Since 1979, Labor Notes has been home to the troublemaking wing of the labor movement. The pages of our magazine are filled with the stories of workers who are working to transform their unions, to take on the boss, to fight for racial justice.
We believe that working people's best bet is on ourselves. That's why our trainings, and national conference, focus on connecting workers to one another across unions and industries and provide rank-and-file organizers with the tools they need to get the job done themselves.
It’s just what you would expect from airplane engineers on strike—they reengineered the picket line burn barrel to be more efficient.
The strikers were Boeing engineers, members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), who walked the lines for 40 days in 2000 during a rainy Seattle winter.
“How can we get young workers involved?”
That’s the question on everyone’s lips, with union density at near-record lows. Many unions have begun holding summits for young members or forming local committees, which is great.
But too often they’re missing a step that’s more essential: don’t sell young workers out.
When you settle a two-tier contract that puts new hires on a lower wage scale or trades away their pension, it sends a message: “This union is for us, not for you.”
Despite heavy pressure from their employer and their own union leaders, rank-and-file Teamsters across the U.S. last week voted down the controversial tentative agreement at UPS, 54 percent no to 46 percent yes.
Even UPS indicated it was ready to return to the table.
But then Teamsters Package Division Director Denis Taylor announced he would exploit a constitutional loophole to declare this contract ratified.
Teamster activists are calling on the union and the company to respect the majority vote and reopen negotiations.