Labor News

Honduras: Unions call for transparency, respect for rights as election crisis deepens

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Solidarity Center
Categories: Labor News

Germany: Pilots ground 222 flights after refusing to deport asylum seekers

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Independent
Categories: Labor News

Zimbabwe: What will post-Mugabe Zimbabwe look like for the workers?

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Equal Times
Categories: Labor News

Korea (South): Veteran labor organizer launches hunger strike for recognition of teachers’ union

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Hankyoreh
Categories: Labor News

Safety concerns drive ATU Local 1005 transit operators dispute: Twin Cities bus drivers,Cities bus drivers, light-rail operators are being assaulted more often; threaten strike

Current News - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 23:07

Safety concerns drive ATU Local 1005 transit operators dispute: Twin Cities bus drivers,Cities bus drivers, light-rail operators are being assaulted more often; threaten strike
By Ryan Faircloth / St. Paul Pioneer Press on Dec 2, 2017 at 8:23 p.m.

Metro Transit bus operator David Stiggers at Union Depot Station in St. Paul on Thursday, Nov. 30. Stiggers has driven Metro Transit buses for 11 years. In that time he has been frequently verbally harassed, pelted with objects and received death threats. (Jean Pieri / St. Paul Pioneer Press)1 / 2
ST. PAUL — Jane Hanson was clearing her light-rail train at Union Depot one morning when a heroin-abusing passenger struck her from behind.

Jeanne O'Neill has been assaulted, groped and spat on in her 17 years as a Metro Transit bus driver.

David Stiggers has fielded verbal abuse and death threats while driving his bus routes.

In the Twin Cities, assaults on operators have grown more common over the past five years, with many incidents stemming from conflicts as minor as fare disputes. Operator-safety concerns recently became a major sticking point in a contract dispute between unionized workers and the Metropolitan Council, which runs the Metro Transit system. Drivers and transit personnel are threatening a Super Bowl strike unless protective measures are taken.

"(Assaults are) a constant stress that transit operators all over the country face," said Mark Lawson, president of Amalgamated ­Transit Union Local 1005, which authorized the strike.

Last year, 162 assaults were reported among the more than 1,500 Metro Transit operators. The incidents range from serious ­felony-level assaults to disorderly conduct and threats.

The 2016 assaults represent a nearly 17 percent jump from 2013. Early numbers on 2017 assaults suggest they'll keep pace with last year's total.

Metro Transit, which operates its own police force, said the safety of its employees and passengers remains a priority. From de-escalation and self-defense training to public awareness campaigns, the agency says it takes numerous steps to protect its train and bus operators.

Operators, though, say their safety concerns have gone largely unaddressed, creating a work environment where tense confrontations are commonplace.

"I want us all to be protected. I want us to be able to go home at night and not have a black eye or be spit on," Hanson said.

Transit officials maintain there's no uniform approach to protecting all drivers from harm.

A common occurrence

Hanson suffered five bulging discs in her neck from her light-rail assault in 2015. She required three to four months of rehabilitation before returning to work.

"Every time that I pulled in (to the garage after the attack), I requested police because there was no way I was going to go through that again," she said.

Hanson transitioned from light-rail to bus operation last year. She still encounters aggressive passengers on occasion.

Stiggers first started driving Metro Transit buses 11 years ago. He quickly learned which routes were desired and avoided by operators.

"You end up watching people get beat up, you end up watching people get cussed out," he said. "Sometimes you get some legitimately crazy individuals on your bus."

Stiggers' situational awareness has grown with his experience, helping him sense warning signs and defuse conflicts before they escalate.

O'Neill said she's experienced multiple instances of sexual harassment as a driver. A passenger once stood behind her and muttered sexual suggestions as she drove her route.

Sometimes, she said, situations became physical.

"I've had my butt grabbed by what turned out to be an unregistered sex offender," O'Neill said. The incident occurred as she attempted to secure a wheelchair on the bus.

" 'Don't touch the driver' is a message I would like to tell the public," she said.

Current deterrents

Metro Transit announced Friday that 20 buses would be retrofitted with plexiglass driver enclosures in the coming weeks as part of a test.

"There's a renewed desire to do a pilot exploration to see, is this going to be something that solves or eliminates (these concerns)?" said Brian Funk, Metro Transit's deputy chief operating officer for bus.

Drivers will have the option to open or close the clear plexiglass shields, he said.

The shields will likely be tested over the course of six months so transit officials can seek feedback from operators, Funk said. Metro Transit will extend the demonstration if more input is needed.

"We want to go through the process and ensure that it is something our employees do want," Funk said.

Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla said officials use various methods to deter operator assaults, like publicizing penalties imposed on offenders. A Minnesota law that took effect in 2013 heightened penalties for certain degrees of assault, subjecting assailants to gross misdemeanor charges.

"I'm out there all the time talking about 'we will hold people accountable,' " Padilla said.

Buses and trains are retrofitted with cameras, Padilla said, and transit police make an effort to sit in on routes when available.

Metro Transit also offers annual pepper-spray classes for operators who want to defend themselves, Funk said.

Striking for safety

Unionized transit workers rejected the Met Council's most recent contract offer last month, citing safety as one of their primary concerns. Plexiglass enclosures on buses were among their demands.

O'Neill said a protective shield would have prevented incidents where she was struck or spat on.

Union President Mark ­Lawson said workers want to collaborate with Metro Transit to find the best-suited safety enclosure for the bus fleet.

"I just feel like the goal ought to be a fully integrated design on every single bus," he said.

If the dispute isn't resolved by January, transit operators and support personnel say they will go on strike during Super Bowl LII, which will be held Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.

Lawson and Local 1005 union workers met with the Met Council for another round of negotiations on Nov. 22. The discussions were largely unproductive, Lawson said.

"As of this point, there are no more talks scheduled," he said.

Metro Transit workers last went on strike in 2004. It lasted roughly six weeks.

Operator assaults felt nationwide

Assaults on operators have driven transit agencies across the country to implement safety measures.

New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority earlier this year retrofitted the last of the city's 4,700-bus fleet with protective partitions. NYC transit union officials believe the partitions are responsible for a drop in reported operator assaults.

Buses in Washington, D.C., have also been retrofitted with protective shields, but not all assaults have been avoided.

A woman was arrested in August for throwing a cup of her own urine around a protective shield at a D.C. bus driver. And last month, a man wielding a knife reached around a D.C. bus driver's partition and threatened to kill him.

Finding the right fix

Metro Transit officials will evaluate the effectiveness of the plexiglass shields to ensure no new safety hazards are introduced, Funk said.

