Labor Notes #384, March 2011

Today’s hospitals are big business, run like factories and clustered in growing corporate systems. Health care is a growing, consolidated industry with billions flowing into its coffers and desperately in need of skilled labor. It’s the kind of organizing target U.S. unions have not seen for some time.

When the Los Angeles school district announced that Dorsey High School was subject to takeover by a corporate charter company, the Dorsey community was ready to fight. People were ready to spring into action because teachers had spent years building their union chapter and organizing the community.

The much-maligned airport security workforce will finally have a chance to vote on a union and bargain collectively. The election starts today and runs through April 19. A February decision by TSA administrator John Pistole set the stage.

In an astonishing turnaround, a 1978 ballot initiative by the National Right-To-Work Committee to turn Missouri into a right-to-work state was defeated by a 3-2 margin. Workers in 12 new states are threatened by right to work this year. What can we learn from labor’s victory in Missouri last time?

Exactly 1,926 pink slips will soon make their way to the homes of Providence’s public school teachers. That’s one termination notice for every teacher in the system. Providence's teachers union has been one of the foremost advocates of the “collaborative” approach to labor-management relations.

For five years, CWAers across the country have worked with allies, including major civil rights organizations, the Sierra Club, and others, to build a campaign to bring high-speed internet to rural and urban America.

As Egyptian citizens celebrate their first victory on the way to democracy, worker organizers looked to continue the wave of organizing that led to dozens of strikes in the regime’s last days and afterward.

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