Workers Standing Up All Over The World.

More than a year and a half ago, a factory in Indonesia closed without any prior notice or negotiations with the union.  Two hundred workers were left without jobs, and have never received their final month’s pay.

Click here to support the workersThe company is called Umas Jaya Agrotama and it’s a wholly-owned subsidary of a huge corporation known as GreatGiant Pineapple.

The workers, members of the SBMUJA union, have been campaigning and demonstrating for their rights with the support of their global union federation, the IUF.  They are demanding that the company come to the bargaining table to negotiate a solution.  They need our support.

Please click here to support the IUF global campaign in support of these workers:

http://www.labourstart.org/go/pineapple

Statement in Response to President Trump’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaraguans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2017

Contact:
Ehmonie Hainey, ehmonie (at) jwj.org, 202-393-1044 x106

In response to President Donald Trump’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaraguans, Jobs With Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta issued the following statement:

The Trump administration continues to demonstrate that it will do anything to strip dignity and basic protections away from immigrants and working people.

The 300,000 Nicaraguan, Honduran, Haitian and Salvadoran individuals who count on TPS to live and work in the U.S. contribute to our society, communities, and economies in myriad ways. They are our neighbors – some, for decades. They pay taxes, own businesses, create jobs, and are homeowners. Many of them are home health professionals, providing care to millions of Americans, as well as construction workers, who currently are helping the hurricane recovery efforts in Florida and Houston. They are parents to over 275,000 children who are U.S. citizens, and the administration has no plan to address the breakup of these families.

The countries they were forced to leave have not fully recovered from natural disasters or civil unrest. These families since have made America their home. Ending TPS upends the lives of thousands, and mass deportation within these communities simply is inhumane.

Jobs With Justice does not stand by the administration’s decision to end TPS for Nicaraguans. We urge them to reconsider, as well as take action to extend TPS for Hondurans, Haitians and Salvadorans. Jobs With Justice continues to resist white supremacist actions displayed as hatred towards immigrant communities.

New Rule Will Allow Bosses To Take Servers Tips!

A Labor Department proposal to kill an Obama-era rule preventing employers from pooling workers’ tips is now under White House review.

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) received the proposed rule from the Labor Department on Tuesday according to the list of regulations under review.

In the semi-annual Unified Regulatory Agenda in July, the agency announced plans to rescind the current restriction on tip pooling by employers that pay tipped employees the full minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The change would allow restaurants, for example, to share the tips waiters receive with untipped workers, such as cooks.

The National Restaurant Association has long been pushing for the change. The group argues the rule finalized under former President Barack Obamacreated pay disparity between servers in the front of the house and the cooks in the kitchen.

It does not appear the Labor Department will allow employers to pool the tips of employees who make less than minimum wage, but the agency’s proposal has not yet been made public.

Worker rights advocates, though, have blasted the proposed change, saying the administration is once again catering to business and corporate interests over workers.

In a statement Wednesday, Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, said tips belong to the worker who earns them.

“The Trump Labor Department may say that it’s taking away this protection to let some employers redistribute tips freely to all employees, regardless of whether they are tipped workers or not,” she said. “But if companies have trouble retaining non-tipped workers because their pay is so bad, then the solution is for the companies to raise their wages, not to essentially steal what tipped workers take home at the end of the day.”

Owens fears the rule opens the door for employers to pocket a portion of the tips.

“The Labor Department and the National Restaurant Association can dress this up any way they want to, but ultimately, this rule change is nothing more than robber barons masquerading as Robin Hood—not to mention that it absolves employers of their responsibility to fairly and adequately pay their employees,” she said.

Once OIRA signs off on the proposed rule it will be published in the Federal Register and the agency will accept public comments.

OIRA has 90 days to review the rule, but can take longer.

Rhode Island Needs RhodyCare

RHODYCARE: CHARTING THE COURSE FOR CARE

Everyone deserves the freedom to live full and healthy lives and sustain their families. Taking care of a child, a loved one with a disability, or an aging parent should be a source of joy. Yet, high costs of living and stagnating wages challenge Rhode Islanders’ ability to make ends meet. And the skyrocketing price tags of childcare and eldercare, which can easily exceed rents, further exacerbate this problem.