"We don't want to introduce something that could lead to other issues such as additional glare, or a situation where if there's a crash ... the barrier is no longer operable and it puts the operator in a compromising position," he said.

Funk also said not all operators embrace the idea of being enclosed.

Polly Hanson, director of security, risk and emergency management for the American Public Transportation Association, said transit agencies are most successful when taking a multifaceted approach to operator safety.

"It's a layered approach that most properties take: public awareness campaigns, enhanced penalties, looking at the configuration of the bus, and then getting the message out about prosecutions when they occur to have that as a deterrent effect as well," she said.

Still, Jane Hanson said ­having a protective enclosure on her Metro Transit bus would make her job much less nerve-racking.

"That would make me ­happy," she said. "I love the public, I love the contact, I just don't like the bad ­people."

Tags: ATU 1005St. Paul Transit StrikeMetro Transit
Categories: Labor News

Safety concerns drive ATU Local 1005 transit operators dispute: Twin Cities bus drivers,Cities bus drivers, light-rail operators are being assaulted more often; threaten strike

Current News - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 23:06

Safety concerns drive ATU Local 1005 transit operators dispute: Twin Cities bus drivers,Cities bus drivers, light-rail operators are being assaulted more often; threaten strike
By Ryan Faircloth / St. Paul Pioneer Press on Dec 2, 2017 at 8:23 p.m.

Metro Transit bus operator David Stiggers at Union Depot Station in St. Paul on Thursday, Nov. 30. Stiggers has driven Metro Transit buses for 11 years. In that time he has been frequently verbally harassed, pelted with objects and received death threats. (Jean Pieri / St. Paul Pioneer Press)1 / 2
ST. PAUL — Jane Hanson was clearing her light-rail train at Union Depot one morning when a heroin-abusing passenger struck her from behind.

Jeanne O'Neill has been assaulted, groped and spat on in her 17 years as a Metro Transit bus driver.

David Stiggers has fielded verbal abuse and death threats while driving his bus routes.

In the Twin Cities, assaults on operators have grown more common over the past five years, with many incidents stemming from conflicts as minor as fare disputes. Operator-safety concerns recently became a major sticking point in a contract dispute between unionized workers and the Metropolitan Council, which runs the Metro Transit system. Drivers and transit personnel are threatening a Super Bowl strike unless protective measures are taken.

"(Assaults are) a constant stress that transit operators all over the country face," said Mark Lawson, president of Amalgamated ­Transit Union Local 1005, which authorized the strike.

Last year, 162 assaults were reported among the more than 1,500 Metro Transit operators. The incidents range from serious ­felony-level assaults to disorderly conduct and threats.

The 2016 assaults represent a nearly 17 percent jump from 2013. Early numbers on 2017 assaults suggest they'll keep pace with last year's total.

Metro Transit, which operates its own police force, said the safety of its employees and passengers remains a priority. From de-escalation and self-defense training to public awareness campaigns, the agency says it takes numerous steps to protect its train and bus operators.

Operators, though, say their safety concerns have gone largely unaddressed, creating a work environment where tense confrontations are commonplace.

"I want us all to be protected. I want us to be able to go home at night and not have a black eye or be spit on," Hanson said.

Transit officials maintain there's no uniform approach to protecting all drivers from harm.

A common occurrence

Hanson suffered five bulging discs in her neck from her light-rail assault in 2015. She required three to four months of rehabilitation before returning to work.

"Every time that I pulled in (to the garage after the attack), I requested police because there was no way I was going to go through that again," she said.

Hanson transitioned from light-rail to bus operation last year. She still encounters aggressive passengers on occasion.

Stiggers first started driving Metro Transit buses 11 years ago. He quickly learned which routes were desired and avoided by operators.

"You end up watching people get beat up, you end up watching people get cussed out," he said. "Sometimes you get some legitimately crazy individuals on your bus."

Stiggers' situational awareness has grown with his experience, helping him sense warning signs and defuse conflicts before they escalate.

O'Neill said she's experienced multiple instances of sexual harassment as a driver. A passenger once stood behind her and muttered sexual suggestions as she drove her route.

Sometimes, she said, situations became physical.

"I've had my butt grabbed by what turned out to be an unregistered sex offender," O'Neill said. The incident occurred as she attempted to secure a wheelchair on the bus.

" 'Don't touch the driver' is a message I would like to tell the public," she said.

Current deterrents

Metro Transit announced Friday that 20 buses would be retrofitted with plexiglass driver enclosures in the coming weeks as part of a test.

"There's a renewed desire to do a pilot exploration to see, is this going to be something that solves or eliminates (these concerns)?" said Brian Funk, Metro Transit's deputy chief operating officer for bus.

Drivers will have the option to open or close the clear plexiglass shields, he said.

The shields will likely be tested over the course of six months so transit officials can seek feedback from operators, Funk said. Metro Transit will extend the demonstration if more input is needed.

"We want to go through the process and ensure that it is something our employees do want," Funk said.

Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla said officials use various methods to deter operator assaults, like publicizing penalties imposed on offenders. A Minnesota law that took effect in 2013 heightened penalties for certain degrees of assault, subjecting assailants to gross misdemeanor charges.

"I'm out there all the time talking about 'we will hold people accountable,' " Padilla said.

Buses and trains are retrofitted with cameras, Padilla said, and transit police make an effort to sit in on routes when available.

Metro Transit also offers annual pepper-spray classes for operators who want to defend themselves, Funk said.

Striking for safety

Unionized transit workers rejected the Met Council's most recent contract offer last month, citing safety as one of their primary concerns. Plexiglass enclosures on buses were among their demands.

O'Neill said a protective shield would have prevented incidents where she was struck or spat on.

Union President Mark ­Lawson said workers want to collaborate with Metro Transit to find the best-suited safety enclosure for the bus fleet.

"I just feel like the goal ought to be a fully integrated design on every single bus," he said.

If the dispute isn't resolved by January, transit operators and support personnel say they will go on strike during Super Bowl LII, which will be held Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.

Lawson and Local 1005 union workers met with the Met Council for another round of negotiations on Nov. 22. The discussions were largely unproductive, Lawson said.

"As of this point, there are no more talks scheduled," he said.

Metro Transit workers last went on strike in 2004. It lasted roughly six weeks.

Operator assaults felt nationwide

Assaults on operators have driven transit agencies across the country to implement safety measures.

New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority earlier this year retrofitted the last of the city's 4,700-bus fleet with protective partitions. NYC transit union officials believe the partitions are responsible for a drop in reported operator assaults.

Buses in Washington, D.C., have also been retrofitted with protective shields, but not all assaults have been avoided.

