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Brazil: 2nd General Strike Against Temer Sweeps Country

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: TeleSUR
Categories: Labor News

Korea (South): Labor union rally draws 400,000 to central Seoul

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Korea Joongang Daily
Categories: Labor News

Global: Pope Francis: Unions are essential to society

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Catholic News Service
Categories: Labor News

NYC TWU 100 Transportation workers defend subway clerk accused of ignoring cops inside station

Current News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 16:19

NYC TWU 100 Transportation workers defend subway clerk accused of ignoring cops inside station
NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
Darryl Goodwin (r.) stands outside Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday, with other Transport Workers Union members. (JEFFERSON SIEGEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Thursday, June 29, 2017, 3:01 PM
The subway booth clerk busted for allegedly interfering with a police pursuit of a shoplifter at the 59th St.-Columbus Circle station had a gaggle of defenders in the courtroom Thursday who said he was just doing his job.

“This is an attack against all the station agents,” said Derick Echevarria, vice president of stations for the Transport Workers Union, said of the arrest of his colleague Darryl Goodwin, whom he has known since high school.

He suggested Goodwin didn’t see the cops who were yelling for him to open the gate because he was swamped with a long line of customers.

“We know the rules. We know we’re supposed to open the gate for the cops but we have to see them. What is he guilty of? Maybe not moving fast enough for them,” the union official added.

Goodwin, 54, was arrested for the May 16 incident during which an NYPD lieutenant said he injured his thumb.

Goodwin’s case was called briefly in Manhattan Criminal Court and adjourned to Aug. 10.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
Goodwin’s case was called briefly in Manhattan Criminal Court and adjourned to Aug. 10. (JEFFERSON SIEGEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Cops, who were chasing a suspect they believed had stolen from a nearby CVS pharmacy, said Goodwin refused to open the gate to let them into the station.

But Goodwin’s lawyer, Paul London, said Thursday that his client was busy with a long line of subway riders in need of help when cops claim he brushed them off.

“He was working, he was helping another customer,” London said. “I believe that this lieutenant felt that my client intentionally disrespected him but it was nothing of the sort.”

He said the demand from the officers was “a little odd because law enforcement is provided with free Metrocards as well as keys to the access points.”

London said Goodwin, who was suspended by the MTA at the time of his arrest, was able to return to work on Thursday.

Goodwin is charged with assault, obstruction of governmental administration and resisting arrest.

Tags: TWU 100police repressionattack on station agentsMTA
Categories: Labor News

China: Labour Activists who probed Ivanka Trump supplier freed in China

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Associated Press
Categories: Labor News

What we talk about when we talk about Uber and Lyft

Current News - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 09:11

What we talk about when we talk about Uber and Lyft


(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
By Kelly Dessaint on June 24, 2016 1:00 am

It’s 2:35 a.m. and I’m looking for a cabstand showing signs of life now that everyone’s in motion, either trying to go home or get to an after-hours joint.

In front of 1015 Folsom, a large crowd is milling about in the street among several dozen unmarked sedans blocking the flow of traffic while a few taxis wait patiently outside the club.

As I slow down to suss out the situation, a young guy approaches my window. He wants to know the fare to Berkeley.

“Around $35-$40,” I tell him. “Plus the bridge toll.”

“But Lyft is only $20.” He holds up his phone as proof.

“Then take Lyft,” I say.

I start to roll up my window but he has another question.

“Why are cabs so expensive?” he asks. “Don’t you guys want to be competitive with Uber and Lyft?”

“The City determines taxi rates,” I tell him. “I don’t have any control over them. Neither does my cab company.”

“Really?” he asks, genuinely surprised.

“You think we just charge more because we’re bad at business?”

He’s about to respond when another guy approaches my cab and asks if I’ll take him to the Richmond District for $10.

“You gotta be kidding me?” I laugh. “Sorry, that’s a $20 ride.”

“But an UberPool is only $7.”

“Then take Uber!” I say abruptly.

“I would,” the guy tells me. “But my phone’s dead.”

“You know what, then,” I say with a smirk. “The fare’s now $30. My cab just went into surge pricing.”

The guy scoffs while the first one laughs.

“Come on,” Mr. Richmond pleads. “None of these taxis are going anywhere anytime soon.”

