An Anti-Union Video That Will Make You Cringe

Few things are as enlightening about the nuances of union-busting as corporations' own employee videos. These videos grossly mislead workers about unions in an effort to steer employees away from exercising their federal rights to organize and collectively bargain. For a glimpse into the videos used by the world's richest corporation, make sure to check out the video below.

The First, Laborious Steps of Change in Bangladesh

Rana Plaza collapseBy Michael Messina

A sobering reminder of the substandard labor conditions in the factories that make much of our clothing here in America (and the rest of the world) reared its ugly head almost a year ago in Bangladesh. The collapse of the Rana Plaza clothing factory in April of 2013 claimed the lives of over 1,100 workers.

The catastrophic nature of the incident sparked a movement to improve factory conditions in that part of the world. The New York Times has issued an article on the findings of the initial inspections by engineers of the Bangladesh Accord Foundation, a group created by more than 150 retailers from around the world in response to the tragedy.

Target's Anti-Union Propaganda

Ever wonder why unions are in decline, especially when unions are needed more than ever by the working class? Videos like this one below from Target offer insight into the barrage of anti-union propaganda that workers are subjected to - propaganda that distorts the truth and misleads employees about the real benefits of unionism.

Source: Youtube channel 00maharum00ma

Union-Made Oscars Night

By Sahid Fawaz
What a great year for movies!
American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, and 12 Years a Slave were among the films that captivated audiences all around the world in 2013. And they are deservedly being recognized at this year’s Academy Awards show.
But behind all the glitz and glamor of Oscars night are the proud union members that make it all possible. They are the camera operators, actresses, directors, musicians, composers, writers, and more. They bring the creativity, do the heavy lifting, and dazzle us on the silver screen.
They are members of unions such as IATSE, SAG-AFTRA, the Writers Guild (East and West), the AFM, and the Teamsters. They are the people behind the awards show itself. They work hard and, because they have union contracts, earn fair wages and benefits. 
We feel especially proud seeing a unionized industry capture the hearts of audiences worldwide and continuing a tradition of filmmaking excellence that is second to none.
If you’d like to share in the tradition of Oscars night, you can use this printable nominees ballot and follow along with the show. In the meantime, enjoy this compilation of the trailers of all nine films nominiated for the 2014 Best Picture award:

Union Made Winter Olympics

By Sahid Fawaz
We love the spirit of the Olympics and the incredible work that the athletes devote to being their best. 
And we love knowing that the televised coverage that we watch is brought to us by the proud union members of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America (“NABET”).
As the NABET website states,
“When NBC Sports's coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games began, more than 100 NABET-CWA members were working behind the scenes in Sochi, Russia, to bring home all of the action to viewers in the U.S.
Several members actually have been in Sochi for months now, building studios at the International Broadcast Center and setting up cameras and other video equipment in arenas and on mountain tops throughout the Black Sea resort area.”
One of the reasons that the coverage is first-rate is because of the dedication to quality that comes with union craftsmanship. Union members pride themselves on staying up-to-date on training and the latest technology. The end result is exciting Olympic footage of dazzling winter sports.
"As world class athletes gather on the Olympic stage in Sochi, world class television professionals, members of our union, will be there as well, putting their talents on display," said NABET-CWA President Jim Joyce.” The contributions and talents of our members have played a significant role in NBC's success in broadcasting the Olympics the past two decades."

Bloomberg Writer Advocates for a $4 Minimum Wage

by Sahid Fawaz

Think minimum wage workers have it tough today trying to make ends meet? Michael Strain, a writer at Bloomberg, thinks the wage is not low enough.   

He states,

"If we knocked the minimum wage down to, say, $4 an hour, we would significantly mitigate employers' risk from hiring a long-term unemployed worker. Allowing employers to pay this group of people 45 percent less than other minimum-wage workers provides a strong incentive for businesses to give the long-term unemployed a shot."

And what about the fact that it’s impossible for workers to live on such a wage? Strain offers the predictable solution: have the taxpayers subsidize companies for failing to pay a livable wage. 

He argues,

"Of course, we can’t just lower the minimum wage for the long-term unemployed to $4 an hour and leave it at that. Society must have as a goal that no one who works full time and heads a household lives in poverty. This policy would have to be paired with an expanded earned-income tax credit, or with more straightforward wage subsidies -- federal transfer programs that supplement a worker’s labor market earnings with tax dollars."

Have thoughts on this proposal? Let us know in the comments.