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This fucking sucks.

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asdfad (hexbear.net)
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On this day in 1912, the Paint Creek Mine War began when West Virginia miners struck, demanding formal union recognition and fairer labor practices. The incident quickly escalated into one of the worst labor conflicts in U.S. history.

The event, also known as the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike, centered on the area enclosed by two streams, Paint Creek and Cabin Creek. It is considered part of the "Coal Wars", a series of armed conflicts between workers and coal companies from the 1890s - 1930s in the United States.

The strike lasted for fourteen months, and over 5,000 workers participated. Notable labor organizer Mother Jones (shown) came to West Virginia to support the workers, organizing a secret march of 3,000 armed miners to the steps of the state capitol in Charleston to read a declaration of war to Governor William E. Glasscock.

The confrontation directly caused approximately fifty violent deaths from armed conflicts between miners and strike-breaking forces, as well as many more deaths indirectly caused by starvation and malnutrition among the striking miners. In terms of casualties, it was among the worst conflicts in American labor history.

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They're still in Kurian's office, still streaming, and starting to get major media coverage: WaPo Wired

In my opinion this is one of the most important labor developments in the US in a while. Internationally politicized worker organization in the belly of the beast by traditionally un-unionizable PMCs.

e: finally arrested after 10 hours

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I work for a small-ish company of laborers. We have ~100 full-time employees who work in labour, a small team of administrative employees, and very few managers all things considered. The reasons for this are part of the reason I need to be vague in public talking about this, because the details make the company very identifiable to anyone who knows anything about the industry.

Some previous employees tried and failed to unionize over a decade ago, but the vote was very close. Since then, wages have stagnated to a degree that make me laugh and cry, we are being pushed to work more and more overtime, and in general morale is very low. I am in contact with a small group of very well-connected employees who are 100% on board with unionizing, and I believe that we can successfully get the required signatures this time if we play our cards right.

  1. How does one go about choosing a union to work with? I have done some Googling but the results are useless. I need some kind of leftist search engine, please! I know of the major Canadian unions like Unifor and Teamsters, as well as the IWW, and then the very specific ones like the postal union or the teachers' union.
  • Does the IWW even do workplace organizing? I was under the impression that it was more of a thing you joined solo.
  • Are any of the bigger unions in Canada actually useful? We need a hard wage correction upfront and then guaranteed cost of living increases after that, and I don't want to do all this work to have some centrist 'union' let us down in negotiations.
  • Do you know of any trade-specific unions for things in the realm of carpentry and space finishing? (Again sorry for being vague in public about industry) I know that my industry is largely unionized in the US, but here it rarely is. I have not found any info from my Google searches as to which unions those other companies work with.
  • If we can't find anything that's a good fit, is it advisable to start an industry-specific union for us and others? Is that doomed to fail?
  1. I've found a few different groups that say "contact us if you want to organize your workplace" but basically
  • Most of them seem US-centric and we are in Canada
  • I worry that they're ops lol
  • Not sure if this is the IWW's wheelhouse or not. I don't want to take help from them and then form a union under Teamsters or something, kind of feels like wasting their resources idk maybe this is fine??
  • So uhhhh please recommend a good group to talk to about this in Canada! Or I mean a US group is fine so long as they have the knowledge about local rules and can help us.
  1. There is some complex stuff to explain about the company structure that make it hard to know how many people we'd have to get to sign cards and I would really appreciate someone knowledgeable messaging me privately so I can explain a bit, or point me to a good group where I can ask this question

Gosh sorry I am rather at a loss of where to start here so I'm someone could just give me a stick and point me in the right direction I would be exceptionally pleased, thank you!!

Edit: as a bonus I may have slam-dunk proof of wage theft by the company not paying certain employees overtime, would be great if we could also get some resources on how to retaliate for that in as big of a blow as possible. ✌️

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cross-posted from: https://hexbear.net/post/2254138

Hell yeah.

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The wealthiest people in this country have never had it so good. While income and wealth inequality in the United States is soaring, more than 60% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, we have one of the highest rates of childhood poverty among major countries on Earth, and more than 650,000 people are homeless.

