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Global: Uber drivers speak out about treatment

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITF
Categories: Labor News

Global: Uber drivers in global protest ahead of the company’s $90 billion IPO

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: CNBC
Categories: Labor News

Ecuador: ITUC warns of IMF agreement’s attack on workers

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 05/06/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Myanmar: IFJ welcomes the release of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 05/06/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IFJ
Categories: Labor News

Libya: NOC calls for safe return of head of oil union taken in east

Labourstart.org News - Sat, 05/04/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Reuters
Categories: Labor News

Sri Lanka: Unions pay silent tribute to labour in shattered capital

Labourstart.org News - Sat, 05/04/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Sunday Times
Categories: Labor News

Longshore Caucus delegates meet in SF

ILWU - Sat, 05/04/2019 - 12:25

Coast Committee: The members of the Coast Committee were among the 86 delegates for the Longshore Division Caucus which met April 8-12 In San Francisco. Delegates tackled tough issues facing the Division including automation, jurisdiction, and safety. In the top photo (L-R) are ILWU International President Willie Adams and ILWU International Vice President (Mainland) Bobby Olvera, Jr. In bottom photo (L-R) are Coast Committeemen Cam Williams and Frank Ponce De Leon.

A group of 86 Coast Longshore Division Caucus delegates gathered in San Francisco from April 8-12 to share information, discuss policy and get the latest news from the ILWU Coast Committee. Caucus meetings begin with the election of a Chair, Secretary, Parliamentarian and Sergeant-at-Arms. Delegates elected Local 40’s George O’Neil as Chair, Local 13’s Mark Jurisic as Secretary, Local 47’s Robert Rose as Parliamentarian and Local 10’s Aaron Wright and 23’s Perry Hopkins as Sergeant-at-Arms.

The meeting was dedicated to the memory of more than 15 ILWU leaders who recently passed, including former International President Dave Arian, former Local 63 members Lewis Wright and Steven Bebich, Northwest labor historian Dr. Ron Magden, former IBU President Alan Coté, former Local 6 Secretary-Treasurer Fred Pecker, and Salvatore Cresci of Local 10.

ILWU International President Willie Adams requested that ILWU attorney Eleanor Morton provide the Caucus with a brief report about an ongoing Department of Labor investigation and potential lawsuit regarding the 2018 ILWU International election. The information provided to the Caucus was identical to the information that was provided to the International Executive Board the previous week. Discussion about new automation on the docks was extensive.

The Clerks’ Technology Committee provided an account of their efforts to monitor and defend jurisdiction from outsourcing – and make sure the new technology isn’t being used to evade compliance with the contract. Efforts to ramp-up the Longshore and M&R Technology Committees were discussed, especially in light of the automation plan pending at the Port of Los Angeles.

Mr. Chairman: Local 40’s George O’Neil was chosen by delegates to chair the Caucus on April 8.

The Safety Committee reported that hours worked on the coast are up and injuries are down, however considerable time was devoted to preventing horrible fatalities, such as one that took the life of Local 21 brother Byron Jacobs on June 28, 2018, when a vessel line snapped at the Port of Longview. A similar discussion concerned the death of Local 98 brother Craig Wheeler, who was struck by a trailer being backed-up by a UTR aboard a Tote vessel in Tacoma on December 21, 2018. The Safety Committee has responded by proposing new safety procedures and equipment that could prevent similar tragedies.

A report from the Pension and Welfare Committee explored claim processing problems, including out-of-network ambulance services, chiropractic and acupuncture treatment. An update on intraocular lenses, the devices used in cataract surgery, revealed that all forms of “specialty lenses” are now covered for members needing cataract eye surgery.

The health-related portion of the report concluded with an update from the Pensioners’ Long Term Care Committee, which is exploring the viability of a “hybrid” life insurance and long-term-care benefit.

The ILWU-PMA Pension Plan was estimated to be funded at 95% according to a consulting firm, but the actual percentage will fluctuate due to a variety of factors, including investment returns, benefit increases taking effect July 1, and whether the PMA decides to contribute more than legal minimums required by federal regulators.

