Labor Notes #411

Almost all union contracts in the U.S. and Canada require the employer to have a good reason before disciplining or firing you. But few spell out what the words mean—leaving workers to churn in the jelly-like universe of “I know it when I see it.”

A union has been signing up thousands of members at small nonprofits that grow and sell medical marijuana. But to the federal government, the entire industry is criminal.

Faculty members who work on short-term contracts have launched citywide, cross-college organizing drives in Boston and Pittsburgh. Most teachers and students in higher ed today are working-class.

Update August 6, 2013: The Department of Defense reduced the number of furlough days for 650,000 civilian employees from 11 to six. AFGE President David Cox credited AFGE activists who had flooded the White House and congressional offices with stories of personal hardship and said that Pentagon officials had admitted the furloughs were unnecessary.

“Weekday frequent flyers”—that is, business travelers—must have felt drunk with power in April, when Congress rushed to fix the inconvenience caused by air traffic controller furloughs.

NUHW supporters must now pursue a “minority union” organizing approach. The upstart union lost its second bid to represent 45,000 service and technical workers at the giant California health care chain.

Subscribe to Labor Notes #411