Weekly Workers’ Round-Up

Jennifer Braudaway

Maine Gov. Paul LePage

By Jennifer Braudaway

Rank and Filers Picket U.S. Steel

Around 200 people picketed Wednesday outside of U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes Works headquarters south of Detroit, Mich. Led by Steelworkers Local 1299, steelworkers lined up to protest the company’s rehiring practices, which resumed operations in January after a temporary nine-month closing. The company has rehired less experienced workers over those with seniority, despite a contract clause signed in 2008 that is supposed to guarantee jobs to those with at least three years’ seniority.

According to Local 1299 President Marc Barragan, Great Lakes turned a small profit in January by under-hiring and overworking employees. Read more at Labor Notes.

Food Service Workers Demand Labor Agreement

On Thursday, more than 100 food service workers picketed at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) board meeting in Boston, to protest the lack of a labor agreement in its vendor replacement negotiations.

The MCCA met to approve the replacement of its longtime food and beverage vendor Aramark Corp. with Levy Restaurants, which is based in Chicago. Unite Here Local 26 officials say there is no signed agreement in place between the union and Levy to rehire the workers or uphold the terms of their hard-won contract with Aramark.

The MCCA has kept the union completely in the dark about this process,” said Janice Loux, president of Unite Here Local 26. Read more here and here.

Boston Nurses Protest Dangerous’ Staffing Levels

Also in Boston on Thursday, registered nurses from Boston Medical Center and Tufts Medical Center conducted joint informational picketing to protest insufficient staffing levels, which they say compromise the quality and safety of patient care.

Boston Medical Center seeks to increase the amount of patients assigned to nurses in critical care units, which are already understaffed, while planned cuts at Tufts Medical Center will involve limiting the amount of care provided by registered nurses.

Read more at the Massachusetts Nursing Association website.

California Workers Rally at State Capitol: Jobs Are Number One Priority

More than 400 workers rallied on Thursday in front of the California State Capital in Sacramento, demanding Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” The state’s record unemployment rate of more than 12 percent has left more than 2 million workers without jobs. (See video above)

Read more at the AFL-CIO blog.

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Jennifer Braudaway is a Winter 2010 Web intern.
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