A woman was arrested in August for throwing a cup of her own urine around a protective shield at a D.C. bus driver. And last month, a man wielding a knife reached around a D.C. bus driver's partition and threatened to kill him.

Finding the right fix

Metro Transit officials will evaluate the effectiveness of the plexiglass shields to ensure no new safety hazards are introduced, Funk said.

"We don't want to introduce something that could lead to other issues such as additional glare, or a situation where if there's a crash ... the barrier is no longer operable and it puts the operator in a compromising position," he said.

Funk also said not all operators embrace the idea of being enclosed.

Polly Hanson, director of security, risk and emergency management for the American Public Transportation Association, said transit agencies are most successful when taking a multifaceted approach to operator safety.

"It's a layered approach that most properties take: public awareness campaigns, enhanced penalties, looking at the configuration of the bus, and then getting the message out about prosecutions when they occur to have that as a deterrent effect as well," she said.

Still, Jane Hanson said ­having a protective enclosure on her Metro Transit bus would make her job much less nerve-racking.

"That would make me ­happy," she said. "I love the public, I love the contact, I just don't like the bad ­people."

Tags: ATU 1005St. Paul Transit StrikeMetro Transit
Categories: Labor News

Seattle, Washington First Student IBT 174 school bus drivers launch one-day strike

Current News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 17:49

Seattle, Washington First Student IBT 174 school bus drivers launch one-day strike
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/30/busd-n30.html
By Hector Cordon
30 November 2017
Several hundred school bus drivers walked out Wednesday morning in Seattle, Washington after transportation giant First Student unilaterally imposed its “last, best and final” contract offer. The Seattle public school system, with nearly 54,000 students, is the largest district in Washington state and roughly 12,000 of its students rely on the yellow buses for transport.
There was a high level of tension on the picket line Wednesday morning when a strikebreaker attempted to drive out of a bus yard. Completely ignoring picketers’ safety, the bus forced its way out of the lot and struck several picketers, although fortunately none of the workers were seriously injured.
First Student is a branch of United Kingdom-based conglomerate First Group, which was established through the privatization of nationalized and municipal bus operators during the Margaret Thatcher years. After buying up Laidlaw, the company became the largest provider of school buses in the United States. There are currently a series of strikes by bus drivers in Manchester and other UK cities at companies owned by First Group, which also owns Greyhound, the largest provider of bus service in North America.

Striking school bus drivers (Credit: Teamsters Local 174 Facebook page)
First Student and International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 174 have been in negotiations since June. In the 2016 contract agreement, the Teamsters agreed to defer negotiations on health and retirement issues until First Student secured its contract to provide services to the Seattle Public Schools, which occurred this year.
The 2016 contract obtained minimal job protection and wage increases for the drivers, with a new pay range of from $18 to $24.40. Given Seattle’s rapidly escalating housing costs, and rental costs reported in 2016 to be rising four times faster than the national average, the new wage scale was not even a drop in the bucket. In 2016, typical rents in the Seattle area surpassed $2,000, up 9.7 percent over the previous year, the highest rise in the nation. A year later, average rents are now $2,181 monthly.
The drivers are angry over First Student’s refusal to provide any but the most minimal health care benefits, and only to drivers who work more than 30 hours a week. They are not only fighting the corporate owners but also the Democratic Party-controlled Seattle School Board (SSB), which, in its contract with First Student, refused to broaden health coverage to drivers working between 20 and 30 hours per week. It wrote, “Unfortunately, the pass-through cost for the District to broaden First Student’s bus driver participation in healthcare coverage is cost prohibitive, especially when the District is facing a $74 million dollar shortfall.”
According to the union, “First Student provides the bare minimum required by the ACA [Affordable Care Act]. This means for over 400 drivers, only 26 of them both qualified and could afford to purchase healthcare available.” The only “affordable” plan offered by the company restricted coverage to seeing a doctor to diagnose an illness. Any subsequent follow up had to be paid out of pocket. Hospitalization, under those conditions, would be prohibitive if not impossible.
That only 26 out of 400 “insured” workers were able to obtain health coverage vindicates the warning by the World Socialist Web Siteas early as 2009, that the Obama administration’s health care ‘reform’ established a framework for the insurers, the corporations and the government to drastically reduce the health benefits available to low- and middle-income individuals and families. “The aim is to limit the amount that the government must pay out for health care and Social Security payments, as well as what corporations must pay in pensions and other retirement benefits,” the WSWS wrote.

Striking school bus drivers (Credit: Teamsters Local 174 Facebook page)
Local 174 released letters, obtained under a Freedom of Information request, from the school board and from Democratic Mayor Tim Burgess to First Student ostensibly placing the responsibility for any strike on the company. The effort of the Democrats to posture as friends of low-income workers reeks of hypocrisy and bad faith.
The school board’s letter goes out of its way to emphasize it will not provide First Student with additional funding towards paying for healthcare for its employees, as the district “has no legal obligation” to do so. Out of a budget of nearly $858 million, the SSB refused to include a mingy $1.7 million in order to expand even substandard health care to the school bus drivers. In other words, First Student will have to employ a workforce with a majority without any health care coverage. In its 2015 contract struggle with Seattle teachers, it forced through an inferior wage raise in a city where two-thirds of a starting teacher’s salary can be consumed simply by rent.
Mayor Burgess presides over a city with a poverty level of 13.5 percent, where gentrification has forced tens of thousands out of their homes and where the homeless crisis is accelerating with nearly 4,000 homeless, according to notoriously incomplete official counts. Meanwhile, side by side with rising misery, the Seattle area is home to two of the wealthiest men in the world, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, whose combined wealth totals nearly $190 billion. Along with Warren Buffet, these three men own as much wealth as the lower 50 percent of the US population.
The Democratic state administration has also showered aviation and defense giant Boeing with billions in corporate tax cuts while slashing state funding for school districts.
The Teamsters, which are politically allied with the Democrats, have no intention of waging a serious struggle. The union’s decision to limit the strike to one day is aimed at allowing workers to let off steam and block a genuine mobilization of workers and young people in Seattle to defend workers and the right to public education. Several comments on the union local’s Facebook site noted the impotency of a one-day strike. Joy White, a Seattle teacher, asked, “Why only one day? Will that be effective? We support you if you need to go longer.” Many parents’ comments sympathized with the bus drivers’ conditions and their desire to fight back.

