Category Archives: Unions and Organized Labor

Teamsters President Urged to Cancel Republican Convention Speech

One Teamsters official warned the union leader’s scheduled appearance “only normalizes and makes the most anti-union party and president I’ve seen in my lifetime seem palatable.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 7-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien testified at a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) in 2023. Photo: Teamsters

Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien is facing mounting internal pressure to cancel his planned speech to the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next week, with the union’s vice president at large accusing the labor leader of kowtowing to a viciously anti-worker party and a GOP presidential hopeful whose first four years in the White House were marked by open attacks on the labor movement.

John Palmer, the Teamsters’ vice president at large, wrote in an op-ed in New Politics earlier this week that O’Brien’s scheduled appearance at Donald Trump’s invitation “only normalizes and makes the most anti-union party and president I’ve seen in my lifetime seem palatable.”

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Democracy Must Be Respected’: Bolivian Leader Replaces Military Chiefs Over Coup Attempt

Leftists and political leaders around the world slammed the coup effort as Bolivia’s trade union federation called for an emergency mass mobilization and a general strike.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-26-2024 by Common Dreams

Military members stand guard with an armored truck outside the government palace at Plaza Murillo on June 26, 2024 in La Paz, Bolivia. Photo: S.L. Kanthan/X

Bolivian President Luis Arce replaced top military leaders on Wednesday in response to an attempted coup d’état in which troops took over Plaza Murillo in La Paz and rammed an armored vehicle into the doors of the presidential palace so soldiers could storm the building.

“We denounce irregular mobilizations of some units of the Bolivian army,” Arce, a member of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, said on social media. “Democracy must be respected.”

Continue reading
Share Button

Project 2025: How Trump Win Would Imperil Worker Organizing Gains Under Biden’s NLRB

The right-wing agenda “offers a playbook for how an administration could jeopardize the NLRB’s ability to protect organizing workers.”

By Julia Conley. Published 6-20-2024 by Common Dreams

Just before oral arguments in an American Federation of Government Employees’ lawsuit against the Trump administration, AFGE and other unions rally to protest the Trump administration’s anti-union executive orders. in 2018. Photo: AFGE/flickr/CC

With longtime labor lawyer Jennifer Abruzzo at the helm of the National Labor Relations Board, serving as general counsel, the Biden administration has worked to reverse the decadeslong trend in the U.S. of weakened labor laws—achieving a high rate of workers voting to join unions, requiring thousands of workers to be reinstated at their jobs after being illegally fired for organizing, and increasing the number of workers who are eligible to unionize.

But as the Center for American Progress (CAP) warned in an analysis published on Thursday, all that progress and more could be erased if former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee in the November election, were to win a second term in the White House—enabling him to put the right-wing plot Project 2025 into action.

Continue reading
Share Button

US Jury Holds Chiquita Liable for Colombian Death Squad’s Murder of Banana Workers

“The verdict does not bring back the husbands and sons who were killed,” said one attorney, “but it sets the record straight and places accountability for funding terrorism where it belongs: at Chiquita’s doorstep.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Then-AUC commander Carlos Castaño is seen here with some of his paramilitary fighters. Photo: Carlos Castaño Gil/Facebook

In what case litigants are calling the first time an American jury has held a U.S. corporation legally liable for atrocities abroad, federal jurors in Florida on Monday found that Chiquita Brands International financed a Colombian paramilitary death squad that murdered, tortured, and terrorized workers in a bid to crush labor unrest in the 1990s and 2000s.

The federal jury in West Palm Beach, Florida found the banana giant responsible for funding the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and awarded eight families whose members were murdered by the right-wing paramilitary group $38.3 million in damages.

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Argentina Stopped’: Unions Hold Second General Strike Over Milei Austerity

“It is a day of resistance and demand,” said trade groups that organized the action “in defense of democracy, labor rights, and the living wage.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: vijay banga/X

Argentina’s primary trade union federation on Thursday held another nationwide general strike, the second called since President Javier Milei, a far-right economist, took office in December and began pursuing sweeping austerity and deregulation.

The South American nation’s unions organized the strike “in defense of democracy, labor rights, and the living wage,” according to a statement from the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the Argentine Workers’ Central Union (CTA), and the Autonomous CTA.

