Posted in Columns Coronavirus Rathke: Chief Organizer Report Sick Leave Worker Safety

Dept. of Labor takes paid leave away from low wage healthcare workers

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   This is complicated, so hang with me, but here is what you need to know. Nursing home workers and other frontline healthcare providers like home health aides, and community home workers…

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Posted in Coronavirus News Pro Publica Worker Safety

Foreign Masks, Fear and a Fake Certification: Staff at CSL Plasma Say Conditions at Donation Centers Aren’t Safe

Trump’s FDA authorized emergency use of plasma therapy for COVID-19, despite a lack of proof that it saves lives. Staff at CSL Plasma, an industry leader, raised alarms about faulty masks as donors flooded in, but…

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Posted in Columns Rathke: Chief Organizer Report Worker Safety

Workers demanding pandemic protection

by Wade Rathke September 18, 2020 New Orleans   Local 100 United Labor Unions members continue in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas to speak up and confront their employers, both public and private, about the inadequate health…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Columns Democracy Labor Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Firing workers for off-the-job protests

by Wade Rathke September 17, 2020 New Orleans   A small notice in an email caught my eye. A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) attorney in a newly released guidance letter wanted to make sure that…

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Posted in Common Dreams Coronavirus Labor News

Landslide vote by nurses in North Carolina delivers biggest hospital unionization win in US South in 45 years

“I’m so grateful this victory will allow us to be better advocates for our community,” one nurse said. by Lisa Newcomb, staff writer Thursday, September 17 In what advocates are calling the biggest union victory at…

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The tragedy of the UAW: When boss culture replaces member culture

Ponce, Puerto Rico     At the end of every year we are inundated with the best of this and the top ten of that in music, movies, books, sports, tech, politics, and, well, I guess, almost everywhere. …

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New Yorkers in need line up to receive free produce during a Pop-Up Food pantry event hosted by Food Bank For New York City at Barclays Center on September 10, 2020 in New York City. (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City)
Posted in Analysis Common Dreams Coronavirus News

Survey shows nearly half in US suffering serious economic hardship—and situation ‘going to get worse’

“There is nothing for the people we surveyed who earn under $100,000 a year to fall back on.” by Kenny Stancil, staff writer Friday, September 11 As the United States endures its six month of the…

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Posted in Columns Coronavirus Rathke: Chief Organizer Report Worker Safety

Where’s the health and safety plan?

by Wade Rathke Friday, September 11, 2020 New Orleans   Leaders and members of Local 100 United Labor Unions finally had enough of working on the frontlines without proper protection against the coronavirus in nursing homes, supported…

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Posted in Columns Labor Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Unions are feeling the love, while weaker

by Wade Rathke Labor day, 2020 Pearl River     Even here along the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River, the temperature has edged down a couple of degrees, signaling Labor Day’s arrival.  In my time this meant school…

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U.S. President Donald Trump boards Marine One for departure from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC., on Friday, July 19, 2019. (Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto)
Posted in Common Dreams Elections News Race for the White House 2020 Vote by mail

Sanders warns nation: Trump is laying groundwork for election result mayhem

“Trump is now using his lies and misinformation to sow confusion and chaos in the election process and undermine American democracy,” says the Vermont senator. by Jon Queally, staff writer Sunday, September 6 Warning of the…

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Posted in Columns Evictions Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Navigating the eviction relief labyrinth

by Wade Rathke Saturday, September 5 Pearl River   All of the headlines read that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) had directed no evictions for the rest of the year. Before we do the happy…

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Posted in Columns Gig Economy Labor Rathke: Chief Organizer Report Safety Net Workers

Gig work is not a jobs safety net

by Wade Rathke Thursday, September 3, 2020 Pearl River If service work had been the equivalent of a jobs’ “safety net” for workers in many cities and towns in the past, the only replacement available would…

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Posted in Columns Coronavirus Economy Rathke: Chief Organizer Report Safety Net Unemployment

The disappearance of service industry safety net jobs

New Orleans     Perhaps the most dependable host on WAMF, our low power non-commercial radio station in New Orleans, has been a product representative for a fine local distillery in the city.  Her show every Tuesday…

