ICYM: A roundup of worker news

The rise of teacher militancy and its wave of statewide strikes is having more effect than giving teachers greater bargaining power; they’ve entered politics. For instance, said The Progressive, “In Oklahoma, the teacher revolt prompted 112 current or former teachers and family members of teachers to run for local, state, and federal office. More than seventy of those advanced in primary elections.”

Several days before Labor Day, our anti-union president announced he was canceling cost of living raises for the federal workforce. While it’s not surprising, Trump either lied or was totally mistaken in everything he said, according to The Los Angeles Times.

 The Trump administration continues to ramp up its attack on public worker unions. Sonia Saldivar, the president of a union representing Social Security workers in New Mexico, said in The New York Times, “Employees are scared now. They’re scared they’re going to lose their job.”

Napoleón Gómez, was a courageous and persecuted president of the Mexican Union of Miners and Metalworkers’ Union, known as Los Mineros. He spent 12 years in exile, fleeing bogus charges from the Mexican government. But on August 30, he was sworn in as senator, thanks to support from the global union federation, IndustriaALL and the Mexican president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Read about it on the IndustriaALL website.

The Dallas News headline said it all, “Labor Day surprise: Union membership grows by 81,000 in pro-business Texas.” Texas struggles with a low unionization rate, but it’s beginning to rise. “Working people are getting fed up with the system,” said Willy Gonzalez, the Texas chapter president for Unite Here. “They’re open to coming together to improve their rights and working conditions. You can really feel the energy.”

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