Victory in West Virginia

The labor movement scored another victory for working people this week when a judge struck down West Virginia’s “right to work” law. The defeat of this poisonous anti-worker legislation is a victory for all working people across the country.

Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey of Kanawha County agreed with the West Virginia AFL-CIO and other unions that challenged S.B. 1, which was passed in 2016, for violating the West Virginia Constitution’s prohibition of taking property without due process and compensation.

“Judge Bailey was right-on with her ruling,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “We entered into this lengthy legal challenge nearly three years ago because we knew the law violated the rights of West Virginia workers—and we simply won’t stand for that.”

The victory comes on the heels of West Virginia teachers killing a bill that would have taken money away from public schools.

 “The new law will require unions and union officials to work, to supply their valuable expertise, and to provide expensive services for nothing,” wrote Judge Bailey on tossing out the law.

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Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

Members of Local 7798 achieve major goal with workplace violence policy

From the USW

Workers at Copper Country Mental Health Services in Houghton, Mich., obtained wage increases and pension improvements in their contract ratified earlier this year, but the benefit Local 7798 members were most proud of bargaining was language regarding workplace violence.

The contract committed the employer to appoint a committee, including two members of the local, to draft a workplace violence policy. Work quickly began on the policy, and just last week, the committee drafted and released its first clinical guideline focusing on responding to consumer aggression toward staff.

“We are so excited to have this go into effect,” said Unit Chair Rachelle Rodriguez of Local 7798. “This was a direct result of our last negotiating session.”

The guideline includes the definition of aggression and an outline of procedures, all of which will be reviewed yearly. And though this is just a first step in reducing the incident rates and harm of workplace violence in their workplace, it still is a big one for the local, and it wouldn’t have been possible without a collective bargaining agreement.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work