Labor Notes # 452

If the Wisconsin legislature had gotten its way, private charter companies would have taken over at least one more public school in Milwaukee this year—pushing us dangerously near a tipping point to the planned extinction of our school district.

But instead, thanks to the dogged activism of educators, students, parents, and community activists, we have staved off the immediate threat. The takeover commissioner backed away from announcing target schools, then resigned his post. And on October 12 we celebrated the news that our district is out of danger from the takeover law.

After three weeks on strike, the 400 workers who make Mike and Ikes, Hot Tamales, and that Easter basket staple, marshmallow Peeps, were driven back to work September 28—still without a contract.

Their employer, the privately held Just Born, forced them back through a combination of permanent replacements, younger workers crossing the line, and a looming cut-off of health care benefits.

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