As Ocean State families shoulder the responsibilities of care, the crippling financial and emotional burden of caregiving mounts. Approximately 134,000 family caregivers in Rhode Island provide an average of 142 million hours of uncompensated care for an aging parent or loved one, with an estimated economic value of $1.78 billion per year. Women across the state make up the majority of unpaid family and underpaid professional caregivers, and bear the brunt of this financial crisis. With the oldest per-capita population in the country, Rhode Islanders need elder care more than ever before. And as baby boomers reach retirement age and childcare costs rise, more people will struggle to provide care for their families.

No one should have to choose between paying for basic necessities or the care they need for their families. Conditions in Rhode Island are ripe for an ambitious policy that addresses the family care challenge: long-term care, childcare, and paid family leave. RhodyCare can ensure that families don’t have to make tough decisions without a safety net to support them.

Join us to win RhodyCare!                                                        Check out our RhodyCare page above!

Want to get involved?                                                              Email us: rhodycare@gmail.com

Labor’s Day 2017 Labor Day March Against Racism

 

 

Amilcar Cabral said: “We tell no lies and claim no easy victories.  Are we going to ignore labor’s past or only claim the good?  No, we have so much to be proud of, but we also have a legacy of pain and exclusion.  We claim Ben Fletcher, a fierce Black IWW dock worker who formed one of the most enduring and fearless multi-racial unions in the history of the U.S., as a model of working class power. We also have the Philadelphia Streetcar workers who went on strike in 1944 to prevent Black drivers from driving, or Samuel Gompers who was a strong supporter of segregation and encouraged the destruction of Black workers organizations.  It is this mixed history that makes the old union song Which Side Are You On a hymn when sung by settler workers and a blues when sung by black workers. It is this past that makes this Labor Day so important as we assert that we; “Tell no lies and claim no easy victories”.

Labor Day Poster English

 

The prisons chock a block with the working poor, our cities are crumbling, our public schools under constant attack, our immigrant neighbors targeted and threatened, mass demonstrations of anti-black terrorists, our queer siblings cut out and isolated, even our children used as centers for profit. There is no end to the creativity of the bosses and the politicians they hire. We watch as the Confederate flag alongside the Nazi flag is flying on our soil.  This assault on us is real and total, there is no quarter offered to us as the safety net is clipped away to line the pockets of the greedy.

It is this Labor’s Day that we put ourselves into history’s service, not as pawns like the bosses wish, but as the authors, architects, makers, and builders of a future that is open and unapologetic in our stand against racism and fear. On Labor Days to come, let our children and our children’s children mark what was done here in Providence on Labor’s Day 2017.

 

That we the members of battered unions, tired fast food workers, and struggling health care workers stood together to say enough. That the wounds we carry are the binding contract to the future that holds to account those who try to divide us. Let the racists remember with a shudder that we working people are the masters of this world and if you attempt to harm us we will organize the next. We offer no home to racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism, in our hands, in our halls. in our hearts, or in our heads. Let this wave of hate break on the rock of labor for we will not be bowed.

 

 

Our anti-racism solidarity pledge put into action

On August 14, 2017, Jobs with Justice facilitated a gathering at Bell Street Chapel of multiple organizations and groups from across Rhode Island in response to the tragedy in Charlottesville. We joined together as a community and pledged to stand with each other in solidarity in opposition to fascism, white supremacy, and other forms of oppression using the lens of an intersectional feminist praxis. (For more information on intersectionality, click here to read the Wikipedia article and click here to read the original article that forms the basis of this important praxis)

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As part of this pledge we promised to create within our own organizations efforts that will implement these initiatives both amongst our members and in our surrounding communities. This means that we promise to create an effort that will challenge oppressive structures and attitudes in our individual members, in the bylaws that govern our operations, and in the communities we work within up to and including the abolition of the police and prison-industrial complex. In no way is there any place for agencies which have facilitated the rise of this fascist menace in our communities.

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So how do we do this?

