United States workers prepare anti-Trump May Day

This video says about itself:

A Global Roundup of May Day Marches and Protests

2 May 2016

Cities around the world both celebrated the history of the labor rights struggle and carried on its tradition by protesting for higher wages, better working conditions and an end to austerity.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Monday, 27 March 2017

US workers mobilising for Anti-Trump May Day strike actions

WORKERS along America’s West Coast are mobilising for ‘strikes with the community’ this May Day in opposition to President Trump’s war on immigrants.

Shop steward Tomas Mejia sensed something was different when 600 janitors streamed into the Los Angeles union hall on February 16 – far more than for a regular membership meeting. Chanting ‘Huelga! Huelga!’ (‘Strike! Strike!’), they voted unanimously to strike on May Day.

The janitors of SEIU United Service Workers West felt driven, Mejia says, ‘to strike with the community’ against the raids, threats, and immigrant-bashing hate speech that the Trump administration has unleashed.

‘The president is attacking our community,’ said Mejia, a member of his union’s executive board.

‘Immigrants have helped form this country, we’ve contributed to its beauty, but the president is attacking us as criminal.’

Following the Los Angeles vote, union janitors elsewhere in California have also voted to ‘strike with the community’ on May 1. As the meetings gathered steam, Mejia reports, workers in schools, grocery stores, restaurants, and farms started talking about joining the walkout too.

And the strike is going on the road: SEIU-USWW is partnering with the human rights group Global Exchange, worker centres, the Southern Border Communities Coalition, and faith groups to organise a ‘Caravan against Fear’ that will tour California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in April, staging rallies, cultural events, direct action trainings, and community strike votes leading up to May Day.

In recent years, May Day has seen demonstrations to support immigrant rights. This year’s mobilisations will centre on defending immigrants, but weave in other issues as well, such as climate justice and the de-funding of public education. Up and down the West Coast, we are likely to see the largest May Day strikes since hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers walked off the job in 2006.

A thousand miles to the north of Mejia’s home city, leaders of the unions representing Seattle public school teachers, graduate employees at the University of Washington, and staff at Seattle’s community colleges have called for a strike to protest against the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants, Muslims, workers, women, and members of the LGBT community.

The public school teachers and UW graduate employees are scheduling strike votes in the coming weeks. ‘We’re horrified about what Trump has done,’ said Alex Bacon, a community college administrative assistant and member of AFSCME Local 304.

And given the Trump administration’s support for ‘right-to-work’ legislation and slashing health care and retirement programs, he said, ‘even if we’re not in the crosshairs this second, we’re next.’ A March meeting organised by the county labour council and Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant brought together immigrant community leaders and representatives from two dozen Seattle-area unions – including Labourers, Teamsters, Boeing Machinists, stagehands, hotel workers, and city and county workers – to plan a May Day of mass resistance.

Participants acknowledged the need for creativity rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. A week later, the labour council committed its support for an immigrant-led May Day march, in a resolution urging unions ‘to consider all forms of action on May 1, 2017, whether striking, walking out, taking sick days, extended lunch hours, exercising rights of conscience, organising demonstrations or teach-ins, or any other acts of collective expression that builds solidarity across communities.’

Labour Council head Nicole Grant described May Day as just the beginning of a ‘summer of resistance,’ showing that working people can and will respond to Trump’s attacks with disruptive action. We won’t take down this president in one day,’ added Sawant. ‘But on May Day we are taking our resistance to another level.’

Climate justice activists are also joining in the May Day movement. In Washington state, the Sierra Club and other environmental organisations are calling for an ‘Earth Day to May Day Action Week,’ blending Earth Day April 22 and a ‘March for Science’ into a full week of workshops and protests culminating in a big May 1 mobilisation.

Nationally, many union leaders haven’t weighed in on the May Day strike movement, in part because their contracts with employers include no-strike clauses. Mejia acknowledges the risk of striking, but says, ‘The government is criminalising us.’ The bigger risk, he says, would be to not fight back, because inaction will only embolden Trump and his billionaire backers. Key to successful May Day strikes, many activists point out, is connecting local fights to anti-Trump resistance activities.

At the University of Washington, for instance, where one-third of the graduate employees are international students, union members are demanding that university administrators bargain with them over the impact of Trump’s Muslim ban and other executive orders. And they are pressing the university to declare itself a ‘sanctuary campus’ and to waive a discriminatory fee it now imposes on international students.

• About 300 people crowded Chicago’s Federal Plaza for a rally staged by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare, representing Illinois health care workers, on Thursday to celebrate the Affordable Care Act’s (Obamacare) seventh anniversary and protest against Republican-led efforts to repeal and replace it.

