Happy holidays, everyone One uplifting story this week comes from Washington state where union volunteers spent time with Toys for Tots, a non-profit organization that gives holiday gifts to children in need.  The union donated over $1500 in toys and s …

Andrew

Happy holidays, everyone

One uplifting story this week comes from Washington state where union volunteers spent time with Toys for Tots, a non-profit organization that gives holiday gifts to children in need.  The union donated over $1500 in toys and supplies and helped organize the donations for give away.  The president of the machinists union said that their union’s two goals were making companies better places to work and making the community a better place to live.  It’s easy to lose sight of that second purpose when most news stories only cover the business aspect of labor unions, so thanks to the volunteers for making the holidays brighter for others.

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Security workers at New York City’s JFK airport called off a strike Thursday after employers agreed to meet to discuss employee concerns.  The strike was authorized just a few days before and could have had a significant impact on holiday travel.  It is easy for the union to look bad for taking action right before the holidays but the truth is that the workers had legitimate concerns that extended beyond their self-interests.  Employees complained to management about lapses in security, bad equipment, lack of training, and rushed searches during security checks.  Economic pressure is the strongest voice of resistance available to workers, and although it is the busiest time of year for travelers, we have to keep in mind that it may also be the most dangerous.

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In wake of the horrible school shooting in Connecticut, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker – the same governor who ended collective bargaining for public workers – entertained the idea that arming school personnel with handguns should be “part of the discussion.”  It’s hard to wrap one’s mind around this concept, even giving him the benefit of the doubt for being open minded and considering all possibilities.  This means that the same guy who is completely closed off from the idea of guaranteed collective bargaining rights for public sector workers is not completely closed off from the idea of providing handguns to certain school officials.  Aren’t right-wing republicans great?

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a republican, earned the backing of a 20,000 member union when he launched his reelection campaign this week.  It’s rare for a union to come out strongly for a republican, and Christie is an up-and-coming politician who could get consideration as the republican candidate in the U.S. election someday.  He has been vocal about the importance of connection to Americans and identified that as a weakness in Mitt Romney’s campaign.  Christie voiced his support for Obama a week before the election.

 

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