AuthorTopic: ✊ UNION!  (Read 306 times)

Online RE

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« on: March 06, 2018, 02:53:05 PM »
Official thread now for all strikes and Union related articles.

To kick off, the WV Teacher Strike.  Unbelievably, they WON!  Yessssss!  :icon_sunny: This will encourage more Unions of Cops, Firemen & Garbagemen to walkout.  The spirit of Joe Hill and Norma Rae lives on!


West Virginia teachers cheer pay hike deal to end walkout

    By john ra associated press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mar 6, 2018, 4:32 PM ET

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee, left, and American Federation of Teachers' West Virginia chapter President Christine Campbell talk to reporters as an agreement was reached by a legislative conference committee for a 5 percent pay increase for striking teachers Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia’s Republican leaders tentatively agreed Tuesday to end the state’s nine-day teachers' walkout by giving 5 percent raises to not just teachers, but all state workers. (AP Photo/John Raby)

West Virginia's striking teachers cheered, sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers acted to end a nine-day classroom walkout, ceding them 5 percent pay hikes that are also being extended to all state workers.

A huge crowd of teachers packing the Capitol jumped up and down, chanted "We love our kids!" and singing John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads." Some even wept for joy. The settlement came on the ninth day of a crippling strike that idled hundreds of thousands of students, forced parents to scramble for child care and cast a spotlight on government dysfunction in one of the poorest states in the country.

Officials from several of the state's 55 county school systems said they planned to reopen as soon as Wednesday, but union leaders had not yet declared the strike officially over. A spokeswoman from the Department of Education did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The West Virginia teachers, some of the lowest-paid in the nation, had gone without a salary increase for four years. They appeared to have strong public backing throughout their walkout.

"We overcame, we overcame!" exclaimed one teacher, Danielle Harris, calling it a victory for students as well. "It shows them how democracy is supposed to work, that you don't just bow down and lay down for anybody. They got the best lesson that they could ever have even though they were out of school."

Tuesday marked the ninth day of canceled classes for the school system's 277,000 students and 35,000 employees. Teachers walked off the job Feb. 22, balking at an initial bill signed by Gov. Jim Justice to raise their pay 2 percent in the first year as they also complained about rising health insurance costs. Justice responded last week with an offer to raise teacher pay 5 percent — a proposal the House approved swiftly but that senators weren't so eager to sign off on. Instead the Senate countered with an offer of 4 percent on Saturday, prompting leaders of all three unions representing the state's teachers to announce that they would extend their walkout.

After a six-member conference committee agreed Tuesday to the new proposal, the House of Delegates subsequently passed 5 percent raises for teachers, school service personnel and state troopers on a 99-0 vote. The Senate followed, voting 34-0.

At a news conference after Tuesday's vote, Justice declared victory.

"Today is a new day for education in West Virginia. No more looking back!" he proclaimed, surrounded by jubilant education leaders. "We really have to move away from the idea that education is just some necessary evil that has to be funded ... toward ... looking at our children and our teachers and education as an investment ... That's all there is to it."

Missed school days will be made up, either at the end of the school year or by shortening spring break, depending on decisions by individual counties. Justice said that would not mean families would go without their summer vacations, however.

Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair said to pay for the raises, lawmakers will seek to cut state spending by $20 million, taking funds from general government services and Medicaid. Other state workers who also would get 5 percent raises under the deal will have to wait for a budget bill to pass.

Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, a Republican, said talks with the governor's office lasted into early Tuesday identifying cuts everyone could agree to.

"These are deep cuts," Blair said. "This has been the fiscally responsible thing to do, in my opinion, to get us to the point we're at today."

Justice said additional budget cuts by his staff will fund the raises, but he insisted in response to a question at the news conference that there would be no damaging cuts to Medicaid or programs that help the poor.

Erick Burgess, a teacher from Mercer County, said he was pleased with the salary increase and hoped the teachers' actions in West Virginia would inspire educators elsewhere.

"Teachers seem to be mistreated throughout the country, so we are hoping other teachers and other public employees step up and tell their government they have had enough," he said.

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Offline Surly1

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Re: ✊ UNION!
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 04:03:00 PM »

West Virginia teachers cheer pay hike deal to end walkout


I read that teachers are the new miners: there are 22,000 teaching jobs in WV, vs. 12,000 mining jobs.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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👊 Google walkouts showed what the new tech resistance looks like
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2018, 03:07:36 PM »


Google walkouts showed what the new tech resistance looks like, with lots of cues from union organizing

    Nearly 17,000 Google employees poured from 40 offices around the world as part of a massive walk-out to protest the way the company handles sexual harassment.
    As part of a recent surge of tech worker unrest, employees are harnessing the power of collective bargaining, even without traditional union representation.
    "I've never seen anything like this in the tech sector," one expert says.

Jillian D'Onfro   | @jillianiles
Published 4 Hours Ago Updated 2 Hours Ago
Jillian D'Onfro | CNBC

An atypical spirit of tech worker solidarity was on display Thursday morning, as 20,000 Google employees poured from offices in 50 cities around the world as part of a massive walk-out to protest the way the company handles sexual harassment.

The widespread demonstrations, spurred by a revealing New York Times report that detailed how Google has shielded executives accused of sexual misconduct, were the largest-scale representation yet of a new type of labor organizing catching on in the tech industry.