Tags: Seattle School Bus DriversIBT 174Seattle Public Schools
Categories: Labor News

Seattle, Washington First Student IBT 174 school bus drivers launch one-day strike

Current News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 17:49

Seattle, Washington First Student IBT 174 school bus drivers launch one-day strike
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/30/busd-n30.html
By Hector Cordon
30 November 2017
Several hundred school bus drivers walked out Wednesday morning in Seattle, Washington after transportation giant First Student unilaterally imposed its “last, best and final” contract offer. The Seattle public school system, with nearly 54,000 students, is the largest district in Washington state and roughly 12,000 of its students rely on the yellow buses for transport.
There was a high level of tension on the picket line Wednesday morning when a strikebreaker attempted to drive out of a bus yard. Completely ignoring picketers’ safety, the bus forced its way out of the lot and struck several picketers, although fortunately none of the workers were seriously injured.
First Student is a branch of United Kingdom-based conglomerate First Group, which was established through the privatization of nationalized and municipal bus operators during the Margaret Thatcher years. After buying up Laidlaw, the company became the largest provider of school buses in the United States. There are currently a series of strikes by bus drivers in Manchester and other UK cities at companies owned by First Group, which also owns Greyhound, the largest provider of bus service in North America.

Striking school bus drivers (Credit: Teamsters Local 174 Facebook page)
First Student and International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 174 have been in negotiations since June. In the 2016 contract agreement, the Teamsters agreed to defer negotiations on health and retirement issues until First Student secured its contract to provide services to the Seattle Public Schools, which occurred this year.
The 2016 contract obtained minimal job protection and wage increases for the drivers, with a new pay range of from $18 to $24.40. Given Seattle’s rapidly escalating housing costs, and rental costs reported in 2016 to be rising four times faster than the national average, the new wage scale was not even a drop in the bucket. In 2016, typical rents in the Seattle area surpassed $2,000, up 9.7 percent over the previous year, the highest rise in the nation. A year later, average rents are now $2,181 monthly.
The drivers are angry over First Student’s refusal to provide any but the most minimal health care benefits, and only to drivers who work more than 30 hours a week. They are not only fighting the corporate owners but also the Democratic Party-controlled Seattle School Board (SSB), which, in its contract with First Student, refused to broaden health coverage to drivers working between 20 and 30 hours per week. It wrote, “Unfortunately, the pass-through cost for the District to broaden First Student’s bus driver participation in healthcare coverage is cost prohibitive, especially when the District is facing a $74 million dollar shortfall.”
According to the union, “First Student provides the bare minimum required by the ACA [Affordable Care Act]. This means for over 400 drivers, only 26 of them both qualified and could afford to purchase healthcare available.” The only “affordable” plan offered by the company restricted coverage to seeing a doctor to diagnose an illness. Any subsequent follow up had to be paid out of pocket. Hospitalization, under those conditions, would be prohibitive if not impossible.
That only 26 out of 400 “insured” workers were able to obtain health coverage vindicates the warning by the World Socialist Web Siteas early as 2009, that the Obama administration’s health care ‘reform’ established a framework for the insurers, the corporations and the government to drastically reduce the health benefits available to low- and middle-income individuals and families. “The aim is to limit the amount that the government must pay out for health care and Social Security payments, as well as what corporations must pay in pensions and other retirement benefits,” the WSWS wrote.

Striking school bus drivers (Credit: Teamsters Local 174 Facebook page)
Local 174 released letters, obtained under a Freedom of Information request, from the school board and from Democratic Mayor Tim Burgess to First Student ostensibly placing the responsibility for any strike on the company. The effort of the Democrats to posture as friends of low-income workers reeks of hypocrisy and bad faith.
The school board’s letter goes out of its way to emphasize it will not provide First Student with additional funding towards paying for healthcare for its employees, as the district “has no legal obligation” to do so. Out of a budget of nearly $858 million, the SSB refused to include a mingy $1.7 million in order to expand even substandard health care to the school bus drivers. In other words, First Student will have to employ a workforce with a majority without any health care coverage. In its 2015 contract struggle with Seattle teachers, it forced through an inferior wage raise in a city where two-thirds of a starting teacher’s salary can be consumed simply by rent.
Mayor Burgess presides over a city with a poverty level of 13.5 percent, where gentrification has forced tens of thousands out of their homes and where the homeless crisis is accelerating with nearly 4,000 homeless, according to notoriously incomplete official counts. Meanwhile, side by side with rising misery, the Seattle area is home to two of the wealthiest men in the world, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, whose combined wealth totals nearly $190 billion. Along with Warren Buffet, these three men own as much wealth as the lower 50 percent of the US population.
The Democratic state administration has also showered aviation and defense giant Boeing with billions in corporate tax cuts while slashing state funding for school districts.
The Teamsters, which are politically allied with the Democrats, have no intention of waging a serious struggle. The union’s decision to limit the strike to one day is aimed at allowing workers to let off steam and block a genuine mobilization of workers and young people in Seattle to defend workers and the right to public education. Several comments on the union local’s Facebook site noted the impotency of a one-day strike. Joy White, a Seattle teacher, asked, “Why only one day? Will that be effective? We support you if you need to go longer.” Many parents’ comments sympathized with the bus drivers’ conditions and their desire to fight back.

Tags: Seattle School Bus DriversIBT 174Seattle Public Schools
Categories: Labor News

Global: Unions must do more to fight gender-based violence in their own ranks

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Equal Times
Categories: Labor News

Hamilton, Canada transit in the Age of Austerity

Current News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 14:42

Hamilton, Canada transit in the Age of Austerity

http://rankandfile.ca/2017/11/29/hamilton-transit-in-the-age-of-austerity/
Posted on November 29, 2017 in ATU, privatization
Editor’s introduction: This is the second half a two-part series on how austerity has damaged public transit. In this article Blake McCall, a Hamilton bus operator and ATU Local 107 member, and Caitlin Craven, a CUPW Local 548 and local Fight for $15 and Fairness organizer, examine how decades of underfunding has undermined Hamilton’s transit system, the HSR.

By Blake McCall and Caitlin Craven
Like all transit systems in the province, the HSR was the victim of city budget cuts in the 1990s stemming from provincial cuts under Premier Mike Harris and others. A startling statistic is that the total number of buses on the street was higher in the 1980s than it is now, despite the city having grown in size. This unsurprisingly has seen a drop in ridership from 29 million trips per year in the late 1980s to roughly 22 million trips per year today. In recent years the city has started to put more money back into the system, but it has never recovered from these cuts.

Pain and fatigue

One of the clearest examples of austerity in the HSR is the recent purchase of buses from Nova. Metrolinx, the ten-year-old Ontario crown agency designing to manage transportation in the Golden Horseshoe, has a deal with Nova Buses, a Montreal-based company owned by Volvo. Cities in Ontario have been using this arrangement to purchase bulk orders of Nova buses at lower prices. Hamilton had been buying New Flyer buses which had a better workstation set up for operators and were better liked by drivers – but didn’t come with the same bulk order deal.

