Grocery workers in the Washington, D.C., area have reversed concessionary bargaining in the industry for the first time in a generation, reports Labor Notes. “Last November 17,000 workers at Giant Food and Safeway stores ratified a contract that substantially increased starting pay, cut in half the time it takes for part-timers to reach top pay, protected health benefits with no cost increases and strengthened pension funding,” writes Local 400’s director of mobilization Alan Hanson. Members of Local 400 “won these gains with an escalating contract campaign, ultimately demonstrating that they were willing to strike during the all-important Thanksgiving week,” Hanson says. His detailed report acknowledges past organizing and contract failures and outlines the strategies Local 400 has developed to build density, use political power and partner with union, community, and faith allies. “Organizing and mobilizing cannot stop when a contract fight ends,” Hanson says.
At a United Nations meeting on migration in New York, Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau contrasted the unchallenged right of capital to move freely across borders with the lack of rights and labor protections for migrant workers. "Migrant workers should not suffer a lifetime of being separated from family," Bader-Blau said at the session, held to inform the development of the UN Global Compact on Migration. Also this week in Solidarity Center news: a Guatemalan farmer’s murder reveals vast employer theft and in Haiti, garment workers march for better wage. Read more.
photo: Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau; photo by Neha Misra/Solidarity Center
The recent Music for Safe Rails and Sustainable Communities fundraiser collected nearly $2,000 for theLac-Méganatic Rail Workers Defense, reports Fritz Edler. The funds will support the scapegoated Lac-Mégantic Rail Workers, but “the outreach, publicity and education is the big plus,” Edler tells Union City. “That, and giving folk confidence that they can organize worker defense stuff in this period.”
"Why did the issue of greed only enter the picture when the players finally got a fairer slice of the pie? Lest we forget, that pie became bigger because of the player’s unionizing efforts."
Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966 to 1982