Weekly Round-Up: SEIU Protests Arnold’s Order, Port Workers Fight Outsourcing

Audrey McLain

Every Saturday, we bring you quick summaries of strikes, protests and labor campaigns from around the country that we may have overlooked during the past week.

SEIU rallies against Gov. Schwarzenegger’s pay cuts

An estimated 8,000 SEIU members gathered in Sacramento on Wednesday to protest Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s order to pay 200,000 California state workers just the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The SEIU represents 2.2 million people in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico that work in the healthcare, public services, and property services industries. The order would also affect managers who are not paid an hourly wage by cutting their pay to $455 per week. Read more here and here.

Healthcare workers protest for right to unionize

Approximately 400 healthcare workers rallied Thursday in Baltimore, demanding better wages, benefits and that all healthcare institutions allow workers to freely vote on union representation.

In Maryland, less than 10 percent of hospital workers belong to unions. The protest was organized by the SEIU at Mount Vernon Square, where actor and activist Danny Glover was also present to support the rally. Read more here and here.

Clerical workers strike at California ports

Nine hundred members of the clerical division of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union went on strike Thursday at the nation’s busiest ports, located in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The strike is in response to the shippers’ proposal of a new computer program that would allow customers to access booking information, which workers fear would lead to their jobs being outsourced. 

A full strike could shut down loading and unloading operations at the twin ports, which account for 40 percent of all the cargo container traffic coming into the U.S. Read more here and here.

Construction work stops due to Chicago strike

A construction worker strike in Chicago that effects 8,500 members of the International Union of Operating Engineers went has caused several Illinois communities to fear major work shut downs. 

The union went on strike Thursday morning over language in the most recent contract proposal that would see healthcare costs to workers go up anywhere from 10 to 12 percent. Read more here and here.

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