We can start by by creating what is called an affinity group. It is a group formed around a shared interest or common goal to which individuals formally or informally belong. Some affinity groups are organized in a non-hierarchical manner, often using consensus decision making, and are frequently made up of trusted friends. They provide a method of organization that is flexible and decentralized. Other affinity groups may have a hierarchy to provide management of the group’s long-term interests, or if the group is large enough to require the delegation of responsibilities to other members or staff. Affinity groups may have either open or closed membership, although the latter is far more common. Some charge membership dues or expect members to share the cost of the group’s expenses. (Click here to read more about creating an affinity group)

Once you have created an affinity group, begin to create an internal education curriculum module that make sure every member understands intersectional feminism. From there you will want to begin developing an understanding of this history of race and racism as well as Critical Race Theory, the academic discipline that is focused upon the application of critical theory, a critical examination of society and culture, to the intersection of race, law, and power. This is a large topic that can take multiple meetings. (Click here to read Richard Moser’s useful introductory text on white skin privilege, the culminating benefit of racism.)

After your affinity group understands this material, look into creating either a standing committee or caucus within your organization dedicated to internal implementation. Once formalized this body should focus energy and resources on educating the community you occupy about opposing white supremacy, racism, fascism, and oppression of all types.

Nissan Union Loss Underscores Labor’s Big Dilemma

JUSTIN MILLER

AUGUST 8, 2017

The United Auto Workers’ failed union drive at a Mississippi car plant points to core challenges for a labor movement working within a rigged system. 

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(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Nissan employee Morris Mock, left, consoles colleague Antonio Hoover as he expresses his disappointment at losing their bid to form a union at the Nissan vehicle assembly plant in Canton, Miss., Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.

Late Friday night, the American labor movement was dealt yet another body blow—an increasingly common occurrence in the Trump era—as it became clear that the United Auto Workers had lost its long-shot bid to establish a union at a Nissan manufacturing plant in Canton, Mississippi.

Workers at the factory voted 2,244 to 1,307 against unionization, a devastating landslide defeat for the Detroit-based union and worker activists who had been trying to organize since the plant first opened nearly 15 years ago.

“We’re disappointed but not surprised by the outcome in Canton,” said Gary Casteel, secretary-treasurer of the UAW, in a statement. “Despite claiming for years to be neutral on the question of a union, Nissan waged one of the most illegal and unethical anti-union campaigns that I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

For decades, industrial unions have tried to make headway in the South, where manufacturers both foreign—like Airbus, Mercedes Benz, Toyota, and Volkswagen— and domestic—like Boeing—have set up shop, drawn by the region’s low wages and historic aversion to unions.

Forty of Nissan’s 42 plants around the world are unionized—as are the vast majority of other foreign-owned multinationals’. Corporations that wouldn’t think of going non-union in Europe or Japan become militantly anti-union when they move into the South.

Unions’ efforts at these Southern plants have failed almost every time—most recently in Charleston, South Carolina, where the Machinists union called for an election earlier this year to unionize Boeing’s first Southern factory. Despite a multi-year effort to build up support, more than two-thirds of eligible workers voted to reject a union.

The unsuccessful campaign in Canton epitomizes the immense challenges that weakened unions face as they try to survive, shore up strength, and expand in a globalized economy

The unsuccessful campaign in Canton epitomizes the immense challenges that weakened unions face as they try to survive, shore up strength, and expand in a globalized economy that is squeezing workers more and more. The continued failures prompt important and ongoing debates about unions’ approaches to organizing strategy—and the degree to which they may be repeating the same mistakes over and over again. But they also bring into stark relief the question of whether labor unions can make any meaningful organizing gains without a complete overhaul of the nation’s labor laws.

The answer, increasingly, appears to be, “no.”

A CENTRAL CHALLENGE IS THAT UNIONS are fighting with one hand tied behind their backs, forced to operate within a woefully antiquated labor law framework while corporations brazenly operate outside that framework with little fear of consequences or retribution. Corporations have mastered the art of union avoidance, spending millions of dollars on sophisticated campaigns to advance anti-union talking points in both the workplace and the community.

The plant employs about 6,500 people, including thousands of temporary workers who are employed through the staffing agency Kelly Services, though they were not eligible to be in the union. UAW officials have criticized the car company for paying “perma-temps” lower wages for doing the same work as Nissan employees.