Safety first: New safety equipment, including this helmet displayed by Safety Committee Chair Mike Podue, was discussed at the Caucus meeting.

The Caucus traditionally devotes time to matters of international solidarity, and this meeting was no exception.The Longshore Division and ILWU work closely with the International Transport Workers Federation, which has active campaigns to protest violence against dockworkers in Cameroon, support Spanish dockers opposed to privatizing public docks, helping Italian dockers protect union jurisdiction and safety rules, and oppose anti-union attacks in Colombia, Indonesia, PapuaNew Guinea, Ukraine. A report was provided about the campaigns in Australia, where Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members are struggling to secure stevedoring, baggage handling, porter and security work on cruise ships operating in Australian and New Zealand ports. The struggle by Spanish dockers to cope with a national effort to privatize the nation’s public ports was also highlighted.

Legislative action topics included efforts by the ILWU to stop the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) from promoting and subsidizing automation at US ports. The effort was being spearheaded by the DOT’s Maritime Administration, known as MARAD. The ILWU is monitoring developments there. Anti-union members of Congress continue pushing automation subsidies, so the ILWU has been working with the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department to block funding for any automation project that destroys jobs. Anti-union policies and appointments continue to be implemented by the Trump administration at the Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board.

Another Trump initiative, announced in late 2018, called for using military bases on the West Coast as coal export terminals. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee called the idea “reckless and harebrained,” adding, “The men and women who serve at our military bases are there to keep our country safe, not to service an export facility for private fossil fuel companies.” The legislative reports concluded with updates on work in the State legislatures of California, Oregon, and Washington.

On the last evening of the Caucus, members boarded buses to attend a rally with veterinary workers who voted last year to join the ILWU. That event was held in front of the VCA/SFVS animal hospital, owned by the Mars Corporation, that has hired anti-union attorneys and consultants to frustrate workers who are negotiating a first contract. The rally was well-attended and featured spirited talks from rank-and-file members and a call to action by International Vice President Bobby Olvera, Jr. Afterwards, the buses took. Caucus delegates to the nearby Anchor Brewery, where they met with workers who recently voted to join the ILWU.

The Caucus concluded the next day after agreeing on committee assignments for work that will take place until the next Caucus meeting.

Categories: Unions

Save the Port of Oakland May Day Rally (Video)

ILWU - Fri, 05/03/2019 - 11:55

Hundreds of community members came out to support ILWU Local 10 on May Day to save good paying jobs at the Port of Oakland. Those jobs and the region’s shipping industry are under threat from a proposed development to build a new stadium for the Oakland A’s at the port along with a high-priced condos and hotels in West Oakland.

Categories: Unions

Fiji: ITUC condemns arrests of Fiji trade unionists

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Fiji: Trade unionist Anthony released

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Fiji Times
Categories: Labor News

Global: Workers and activists rally across the globe on May Day

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Al Jazeera
Categories: Labor News

Global: May Day labor protests around the world, in 17 photos

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Vox
Categories: Labor News

Global: May Day 2019: The time has come for a new social contract

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Philippines: Labor Day rallies to demand pay hike, end to contractualization

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Inquirer
Categories: Labor News

Global: “Strikes have not died out in the 21st century, they are being transformed”

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Equal Times
Categories: Labor News

Fiji: Government Marks May Day by Arresting Trade Union Leaders

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ACTU
Categories: Labor News

ILWU Canada Young Workers’ Conference

ILWU - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 12:50

We are pleased to announce that ILWU Canada is holding their 4th Biennial Young Workers Conference September 4-6, 2019 in Vancouver, BC.  They have graciously opened participation to ILWU members outside the Canada Area.

Local unions or affiliates my nominate participants who are each required to fill out an online application.  Priority will be given to workers aged 35 and younger who have not participated in any previous ILWU Canada Young Workers conferences.  Due to space considerations, we anticipate having to limit each affiliate to one participant, but we will create a waiting list in case of cancellation or non-participation by any locals.

