Courtesy: Good Jobs Nation
INDIANAPOLIS — Led by now-famous retired Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind-Vt., unionists and their allies kicked off a 2-week “pickup truck tour” through the Midwest on August 21 to tell people how GOP President Donald Trump isn’t saving jobs.
And campaigners want him to do so by signing an executive order banning federal work from firms that offshore U.S. jobs overseas. They also want him to order federal contractors—such as McDonald’s restaurants on military bases—to raise the wages of their workers.Read More »
Rafael Navarro, 72 years old, still works as a farmworker. He works in a grove of organic Keitt mango trees, belonging to Ava’s Mangos, the largest mango grower in California. Among other jobs, he sets traps for moles, which eat the roots of the trees. | David Bacon/PW
Forty-one years ago I was a young organizer for the United Farm Workers in the Coachella Valley, helping agricultural laborers win union elections and negotiate contracts. Suspicion of growers was a survival attitude. I was beaten by the son of one rancher in a vineyard, while trying to talk to people sitting in the vines on their lunch hour. When I met with workers in another field, my old Plymouth Valiant convertible was filled with fertilizer and its tires slashed.
By those standards, I could see that HMS Ranch Management, which manages day-to-day operations for ranch owners, was different. I’m sure Ole Fogh-Andersen, who ran the company, would have preferred that the laborers he employed voted against the union. But when they did vote for it in 1976, he sat down and negotiated. It took quite a while – he was no pushover. But Ruth Shy, a former nun who taught the virtues of patience and persistence, got most of our union committee’s demands into the agreement. I did the field job of keeping everyone on board.Read More »
In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won some working class voters by appealing to the indignity and insecurity that these people face under capitalism. Though Trump’s rhetoric made a show of concern for working class issues, it was ridden with noxious themes that divide the working class – racism, misogyny and xenophobia. Instead of rallying behind demagogues like Trump, we should seek an alternative.
The AFL-CIO has sought this alternative in its support for immigrant workers. In March, the labor federation gave its support to AB450, a bill in the California legislature that would prevent law enforcement agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement from carrying out warrantless searches and demanding workers’ confidential documents without a subpoena. The AFL-CIO has also denounced Trump’s plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and supports a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented workers.Read More »
The right wingers who have captured North Carolina’s legislature are pushing to make the state’s anti-union, so-called “right to work” (RTW), law a part of the state constitution, which would make it more difficult to get rid of in the future.
North Carolina is just 3 percent unionized, the second lowest union density state in the nation. The state with the lowest percentage of union workers is South Carolina.Read More »