Blog Archive

Across the country on April 28, Workers Memorial Day, people will remember the workers who have lost their lives on the job at rallies, vigils, worksites, and houses of worship while demanding safe workplaces where people can go to work every morning knowing they will return home safe and sound.

Each year, thousands of workers are killed and millions more are injured or diseased because of their jobs. In 2009, 4,340 workers were killed on the job and another 50,000 to 60,000 died of occupational diseases. More than 4.1 million workplace injuries and illnesses were reported. 
...Read more >> April 28, 2011

On May 1, international workers day, TWU members wearing “Imagine No Workers” buttons will take to the streets of major cities nationwide to remind people that they rely on workers to drive their buses, fix their planes and keep the rails safe. The mobilization will kick off a month of national conversations in which people will be asked to imagine life without workers.

May 1 became an internationally celebrated holiday to commemorate the struggle for the eight-hour day that began in America in 1886 during a nationwide strike for shorter work hours.
...Read more >> April 27, 2011

TWU and the unions representing workers at partner airlines in the One World Alliance, which includes American Airlines and American Eagle, announced today April 20, 2011 that they are forming the One World of Labour Council in order to forge new strategies and build stronger relationships for defending workers and ensuring decent jobs in a globalized industry.

...Read more >> April 21, 2011

While you might have spent the weekend frantically rushing to finish your tax returns by today’s deadline, many of the mega-corporations that got us into the current financial mess probably spent that time counting their money and having a laugh at the rest of us. GE and tons of other corporations will have a tax bill for 2010 of ZERO. Hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans April 18, tax day, are standing up to say make them pay!

...Read more >> April 18, 2011

In a letter to the editor published in The New York Times, TWU International President James C. Little called on Congress to pass a FAA Reauthorization bill that includes robust oversight and uniform standards foreign aircraft repair facilities.

Read the letter: 
William J. McGee is right: Federal Aviation Administration inspectors can no longer exercise effective oversight of aircraft repair, which has been increasingly outsourced to shops in foreign countries.
...Read more >> April 14, 2011

Bustling midtown Manhattan was met with chants of “It’s Our Terminal, It’s Our Work” and a giant inflatable rat as hundreds of TWU members rallied outside of Qatar Airways U.S. headquarters on April 12 to protest the airline not using TWU Local 501 members when it begins operations at JFK International Airport.

Qatar is moving operations to JFK Terminal 8 which is operated by American Airlines, but unlike other foreign carriers, is not using American ground service workers who are members of Local 501. Instead the company is contracting out the work to a third party. This move, with American’s approval, is an attack on the wages, working conditions and job security of Local 501 members at JFK.
...Read more >> April 13, 2011

Seventy-seven years ago, TWU was founded on April 13, 1934 in the midst of the Great Depression when transit workers stood up to exploitation and demanded their rights.

New York City transit workers had tried to unionize before, but the powerful transit companies squashed four major strikes between 1905 and 1919. Still, the workers continued to organize in order to build the power necessary to change poor working conditions, low pay and management abuse. A renewed effort launched by a pioneering group of workers led by TWU’s founder Mike Quill finally succeeded in forming a union in 1934. The visionaries of TWU believed that the only way to achieve equality and a voice on the job was to be united and to bridge all racial and ethnic divides.
...Read more >> April 13, 2011

Tens of thousands of Ohioans, including a large contingent of TWU supporters, turned out Saturday to kick off the referendum drive against SB5, the anti-middle class bill signed by Ohio Governor Kasich. The media reported that the April 9 demonstration was the largest Ohio rally yet. People are more determined than ever.

There is no turning back now! We can kill SB5 for good, if we get enough signatures to get a referendum on the ballot. We have until July 1 to gather the roughly 230,000 valid signatures we need to put a repeal referendum on the ballot. We need 500,000 signatures to make sure we meet that threshold.  
...Read more >> April 12, 2011

TWU members were key players in the nationwide mobilization of over a million workers, students and community members that produced at least 1,200 activities around the country on April 4th.  It was a message to the rich and a sign of things to come. It was the beginning, not the end.  A real movement has begun.

President Little has challenged TWU to stand in the front lines of the fight back movement sweeping the country. As Nick Unger of the AFL-CIO told TWU leaders assembled for the COPE conference Tuesday, we are facing the Gettysburg of our generation.
...Read more >> April 08, 2011

Before heading out for meetings with Congress, participants heard from a series of speakers who stressed the dire situation in America and the necessity of unions and their community allies to come together to lead a movement for justice that can hold politicians accountable. 

“This fight is not about unions, its about people and whether people have the right to come together and demand a better workplace, better wages, better benefits. It is about whether or not we are going to have a middle-class,” said Ed Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO.
...Read more >> April 07, 2011

A new report from the TWU highlights significant gaps in the safety and security of aircraft maintenance performed in outsourced repair facilities in the U.S. and overseas.

The study, Who’s Fixing My Plane: Aircraft Maintenance in America?, is based on a review of government audits and industry data. The report documents the fact that during the past decade, most U.S.-based airlines have outsourced a significant portion of maintenance and repair to third parties often located in third world countries. Beginning in July 2009, Southwest Airlines, for example, began sending large numbers of its 737s to El Salvador’s largely unregulated Aeroman facility. The 100 percent domestic carrier continues to shuttle aircraft to Central America every month for repair. 
...Read more >> April 07, 2011

Op/ED article by James C. Little, TWU International President, from the Miami Herald

You need a scorecard to keep track of the dizzying number of anti-worker bills in the agendas of Gov. Rick Scott and statehouse Republicans. The goal is to weaken the voice of ordinary Florida families while strengthening the hand of Scott and his fellow millionaires. The anti-union agenda makes Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s program pale by comparison.
What’s the plan for the Sunshine State? Eliminate dues checkoff for union workers; shut workers out of politics; cancel tenure for teachers; cut workers’ pensions; and force public-sector unions out of existence unless a union can show more than 50 percent membership in a workplace, each and every year.
...Read more >> April 07, 2011

On April 4, thousands of TWU members carried on Dr. King’s legacy of fighting for workers’ rights as human rights in actions in California, Texas, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Virginia, Tennessee, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, DC.

Over 100 TWU locals organized events ranging from worksite “walk-ins” in colors to candlelight vigils to massive human rights rallies with allies. They joined perhaps a million union, faith and community members nationwide.
...Read more >> April 06, 2011

As legislative attacks against labor continue to mount, a new urgency has emerged for labor to fight back to defend basic human rights and stop the anti-worker agenda growing in more than 20 states. 

During this pivotal political moment, the 2011 TWU Committee on Political Education (COPE) Conference opened Tuesday, April 5 to educate and mobilize TWU members in the fight for workers rights. TWU Director of Legislative and Political Affairs, Portia Reddick White, stressed the importance of uniting and mobilizing to stop the anti-worker legislation being proposed in states across the country and at the federal level.
...Read more >> April 05, 2011

On March 31 and April 1, TWU co-hosted an international meeting of delegates from 11 countries on the subject of Veolia, an multinational company that has been rapidly expanding into the transport sector in the U.S. and Canada. The French-based company has been associated with attempts to drive down wages and eliminate defined benefit pension plans in the U.S. TWU represents Veolia employees in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

...Read more >> April 04, 2011