Where:
The Maritime Labour Centre, 1880 Triumph Street,
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5L 1K3.

When:
Wednesday, September 4, 2019 through Friday, September 6, 2019.
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. on September 4th.

 

The ILWU International and ILWU Canada will cover the cost of training materials, breakfast, and lunch from September 4-6, and a banquet on the evening of September 6th.  The ILWU will also cover hotel accommodations (based on double occupancy for the nights of September 3-6).  This means that individuals willing to share a room with another participant will have no hotel costs.  Neither the ILWU International nor ILWU Canada will cover lost wages or other travel expenses. 

Register for the conference by the filling out the online form here.
The registration deadline is May 24, 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact ILWU Education Director Robin Walker or ILWU Research Director Russ Bargmann here at International headquarters.

Categories: Unions

Anchor Steam workers vote overwhelmingly to join ILWU

ILWU - Wed, 04/17/2019 - 11:00

Victory: Anchor workers celebrated the news that the second bargaining unit at Anchor Public Taps voted to join the ILWU by a 3-1 margin.

On March 13, production workers at San Francisco’s Anchor Steam brewery made history by voting to join the ILWU – becoming one of the first craft breweries to go union. The margin was 31-16 but the numbers increased two days later when service workers at the Anchor Public Taps voted 6-2 for the union. The victory capped-off a year of quiet organizing that went public on February 7, when 39 workers signed a letter telling the company they wanted a union.

“We were ecstatic with the outcome,” said Organizing Committee member Brace Belden. “We’ve been working on this for so long that it didn’t seem real to us. We got a clear victory, and we were excited about that.”

Iconic San Francisco brand

Anchor Steam is a historic San Francisco brand that dates back to the California Gold Rush. The business struggled in the early 20th Century and hit the skids several times, but the brewery was saved in 1965 by Fritz Maytag, heir to the Maytag appliance company fortune. Under Maytag’s leadership, the company improved the beer recipe, improved standards and upgraded the production process.

Anchor Steam’s popularity grew during the 1980’s and is now considered by many to be the birthplace of the “Craft Beer Movement.” Maytag sold the company in 2010 to an investment firm who then sold it to Japan’s Sapporo for $85 million in 2017. Sapporo workers at the company’s breweries in Japan and Canada were already union; now San Francisco has joined the list.

Inexperienced but well prepared

Belden said that union organizing was new to everyone when they started the campaign. “Almost no one in our plant had ever been in a union, with except for maybe one or two people.”

Several workers were members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) San Francisco chapter and had attended Labor Notes conferences where they attended training workshops on workplace organizing. Belden says workers spent four months laying the foundation for the campaign before approaching the ILWU. “The ILWU was our only choice. We wanted to make sure we were well prepared and could show that we were serious about organizing,” he said. The ILWU joined forces with DSA chapter volunteers to help the Anchor workers win their campaign.

Deteriorating wages and conditions

Many Anchor workers have been struggling because wages and conditions declined in recent years. Starting wages fell after Fritz Maytag sold the brewery in 2010 from $17.25 to just $16.50 currently. Workers were also required to contribute significantly more for healthcare, and the company replaced paid lunch breaks with unpaid breaks. Anchor also stopped company contributions to the 401K retirement plan, reduced sick time by half, and eliminated the complimentary “shift beer” that workers enjoyed after clocking-out.

These cutbacks were on top of San Francisco’s housing costs – among the highest in the nation, where a single person earning less than $82,220 a year is considered “low-income.” Many Anchor workers have been forced to move farther from the city in search of more affordable housing – raising commute times and costs.

“We deserve to be able to survive in this city,” said Organizing Committee member Garret Kelly, “We deserve to be able to afford diapers for our children and put groceries in the fridge. We think it’s hypocritical for Anchor to claim to be an iconic San Francisco brand but create conditions that make it impossible for their workers to survive here.”