Nova seating and workstation
Nova seating and workstation
Since day one, the new Nova Buses have had a myriad of problems not least of which is that the driver’s seat lacks basic ergonomics for a job where you spend 8-10 hours seated. As a result, drivers in Hamilton have been experiencing increased lower back pain, numbness in back and legs, and general fatigue.

Management clearly accepts there is a problem since buses going forward will come with better seats, but they are refusing to spend the money to fix the seats in the ones they have already purchased. Given that buses stay in service for 12-15 years and drivers can’t choose their bus, many will continue to face back problems. Down the line, more absence from work and WSIB claims are likely, but austerity favours short term gains over long term visions.

Like the $1 billion dollars in transit money offered to Hamilton by Premier Wynne, what looks like expenditure and investment is actually attached to continued austerity. In the case of Nova buses, it means broken bodies that will have a hard time accessing benefits. In the case of LRT, a profit-driven system that will squeeze out riders and drive down working conditions.

The symptom of absenteeism

The most recent uproar about driver absenteeism is also a symptom of longer standing austerity within the system. Despite what management says, the HSR is understaffed and has been for a long time.

ATU President Eric Tuck goes as far as saying in his open letter to Hamilton City Council: “If every single operator who is off sick, on vacation … or on emergency leave were to show up and work 40 to 50 hours per week, HSR still wouldn’t have enough staff to fill all the work on the schedule.”

At almost no point in the past two years has a driver not been able to find an overtime shift to take, with many working the maximum 60 hours per week on a regular basis. This reliance on overworked bodies in a job that requires physical and mental acuity is unsustainable. All it took was a small increase in people declining overtime and burning out for a ‘crisis in absenteeism’ to become public.

And public it has become.

B823487914Z.1_20170815154852_000_G7K1UF9H9.2_Super_PortraitWith people across the city not able to get to work and school because of buses simply not being on the road, or people using mobility devices waiting as full buses pass them by (more than usual in this already underfunded system), public attention has focused on HSR. For drivers, not having a bus in front of you on a busy road like King Street means taking on a double load of passengers, dealing with their frustrations and stress, getting behind and not thus not having any breaks. It also means going home to try and make a decision about whether you can face tomorrow knowing it will likely look the same.

In a cruel reflection of austerity’s violence, at least five assaults on drivers have happened since the City started blaming drivers for the missing buses. Unfortunately, too much attention is being focused on drivers as individuals not coming to work and not enough on the system and management choices that are causing the stress and fatigue.

Under the circumstances, then, it was nothing short of thrilling to see ATU 107 put the blame squarely on management and call for their resignations. The bigger picture, though, is that the crisis of absenteeism would not be happening with better funding. If there were adequate numbers on spare board, if drivers had longer run times on routes so that they could actually take proper breaks, and if the use of overtime to fill gaps were the exception not the rule. The threat of underfunded services is no different than the threat of privatization and the solution is the same: an end to austerity in public services.

The bigger picture and building movements

A central hurdle in the struggle to put the pieces together is the way austerity has happened in Canada. In contrast to the UK and many US states where funding cuts have been dramatic and sparked dramatic backlash, the Canadian way of power, as in so many things, is death by a thousand cuts. This makes it harder to see the big picture and less obvious to draw a link between each moment of defunding and the structure of neoliberalism.

In addition to the cuts, neoliberalism has wrecked havoc on our political movements and imaginations, lowering our expectations for ourselves and for what we could win together. It isn’t surprising, then, that campaigns remain focused on the moment of privatization as something tangible to latch onto. The problem is the way this limits our ability to truly create visions of what we want and what we deserve. There is a clear crisis in the labour movement in Canada when again and again the focus is limited to the moment of private ownership and the desire to protect jobs and membership.

As American union organizer Jane Macalvey has said, unions are not (and should not be) distinct from the broader community of working people. ATU’s membership are also people who take the bus, who are facing run-away housing costs, too few child care spaces, and student debt. Why, then, does the Union politics stop when the bus is brought back to the garage? Neoliberalism’s role in making access to life’s basics more unequal than ever matters across our whole community, and unions have the responsibility (and resources) to be part of the fight against these conditions.

With no political party actively putting forward an anti-austerity agenda, there is not use waiting for the next election to bring change. Instead, we can and must use our resources towards having workers and service users imagine a better way to live their lives and build the movements capable of taking on inequality. Anti-privatization campaigns present catalysts for action, but often lean too far in favour of the status quo. It is true that transit will not be better if it’s privatized, but transit cannot be good, fair, and equitable unless it is fully funded and funding will not emerge in the current climate of concessions to the needs of corporations and their shareholders.

If we want to stop the vision neoliberal capitalism has given us, of declining standards of living, declining ability to live on a warming planet, and increasing inequality, we need to offer alternative visions of what we desire and what we should expect. Workers’ movements against privatization need to be movements against austerity. There are examples that Keep Transit Public can build on to move forward, from the Fight for $15 in both Canada and the US that has shifted debates on low-wage work, to the proposals by CUPW (Canadian Union of Postal Workers) to reimagine the role of Canada Post by expanding services to things like Postal Banking. It boils down to remembering that privatization is the end goal of austerity in public sector funding. Attacking the source, as much as the symptom, is the best way to build the movements we need.

Tags: transitausterity
Categories: Labor News

Minneapolis ATU 1005 Transit union authorizes Super Bowl strike

Current News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 12:40

Minneapolis ATU 1005 Transit union authorizes Super Bowl strike
http://www.southwestjournal.com/…/transit-union-authorizes…/
Members voted in November to reject their latest contract offer
DYLAN THOMAS / DTHOMAS@SOUTHWESTJOURNAL.COM NOVEMBER 29, 2017

