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How D.C. Grocery Workers Got Their Groove Back

Alan Hanson Labor Notes
To regain lost wages and benefits, UFCW Local 400 used political power, working with union, community, and faith allies to win minimum wage increases and paid sick days in much of the area the union represents. The local also mobilized its membership. Conferences that brought together nearly 300 Safeway and Giant stewards were followed by mass meetings and in-store action teams. The result was a victory and a commitment to keep up the pressure.

A Union Is Brewing at Virginia Lipton Factory

Chris Brooks Labor Notes
Lipton brings tea from around the world through the Port of Virginia. At its single 20-acre plant in nearby Suffolk, 200 workers roast, blend, package, and warehouse it, producing over 6 billion bags a year. For years on end, these workers have been “drafted”—the company’s term for forced overtime—into working 13 straight days out of every 14.

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Mexican, U.S. Workers Bring Employer Charges Under NAFTA

Mario Vasquez In These Times
A transnational coalition of labor unions and community groups in the United States and Mexico charged multinational retail corporation Chedraui Commercial Group with violations of municipal, federal, and international labor law on November 12, filing unprecedented dual claims under compliant mechanisms embedded within the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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How Walmart Persuades Its Workers Not to Unionize

Steven Greenhouse The Atlantic
With 1.3 million U.S. employees—more than the population of Vermont and Wyoming combined—Walmart is by far the nation’s largest private-sector employer. It’s also one of the nation’s most aggressive anti-union companies, with a long history of trying to squelch unionization efforts. “People are scared to vote for a union because they’re scared their store will be closed,” said Barbara Gertz, an overnight Walmart stocker in Denver.

How Walmart Persuades Its Workers Not to Unionize

Steven Greenhouse The Atlantic
With 1.3 million U.S. employees—more than the population of Vermont and Wyoming combined—Walmart is by far the nation’s largest private-sector employer. It’s also one of the nation’s most aggressive anti-union companies, with a long history of trying to squelch unionization efforts. “People are scared to vote for a union because they’re scared their store will be closed,” said Barbara Gertz, an overnight Walmart stocker in Denver.

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Two Roads Forward: The AFL-CIO's New Agenda

Nelson Lichtenstein Dissent Magazine (Winter 2014)
The AFL–CIO is a multifaceted institution composed of scores of autonomous unions, so President Richard Trumka’s leadership can hardly turn around this cumbersome vessel all that quickly. But the new emphasis is clear: the unions should ally with progressive partners and devote more energy to make the kind of changes in social policy that can benefit millions of poorly paid and insecure workers.

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UFCW to Rejoin AFL-CIO

Associated Press Washington Post
The 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers Union will rejoin the AFL-CIO after an 8 year hiatus with the Change to Win labor federation. The UFCW will become the AFL-CIO's largest private sector affiliate and bring the labor federation's membership to about 13 million.

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Grocery Unions At Stop & Shop Take Obamacare’s Leap of Faith

Bruce Vail In These Times
Some 40,000 workers at more than 250 New England supermarkets approved new collective bargaining agreements this month in an uneasy embrace by their union of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as Obamacare.
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