When the Peruvian trade union movement organized demonstrations this month in support of the public school teachers’ strike and against the government-imposed State of Emergency, the demonstrations turned into protests against President Alejandro Toledo’s neoliberal economic policies as a whole and not just the trade union issues.
Across the country last week, upscale coffee company Starbucks felt the heat for contracting with union-buster Cintas Corp. to launder aprons, mats and linens. Cintas has been cited repeatedly for breaking the law by discriminating, dumping untreated wastewater, and violating labor law.
Locked out since Sept. 2, 2002, some 250 Peterbilt truck workers in Madison, Tenn., return to work July 2, having defeated company proposals to increase their health care costs up to 300 percent.
MIAMI, Fla. – Launching a “season of struggle,” participants at the annual Jobs with Justice (JwJ) meeting here signed on to a jam-packed agenda of protest, mobilization and education for this fall. They emphasized four key issues leading up to the 2004 elections: health care, global justice, the right of workers to organize, and the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride (IWFR).
JEFFERSON, Wis. – Solidarity with striking Tyson Foods workers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 538, continues to grow as 500 strikers and supporters rallied here June 22. As the strike approaches its fifth month, roads in this area are lined with signs in support of the 470 workers at the Tyson Foods plant.
In Brattleboro, Vt., a town of 6,000, a major media union struggles is unfolding. The local daily newspaper, the Brattleboro Reformer, with a circulation of 11,500, is owned by the Dean Singleton MediaNews Group, the seventh largest newspaper company in the U.S. It has collided head-on with the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International union (PACE) over wages, respect, and quality journalism.
DETROIT – “Our challenge is to craft an agreement that protects our members’ jobs and income security,” said United Auto Workers (UAW) Vice President Richard Shoemaker. Shoemaker was speaking about the union’s mid-July contract talks with the Big Three auto companies, in the UAW’s Solidarity magazine. Current contracts expire September 14.
Chicago – About 130 workers at the Congress Plaza Hotel walked out on strike at 11:00 a.m., June 15, here protesting illegal wage and benefit cuts.
On June 6, Rev. Jesse Jackson came to Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) in Connecticut. His visit was in support of the 150 dietary workers whose union contract expired 30 months ago, the 1,800 service and patient care workers who are trying to get union recognition, and the community-labor campaign for an end to YNHH’s aggressive tactics in collecting unpayable medical debts from low-income patients.
NEW YORK – Something historic is brewing. Inspired by the freedom rides of the civil rights movement, the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride is now being organized for Sept. 20 – Oct. 4. National sponsors include the AFL-CIO, major international unions, national immigrant and