Continue reading
Share Button

Poor People’s Campaign Plans June 29 Mass Assembly, March in DC

“This is a crisis moment for our democracy,” said one campaigner. “We need for our political leaders to become moral leaders and take seriously the needs and priorities of the millions of people struggling simply to survive.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-29-2024 by Common Dreams

Rev. William J. Barber II at the Democracy Awakening rally at U.S. Capitol in 2018. Photo: Becker1999/flickr/CC

Leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival on Monday announced plans for the Mass Poor People & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly & Moral March in Washington, D.C. on June 29, just over four months before the U.S. elections.

The aim of the assembly and march is to “mobilize the one-third of the U.S. electorate who are poor and low-wage infrequent voters” as well as to pressure political leaders to embrace a 17-point agenda during the 2024 election cycle and beyond.

Continue reading
Share Button

Starbucks seeks Supreme Court protection from being ordered to rehire baristas who say they were fired for union-promoting activities

By Michael Z. Green, Texas A&M University Published 4-11-2024 by The Conversation

Starbucks workers rally and march in Seattle. Photo: Elliot Stoller/flickr/CC

What factors must a court consider when the National Labor Relations Board requests an order requiring an employer to rehire terminated workers before the completion of unfair labor practice proceedings?

That’s the central question that the Supreme Court will consider on April 23, 2024, during oral arguments in the Starbucks Corp. v. McKinney case. The global coffee shop chain is challenging the NLRB, the federal agency responsible for enforcing U.S. workers’ rights to organize, saying that the agency used the more labor-friendly of two available standards when it asked a federal court to order the company to reinstate workers at a Memphis, Tennessee, store who lost their jobs in 2022 amid a nationwide unionizing campaign.

The Conversation U.S. asked Texas A&M law professor Michael Z. Green to explain what’s behind this case and how the court’s eventual decision, expected by the end of June, could affect the right to organize unions in the United States.

Continue reading
Share Button

Google Slammed for ‘Playing Games With California’s Democracy’ by Blocking News

“This is an extraordinarily inappropriate time for Google to experiment with which voters might or might not see news about elected officials and candidates for office.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-13-2024 by Common Dreams

Google_headquarters. Photo: Anthony Quintano/flickr/CC

California reporters and union leaders are calling out Google for blocking news content for some users amid consideration of a landmark proposal that would make tech giants pay media outlets for links they share—which some experts warn won’t solve the journalism industry’s financial problems.

To prepare for potential passage of the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), Google is “beginning a short-term test for a small percentage of California users,” Jaffer Zaidi, the tech giant’s VP for global news partnerships, explained in a Friday blog post.

Continue reading
Share Button

Trump wouldn’t be the first presidential candidate to campaign from a prison cell

By Thomas Doherty, Brandeis University. Published 3-15-2024 by The Conversation

Eugene V. Debs leaving the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, on Christmas Day 1921. Photo: Library of Congress/Public domain

The first trial ever of a former president, the so-called “hush money” case against former president and likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, is scheduled to begin with jury selection in New York on March 25, 2024though that may be delayed by a month. Trump faces 34 felony charges related to alleged crimes involving bookkeeping on a payment to an adult film actress during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump is unlikely to wind up in an orange jumpsuit, at least not on this indictment, and probably not before November 2024, in any case. Yet if he does, he would not be the first candidate to run for the White House from the Big House.

Continue reading
Share Button

In ‘Direct Attack’ on Labor Movement, Amazon Backs Claim NLRB Is Unconstitutional

“So now capital, unable to hold back labor any longer, is arguing that the NLRB’s very existence is unconstitutional,” said one law professor.

By Julia Conley. Published 2-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Workers at Amazon & everywhere have a right to safety and a union Photo: Joe Piette/flickr/CC

Amid a recent surge in unionization and other workers’ rights victories, wealthy U.S. corporations have fired union organizers, surveilled employees as they voted on forming a collective bargaining unit, and closed store locations to penalize labor leaders—but a court filing by Amazon on Thursday suggested a new tactic as the e-commerce giant seeks to dismantle the federal agency tasked with protecting employees.

Fighting accusations from prosecutors at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that Amazon illegally retaliated against warehouse workers who unionized, the company submitted a legal filing arguing that the board itself is unconstitutional.

Continue reading
Share Button