Source: Ryan Gallagher, Bloomberg, October 24, 2019
Google employees are accusing the company’s leadership of developing an internal surveillance tool that they believe will be used to monitor workers’ attempts to organize protests and discuss labor rights.
Earlier this month, employees said they discovered that a team within the company was creating the new tool for the custom Google Chrome browser installed on all workers’ computers and used to search internal systems. The concerns were outlined in a memo written by a Google employee and reviewed by Bloomberg News and by three Google employees who requested anonymity because they aren’t authorized to talk to the press.
The tool would automatically report staffers who create a calendar event with more than 10 rooms or 100 participants, according to the employee memo. The most likely explanation, the memo alleged, “is that this is an attempt of leadership to immediately learn about any workers organization attempts.”
Source: Michael M. Oswalt, Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 82 no. 3, 2019
….The article proceeds as follows. Part II canvasses evolutions in organizing since the 1970s to show how innovations that start at the unionization phase don’t stay there. Corporate, comprehensive, and social movement advances all became mainstay bargaining strategies. While the present breakthrough, alt-labor, defies easy characterization, Part II tries based on its three exceptional relationships to law. Part III addresses the next question: when and how might alt-labor’s legal insights begin to reverberate in later stages of organizing. After identifying the existing echoes, I argue that time is now.
Part IV explores mechanics. Embedded in alt-bargaining’s three new legal orientations is a sophisticated understanding of interest formation that allows the campaigns to press for broad, “common good”-type community benefits with minimal outside conflict, minimal internal dissension, and—most critically— draw big crowds. In doing so, leaders use practices steeped in community-based activism that incorporate months of transformational political and relational education. As Gabe Winant has described, unions’ modern challenge is to get the nurse, custodian, fast-food worker—and, increasingly, Uber driver—to “understand their fates as intertwined.” The realities of “race, economic position, and social status,” can make the task feel intractable. Alt-bargaining’s approach suggests it’s not impossible.
Finally, Part V offers a vision of alt-bargaining’s ambitions, plus a slate of legal and structural reforms—especially the introduction of community “pool voting”—that might support them. Part VI briefly concludes…..
Source: Mercedes Martinez and Monique Dols, Labor Notes, August 15, 2019
In the two months leading up to the uprising which ousted Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Roselló, educators celebrated hard-fought victories against the privatization of their education system. Struggles by teachers and families against school closures and charter schools helped pave the way for July’s unprecedented outpouring of protest (see box).
By the end of the school year in June, it became clear that the struggle to stop charterization had largely won. There is only one actively functional charter school on the island.
Then in July, teachers and families who had fought pitched battles against the closing of 442 public schools by ex-Secretary of Education Julia Keleher were vindicated when Keleher was arrested on corruption charges.
As the new school year starts in August, educators are still fighting to fully fund and staff the schools, reopen those shuttered under Keleher, and keep the charters out. In the weeks and months to come, expect educators to keep playing a critical role in the struggle for democracy, against austerity, and for the dignity of the working class in Puerto Rico….
Source: Steward Update, Vol. 30 no. 3, 2019
To get a good contract, pass pro-labor legislation, support charities and community groups or just get one supervisor to stop harassing union members, unions need to do something called “mobilization.” Mobilization is a systematic effort to get members and other to act as a group in taking action – fill out a bargaining survey, lobby their elected officials, join an anti-cancer walk-a-thon, or challenge a supervisor.
A key part of getting members in motion is having a strong connection between union leadership and membership. Stewards who regularly share information from leaders with their members and communicate members’ concerns to leaders are the most important part of any effort to harness member power to make positive change. To perform this role well, stewards need to maximize their relationship with each member. ….
Source: Daarel Burnette II & Madeline Will, Education Week, Vol. 38 Issue 36, Published in Print: June 19, 2019
More than a year after teachers across the country began walking out of their classrooms en masse to demand higher salaries, at least 15 states have given their teachers a raise.
And lawmakers in several more states are putting the final touches on plans to raise teacher salaries, according to an Education Week analysis…..
….Here’s what you need to know about each state’s plan (as of June 17) to raise teacher pay. (The average teacher salary for each state reflects the National Education Association’s estimate for the 2018-19 school year, which would not include these raises.)
Click a state in the dropdown to jump to that section: ….
Source: Kandyce Fernandez, Robbie Robichau, Jennifer Alexander, The American Review of Public Administration, OnlineFirst, Published June 19, 2019
From the abstract:
Civic engagement in U.S. political life has declined since the 1950s resulting in a deluge of studies that explore its causes and implications. Research to date has directed little attention to the institutional role of associations as the foundation for civic engagement in all of its forms. This article utilizes institutional theory as a lens to examine the ways in which community-based organizations (CBOs), in tandem with local government, foster civic engagement, and enhance representation in their communities. Through interview data obtained from stakeholders of 18 local education foundations (LEFs) in Florida, we examine the ways in which CBOs nurture civic health with client communities (generative role) and represent their interests in local policy arenas (mediating role). Based on the results of this initial study, we argue that greater attention should be directed to the relationships between CBOs and measures of civic health given their unique capacity to foster it. Results indicate the relationship between generative and mediating activities is such that CBOs’ engagement with client communities establishes the foundational knowledge necessary for representing their interests in the interorganizational arena. In addition, CBOs were found to establish both bridging and bonding capital in the interorganizational arena through their efforts to exert influence on behalf of client communities.
Source: Kim Moody, Jacobin, June 26, 2019
Unions are schools of workers’ struggle — that’s why socialists talk so much about them. But they’re also contradictory institutions that often become complacent and bureaucratic. That’s why the rank-and-file strategy is so important.
Source: Rich Yeselson, Dissent, Spring 2019
Workers must build durable collective identities on their own behalf, and unions must institutionalize that social solidarity.
Source: Patrick Dixon, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, Vol. 16 no. 2, May 2019
From the abstract:
The results of the 2016 election presented a crisis for American progressives that has given birth to a new genre of popular nonfiction literature focused on resistance to the Trump administration. These primers seldom consider labor to be an important element of resistance, and while they include many policy prescriptions, these are often lacking in imagination and ambition. This genre is nonetheless an instructive source, offering a historical snapshot that reveals the fissures and dilemmas facing the American Left in the early days of the Trump presidency.
Source: Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, May 1, 2019
A massive network of women activists across the country — that’s the vision of the new activist org Supermajority and its leadership, which is a dream team of organizers. Former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Black Lives Matter Global Network co-founder Alicia Garza, and National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) director Ai-Jen Poo are just three of the women helming the group named for the fact that women are a majority of the country’s electorate.
“Women are marching, running for office, donating to, and advocating for causes and campaigns, and voting in record numbers. We can be the most powerful force in America — if we do the work together,” the group, which launched April 29, says on its website. “We’re building a Supermajority of women [and everyone who shares our values!] who are organizing for gender equity.”
The leadership behind the group is a who’s who of powerful women. Aside from Poo, Garza, and Richards, there’s Deirdre Schifeling of Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund; Jess Morales Rocketto of the NDWA, Care in Action, and Families Belong Together; and NYU professor Katherine Grainger of Civitas Public Affairs Group.