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JUNETEENTH AND THE STRUGGLE FOR WORKERS’ RIGHTS

Rebecca Dixon NELP
As we contribute to the fight for workers’ rights and to build worker power, we are clear that the origins of the U.S. labor movement start with enslaved African people and their descendants struggling for emancipation.

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Walmart Faces Fresh Protests over Workers' Rights and Conditions

Karen McVeigh The Guardian
Walmart workers and supporters in the labor movement say they plan a new series of protests over wages and conditions at America's largest private employer, in which they will target the firm's family-friendly ethic ahead of its annual shareholders meeting next week. Hundreds of mothers who work at stores across the US plan a number of strikes in 20 cities nationwide. Others will travel to Walmart headquarters in advance of the upcoming shareholders' meeting next week.

The Republican War on Workers’ Rights

Corey Robin The New York Times
Inspired by business groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, they [the Republicans] proceeded to rewrite the rules of work, passing legislation designed to enhance the position of employers at the expense of employees.

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New Rules for Radicals

David Moberg In These Times
George Goehl and National People’s Action spent the last 6 years developing a new organizing strategy. The organization now commits itself to a vision of a “new economy”: democratic and public control of finance, and cooperative and alternative forms of business ownership. NPA also envisions giving workers real decision-making power within corporations and giving the public the right to revoke the charters of corporations that provide too little social value.

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Workers of the World, Faint!

Julia Wallace The New York Times
Three years ago, when the Cambodian minimum wage was $61 per month, 200,000 workers took to the streets to ask for a raise. It was the largest-ever strike in the garment sector, but, after just three days, it came to an anticlimactic halt due to police violence and threats against union leaders. Then the "neak ta" appeared. Mass faintings in factories spread throughout Cambodia, and employers' took notice.

Keeping Employees Isolated and Uninformed

Ann C Hodges and Ellen Dannin Truthout
The NLRA would not be powerless if it were interpreted as written and as Congress intended. The law still has the power to transform labor relations and give employees fair treatment, if only we will defend that power. The erosion of NLRA rights through past and current "interpretations" continues to deprive workers of their rights and weaken unions.

Chicago Cabbies Fight for a Fairer Fare

Moshe Z. Marvit and Vincent Mersich The Nation
No one is responsible for paying cabbies a “minimum wage,” because these drivers are not considered employees. But Callahan and a group of Chicago cab drivers are challenging that long-held assumption. Under the name “Cab Drivers for Justice,” or, as most call it, “Cabbies for Justice,” they are pursuing what could be a landmark legal case.

U.S. Policies Allow Sweatshop Fires

Tom Hayden The Peace & Justice Resource Center
The latest sweatshop disaster in Bangladesh, which claimed the lives of over 200 young women, calls into question the foundations of US globalization policies since the Clinton era. It is not enough to blame the corruption of Bangladesh factory owners, nor sufficient to suggest better training and factory codes from Walmart or the Gap. It is time to ban the US sale of garments made in Bangladesh until enforceable labor codes are imposed on that country.

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Portland City Council Votes to Require Sick Leave

Steven DuBois Huffington Post
The Portland, Oregon City Council voted unanimously to make Portland the fourth U.S. city to mandate that employers offer sick leave, requiring that workers receive up to five days of paid sick leave each year. The number of cities could soon expand to five - the Philadelphia City Council is expected to vote on a similar measure on this week.
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