Among the demonstrators were people who said former President Barack Obama”s signature legislation saved their lives by granting them access to medical help despite pre-existing conditions such as cancer or traumatic brain injury.

Will Wilson, 63, is living with AIDS and credits the Medicaid expansion under the ACA with giving him coverage when he needed it. He had lost his insurance due to his diagnosis in 2002 and wasn’t able to obtain it again until the ACA passed in 2010.

‘Getting insurance opened up a brand-new door to me,’ Wilson said at a news conference before the rally. ‘I got to experience a freedom I hadn’t been able to experience in quite a number of years.’

The news conference and rally were meant to coincide with a scheduled House vote Thursday for the Republicans’ American Health Care Act, but the vote was postponed as more Republicans withdrew their support. Nevertheless, protesters gathered with signs and balloons for the ACA birthday, along with megaphones to express opposition to the bill.

SEIU Healthcare, which represents home, health care, child care and nursing home workers in Illinois — invited several prominent Illinois Democrats to the rally. State Senator Daniel Biss, Ald. Ameya Pawar and Cook County Commissioner Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia pledged to push back against a policy that would strip Illinois residents of affordable and accessible health care.

Democratic Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said the new legislation would have cost the county a ‘staggering’ $300 million in federal aid each year. What the Republicans have proposed is a disaster for Cook County,’ Preckwinkle said. Under the ACA, 480,000 people — almost half a million people in Cook County — were able to sign up either for a Medicaid expansion programme or a marketplace health plan.’

13 thoughts on “United States workers prepare anti-Trump May Day

  1. http://thehill.com/regulation/325963-trump-repeals-blacklisting-rule
    > Trump repeals ‘blacklisting rule’
    > President Trump repealed the so-called “blacklisting rule” Monday that required federal contractors to disclose labor violations.
    > The Obama-era rule was intended to prevent the government from contracting with businesses responsible for wage theft or workplace safety violations at any point within the last three years. But business groups feared it gave unions the upper hand at the bargaining table.
    > Trump struck down the blacklisting rule, along with three other regulations aimed at protecting the environment and students , Monday afternoon during a White House signing ceremony.
    > The other regulations Trump overturned include the Interior Department’s land use rule, as well as the Education Department’s rules for teacher preparation and school accountability.
    > The regulatory repeals provide a much-needed distraction for the White House, as Republicans look to quickly turn the page on their failed attempt to eliminate ObamaCare.
    > “Only one [other] time in our history did a president sign a bill to cancel federal regulations,” Trump told a roomful of Republican lawmakers as he touted their accomplishment.
    > Employers were particularly concerned about the blacklisting rule.
    > “The rule violated the due process rights of contractors by forcing them to report mere allegations of misconduct — which are often frivolous and filed with nefarious intentions by special interest groups,” said Ben Brubeck, vice president of regulatory affairs at the Associated Builders and Contractors.
    > But repealing the blacklisting rule could raise labor concerns for Trump, as many of the working-class voters who supported the president last November may see it as a betrayal of one of his central campaign promises to improve their wages and working conditions.
    > “The message Donald Trump is sending today is that there are no consequences for companies who break American Labor law,” said Joseph Geevarghese, executive director of Good Jobs Nation, which is part of the movement lobbying for a $15 federal minimum wage.
    > President Obama’s executive order calling for the blacklisting rule was partly inspired by the Chemical Safety Board, an independent agency that recommended “additional contractor responsibility” in a 2013 report.
    > But in opposition to efforts from the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers, the Chemical Safety Board said earlier this month that it is “unacceptable” the rule is falling apart.
    > Republicans lawmakers voted to strike down these regulations through the Congressional Review Act, which allows certain regulations to be undone while preventing the minority in the Senate from using the filibuster.
    > Before Trump, the seldom-used law had only be used successfully once in 2001 when then-President George W. Bush repealed a Clinton-era labor regulation.
    > Since January, Trump has repealed seven regulations under the Congressional Review Act, with more expected in the coming weeks.
    > Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate at the left-leaning Public Citizen, accused Republicans of challenging “every rule under the sun.”
    > James Goodwin, senior regulatory policy analyst at the Center for Progressive Reform, criticized GOP lawmakers for the “orgy of Congressional Review Act resolutions” they are sending to Trump.
    > “It’s an incredibly reckless approach to congressional oversight,” Goodwin said. “We’re talking about rules that have been in the works for four, five, six, seven years. They’re lining them up for repeal, even though they probably have no idea what they do or which agency they came from.”
    > “That sort of thoughtful deliberation has fallen by the wayside for too many Republicans,” he said.
    > Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the conservative American Action Forum, admitted the Congressional Review Act is a “pretty blunt instrument,” because it not only repeals these regulations, but it also prohibits future presidents from issuing similar rules.
    > What has surprised Batkins and other conservatives are the number of obscure rules Congress is repealing this way.
    > “One thing I was struck by is that some of the regulations being repealed are not things that were on my radar,” said Susan Dudley, the former administrator of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under President George W. Bush.
    > Even in her post-White House days, Dudley keeps a good handle on the regulations making their way through the federal government. “Some of these rules I expected them to repeal, but others I did not,” she said.


