labor activism

Union Membership at All Time Low

The attack on unions has been clearly effective. America's workers who are members of a union declined by 0.5 percentage points in 2012 to a low of 11.3%. In 1983 20.1% of all workers were members of a union and in 2011 11.8% of America's employed were union members. We have not seen union membership rates this low since the Great Depression.

Chalk One Up For Labor - Employers Better Not Fire You for What You Say Online About Them

Score one for the people. The National Labor board won a case for a worker fired because she slammed her boss on Facebook.

Employers should think twice before trying to restrict workers from talking about their jobs on Facebook or other social media.

That's the message the government sent on Monday as it settled a closely watched lawsuit against a Connecticut ambulance company that fired an employee after she went on Facebook to criticize her boss.

The National Labor Relations Board sued the company last year, arguing the worker's negative comments were protected speech under federal labor laws. The company claimed it fired the emergency medical technician because of complaints about her work.

Under the settlement with the labor board, American Medical Response of Connecticut Inc. agreed to change its blogging and Internet policy that barred workers from disparaging the company or its supervisors. The company also will revise another policy that prohibited employees from depicting the company in any way over the Internet without permission.

Both policies interfered with longstanding legal protections that allow workers to discuss wages, hours and working conditions with co-workers, the board said.

How about doing something about all of the contract workers getting stiffed, who are officially counted as small businesses, thus do not have any labor protections.

Labor Activist Tim Costello Died, age 64

Tim Costello has died. He was an ardent fighter against globalization and it's glorified labor arbitrage agenda.

Mr. Costello was hailed by many academics and labor advocates as a bona fide worker-intellectual. A genial, mustached native of Boston, he drove fuel-delivery trucks, worked as a lobsterman, founded a group that battled against the fast-growing use of temporary workers and developed close links with labor advocates in China, Italy and Mexico.

His most notable book was “Globalization From Below: The Power of Solidarity” (2000), written with Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith, which became a primer for labor advocates who argued that globalization was destroying jobs and reducing wages in the United States while exploiting workers in Asia.