Brishen Rogers, an associate professor at Temple University who specializes in the relationship between labor and technological development, says that the scale of yesterday's demonstrations amazed him.

"I've never seen anything like this in the tech sector," says Rogers. "The numbers and level of coordination involved in the Google strike was unprecedented."

One Google employee, who asked for anonymity since they weren't authorized to speak about the company, says that Thursday's protests felt like lightning striking in how fast they came together.
A family or a job?

Collective bargaining hasn't traditionally had a place in Silicon Valley. Unions are nearly non-existent for white-collar tech workers, who typically enjoy large salaries, cushy perks and plenty of career mobility thanks to their high-demand skills.

Wendy Liu, the economics editor of UK-based publication "New Socialist" and a former Google employee, says that the protests overall were "incredibly inspiring" as the idea of employee dissent spreads in Silicon Valley.

"For tech workers to even think of themselves as workers — with the implication that their class interests may run counter to that of their bosses — is an exciting development," she says.

"Tech companies often try to get employees to see themselves as 'team members,' and part of a 'family' who should feel love and even gratitude for their company."

She, too, felt that way when she was at Google, she says, before realizing how unhealthy that dynamic was for workers.

On Thursday, Google employees borrowed tactics from historical labor organizing. In their statement of demands, the protest's leading organizers linked themselves to movements like the teachers strike in West Virginia and the "Fight for $15" demonstrations by fast-food workers.

Indeed, the San Francisco demonstration was even held in Harry Bridges Plaza — Bridges was an influential union leader in the early 20th century — and speakers spoke of his and other examples of historical labor organizing. Demonstrators in San Francisco also talked about the simultaneous union strikes by Marriott employees.

Blue-collar workers at major tech companies, like Facebook's cafeteria workers and Bay Area security guards, have started unionizing over the past several years. In another sign of the burgeoning "new tech resistance," organizers of Google's protests were deliberate about including those contract workers in their demands.

Tech firms are increasingly hiring contractors, vendors, and temps (TVCs), which can boost profits and speed up hiring. However, those workers typically make less, shoulder higher benefits costs, and lack the job security of direct employees. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported the astounding stat that Alphabet employed more TVCs than direct employees. No small feat, as Alphabet had 85,050 direct staffers at the time.
Google employees hold signs at the protest in Mountain View, California.

Jillian D'Onfro | CNBC
Google employees hold signs at the protest in Mountain View, California.

Many demonstrators at Google's Mountain View headquarters leaned into the idea that the only way to achieve their demands — which include the end of private arbitration, a transparency report about sexual harassment, more disclosures about compensation and an employee representative on the company's board — were only possible if all employees at every level of the company were active and included.

"I'm here because every one of our voices matter and if we are not standing together the necessary changes won't happen," one employee protester told CNBC.

Many of the employees who spoke on stage or to CNBC from the crowd declined to give their full names. The Tech Workers Coalition is organizing a retaliation hotline, which employees will be able to call if they face retribution for their participation in the walk-out.
Google employees walked out on November 1, 2018 to protest what organizers describe as "a workplace culture that's not working for everyone."
Michelle Castillo | CNBC
Google employees walked out on November 1, 2018 to protest what organizers describe as "a workplace culture that's not working for everyone."

A woman named Sheree who spoke on stage elicited particularly loud cheers when she challenged attendees to think about how their advocacy would extend beyond a one day event.

"Showing up today is a really good start," she said. "But to be a true ally you have to sacrifice something. What will you sacrifice?"
"This doesn't end today"

Over the last year, there's been an increase in tech industry organizing, as workers have banded together to try to compel their employers to drop controversial projects or take a stand against government policies.

At Alphabet's shareholders' meeting earlier this year, a group of employees bucked leadership by presenting a proposal that called for Alphabet's executive compensation to be tied to diversity metrics. Employees also rebuked the company's lack of transparency around leaked plans fora censored search app in China and a controversial Pentagon contract. In June, following intense employee backlash, Google's cloud unit said that it would not renew contract next year.

"The Google walkout amplifies the wave of tech worker organizing that we see in #TechWontBuildIt and #NoTechforICE," says Sasha Constanza-Chock, associate professor of civic media at MIT who co-authored a recent open letter calling on Microsoft to drop its ICE contract. "It also links tech worker organizing with #MeToo, just as #NoTechforICE links tech worker organizing with immigrant rights."

Activists see Google's blow-out protests as being a bellwether for more organizing to come.

Employees from other tech companies in San Francisco joined in the Google walk-out on Thursday, and the Tech Workers Coalition says that in the last year its has attracted more interest, and seen an increase in both email subscribers and actual events.

"We are organizing to build worker power through rank and file self-organization and education," a spokesperson says. "It's clear the executives won't do this for us, so we're taking matters into our own hands."

While changing Google's culture will be a long haul, Google organizers' demands were specific and actionable. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who spoke on stage at a conference the day of the protests, has not committed to any changes, but told employees in a memo that his team was taking in feedback to "turn ideas into action." Even though Google workers have no legal rights to collectively bargain with management without a union, the energy at the demonstrations indicated that employees will not give up quickly.

Celie O'Neil-Hart, one of the leaders of the protest who works at YouTube, rallied employees at the end of the protest to keep the momentum going.

"This doesn't end today," she bellowed over a loudspeaker in Mountain View. "Let's keep this effort going. Time is up in tech. Time is up at Google."


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