Last week, working people at eight Zara locations in New York chose to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Zara is owned by Inditex, the world’s largest fashion retailer, and the company did not oppose the union drive. More than 1,000 employees will now be represented by RWDSU Local 1102. RWDSU represents workers at retail stores such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, and supermarkets, drugstores and car washes.
Monday night in Cleveland, the AFL-CIO’s young worker program, Next Up, hosted a town hall, Working for Our Future, which addressed issues for young people, by young people, and how they can make a major difference in this election and their communities.
The political landscape has shifted because working people collectively bargained for, fought for and won pay raises in historic fashion. The time is ripe for a new economic agenda for broad prosperity, and organizing and collective bargaining are the best tools to achieve the economy that works for all. Working people are standing up and speaking out for a voice on the job, which means the right to join together to demand better wages and working conditions without fear of firing or retaliation. We also are helping to win legislation that positively impacts everyone. These latest worker wins show what the power of collective voice can achieve.
Working people across the country are creating better lives for themselves and their families by using the power of collective bargaining to improve their working conditions on many levels. Here are some highlights from recent working people wins.
Working people at the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, walked off the job on Friday, launching a strike against the greedy actions of billionaire Carl Icahn, the current owner of the casino. Workers at other Atlantic City casinos reached tentative agreements last week, but Icahn's opposition to treating working people fairly means that nearly a thousand cooks, housekeepers, servers and other staff are on strike.
Union Summer, the cadre of young activists that is training to be the future leaders and union organizers of the labor movement, are hitting the doors hard. After a couple of weeks on the ground, Summeristas have spoken with 300 people one-on-one and engaged 100 of them to commit to forming a union.
Starting this week, nearly 10,000 registered nurses, affiliated with National Nurses United (NNU), are striking in Minnesota, California and Massachusetts in order to improve patient safety and quality care at the hospitals where they work. The nurses are taking a stand on behalf of their patients at hospitals in the three states owned by various corporations that are raising serious questions about their commitment to patients and their health care providers. While the nurses are striking against the specific details of each situation, they are fighting back against similar problems seen at hospitals throughout the country.
Rain, wind and a four-hour round-trip from her home could not keep English teacher Jessica Nelson away from City College of San Francisco to join a one-day strike on April 27, the first strike in the school’s history.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done crucial work to safeguard Americans against the deceptive and abusive practices of big banks, student loan servicers, credit card companies and predatory lenders. Tell Congress to protect this important agency.