Negotiating with the Metropolitan Council over their latest contract, members of the union representing Metro Transit workers have authorized a strike that would coincide with an influx of visitors for the Super Bowl. Photo by Dylan Thomas
The threat of a Super Bowl strike by Metro Transit workers looms over ongoing contract negotiations between the Metropolitan Council and the union representing roughly 2,500 transit service employees.
Ninety-three percent of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005 members voted Nov. 13 to reject the latest offer from Met Council and authorize a strike. That strike would take place during the 10-day Super Bowl celebration scheduled to start in late January, just as thousands of visitors begin to stream into Minneapolis for the Feb. 4 game.
The union’s last contract expired at the end of July, and ATU and Met Council have been meeting with a state mediator to try to resolve the contract dispute. Local 1005 President Mark Lawson said the proposed Jan. 26 start date for the strike would “put the pressure on them to get serious about this.”
“We already went by a big event with the (Minnesota) State Fair without a contract,” Lawson said. “We want to get this settled.”
The union represents bus and light rail vehicle drivers, technicians and office staff employed by Metro Transit.
Speaking about Super Bowl plans a few hours before the contract vote results were made public, Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb described talk of a strike as “premature” and emphasized that a functioning transit system was key to the Twin Cities successfully hosting a Super Bowl.
Plans for game day include using Metro Transit light rail vehicles to shuttle ticket holders inside the security perimeter surrounding U.S. Bank Stadium.
“We are very optimistic that we’re going to reach a negotiated settlement as we have with ATU for the last five contract periods,” Lamb said.
Key differences
Local 1005 and Met Council are negotiating the terms of a three-year contract that will be retroactive to Aug. 1. Lawson said there were a few key differences in the positions held by the union and Met Council, including a cap on weekly hours for part-time drivers, the required tool list for mechanics and the union’s proposals to enhance driver safety.
Lawson said Met Council was proposing to allow part-time drivers to work more than 30 hours per week, the current limit, if they’re running late due to weather, traffic, construction or other delays. He said that would push many part-time drivers closer to fulltime hours while retaining just their part-time benefits, adding that many of those drivers chose the job because they don’t want to work more than 30 hours a week.
Regarding the toolbox required of mechanics, Lawson said the union and Met Council had been working together to update a tool list that hadn’t been modified in about 30 years. Both sides agree those updates are needed to keep pace with changing technology, he said, but the union wants a significant increase in the $400-per-year tool allowance for mechanics. Without that change, Lawson said, mechanics would face a jump in out-of-pocket expenses.
The union is also negotiating for enhanced driver safety measures, and Lawson said members have been pushing for the installation of security doors on buses. Physical barriers made of Plexiglas or a similar transparent material are used in a few cities but are not yet common in North America, he said.
In addition to being spit on, egged, smacked and groped during 17 years as a bus driver, Metro Transit employee Jeanne O’Niell said she has been threatened with physical harm “more times than I can count.” O’Niell said behavior problems seemed to have gotten worse and that it was time for Metro Transit to take a “proactive approach” to protecting drivers.
“The planes have the cockpit. The trains have their locked doors. Why not the bus drivers? We need to be safe,” she said.
Foot-dragging
Lawson said the two sides are not quite as far apart on a few other key issues, including pay and benefits. Met Council’s most recent proposal included 2-percent annual raises for workers, he said. The union is also pushing Met Council to add a second on-site clinic — similar to one in the agency’s St. Paul headquarters — for workers based in Minneapolis.
Addressing Met Council members before their Oct. 25 meeting, Ryan Timlin, who ran unopposed this fall to succeed Lawson as Local 1005 president, said the agency was to blame for the slow pace of progress on contract talks.
“There’s been a lot of feet dragging by Metropolitan Council so we’re here tonight to make it clear we’re tired of this,” Timlin said.
Asked to comment in November, a Met Council spokesperson shared this statement:
“We value the work of ATU members and their contribution to our region. We are currently negotiating in good faith through a mediator and are confident we’ll reach an agreement satisfactory to both parties.”

— Nate Gotlieb contributed to this report.

Tags: ATU 1005strike actionMet Council
Categories: Labor News

Racist Union Busting Terry MacRae Given Ferry Franchise By NYC Demo Mayor DeBlasio

Current News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 17:46

Racist Union Busting Terry MacRae Given Ferry Franchise By NYC Demo Mayor DeBlasio
New York City’s Ferry Fleet Is Off to a Fast Start
"Terry MacRae, the chief executive of Hornblower, a San Francisco-based company that operates the ferries, said the service might benefit from express boats that skip stops “like an express train when you’ve already got the milk run.” At peak travel times, boats might run directly from one high-volume stop on a route, say Long Island City, to an endpoint like Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/nyregion/new-york-ferry.html?hpw&rref...
By PATRICK McGEEHANNOV. 29, 2017

After launching in May, New York City’s ferry system has proved enormously popular, with ridership far exceeding expectations. CreditChristian Hansen for The New York Times
In a year of transit miseries, it has become an unexpected success story in New York City’s commuting landscape — the city’s nascent ferry fleet, whose ridership has far exceeded expectations, is rapidly becoming an alternative to the beleaguered subway system.

Two of the four new ferry lines are already carrying more passengers than had been projected for 2019. The ferry service has proved so popular that the city has had to order bigger boats and there is already talk of creating express routes to zip workers to and from their jobs more quickly.

Six months after Mayor Bill de Blasio started the most extensive ferry service New York has had in decades, it has carried more than 2.5 million passengers, about 700,000 more than had been expected.

Though the number of people riding boats is tiny compared with the millions who squeeze onto the subway every day, the successful launch of the ferry system suggests that it could become a key part of the city’s transportation network.

“The mayor feels like this is one of the best things we’ve done,” Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said.The city had been running a more modest subsidized ferry service on the East River before the de Blasio administration decided to lower the fare to match the subway’s and expand the service to waterfront neighborhoods that the subway does not reach. The city’s investment, which could exceed $325 million by 2023, is one of the most ambitious attempts to change the menu of commuting options in New York.

A passenger has plenty of room on a recent Sunday trip from Manhattan to the Rockaways in Queens. But crowded boats are more typical with many riders using the ferries as an alternative to the city’s delay-plagued subway system. CreditChristian Hansen for The New York Times
Whether the city can afford to underwrite so much of the cost remains to be seen, but some riders, especially those who are refugees from the delay-plagued subway, have already become enamored regulars.

“Everybody loves it,” said Kathleen Warnock, who since August has been riding sleek boats instead of packed subway trains between her home in Astoria, Queens, and her job in Lower Manhattan. “They’re voting with their feet. This is the way they want to get to work.”

The ferry service’s robust growth has not come without problems — inspections by the Coast Guard revealed that a mechanical problem had caused pitting in the hulls of some boats. That problem, first reported by The New York Post, has taken six ferries out of service and Mr. de Blasio has ordered an investigation. Officials said the problems posed no safety risk and that the company that operates the ferry, not the city, would bear the repair costs. On Monday, a ferry ran aground as it left a pier in Manhattan though no one was hurt.

Despite the setbacks, the demand for waterborne transportation is also fueling the expansion of commuter ferry service across the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey. New York Waterway, which operates several routes on the river, added service recently between Midtown Manhattan and Hoboken and Jersey City.

Across the country, other cities, including Boston and New Orleans, are exploring ways of increasing passenger-ferry service as a way to improve transportation. Boston Harbor Now, a nonprofit, is studying how to add to the city’s ferry network. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority plans to expand service on the Mississippi River.