Nissan’s anti-union campaign was even more aggressive than the typical aggressive employer campaign

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Nissan’s anti-union campaign was even more aggressive than the typical aggressive employer campaign, says Kate Bronfenbrenner, a senior lecturer and labor-organizing expert at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, because Nissan sensed that UAW was gaining momentum, having reportedly gotten a majority of workers to sign union cards before the election.

“They had to undo that union majority by using fear and intimidation,” Bronfenbrenner says.

In Canton, Nissan played anti-UAW videos on a continuous loop in the employee break rooms leading up to the election. The company pulled workers into “captive audience” roundtable discussions, where managers warned that a union would create rigidity and would wreak havoc in the Nissan “family.”

Supervisors wore “Vote No” t-shirts on the floor and pulled workers who had voiced support for the union into one-on-one meetings. As Payday Report’s Mike Elk, who covered the election on the ground, reported, management allegedly dealt out long-promised raises and lucrative rates for car purchases, while threatening to take away special lease rates on new cars for employees if they voted to unionize.

“When Nissan said, ‘We are going take away your leased vehicle,’ everything changed,” Nissan worker Betty Jones told Elk. “And the more they were saying that, the more people were wearing their [anti-union] shirts.”

The Japanese automaker also ran TV ads in the Canton media market, while nearly every business in the area had anti-union signs outside their stores. For his part, Mississippi’s Republican Governor Phil Bryant posted an unsubtle message on Facebook.

Veiled threats that the plant might shut down if workers unionized are common in union campaigns, but particularly effective when used by multinationals whose threat may not sound empty. “Multinationals are harder to organize under because the threat of capital mobility is very real and they use the threat that they will move,” Bronfenbrenner says. “This is not a Southern phenomenon. This is problem in organizing multinational firms, period.”

Confronted by Nissan’s anti-union onslaught, the UAW and its allies mounted a counter-campaign that tried to build community support and tie the organizing drive at the plant—where the majority of workers are black—to the civil rights movement. Back in March, the UAW held a march in Canton where some 5,000 activists, including Senator Bernie Sanders, actor Danny Glover, and former NAACP President Cornell Brooks, gathered to rally support in the lead up to UAW filing for an election. And in the days before the election, both Sanders and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez voiced support for a Nissan union.

The racial factors at play in Mississippi as the union campaign heated up were hard to miss, too. A man on one radio station in the area said, “You Nissan people better listen,” warning that workers would go back to “picking cotton, plowing fields, or digging ditches” if they voted to unionize.

The UAW has filed several Unfair Labor Practice complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, including seven on Friday evening alleging that Nissan violated federal labor law. In July, the NLRB charged Nissan with illegally bribing and intimidating workers, which the company denies and has promised to appeal. If the labor board finds that the company illegally swayed the election outcome, it could void the results and order a new election within six months. However, the odds of success for unions are often even lower in re-elections as companies will often double down on intimidation tactics.

In Donald Trump’s Washington, meanwhile, the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress work in concert to roll back union-friendly regulations. The prospects of federal labor law reform that could create a level playing field for workers trying to unionize are currently nonexistent while the threat of a complete dismantling of existing protections is exceedingly possible. Trump is on the verge of getting his NLRB appointees through the Senate, which will create an anti-union majority on the board and add one additional obstacle to union organizing.

The Nissan loss is a devastating one for unions and workers alike—but unless the labor landscape changes in a dramatic way, those types of losses will only continue.

Protecting Our Paychecks

This is from a process that was started 3 years ago with ROC United. Following interviews with dozens of servers the issue of having to cover skipped checks kept popping up.

Working with the Center for Justice, and RIAFLCIO we protecting our pay checks from unauthorized and immoral deductions.

It’s about time.

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20170613/ri-legislation-would-protect-workers-pay-from-certain-deductions-for-business-losses

Terrible News!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/09/in-a-setback-for-unions-labor-department-moves-to-revoke-obama-era-persuader-rule/?can_id=fd43c5b6b9e489e01ab8f7bf0ecc493f&email_referrer=todays-headlines-jobs-with-justice-51217-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2&email_subject=todays-headlines-jobs-with-justice-61217&link_id=1&source=email-todays-headlines-jobs-with-justice-51217-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2&utm_term=.22b4a09f7e06