Labor Weather Report

A glance at how some workers and their unions are faring in the class struggle.

Google employees in London participate in a walkout to protest the handling of cases of sexual assault and gender discrimination at the company. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images
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October 2018 — Defying Teamster brass. National Teamster bosses used a constitutional loophole to ratify a weak give-back contract in spite of a 54 percent no vote by members. United Parcel Service (UPS) drivers of Teamster Local 705 in Chicago refused to accept the national contract agreement, insisting on $15 an hour starting wage, no two-tier driver scale, and better pensions and health coverage. They may strike in December.

November 2018 — Google walkout. Tens of thousands of Google workers from Singapore to London to New York, held an hour long wildcat walkout on Nov. 1, at 11:10 am in each time zone. They were protesting the handling of cases of sexual misconduct and demanding gender pay equity and inclusive hiring practices. Crowds of women and men chanted Google’s original motto “Don’t be evil” and “Women’s rights are workers’ rights!”

Ongoing — Detroit HERE wins. UNITE HERE Local 24 workers chanted, “Dirty rooms! Dirty sheets? Take your business down the street!” And notables, like Elton John and the Toronto Maple Leafs did! Over 160 workers and many community members, picketed the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit around-the-clock for almost a month. In November, management, tired of empty and unclean rooms, threw in the towel and settled.

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