Pittsburghers Try a Community Union

Pittsburghers Try a Community Union

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Women of Steel, a Steelworkers caucus, attend a rally called by Fight Back Pittsburgh, the new community union. Photo: Chelsea Engel.

In the face of an awful economic climate and labor laws that too often favor employers, Pittsburghers are trying out a new organizing model: a rank-and-file community union.

The fledgling group brings union and non-union workers together to fight side by side on social justice issues and to seed workplace organizing committees through a Pittsburgh-flavored campaign called “Is Your Boss a Jagoff?” Continue reading “Pittsburghers Try a Community Union”

What’s So Great About Unions, Anyway?


02/19/2013  Elizabeth Shuler

Let’s be honest. Sometimes, outside of election campaign seasons, even progressives wonder what’s so great about unions. Sure, we had a role to play before job safety laws, the eight-hour day, Social Security and civil rights laws were passed. But today?

Even our friends aren’t immune to the relentless attacks on unions from the right and the stereotypes that come with them: union thugs, lazy workers, relics of the past, self-absorbed, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Most of you know that as union strength has declined over the past three or so decades, so has the middle class. That’s because unions are just regular working people who come together to balance power with employers and bargain for better living and working standards. And when unions are weakened by corporate and right-wing politicians, all working people feel the squeeze. Continue reading “What’s So Great About Unions, Anyway?”

Illinois Labor History Society’s 2012 Union Hall of Honor Awards Dinner

You are invited to the Illinois Labor History Society’s 2012 Union Hall of Honor Awards Dinner

A Salute to Labor’s Historic Heroes from the History Makers of Today

Keynote Speaker: Karen Lewis
President of the Chicago Teachers Union

Sunday, December 2nd, 4:30 PM
Nat’l. Assoc. of Letter Carriers Branch 11

3850 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago
Tickets $75 each or $700 for a group of 10. Advance reservations are required.
Reservations and ticket purchases can be made on line at our website.

To purchase tickets with a check, click here.
To purchase tickets via paypal, click here.

2012 Inductess into the Union Hall of Honor
In this 75th anniversary year of the 1937 Memorial Day Massacre at Republic Steel,
we honor a trio of militant steelworker leaders who fought for justice and democracy.
Guest presenters include Roberta Lynch, Deputy Director of AFSCME Council 31 & athor of Rusted Dreams; labor and social activist Bea Lumpkin, author of Always Bring a Crowd.

Ed Sadlowski

Ed’s Steel Worker Fight Back campaigns sought to bring democracy and progressive miitancy squarely back into his union and the union movement generally. Ed has been a notable workers’ champion for decades since.

Alice Peurala

Alice fought discrimination against women at all levels of the industry.She became the first and only woman president of a basic steel union, USW Local 65 at U.S. Steel‘s South Works.

Frank Lumpkin
Frank led the Save Our Jobs effort following the closure ofChicago’s Wisconsin Steel plant and its refusal to pay wages and pensions owed the workers. After 17 years, a settlement victory was won
Illinois Labor History Society, 123 W. Madison, Suite 905, Chicao, IL 60602
(312) 663-4107  Email: ilhs@prodigy.net    www.illinoislaborhistory.org
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Palermo Workers Strike a Major Focus on Labor Day in Milwaukee and Nationally

Palermo Workers Strike a Major Focus on Labor Day in Milwaukee and Nationally

The now three month old strike at Palermo’s was a focus of Milwaukee’s annual Labor Day parade on September 3, as well as celebrations of labor in nearby Racine, Madison, and even as far away as Los Angeles, California.

Striking members of the Palermo Workers Union joined with the local United Steelworkers contingent in the annual Milwaukee Labor Day parade and Labor Fest. Many Palermo workers brought their families and children, some of whom also carried signs, flags, banners, noisemakers, and informational literature. Continue reading “Palermo Workers Strike a Major Focus on Labor Day in Milwaukee and Nationally”

USA: Stop Siemens union-busting

ActNOW -A LabourStart campaign

USA: Stop Siemens union-busting

In partnership with the United Steelworkers, representing 1.2 million active and retired members in North America.

Siemens, the global engineering giant, likes to say it’s a socially responsible company. It even just signed an agreement with labour organizations committing to respect workers’ rights around the globe. So what does Siemens do within days after signing this agreement? It launches a vicious union busting campaign. In Maryland, USA, Siemens has hired a top-dollar anti-union consultant and waged a campaign that’s included intimidation, surveillance, threats involving termination, and prohibiting Siemens employees from even talking about the union. The workers at Siemens in Maryland are fighting back. They’re seeking to organize with the United Steelworkers and are reaching out to unions around the world for support. Continue reading “USA: Stop Siemens union-busting”

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