“That may be true, but I still have my dignity. Why don’t you ask another cab driver?”

“I asked them all. You’re the last in line.”

“Then the price to the Richmond is now $40. My surge multiplier just went up!”

“Come on!”

“Tell me something,” I address the two of them. “Do you guys really think it’s acceptable for these companies to charge half the price of a taxi and justify it by calling it a disruptive business model? You know that’s bullshit, right? That’s not disruption. It’s predatory pricing, plain and simple. And who pays for all these cheap rides? Not you. Not Uber. Not Lyft. It’s their drivers who get screwed so you guys can get a good deal.”

“Nobody is forced to do anything,” Mr. Berkeley points out.

“Because jobs grow on job trees?” I ask. “I think most people who decide to use their own cars as taxicabs are doing so out of desperation.”

“Everyone has options,” adds Mr. Richmond.

I decide to change my approach. “Tell me, do you guys support Bernie Sanders?”

“Of course!” Mr. Berkeley declares. “Love him!”

“Bernie’s my man!” says Mr. Richmond.

“Then why are you participating in the exploitation of workers? Isn’t that something Bernie is fighting against?”

They both shrug, not seeing the connection.

“The people who drive for Uber and Lyft don’t make shit and assume all the risk involved with driving a car on the congested streets of San Francisco just to make four or five bucks off a $7 ride. You think that’s cool?”

“I’ve never heard a driver complain.”

“You hold a rating over their heads,” I say. “They’re afraid of losing their jobs.”

“But …”

“Well …”

“Look, you guys are obviously confused about what being progressive means. This new gig economy is regressive. It pushes the most vulnerable members of our society into wage slavery, where they’re paid for piecework rather than given an opportunity to secure a stable income. And what’s worse, instead of seeing their profits increase by working more, due to the constant Uber-Lyft price wars, they actually make less in the process. How can you support a system like that?”

“But if people stopped using these services,” says Mr. Berkeley, “it’ll hurt the drivers more because they won’t have a job left.”

“Yeah, less of something is better than nothing!” Mr. Richmond pipes in.

I’m about to launch into another tirade when I notice the time. It’s 3:15. I’ve already wasted over half an hour arguing with these guys. I might as well be making some money along the way.

“Guess what? My cab just turned into a TaxiPool. I’ll do $10 to the Richmond and $25 to Berkeley. But, goddamn it, you better give me decent tips. Get in and let’s go.”

I don’t even bother hitting the meter as I speed away.

Kelly Dessaint is a San Francisco taxi driver. Write to him at piltdownlad@gmail.com or visit his blog at www.idrivesf.com.

Tags: UberLyftderegulationworker exploitation
Categories: Labor News

High Cabin Temperatures have Sacramento ATU Division 256 RT Operators Fearing the Worst

Current News - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 13:44

High Cabin Temperatures have Sacramento ATU Division 256 RT Operators Fearing the Worst
SACRAMENTO -- Multiple Sacramento Regional Transit District train operators have complained during the extremely hot days that the temperatures in their cabins are so hot it is a safety hazard.

If one of them passes out, the train could potentially be driving itself. Obviously that could, worst case scenario, end in tragedy.

The problem has gotten so bad some operators have called dispatch and said they can't work; they've had to stop and take a break mid-shift or leave the train and ask for a substitution.

"Operators have had to call off...saying, 'Look, I need a break,'" said operator David Allston. "'It's too hot in here. I'm sweating, I'm feeling flush, I need a relief.'"

Each train has a number, either a 100 or 200 designation. The 200 trains are fine, but the 100 trains are problematic. They're older and often the air conditioning stops working, according to Sacramento RT operators who spoke with FOX40.

On 100 trains with functioning air conditioning, FOX40 utilized a temperature gun to monitor the heat. Some areas in the trains reached around 105 degrees, which did not include readings in the cabin, where drivers tell FOX40 it gets even hotter.

Operators say Sacramento RT is aware of the issue, yet year after year the air conditioning still has problems.

"It's as if we don't know who's taking care of the air conditioner...they're adequate when they're maintained correctly," said operator David Allston. "This is a progressive thing that's been happening for the last maybe 3, 4 years."

