Today in Labor History: July 2; Member Tip

Today in Labor History: July 2
The first Walmart store opens in Rogers, Ark.  By 2014 the company had 10,000 stores in 27 countries, under 71 different names, employing more than 2 million people.  It is known in the U.S. and most of the other countries in which it operates for low wages and extreme anti-unionism – 1962
2014.06.30—history-unions-matter(Why Unions Matter: In Why Unions Matter, the author explains why unions still matter in language you can use if you happen to talk with someone who shops or works at Walmart. Unions mean better pay, benefits, and working conditions for their members; they force employers to treat employees with dignity and respect; and at their best, they provide a way for workers to make society both more democratic and more egalitarian. Yates uses simple language, clear data, and engaging examples to show why workers need unions, how unions are formed, how they operate, how collective bargaining works, the role of unions in politics, and what unions have done to bring workers together across the divides of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.)
—Click here for the complete posting.

Member Tip: Why Pursue a Grievance?
The natural inclination is to think about pursuing a grievance only if it looks like it has a reasonably good chance of coming up a winner.  Why file a 2014.06.30—membertipgrievance in the first place, unless your union is determined to take the case all the way to arbitration if the employer doesn’t back down?  There may be lots of good reasons for a union to file a grievance that it doesn’t expect to “win.”  There are times when it doesn’t make sense to think about fighting the employer to the death on a particular action.  It may just not be worth it to arbitrate a relatively minor erosion of existing working conditions, or what looks like a one-time event.  At the same time, rather than do nothing, a group grievance could serve to put the employer on notice that its action has not gone unnoticed, and that if it tries the same maneuver again, it may well have a serious fight on its hands.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer

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