branch more»

Didja Hear This One: Walmart Criticized For ‘Blaming’ Lower Profits On Increased Wages

Published on Monday, October 26, 2015 in Young Unionists
Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated is under fire after recently lowering its profit expectations and attributing much of its gloomier financial outlook to wage hikes for its Workers. An ongoing campaign, Making Change at Walmart (MCAW), which is backed by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union, says the company’s explanation for its slumping more»

Did You Know That 51% Of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars A Year?

Published on Thursday, October 22, 2015 in Young Unionists
We just got more evidence the Middle Class in America is dying. According to brand new numbers that were just released by the Social Security Administration, 51% of all Workers in the United States make less than $30,000 a year. Let that number sink in for a moment. You can’t support a Middle Class Family in America today on just $2,500 a month more»

For Latina Leaders, AFSCME Strong Is Close To Home

Published on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 in Young Unionists
(PUEBLO, COLORADO) - For Josette Jaramillo and Betty Jo Aragon, AFSCME Strong is deeply personal. Jaramillo and Aragon, who respectively serve as President and Vice President of American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 76, are from Pueblo, Colorado - a city where nearly half of all residents are Latino. Few more»

Progressive Talk Show Host Ed Schultz To Head Super PAC Dedicated To Middle Class Issues - Will Focus On Jobs, Wages, Health Care, Education, Trade Agreements

Published on Monday, October 19, 2015 in Young Unionists
MSNBC, Ed Schultz’s going to give the Middle Class a boost by harnessing the language of politics - money. Schultz and like-minded associates have created a Super PAC called Americans for a Strong Middle Class (ASMC), where he will serve as president. "I feel like I’m ‘perfectly positioned’ with my national platform, with my name more»

Workers ‘Fight Back’ Against Racism, Wage Theft, Toxic Hazards & Chronic Overwork At Brooklyn’s B&H Warehouse

Published on Sunday, October 18, 2015 in Young Unionists
(BROOKLYN, NEW YORK) - This PAST work-week got off to an unusual start for Jorge Lora. In recent months at his workplace, a Brooklyn warehouse run by photography-equipment retailer B&H, he and his Co-Workers had become resigned to a miserable routine of working to exhaustion while subjected to injury, racial abuse and wage theft - But he was surprised more»

Public Support Of Labor Unions Is Growing: Interesting New Poll Show 72% Of Workers Who Make Less Than $15 Support Unions

Published on Friday, October 16, 2015 in Young Unionists
According to a new and first-ever poll, just released by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), 72% of Workers who are paid less than $15 an hour approve of Labor Unions - and 75% support a $15 Minimum Wage. The NELP Poll follows an April 2015 NELP Study that found 42% of Workers across the Nation are paid less than $15 an hour. With the more»

Economist Jared Bernstein Via The Washington Post: Here’s Something That’s Missing From This Economic Recovery - Workers’ Voices

Published on Thursday, October 15, 2015 in Young Unionists Editor’s Note: Jared Bernstein is a former Chief Economist to Vice President Biden and is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He is also an author of the new book: The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity. Ask an economist what’s driving the trends in the variables we track and more»

Culinary Workers Joined By Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton In Las Vegas, Clinton Slams GOP Front-Runner Donald Trump Whose Hotel Is Object Of Unionizing Campaign

Published on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 in Young Unionists
(LAS VEGAS) – Just hours before her party’s first nationally-televised debate, Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton joined with the Culinary and Bartenders Union outside Republican Front-Runner Donald Trump’s Las Vegas Trump International Hotel, which has been the focus of a Unionization Campaign. The Culinary Union is more»

University At Buffalo Student Among Four Awarded $3,000 United University Professions Scholarships

Published on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 in Young Unionists
(BUFFALO) - Adam Graczyk of Buffalo, a Graduate Student currently studying for his Ph.D. in Community Health and Health Behavior at the University at Buffalo, is one of four college students to be awarded a $3,000 scholarship by United University Professions (UUP), the statewide Union has announced. UUP represents 35,000-plus Academic and Professional more»

