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Americal Apparel Not Progressive, Just Perverse [Mar. 25th, 2006|10:17 pm]
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"Out of a thousand sexual harassment claims, how many do you think are exploitative?" he asks. In any case, "women initiate most domestic violence," [CEO Dov Charney] said.
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Union-made blank t-shirts [Feb. 28th, 2006|03:52 pm]
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Since I recently purchased a bulk order of blank shirts for screenprinting for my IWW GMB, I thought it would be good to mention a company that offers good prices for blank t-shirts.

Union Jean Company offers the following t-shirt prices for orders over a dozen:
S/S Heavyweight Tee no pocket (6.25 oz) - $5.59

S/S Heavyweight Tee with pocket (6.25 oz) - $6.39

S/S Tee no pocket (5.4 oz) - $4.79

S/S Tee with pocket (5.4 oz) - $5.80

Naturally, these prices exclude sizes 2XL and up, which require an additional amount.
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Reflections on a 4-year labor strike. [Feb. 28th, 2006|12:38 pm]
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When I was a freshman in high school in a little town in northern Wyoming, my stepdad, one of 200+ union mine workers at a nearby mine, voted to strike at 12:01 AM on October 1st, 1987. It was a strike that would last four years and in the process, change our family, our town, and our futures forever.

This has been making the rounds of some of the labor blogs. If you haven't seen it yet, you should check it out.

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Hi there. [Jan. 9th, 2006|09:45 pm]
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Hello there. Whata great little community you have. I was wondering what people here think about the recent changes to the Australian industrial relations laws. I think they're terrible and have been writing about it here. If you'd like to join please do. What do you think can be done to stop laws like this?

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my boilerplate TWU strike response [Dec. 21st, 2005|10:56 am]
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I've written up a preemptive boilerplate response that I'm going to start posting as a reply to anything negative I read about the strike. I'd like to get some thoughts on it. Feel free to comment from any viewpoint.

(1) The MTA is running a $1 billion surplus.

(2) The other municipal unions (teachers, fire, police) did give plenty of concessions to the city, but received significantly higher raises than the TWU would get.

(3) On healthcare and pensions: Dividing the union between the current employees and the new hires is purely an attempt at unionbusting. That's what management is supposed to do, I guess - but that doesn't mean we should let them get away with it. By creating 2 tiers of employees, the MTA hopes to sow division within the membership, turning workers against each other in future bargaining. That's reprehensible - I was happy to hear that TWU members were unwilling to "mortgage" the future employees in order to get quick gains.

Furthermore, on Monday night the MTA introduced a new last-minute pension proposal that changed new hire pension contributions from 2% to 6% - a major change that led to the strike. Interestingly, the NY Times reports that this proposal would save the MTA a paltry $20 million over 3 years.

(4) The MTA has a particularly draconian set of disciplinary rules and procedures. With 34,000 employees, there are current 15,000+ active grievances relating just to discipline. The TWU has said repeatedly that they will compromise on the wage increases (which hardly amount to 25%) if the MTA will lighten up in this area.

An example of the MTA's discipline: If you call out sick, the MTA sends a supervisor to your house to make sure you're really there. Would you be happy if your boss gave you so little trust?

(5) Pataki and Bloomberg have been acting in a particularly "reprehensible" fashion (to use Bloomberg's new favorite word) in this dispute. Both kept low profiles and said they had no control during the negotiations. Now, both are grandstanding and saying that the MTA should not negotiate until the strike is called off. Talk about two-faced!

For a bonus bit of pot-calling-the-kettle-black, see the Village Voice: http://villagevoice.com/blogs/bushbeat/archive/002218.php

(6) The strike has been called illegal under the Taylor Law. I'm uncomfortable with telling *anyone* not to strike, but I can see fire and police. Still, the strike is illegal - fine. But would you have opposed law-breaking in the civil rights movement? Ever hear of civil disobedience? Sometimes the rule of law isn't everything. This union will pay a penalty for their actions - if they pay the consequences, how are they not justified?

