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Front Page » Authors » Bio for Dmitri Iglitzin » Archives for Dmitri Iglitzin

By Dmitri Iglitzin on August 29, 2011

In a truly unprecedented attack on federal law enforcement agents at the National Labor Relations Board, California Representative Darrell Issa and his Republican allies in the House of Representatives are doing the bidding of corporate elites in an effort to suppress the collective bargaining rights of private sector workers.

In June of this year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) commenced an enforcement action against Boeing based on a claim by IAM District 751, part of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, that Boeing broke worker protection laws when it told its unionized workers in Everett, Wash. it would transfer airplane assembly to its newly non-union facility in Charleston, South Carolina due to their past and possible future union activity.

Read more of this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on April 12, 2011

Statistics are one thing; people are another.

According to a 2009 report in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, hotel employees, and especially housekeepers, have relatively higher rates of occupational injury, and sustain more severe injuries, than most other service workers. This was not a surprising conclusion. A 2005 survey of 941 hotel room cleaners found that during a twelve-month period, 75 percent experienced work-related pain, 83 percent report taking pain medication for discomfort due to work, and 62 percent reported work-related pain that forced them to visit a doctor.

There is a reason for this, of course.

Read more of this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on March 1, 2011

It’s not like we didn’t see it coming.

At the very start of this year, January 2, the New York Times warned us of the coming battle with a front-page story, “Public Workers Facing Outrage in Budget Crisis.” The Economist, in its January 8 issue, gave us “The battle ahead: confronting the public-sector unions.” And the January Time Magazine? “Public Employees Become Public Enemy No. 1.”

So nobody should have been surprised when public employees became enemy number one in Wisconsin, whose governor and Republican-dominated Legislature are pressing a bill that would eviscerate most of the unions representing that state’s employees.

Read more of this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on October 29, 2010

Negotiations for a union contract are not customarily conducted through advertisements in a daily newspaper. Which is why readers of last Sunday's Anchorage Daily News were doubtless surprised to see a half-page advertisement by the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa that wasn't touting the virtues of the Sheraton's facilities or bargain-basement off-season prices. Instead, the ad was an "open letter" to Marvin Jones, President of UNITE HERE Local 878, the union that represents the Sheraton's housekeepers, bell staff, banquet workers, and other hourly employees.

In this letter, the Sheraton, which the union accused more than a year ago of violating federal law by refusing to bargain in good faith for a successor agreement, now promised Local 878 that it would “negotiate a contract” if the union agreed to permit a “decertification election” to occur within 30 days.

It was a different kind of a pitch, made by a different kind of employer. How different?

Read more of this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on December 29, 2009

That the hearing occurred at all was a surprise to the elected executive board of the union. No one had heard from the member since the day notice of the charges had been mailed to him; no one expected him to show up in person to face the executive board, which was acting as a trial committee hearing the charges that had been brought.

But he did show up – a big man, calm but unsure of what was in store for him. The union’s representatives were, to tell the truth, equally unsure.

The union’s vice-president invited the accused to sit down at one of only two vacant seats at the conference table, which he did. The VP then formally opened the hearing. “Brother M., will you please present the charges?”

Read more of this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on February 5, 2009

People who live near Niagara Falls are said to become so used to the sound of roaring water that they literally don’t even hear it. A similar phenomenon appears to have taken place regarding one little-known facet of the American workplace, so-called “captive audience meetings,” where employees are forced to listen to their employer’s anti-union speech.

Frito-Lay, Inc., the world’s largest producer of salty snack foods, is one of the country’s leading practitioners of this art. It routinely not only compels its employees to listen to anti-union diatribes, on company time and property, but also forces its driver-employees to allow company employees (and other people, specifically chosen for their skill in advocating the company’s anti-union position) to accompany them on their routes as uninvited “guests,” thereby forcing the drivers to listen to this carefully crafted anti-union speech.

Frito-Lay sugarcoats what it is doing, of course.....

Read more of this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on January 25, 2009

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has promised to spend $10 million opposing the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), the proposed federal law that would allow workers to form unions based on a showing of majority support, sometimes referred to as a “card check” election. Other big bucks are being spent by faux-grassroots organizations with misleading names such as the “Coalition for a Democratic Workplace” and the “Center for Union Facts.” President Barack Obama was not exaggerating when he said, recently, that the business community considers EFCA “the devil incarnate.”

The focal point of opposition to EFCA is the provisions that make it easier for workers to form unions without going through a secret ballot election. Opponents contend that without secret ballot elections, workers will be coerced by union organizers into signing cards or petitions. As one opponent, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), put it, "It is beyond me how one can possibly claim that a system whereby everyone – your employer, your union organizer, and your co-workers – knows exactly how you vote on the issue of unionization gives an employee ‘free choice.’”

But fatally undermining this argument is a dirty little secret known as “Wurtland Nursing.”

Read more of this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on January 18, 2009

Non-unionized musicians at a small Seattle-area symphony orchestra, the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO), have grown deeply dissatisfied with their treatment by management. Eighty percent signed a petition asserting their desire to join the Musicians' Association of Seattle, an affiliate of the American Federation of Musicians. As is typical of employers throughout the country, even when confronted with evidence of the overwhelming desire of their employees for union representation, the BPO has refused to agree to this request.

Read more of this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on January 11, 2009

After fifteen years of struggle, the unlawful firing of union supporters, two lost elections run by the National Labor Relations Board, seven years of litigation over company abuses of workers and a federal racketeering lawsuit brought by the company against the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Smithfield Packing slaughterhouse in Tar Heel, N.C., has recognized its workers right to be represented by a union.

The workers did this without benefit of any federal law requiring employers to accept a union as the representative of their employers based on a majority of those workers having signed “authorization cards” so requesting --- a “card check” election. Said company spokesperson Dennis Pittman, this shows “that the union can win without a card check.”

Maybe. But to many people, including supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), the proposed federal legislation that would authorize “card check” elections, the fact that it took fifteen years for 5,000 workers at one slaughterhouse to get union representation just shows how desperately that law is needed.

Read more of this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on January 4, 2009

On November 10, 2008, Circuit City, the nation’s second-biggest electronics retailer, filed for bankruptcy. It’s going to have a lot of company in bankruptcy court. More than a dozen U.S. retailers filed for bankruptcy in 2008, including Linens ‘n Things and Sharper Image. Already in 2009, has followed suit, and more such filings are expected following what may have been the worst holiday-shopping season in 40 years.

What makes Circuit City’s collapse worthy of some special note, however, however, is the fact that this company, en route to its financial meltdown, tried to balance its books at the expense of its workers, a tactic that other companies may yet be tempted to follow, despite Circuit City's evident lack of success.

Read more of this post here ...

More blog posts by Dmitri Iglitzin:

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We encourage and welcome you to look back through the blog archives for Dmitri Iglitzin. All of this author's archives are listed here, on the right side of this page.

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Archives: Dmitri Iglitzin

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