Sarah Hughes

Must-see play for union leaders at Labor Notes!

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Waterwell, in association with Working Theater, present

7 Minutes

written by Stefano Massini
translated by Francesca Spedalieri
directed by Kristina Valada-Viars

"7 Minutes is an extraordinary play about the fear, anger, strength, and resilience of workers in a warehouse fighting against a concession. It touches on every aspect of those very difficult but detrimental conversations on the shop floor. It's a must see." -Anthony Rosario, Teamsters Local 804

VIDEO: What is Visual Strategy? Projecting Power in the Street

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Holding a union sign at a picket line or rally is a rite of passage for a fighting union. But how often do we stop to think about how we are using these moments of collective action to strengthen our sense of unity, pride, and power?

Labor Notes hosted the co-creators of Look Loud in a webinar filled with practical tips about how your union presents its message and power to the world, the joy of making beautiful and effective signage together, and how to stage rallies for maximum impact.

Last year’s longest-running strike came to an end in early January when nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, overwhelmingly voted to ratify their new contract and return to work.

Nurses and mental health techs at a Tukwila, Washington, facility have won their safety strike after three and a half months on the picket line.

Sixty thousand film and television crew members are finally set to vote on tentative agreements announced in mid-October. Emboldened by the high turnout for their strike authorization vote, many members are continuing to speak out about the long hours and dangerous conditions they endure to produce profits for Netflix, Amazon, and Disney.

The union representing 60,000 film and television crew workers reached a tentative agreement with Hollywood producers October 16. The deal averted a first-ever national strike by the Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE), which was set to begin the next night—at least for the time being. The contracts will be voted on in the next several weeks.

At midnight on September 30, the national agreement expired between Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Healthcare Unions: 21 locals representing 52,000 workers. Now 35,000 of them have authorized strikes.

The heart of the conflict is a two-tier wage proposal, a rarity in health care. The company wants to create regional wage scales for everyone hired after 2022—meaning a giant cut in pay.

Kaiser isn’t hurting financially; last year it netted $6.4 billion, and it even returned $500 million in CARES Act funding to the federal government.

Two thousand nurses, clerical workers, technologists, and service workers have walked out of Mercy Health in Buffalo, New York, in an open-ended strike over the hiring and retention of workers throughout the hospital.

At 6 a.m. on October 1, the sky just starting to lighten, an already full picket line cheered the night shift workers flooding out the front doors to take a stand against Catholic Health System (CHS), which owns Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and two other hospitals in the area.

A terrifying scene unfolded the evening of August 1 at Cascade Behavioral Health Center in Tukwila, a suburb of Seattle. A volatile patient had stolen a badge and set of keys from an employee and was running between treatment units for mental health and addiction, taunting patients, vandalizing offices, making lewd comments, touching female staff and patients, and lashing out at attempts to restrain him.

A “Code Gray” was called—a signal for staff to rush to help restrain the man before he could hurt himself or others.

On the same day that their employer announced it had made more than $400 million in profits during the Covid-19 pandemic, the nurses of St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, declared their intention to strike.

“St. V’s” is part of the Dallas-based Tenet Health—one of the largest and most profitable for-profit hospital corporations in the country. It is refusing to back down on the number one issue for nurses: safe staffing ratios.

As of this writing, close to 90 percent of the 800 nurses have been on strike since March 8.