Labor spotlight

February 2, 2017

Students or employees? Union clash at Columbia

Are graduate students who work 20 to 30 hours a week teaching and doing related tasks employees of the university or simply students? That is the question at the heart of the current conflict between Columbia University graduate assistants who are trying to unionize and the university management’s attempts to block them.




December 1, 2016

Results show vulnerability of today’s working class

Hillary Clinton was endorsed by most major unions, and organized labor’s campaign spending — much of it for Clinton and other Democrats — hit unprecedented levels. But more working-class men and women, including many in union households, voted for her opponent. What gives?

October 6, 2016

LIU faculty ‘blindsided’ by ‘terrifying’ lockout

At midnight on Sept. 2, at the start of the Labor Day weekend, about 400 faculty members at Long Island University Brooklyn were locked out of school with three days left in their contract negotiations.

July 7, 2016

State’s farmworkers fighting to organize

After working on the same dairy farm 12 hours a day, six days a week for three years, Crispin Hernandez was fired for meeting with an organizer. Has the time come for farmworkers to attain the rights they have been long denied?

May 5, 2016

Salary-wise, it’s still mostly a man’s world

Despite high levels of education — women earned more post-secondary degrees than men in 2012–13, according to the U.S. Department of Education — women continue to face a wage gap.

March 3, 2016

‘Right to Work’ is anything but that

A victory for Friedrichs would effectively turn every state into a “right-to-work’’ state. And that wouldn’t be good for workers, including teachers.

January 7, 2016

Union contract key to safety

The Upper Big Branch explosion brings to light an important fact: Union mines – and unionized workplaces in general – are far safer than those, like the Upper Big Branch mine, without unions.

November 5, 2015

Supreme battle

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court this year could pose the gravest threat to unions in the history of the modern U.S. labor movement, labor experts say. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association challenges the “fair share” requirement that public-sector workers in unionized jobs who choose not to join their union must still pay their fair share of the cost of union representation and services.

June 4, 2015

Is free trade really free?

Free trade has never been free for the American worker, according to the 
broad coalition of labor, environmental, consumer-rights, good-government and other groups fighting against a proposed new trade deal, theTrans-Pacific Partnership.

April 2, 2015

Political right takes aim at unions’ coffers

Lately, traditionally union-friendly states in the industrialized Midwest are adopting right-to-work rules that allow workers to withhold dues or fees from the unions that represent them in bargaining. Just last month Wisconsin became the 25th state to pass a right-to-work law. 


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