According to multiple operators if, worst case scenario, an operator passes out mid-ride and their foot slumps off the "deadman," or the pedal, there is a safety mechanism that should automatically stop the train within 5 to 10 seconds. But if one passes out, and their foot does not not slide off the pedal, it's feasible the train could be going full speed without a conscious driver.

Tags: Transit Temperaturestrain operatorshealth and safetyheatSacramento Regional Transit District
Categories: Labor News

MFU & SUP Union for some Hawaii Matson workers threatens to strike over labor dispute

Current News - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 09:32

MFU & SUP Union for some Hawaii Matson workers threatens to strike over labor dispute

Monday, June 26th 2017, 9:21 pm PDT
Monday, June 26th 2017, 9:41 pm PDT
By Rick Daysog, ReporterCONNECT

Content starts in 7 sec

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Matson is facing a strike threat from The Marine Firemen's Union and the Sailors’ Union of The Pacific.

The contract for 135 Matson crew members and engine room workers expires at midnight Friday, and the sides are not anywhere close to resolving their differences; the unions are calling for raises and better job security.

"If they're really going to stick it to us, we're ready to strike,” said Charles Khim, one of the union’s attorney.

Matson says there's still plenty of time to work out a deal.

“Negotiations are in progress, and … Matson's aim is to bargain in good faith toward a fair and equitable agreement,” the company said in an email.

The unions say Matson has told them they can't afford to raise pay rates, but union members say said that's hard to believe when the company is building new container ships, seeking new routes and reported more than $80 million in profits last year.

More than 75 percent of the goods sold in Hawaii come here on container ships, workers say, and any disruption of services could create inconveniences for consumers.

While a strike by these two unions would not shutdown the docks, it would make it difficult for Matson to operate their container ships. Back in 2013, a threatened strike by the same two unions was averted after both sides were able to work out a new contract.

The last strike against Matson, which happened back in 2009, lasted just 12 hours.

Tags: MFUSUPMatson LineHawaiistrike
Categories: Labor News

Uzbekistan: Forced Labor Linked to World Bank

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Human Rights Watch
Categories: Labor News

Morocco: Fishmonger Death Protest Leader Alleges Police Beat Him

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: HRW
Categories: Labor News

Fleet Memo for June 24 2017

IBU - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 09:59
Categories: Unions

South Africa: Nehawu: Change Cosatu's constitution before it dies

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Mail and Guardian
Categories: Labor News

Australia: Sally McManus urges unions to be 'disrupters' to fix neoliberalism's damage to workers

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Guardian Australia
Categories: Labor News

Slovakia: Volkswagen Slovakia workers win wage hike, end strike

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: AFP
Categories: Labor News

