For 1,300 Bangladeshi garment workers in Gazipur, a suburb of Dhaka, the capital, forming a union at their factory was difficult—but they succeeded. “Before we formed a union in our factory, (the workers) had no way to communicate with our employer,” said Sanjida Akhter, a garment worker and president of the factory union. “But now things are different. Management will even approach the union to work out and discuss issues in the factory.” Find out more at the Solidarity Center.
Labor Day is the unofficial end of the summer holiday season. While the day honors the hardworking men and women who make this nation go and grow, the weekend also gives us a chance for one more big backyard barbecue blowout. Here’s some union-made food and drink to get your barbecue off to a great start. Text MADE to 235246 for more union-made-in-America product lists. Our list comes courtesy of Union Plus, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor's website Labor 411.
- AFL-CIO Now blog
Anyone planning to be in the Lawrence, MA area over the Labor Day weekend will want to be sure to stop by the 30th annual Bread and Roses Heritage Festival. Featured performers include the famed Bread and Puppet Theater, hip-hop group Rebel Diaz, the Bronx Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band, Ezekiel's Wheels Klezmer Band and more. The free festivities -- the only Labor Day festival on the East Coast -- take place on Monday, September 1 from noon to 6P on the Common in Lawrence, commemorating the contributions the 1912 Lawrence strikers made to the history of the labor movement.
Negotiations for a new contract continue between UFCW Local 400 and Kroger. Contract meetings for members in the Richmond-/Tidewater area originally scheduled for August 28 have been cancelled and the contract extended. The delay is “due to complicated bargaining issues like medical/ hospitalization benefits, pension funding, and wage increases,” UFCW President Mark Federici said yesterday, noting that “many Kroger negotiations across the country have continued beyond the contract’s expiration.” Bargaining over health care benefits with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act “put us in a difficult position,” Federici added. “The decisions we make now will remain with us for the life of a new contract.” photo: UFCW 400 members supported fellow Kroger workers – members of Local 23 -- in Wheeling, WV earlier this month; photo courtesy UFCW 23