U.S.: Unions cheer resurrection of Michigan’s prevailing wage law protecting construction worker pay

Marty Mulchay

People’s World | October 22, 2021

Unions cheer resurrection of Michigan’s prevailing wage law protecting construction worker pay
Construction workers and other building tradespeople rally outside the Michigan Capitol, Jan. 10, 2018, in Lansing, to show opposition to Republican legislation repealing ‘prevailing wage’ pay protections. In a win for unions, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has reversed the GOP’s repeal. | Dale G. Young / Detroit News via AP

LANSING, Mich. (PAI)—And just like that, Michigan’s prevailing wage law made a comeback.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Michigan will again require contractors to pay prevailing wage on state-sponsored taxpayer-funded construction projects. Prevailing wage has been the single most important law that governs construction worker wages, but efforts by conservative lawmakers over the years reduced the number of states with it to 24.

The prior Republican regime in Lansing repealed Michigan’s prevailing wage in June 2018. Whitmer’s restoration ensures any construction worker working on a state-sponsored construction project receives a wage that “prevails” in their locality. Her order does not cover locally funded projects.

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AMAZON IS WATCHING

Amazon Allegedly Hired Investigators to Spy on Warehouse Strike, Spanish Union Reports

Morning Star | December 05, 2020

ONLINE retail giant Amazon could face a legal battle with a Spanish workers’ union following a report that it hired private investigators to infiltrate and secretly observe a strike.

Spanish news site El Diario revealed this week that private detectives spied on a warehouse workers’ strike near Barcelona on Black Friday last year.Read More »

Unions launch campaign to fight for UK’s steel industry

by Peter Lazenby

Morning Star | July 09, 2020

THREE unions have joined forces to fight for the future of Britain’s steel industry.

Community, GMB and Unite have launched a “Britain, we need our steel!” campaign.

The unions say that government investment and infrastructure projects to aid economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus crisis must use steel produced in Britain to support the industry.Read More »

Unions hold coutrywide wide demonstrations against anti-people policies in India

Peoples Dispatch | July 04, 2020

Trade Unions Protest in Agartala as Part of the Nationwide Call of Ten Central Trade Unions. Photo: NewsClick

On July 3, 10 of India’s central trade unions organized countrywide protests against the anti-people policies of the Narendra Modi-led government. Thousands of protesters gathered in several States demanding an immediate end of the government’s privatization of the railway, defense and insurance sectors. This was the second round of country-wide protests held after the first round on May 22.

The protests saw participation across many occupational sectors in the major states of the country. Organizers also commented that their action had received widespread solidarity from farmers’ and agricultural workers’ organizations, who actively participated in demonstrations in rural areas.

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Union workers ordered: Go to Trump rally or don’t get paid

by Mark Gruenberg

People’s World | August 21, 2019

Union workers ordered: Go to Trump rally or don’t get paid
Trump gives thumbs up at rally where workers were forced to attend. | Carolyn Kaster/AP

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa.—If this happened during a union organizing drive, you’d call it a “h-u-uge” “captive audience” meeting.

Instead, it was an official presidential speech which GOP Oval Office occupant Donald Trump turned into a campaign-style event on August 13 at an under-construction Shell natural gas plant in Monaca, Pa., in Beaver County north of Pittsburgh.

And a Shell subcontractor ordered the workers to show up there or don’t get paid. Not only that, but they had to be in line at 7 a.m., have their ID cards scanned and then wait for hours – through lunchtime but with no lunch break – for Trump to talk. “No scan, no pay,” was the memo’s message.

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‘Unions must provide political education or labor will find itself more powerless than ever before’—Timir Basu on labor in India

by  and 

MR Online | April 30, 2019

Timir Basu

Labor around the world is facing a hostile situation to the extent and intensity unprecedented in labor’s history. At the same time, labor in the Global South and Global North is theoretically, organizationally and politically unarmed. In this interview conducted in April 2019 by Farooque Chowdhury, Timir Basu focuses on labor in India, a large economy in the Global South. Basu, once a revolutionary who organized among the poor peasantry, spent years in prison, during which time he focused on organizing prison labor. He has been an editor of Frontier, the radical weekly published out of Kolkata, ever since.

Farooque Chowdhury: You were actively involved with organizing the poor peasantry along revolutionary line. That was days of organizing armed struggle, years ago. Then, after getting out of prison, you actively got involved with organizing unions. You were simultaneously writing on labor and unions/labor movement in two famous weeklies—Economic and Political Weekly and Frontier. Later, over the years, as editor of Frontier, you keenly observe the labor and labor movement in India. What’s the present condition of (a) the labor, and (b) the labor movement in this south Asian country?Read More »

Fight the Boss

Labor Notes | July 02, 2018

Credit: UFCW

You’re not asking co-workers to join a social club or an insurance plan. You’re asking them to join a fight over issues that matter.

Why do any of us pay union dues? It’s because we feel our union fights for us, and we consider it important to our lives. So one key to surviving an open shop is to do the essentials that unionists should be doing anyway: Win grievances. Fight for a good contract. Report your victories and struggles.

Consider the Jeffboat shipyard. In the years after Indiana went right-to-work, only one person dropped out of the union—in a workforce of 700.

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U.S: West Virginia Teachers Tell Us Why Public Schools And Unions Matter

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Education Opportunity Network | March 11, 2018

Teachers, service personnel and supporters celebrate in front of the Senate Chambers at the State Capitol after the 5% pay raise was excepted during Day 9 of the walkout. (Rick Barbero/The Register-Herald)

Striking public school educators in West Virginia overcame all odds in getting lawmakers to agree to a five-percent pay raise and a realistic commitment from the state to address a broken public employee health insurance program.

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U.S: Unionists march nationwide for workers’ rights and against corporate greed

by Mark Greuenberg

People’s World | February 26, 2018

Unionists march nationwide for workers’ rights and against corporate greed

Workers gather in DC in protest of Supreme Court’s Janus case. | Metro DC Labor Council

WASHINGTON—Vowing to make this the first day in a long war against corporations and the 1 percent, hundreds of thousands of unionists gathered and marched from coast to coast on a “National Day of Action” on Feb. 24 to campaign for workers’ rights and specifically against a looming threat to them – the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus case.

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U.S: Attack on public sector unions funded by wealthy donors

by Economic Policy Institute

People’s World | February 21, 2018

In a new paper, EPI Labor Counsel Celine McNicholas and research assistant Zane Mokhiber report that the Supreme Court case Janus v AFSCME Council 31, along with previous cases challenging unions’ right to collect “fair share” fees from nonmembers, have been financed by a small group of foundations with ties to the largest and most powerful corporate lobbies. Analyzing Internal Revenue Service documents, the authors find that several of the foundations supporting anti-union litigants share the same donors—including the Sarah Scaife Foundation, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Ed Uihlein Family Foundation, and the Dunn’s Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking.Read More »