TWU Campaign For A March On Washington

Current News - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 19:49


Why Unions Must Take the Lead and Call a March on Washington to Defend Healthcare – An Open Letter to John Samuelsen, TWU International and Local 100 President
june 15, 2017 by campaignforamarchonwashington
The following letter from TWU Local 100 members was sent to TWU International and Local 100 President John Samuelsen on May 30, 2017. For more information, and to add your name to the list of signatories, write to: campaign4amarchonwashington@gmail.com.
John Samuelsen
Transport Workers Union
International and Local 100 President
May 30, 2017
President Samuelsen:
We are writing to urge you to use your position as TWU Local 100 president and as the TWU’s recently elected International president, to support the call for this country’s unions to take the lead in mobilizing a March on Washington to defend healthcare.
President Trump and the Republicans in Congress are using divide-and-conquer tactics, launching one attack after another on the rights and living standards of working-class and poor people.
First they targeted Muslims, immigrants, and Blacks and Latinos with their “Muslim travel ban,” mass deportations, and end to federal oversight of local police departments found responsible for egregious and systematic racism.
Now they are targeting healthcare, pushing for reforms that will have devastating consequences for tens of millions.
And tomorrow they promise to deal a catastrophic blow to the labor movement, including TWU Local 100, by making anti-union “right-to-work” statutes the law of the land. These statutes, of course, are more accurately referred to as “right-to-scab” laws because they deny unions the right to win the requirement that all workers in an enterprise be represented by a union and have union fees collected from them.
Trump has repeatedly declared his commitment to this union-busting attack and Vice President Pence has brought prominent Republicans to the White House to discuss how to win this battle. Trump has already secured an anti-union majority on the Supreme Court and now right-wing billionaires like the oil industry’s Koch brothers and Walmart-owning Walton family are competing to bring right-to-work cases targeting public sector unions before it. Meanwhile Republicans in Congress have already introduced House Resolution 785 that would apply “right-to-work” nationwide in the private sector.[1] The consequences of these “right-to-work” attacks could be so devastating that prominent figures in the labor movement are referring to it as a potentially “extinction-level-event” for unions in this country.[2]
All these attacks are deeply connected.
Trump and the Republicans’ plan to overturn “Obamacare,” combined with their proposed budget, will:
leave an estimated 23 million people without health insurance over the next ten years;[3]
cut $1.4 trillion in funding from Medicaid;[4]
remove many of the forms of care, such as maternity care, that insurers are currently required to include in their plans as “essential coverage;”
allow states to opt out of covering pre-existing conditions and charge more to people they claim have adverse health histories
defund Planned Parenthood, which is many women’s only health care provider;
allow insurers to increase the prices of their plans; and
it will do all this so that the rich can be gifted massive tax cuts.[5]
Waiting until the next elections with the hope of voting for candidates who promise to undo this damage means accepting the suffering and death of untold numbers of working-class and poor people. Mobilizing now to defeat these outrageous attacks is a matter of life and death.
At “town hall” meetings across the country, thousands have vented their outrage at Trump and the Republicans’ plans. No matter how inspiring they have been, however, it’s clear that such scattered protests will not be enough to stop this attack. The White House’s first attempt to pass its healthcare legislation only failed because some Republicans insisted on even more draconian attacks! So the time is now, while the Senate is considering their latest legislation, to take the protests to another level. And our unions are the only mass organizations to which working-class people can turn to make that happen.
If this country’s unions announced a March on Washington to defend healthcare and then seriously organized for it, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, could be expected to rally in support. That could that deal a massive blow to Trump and the Republicans’ plans. It could create momentum to win the long-standing demand of the TWU and most other unions – quality government-provided healthcare for all, as well as embolden the struggle against Trump’s racist attacks. And it could win widespread public support for our unions – support that we will need if we are to have any hope of defeating the coming “right-to-work” attacks.
In TWU Local 100, morning- and evening-shift meetings of the Track Workers’ Division have already voted unanimously in favor of motions for you and Local 100’s Executive Board to urge all this country’s unions and union federations to call such a March on Washington, so the Division’s officers can be expected to bring it before the Executive Board for a vote at its next meeting. Meetings of the Train Operators’ Department similarly declared unanimous support for taking the idea up, with more Department meetings to come. But why wait?
President Samuelsen, you have just become president of the TWU International and so you are perfectly placed to take this initiative forward by publicly calling on all unions, union federations and councils – as well as organizations dedicated to the rights of women, Blacks and Latinos, immigrants and other oppressed people – to join and build a March on Washington to defend healthcare.
We hope you will do the right thing by advancing this call and look forward to receiving your response.
Jonathan Beatrice, NYCT​ ​Conductor,​ ​Shop​ ​Steward​ ​TWU​ ​Local​ ​100,​ ​Democratic​ ​Socialist​s ​of​ ​America*
John Ferretti, NYCT Conductor, Shop Steward TWU Local 100, Revolutionary Transit Worker newsletter
Jason Hicks, NYCT Track Worker, TWU Local 100 member, Democratic Socialists of America*
Eric Josephson, Retired NYCT Track Worker, TWU Local 100 member, League for the Revolutionary Party
Eric Loegel, NYCT Train Operator, Shop Steward TWU Local 100
Seth Rosenberg, NYCT Train Operator, TWU Local 100 member, Revolutionary Transit Worker newsletter
* Organization listed for identification purposes only

1. Michael Paarlberg, With all eyes on Trump, Republicans are planning to break unions for good,” The Guardian, February 2, 2017; Walker’s Wisconsin could be a model for Trump on unions, Chicago Tribune, February 6, 2017.
2. Harold Meyerson, Donald Trump can kill the American union, Washington Post, November 23, 2016.
3. Rob Pear, G.O.P. Health Bill Would Leave 23 Million More Uninsured in a Decade, C.B.O. Says, New York Times, May 24, 2017.
4. Niv Elis, Trump releases budget that slashes government programs, The Hill, May 23, 2017, .
5. Sullivan, What the GOP’s plan to kill essential health benefits means, The Hill, March 23, 2017;
Sarah Kliff, The American Health Care Act: the Obamacare repeal bill the House just passed, explained, The Hill, May 4, 2017; Josh Barro, This chart shows why the GOP health plan will make health insurance more expensive, Business Insider, March 16, 2017; and Michael Hiltzik, All the horrific details of the GOP’s new Obamacare repeal bill: A handy guide, Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2017.

