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Extend Labor Rights to Additional Employees

"Mediated Elections" Process for Farmworkers Moving Forward in California

Reacting to a spate of recent farmworker deaths, both houses of the California legislature have approved a new "mediated election" process for farmworker unions. AB 2386 will strengthen farmworkers abilities to form labor unions and address workplace conditions.

Six farmworkers have died this summer of suspected heat illness and 15 have died since 2003 despite requirements adopted in 2005 that employers provide minimum heat illness safeguards. AB 2386, sponsored by Speaker Emeritus Nunez, proposes a new process that allows farmworkers to quickly vote by mail with two choices on the ballot to directly vote for the union on the ballot or to vote for a more traditional union election later, with the whole process overseen by a mediator jointly chosen by the union and the employer.

How Exploited "Independent Contractor" Truckers Drive Pollution in Our Ports

It's well-known that deregulation of the trucking industry has led to worse working conditions in the industry and lower safety standards on the road. But new coalitions are focusing on the way conditions in the trucking industry contribute to pollution that chokes trucking hubs like our ports.

Labor Day: How States Can Protect Workers Rights

In honor of Labor Day, we thought we would highlight some of our past Dispatches which outline steps states can take to protect workers' rights and raise wage standards. With new Census data showing that the median income for working-age households is still $1,300 below 2001 when the last recession hit bottom, the need for states to act to improve working conditions is greater than ever.

Labor Union Majority Signup Approved in OR & NH -- And States Demand the US Senate Follows Suit

This week, the Oregon Senate voted to strengthen the freedom of state public employees to form unions, joining the Oregon House in approving a bill, HB 2891, to simplify the organizing proces by having the state government recognize a union for any set of workers where a majority of them have signed cards to ask for a union.

CO & IA Move to Modify Anti-Union Laws

In the last week, both Iowa's and Colorado's legislatures have moved to modify anti-union laws that undermine the freedom to form unions in those states.

Protecting the Freedom to Form Labor Unions

The past thirty years have seen a marked decline in job quality for a substantial portion of the U.S. workforce: stagnant wages, shrinking health benefits and less job security. While a number of factors explain this decline, there is little question that the decline in the strength of labor unions in the US has played a major role.

Court Denies Free Speech Right for Union Button

The Bill of Rights is a nice idea, but for most workers, it disappears when they punch the clock to begin work each day, even when the employer is the government.

Losing the Freedom to Form Unions

The National Labor Relations Board ruled this week that a range of professionals, estimated at 8 million workers, are now deemed "supervisors" and thus lose all protections under labor law. What this means is that an estimated 8 million workers who say a positive thing about unions can be fired at will by their bosses seeking to eliminate unions. The AFL-CIO has more here on the legal details.

NY: Child Care Workers Poised to Win Bargaining Rights

Despite a veto by the governor, the New York State legislature is poised to override and enact reforms to allow day care workers to form labor unions.   The bill, A10060, sponsored by Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat (a Progressive States board member) and Senator Nick Spano, would effect an estimated 52,000 day care workers in facilities subsidized by state funds, given them standing to negotiate with the state for wage increases, as well as benefits like health care, workers' compensation, paid vacation or sick days.