Labor News

Jun 18

Divide Grows at the University

By Michael Kuchta, AFSCME Council 5.

IB ImageThe University of Minnesota is building a caste system that increasingly takes care of those at the top while it pushes lower-paid, frontline workers further and further behind, union activists told the Board of Regents Friday.

“The University’s wage and benefit policies increase the gap between the haves and have-nots, and it’s got to stop,” says Cherrene Horazuk, president of Clerical Workers Local 3800.

Aug 08

Obamacare Opens For Business, Shuts Out Labor

Unions pushed hard for health care reform, finally settling for a half-measure in the Affordable Care Act. Employers are responding to the law by lowering benefits to match its floor.

May 31

Walmart Workers Launch First-Ever 'Prolonged Strikes'

Walmart employees are on strike in Miami, Massachusetts and the California Bay Area this morning, kicking off what organizers promise will be the first “prolonged strikes” in the retail giant’s history. The union-backed labor group OUR Walmart says that at least a hundred workers have pledged to join the strikes, and that some workers walking off the job today will stay out at least through June 7, when Walmart holds its annual shareholder meeting near Bentonville, Arkansas.
May 31

University of California Patients and California Leaders Stand with UC Hospital Workers

“overwhelming majority of UC Hospital patient care workers” participated in strike

OAKLAND: The historic first-ever strike amongst UC Patient Care Technical Workers represented by AFSCME 3299 drew thousands of workers, their families, patients and elected leaders from across California to picket lines at UC Hospitals in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Irvine and San Diego.

Apr 03

Mother Jones, Workers Resistance, and the Origins of Rank-and-File Unionism

Mary Harris "Mother" Jones was a fearless fighter for workers' rights who shaped the concept of "rank-and-file unionism." When she was mocked as the "grandmother of all agitators," in the U.S. Senate, Mother Jones replied that she would someday like to be called "the great-grandmother of all agitators." And she is. She taught us that movements are theatres of battle, that strategy matters, and that unions can be vehicles for workers' power, not just a contract.

Apr 02

All Labor Has Dignity: 150 Years Since the Emancipation Proclamation

Untold Stories! Award Winning Labor History Series

Feb 06

No Human Being is Illegal - AFSCME 3800 Supports Immigration Reform

From our founding, AFSCME 3800 has stood proudly for the rights of all workers, and as such, we join the rest of the labor movement in supporting immigration reform.

Jan 20

VIDEO: A Way Forward Can’t Wait

To mark the start of the legislative session, progressive leaders gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol to call on lawmakers to enact smart policy that restores drastic cuts to public services and strengthens the middle class.

AFSCME Council 5 executive director Eliot Seide and workers around Minnesota said now is the time, with DFLers leading the legislature and the governorship, to move Minnesota forward.

Jan 19

Editorial: The U's failing grade for fiscal management

Exhibit A on administrative bloat: The U.

At the University of Minnesota, the number of employees with "human resources" or "personnel" in their job titles has grown from 180 to 272 since the 2004-05 academic year.

Since 2006, the university has spent $10 million on consultants for a vast new housing development that is decades from completion. It employs 139 people for marketing, promotions and communications. Some 81 administrators make $200,000 per year or more.

In the past decade, Minnesota's administrative payroll has gone up three times as fast as the teaching payroll, and twice as fast as student enrollment.

Oh, and tuition more than doubled in that same period, to more than $13,000 per year.

Dec 10

One Year Later: Fundraiser for Locked Out Crystal Sugar Workers

August 1st, 2012 marked the 1-year anniversary of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union lockout by the bosses at Crystal Sugar. At the end of June, the BCTGM workers rejected a second contract offer that would double health care costs and allow management to ignore seniority when filling new positions and contract work out to non-union workers. These workers have held strong against this unfair contract. Workers from North Dakota never received unemployment insurance during the lockout and the Minnesota workers’ unemployment is beginning to run out. Our union brothers and sisters in the Red River Valley are going through difficult times and are engaged in a very difficult fight. The President of Crystal Sugar likened the union to a cancerous tumor that must be removed. Union busting is becoming all too familiar with ‘Right to Work’ legislation being introduced around the country and more attacks by bosses every day. Join us for a solidarity dinner and discussion on how we unite these struggles, show solidarity for the locked out Crystal Sugar workers and learn from their experience.
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