Unions Giving Back To The Communities Where They Work, Live & Raise Their Families: IAM Connecticut Local 743 Raises Nearly $80K For Guide Dogs

Published on Saturday, October 10, 2015 in Young Unionists
(FEEDING HILLS, MASSACHUSETTS) - A pair of fundraisers put on by International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 743 has netted nearly $80,000 for the IAM’s favorite charity, Guide Dogs of America. A packed field of 156 golfers turned out for the 14th annual Guide Dogs of America Golf Tournament at Oak Ridge Golf Club in Feeding Hills. IAM Local more»

Don’t Belong To A Union? Then Your Employer Just May Ask You To Work For ‘Free:” Urban Outfitters Wants Its Employees To Volunteer For Extra Shifts

Published on Saturday, October 10, 2015 in Young Unionists
As the holiday season approaches, Retailer Urban Outfitters is hoping its Employees are in the giving spirit. Gawker published an e-mail asking the Full-Time Employees at URBN, Urban Outfitters' parent company based in Philadelphia, to work without pay during five weekend days in October. The e-mail explains that October is the busiest month of the year more»

More Good Organizing News In Digital Media: Al Jazeera America Employees Join The News Guild & A Union Campaign Officially Starts At The Huffington Post

Published on Friday, October 9, 2015 in Young Unionists
Fifty Digital Editorial Employees at Al Jazeera America (AJA) have decided to join The News Guild, POLITICO has learned - and news has leaked that Writers at The Huffington Post have formed a committee to Unionize. Since Gawker Media Unionized in June, Employees from a half dozen other Digital Media Outlets have Unionized as well, including Salon, Vice and more»

And They Just Keep On Coming: Oregon Cannabis Workers Unionize With the UFCW

Published on Friday, October 9, 2015 in Young Unionists
(STATE OF OREGON) - At least two Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) between Oregon Cannabis Workers and the dispensaries that employ them have been signed, and more are expected to partake in Collective Bargaining as the industry develops. The move to Unionize by some Cannabis Workers strengthens the role Unions have historically held in negotiating more»

Yet Another Victory For Organized Labor: Adjuncts Win Union Contract at Maryland Institute College of Art

Published on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 in Young Unionists
(BALTIMORE, MARYLAND) - The national movement to Unionize Part-Time Faculty at U.S. colleges and universities has secured an initial beachhead in the Baltimore area with ratification of a first contract between Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500 and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Voting on the ratification concluded in more»

The Digital Domino Effect: Young Working People Continue To Organize In New Media

Published on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 in Young Unionists
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Young Working People organizing on the job will be a hot topic at the first ever, White House Summit on Worker Voice. To shed some light on the latest in a series of Digital Worker wins, I had a one on one with Alice Ollstein of Think Progress. Alice is a Political Reporter at Think Progress and has been writing for newspapers since more»

The ‘Fight For 15’ Just Landed At America’s Busiest Airport – Chicago’s O’Hare Scene Of Campaign To Organize 5,000 Workers In Battle For Higher Wages

Published on Monday, October 5, 2015 in Young Unionists
(CHICAGO) - Encouraged by an energetic rally of more than 100 Janitors and other Members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, a group of low-wage Security, Cleaning and Passenger Service Workers at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport have launched a campaign to organize 5,000 Airport Workers to win higher wages and the right to form a more»

A Reminder From Teacher Unions: October Is National Bullying Awareness Month

Published on Saturday, October 3, 2015 in Young Unionists
(NEW YORK STATE) - Just as the leaves begin to change color in the Northeast this month - so too does October’s National Bullying Awareness Month focus on change as many organizations and schools are providing opportunities to open channels of information to help stop bullying. Bullying can happen in schools, in the workplace, on the playground and more»

A Must Read – For Both Union & Non-Union Workers Alike - From Alabama Welder Alan Amos: Why I Joined The Auto Workers Union

Published on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in Young Unionists Editor’s Note: Alan Amos is a Welder who’s employed at the Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) Auto Factory in Piedmont, Alabama. His Labor Commentary can be Directly Accessed at: When people think of low wage jobs in America, they think of more»