Saludo 1° Mayo de las Prisioneras Políticas del Colectivo Marquetalia, Cárcel Jamundí 18:39 May 01 0 comments
(Re)Radicalization of the Working Class in Turkey? 16:05 Apr 22 0 comments
Declaración del Bloque Sindical de Base 14:17 Mar 27 0 comments
Le onde e il vento... e la ristrutturazione 14:53 Feb 23 0 comments
Argentina: Las olas y el viento... y el ajuste 13:25 Feb 18 0 commentsmore >>
Recent articles by John Jacobsen
Recent Articles about North America / Mexico Workplace struggles
The state of the union is …unequal Jan 30 14
Arizona set to abolish public unions
north america / mexico | workplace struggles | news report Monday February 06, 2012 18:40 by John Jacobsen
Arizona state employees’ unions were caught off guard this week with news that the state’s Republican-controlled Senate was passing a series of bills which, amongst other provisions, would completely ban unions from engaging in any negotiation which affects the terms of a person's employment with State, county or city government. [Italiano]
Arizona set to abolish public unions
Arizona state employees’ unions were caught off guard this week with news that the state’s Republican-controlled Senate was passing a series of bills which, amongst other provisions, would completely ban unions from engaging in any negotiation which affects the terms of a person's employment with State, county or city government.
The move, according to Nick Dranius of the Goldwater Institute – one of the bill's shapers – is intended to “cause people to leave the unions as they recognized that unions no longer have an unfair bargaining advantage given to them by collective bargaining laws.” Once unions are no longer legally allowed to negotiate with the State, he concludes, workers will “realize that unions don’t do much for them.” The unions, however, may already have beat them to it.
Provisions of the billsMuch of the inspiration for the assault on organizing rights in Arizona has come, unsurprisingly, from the State of Wisonsin’s own successful fight to deny collective bargaining rights to State employees. One of the crafters of the bills, the Goldwater Institute, even flew Governor Scott Walker out to Arizona in November to offer counsel on how to pass similar legislation in their state.
Like the Wisconsin laws, the new legislation would prohibit unions from bargaining with the government over the terms of their employment. It would also prohibit State and local government workers from deducting money union dues from their paychecks.
The legislators in Arizona, however, have gone much further than their predecessors in Wisconsin, largely because Arizona conservatives believe – with justification – that they face far less opposition in their fight than Republicans in Wisconsin. Because of this, they have been able to spread their attack further than Walker, who needed to at least feign support for local police and firefighters’ unions. In Arizona, no public employees union has been spared.
Further, the bills would ban government employees from deducting union dues directly from their paychecks – a feature that many modern unions rely on in order to fund their activities.
The Unions’ responseAs of the release of this article, the Arizona AFL-CIO had no events in opposition to these bills published either on their website’s calendar, or in any other public capacity, to this author's knowledge.
Additionally, in interviews published by Talking Points Memo, author Nick Martin noted that union leaders, “catching their collective breath”, appeared not to have any “clear or coordinated strategy about how they were going to fight [the anti-union bills]”.
Indeed, with Senate Republicans outnumbering Democrats in Arizona 21-9, the unions were quite at a loss how exactly to proceed. The precedents set for fighting this type of legislation have for years been to lean on the Democratic Party, to whom unions donate their members’ dues money at staggering rates.
Despite the repeated failure of this strategy to achieve even the most basic defense of union members’ livelihoods – most recently in Wisconsin, but also federally over the Employee Free Choice Act, or favorable NAFTA renegotiations – union bureaucrats have continued to put all of their eggs in the basket of government.
A problem of organizationFor anyone even remotely familiar with the structure of unions today, however, this should come as no surprise. What are often failures for working people wind up being successes for union bosses – and what might have become great sucesses for working people often are too costly for the bureaucrats to allow.
In Wisconsin, for example, rank-and-file workers across the state took the initiative in the early months of that fight and led what could have been one of the most widespread, militant – and ultimately victorious – battles workers in the U.S. have seen in decades.
Had the wildcat strikes been allowed to spread – and they would have spread had the unions not so plainly worked to subvert and derail them – union leadership would have faced a crisis.
First, they would have had to face up to the workers’ realization – in deed, if not in yet in thought – that the leadership was of no use to them. Secondly, the leadership would have lost its partnership, and consequently its seat at the table with, the Democratic Party – who are more than happy to provide unions with a minimum of meaningless reforms in exchange for their ability to raise campaign funds and get out the vote.
Unions, at their best, should be organizations which facilitate the fight for our collective liberation. They should not be institutions of management, which dictate the course and pace of our struggles; structures which not only allow their participants’ to take the initiative, but require it.
Fri 01 Aug, 05:44
Days After Settlement, Pickets Return to Insomnia Cookies 20:08 Sun 16 Mar 0 comments
Picket lines have returned to Insomnia Cookies, less than two weeks after the company settled with four workers who struck in August of 2013. On Friday March 14, two dozen union members and supporters rallied in front of the Boston location of Insomnia Cookies, demanding the reinstatement with back pay of union organizer and bicycle delivery “driver,” Tasia Edmonds. On March 9 the company suspended Edmonds without pay for a month, alleging insubordination, while the union maintains she was disciplined for her union-building efforts.
