Today in Labor History: November 5
Some 12,000 television and movie writers begin what was to become a 3-month strike against producers over demands for an increase in pay for movies and television shows released on DVD and for a bigger share of the revenue from work delivered over the Internet – 2007
(How familiar do these phrases ring? Unions are responsible for budget deficits; they’ve outlived their usefulness; their members are overpaid and enjoy cushy benefits. The only way to save the American economy, many say, is to weaken the labor movement, strip workers of collective bargaining rights, and champion private industry. In They’re Bankrupting Us! And 20 Other Myths about Unions, longtime labor activist and educator Bill Fletcher Jr. makes sense of this debate as he unpacks the 21 myths most often cited by anti-union propagandists.)
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Member Tip: Unions Work Together
The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is an umbrella organization of almost seventy American unions, representing some 13 million workers. Just as businesses band together in chambers of commerce, through the AFL-CIO most American unions at the national level are able to work together on a wide range of common concerns. Below the national level, too, your union probably has connections with other unions or with other organizations with compatible goals. On a geographical basis, as well, unions often have ongoing organizational relationships. For example, the AFL-CIO has state federations and central labor councils, which are networks of the different unions that represent employees in a particular city, county or larger geographical area.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer