Time to even the odds

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Upcoming Events 🗓

Join us for the seventh series of the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee’s Organizer Training Series, starting on Wednesday, March 9! In four discussion sessions over two weeks, you will be introduced to the fundamental principles of effective shop-floor organizing: Mapping/Charting, Leader Identification, Bringing Coworkers Together Around Common Concerns, Getting Over Fear, Taking Action, and Escalating Demands. If you are sick of feeling isolated and sick of feeling powerless, come join us for four 1.5 hour long sessions over two weeks! Sign up here!

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This past week, Jennifer Abruzzo, the general counsel at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced a plan that could greatly increase union membership. Abruzzo plans to ask the NLRB, which is the federal agency in charge of protecting the rights of workers, to reinstate the Joy Silk Doctrine. This rule would make it easier for workers to form a union and would increase the penalties for illegal union busting tactics.

The Joy Silk Doctrine, named for a 1949 dispute between Joy Silk Mills and United Textile Workers of America, states that an employer must voluntarily recognize a labor union if that employer has “no good-faith doubt” that the union has a majority of support. If the employer does not recognize the union and proceeds to violate the law during the union election process, then the NLRB can order the company to recognize and bargain with the union.

The NLRB election process has been stacked in favor of bosses for decades, with disastrous results for workers. As the fight to pass labor-friendly legislation like the PRO Act continues, the Joy Silk doctrine could be a much-needed boost to labor organizing, and a first step towards evening the odds and building worker power.

Image: 1949 NLRB decision against Joy Silk Mills

World of Work 🌍

TN – Starbucks on Tuesday fired seven employees in Memphis who were seeking to unionize their store, one of several dozen nationwide where workers have filed for union elections since December. Please support the fired organizers by donating here and signing the petition to reinstate them here.

CA – The National College Players Association has filed unfair labor practices charges against USC and UCLA, alleging football players and men’s and women’s basketball players at those schools have been misclassified as student athletes. The charges are filed, at least in part, in response to a memo issued by NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo last year.

AK – Alaska Airlines COO Constance Von Muehlen was speaking at an event in New York City, and pilots decided to picket, given that they’ve been waiting a few years on a new contract. Merits to the picketing aside, Von Muehlen’s “acknowledgement” of these pilots is one of the more unusual ways I’ve seen an airline executive interact with employees.

FL – Bus drivers and employees with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority on Wednesday held a protest, arguing that the authority did not give its workers proper pay raises during last year’s bargaining.

Week in Labor History 📚

February 13, 1865, the Sons of Vulcan, the first American union in iron and steel, ended its strike, leading to the first union contract in American history.

Solidarity,

Team EWOC

EWOC is a collaboration between the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). We depend on small-dollar donations to provide frontline workers with the support they need to fight for protections during COVID-19. Click here to make a contribution that will help fund our work.




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