Fast-Food Workers Intensify Fight for $15 an Hour
Workers vote to unionize at three Hostess cake plants
Workers at three of the four snack cake plants operated by Hostess Brands L.L.C. have voted to unionize, according to the union representing the bakery workers.
The three plants are located in Indianapolis; Schiller Park, Ill.; and Columbus, Ga. The votes to unionize at the plants were confirmed by a spokesperson for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union July 17. The spokesperson declined to elaborate further on the vote.
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Historic 1934 Minneapolis Teamster Strike Commemorated
July 24, 2014: A series of events – a march, rally, concert, and picnic – were held July 19-20 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the historic 1934 Minneapolis Teamster strike. Hundreds of people turned out to honor this historic labor victory.
Picnic goers heard speakers who talked about current labor struggles and organizing drives. The program was chaired by TDU activist and Local 120 retiree Bob McNattin as well as SEIU member Linda Leighton – a granddaughter of V.R. Dunne, one of the 1934 Teamster leaders. A couple of Teamster officials spoke, including Paul Slattery, the political and organizing representative of Teamsters Local 120.
Music was coordinated by Larry Long, a pro-labor singer. A solidarity chorus from Wisconsin pitched in as well.
The weekend kicked off with a march, sponsored by Teamsters Local 120, which included a brass band playing the labor anthem, “Which Side Are You On?”
Labor’s Turning Point
The 1934 Minneapolis Teamster strike grew into a broad workers struggle. Their slogan was “Make Minneapolis a Union Town” and they did it. The strike leaders – with no help initially from the International union – went to organize trucking across the Midwest and beyond.
A young Teamster from Detroit named James R. Hoffa joined in that organizing effort. In Hoffa’s autobiography, he stated that Minneapolis leader Farrell Dobbs was his greatest teacher.
The Teamsters union grew in the next decade from a small craft union to a mighty industrial force, and the Minneapolis strikers provided much of the inspiration and the leadership.
PBGC Chief to Re-join Private Sector
The director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is to leave his post in August after four years in the role.
In a letter to colleagues on Friday, Josh Gotbaum said, as he had three children in college, he had promised his wife he would return to the private sector, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
Click here to read more at Asset International.
I clean high school bathrooms, and my new $15/hour salary will change everything
Monday through Friday, my full-time job is cleaning restrooms at Van Nuys High School. But that work is not the hardest part of my life. The hardest part is saying goodbye to my 4-year-old son when he asks me not to go to work again. In order to make ends meet, I also work weekends and nights.
I know I’m lucky to have a full-time job as a facility attendant in the Los Angeles Unified School District. I’ve done that for 10 years, and some days are better than others, but I like the work, and my co-workers are a supportive second family. We don’t interact much with students, but those of us who do custodial work are eyes and ears for teachers and administrators. If I see a student needs help of any kind, I take pride in letting the right people know.
Click here to read more at The Washington Post.
Los Angeles/Long Beach port truck drivers launch strike with no planned end
Truck drivers for three companies that move cargo in and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach launched a strike early Monday morning, with the support of organizers of the Teamsters union the drivers are hoping to join.
The strike involves 120 drivers for three transport firms including Total Transportation Services Inc., Green Fleet Systems and Pacific 9. The drivers have staged strikes and labor actions in the past year, but this is the first time they've walked off the job with no plans to return.
Click here to read more at The Breakdown.
Pregnancy and Your Rights: UPS
If you were outraged by the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, take a deep breath and get ready for the next battle over women’s rights.
A case that will affect millions of working women is on the Supreme Court docket for the term beginning Oct. 6. Young v. United Parcel Service will test the law prohibiting employment discrimination against pregnant women. And it’s anybody’s guess how this court will rule.
Click here to read more at The News & Advance.
Give Veterans the Health Care They Deserve, Staff the VA
The recent revelations of long waiting lists for military veterans seeking treatment at Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facilities and of management cover-ups has prompted AFGE to again call on Congress to fully staff the VA in order to provide the health care veterans deserve.
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80th Anniversary Celebrates Historic '34 Teamster Strike
- A street festival on Saturday, July 19 from 4 to 10 p.m. at 7th Ave and 3rd St. Music will include acoustic folk, classic rock and hip hop, along with speakers and an historical display.
- A family picnic on Sunday, July 20 from noon to 4 p.m. at Wabun Picnic Area D, at Minnehaha Park. There will be short speeches, free lunch, children's games, an historical display and music. Strike descendants will be honored.
Unions Boost Women’s Earnings, Benefits, and Workplace Flexibility
Over the past four decades, women have played increasingly important roles as breadwinners in their families. At the same time, women’s share of unpaid care work and housework has remained high. A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), “Women, Working Families, and Unions,” explores the role unions play in addressing the challenges facing working women and families in balancing their work and family responsibilities. The paper looks at trends in unionization for women; the impact of unions on wages, benefits and access to family and medical leave; and the role of unions in addressing work-life balance issues.
“There are few other interventions known to improve the prospects for better pay, benefits and workplace flexibility as much as unions do. Anyone who cares about the well-being of women workers and working families should also care about unions,” states Nicole Woo, a co-author of the report.
Click here to read more at CEPR.