According to a study by the Rand Corporation, since 1975, there has been a nearly $50 trillion transfer of wealth in America from the bottom 90% to those at the top. Meanwhile, since 1973, weekly wages for the average American worker have actually gone down after adjusting for inflation.

It’s time for a change — real change. As more Americans are giving up on government and democracy, the time is long overdue for Congress to stand up for the hard-pressed working families of our country. And an important step in that direction would be implementing a 32-hour work week with no loss in pay.

As far back as 1866, one of the central planks of the trade union movement in America was to establish an eight-hour workday with a simple and straightforward demand: “Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest and eight hours for what you will.”

Americans of that era were sick and tired of working 12-hour days for six or seven days a week with very little time for rest, relaxation or quality time with their families. They went out on strike, they organized, they petitioned the government and business leaders, and they achieved real results after decades of struggle.

Finally, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation into law to establish an eight-hour workday for railroad workers. Ten years later, the Ford Motor Company became one of the first major employers in America to establish a five-day work week for autoworkers.

By 1933, the US Senate had overwhelmingly passed legislation to establish a 30-hour work week. And, just a few years later, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act into law and the standard 40-hour work week was created. That is the good news.

The bad news is that despite massive growth in technology and skyrocketing worker productivity, millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages. In fact, nearly 40% of employees in the United States are working at least 50 hours a week, and 18% are working at least 60 hours.

What this means is that the American people now have the dubious distinction of working far more hours per year as the people of most other wealthy nations.

On average, Americans work 470 more hours on the job per year than people in Germany, 300 hours more than people in France, 279 hours more than people in the United Kingdom, 204 hours more than people in Japan, and 125 hours more than people in Canada.

As a result of the extraordinary technological revolution that has taken place in recent years and decades, American workers are more than 400% more productive than they were in the 1940s. And yet, almost all of the economic gains from these technological achievements have been going straight to the top.

For example, in 1965, the CEO of a large corporation in America made about 20 times more than their average worker. Today, CEOs of large corporations make nearly 350 times more than their average workers.

At a moment in history when artificial intelligence and robotics will radically transform our economy, it is time to make sure that working people benefit from this increased productivity, not just corporate CEOs and the billionaire class.

It’s time to reduce the stress level in our country and allow Americans to enjoy a better quality of life. It’s time for a 32-hour work week with no loss in pay.

This is not a radical idea.

In fact, movement in that direction is already taking place in other developed countries.

France, the seventh-largest economy in the world, has a 35-hour work week and is considering reducing it to 32. As a result of strong unions, the standard workweek for most employees in Denmark is about 37 hours, and Belgium has already adopted a four-day work week.

In 2023, the trade union movement in Germany won a 32-hour work week for metalworkers, while autoworkers at Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz have 35-hour work weeks. In December, Lamborghini announced that it would be moving to a four-day work week after union workers established a guiding principle: “Work less and work better.”

Pilot programs in the UK and South Africa have found that worker productivity and business revenue both go up with a four-day work week. In other words, a 32-hour work week with no loss in pay is good for workers and good for business.

In the US and Canada, more than two-thirds of workers showed less job burnout; anxiety and fatigue declined for roughly 40%; and 60% reported more success achieving a work-family balance. Almost every participant wanted to continue the program, company turnover fell by more than 20% and absenteeism by 39%. And when Microsoft tested a four-day work week in Japan, it reported a 40% increase in productivity.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, both said last year that the advancements in technology would lead to a three- or three-and-a-half-day work week in the coming years.

As much as technology and worker productivity has exploded in recent years, there is no debate that new breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and robotics will only accelerate the transformation of our economy. Major industries like auto manufacturers are undergoing once-in-a-generation transformations, and our jobs are changing with them.

The question is: Who will benefit from this transformation? Will it be the billionaire class, or workers?

In my view, the choice is obvious.

Eighty-six years after Roosevelt signed a 40-hour work week into law, it’s time for us to move to a 32-hour work week at no loss of pay.

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Websites, podcasts, social media, etc. I don't really care about the medium but I can't seem to find a good single source on the subject.

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Employees sign open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, calling on him to show 'Palestinian lives matter'

Nearly 300 current and former Apple employees signed an open letter accusing the company of "wrongfully terminating" or disciplining several workers for expressing support for Palestine by wearing pro-Palestinian articles of clothing.

