WIN Week In Review: August 25-28, 2017
By Doug Cunningham
Hospital workers are joining Fight For $15 and SEIU in a planned massive drive to unseat anti-worker politicians. SEIU and Fight For $15 say tens of thousands of workers are each pledging 40 hours each to create a nationwide army of volunteers ahead of the 2018 elections. This huge worker political effort kicks off on Labor, when Fight For $15 will strike and protest in more than 300 cities.
At a rainy Good Jobs Nation rally in Indianapolis this week Senator Bernie Sanders urged unity in the face of politically divisive hatred.
[Bernie Sanders]: “What we are doing here in Indianapolis is what must happen in every state in this country! People standing together and demanding an economy and a government that represents all of us and not the one percent!”
Missouri workers have stopped the anti-union ‘Right To Work’ law there in its tracks. Passed by a Republican dominated legislature, the anti-worker law attacking union finances was set to take effect August 28th. But thanks to a ballot initiative petition drive, labor delivered enough signatures to block the law. The question will be on the state ballot in Missouri in 2018.
Mike Louis is President of the Missouri AFL-CIO.
[Mike Louis]: “We’ve done a long process of making sure people understand exactly what ‘Right To Work’ does, which is cut wages, reduce benefits, make more unsafe working conditions – for everyone, not just those covered under a collective bargaining agreement, but for everyone across the state.”
The strike and picketing at a Christiansburg Virginia Target store by New River Workers Power has led to an investigation of the Target store General Manager. Workers have alleged that the manager, Daniel Butler, has sexually harassed workers and made racist comments to them. Adam is one of the striking workers. We’re not using Adam’s last name in these reports.
[Adam]: “There was a big morale boost because one of the managers who seemed a little bit more sympathetic with us actually informed us that the manager Daniel Butler is now under investigation by the Target corporation. So we were successfully able to trigger that response from the Target corporation from the public outcry of support for our efforts.”
Adam says New River Workers Power were also heartened by labor union support on their Christiansburg Virginia Target picket line Thursday.
International Association of Machinists workers are on strike at Houston’s Wyman-Gordon plant.
IAM District 37 President Byron Williams says the strike was triggered by the company trying to cut disability pay and wanting to start entry level workers at lower pay – around $12 an hour – while also freezing their wages for three years.
[Byron Williams]: “They wanted to freeze those wages for three years. And with only periodic increases it would take, if you did just simple math, it would take fifty to sixty years for an employee to reach from entry level position to the top step labor grade.”