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Federal Prison Factories Kept Running as Coronavirus Spread

By CARY ASPINWALL, KERI BLAKINGER and JOSEPH NEFF The Marshall Project
two men sewing Prisoners have made furniture, license plates and government uniforms during the pandemic. In a factory, social distancing is almost impossible. At some factories still operating, workers did not get paper face masks until this Monday.

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“We’re Not Going to Work Through Coronavirus”

David Broder Jacobin
Italian mechanics pictured at their garage. The European country hit hardest by coronavirus, Italy has announced a near-total shutdown of shops and public venues, but many nonessential workplaces are still running. Refusing to let bosses risk their safety, workers are now going on strike.

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A New Farm Worker Union Is Born

David Bacon The American Prospect
Indigenous Oaxacan farm workers win themselves a union in the Pacific Northwest. Members are filled with ideals, starting with their own organization. Its principles for organization sound like those of radical unions throughout U.S. history. Union leaders should be workers, and the rank and file should make all decisions. No leader or staff member should have a salary higher than a worker in the fields. The union shouldn't accumulate property and large bank accounts.

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Funding Agreement Protects Orphan Miner Health Care, But Doesn't Resolve Pension Issues

Tracie Mauriello Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Democrats and coal-country Republicans say miners are uniquely deserving because of an agreement in 1946, when the government seized mines and ended a strike by agreeing to provide health and pension benefits. Legislative leaders have agreed to the provisions as part of a $1 trillion government funding bill, and rank-and-file members are expected to approve it later this week.

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Uber Recognizes New York Drivers’ Group, Short of a Union

By Noam Scheiber and Mike Isaac The New York Times
Unlike a traditional union, which contractors typically cannot form, the new Independent Drivers Guild will not be able to bargain over a contract with Uber. The drivers will be able to appeal decisions by Uber to bar them from its platform, and can have guild officials represent them in their appeals. Also, they will be able to buy discounted legal services, discounted life and disability insurance and discounted roadside help for problems they encounter while driving.

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The Surprising Things Seattle Teachers Won for Students by Striking

Valerie Strauss Washington Post
Seattle teachers went on strike for a week this month with a list of goals for a new contract. By the time the strike officially ended this week, teachers had won some of the usual stuff of contract negotiations — for example, the first cost-of-living raises in six years — but also less standard objectives.
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