Ms. Glen said New York’s ferry service represented a strategic investment in improving transit options in neighborhoods across the city, especially those where a forest of high-rise towers have drawn new residents. Besides providing another option to an antiquated and unreliable subway, Ms. Glen said the ferry connections could breathe more life into some neighborhoods by spurring development.

Photo

Two of the ferry’s four lines are already carrying more passengers than had been projected for 2019, city officials said. CreditChristian Hansen for The New York Times
City officials promoted the ferry service as an enticement to Amazon in their bid to lure its second headquarters to the city, Ms. Glen said. She emphasized that NYC Ferry is not a typical point-to-point service but a system whose map looks more like that of a subway or railroad network, making multiple stops before reaching its final destination.

The service is scheduled to expand next year, adding routes to Soundview in the Bronx and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, as well as the Lower East Side. But the operators are already considering going further, Ms. Glen said.

Terry MacRae, the chief executive of Hornblower, a San Francisco-based company that operates the ferries, said the service might benefit from express boats that skip stops “like an express train when you’ve already got the milk run.” At peak travel times, boats might run directly from one high-volume stop on a route, say Long Island City, to an endpoint like Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan.

A key reason the ferry service has become so appealing is its low fare: $2.75 each way. While most ferry services are priced like luxury transportation alternatives, Mr. de Blasio insisted on pegging the cost to the fare for a single ride on the subway and city buses.

As a result, however, the ferries are heavily subsidized. City officials estimate that the subsidy amounts to about $6.60 per rider, which would translate to about $16.5 million so far. (New York City already operates the far older Staten Island Ferry, which is free and connects Manhattan and Staten Island.)

Starting the new service has proved more expensive than forecast, but city officials have not flinched at the rising cost. The city’s Economic Development Corporation spent $30 million on the ferry service in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

“My thing is to make people happy,” said Milton Scott, who works as a deckhand for the ferries.CreditChristian Hansen for The New York Times
This summer, it had to charter additional boats, at a cost of $500,000, to handle large crowds on weekends. The surging popularity also spurred the city to order bigger boats, with a capacity of 349 passengers, instead of boats that could fit 149 riders, which the city originally had built. This month the Development Corporation’s board approved the construction of three more of the bigger boats, for a total of six. It has 16 smaller boats.

The city has an option to buy the boats from Hornblower and Hornblower has an option to demand that the city buy the boats. So no future mayor could easily or inexpensively eliminate the service.

A future mayor could decide to raise fares to reduce the city’s subsidy, but Ms. Glen said the current administration is committed to keeping the cost of the ferry in line with the base subway and bus fare.

Any ferry service expansion will be less challenging than this spring’s launch. Hornblower was having boats driven to New York as fast as two shipyards on the Gulf Coast could turn them out.

“We’ve scaled a steep mountain and we’re still climbing,” Mr. MacRae said.

Indeed, NYC Ferry has still not moved into its permanent home at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The city is outfitting a pier there that will serve as the base of operations for the fleet and its crews. Cameron Clark, who runs the service for Hornblower, and his staff have had to operate out of a WeWork building on Wall Street, where they share work spaces with other tenants.

While reviews from riders have been generally positive, there have been complaints about boats running late and being so full that they leave people behind. City officials said they hope to placate riders by next summer with a bigger fleet.

Caitlin Casella, left, and Alex Casella admire the views while riding the ferry on a recent Sunday. City officials promoted the ferry service to Amazon in their bid to lure it to the city.CreditChristian Hansen for The New York Times
Another way that ferry operators eased some of the unhappiness was by hiring people like Milton Scott. Mr. Scott, who lives in Brooklyn, was working for NYC Ferry’s landlord in Lower Manhattan when Mr. Clark decided that Mr. Scott’s flair for hospitality would be a good fit.

Mr. Scott now works as a deckhand, spending days riding back and forth on the long run between Manhattan and the Rockaways. “My thing is to make people happy,” Mr. Scott said. “When they get onto the vessel, they’re looking to relax and decompress, which you’re not able to do on the M.T.A., because of the crowds and the service disruptions.”

Ms. Warnock, 57, was quick to abandon her daily ride on the N/W subway line for the comforts of the ferry, which lands several blocks from her home in Astoria.

“Oh my gosh, this is a perfect commute,” she said, waxing on about the sights along the water. “It’s really improved my quality of life.”

For Alexandra Stathis, who lives near the river in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the ferry provides a respite from the “crowded and stressful” subway, in one direction at least.

Ms. Stathis, 28, said she and her boyfriend ride the ferry to East 34th Street in Manhattan every morning. From there, she usually hops on a free NYC Ferry shuttle bus to get to her office. But in the evenings, she said, she usually rides the subway home.

In comparison to the subway, she said, the ferry has been “extremely pleasant” and punctual.

That sort of reaction reflects what Ms. Glen, the deputy mayor, calls the “happiness factor” the ferries have produced. “We have qualitatively changed people’s transit experiences,” she said.

But she admitted that there was one review of the ferry service that was especially satisfying. She recounted receiving a note from her father in which he said: “I’m on a boat back from Rockaway with a Brooklyn lager in my hand. My life is complete. I’m so glad I had you.”

Stop Union Busting on the Waterfront!

by Ben Fletcher Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2006 at 10:56 PM

In a show of solidarity ILWU Local 10 voted for a port-wide shutdown in support of the IBU & MMP workers. This is call for all union members and their allies to join us on the picket line Pier 31/33, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, December 9, 2006 at 10 AM.

For more information, please visit alcatrazunion.com.

Stop Union Busting on the Waterfront

For the past two months Bay Area maritime union members have been picketing daily in a struggle to maintain union wages and working conditions.

Terry MacRae's Alcatraz Cruises (a subsidiary of Hornblower) refuses to hire IBU and MM&P members who have worked on the Alcatraz ferry since 1973.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union was born out of the 1934 San Francisco Maritime and General Strike.

Since then, the ILWU has maintained good wages and working conditions on the entire Bay Area waterfront. The current assault by Hornblower is a direct attack at the heart of ILWU jurisdiction and demands a powerful response!

ILWU Local 10 voted to hold a port-wide stop-work meeting and port shutdown in solidarity with the IBU & MMP workers.

This is call for all union members and their allies to join us for the march at 9:15 AM and on the picket line at 10 AM on December 9.

An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area:

9:15 AM, September 9, 2006 - March
10:00 AM, September 9. 2006 - Mass Picket
If you live outsisde of the San Francisco Bay Area - visit this page.

