Zoe Bridges-Curry: Author Archive

Top 5 best and worst moments for workers in 2011

It’s been quite a year for workers. From Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., on the football field and the factory floor, we’ve seen unprecedented attacks on workers’ rights from Big Business and corporate-backed politicians. But we’ve also seen the resurgence of a movement to ensure fairness for all Americans and the beginnings of a great political awakening for the 99 percent.

We wanted to take time to reflect on the events of 2011, so we came up with this list of the top five best and worst moments for workers this year. Read more »

 

NLRB takes steps toward a fairer vote for workers

Yesterday was a big day for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)—and for workers’ rights. First, the Board voted to approve a resolution that includes some but not all of the proposals set forth in its recent rule to ensure a fairer union election process for workers. Several hours later, corporate-backed politicians in the U.S. House of Representatives struck back with a bill that, rather than addressing the problems in the current union election process, mandates a delay. This “Election Prevention Act” stands almost no chance of passing the Senate (whew!) but it certainly shows just how far anti-worker lawmakers are willing to go to pad the pockets of the 1 percent, even when it comes at the expense of their constituents.
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VIDEO: It’s just a poster

This August the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a rule that requires private sector employers to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)—rights they’ve had for more than 70 years. Like other notices of workplace laws regarding safety and health, compensation, and discrimination, the poster raises awareness without unduly burdening employers.

But anti-worker politicians and corporate interest groups are up in arms over this modest step forward for everyday Americans. So we put together this short video on the poster to expose the right-wing hysteria for what it really is: political theater intended to undermine even the most basic protections for the 99 percent. Read more »

 

This holiday season, pledge not to shop at Amazon.com

Pledge not to shop at AmazonIn September, an investigative report revealed that Amazon.com’s Breinigsville, PA, warehouse has been operating like a sweatshop – with employees working on their hands and knees at a frantic pace, enduring the pain because they’re afraid of losing their jobs. Amazon had even forced employees to work in temperatures so high that the company kept ambulances parked outside to carry sick workers out on stretchers.

After thousands of outraged customers wrote to Amazon’s CEO demanding that the retailer set things right, Amazon is now planning to install air conditioners in its warehouses. Unfortunately, the company hasn’t bothered to address other problems that are just as serious. Read more »

 

GOP prioritizing attacks on NLRB at the expense of jobs

Americans are sending a clear message to legislators: It’s time to work for the 99 percent again, not corporate interests. But right-wing politicians in Congress aren’t listening.

Attacks on the NLRB SummarizedInstead, they’re wasting time and taxpayer dollars with an unrelenting series of attacks on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)—the only means workers have to protect themselves when their rights are violated on the job. Read more »

 

Walker Lets His Unionbusting Flag Fly

Yesterday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for a hearing on the state and local budget battles playing out across the country. Not that there was much lingering doubt, but Walker’s visit to DC confirmed that his controversial bill stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights in fact did nothing to address the state’s fiscal woes.

Shocker, I know.
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Workplace or prison camp?

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.

We’ve seen plenty of companies that treat their workers poorly—Ruby Ridge takes it to a whole new level. Read more »

 

Newly elected governors put workers’ rights in the crosshairs

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 »

 

2010: A year-end roundup

The American Rights at Work blog team is about to close up shop for the holidays. But before we do, here’s a roundup of some of our favorite posts from 2010, from most to least recent. Happy Holidays! Read more »

 

Tell IKEA CEO Mikael Ohlsson: Let Swedwood employees build a better future

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 »