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Signs at a rally. Solidarity in foreground, stop the war on workers in background.
  • Stagehands at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, are striking. With good reason:
    Despite repeated orders from federal judges that the center engaged in unfair labor practices when it unilaterally ended contract talks with the stagehands union in 2000, the two sides have been unable to agree on a contract. The National Labor Relations Board earlier this year said the center owes workers $2.6 million in back wages.
    Diarist route66 has more.
  • Food service, housekeeping, and other workers at Indiana's Marian University voted 54 to 1 to unionize, joining UNITE HERE.
  • Unions in states where workers can get the benefits of the work unions do without bearing any responsibility to the union or their coworkers face added challenges. But it's a body blow, not a death blow, as this Georgia union blogger explains:
    Every day some portion is spent contemplating how to maintain membership levels in my union. We represent several large groups of low-wage members both newly organized and as components of larger groups of better paid members. These groups of members have an extremely high turnover rate, so engaging with them immediately upon being hired is always a priority. The right to meet and do a union presentation is always a priority of every contract that we negotiate. Freeloaders are subjected to varying degrees of 100% legal social pressure from their coworkers of varying degrees depending on the level of union organization at that worksite. This additional burden of maintaining our membership is a constant financial drain on our union valuable hours of staff time are consumed daily by this area of activity.

    Where turnover is lower the level of membership is always higher. Our local union's worksites as well as other unions that are more stable provide the core of our states union membership. Not coincidentally these industries usually represent those area of the private sector where unions used to hold sway nationally. It also reflects the fact that members in these types of bargaining units have a greater understanding of how their membership levels reflect their relative strength to their employer and how that correlates with contract gains.

  • Activists protested at the Port of Newark as a boat carrying Walmart goods manufactured in Bangladesh arrived. The hope was that longshore workers would not cross the protest's picket line and unload the boat, but police moved the protesters away quickly.
  • Graduate students at New York University are trying to get the university to recognize their union.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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