News & Commentary

April 25, 2014

The New York Times covers the recent success of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a worker center that has forged innovative partnerships with restaurant companies and supermarket chains to secure higher wages for farmworkers in Florida. The organization uses tools like boycotts and public protests to convince companies to sign on to their Fair Food Program, which contains a binding agreement to abide by health and safety standards and to pay farmworkers one penny more per pound of tomatoes picked. The rapid growth and success of the organization in recent years serves as a model for how worker centers can expand their influence beyond local employers and affect working conditions on a larger level.

As reported in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, 76 Northwestern football players voted today on whether to certify the first union in college sports. As OnLabor has reported, the university has strongly resisted the drive to unionize, following the decision issued by a Regional Director last month that extended players at the school a right to vote on the issue. According to the New York Times, the NLRB has decided to review that decision, meaning that the results of today’s vote will be impounded and not counted until the Board issues a decision. That ruling is not expected for several months.

For the first time, a longtime United Auto Workers veteran has been nominated to serve on General Motors’ board of directors. Joe Ashton, currently a Vice President of the UAW, has been with the union since 1969. The Wall Street Journal writes that the move “highlights new thinking by [General Motors’] current leadership to overhaul the company’s culture.”

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