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A firefighter (L) speaks to an inmate firefighter as they prepare to put out flames on the road leading to the Reagan Library during the Easy Fire in Simi Valley, California on October 30, 2019.
Posted in Common Dreams Coronavirus News Prisons Wild Fire

California bill to help prisoner firefighters find work after release awaits Governor’s signature

As the Golden State burns amid a firefighter shortage, AB 2147 would expedite criminal record expungements so ex-inmates can apply for EMT licenses. by Brett Wilkins, staff writer Monday, August 31   As dozens of major…

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An empty court and bench is shown following the scheduled start time in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 26, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Milwaukee Bucks have boycotted the game reportedly to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Screenshot)
Posted in Common Dreams Coronavirus Labor News

NBA Players Strike wins use of stadiums for polling stations, other reforms

Secures ‘Real Change’ for Voting Rights  “Don’t give into something that hasn’t happened. Keep pushing, keep working.” by Lisa Newcomb, staff writer August 28, 2020 Following a multi-team strike protesting police brutality and systemic racism in…

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Posted in Analysis Labor The Conversation

The labor-busting law firms and consultants that keep Google, Amazon and other workplaces union-free

Rite Aid hired anti-union consultants to try to prevent workers from successfully organizing. Amy Niehouse/Flickr, CC BY-SA by  John Logan, San Francisco State University August 24, 2020 American companies have been very successful at preventing their…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Columns Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

The End of Jock Culture

by Wade Rathke August 28 Pearl River    You no longer need to read the sports pages to see what’s happening with athletes, because their actions are now turning up on the front page. The NBA playoffs…

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First grade teacher Yolanda Vasquez stands in protest along with other teachers and counselors in front of the Hillsborough County Schools District Office on July 16, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Screenshot from Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images)
Posted in Common Dreams Coronavirus Education Labor News

After Organizing mass ‘sick-out,’ Arizona teachers and school staff applauded for ‘bold’ collective action to stop unsafe reopening

“Teachers are in a position to have a voice, and they just weren’t being heard.” by Julia Conley, staff writer Teachers and school staff members in a Phoenix suburb were praised by progressives and public health…

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Posted in Columns Coronavirus Labor Rathke: Chief Organizer Report Worker Safety

Workers caught in the middle on Covid-19

by Wade Rathke Little Rock   School teachers and their unions are being forced into Hobson’s choices all over the country about whether to return to work as politicians, parents, school officials, and every mother’s child…

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Posted in Columns Politics Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Change is Messy

by Wade Rathke Little Rock   One takeaway from the memorials to civil rights leader and organizer, Congressman John Lewis, has been the repeated invocation of the violence that was the handmaiden of the struggle. Martin…

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Mail clerks sort packages at a USPS Processing and Distribution Center on Thursday, May 14, 2020 in City of Industry, California. (Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Posted in Abuse of power Common Dreams Democracy News USPS Vote by mail

Alarms sound after Postal Worker reports removal of sorting machines

The removal of key equipment from Post Offices should be viewed as nothing less than “sabotage,” said one observer. by Jake Johnson, staff writer Wednesday, August 12 The head of the Iowa Postal Workers Union alleged…

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Posted in Common Dreams Courts Labor News Workers

Major ‘Milestone’ for workers as California judge rules Uber and Lyft must classify drivers as employees

“This is a resounding victory for thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers who are working hard—and, in this pandemic, incurring risk every day—to provide for their families.” by Jessica Corbett, staff writer Tuesday, August 11 In…

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Posted in Bailout 2020 Common Dreams Coronavirus News Social Security Unemployment insurance

Congress urged to reject ‘hostage-taking’ as Trump threatens to veto any Covid-19 bill that doesn’t cut Social Security

“Beware of the payroll tax cut! It is just the administration’s attempt to cut Social Security and Medicare.” by Jake Johnson, staff writer Friday, July 17 With President Donald Trump reportedly telling Republican lawmakers in private…

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Posted in Columns Community organizing Labor Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Thinking outside the box for worker power

by Wade Rathke Pearl River   In organizing unions, captive audience meetings are the scourge of organizing drives. The employers have the right to make the meetings mandatory in order to deliver their anti-union screeds, but…

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