OVERTIME: Labor Stories of the Week (Jan 29, 2016)

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Did you play in the snow and neglect labor news this week? No worries, we’ve assembled some of the best labor stories for you to catch up on.

Justice for faculty at Loyola! Following a contentious unionization drive where the university claimed a religious exemption to federal labor law and aggressively lobbied faculty members, non-tenure-track faculty at Loyola Chicago voted to unionize (new window) with SEIU Local 73 by nearly a 2-1 margin.

Justice for students at Loyola! After being charged with disruption and harassment for peaceful protest in solidarity with campus dining hall workers, four student leaders were cleared of any wrongdoing (new window). The sour note in the story is that the group that sponsored the demonstration, Loyola’s student government, still faces moderate sanctions with the opportunity to appeal. Moreover, Loyola dining hall staff still need the support of the campus community as they fight for a contract with just wages and affordable health care.

Justice for undocumented immigrants at Loyola! In a moving act of solidarity, undergraduate students at Loyola Chicago voted to hike their own fee (new window)s to fund a scholarship fund for their undocumented immigrant peers.

“11,000 smart, committed teachers can change the world.” A group of working Philadelphia teachers looks to upset the status quo (new window) through social justice unionism, or as we like to call it, Bargaining for the Common Good (new window).

It was supposed to be a happy ending. After staging a series of boycotts and drawing powerful allies to their cause, low-wage Senate cafeteria workers thought they had won a living wage (new window). However, soon after the contract was signed, their employer assigned many workers alternative job titles, thus stripping them of the lion’s share of the raises they received.

“Void, void, kiss my a–, Bob!” Cole Strangler of the International Business Times reports on cussing coal miners (new window) facing off against their employer, Murray Energy, with help from the Feds.

The we-cannot-believe-this-happens-here story. An overcrowded government-funded shelter for unaccompanied minors released teenagers to human traffickers, who took the boys to work on a farm in central Ohio, held them captive in a roach-infested trailer and threatened to kill them if they tried to leave. If that sounds like child slave labor to you (new window), it’s because that’s precisely what it is.

Friedrichs and Pandora’s Box. Writing for In These Times, Shaun Richman argues that Friedrichs could unleash unions from decades of free speech restrictions (new window).

Equal work, equal pay! As we celebrate the 7th anniversary of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, state legislators introduced a barrage of equal-pay legislation (new window), advancing bills in nearly half the states.

Welcome to the labor movement. Congrats to our friends at the Center for American Progress who officially joined the labor movement (new window) this week by successfully forming a union!