The Republican-dominated National Labor Relations Board recently further tightened restrictions on worker picket lines, according to In These Times. The three-to-two majority ruled that striking San Francisco janitors could not picket their ultimate employer because they were technically subcontracted through two intermediate employers. With more and more work being handled this way, workers now face even greater restrictions in confronting bad employers.
As U.S. journalists and media outlets are being threatened, an average of two journalists are murdered each week worldwide. That’s why the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), a global federation representing some 600,000 media professionals, met in New York to press for a UN international convention spelling out the rights of journalists. It is a union issue, not just because people are being attacked and killed for their work, but because the attackers are often the same people who target labor activists.
Some 39,000 unionized healthcare workers at University of California medical centers have concluded a three-day strike, but contract talks are still stalled. Workers from AFSCME and CWA are seeking pay raises of from six to eight percent, according to The Sacramento Bee. But according to Kate Bronfenbrenner, labor education director at Cornell University, the huge walkout definitely advances the workers’ case. “The closer you get to wall-to-wall unionism and solidarity, the greater the pressure is on the university,” she said.
In a move to further isolate the US internationally, and to satisfy UPS and FedEx, the Trump administration is preparing to pull out of the 192 nation Universal Postal Union (UPU). It’s a move that will certainly hurt the US Postal Service, said National Association of Letter Carriers President Frederic Rolando. “This would raise costs for consumers and reduce access for millions of American families with overseas ties—and have unpredictable impacts on international mailers,” said Rolando.
Tech news website Gizmodo found itself the recipient of part of a leaked union-busting training video parent Amazon gave to Whole Foods managers. Among other things, the video assured managers they could say “Unions are lying, cheating rats,” and it was protected by law. As a result, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are demanding an explanation from Amazon about a video they say “... directs and encourages potentially illegal interference with the rights of thousands of workers.”