Editorial, by Jack Heyman, ILWU Local 10 - The challenge to labor

San Francisco has been a solidly union town since the historic 1934 maritime strike of sailors and longshoremen which turned into a citywide General Strike after two strikers were killed by police. The strikers' slogan then was, "An injury to one is an injury to all." Now, every July 5, "Bloody Thursday," West Coast ports close from the Canadian to the Mexican border to commemorate the six union members killed during the militant strike that forged the organized labor movement.

But is San Francisco still a union town?

For the first time since that 1934 strike, a nonunion maritime company has begun operating on the Embarcadero. Hornblower Cruises and Events, owned by Terry McRae, was awarded a 10-year contract by the National Park Service (NPS) last year to provide ferry service to Alcatraz Island. Some 50 workers, represented by the Inlandboatmen's Union (IBU) and the Masters, Mates and Pilots Union (MMP), with decent working conditions, wages and family health insurance, lost their jobs. They've been picketing, along with their supporters, at Pier 33 on the Embarcadero for the past two months, as McRae refuses to negotiate.

In response, the San Francisco longshore union voted to shut down all Bay Area ports and hold a stop-work meeting and mass picket in solidarity with its sister IBU local, which is affiliated to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). In 2003, the Los Angeles longshore union took similar action, shutting down the largest port in the United States and marching in solidarity with striking grocery-store workers. In 2000, when the jobs of Charleston, S.C., longshore workers had been taken over by a nonunion stevedore operator, they, much as the Alcatraz ferry workers, protested by picketing. They were attacked by riot police with many injured and five arrested. The ILWU went to their defense. Known as the Charleston 5 campaign, it became a cause celebre of the American labor movement and is one of the few shining examples of labor's power in recent years.

Much has changed since the days when a freighter's cargo was "hand-jived" by gangs of longshoremen or when ferries would carry passengers from Oakland to San Francisco. Containerization and bridges have changed the face of the waterfront.

One of the most significant measures of change, perhaps, is the integration of women into the workforce. Nowadays, the "first lady" in the Port of Oakland is a black mother who operates a container crane. And the regional director of the IBU is Marina Secchitano, who in the fight to defend her union and her members' jobs, refuses to back down in the face of corporate intimidation. Twice arrested by police, Secchitano is determined to achieve justice for her union members, who have been diligently working the Alcatraz Ferry since it began operations in 1973 and now find themselves replaced, like the Charleston longshoremen.

While Hornblower maintains a callous disregard for the lives of the workers who made the Alcatraz run into the success that it has become, the company portrays itself as environmentally conscious. U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilkins has ruled that the Service Contract Act, which requires a successor of a federal contract to pay the same level of wages and benefits as the previous employer, applies to Hornblower. But who today believes that justice can be achieved through government agencies and courts? Certainly not when judges rule that corporations can rip up with impunity labor contracts that provide for workers' pensions, health benefits and wages, as happened to workers at Bethlehem Steel and United Airlines. Some judges have barred workers from striking in response.

In this atmosphere of one-sided class war, if unions are to survive as independent organizations that represent the democratic will of workers, then they will have to exercise their power -- even if that means defying unjust laws. That's what the civil rights movement did in the '60s and the labor movement did before that in the '30s.

If nonunion companies, such as Hornblower can operate with federal blessing, then others will follow and the days of unions on the San Francisco waterfront are numbered.

Is an injury to one still an injury to all? If so, will unions take the necessary action? That is the challenge of organized labor today.

www.alcatrazunion.com

Tags: Terry MacRaeAlcatraz Hornblower
Categories: Labor News

Colombia: Strikes by airline pilots banned

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Reports
Categories: Labor News

Bangladesh: 64% RMG workers do not earn enough to meet basic needs

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Tribune
Categories: Labor News

EED - Resumen conflicto de la estiba-EED - Summary of the stowage conflict

Current News - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 19:46

EED - Resumen conflicto de la estiba
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=O6ztgYtpftE&app=desktop
El Estrecho Digital

Published on Jul 3, 201
7
Hacemos un repaso a los principales momentos del conflicto de la estiba que, desde el minuto uno, El Estrecho Digital ha querido seguido, estando al pie de la noticia, adelantando la mayoría de los avances que se iban dando en las negociaciones, tratando de contar con el máximo rigor periodístico cualquier paso que se daba para lograr el fin de un conflicto que celebramos junto a los miles de lectores que cada día nos siguen y, en especial, por la tranquilidad que pueda llegar a partir de ahora a esos 1.800 estibadores, y sus familias, del puerto de Algeciras. Enhorabuena y ¡ni un paso atrás!.

EED - Summary of the stowage conflict
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=O6ztgYtpftE&app=desktop
The Digital Strait

Published on Jul 3, 201
7
We review the main moments of the stowage conflict that, from the minute one, El Estrecho Digital has wanted followed, being at the bottom of the news, anticipating most of the advances that were taking place in the negotiations, trying to tell with the maximum journalistic rigor any step that was taken to achieve the end of a conflict that we celebrate together with the thousands of readers who follow us every day and, especially, for the peace of mind that can come from now to those 1,800 stevedores, and their families, from the port of Algeciras. Congratulations and not a step back !.

Tags: port of Algeciraslongshore workers struggle
Categories: Labor News

EED - Resumen conflicto de la estiba-EED - Summary of the stowage conflict

Current News - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 19:46

EED - Resumen conflicto de la estiba
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=O6ztgYtpftE&app=desktop
El Estrecho Digital

Published on Jul 3, 201
7
Hacemos un repaso a los principales momentos del conflicto de la estiba que, desde el minuto uno, El Estrecho Digital ha querido seguido, estando al pie de la noticia, adelantando la mayoría de los avances que se iban dando en las negociaciones, tratando de contar con el máximo rigor periodístico cualquier paso que se daba para lograr el fin de un conflicto que celebramos junto a los miles de lectores que cada día nos siguen y, en especial, por la tranquilidad que pueda llegar a partir de ahora a esos 1.800 estibadores, y sus familias, del puerto de Algeciras. Enhorabuena y ¡ni un paso atrás!.

EED - Summary of the stowage conflict
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=O6ztgYtpftE&app=desktop
The Digital Strait

Published on Jul 3, 201
7
We review the main moments of the stowage conflict that, from the minute one, El Estrecho Digital has wanted followed, being at the bottom of the news, anticipating most of the advances that were taking place in the negotiations, trying to tell with the maximum journalistic rigor any step that was taken to achieve the end of a conflict that we celebrate together with the thousands of readers who follow us every day and, especially, for the peace of mind that can come from now to those 1,800 stevedores, and their families, from the port of Algeciras. Congratulations and not a step back !.

Tags: port of Algeciraslongshore workers struggle
Categories: Labor News

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