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Labor Notes

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Some labor notes for your Friday:

1. Verizon is attacking its own workers, attempting to force 45,000 workers to tie pay to performance and pay into their own health care plans. The CWA and IBEW are organizing their members to protest. One would hope that they would talk strike here, though that’s probably unlikely.

Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg made a mere $17.5 million in 2009.

2. Washington, D.C. public schools fired 413 teachers today as part of their performance evaluations. I’m sure this kind of thing will really help our best young minds decide to make a difference in a tough public school where if they can’t get test scores up, they’ll get canned.

3. In better news, the North Carolina based Farm Labor Organizing Committee has won a big victory over Reynolds American, convincing the giant tobacco company to sit down with FLOC representatives over working conditions in the tobacco fields after a 3 year campaign. With the sad decline of the United Farm Workers, an organization that in recent years could never get past being more about Cesar Chavez than living agricultural laborers, FLOC has become the premier farmworker union in the United States. FLOC has engaged in many successful actions and is organizing our most voiceless workers in the hardest place to organize in the country.

4. A northern Minnesota hospital is putting profits over patient care and nurses are fighting back, having just engaged in a 3 day strike to protest understaffing and for the right to send patients to a different hospital if nurses can’t take care of them. The hospital opposes that. You know, profits and all.

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