Aug 9, 2017 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 191

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Topics: Abusive proliferation of non-compete clauses; a leftist future for intellectual property and pharmaceutical patents. People: Bill, Rachel, and Sarah. Produced: Aug 7th, 2017.

Episode 191 (55 min):
AFD 191

You can find a list of the articles we referenced here.

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Music by friend of the show @StuntBirdArmy.

July 12, 2017 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 188

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Topics: News media consolidation in the US (including University of Delaware research); legal protections for retail workers on part-time on-call/zero-hour contracts. People: Bill, Rachel, and Nate Produced: July 10th, 2017.

Episode 188 (47 min):
AFD 188

Some links on US media consolidation

NY Magazine on the Sinclair deal
– Research by Danilo Yanich for UD/CWA on Local TV Service Agreements, Duopolies, Mega-Mergers: (download the full paper, which is very readable)

Some links on on-call scheduling reform

Oregon: Oregon Passes Pioneering Worker-Rights Bill
NY: A.G. Schneiderman and Eight Other State Attorneys General Probe Retailers Over Use of On-Call Shifts
– Forbes: Is On-Call Scheduling In Retail Coming To An End?
– CNBC On-call scheduling debate: Where retailers stand
– National Jobs With Justice: Why It’s Time for Just Hours and Stable Schedules
– San Francisco JWJ: Full-Time Hours Offer, Predictable Scheduling, Minimum On-Call Pay
– Dissent magazine: “The New Working Class”
Read more

Collective

Massachusetts has historically been at the forefront in the United States on worker safety and labor rights, compensation, activism, and organizing. Organized labor has been and must remain a fundamental component of our economic structure. Without it, there is no significant force representing our workers on an equal level with management and owners.

Our courts must uphold the rights of workers – including state and municipal workers – to organize themselves and bargain collectively and cooperatively for compensation and benefits proportionate to their productive work, as well as safe workplaces and fair scheduling.

Our courts must uphold contracts signed with workers’ unions, particularly by the state or municipal governments. It is the responsibility of employers to negotiate contracts they can actually execute.

We cannot achieve economic justice without securing the rights of organized labor to fight for fair and living wages in our society.

Humphrey For Massachusetts: Organized Labor

Labor Day 2015: America is actually pro-union, finds Gallup

58% of Americans approve of Labor unions. 61% would like to see them have at least as much, if not more, influence in the future. The U.S. media consistently denigrates organized labor and suggests everyone hates them and all problems are their fault. That should stop.

(Source: Gallup, August 2015 via Polling Report)


Recently on this topic from AFD:

The origin story of minimum wage laws, part 1
The origin story of minimum wage laws, part 2
Fair wages are just another operational cost to meet
Key win for workers in the subcontract/franchise economy

Sept 2, 2015 – Arsenal For Democracy 141

Posted by Bill on behalf of the team.

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Topics: A vital ruling by the National Labor Relations Board; the European refugee crisis; Lebanon’s capital protests lack of trash collection. People: Bill, Kelley, Nate. Produced: August 30th, 2015.

Episode 141 (56 min):
AFD 141

Discussion Points:

– Workers’ rights: Major U.S. corporations will no longer be able to shield themselves on labor issues by subcontracting and franchisees will have to face unions.
– Refugees: Is the European Union doing enough to deal with the refugee crisis? Is the world prepared for mass climate refugee situations?
– Lebanon: The people rise up in Beirut as trash goes uncollected for weeks on end.

Related Links

– Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “NLRB ruling could be boost for contract and franchise employees”
The Guardian: “Syrians fleeing war find new route to Europe – via the Arctic Circle”
“Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants'”
AFD: “Real world costs when the Left sells out immigrants”
AFD: Beirut’s Garbage Uprising
AFD: “Lebanon gov’t hastily builds concrete wall, then tears it down”

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And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video game blog of our announcer, Justin.

Key win for workers in the subcontract/franchise economy

Arsenal Bolt: Quick updates on the news stories we’re following.

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Vitally important National Labor Relations Board ruling last week — “NLRB ruling could be boost for contract and franchise employees” (Minneapolis Star Tribune):

The National Labor Relations Board on Thursday expanded its joint-employer standard, potentially making it easier for unions to organize employees of franchisees and subcontractors by dragging large corporations to the bargaining table.

The new standard is also significant because corporations could now be held legally liable for workers if franchisees or subcontractors violate labor law.

In a 3-2 decision, the five-member board said that the old standard no longer kept pace with the current workforce where the diversity of workplace arrangements has significantly expanded. For example, in 2014, 2.87 million workers were employed through temporary agencies, more than double from the 1.1 million in 1990.

 
Much more analysis on this is coming in tomorrow’s episode of the Arsenal For Democracy radio show.

Are trade deal worker & eco protections actually enforced?

Not if history is any indication according to a detailed new report from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office:

On Monday, Warren fired back, showing that Obama simply has not effectively enforced existing labor standards in prior trade pacts. According to the report, a host of abuses, from child labor to the outright murder of union organizers, have continued under Obama’s watch with minimal pushback from the administration.

“The United States does not enforce the labor protections in its trade agreements,” the report reads, citing analyses from the Government Accountability Office, the State Department and the Department of Labor.