Allies in unusual places. Teen Vogue has been on a radical tear lately. In their November 4 issue the magazine published a labor story, Strikes and Picket Lines, Explained, by union lawyer and organizer Kim Kelly. The story ends with “... stand with striking workers, donate to strike funds when you can, and never cross a picket line!”
While the hotel strike continues in Boston, Hawaii, and San Francisco, 162 workers at the Westin San Diego Gaslamp hotel recently ratified a new contract. The vote was 100 percent in favor of the contract, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. Although the new contract is definitely an improvement, union officials are keeping details private until the nationwide strike is settled.
The National Labor Relations Board has found that Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore has unlawfully obstructed a nurses organizing drive. Although Johns Hopkins claims to be neutral, the National Nurses Organizing Committee found that hospital management “... had barred nurses’ access to break rooms to discuss unionization and stopped nurses from talking about the union at work,” according to The Baltimore Sun. Earlier the committee had said that the hospital had tried to create the impression they were surveilling any union activity. The board is considering a formal complaint.
Abdullah Karacan, president of the Turkish Petroleum, Chemistry and Tire Workers Industry union (Lastik-İş), was assassinated at a Goodyear tire factory. Two other union officials were shot, with one in critical condition, according to the International Trade Union Confederation. Although the suspect appears to have been a worker with a grievance, this latest killings underscores the constant danger to union activists in increasingly authoritarian Turkey.
OSHA cited privately held, Alabama-based Sabel Steel Service Inc. for gross violations of safety standards. Inspections at four Southern facilities revealed: exposing employees to amputations hazards; failing to provide fall protection and to conduct medical evaluations to determine an employee’s ability to use a respirator, as well as other abuses. Unfortunately, all the company faces is $320,261 in penalties.