OVERTIME: Labor Stories of the Week (Feb 5, 2016)

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US women

Some of the best labor stories of the week gathered, summarized, and hyperlinked for your convenience. Have a great weekend!

Captive no more? 106 labor scholars recently petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to balance the scales in union elections (new window) by requiring that when employers hold captive audience meetings to oppose unionization drives, they set aside an equal amount of time for a pro-union presentation.

Catholic colleges in Chicago grabbing labor headlines. Writing for America magazine, Clayton Sinyai surveys the labor landscape in Chicago, where Catholic universities are grappling with labor disputes on their campuses (new window) that raise tough questions about Catholic social teaching and religious liberty.

While we’re on the subject of Catholicism and worker rights, Kevin Considine of U.S. Catholic asks and answers a vital question: does the Church support unions? (new window)

Even American sports heroes not immune from management bullying. Despite winning the World Cup this past summer, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team was sued by U.S. Soccer (new window) to preemptively block a strike or work-stoppage related to the fact their last collective bargaining agreement expired four years ago.

Teachers in the streets! In Chicago, the teachers union just closed a million-dollar account (new window) at Bank of America and took to the streets (new window) by the thousands to protest severe cuts to public education and toxic financial deals that loot communities of the resources they need to thrive. By standing up for the Chicago children and the common good, teachers have won the overwhelming support (new window) of their fellow Chicagoans.

Uber unions, no longer a pipedream. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1430, filed a petition affirming that over 30 percent of the Uber drivers who make pickups at LaGuardia Airport want union representation (new window). The drivers have a lot more legal hoops to jump through before that happens, but they’re now closer to having a collective voice than they’ve ever been.

College students lead the charge for $15! While campus activists have always played an important role in the fight for a living wage, college students calling for $15 an hour policies want their classmates with campus jobs to also benefit (new window) from a higher minimum wage.

Muslims forced to choose between devout worship and their livelihood.  A Wisconsin manufacturer of snowblowers and lawn mowers began strict enforcement of a company policy that prevents Somali Muslim workers from taking short, unscheduled breaks for their daily prayers (new window). As a result, many employees resigned while others were fired for continuing their daily worship in violation of the policy.

There’s an app for that! As Buzzfeed reports, workers will soon be able to report health, safety, and labor violations (new window) to the appropriate agency through an app on their smartphone.

Worst bar in the district with the worst name. The firing of a black bartender in DC is a reminder that blatant racism still happens (new window) in our society. Also, if you plan to operate a bar that discriminates against African-American employees and patrons, you should probably name it something other than “Redline.”