Tag Archives: Unions

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Biden DOL Finalizes Independent Contractor Rule to ‘Help Protect Workers’

Praising the policy, one economist said that employer misclassification “robs workers of labor rights and threatens their economic security.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: US Department of Labor/flickr/CC

Democrats in Congress and unions were among those applauding on Tuesday as the U.S. Department of Labor announced its final rule to provide guidance on when employers can treat workers as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“Misclassifying employees as independent contractors is a serious issue that deprives workers of basic rights and protections,” acting Labor Secretary Julie Su said in a statement. “This rule will help protect workers, especially those facing the greatest risk of exploitation, by making sure they are classified properly and that they receive the wages they’ve earned.”

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Milei Couples ‘Total Crackdown’ on Protest With Economic Shocks in Argentina

“Protest is elemental to Argentine social and political life, so it’s not difficult to imagine how this ends,” said one journalist.

By Julia Conley. Published 12-15-2023 by Common Dreams

Argentinian President Javier Milei. Photo by  Mídia NINJA

As the human impact of Argentinian President Javier Milei’s “shock treatment” to the South American country’s economy became increasingly clear with rising prices on Thursday, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich announced what one journalist said were doubtlessly “preemptive” new controls on protests to discourage a struggling population from speaking out.

Bullrich said four security forces—the Federal Police, the Gendarmerie, the Naval Prefecture, and the Airport Security Police—will work together to stop protests that block streets and suggested the protocol is aimed only at ensuring “that people can live in peace” without demonstrators blocking traffic.

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‘Biggest Ever Global Strike Against Amazon’ Kicks Off on Black Friday

“This day of action grows every year because the movement to hold Amazon accountable keeps getting bigger and stronger,” said the head of UNI Global Union.

By Jake Johnson. Published 11-24-2023 by Common Dreams

Amazon workers and allies take part in a “Make Amazon Pay” day of action on November 24, 2023. (Photo: Global Justice Now)

Amazon workers and allies in dozens of countries around the world took to the streets Friday to protest the e-commerce behemoth’s atrocious working conditions, low pay, union busting, tax dodging, and inaction on planet-warming emissions.

The “Make Amazon Pay” strikes and rallies coincided with Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year and one of Amazon’s most profitable. Amazon workers across the globe—in ever-larger numbers—have been walking off the job on Black Friday for years to demand better treatment from the $1.5 trillion company.

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‘Time to Exit ISDS’: Hundreds of Groups Call On US to Ditch Corporate-Friendly Trade Regime

“The ISDS regime is undemocratic: It was created for and by powerful, well-organized corporations, and has served their interests almost exclusively,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley. Published 11-3-2023 by Common Dreams

Graphic: ISDS Red Carpet Courts

More than 200 civil society groups on Thursday called on the Biden administration to protect climate, health, and other public interest policies across the Americas by dismantling a trade regime that the United States spearheaded nearly three decades ago—giving corporations broad authority to sue governments if they claim their profit margins are harmed by public programs.

Public CitizenSierra Club, and the AFL-CIO led hundreds of organizations in sending the letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to take legal action to terminate the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system within the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP), a trade framework between the U.S. and 11 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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California Public School Students Will Learn About Labor Rights Under First-of-Its-Kind Law

“A.B. 800 empowers young people with the information and tools they need to understand their rights as workers,” said Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher of the California Labor Federation.

By Julia Conley. Published 10-2-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: eSchool News

While Republican-controlled state legislatures have rolled back child labor protections this year, Democratic lawmakers and rights advocates in California on Monday celebrated Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signing of a first-of-its-kind law that they say will make young people less vulnerable to workplace abuses by teaching them about labor protections.

Assemblymember Liz Ortega (D-20) told the Contra Costa News that Assembly Bill 800 is aimed at “giving kids the tools to stand up for themselves” as Republican lawmakers attack unions as well as making it easier for companies to employ children as young as 14 to work in industrial facilities.

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