Posts Tagged ‘labor union’

Lipton Tea Workers Unionize


From In These Times:

“Juanita Hart has worked as an operator at the Lipton Tea manufacturing plant in Suffolk, Virginia, for 25 years. She’s seen a lot of change in that time, but nothing like what happened last month.

“I was crying like I had won the lottery,” Hart told In These Times. I was so glad and I was so happy because I’ve been told for all this time, all these years, that it would never happen. And when it happened, I had so much joy that all I could do (was) cry.”

She was talking about workers’ decision to join a union.

They voted, 108-79, in an election held by the National Labor Relations Board on August 26. More than 200 workers at the plant, which makes nearly all of the Lipton Tea sold in North America, will now be represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400.

The organizing drive came after years of declining benefits—loss of sick pay, supplemental time off and a downgrade in insurance coverage considered too expensive for what it offered.

“We’re hoping that maybe we can get some of this back,” says Robert Davis, another 25-year veteran at the Lipton plant. “I don’t know if we will or not. We would like to try.”

Another important issue that affected most workers was what is alleged to be forced overtime work, also known as “drafting.” Workers at the Suffolk site have been known to work a routine of 12-hour shifts for 13 days before getting a day off.”

Click here for the full story from In These Times.

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Earlier this week, working people at Verizon went on strike. It’s never been good when working families are forced to take this step but Verizon workers felt they had no choice.

They’re fighting to create a better workplace for themselves and those that come after them. That’s why they work. It used to be called the American Dream. Now they’re stuck in the American Nightmare, so they aren’t going to give up until Verizon ends its push to send jobs overseas, stops intimidating Verizon Wireless workers who are trying to create a better future for themselves and their families and drops its demands to cut retirement benefits, gut job security and to make workers move away from their homes and families for months at a time just to keep their jobs.

Verizon’s stock is doing well, and that’s the primary criteria for determining how well every CEO is doing. Verizon’s CEO is doing very well at $18 million a year, which happens to be more than 200 times what the average Verizon worker earns. So stock price and CEO pay aren’t the problems forcing workers to go on strike. It’s plain greed, and nothing more.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement regarding the labor movements’ broad support for the striking workers:

“The AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers fighting for a fair contract. The 39,000 working people who went on strike this morning at Verizon deserve a fair contract that provides stability and acceptable working conditions.

Verizon made $39 billion in profits over the last three years, but is unwilling to provide job security, better benefits and safe working conditions to the people who made it possible for their top five executives to make over $233 million in the last five years.

No one wants a strike. But Verizon’s unwillingness to negotiate fair terms shows its disrespect for working people. Verizon wants to uproot workers, hurt communities and force retirees to pay extremely high health care costs. This strike is about doing what is right for everyday working people – not corporate interests. We call on Verizon to bargain in good faith and work with unions to create a fair and equal contract that stands up for working people rather than corporate greed.”

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Sub-contracted retail janitors picket the downtown Minneapolis Target store Tuesday morning February 26, 2013. The workers are not currently organized through a union. (Pioneer Press: John Doman

Sub-contracted retail janitors picket the downtown Minneapolis Target store Tuesday morning February 26, 2013. The workers are not currently organized through a union. (Pioneer Press: John Doman

Employees of a Target Store in Brooklyn, NY organized a labor union at a Target store, which was once considered impossible.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“A group of less than a dozen pharmacy employees in Brooklyn, N.Y., passed the measure on Sept. 8 after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) approved a request to conduct a vote.”

Target had argued against the vote, saying it shouldn’t have been allowed given the pending sale of the company’s pharmacy business to CVS Health for $1.9 billion. Target plans to appeal the NLRB’s decision to allow the vote, said spokeswoman Molly Snyder.

“Although we are disappointed by the results of the election, and believe that our team members do not need paid third-party representation, Target respects the rights of its team members to make this choice,” Ms. Snyder said.Target plans to appeal the NLRB’s decision to allow the vote, said spokeswoman Molly Snyder.”

Then Ms. Synder proceeded to say that Target plans to appeal the NLRB’s decision to allow the vote, said spokeswoman Molly Snyder.

“The union would be the first such group among Target’s nearly 350,000 employees. There have only been two votes to unionize at Target stores since 1990, according to Ms. Snyder: at Valley Stream, N.Y., in 2011, and in the Detroit area in 1990. Both were rejected.

The Brooklyn employees decided to pursue a union vote after CVS agreed to buy Target’s pharmacy business, according to a pharmacy employee at the location who asked not to be named. Staffers were worried about potential layoffs, reductions in their hourly wages or other labor changes after the CVS deal, the employee said.”

In other words, the employees were worried that part of their future income would be redistributed to CVS shareholders and or management compensation, or their lost future earnings would be applied toward paying for the purchase, or a combination of all. In effect, the employees were worried this purchase was an income redistribution scam.

See more at workers-unionize-at-target-for-the-first-time-in-the-chain-s-history

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Are Teachers Crazy Union Thugs?

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CEO Pay and the Bankruptcy of Hostess

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Urgent Action: Colombian union leaders in danger

Multiple death threats to labor union leaders and their families mark the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Colombia today. John Jairo Castro of the Port Workers’ Union; Wilson Ferrer, President of the CUT labor federation in Santander; Johnnson Torres Ortis of the sugar cane cutters’ union SINALCORTEROS; and Rene Morales Silva of the African palm oil workers’ union SINTRAINAGRO all received death threats this week.

Almost 3000 labor union leaders have been gunned down in Colombia since 1986, and not a single person has been charged with any of these crimes. Obviously, the Colombian government is the chief culprit, or backer of these assassinations.

Click on the link below for more information.

Colombian Labor Union Leaders Threatened with Death

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