Media union endorses Bernie Sanders

The Communications Workers of America endorsed the socialist candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, Bernie Sanders. This is the biggest union to come out for Sanders, with most of the others supporting Hillary Clinton.

What most of the media reports about the CWA are omitting is that this is the union representing, along with telephone employees, newspaper workers (The Newspaper Guild) and broadcasters (National Association of Broadcasters). [Read more…]

Collective bargaining with “joint employers”

The National Labor Board has ruled that companies that subcontract parts of their operation or sell franchises to private operators are to be considered “joint employers.”  That means they may have to engage in collective bargaining with the unions that represent employees of the subcontractors or franchisees.

But many subcontractors offer services to scores of companies!  Must all of them have a say in what the smaller businesses pay their employees? [Read more…]

Collective bargaining through government power

Labor unions have been having a hard time of it.  So union activists have announced a new strategy:

“We are going to expand the idea of collective bargaining,” said Tim Paulson, executive director of the San Francisco AFL-CIO. “You can have collective bargaining through legislation. You can have collective bargaining through ballot measures.”

Columnist Harold Meyerson thinks this is a swell idea. [Read more…]

Fast-food strike

Starting today, fast-food workers in at least seven cities–Detroit, New York, Milwaukee, Chicago,  St. Louis, Flint, and Kansas City–plan to stage one-day strikes.  The employees of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and KFC are calling for “a living wage,” at least $15 per hour. [Read more…]

NFL reaches agreement with Refs

The NFL reached a tentative labor agreement with the professional referees.  There will be no more replacement refs, as of the Thursday night game.  The Packers were a sacrifice that caused the reconciliation.   I was afraid President Obama would assure his re-election by sending out troops, not to break a strike, but to break the owners and their lockout..

Sorry about that, NFL chief says of replacements – CNN.com.

Chicago teachers’ strike

Chicago teachers are on strike, even though they are among the highest paid in the country and they were offered a 16% raise.  But they don’t want to be held accountable for their effectiveness:

For the first time in a quarter century, Chicago teachers walked out of the classroom Monday, taking a bitter contract dispute over evaluations and job security to the streets of the nation’s third-largest city — and to a national audience — less than a week after most schools opened for fall.

The walkout forced hundreds of thousands of parents to scramble for a place to send idle children and created an unwelcome political distraction for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In a year when labor unions have been losing ground nationwide, the implications were sure to extend far beyond Chicago, particularly for districts engaged in similar debates.

The two sides resumed negotiations Monday but failed to reach a settlement, meaning the strike will extend into at least a second day.

Chicago School Board President David Vitale said board and union negotiators did not even get around to bargaining on the two biggest issues, performance evaluations or recall rights for laid-off teachers. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said that was because the district did not change its proposals.

“This is a long-term battle that everyone’s going to watch,” said Eric Hanuskek, a senior fellow in education at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. “Other teachers unions in the United States are wondering if they should follow suit.”

The union had vowed to strike Monday if there was no agreement on a new contract, even though the district had offered a 16 percent raise over four years and the two sides had essentially agreed on a longer school day. With an average annual salary of $76,000, Chicago teachers are among the highest-paid in the nation, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality.

But negotiators were still divided on job security measures and a system for evaluating teachers that hinged in part on students’ standardized test scores.

via The Associated Press: Chicago teachers strike in bitter contract dispute.

What is at stake, if other teachers’ unions follow suit, is educational reform.  The politics here are interesting:  Unions and teachers’ unions in particular are key activists in the Democratic party.  And yet, these teachers have risen up against educational reforms pushed by Democrats.  The mayor of Chicago, who has taken on these teachers, is Rahm Emanuel, formerly President Obama’s chief of staff and a key fundraiser in his re-election campaign.  Could improving education, even against the opposition of incompetent teachers and their enablers, become a bi-partisan cause?  Or will political pressure from the unions derail educational reform?


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X