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Working In These Times

Saturday, Jun 25, 2011, 5:30 am

This Week in Labor: Calif. Country Club Lockout Intensifies, as Union Eyes IKEA Factory

BY Lindsay Beyerstein

At the end of each week, Working In These Times rounds up labor news we've missed during the past week, with a focus on new and ongoing campaigns and protests. For all our other headlines from this week, go here.

—On Thursday morning, two dozen protesters were arrested for blocking the entrace to the Castlewood Country Club, in Pleasanton, Calif. The protesters were demanding an end to the 16-month lockout of about 60 service workers represented by the UNITE HERE Union Local 2850 (see video above). The blockade, the first act of civil disobedience in this dispute, was timed to coincide with a golf tournament.

—International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers filed a petition to represent workers at IKEA's first U.S. factory in Danville, Va. The union submitted signed cards from what it believes to be the majority of the workers at the Swedwood plant. Management says it welcomes the upcoming NLRB election and will abide by the results.

—In a run-off election completed this week, 40,000 Transportation Security Administration employees voted to join the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).

—Connecticut's state workers rejected a deal that would have killed 7,500 jobs. The deal was billed as a way to save $2.6 billion over the next two years, but the layoffs would have started immediately.

Under the rules of the State Employees Bargaining Coalition (SEBAC), 14 out of 15 member unions representing 80 percent of the combined membership would have had to approve the deal. So, the second "no" vote killed the agreement. Governor Dannel P. Molloy announced Friday morning that he would not reopen negotiations.

Lindsay Beyerstein is an award-winning investigative journalist and In These Times staff writer who writes the blog Duly Noted. Her stories have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, Slate, The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and other publications. Her photographs have been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times' City Room. She also blogs at The Hillman Blog (http://www.hillmanfoundation.org/hillmanblog), a publication of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, a non-profit that honors journalism in the public interest.

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