Labor Notes #453

Warehouses and factories dot Chicago and its suburbs, concentrating hundreds of thousands of workers in a major hub for transporting goods. If these workers were united enough to strike, they would have huge leverage. But can they overcome a slew of obstacles to organize?

After giving something up in a previous contract, is it possible to win it back? It took a massive effort, but hospital workers in Buffalo proved it can be done.

Catholic Health is one of the two local hospital chains that dominate western New York. Communications Workers (CWA) Locals 1133 and 1168 represent 6,900 of its employees in six bargaining units.

What has led teachers in a sleepy Canadian province to the brink of their first-ever strike?

Members of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union voted by 96 percent on October 25 to authorize their provincial executive—the union’s board of elected officers—to call a strike or other job action. Voter turnout was reported as an astronomical 106.7 percent; even substitute teachers, not counted as eligible voters, could vote if they were working that day.

Legally, the union could strike as of December 3.

Donald Trump’s win is the gut-punch finale to a surreal election season. For thousands of rank-and-file activists the outcome is even more bitter after the inspiration and energy stirred up by Bernie Sanders’ improbable campaign.

Unfortunately, we don’t need a crystal ball to figure out what a Trump presidency has in store for labor, especially with Republicans controlling the House and the Senate.

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