After the flood of corporate donations we saw in the last election, it’s no surprise that state legislators across the country are attempting to pass so-called “right-to-work” laws—making it harder for workers to join together in a union and putting more money in the pockets of CEOs.
Yesterday, the New Hampshire State House jumped on the unionbusting bandwagon, passing a controversial “right to work” bill with a 221-131 vote. But Gov. John Lynch has made it clear that he’s going to stand with the middle class on this one—assuring New Hampshire’s working families that he’ll veto the bill.
In December 2010, we warned that Scott Walker believed he could solve Wisconsin’s budget issues by taking away a voice on the job from working women and men. Four months into office, Gov. Walker is following through on his promise to attack Wisconsin’s working families.
As the U.S. continues to recover from the Great Recession, Americans expect their political leaders to focus on restarting the economy and bringing back good jobs. Unfortunately, not all politicians are getting the message.
Governors and state legislatures across the country are ruthlessly targeting middle class, public employees, making them the scapegoat for Wall Street’s misdeeds. Florida’s governor wants to force employees to pay more into their pensions while cutting taxes on private business. Read more »
Last week we alerted you to the shocking conditions workers face at the Ruby Ridge Dairy farm in Pasco, Washington. In response to long hours, inconsistent pay, and brutal work rules, workers at the dairy sought a voice on the job and a union through the United Farm Workers. Since trying to organize, workers say that management responded with the highest degree of intimidation and harassment, including the firing of union supporters and insinuations of violence.
Seeking to put pressure on the dairy’s owners, we asked that you join us in urging Northwest Farm Credit Services to stop lending to Ruby Ridge. A company that doesn’t value human rights does not deserve an extended line of credit.
His name is Dick Bengen, and at Ruby Ridge Dairy in Washington State, workers say he imposes some of the most unspeakable working conditions we’ve ever encountered. He carries a rifle in his truck and threatens pro-union employees with it. He shouts abusive language and racial slurs at his workers. He refuses to grant lunch breaks. And his employees have to drink from the same water barrels as his cows.
It always defies reason when lawmakers attempt to limit workers’ rights to stand together to negotiate for a better life and a voice on the job. But some newly elected governors, like Nikki Haley in South Carolina and John Kasich in Ohio, have made it abundantly clear that it’s their intention to thwart those rights. Ironically enough, Haley has even chosen a ‘union avoidance’ attorney to head the state’s Department of Labor.
Let’s not forget, the people these policymakers are so eager to throw under the bus are the same middle-class workers whose consumer spending drives the state’s economy. Read more »
If you’re trying to outfit your home on a budget, IKEA is pretty much the holy grail of interior decorating. The cafeteria food isn’t half bad either. But at Swedwood, an IKEA furniture subsidiary in Danville, VA, employees say they’re subjected to a whole slew of unsafe, unfair, and generally unpleasant working conditions—including unlawful intimidation and firing of union supporters during their ongoing attempt to join the Machinists (IAM).
That’s way too high a price to pay for any product, no matter how trendy. Read more »
Preparing to become governor is certainly a full-time job. But maybe Wisconsin’s Governor-elect Scott Walker should take some time to read Blog at Work.
On Monday we reviewed Gallup’s recently released poll that asked Americans to rank the professions they trusted the most. Six of the top ten professions were jobs found in whole or part in the public sector. That’s a pretty good indication of the trust the American people have in public employees.
So why should any of this matter to Governor-elect Walker? Well, a day after we reported on the Gallup poll’s results, Walker announced that he would consider rescinding all collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin’s public employees to solve the state’s budget problems. That’s right. Wisconsin doesn’t just have a Governor-elect, they have a Unionbuster-elect.
This holiday is shaping up to be a pretty bleak one for workers, at a time when the economy needs them most. Unemployment is hovering at 10 percent, and yesterday Congress failed extend unemployment benefits. Now, Express Scripts Inc. (ESI), one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit management companies, announced plans to close a prescription processing facility that employs 650 people in a suburb northeast of Philadelphia.
Express Scripts, which verifies written prescriptions, checks claims histories and formularies, and calls physicians and patients, says they are closing the facility after seeking wage and benefit concessions that would bring labor costs at the plant in “line with costs at its facilities elsewhere in the country.”
The 310 workers at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company have been members of a small, independent union for over 40 years. But when they decided to merge with the larger Teamsters Local 150 back in April, the management at the factory refused to recognize their newly-affiliated union as a bargaining representative.
But now management has agreed to settle with the workers, only a week before the situation was to go before an administrative law judge from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). According to the settlement, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company must bargain in good faith with the Teamsters, process union grievances, and pay the union dues for which the employees had authorized payroll deduction. In other words, it’s got to follow the law.
Coca-Cola workers are not the only ones who achieved victory lately. Two weeks ago the Board ordered Regis Corporation, owners of salons like Cost Cutters and Master Cuts, to cease threatening to fire workers if they tried to join a union. They’re showing Big Business that workers’ have the right to organize and collectively bargain.