Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Sun: Maryland State Lawmakers advance bill allowing library workers to unionize

 The Baltimore Sun reports that Baltimore Senators have voted to advance a bill to the full Maryland State Senate that would allow 600 county library employees to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

Columbia Grad Students on Strike, NYU Grad studetns push for strike vote

 Columbia Graduate Student workers have been on strike for two weeks, a response to the fact that they still have no contract 5 years after the NLRB ruled they had a right to form a union. Inside Higher Ed has the story here. The Columbia Spectator also has coverage of undergraduate support for the graduate workers.

Elsewhere in New York City, NYU saw members of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) and their supporters rally in support of a vote for strike authorization. GSOC claims that after nine months of negotiations, and the expiration of their last contract in August 2020, the administration has been stonewalling in negotiations. The NYU student paper, Washington Square News, has the story here.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Labor Archives of Washington relieves 2021 John Sessions Memorial Award

 The References and Users Services Association of the American Library Association (RUSA) and the Department of Professional Employees of the AFL-CIO have announced that the Labor Arvhives of Washington, University of Washiington Libraries Special Collections have received the 2021 John Sessions Memorial Award.

Per the RUSA press release:

For its proactive efforts to reflect a more representative working-class history of the Pacific Northwest through its practices to address representation gaps in occupational communities, racial and ethnic groups, women, LGBTQ+ workers, and other historically marginalized communities. For its collaborative oral history project documenting workers in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The American Library Association’s Reference & User Services Association presents the 2021 John Sessions Memorial Award to the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. The award is sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFLCIO. The Labor Archives of Washington is commended for its proactive efforts to reflect a more representative working Northwest through its collecting, processing, and class history of the Pacific descriptive practices to address representation gaps in occupational communities, racial and ethnic groups, women, LGBTQ+ workers, and other historically marginalized communities. Particularly impressive are the social justice virtual exhibits, bilingual finding aids, and oral history transcriptions. The Archive is also recognized for its collaborative oral history project with unions, faculty, and regional labor history organizations documenting the experience of workers in the pandemic: “Working in the Time of COVID19.”

The John Sessions Memorial Award, sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, consists of a plaque and recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States.

The selection committee was Chaired by Bobray Bordelon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Publishers Weekly: Unionized booksellers demonstrate outside NYC's Strand Bookstore

 Union booksellers rallied outside of New York City's famed Strand bookstore last week after a year of difficult relationships between labor and management, Publisher's Weekly reported.

Many of the workers in attendance had experienced three separate layoffs from the bookstore in the past year while Strand ownership had invested in Amazon stock and taken in more than a million dollars in payroll protection loans while laying off 188 employees last March alone.

Employees from nearby bookstores joined the Strand booksellers in their demonstration in solidarity.

Monday, February 8, 2021

NBC: Amazon workers rally for a union in Alabama

 Local NBC affiliate WVTM 13 reports that workers at the Bessemer, AL Amazon warehouse rallied over the weekend in support of their unionization efforts.

The rally followed a decision earlier in the week by the National Labor Relations Board to allow the vote to go ahead despite Amazon's objections to the vote being conducted via mail in ballots.

Sentinel: Bookshop Santa Cruz employees unionize

 The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that employees of Bookstore Santa Cruz voted 58% in favor of unionizing with the Communication Workers of America Local 9423.

Impetus for the organizing drive came this past year when workers were asked to return to work without health and safety measures in place and without a workers voice in pandemic planning. Workers also are pushing for higher wages.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Connexion: French educators and students to strike over COVID protections and pay

 A French teachers union estimated that about a third of all of France's teachers would go out on strike yesterday, January 26th, as frustration has risen around the nation's response to the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, The Connexion has reported.

The union, SNUipp-FSU, said that members felt that the state had abandoned frontline workers in the midst of deteriorating situations making and called for the state to implement protection for teachers and students that rose to the challenge of COVID-19.

The unions are also demanding action on teacher salaries, which falls 7% below the global average for early and mid-career professionals, after promises and reforms made last year were deemed insufficient.

Students and parents are also joining the strike over frustration with the government's response to the pandemic.

France's nurses union also encouraged its school nurse members to join the teachers strike, saying the additional burdens placed on school nurses to test and contact trace COVID-19 prevented them from being able to tend to and care for students with other health needs.