Workers rights and unions

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Unlike other unions in Philly- the building trades have always been very underrepresented with minority workers. And often filled with white workers on jobs in the City who get off the job and “go over the bridge” to their homes outside of Philly.

The recent change in leadership is an opportunity to correct these inequities.

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Sparrow Health workers in Lansing, Michigan, vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike

The vote came amid a major surge in coronavirus cases in the state. Michigan leads the United States in seven-day average daily new cases and hospitalizations, at 88 and 35 per 100,000, respectively. As of this writing, Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, the largest in the health care system, has 108 COVID-19 patients, with 25 in the ICU. Its bed occupancy rate is 98 percent.

A federal mediator arrived last week for the negotiations. MNA bargaining representatives are racing to find an agreement with Sparrow to avert the strike which has now been authorized. If no agreement is reached, there must be at least 10 days’ warning before a strike begins.

On the Monday following the vote, management announced a new offer which does not address the workers’ demands. While the newest contract offer contains no cuts to health insurance, it maintains a strict attendance policy, under which a worker can be fired for missing only 24 hours of work in a year, and it excludes any guarantees for N95 respirators for providers or cost-of-living adjustments. The “offer” also continues the rejection of Sparrow’s earlier commitment to safe staffing levels and proposes to give priority to agency nurses over PESCH nurses in some scenarios.

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In case your employer hasn’t acquainted you with this repugnant policy, a two-tier system means that everyone hired after today has it worse than everyone hired before today—whether it’s lower pay, weaker benefits, no pension, or unlimited forced overtime

It’s the fallout of a concessionary era—employers squeezing every ounce of leverage from recessions and threats to fly off to greener pastures. Unions largely failed to mount solid resistance. But with organizing, it’s possible to overturn two-tier even once it has a foothold.

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The teamsters union up the road from me just had a victory over this same two-tier system:

Huzzah!

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And we’re paying for those jets with the sweet tax breaks they get. Still not tax break on your car or trans pass.

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Yeah, didn’t Manchin tank the proposed tax credit on union-built electric cars?

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Molly Crabapple!

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Saw this elsewhere and thought it had to be shared.

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The use of “slave owners” in that context strikes me as questionable at best, but the rest is of course awesome.

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A U.S. labor-board official is ordering a re-voteafter an agency review found Amazon improperly pressured warehouse staff to vote against joining a union, tainting the original election enough to scrap its results. The decision was issued Monday by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board. Amazon is expected to appeal.

The news puts the warehouse in Bessemer, outside Birmingham, back in the spotlight as a harbinger of labor-organizing efforts at Amazon, which is now America’s second-largest private employer with over 950,000 employees.

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Particularly in the context of historical US slavery which is not like some of the less totalitarian forms in other countries.

I just cringed reading it.

As far as I know the term wage slave is a propaganda term from people who supported enslavement in the US. In particular, the historian who told me this, said it was used in the context of the textile industry and their claim that cotton pickers (enslaved people) had enough food while linen workers were starving in Ireland.

This was, of course, an utterly duplicitous argument. Top to bottom. And please let’s not discuss its validity anyone because it is just like some Nazis talking about how they think they did something better somewhere ignoring the overwhelming appalling nature of their regime and the vast amount of murders.

And also because Nazis and slavery enthusiasts always lie about everything anyway and no such uptick ever actually exists.

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No doubt true, but it has also been used through out the history of the labor movement in the US, too, not just by supporters of enslavement (although the two aren’t mutually exclusive of course, as the American labor movement had it’s own problems with race and racism). Lucy Parsons, herself a formerly enslaved person, regularly used that terminology. It was questionable then and now, of course.

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Of course. As a rhetorical device it’s problematic to equate something bad with the absolute worst. Israel’s oppression of Palestinian people is a blight on the rich world but they are not Nazis exterminating Jewish people.

Slavery looks a lot different in many parts of the world and context, all bad might I add, but the totalitarian slave economy in the south in the US was a rare, extraordinarily evil variant.

Some of that slavery looks quite like the worst excesses of labour exploitation, but it doesn’t begin to approach the monstrosity of the triangular trade and totalitarianism of the Caribbean and US systems.

With European capital utterly key of course.

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reggie watts yes GIF by The Late Late Show with James Corden

And of course, the American system of race-based slavery developed along side the emergence of the white working class, too. Race was an effective means of dividing the working classes against each other - but many white working class people participated in the construction of white working class identity…

Man. The world is really fucked, isn’t it…

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