The letter, which has received 299 signatories, says that employees have been told by their superiors that anyone expressing support for Palestine in the form of "kaffiyehs, pins, bracelets, or clothing" has been told they are "breaking business conduct" and creating a "harmful environment".

"Team members have even been wrongfully terminated for this small show of solidarity, while our leadership ignores the pain and suffering our co-workers and their families are facing in Gaza," said the letter, reported by Wired Magazine on Tuesday.

The letter goes on to call on Apple CEO Tim Cook to acknowledge the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza.

Israeli forces have killed more than 32,000 Palestinians, the majority being women and children, since it began its war on Gaza in response to the 7 October Hamas-led attacks on southern Israel that killed around 1,200 people and saw over 200 hostages taken back to Gaza.

read more: https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/war-gaza-apple-employee-wrongfully-terminated-expressing-pro-palestine-views-colleagues

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The West Bank and Gaza Strip were forcibly incorporated into a customs union with Israel, Farsakh says, with Israel imposing restrictions on the kinds of commodities that can be imported or exported from the territories, protecting Israeli agriculture. Additionally, Israeli officials unilaterally set an external tariff structure. Farsakh explains that any trade with the rest of the world had to go through Israel and be handled by Israeli agents.

Israel enforced a monetary union with the Palestinian territories, adopting Israeli currency as official tender and shutting down all but two banks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which were under Israeli supervision. Israeli authorities prohibited investments from Israel — or abroad — in the Palestinian economy. The Israeli military exercised full control over the budgets in the West Bank and Gaza, including taxation and collection.

The resulting economic arrangement, which allows Palestinians to seek jobs in Israel in sectors that lack sufficient Jewish labor, such as construction, agriculture, and the service industry, was beneficial to Israeli employers in various ways, but ultimately damaging to the Palestinian national economy.


Israel also often withholds taxes collected on behalf of the Palestinians as a punitive measure. Several public workers in the West Bank tell me they have not been paid since the conflict in Gaza erupted six months ago.

Israel maintains strict control over more than 60 percent of the West Bank, known as “Area C,” prohibiting Palestinian development while Israeli settlements continue to grow. “The Palestinian economy is an economy of survival,” Farsakh says. “It is not one of independence that has the opportunity to grow and thrive. It is one that allows individual prosperity [from higher wages in the Israeli economy] often at the expense of national growth.”

This reality has created what Farsakh has termed the “Bantustanization” of the West Bank. “Israel inadvertently created an apartheid reality by trying to incorporate the maximum amount of Palestinian land in the West Bank without the Palestinian population, while relying on Palestinian labor,” Farsakh explains. “What this did was turn the Palestinian areas — encircled by checkpoints and settlements — into population reserves.


Ayad was allowed to return to her work three weeks after October 7, but she tells me her employer has not honored previous agreements, taking advantage of the current vulnerability of the Palestinian workers. “Our salaries have decreased since the war,” Ayad says, adding that they have returned to piece-rate pay — they are paid by the pots filled instead of hours worked. She also notes that her bosses “even calculate the boxes wrong and pay us less than what we did. When we complain, our boss tells us to go find another job if we don’t like it.”

According to Yoav Tamir, a workers’ advice center representative, tens of thousands of Palestinian workers, now left with no employment, have little recourse to change their situation. Despite all of them having a pension fund in Israel, they face a significant obstacle: they were not fired and did not quit but are now stuck behind closed army checkpoints, which prevents them from accessing the funds. “In order to get money from the pension fund, they need to stop working,” Tamir tells me. “But if they stop working then they forfeit their work permit.”


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Anyone else know Ron Carey?

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spoilerNEDERLAND, Colo. — In a 29-to-3 vote held Saturday, ski patrollers at Eldora Mountain Ski Resort followed in the powder tracks of seven other Colorado ski areas in voting to form a union through the United Professional Ski Patrols of America.

“We have an incredibly strong team and just like when we’re dealing with medical emergencies on the mountain, we have each other’s backs and we’re ready to do what it takes to help each other out and to serve the greater good,” said Nick Lansing, a fourth-year ski patroller and member of the union organizing committee. “This is really incredible.”