Furthermore, all strikes used to be "illegal". It was only through these "illegal" actions that workers were able to obtain the current "right" to strike.
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(no subject) [Oct. 26th, 2005|06:19 pm]
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For anyone in the Detroit areaCollapse )
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The obligatory first post [Oct. 24th, 2005|10:29 pm]
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While looking for union/labor related communities, but not related to a particular campaign/individual, i noticed that i really didn't see many. But, i did find this, so here I am. Hi.

Way up in the corner of the northeast, I work for the state of maine. Government work can leave one feeling pretty conflicted at times, but i'm in a department that isn't too harmful (labor, unemployment comp.) and we've got a good strong union with us. MSEA, SEIU local 1989.

I've worked with the state, and been a part of msea, for 2 years now. In that time, i've gone from being a alternate delegate for our chapter to the treasurer, and just got elected to the union's finance/budget committee. It's been a great learning experience, and i know it will only get better as I go along. I'm one of the younger active members in our chapter, or even in our area, so the future of involvement is good. I've been lucky to be in with some incredibly devoted workers, and they've been a great example.

Only drawback is, now we have more purple tshirts than anyone really needs. And as much as i still love my Dean for 2004 longsleeve, it just looks weird to wear it to fairs and functions.

Anyway, yes. Hello. I'd love to hear from anyone, especially those who might share the experience of being a younger person in an organization made mostly of middle aged/older participants or gov't employees.
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Strike! [Oct. 10th, 2005|11:47 am]
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Thought you might be interested.
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organizers/ field reps [Aug. 24th, 2005|01:37 pm]
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[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

hey, so i'm thinking about taking a job as an organizer or a field rep, and i've talked to a few friends about it, but i'm still feeling kind of conflicted about it and was hoping to get some perspectives of other organizers/union staff types. i guess my main concerns are about hours and stress and wages, besides feeling a little weird about being on staff when i've never really been a "worker" and am not sure how cool i am with top-down organizing models in general.

so yeah, opinions, experiences, whatever else would be grand. thanks!!
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Keeping Wal-Mart out of WA [Aug. 23rd, 2005|09:30 pm]
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Wal-Mart is threatening to build a second store in the city Mill Creek (Bothell), WA; within 10 miles of the present store.

Wal-Mart is notorious for low wages, providing little to no health care, and stiffing employees of their breaks and overtime pay. Wal-Mart currently has many overtime pay, sexual harrassment, and workplace injury lawsuits pending.

Wal-Mart does not take responsibility for the damage it causes to the environment. The company bullies its vendors and drives small businesses out of town. In the end consumers are not saving money by shopping at Wal-Mart, because many other people in small business lose their jobs and the community ends up paying for the health care of Wal-Mart employees.

The money made in Wal-Mart stores does not stay in local banks to stimulate the local economy- it all gets sent back East to where the company is based. Keep in mind that many of the products in Wal-Mart are cheap not only because the company pays their employees very little, but because they are made by workers overseas who endure horrible working conditions and work for almost nothing.

Furthermore, a Wal-Mart placed on the 132nd street location would be a traffic nightmare and also a safety concern due to the two schools located across the street.

If you oppose the proposed Wal-Mart on 132nd street I urge you to become involved.

Even if you do as little as write a letter to the local editor of the Enterprise or spread the word to others about Wal-Mart it could make a difference.

A local group of citizens is forming to oppose a second Wal-Mart. This group plans on circulating petitions, waving signs, writing letters, and attending city council meetings.

THE NEXT MEETING WILL TAKE PLACE TUESDAY, AUGUST 30TH AT ROUND TABLE PIZZA IN MILL CREEK. If you would like to become involved or offer support please show up!

Other communities such as Stanwood have been successful in keeping Wal-Mart out. We can do it, too! Please leave a comment if you have questions.

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