Tags: TWU 100Healthcare March
Categories: Labor News

Uzbekistan: Falsely convicted union activist dies in prison

Labourstart.org News - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Solidarity Center
Categories: Labor News

ATU Local 1235 Transit Workers Take the Driver's Seat in 'Right-to-Work’ Tennessee

Current News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 11:38

ATU Local 1235 Transit Workers Take the Driver's Seat in 'Right-to-Work’ Tennessee

June 23, 2017 / Chris Brooks

By reaching out to workers—and their families—at every opportunity, ATU Local 1235 in Nashville has seen its membership rate jump from 60 to 80 percent. Photo: Patrick Green
At Labor Notes trainings I hear lots of reasons why union members think their co-workers aren’t involved: They don’t understand labor history. They don’t appreciate all the union has done for them. They watch Fox News. They’re scared or apathetic.

I always say, “Remember what inspires people to organize a union in the first place. They join and stay involved when they experience what it means to wield collective power.”

This story takes place in my home state of Tennessee, where Patrick Green started driving a bus in Nashville in 2008. Back then, he says, here’s how negotiations typically went in Transit (ATU) Local 1235: A month before bargaining, officers “would send out a note to the members asking for the top three things they wanted the union to achieve. Then the executive board would never say another word about it.”

When it was time to ratify, members never saw the deal. “We would come in and vote on the agreement without knowing anything about what was in it,” Green said. The union seemed useless, and for a long time he didn’t get involved.

But that changed in the lead-up to 2015 bargaining, when friends who knew he had a management background and experience with negotiations encouraged him to get involved in the contract somehow.

Union leaders weren’t so enthusiastic. “The leadership rejected all of our attempts to help,” said Green. “Out of this frustration with getting involved, my friends said I should run [for president]. I agreed.” Two other members agreed to run with him.


One member had the idea of hosting town hall-style debates among the candidates—something the local had never done before. Held over multiple Saturdays at a Shoney’s restaurant, the debates drew an enthusiastic response. Members showed up with their families to eat breakfast and lob questions.

The incumbent president had run the local for 18 years. Green had no formal union experience—and says he’s an introvert.

But at the town halls, Green and his slate laid out a different vision for the union. In particular, they pledged transparency and member participation in negotiations.

In a field of four candidates, Green swept 65 percent. The others on his slate won as well. And the new leaders jumped right into negotiations, winning some strong gains—starting wages went up by $3 an hour—in a contract that all members got the chance to read before casting their votes.


It’s no wonder that in “right-to-work” Tennessee, Local 1235 is recruiting new members. A year ago, its membership rate was 60 percent. Now it’s 80 percent.

Organizing conversations are a key recruitment tool. Union officers and stewards meet with workers to hear about workplace problems and plan how to fix them. They reach out at every opportunity, including at new-hire orientation, during training, and when they meet to bid for jobs.

The union doesn’t limit these conversations to new hires—or even to members. “Many times it is the spouse that takes the children to the doctor, so we reached out to talk to them about our medical insurance,” Green said. “We even opened it up to non-members.” The local has also worked alongside a worker center to found a Bus Riders Union.

Since Nashville drivers are employed by a private nonprofit, not the city, they have the right to strike. Green is organizing a meeting in September to talk with members and families about financial planning—both for retirement and for a potential strike.

The meeting is part of involving everyone in a plan to win a better contract. “I will be asking our members to put away $20 per pay period into an account to build up for a strike next year,” Green said. “The bank will be on hand to help them open the account for free.”

Most of us, most of our lives, live with decisions made by others. When we take action together, we change that. Suddenly we have a feeling that another world is possible. Those are the moments that create converts—and sustain those already on board. Those are the moments that unions need to multiply.

Chris Brooks

Tags: ATU 1235solidarityRight To Worktransit workers
Categories: Labor News


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