Labor News

Using OSHA to win victories: the case of Cintas

There is a tendency among U.S. trade union leaders, shop stewards and rank-and-file activists to strongly distrust federal and state agencies charged with protecting workers’ health and safety — and therefore not to utilize them.

After fatal accidents, unions put spotlight on port safety

OAKLAND, Calif. — After the second fatal accident at the Port of Oakland in 10 weeks, port workers and their union are raising urgent concerns about safety at the nation’s fourth largest port.

French strikes: the end or beginning?

PARIS — During France’s powerful public workers’ strikes of November-December 1995, the political waters were somewhat muddy. On the one hand, President Jacques Chirac had based his recent election campaign on the theme of opposing “social fracture” and disharmony. On the other, newly appointed Prime Minister Alain Juppé had just launched a violent attack on welfare and on public workers’ pay and retirement benefits.

America is missing its middle

If your Oreo didn’t have the sugary white middle, wouldn’t you notice? If, over time, your car tire middles collapsed, you would notice. So why for so long has our country’s middle been allowed to disappear without notice or correction?

Fix the health care system

ASHTABULA, Ohio — Health Care for All was the topic at the Town Hall meeting here Nov. 10 at People’s Missionary Baptist Church. The meeting, endorsed by the NAACP and the Ashtabula AFL-CIO and Retiree Council, featured an impressive panel of public officials and community leaders who presented strong arguments for repairing our broken health care system

Shut down NLRB for renovations, Ohio unionists demand

CLEVELAND — A spirited crowd of Working America, Jobs with Justice and local unions’ members picketed the federal building here Nov. 19 to protest a new raft of anti-labor decisions by the National Labor Relations Board.

Collapse in mine safety, report says

PITTSBURGH — “The collapse of MSHA began when Bush appointed David Lauriski in 2001,” says mine safety expert Jack Spadaro. “That set in motion all the processes and disasters in coal mining making headlines now.”

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Fans back writers in week 4 of strike

NEW YORK — A thousand striking writers and their backers rallied in Washington Square Park here Nov. 27 to kick off the fourth week of a strike by the Writers Guild of America against an array of U.S. media conglomerates.

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Bay Area unions support Alcatraz ferry workers

SAN FRANCISCO — A thousand workers from unions throughout the Bay Area joined in a march and rally on this city’s historic waterfront Dec. 9. The action supported union workers who lost their jobs when ferry service to Alcatraz Island was taken over by a nonunion company.

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Illinois hikes minimum wage, but not enough

CHICAGO — The Illinois Legislature wasted no time heeding the national voters’ mandate, overwhelmingly passing a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage from $6.50 an hour to $7.50 effective next July. The bill, which Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he looks forward to signing, will make the Illinois minimum wage one of the nation’s highest.

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