Wal-Mart’s business model runs on the art of delusion. Clean aisles and bright decor insulate customers from the unseemly factories that produce the brand’s sought-after bargains. But when Wal-Mart’s label was found plastered all over the charred remains of a massive factory fire in Bangladesh last fall, the ugliness at the root of the retail giant’s supply chain was exposed.
|By: Michelle Chen Monday April 22, 2013 7:35 am|
|By: Michelle Chen Wednesday April 17, 2013 11:00 am|
In Argentina and Brazil, a sector of workers that has long labored invisibly is moving out of the shadows and gaining legal protections. Their counterparts in Jamaica and Uruguay are sparking a new political consciousness from the friction between tradition and globalization. Around the world, private homes are becoming labor’s latest battleground as domestic workers stake out their rights.
Despite stretching into every region of the world, domestic work has historically been excluded from conventional labor laws, regardedly merely as “women’s work.” A breakthrough came in 2011 with the passage of the groundbreaking Convention 189 on domestic workers’ rights by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN special agency for labor rights. The convention lays out principles for fair treatment at work, including the right to a fair labor contract and a safe work environment, freedom from exploitation and coercion, and legal recourse against abusive employers.
|By: DSWright Friday December 28, 2012 7:12 am|
UPDATE 1:10PM EST: There has been a 30 day extension to the ILA contract postponing the strike.
At 12:01 am on December 30th 14 ports from Boston to Houston will close as members of the International Longshoremen Association (ILA) covering the the East and Gulf coasts go on strike. At issue is whether Longshoremen will continue to get the per-container royalty payments previously agreed to by management.
|By: Michelle Chen Saturday December 22, 2012 5:00 pm|
Michigan’s new right-to-work law has has struck a savage blow to America’s labor movement in its heartland. Unions across the state have thronged to Lansing to oppose the attack, which makes union membership optional and thus reduces labor’s bargaining clout. But tucked into the legislation are subtle exemptions for particular workers—police and firefighters, who have historically played by a different set of rules, creating political divides in the labor movement.
But in this case, it seems that many members of Michigan’s police and firefighters unions—about 1,700 bargaining units altogether—are standing in solidarity with other public-sector unions to oppose the law.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday December 12, 2012 10:30 am|
Labor has not really attempted to overturn the Indiana “right to work” law, where they had less options at their disposal. But there are tools available in Michigan, as well as a relatively dense unionized labor force ready to fight back.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday December 11, 2012 2:40 pm|
Labor unions believe they have found a way to challenge these bills at the ballot box, even if they would be allowed to remain in place for a while in the interim. As first reported by NBC News, an analysis by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan shows that labor would have recourse to put the right to work laws up for a citizen initiative.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday December 11, 2012 11:28 am|
Despite large protests and thousands of demonstrators, lawmakers in Michigan, as expected, granted final approval to right to work legislation, which will ban closed shop unions and allow workers to opt out of union dues despite having their employment covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
|By: David Dayen Monday December 10, 2012 11:07 am|
Senator Carl Levin and most of the Democratic delegation in the House, including John Dingell, John Conyers, Sandy Levin, Gary Peters, Hansen Clark, Dave Curson and Congressman-elect Dan Kildee attended the meeting. Snyder said he would “take seriously” their concerns.
|By: David Dayen Thursday December 6, 2012 5:51 pm|
Within a matter of hours, both houses of the Michigan legislature passed right to work legislation, while arrests and lockdowns occurred inside and outside the chamber. In the end, Michigan Democrats staged a walkout to protest the closed Capitol. But eventually, the votes were taken, through a gut-and-amend process with a substitute bill that was supposed to create a commission to deal with labor disputes. The main bill then passed the House by a 58-52 vote, and the Senate 22-16.
|By: David Dayen Thursday December 6, 2012 12:24 pm|