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  9. Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:07 pm (PST) . Posted by:
    “raccoon” redwoodsaurus


    His revamped labor board issued a slew of new policies at the end of 2017 that will make collective bargaining harder.

    Candidate Donald Trump pitched himself as the right choice for union workers. He bragged that he’d had good relations with labor unions during his real estate career. He argued that he deserved the AFL-CIO labor federation’s electoral endorsement, which ultimately went to his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

    But in less than a year as president, Trump has wiped away several of the modest policy gains that organized labor made during the Obama years. The nominees he’s chosen to fill crucial regulatory roles are already making it more difficult for some workers to join unions and bargain collectively.

    These policy reversals have drawn enthusiastic cheers from business lobbies and made a joke of one of Trump’s campaign boasts: “I have great relationships with unions .” Meanwhile, union ranks are hovering near historic lows .

    In the last weeks of 2017, the National Labor Relations Board issued a slew of decisions that rolled back worker- and union-friendly reforms from the preceding eight years. The NLRB is the independent federal agency responsible for interpreting collective bargaining law and refereeing disputes between employers, unions and workers.

    The new rulings were made possible by Trump’s two nominees to the five-member NLRB ― William Emanuel and Marvin Kaplan ― which flipped the board’s majority from liberal to conservative. The board managed to get several contentious decisions out the door before Dec. 16, when the term of the third Republican member, Philip Miscimarra, expired, deadlocking the board at 2-2.

    In one of the most consequential changes, the NLRB reversed a 2011 ruling that helped workers form smaller unions within a single larger workplace. The precedent set during the Obama years allowed, say, nursing home assistants to hold a union election without including all the facility’s dietary aides, maintenance workers and other employees who don’t share similar job duties, wages and gripes with management.

    Employers hated that standard, complaining that it led to “micro unions.” By overturning it, the Trump-shaped board made organizing workers at a large facility a far more daunting task. Consider the case they ruled on: After 100 welders unionized at a manufacturing plant, the NLRB found the smaller organizing unit to be illegitimate and said any union election would have to include all 2,500 different types of workers at the company, spanning 120 job classifications.

    The board ruled 3-2 along partisan lines in the case. The two dissenting Democratic members said it was “unconscionable” for the Republican majority to make such a sweeping change without at least soliciting briefs from unions and employers. “It is a dereliction of the duty we owe to the parties and the labor-management community,” they wrote.

    It goes against everything President Trump promised working people during the campaign. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
    The Republican majority took an ax to another major precedent set during the Obama years known as the “joint employer” standard.

    Back in 2015, the NLRB ruled that companies can’t dodge their responsibilities to their workers just by outsourcing management duties to subcontractors or franchisees. The ruling made it easier for workers to file labor complaints against big companies like McDonald’s, which claim they aren’t the employers of the masses of people who labor at their franchise restaurants. The ruling also opened the door for fast food workers to potentially unionize in large groups, rather than store by store.

    But the new board flipped that decision, reverting the joint employer test to a standard more favorable to fast-food chains and other big companies that contract out work. McDonald’s is likely to benefit almost immediately in a current case over its responsibilities as a potential joint employer.

    Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate committee overseeing the NLRB, said in a statement that the change in the joint employer standard would make it harder for workers to bargain for higher wages. “And it goes against everything President Trump promised working people during the campaign,” she added.

    In addition to the two board members, Trump has also chosen a new NLRB general counsel, who functions as a kind of prosecutor and brings cases before the board. While President Barack Obama’s nominees aggressively pursued employers for unfair labor practices, Trump’s pick, Peter Robb, has already signaled that he intends to unwind much of what his predecessors did.

    In a December memo first reported by HuffPost, Robb told the agency’s regional directors that any expansion of workers’ rights under Obama was effectively on hold for now. He also rescinded several guidance memos that were issued under the previous more-liberal board and that employers argued were too favorable to unions and workers. Robb had represented employers and business groups in labor and employment disputes as a private attorney before Trump plucked him for the general counsel’s position.

    For now, the deadlocked NLRB won’t be able to rule on contentious cases, making it unlikely that other Obama-era policies will be undone in the near future. But Trump will have the chance to nominate a fifth member to the board in 2018. The GOP Congress will need only a simple majority to confirm the nominee and give the board a 3-2 Republican majority once again


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