Dramatic rollout

After workers presented their union letter to management, they kicked-off a public outreach campaign that marshaled over 60 Anchor workers, community members, DSA and ILWU activists for a rally at the 24th Street BART Plaza in San Francisco’s Mission District. Following the rally, volunteers fanned out throughout the neighborhood to visit bars in the area that served Anchor Steam beer.

The goal was to generate support for the union campaign from customers, bartenders, and owners. Many bars agreed to display posters showing their support for Anchor workers. During the following weekends, workers coordinated more outreach events in several neighborhoods on both sides of the Bay.

Union busting campaign

Company officials publicly pledged to remain neutral in the union drive, but it soon became obvious that they had retained the services of an anti-union consulting firm. The company forced brewery workers at the plant and service workers at the Public Taps into separate bargaining units. Despite the company’s effort, workers in both groups have said they intend to bargain in parallel for identical contracts.

The company held “captive-audience” meetings where workers were forced to watch anti-union presentations that were full of lies and misinformation, a tactic consultants use to confuse and scare workers away from voting for the union. Two workers were forced by managers to remove union buttons during their shifts – triggering charges filed against Anchor by the ILWU.

Initial vote postponed

An electrical fire in the brewery during late February resulted in the NLRB granting the company a postponement of the election. The company used the extra time to intensify their anti-union campaign holding one-on-one and two-on-one meetings where managers told workers that wages and promotions could be frozen for two to three years if the union drive was successful.

Drink-Ins

Workers also organized union “drink-ins” at the Anchor Public Taps where union members and community supporters gathered to enjoy Anchor Steam beer and express their solidarity with the organizing effort. One Friday event was scheduled in the afternoon to coincide with the quitting time for Building Trades workers. Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), who were repairing the plant’s electrical fire damage, were among those who attended.

The Anchor Public Taproom was filled with pro-union chants as attendees cheered in solidarity. At one point, the company’s new Chief Operating Officer came to see what was happening and share a beer with union supporters.

Positive campaign

Belden said the Organizing Committee kept the campaign message positive. They emphasized the pride Anchor workers had for their work, for San Francisco and for the Anchor brand.

This connection to the city was captured by the hashtag #AnchoredInSF that workers used to promote their social media campaign.

“This felt like a community campaign,” said Garrett Kelly. “We received positive feedback from everyone, whether we were out putting up posters, or wearing our union button and getting positive comments from people on public transportation. I feel like the campaign resonated with people.”

Building relationships

Belden said the key to their success was strong relationships in the workplace.

“Build good relationships with your co-workers. That would be my advice,” Belden said. “We never made any promises to anyone. All we told people is that we are just trying to get a voice. People trusted us because we weren’t selling them the sky.”

Political allies

The Anchor campaign also attracted support from San Francisco political leaders. Workers received

their first letter of support from newly-elected county Supervisor Shamann Walton, who represents the Potrero Hill area where Anchor operates. Following the union vote, Walton visited the Anchor Public Taps to meet and congratulate workers. He followed up with a letter to management that urged the company to respect the union and negotiate a fair contract. Additional support came from Supervisors Hillary Ronen, Rafael Mandelman and Gordon Mar, who sent letters to Anchor COO Greg Newbrough, criticizing the company for breaking their promise to remain neutral during the union election process. Sapporo workers at the company’s flagship plant in Tokyo also sent a letter of solidarity. Other critical help came from leaders and members of the San Francisco Labor Council.

Contract campaign ahead

Anchor workers are now preparing for contract negotiations. Soon they will elect a Bargaining Committee along with teams to help with internal organizing and community outreach.

They also plan to conduct one-on-one conversations with co-workers, to gather surveys about priorities for the first contract.

“We want to get as many people involved in the contract campaign as possible,” Belden said. “We want people to have a voice here at Anchor.”

Kelly adds, “We’re in a strong position. I think we have a resounding mandate from the workers that this is what we want. We don’t want to tell people what they need. We want everyone to come together and decide what is important.”

 

Categories: Unions

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