Labor Notes #410

Tens of thousands of striking teachers and their allies marching through the streets of Chicago last fall had a back-story, a little-discussed trend in organized labor—reform movements.

The arguments used to end welfare have been turned on the unemployed. States are cutting back unemployment benefits and forcing recipients to take lower-paid jobs—and even the employed are affected.

Momentum is building as four cities and one state have passed paid sick leave provisions, with New York City passing a bill May 8. Still, the benefits are skimpy by international standards.

Non-commercial FM frequencies will be available for the first time in urban areas this year. Building community radio stations could give the labor movement a powerful megaphone.

Teachers at Ivy Academia in Los Angeles are the latest to join a wave of union organizing victories at charter schools. Nationally, 625 charter schools are organized.

Teachers quickly settled contracts before Michigan’s right-to-work law took effect, locking in dues deduction. But most deals gave up a lot.

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