Labor News Briefs

Chinese Rail Workers Remembered on 150th Anniversary of ‘Golden Spike’
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Chinese Rail Workers Remembered on 150th Anniversary of ‘Golden Spike’

OGDEN, Utah—The descendants of Chinese immigrants who worked on the first transcontinental railroad marked the 150th anniversary of its completion May 9. Margaret Yee of the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association helped Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and a descendant of Union Pacific’s chief engineer on the project tap a ceremonial spike in Ogden. “They say…

Toledo Nurses Strike Over Understaffing, Scheduling
Features, Finance, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Toledo Nurses Strike Over Understaffing, Scheduling

TOLEDO, Ohio—Before almost 1,900 nurses, lab technicians, and support staff went on strike at Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center May 6, United Auto Workers Locals 2213 and 12 had already agreed that a three-year contract would raise pay by 2%. But money’s not the main problem, union leaders and rank-and-file members say: Understaffing and…

Oregon Teachers’ Walkout Shuts 600 Schools for a Day
Education, Features, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Oregon Teachers’ Walkout Shuts 600 Schools for a Day

PORTLAND, Ore.—A one-day walkout by thousands of teachers May 8 closed 600 schools, including those in Portland. They took unpaid days off to go to rallies around the state to demand smaller class sizes; restoring music, art, and gym classes; and hiring more counselors, librarians, and school nurses. “Nearly 45% of all reported classes in…

Nevada Assembly Votes to Reverse Prevailing-Wage Rollbacks
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Nevada Assembly Votes to Reverse Prevailing-Wage Rollbacks

CARSON CITY, Nev.—The Nevada state Assembly voted Apr. 29 to repeal a 2015 state law that weakened the state’s prevailing wage requirements. Assembly Bill 136, which passed on a 28-12 party-line vote, would reverse the 2015 law’s reducing wages for school construction projects to 90% of the local prevailing wage, eliminate its exemption for charter-school…

N.C. Educators March for More Funds
Education, Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

N.C. Educators March for More Funds

RALEIGH, N.C.—Thousands of teachers, school staff, and supporters marched through downtown Raleigh May 1. Their five demands included a 5% raise for all school employees and a $15-an-hour minimum for school support staff; expanding Medicaid “to improve the health of our students and families”; restoring extra pay for teachers with advanced degrees; cancelling the elimination…

South Carolina Teachers March in State Capital
Education, Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

South Carolina Teachers March in State Capital

COLUMBIA, S.C.—Chanting “We teach. We vote,” about South Carolina 10,000 teachers and supporters marched on the Statehouse May 1 to call for higher salaries, smaller classes, and more state funding for education. Organized by SC for Ed with less than two weeks’ notice, teachers took personal days off to attend, forcing seven school districts with…

Quebec Machinists OK Bombardier Contract; Vote to Strike at Airbus
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Quebec Machinists OK Bombardier Contract; Vote to Strike at Airbus

MONTREAL, Quebec—After months of negotiations with two semi-related aircraft manufacturers, one group of International Association of Machinists members voted Apr. 27 to ratify the proposed contract, while the other rejected it. The about 3,200 Bombardier employees working on the CRJ aircraft program approved a three-year agreement retroactive to Nov. 30 by a 2–1 margin. But…

NY Senate Slates Hearings on Farm-workers Fair Labor Practices Act
Environment and Energy, Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, New York

NY Senate Slates Hearings on Farm-workers Fair Labor Practices Act

Albany, N.Y.—Two state senators have scheduled three public hearings on the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, a bill that would give farmworkers collective-bargaining rights, overtime pay, and at least one day a week off, and make them eligible for unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation. “It’s very important that we hear from farmers and farm workers…

GM Closed Lordstown After UAW Agreed to $118 Million in Concessions
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National, Transportation

GM Closed Lordstown After UAW Agreed to $118 Million in Concessions

Lordstown, Ohio—Three weeks after General Motors suspended production at its factory here, workers at the United Auto Workers Local 1112 union hall were livid. They agreed to make $118 million a year in concessions to save the plant in mid-2017, only to see it idled, possibly forever. “Everything they asked us to do, we did,”…

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