Solidarity networks spread as a new alternative to ‘alternative labor’ 00:04 Tue 29 Oct 0 comments
Here is a look at the new campaign of the Portland Solidarity Network, and how their organizing format provides a new avenue for alternative labor.
Anarchists and Wobblies Support Striking Refuelers at Toronto Island Airport 21:33 Wed 27 Feb 0 comments
The IWW and members of Common Cause Toronto have been hitting the picket lines in support of striking refuelers employed by Porter Fixed Base Operations (FBO) at the Toronto Island airport. The strike has been bravely fought by a mere 22 workers fed up with unsafe working conditions and low wages.
Report From Right To Work for Less Protest in Michigan 03:00 Sat 22 Dec 0 comments
I started the day feeling pessimistic about what would happen and even though on the whole, people came, yelled and then went home, I was a lot more encouraged by the days events than I thought I’d be.
Construction strike in Quebec? 19:24 Fri 27 Aug 0 comments
Since January 2010, construction workers in Quebec have been working without a contract . Nevertheless , as many bosses as unions had announced in October 2009 , exemplary negotiations that would be settled by the due date of collective agreements. Practically nine months later , workers in shipyards have yet signed agreements and the situation is becoming increasingly tense.
25 Dead in West Virginia Mining Disaster 05:08 Fri 09 Apr 0 comments
This week, 25 miners lost their lives in a mine explosion at the Performance Coal Co. in Raleigh County, West Virginia. The explosion was the worst mining disaster in over two decades, if you don’t count the 10,000 who have died from black lung in the past decade.
Workers @ AT&T Poised to Strike 13:41 Thu 16 Apr 3 comments
At midnight April 5, 2009 contracts for most of the component groups represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at the telecom giant AT&T have expired. After weeks of mobilizing, around 90,000 workers are poised to strike one of the largest and most profitable multinational corporations. A job action by CWA would be the largest and among the most significant labor action in the United States since the UPS strike in 1997. It would also be the first major strike under the Obama regime. The brewing confrontation could set the tone for class struggle in the U.S. for the near future.
Join with workers standing against wage theft! 04:30 Wed 18 Mar 0 comments
On January 15th the owners of the Colibri jewelery and lighter factory locked out its workers and shut down,violating the federal WARN act law, and leaving workers who gave in many cases decades of their lives to the company out in the cold with nothing.
Riot Cops Illegally Detain Wobblies at Mall of America 11:38 Fri 26 Sep 0 comments
Video Release: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnK3I_zDuk0
Wobblies Welcome Mall of America Baristas to the Union! 04:16 Thu 31 Jul 0 comments
IWW Delivers Cake to MOA Starbucks Workers
“Sharing the pains, indignities and anger” Mar 10 1 comments
This is an interesting interview with our comrade Miriam (M1 Detroit) on her history of “Industrialization” with her organization at the time the Revolutionary Socialist League. “Industrialization” was the term that the Left used to describe the strategy of getting mainly University and counter-culture youth activists to commit to point-of-production organizing in factories as part of the working-class. It was different than what is today known as “salting” – as “Industrialization” was not usually seen as a short-term stint around a specific campaign, but rather a long-term commitment to building a revolutionary presence in the class.
The state of the union is …unequal Jan 30 1 comments
Direct action and workplace organization rather than legislation will end inequality
Which way forward for Ontario teachers? Mar 20 0 comments
It has been over a month since the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) held their one-day protest of the provincial Liberal Party leadership convention, mobilizing some 15,000 people on the streets of Toronto and then sending them all home again around 4:00 PM. The protest was part of the trade union response to Bill 115, which enabled the provincial government to circumvent collective bargaining and mandate the terms of new “collective agreements”. [Italiano]
This is a report written by two IWW organizers from out of state on the activities of the union during the height of the protests in Madison and Wisconsin. The version is slightly modified from a text sent to the 2011 Delegate Convention and reflects the opinion of the authors.
Moving to Action Sep 07 0 comments
When a revolutionary begins organizing in a shop, the first step is typically to agitate one's coworkers. In our minds we see a step-by-step process wherein our agitation leads to other opportunities, recruitment, committee building, until we have power and an organization. The problem is that for most workplaces, this way of thinking gives the wrong impression. In some workplaces, particularly in production, there's a state of constant agitation and actions burst out before committees ever get built. In other workplaces agitation just never seems to take hold. What do we do in these situations? What do we do when agitation takes years without much visible result, or in places where workers are clearly in the retreat or a passive state?more >>
Dylan's Candy Bar Workers Rally for Better Hours, Pay, & Respect Nov 02 Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union 0 comments
Dylan's Candy Bar workers staged a lively rally outside the store's flagship location Wednesday night.
Solidarity Callout - Domino's Pizza Drivers Dispute Aug 27 3 comments
September 15, 2012 north american Day of Solidarity with Aussie Dominos Pizza Drivers.
Workers Solidarity Alliance - On Labor Day Sep 03 W.S.A. 0 comments
W.S.A. Labor Commission US Labor Day Statement
Unfazed by near tie, Jimmy John’s Workers vow to continue campaign Oct 23 Industrial Workers of the World 0 comments
Workers report widespread illegal activity by company
Teachers of Miami-Dade County Call: Apr 10 1 comments
Meet 3.30pm at: Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th Street, Miami, Florida