Eldora — couched in the northern part of Boulder County, one of the closets resorts to the metro area — is one of Colorado’s smaller ski areas and is owned by Utah-based POWDR. 

Eldora and the patrollers’ union each have a week to challenge the legitimacy of the union election. If neither party challenges, patrollers will begin a bargaining process with their bosses. Patrollers said they’re asking for the following in a contract:

Overtime pays at 40 hours, rather than the current threshold of 56 hours. 

Health insurance for all patrollers (currently, patrollers must wait until their third year of work before getting health insurance.) 

Higher pay for more experienced patrollers 

Restroom facilities on the mountain so patrollers can use the restroom indoors while working

“We want to be a place where patrollers, regardless of any demographic, are comfortable showing up to work and feel like they’re being supported,” Lansing said. “We want to create an environment that people want to return to and feel financially enabled to do so.”

Lansing and others said many patrollers spend a year or two at Eldora, then move to a larger mountain. The larger resorts often offer better pay. The union hopes to close that gap and retain its experienced employees.

“My big thing has always kind of been retention and empowering people to have the tools they need to stick around and come back year after year and make the mountain and the patrol a better and more safe experience,” said Jake Miller, a ski patroller. “There are a number of individual issues but to me, it really comes down to retention.”

Patrollers start off at $18 an hour, then are bumped to $20 an hour after training. Most Eldora staff live in Nederland or Boulder, and Lansing said $20 an hour is too measly a wage for the area’s high cost of living.

Larger resorts often keep patrollers for decades, said Laura Kline, an Eldora ski patroller and member of the union organizing committee. Kline said having patrollers who know the mountain well helps serve skiers and contributes to a better experience.

“This is such a special mountain and a special place that it’s really important to me that we build a foundation for the employees that work here to be able to last a really long time and be able to build a community in Nederland and Boulder,” Kline said. 

Patrollers are responsible for mitigating avalanches, responding to medical emergencies on the mountain and opening and closing certain areas depending on safety and snow conditions. Several patrollers said the job is both physically and mentally taxing, and not making overtime pay until they hit a 56-hour threshold feels demoralizing.

“When people think about these jobs, their minds tend to jump to the explosives and more obvious ones, but you also have to think about the ongoing effects of what we do on our bodies, our backs, our knees,” Lansing said. “We’re on skis every day, carrying heavy things down the slopes.”

Isabel Aries, a union organizer who has helped organize ski areas across Colorado, said patrollers have seen increased duties since the pandemic, as many people picked up outdoor winter hobbies and mountains saw higher crowds. With more crowds, Aries said, came harder work.

“It’s really intense work,” Aries said. “A lot of people see them as people that get paid to ski all day or mountain cops, but they’re really just there to ensure the safety of the mountain and make sure it’s possible to operate.”

A spokeswoman from POWDR told Rocky Mountain PBS she would send a statement after patrollers voted, as the National Labor Relations Board prohibits companies from commenting on a union vote prior to an election. Rocky Mountain PBS has not yet received a statement.

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Legislation in Washington state known as the strippers’ bill of rights, which advocates say includes the most comprehensive statewide protections in the nation, was signed into law on Monday.

The new law requires training for employees in establishments to prevent sexual harassment, identify and report human trafficking, de-escalate conflict and provide first aid. It also mandates security workers on site, keypad codes on dressing rooms and panic buttons in places where entertainers may be alone with customers.

Most dancers in the state are independent contractors who are paid by customers and then must pay club fees every shift. The new law limits the fees owners can charge, capping them at $150 or 30% of the amount dancers make during their shift — whichever is less. It also prohibits late fees and other charges related to unpaid balances.

Only one other state has added worker protections for adult entertainers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2019, Illinois started requiring that adult entertainment establishments, along with other businesses, have a written sexual harassment policy.

There have also been other efforts — including at a bar in Los Angeles and a strip club in Portland, Oregon, where dancers voted to unionize. And, the Nevada Supreme Court in 2014 ruled that dancers at one Las Vegas club are employees, and are entitled to minimum wage and other protections.

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