Sanders, unions, and allies kick off Midwest “pickup truck tour” vs. Trump

by MARK GRUENBERG

Sanders, unions, and allies kick off Midwest “pickup truck tour” vs. Trump

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 »

U.S.: Unions and organic farming help workers and environment in Coachella Valley

by DAVID BACON

People’s World | August 03, 2017

Unions and organic farming help workers and environment in Coachella Valley

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 rural Florida, unions seek solidarity with immigrant workers

by DANIEL WINTERS

People’s World | July 21, 2017

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 »

Indian Unions, Leftist Parties March Against ‘Anti-Worker’ Modi

teleSUR | May 01, 2017

May Day celebrates and honors workers’ imminent contributions to the betterment of society.

May Day celebrates and honors workers’ imminent contributions to the betterment of society. | Photo: WikiMedia Commons

Leftist parties gathered in New Delhi Monday to call out the right-wing BJP for not meeting workers’ demands in India.

Leaders from the Communist Party of India-Marxist, or CPI-M, urged Modi and his government to respect workers’ rights and demands like the implementation of the Minimum Wages Act, social security benefits, and maternity benefits, regularization of daily wage workers, among others. They also called for the protection of trade union rights as well as measures to curb price rises and address ever-rising unemployment.

Read More »

North Carolina measure aims to get rid of unions

by LARRY RUBIN AND MARK GRUENBERG

People’s World | April 28, 2014

North Carolina measure aims to get rid of unions

Darron Cummings/AP

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 »