Today’s News & Commentary — July 19, 2016
Walmart organizes its business on a global scale, and now its workers are following suit. According to Reuters, “OUR Walmart and the Wal-Mart Chinese Workers Association (WCWA) discussed strategy for recent strikes in China on a Skype call last month using a translator.” OUR Walmart consists of American Walmart employees. The two groups are “discussing joint strategies to address challenges that workers in both countries face, including work schedule changes.” International collaboration between labor movements is rare, but may continue as the groups “also agreed to support each other’s actions, have follow-up calls and link via social media.”
Verizon may have labor peace for the foreseeable future, but its chief competitor is facing difficulties in negotiating a new labor contract. Fortune reports that “a group of more than 40,000 unionized workers in AT&T’s wireless business rejected a proposed benefits contract, marking the first contentious labor negotiation at the telecom giant in several years.” Representatives of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) had previously negotiated the contract with AT&T. Negotiations will continue. AT&T has not faced a major strike since 2012.
Union organizing in the South can be extremely difficult, as a new video shows. Writing for The Huffington Post, Dave Jamieson describes a video showing how police officers in Georgia disrupted lawful attempted organizing of truckers by three Teamsters last month. One of the Teamsters said “the truck drivers were generally receptive to their message and cordial in their encounters with the organizers. But the citations by police, he said, would make drivers nervous about talking with union representatives in the future.” He also said “the encounter epitomized what it’s like to do union organizing in union-unfriendly pockets of the South.”
As predicted, Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate hasn’t sat well with worker advocates. The American Prospect discusses how the selection of Pence solidifies Trump as an anti-labor candidate.